Participating in Sacred Gong Bath one of most cosmic, powerful experiences I’ve ever had
Mind Body Yoga marks one-year anniversary with special visit from healing arts specialist
Last night at Paris Gibson Square, I attended a gong healing session led by Ricardo Moreno and hosted by Michelle Chenoweth. She invited people to help come celebrate her one-year anniversary, to the day, since she opened Mind Body Yoga.
Before I get to the cosmic, powerful part of the evening that was the gong bath, I should probably mention my personal experience with yoga in general.
I’m what you’d call a beginner. I’ve never done much yoga before, and part of that is due to the fact that when it comes to sitting in the resting yoga position, pictured here:
Well, I can’t sit like this.
OK, let me back up. I CAN sit like this, but it’s painful after a few minutes. Maybe that means I’m out of shape. I probably am, somewhat. Maybe that means my body is designed weirdly, again, I wouldn’t argue with that, but, for whatever reason, throughout my entire life, sitting Indian Style, also known as the Lotus Position, has been difficult for me.
When I was younger, I could sit like this:
Which, I guess is called “W sitting.” I’ve seriously spent my entire life without knowing that’s what it’s called, until now. I’m not sure, but I think maybe that’s had a negative effect on why I can’t sit in the Lotus Position, now, if I were to guess, at least.
All I know is that when it comes time to do Yoga and the instructor says (nobody said that last night, but I’ve been in situations where it’s come up before) “get into the starting position” — I’m left feeling uncomfortable.
But anyhow, after about 15 or 20 minutes of trying to find a good way to sit on the ground, finally, Mr. Moreno, who was an amazing, thoughtful, calm, and spiritual instructor all evening, said we could lay down on our mat as he was about to begin the gong portion of the session.
According to this website, as far back as 4,000 BC, gongs, “have been used as ritual, ceremonial and sacred instruments. Ancient alchemy sources put the gong as far out as 16,000 B.C. The physical sound vibration of the gong provides an extraordinarily harmonizing and powerful vehicle for meditation & transformation that is mainly experiential in nature. Gongs and Himalayan singing bowls provide psycho-acoustic gateways to heightened states of awareness and consciousness.”
The way Mr. Moreno controlled the gongs was simply magical, as well. The way he rang the bowl toward the end, as I was telling a friend earlier today, was like putting a period on an emphatic sentence.
During the main portion, at times it felt like we were laying next to the ocean. Other times I could have sworn I heard a helicopter above us. At least twice I could feel the entire floor shaking with a powerful gusto I’ve never before experienced, too.
Ricardo worked both gongs for what felt like an hour or so, but may have only been 20 minutes, I can’t really recall. Your sense of time evaporated as he made the vibrations of these powerful instruments flow through us together in a beautiful way that only an expert such as he could orchestrate.
While the evening felt like we were being touched by a master healer, Moreno said at least twice that he doesn’t consider himself one.
On his website, he describes himself saying, “I am not a healer. I am passionate with supporting the each persons individual healing process through creating a safe space, bringing in awareness to the un-integrated energy centers, and compassionately guiding one through their release.
Offering sessions for individuals, couples, or groups. I practice integrating the following to support the harmonizing and unwinding of the physical and emotional body while allowing for deeper connection with the spiritual body.”
Before the session began, he also stated that nobody has ever been injured from the gong bath, and in fact even people who felt uncomfortable at first, would later come back and say that it turned into a calm, zen-like energy toward the end.
As I went through it, my first feeling was one of relief to be out of pain, and secondly it was a sense of confusion, followed by a brief moment of “don’t get your expectations up too much Jake,” lastly followed by “Oh. My. God. This is the greatest thing ever.”
The few moments where the gongs were going their loudest, it was pure bliss in motion. Words can’t really explain what it felt like, but I’ll try anyhow. Think of anytime you’ve ever heard anyone say they’ve felt “bad vibrations.” Can you? I kind of doubt it.
Now, though, if you’re a certain age you’ll remember the song “Good Vibrations” from the Beach Boys, or Marky Mark.
Well, it’s not just a catchy saying. Good vibrations are real, and if you ever get the chance to take a gong bath, especially with Mr. Moreno, take it. Don’t ask any questions, just do it.
I also found that the feeling of the gong increased when I relaxed more, and touched my thumbs to my middle fingers and extended my arms while I was lying on my back. I’m not sure why that helps, but it did. I’m sure there’s a scientific reason for it somewhere!
One thing to keep in mind is that afterward, you’re going to feel like you’ve just stepped off a cloud, or at least I did. You might find it hard to talk, or think clearly. Again, experiences can vary.
There was about 15 to 20 people at the Square, and nobody left dissatisfied, from what I could tell. Michelle afterward thanked everyone for coming, thanked Ricardo for coming, and said she feels very happy to be able to do provide this experience to Great Falls.
I also want to personally thank Michelle for giving us the opportunity to come, free of charge, and take in this wonderful journey together. If you’d like to inquire about Yoga lessons, check out her website, and if you’d like to find out more about Ricardo, who said he lives in Sayulita, Mexico, check out his website here.