I’m always up for trying something new, especially if it is something that I’ve never heard of before. The yoga and wellness studio that I go to (where I participate in a healing circle) had an opening of their new location about a month ago and was holding free classes to celebrate.
One of the classes that they held was a “gong sound bath”. I’d never heard of this before and it sounded intriguing. It was also the only class that fit into my schedule that day. But I was pumped either way!
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What’s a Gong Sound Bath?
Like I said, before going, I had NO IDEA what a gong sound bath was. I didn’t even think to look it up until about an hour before I was getting ready to leave.
So what is it? A gong sound bath – also called a gong meditation – is a meditative session where gongs, singing bowls, tuning forks, and other instruments (the one I went to also had a tambourine) are used to produce frequencies that are calming and that will help you feel a sense of relaxation.
There are other benefits of gong meditation that I’ve listed in the next section.
So no, there is absolutely no water involved in a gong sound bath. Though, I think that could also be an amazing experience to have.
Other than it being held at the yoga and wellness studio that I go to, I was interested in trying it because I have a hard time meditating or (doing anything really) in silence. I need sound to help me feel calm, productive, and generally at ease.
Below is an example of what you might hear during a gong meditation session.
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What Are The Benefits?
- It can help provide relaxation and calm
- Improvement in sleep quality
- Better ability to cope with stress
- Support in switching to different brain waves (specifically, Alpha, Delta, Theta, and Beta) – read more here.
What Should You Wear?
This was something I was worried about and was one of the main reasons I looked it up. Simply, you should wear whatever makes you feel most comfortable. When I went, I wore leggings with a tank top and cardigan.
Others were wearing jeans, sweatshirts, t-shirts, etc. As long as you’re comfortable (because you’ll be laying or sitting in these clothes for some time), you’re good!
I’ve also heard that many people get cold so you may want to wear long sleeves or bring a blanket.
Why Might You Not Want to Gong Meditation?
- You’re not a fan of gongs (seriously – gongs are not pleasant to some people)
- You’re particularly sensitive to low or high frequencies
If you’re not sure if it would be for you, take a look at the video above and see what you think. You can also learn more about my experience below.
First, I set up my little corner of relaxation with a yoga mat and two pillows: one for my head and another to put under my legs. I was laying on my back for the majority of the meditation, but many people were sitting in chairs, with their backs to the wall, or laying on their sides.
The facilitator started off with sharing a bit about what we were going to experience – there were about 20 of us in the space. She led us through some visualization to help us relax before actually starting to use the gongs and other instruments.
It started off softly and had gentle cascades of sounds including a gong, tambourine, and I think a metronome (or something similar). The volume was increased slightly and brought back down. I personally never felt uncomfortable with the level of the sound.
It definitely was a “sound bath”. I could feel the sounds “washing over me”. The sounds reminded me of what I **think** being in space or being in the depths of the ocean would sound and feel like. I also envisioned really rich, deep colors like blues, purples, and blacks.
After about 20 minutes with the sounds, we did another visualization along with some gentle stretching.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my gong bath experience and I would highly recommend it if you are looking to expand on your meditation experiences or just want to try something new or different.
Want to try it for yourself? There’s probably a place near you that has sessions. But if you’re more of a DIY-er, below are some products that could help you with your gong meditation experience.
Gong Meditation Products
Here are some great products if you’d like to do a gong meditation at home by yourself or if you’re interested in leading a gong meditation for others.
This chime would be perfect as an accompaniment to the gongs and other instruments that you might use in your meditation. It measures about 7 in by 2 in by 1 inch and comes with a mallet.
This beautiful gong is the perfect size for putting on your desk or on the floor next to you while you meditate. It comes with a mallet and is 6 inches in diameter. This also comes in a cherry wood finish.
The yoga and wellness studio that I go to has similar floor chairs and they are amazing, especially if you have any kind of upper body pain and need more support when you’re sitting on the floor.
Tibetan singing bowls are great to have when you are doing a gong meditation or practicing mindfulness in general. This particular singing bowl comes with a mallet as well as a cushion.
This set would be perfect for cleansing your space before and after your meditation sessions.
Interested in even more products that would be helpful for mindfulness and meditation? Click here!
Have you ever done a gong sound bath? If you have, what was your experience? If you haven’t, does this sound like something you’d enjoy? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
Briana Hollis is a licensed social worker and self-care coach. She earned her Master of Science in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University in 2014 and her Master of Education from Tiffin University in 2019. She has spent the last 5 years working in crisis intervention. Her passion for serving others is the heart of this site. She started Learning To Be Free to assist others in bringing freedom to their lives.
Briana is also the author of The Self-Care Journal for Young Adults.