The Gong –
A Powerful Tool When Used Consciously
The Gong means different things to different people as it has many applications. It is believed that this amazing sound instrument has been in existence for several thousand years, originating in China and spreading into Southeast Asia – and is still an important part of those ancient cultures today. The sound of a gong is unmistakable from any other type of sound because of its range of frequencies. It’s penetrating vibrations compel one’s immediate attention.
There is a rapidly growing gong-mastery community whose focus is the pure love and enjoyment of its beautiful sound, for entertainment and relaxation. There are many different types of gongs, different types of mallets, different strokes, and ways of playing many gongs simultaneously that a gong master understands. These skills are commonly presented in informal public ‘gong sound baths’ and gong performances, and are becoming popular worldwide as more people discover the wonderful sound-experience of the gong. These forms of presenting the gong commonly combine other instrumentation with the gong sounds because they blend in such a beautiful way, when played artfully. The musical combinations are endless though most popular are singing bowls, percussion instruments and the voice.
Gong sound healing is a different art-form and discipline from gong mastery, involving different training, knowledge and approach – though of course having sensitivity to playing the gong well and in a certain way is necessary.
Unlike the more detailed aspects involved in the art of gong mastery, the gong-playing component involved in focused gong sound healing is actually quite straightforward. In addition to having the right type of gong suited to healing, the main idea is to create a pleasant and steady stream of sound that the client or participant can bathe in – an infusion of sound-wave vibrations that directly penetrate both mind and body for the purpose of multi-level healing. As well, the length of time of the gong session and adequate exposure to the sound waves are significant. The right type, and size, of gong are important to consider when buying a gong for focused healing, for optimal results.
Gong-making and sound technology is quite sophisticated because of the ability to blend different metal alloys and because they can be tuned to different frequencies. There aren’t many existing gong-makers who have the ability to make the highest-quality gongs that are available, and thus there is a shortage in supply. I have come to appreciate this fact especially with regard to healing with sound frequencies. It saddens me when I hear that a person wanting to sincerely heal has purchased a gong that is not suited for the job.
Another factor that greatly contributes to successful healing results with the gong is the consciousness of the practitioner. The mind, emotional realm, and consciousness are affected in different ways by trauma and fear. As well, many physical diseases have emotional and psychological causes that need to be addressed for physical healing to occur. Individuals that are not engaged in any kind of active ‘self-improvement’ efforts operate in life on an unconscious level more than others – re-living the same unconscious patterns of behavior that reflect their ongoing pain and frustration about life. This is what breeds negativity, greed and competition – and physical disease.
Someone living at these lower vibrational states doesn’t automatically shift those imprints by the gong vibrations alone… many gong for years and years for fun and enjoyment, and suffer emotional and physical illness. The practitioner plays an important role in helping the client/participant surrender and access embedded structures. As with all forms of healing, the more the practitioner (gong player) engages in their own personal healing, the greater potential for healing with the support of the gong.
More than anything, the consciousness of the practitioner directly affects the vibrational field around the client, as it aligns and is enhanced by the gong sound-wave vibrations. Everything is energy.
The gong is not for everyone. Many are attracted to it, and some not at all. Some just like to listen though not to play. Anyone who is excited by the sound of the gong and the prospects for healing and raising consciousness with it – can affect great change with the right mindset and approach. My book Gong Consciousness: Self-Healing Through the Power of Sound is about helping any sincere student access deep states of awareness for personal development by combining specific ‘awareness practices’ with regular ongoing exposure to gong sound-wave vibrations. Ideally, buying a gong for the home provides regular and immediate access to it for optimal, life-changing results.
One chapter of the book goes into detail on two years of focused research I did with it, with individuals affected by many types of ailments. I have studied and conducted research at the academic level, and applied these methods and standards to the research. I was curious to know how the gong would perform because of the surprising results I witnessed with it early on. I was amazed to observe its incredible power and range to affect deep change under certain conditions, which led to the publishing of the book.
