DAYS 126 & 127: 15 Minutes & 40/50 Seconds of Gazing – The Gong Bath

beach sunrise
Brian Hogan

My landing in Los Angeles last week was anything but smooth. It started with my flight being delayed on the runway, so a hundred tired folks were trapped together in a giant metal tube. Not good. Then I landed at LAX an hour late, exhausted and not yet even aware of how sad I was going to be missing my niece (and my sister and brother-in-law). The next few days I threw myself into long 10 hour work days at the collective but couldn’t seem to get anything done. I kept waking up in a funk and going to sleep sun-bathed but sad. You know that nagging feeling you get in your gut when you are packing for a trip and you are sure you forgot something but you can’t figure out what it is? Well I had that feeling when I was leaving my sister’s place, but upon arrival in West Hollywood everything was present and accounted for. Phone charger, check. Toothbrush, check. Books, check. As the long California days passed I couldn’t get rid of that feeling, what had I forgotten? Today I realized what it was: I had flown back to Los Angeles ten days ago, but I left my heart back in Connecticut with my little niece Charlie. She had stolen it and she was welcome to it. 

I attended a yoga “gong bath” yesterday. It promised to shake things loose inside me by harnessing the power of the super moon through the vibrational essence of the gong, and empowering me with energy to take more action on my goals. Well that sounds like just what I need, so I signed up and made myself comfortable for this two hour sound journey into my soul. Well it turns out the first forty-five minutes are a pretty intense yoga/dance set where I sweat much more profusely than I had been intending. The instructor told us that Kundalini works in such a way that you get out of it benefits in direct proportion to the effort you put into it. And since I payed $25 for this I decided to go all out. I could use as much benefit as the universe was willing to give. By the time we were ready to lay flat on our back for the gong bath I was physically exhausted so I was ready for the sounds to echo through a tired body and mind and shake loose any old encrusted habits and thought forms that “no longer serve me” as the instructor said. 

The gong begins. I empty my mind as sound radiates throughout the room and throughout my body. This is going well, I start to think. Then the thought wars begin: 

-It’s going great but your biz is still slow and you’re near broke

-Stop, empty your mind, that’s needless worry, the money always comes

-Please, that’s a cop out, you’re rent is late

-It’s not a cop out, prosperity does always come

-Yeah, then why are you so worried about it?

-I don’t know, fucker, that’s why I came to the gong bath, to shake it loose

-Well, it’s not working

-That’s because you won’t shut up.

-Wait, I take that back, I’m at peace with myself, hear the sound, hear the sound

-Sounds kinda like a helicopter

-You’re right, good observation

-Thanks, see we can all get along in here together

-Together like when the avengers all team up in one movie

-Yeah that was so cool, Joss Whedon nailed it

-Stop, we aren’t present anymore, let’s go back to the sound

-Speak for yourself, I was present.

-Come on, I didn’t mean it like that.

-Well, you said it like that

-Okay, you know what, forget this, listen to the sound listen to the sound.

And the war raged on like that in my thoughts for then next 75 minutes. I’m not sure how much got shaken loose during the gong bath but I came out of there understanding the triggers in my mind more, and now the trick is going to be learning how not to pull on them. I sun gazed at the top of the canyon with Nikki about two hours later and the sun was easier on my eyes, even at the bright part of the safe hour. Maybe something did change inside of me “vibrationally” because the sun-gazing certainly came easy today. 

I went home, toked up on some of my medical marijuana and realized I have been seeking alternate courses of treatment all day long, 

from light to sound 

to a plant from the ground. 

I’m finding healing in the sun, in a gong, 

and at the end of a bong. 

I went to bed happy cuz that shit was strong. 

SIDE EFFECTS: I feel more emotionally raw, open and exposed. 

BENEFITS: I think that means I can properly heal now. Fingers crossed. 

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About Brian

About Brian

Brian is a Writer, Clarity Coach, Filmmaker and Adjunct Professor who loves teaching and learning, and living in the uncertainty of it all.

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