Facilitating gongbath meditations has been an amazing learning experience for me… especially when individuals are willing to share their challenging experiences, instead of just not coming back. This Friday a participant emailed to share that the gongbath evoked challenging thoughts and feelings, physical discomfort in the root, sacral and heart area chakras, and that night they experienced disturbing dreams.
This feedback continues to foster my learning as I am able to discuss with my mentor and teacher Mitch Nur, PhD. Mitch is regarded as one of North America’s oldest and leading sound teachers and sound healers. I was privileged to participate in his advanced gong training in Pennsylvania last fall, and continue draw on his wisdom and experience.
I believe the following information is valuable to anyone attending in a gongbath immersion meditation, so I am sharing some of the writers comments and questions.
Writer: “The week before, my experience while “under the influence
of Gong” was so soothing, I truly had a magical time. Definitely
affected! Went home and slept really well….so last night I expected the same to happen.”
Every week I invite folk to let go of expectations, to approach each meditation with an open mind and heart regardless of what happened the week before. It is so important not to get caught in the ‘trap’ of expectation.
Mitch discussed that it is not unusual for people to have conflicting experiences from one Gong experience to another one. Each week we arrive in a new state of mind. Sound healing, is about consciousness. As one’s consciousness shifts, the autonomic nervous system reacts. Sometimes the ‘listener’ is caught between this shift, as the body tries to relax and regulate the sympathetic (nervous system of fight, flight and freeze) to the parasympathetic (calming/ regulating) systems. If conflict arises, hormones and secretions of catecholamine’s, especially nor-epinephrine and epinephrine can create unbalance regarding the experience of the gong bath, actually inflicting pain.
Writer: “This week was such a different experience. My mind was flooded the entire time with
anxiety, all sorts of negative emotions dredged up and circulated
through my whole body.”
This is intense energy work and “thought” is energy. Much of what surfaced for the writer, created uncomfortable “feelings of fear and anxiety.” Who knows what is stored in the unconscious mind, and when it will be released. As I evolve on this path, I understand more clearly, that behind my busy “thinking human mind” is a deeper dimension of “awareness”, the observer, witness, the watcher. As long as I am alive, mind will produce thought that is not always helpful. As consciousness grows, we are more able to “simply” be the observer of thought passing through and understanding grows….just because we have a thought, it does not mean it is true. Just as when we dream…. we wake up to know that it was just a dream.
Writer: “Does this sound like a reasonable response to a gong bath?”
I invite anyone attending a gongbath to not judge what is reasonable. Everyone will have a unique experience, and each time will be different. My intention as I play is always for healing and the highest good of those present. I like to think that what comes up for people is release, and healing is happening where it is needed. When our intention is to evolve spiritually, the “ego” doesn’t always make it easy.
I invite you to “allow, witness and “trust” what happens for you without trying to analyze or make sense of it. When we are seeking to change/ heal, I believe it is important to leave expectation out of intention, or the mind will start it’s unrelenting pursuit of talking to itself nonstop, instead of reaching a point of equilibrium.
The writer’s response seems like a great way to end.
” I can’t wait until next Thursday. I love it; it’s a challenge and I truly agree that there is a conflict in me which is the part that witnesses and the part that tries to control. I’ve been learning letting go of control the past few months in many arenas. My thoughts and expectations are still ones that hold strong. This week I did go in more stressed than before and more anxious. I would also like to invite myself to not to judge what is reasonable. Such a task. The unwriting of the years of scripting I’ve got etched into my brain! Slowly and surely I am confident I will get there!
I really appreciate your input. Lots to think about. And while I heard you say not to have expectations before class … perhaps I didn’t really HEAR.”
Many thanks to this writer for their willingness and courage to share.