It was created for individuals interested in: 1. buying a gong for personal development and raising consciousness in the comfort of their home for self and family; 2. for gong healing practitioners to help them get more effective results and; 3. for experienced healing practitioners of other modalities (yoga, Reiki, massage, acupuncture, physiotherapy, counselling, hypnotherapy etc.) to help them integrate the gong into their work. It’s relatively easy for an experienced practitioner to buy and use a gong immediately to accelerate results with the combined power of other healing modalities.
Yogi Bhajan understood this very well when promoting the practice of Kundalini with the gong in the early 70s in the West. Opening the body through yoga followed by a gong session is a powerful combination (… and for all types of yoga). Similarly, integrating other forms of healing with it brings exponential change. Please see my videos for more information.
Gongs Recommended For Healing
Gongs made of nickel silver (also known as alpaca or German silver) are highly resonant and well-suited for doing focused healing work for this reason. You barely need to strike this type of metal alloy to create a highly resonant and consistent flow of gong sound-wave vibration for optimal healing benefit, and with little effort. Gong size is also significant for this reason.
A 32” gong is an ideal size recommendation for self-gonging, focused client work, or working with groups, ie. family and friends at home or larger public group gong sound sessions – (20-30 people) in an enclosed space to focus the sound waves for optimal healing – and also easy to move around at this size. Having said that, 28 and 30” gongs made of nickel silver are also effective for healing work. For even larger groups two 32” gongs or a 36” creates more gong power for larger spaces. Gongs of these sizes have a broader bandwidth of frequency with more bass tones, important for healing.
Meinl Chakra Gongs (tuned)
Here are some of the most well-known and experienced Gong Makers that create handcrafted nickel silver gongs: Meinl Sonic Energy, Paiste, Gongland, Broder Oetken Gongs, Tone of Life, Sona Gongs, Ollihess, Shawn Aceto, and Ryan Shelledy. All the different types of gongs they make from nickel silver are well-suited for healing work at 28” and up. They include symphonic gong, planetary tuned gong series, sound creation earth gong, and others. Be careful where and how you invest so that you experience the true joy of playing and doing focused healing work with a well-made gong, with quality workmanship.
Gongland #9 Gong
Nickel Silver & Chau Gongs
The Planetary Gong Series (tuned) – each gong is aligned to the vibration of each of the planets in our solar system and have different sound characteristics. There are different sizes to choose from. Top choice.
Meinl Chakra Series (tuned) – each gong is aligned with the vibration of the chakras or ‘energy centres’ of the body. There are different sizes to choose from. Top choice.
Sound CreationSymphonicChakra Gong
The Symphonic Gong and Sound Creation Gong also made of alpaca are great for healing. Listen to different types of gongs (and different sizes, tuned and non-tuned) and allow the feel of the sound to help you make your decision. Quality headphones are important.
Other well-known distributors of gongs and accessories: GongsUnlimited.com (US), MemphisDrumShop.com (US) and SoundTravels.com (UK). Most major music stores can order gongs and accessories for you as well, though they are not always knowledgeable so do your own research.
2. The Chau Gong – the Chinese Chau Gong is also well suited for healing work and is much less expensive than one of the same size made of alpaca (and significantly heavier as the metals are different). They are created from a mold, with melted and poured metal (not hand-crafted), and look like a bullseye target. The objective is to get one of high-quality. In China these gongs are mass produced and sound quality varies.
If you can get a good one – it’s a wonderful choice and has a beautiful deep earthy resonance. Established gong distributors – that sell many types of gongs – are more reliable as they personally source them from China to ensure high quality. Gandharva Loka World Music Store is one such distributor with locations in Vancouver, Zurich, Vienna, Dublin, Salzberg, Berlin and Christ Church, New Zealand. Other distributors manufacture their own line of Chau gongs, which meet consistent standards including Meinl Sonic Energy, Gongs Unlimited, Zildjian, Sabian (Canada), and Wuhan Gongs.
Meinl Chau Gong