Gong is used in many different ways, to celebrate, to warn, to signal, to acknowledge, to show respect, to meditate and for many other reasons. The meaning and use of the Gong in each of these situations is as different and individual as keys and locks. The intention behind the use of the Gong will dictate how the Gong is played. When the intention is joyful such as a wedding, the Gong Master will invite a joyful intention into each stroke of the mallet. If the intention is somber then the Gong Master will embody the intention of solemnness into each stroke they play. Thus, each lock or situation is unlocked by the Gong Master who holds the key to release the sacred vibration of the Gong.
The gong is said to be a spiritual portal and during a meditation the Gong Master opens that portal to the Divine Consciousness. Opening the gong is done before people arrive or after they arrive allowing witness to the opening. Each Gong Master has their own unique way to open the gong and it can included, chant, prayer, and intention to name a few. Once the gong is opened, the meditation is ready to begin. Yet, before the very first strike, the Gong Master will let the attendees know what intention will be played during the Meditation. This is followed by guided breath work, and the attendees set their own intention of what they wish to receive along with physical movement. Each of these parts is meant to prepare the mind, body and spirit to receive the sacred vibration.
As the guided breath work is happening, the Gong Master is reading the energy of the room and taking mental notes of feelings, hot/cold spots, denseness, darkness, and the general over all feel of the room. Once all this takes place, everyone opens their personal vibration to the gong with three rounds of OM. OM can either be verbalized, or can be a thought. This allows the vibration of the gong to find each attendee on a personal level. Gong is the only source of meditation that the mind cannot fight or defend against. The gong is Sattvic. Sattvic means to have a serene, harmonious, balanced mind or attitude. Gong is completely safe for everyone. Once OM is done, the attendees find a comfortable place to sit, recline, or stand. Movement does not effect the vibration. As long as no one is being bothered, any body position is acceptable.
The Gong Master begins to play the intention and the meditation has begun. When it is time to end the meditation, the Gong Master stops playing and guides the attendees back to their bodies and begins to ground them into their physical bodies. Gong meditation has many affects on attendees. Some attendees even fall asleep. Any feeling that is possible, can come up during a Gong meditation; happiness, joy, sadness, anger, frustration, anxiety, love, peace, and so on. All feelings are valid during gong. Attendees are told to ride through the feelings and experience them. There is usually time at the end to share any experiences an attendee may want to share. The vibration of the gong will stay with the attendee for up to 72 hours. This means the body is harmonized to its personal resonance and the body is supported for 72 hours to rest, heal and release anything not needed anymore.
This is the goal of Gong Meditation, to bring people back into their own personal balance. When the body is in balance, it is the optimum time for healing.