Gongs, Elements & Angels

So What Is All This About?

A little bit of history and research that connects the dots:

Gong Meditation

In the Gong Meditation session I work with Gongs representing the Five Elements:

Air is a calming spirit.

Earth is a grounding spirit.

Fire is a creative spirit.

Water is a cleansing spirit.

OM is the sound of the Universe

Gongs and the Five Elements

In his Tetrasomia, or Doctrine of the Four Elements, fifth century B.C. Greek philosopher, scientist and healer, Empedocles, described how all matter is comprised of four "roots" or elements: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, with these 'roots' interacting with each other. The philosopher Aristotle, later added a fifth element, aithêr (ether), which was what the Heavens were made of. Thus while the Four Elements were thought to be Earthly, the Fifth Element was Heavenly.

The Buddhist Elements were also Earth, Air, Fire and Water, with a Fifth Element of Akasa, which translates to 'void' or 'emptiness' (relating to the Buddhist state of meditation/non-being).

The classic Chinese Elements are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water, with Earth seen as the center, surrounded by the other Four. The word 'Element' here is more accurately termed as 'transformation' or 'mode', as these elements interact with each other in ongoing cycles

The Chakra system is made up of Seven Chakras, or energy vortices: four lower - Root, Sacral, Solar Plexus, and Heart; and three upper - Throat, Brow, and Crown, with energy moving up and down through them. These align with the classical idea of Five Elements, with the four lower Chakras being the Earth elements and the three upper Chakras combined as the fifth Spiritual Element:

Crown/Brow/Throat - Ether

Heart - Air

Solar Plexus - Fire

Sacral - Water

Root - Earth

As we can see, this idea of 4/5 elements is found in various different cultures around the world. These might be said to be archetypes of a model for how the Universe works.

In addition, the 4 main Archangels of Christianity/Islam/Judaism ,and various other traditions, also correspond with the 4 main elements and exhibit traits of each:

Michael - Fire

Gabriel - Water

Raphael - Air

Uriel - Earth

Quantum Physics & Gongs

Today’s scientists seem to have caught up with yesterday's ideas and are now declaring that all things in existence are made up of energy vibrating at different rates. As such, the vibration of one thing can affect the vibration of another: everything is interconnected. This affect can be negative or positive in nature. Things can also become blocked to changing their vibratory state. Gongs, by their very nature, are in many ways antennas that can both receive and send energy. These discs produce intense vibrations that can affect the immediate area around them.

With people, the Gong's vibrations can affect the Chakras by helping clear blocked energy, thus allowing positive vibrations to get through. The Gong's vibrations actually perform a sort of sonic massage at a cellular level. These vibrations can be very healing and grounding. It is my experience that once these blockages have been released, spontaneous healing can occur. For example, after a Gong Session                                                                                     many people have reported a very intense emotional release, leaving some laughing or crying. Others have reported various physical symptoms have disappeared, such as headaches, backaches, etc., even some long term physical symptoms. This all points back to the nature of much dis-ease being blocked energy manifesting in either emotional or physical symptoms, or both. This is not to negate the importance of traditional medical care, but rather to state that often the Gong's vibrations can help cleanse and unblock the human energy/Chakra system, leading to improved mental & physical health and well being. Each person's experience will be their own.

In my work, I use a set of Gongs centered around the Four Elements (Air/Earth/Fire/Water) and Ether (the universal OM) and their related spirits. Instead of concentrating the vibrations in one specific area, I prefer to cover the whole spectrum of vibrations. This is neither better nor worse than other people using Gongs for their sessions, but rather is my own personal vision.

Cymatics and Gongs

In the beginning was the word... or in Sanskrit, "Nada Brahma," literally, the world is sound.

It is by no accident that many ancient holy texts explain the beginning of the Universe as having come from sound, for all creation is in a state of vibration. Even the scientific Big Bang is a loud explosion.

Cymatics is the study of wave phenomena, especially the physical patterns produced by sound waves in a medium such as sand or water.

