Healing Journey with Gong Sound
Finally I had my first Gong Bath experience!
Since my singing bowl lesson I’ve been fascinated with sound healing. While in London I noticed Gong Bath events popping up on my facebook feed and I had been wanting to experience it, but then all the traveling and the move to Greece got in the way and all was forgotten. So I was over the moon when I saw a Gong Bath event in Athens through an expat facebook group and the venue was even within walking distance from my home!
The event was called Θεραπευτικό Ταξίδι με τον Ήχοτων Γκονγκ–Healing Journey with Gong Sound – and it certainly was that, a journey, although I had no idea how it would unfold. One little strange thing for me was that, you know how with the internet we all are so used to researching everything before actually doing something – like looking at reviews and photos even the menus of restaurants before making a reservation. I had all the time to look up Gong Bath on youtube but somehow I didn’t. This little strange thing answered a question that I had for a long while – what is it like to have no expectations? I felt like a little baby looking at the world for the first time, full of awes and wonderful surprises while knowing all is good and well taken care of. Aphrodite Ligoura and Kathy Kizito, the Gong Bath facilitators, certainly did a good job of looking after the participants.
Aphrodite, who is an experienced yoga teacher as well as a gong player, guided us through a series of light yoga exercises to prepare our bodies. She and Kathy said it was up to us whether to participate in the yoga exercises or not, for it was not necessary and we could choose to just lie down and relax instead. But of course I wanted the full experience! And I thoroughly enjoyed it too. Aphrodite has this calm yet strong presence about her that helped me ease into the movements.
We were all nice and warm (but not sweaty because the movements were gentle) after yoga but we were advised to cover ourselves up because we would feel cold as we lie down and relax. I brought a blanket with me although Kathy and Aphrodite had some blankets for those who didn’t too. They also had yoga mats for those of us who didn’t bring one.
After checking the ambience of the room and that everyone was comfortable, Kathy started the sound journey with playing singing bowls. Oh I forgot to tell you, although I keep saying Gong Bath and the event name also said Gong sound, it was a lot more than that. Other than four big gongs hanging there in the room, next to them there were also a bunch of singing bowls and beaters and wands and some other instruments that I didn’t know the names of. They also used a giant shell. Sounds a bit eccentric but there was much harmony in the sound produced by Kathy and Aphrodite.
Aphrodite and Kathy did a wonderful job of setting up the healing space too. There was minimal artificial light during the yoga part and once we laid down for the second part, the room was only lit by candlelight. Together with the scent of incense and of course the sound of various instruments and their vibration, we were treated to a very special journey!
The theme for this session was cleansing. Kathy talked about this coming special full moon stuff and how it was a good time to have a cleansing. Honestly I never pay much attention about planetary stuff as there is so much to observe but I’m up for a big cleanse any time. This cleansing session helped me in other ways though in that I realized one major thing I had to let go of. Since coming to Greece, we traveled around quite a bit and with the different language and culture, I often felt unsettled and I realized what I had to leave behind was my insecurity regarding my new living environment and lifestyle. This sounds so simple and logical and yet what is obvious often become invisible to the self and how glad I was with this realization!
The actual experience with the gong bath was truly amazing. You would think that with all those gongs and other instruments, Kathy and Aphrodite were going to produce a racket like fireworks, full of wow moments and adrenaline. It’s quite the opposite – it was loud, but the sound was so harmonious that it was surprisingly calming and soothing rather than exciting. When I say it’s not exciting, it doesn’t mean it’s boring either. It was full of wonderment and even some roller coaster moments which were pacifying rather than thrilling. I know I’m not making much sense and I really don’t know how to describe it to you properly. You need to experience it yourself!
The vibration of the sound seeped through my whole body. I felt relaxed from the start of the gong bath and during part of it, I felt I had no physical body and had melted into the space, as if I was part of the void. It might sound scary but for me it was the ultimate state of peacefulness, without any thoughts or feelings. I had also dosed off for a bit. When I woke, I was curious as to what Kathy and Aphrodite were up to and I saw that they were playing the instruments as if by pure instinct. Although there wasn’t any obvious communication between them, they were in much harmony. I also noticed that the participant next to me were crying and then later started snoring a bit. Maybe I snored too but no one seemed to care.
Afterwards Aphrodite asked us to share our experiences and gladly we did. I enjoyed talking again after much silence and I was fascinated by what other participants described of their experiences too.
The actual session was perhaps 2 hours but we were encouraged to arrive early, giving ourselves ample time to calm down and even relax with a cup of herbal tea. It was the same when the session was over. We were offered snacks and tea so that we were completely grounded before going back to the real world.
I asked Aphrodite if they ever received complaints from neighbours of the noise. She said no and the reason she gave me was very interesting. She said people were not familiar with gong sound so even if they heard it they wouldn’t know what it was and wouldn’t think to complain.
I think by now you would love to have your own gong experience too. Kathy said usually the gong players improvise according to a theme so no two gong baths would be the same and I’m curious as to what my next experience would be like. Please remember also that each of us can experience the same thing in our own unique way so it’s best to leave your expectation behind!
If you are in Greece and want to find out more or to book your private Gong bath experience, you may contact Aphrodite at firstname.lastname@example.org or find her on her facebook page.