Tom and I began the first day of 2018 by participating in a Full Moon Healing Gong Bath. Offered by One Yoga, a nonprofit studio with the mission of making yoga accessible to all, the purpose of this ceremony was to use sound to align our own energy with the powerful energy of this New Year’s Day full moon! We were excited for this experience!
My first encounter with sound healing came when I began my Feng Shui studies. One of the Feng Shui students, an acupuncturist, was incorporating crystal singing bowls in her practice for vibrational sound healing. She generously offered sound healing salons in her home once a month. They were such powerful and transformative experiences, I tried to never miss a session! I loved the opportunity to practice transitioning from my busy day to a relaxed consciousness and then into a meditative state, with those beautiful sounds pulsating through my body!
Sound travels about four times faster through water than it does through air; our bodies are about 70 percent water so the use of sound is an intuitive choice for a natural therapy. It has been utilized in ancient civilizations for thousands of years as a tool for healing.The Priests of ancient Egypt knew how to use vowel sounds to resonate their energy centers or chakras. The Australian Aboriginals and Native American shamanists use vocal toning and repetitive sound vibration with instruments created from nature in ceremony to adjust any imbalance of the spirit, emotions or physical being.
The gong is a sacred and ancient instrument of deep healing, rejuvenation and transformation. On a basic level, the gong relaxes tension and blocks in the body, stimulating the glandular and nervous system into higher, more balanced functioning. In Bali, Indonesia, the echoing gamelan, gong, and drum are used in ceremonies to uplift and send messages.
Bells, chimes, gongs, bowls, and chanting are the foundation of Tibetan spiritual practice. Over the years, I have traveled to China, Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan in pursuit of Feng Shui study. In those amazing places, the sounds of chanting and gongs were as integral a part of my experiences, as were the sights. When Tom and I were married in the sacred Jokhang Temple in Lhasa, Tibet, the sounds of Buddhist gongs and chanting enhanced our incredible ceremony.
Sound helps to facilitate shifts in our brainwave state. A sound therapy treatment is both a passive and a participatory experience. Allowing yourself to relax and slow your breath prepares your body to receive sound. It’s in this place of calmness that you become more open and aware of each sound that comes in. Sound helps create a pathway to stillness, the same as a mantra helps you to arrive at the still point of meditation.
And so it was with the full moon healing gong wash. Following a yoga warm-up and chanting, we were invited to lie on our mats. The room was full so it was challenging to lie passively with our arms at our sides without being in another’s space – but we managed. As we lay in the quiet, the sound and vibrational energy of the gong slowly began to enter our awareness. For 45 minutes those energies washed over and through us, intensifying and diminishing, creating a feeling of drifting luxuriously in space. I felt transported, as if on a magic carpet, to a place of deep relaxation and stillness.
What a lovely way to start the year. I appreciate One Yoga’s offering an opportunity to welcome the full moon and the New Year in a most unique, powerful and spiritual way!
Wishing you a Year that is Unique, Powerful, Spiritual and filled with Love!