By sprinkling sand on a metal plate and vibrating it with a violin bow, the sand will then form itself into geometric wave patterns of varying shapes. As the frequencies move higher, the patterns become more complex, with the most complex designs resembling traditional Mandalas. You can do the same thing to standing water by activating it with a transducer.


My experiment with Cymatics on the back of a Gong. 

While the idea of sound wave patterns was first explored by Galileo, it was Swiss medical doctor and natural scientist, Hans Jenny (1904-1972), who spent years observing and documenting the phenomena. He used various pastes, powders, and liquids that were activated by sine waves to produce varying patterns. 

In 1967 he published Cymatics: The Study of Wave Phenomena, which documented his findings with diagrams and photographs. More recently, Japanese scientist, Dr. Masaru Emoto has worked extensively with water and ice crystals. His books The Hidden Message in Water and The Healing Power of Water demonstrate how the crystal patterns can be changed by music, spoken words, and even intent. This becomes extremely important when one realizes that the human body is composed mainly of water and other crystalline structures.

In working with Gongs, one needs to understand that their vibrations work at a cellular level. These harmonic vibrations can help balance and align the crystalline structure of our own bodies. By bringing our cells into balance and harmony, energy blockages can be released, allowing the body systems to function more efficiently. So too the human energy and aura systems can be aligned and cleared. The result being both a sense of relaxation and of energy. It is typical of Gong Session participants to report various phenomena, such as spontaneous healing, emotional release, and even out of body experiences.                                                                               

From John Beaulieu, N.D. Ph.D., A Commentary On Cymatics:

"Energy medicine" seeks to understand people as unified energy fields or in Dr. Jenny’s words, "as wholes". Metaphorically, our physical body, emotions, and thought processes are like cymatic forms which are organized by underlying vibrational fields, the densest (the physical), being animated by the subtler vibrations (emotions and thoughts). 

Here is an example of these type of experiences from recent Gong Session participants:

Wow, I want to share something with you! My nervous system is wired in such a way, that I am on high voltage a lot, since a lot of energy runs through me. I do everything I can to try to relax and sometimes, I just run so much energy, my body is spinning.

Last night, Michael Bettine, invited me to his "Gong Bath!"  I was mesmerized! He had at least 12 beautiful gongs up there. I actually could feel myself getting calmer and calmer as he struck the gongs with mallets, the shape and color of planets. A few minutes into it, I went into a state of "no thought."  

The amazing thing is the energy of healing in the gongs, as you simply "be", and they transport you.  

Additional Cymatics Explorations

Gongs & the Chakras

It’s very popular today to associate the notes of Gongs & Singing Bowls to the Western musical scale and the Chakras. Thus the root Chakra is said to be the note “C”, the navel Chakra is “D”, etc. But it’s important to realize that the Chakra system has been around long before the Western tonal scale was developed. They were first documented in the Upanishads sometime between 1200–900 BC. So in the past 100 or so years, people in the West have decided to fit their ideas onto the ancient Chakra system.

When working with Gongs & Singing Bowls, is it important to have instruments tuned to specific Western pitches, or specific pitches at all?

This is certainly a question that can be debated by many parties, but my feeling is no. To me, it’s more important to find an instrument that resonates with the person (both the sound healer and the person being worked with) and the particular Chakra/energy being worked with. I may play a specific Gong or Bowl, and it will affect one person differently than another. The most important aspect is to be open to the vibrations and where they take you.

I notice this with myself, as on any given day I may gravitate more towards one Gong than another (I always pick out what Gongs I will use the day of each session). When I present Gong sessions, I do not have a pre-planned agenda, but approach the session with an open mind and spirit, feeling out what sounds/vibrations are needed. That is another reason I prefer to present my sessions with more than just one Gong, as I don’t feel that “one size fits all,” especially for all occasions.

I also tune into the vibrations of the room, the needs/vibes of the participants, and my own vibrations at that time. Thus each session, while containing some similar elements, is different from every other one. I may even bring a Gong or Singing Bowl that I end up not using, because it just didn't fit with the vibes.

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