I do this thing, twice a month, known as a gong meditation. I have been going to them for about 5 years. They crossed my path in during my divorce, which was then in its third year. I was waiting for a date when the Supreme Court of my state would hear my case.
They used to hold the gong meditation at the gym I attended. My friend and I were leaving one Sunday afternoon and they were setting it up in the room where they hold classes like pilates and zumba. We wandered in and the group of people setting them up came over and greeted us. We asked about it.
It is a meditation experience. It lasts from 1 to 2 hours. You lay on the floor, on something comfy, and they play gongs, crystal bowls, tibetan bowls, various drums, rainsticks, bells. The sound can become very intense, it can fill the room like a glass fills with water, and then it can become very quiet. The intense sound we call Tsunami’s. It is so loud that you can scream, or sob and no one will be the wiser. But it can’t hurt your ears. I don’t know why….I think because of the vibrations being so organic.
The point of it is this. The gongs vibrate at the same rate as the human body. They don’t go around you, like many vibrations. They go through you. And they do their magic, where it is needed. Any thought, or belief you are holding onto that is not based in reality has very little chance of holding on during a tsunami. It is the perfect, safe environment to let your emotions bubble up, and let things go. I have done more healing there than any other single place.
Sometimes they are profound experiences. One night, I found myself in front of a wall made of cinderblocks. In each hole in the cinderblock was a piece of paper. And on the paper was written a reason, explaining why that particular block was put in the wall. Every slight, every hurtful comment, every lie, and manipulation, very injustice ever laid upon me, had its place in the wall. It was a wall I had built, purposefully, during my marriage, and the divorce. The wall was meant to keep anyone from hurting me again.
And it worked. I was able to extract myself from that abusive marriage. I was able to keep my wits about me, and help my son to escape it also. I was able to testify during my trial for a day and a half, and keep my head, not be emotional, and tell my story. And to sit in the auspicious Supreme Court as the justices questioned my attorney and my ex’s. And to know, by the questions that were asked, that I would win.
But that night, I realized that the wall had served its purpose, and that now……instead of keeping hurt out, it was keeping me a prisoner behind it. No one could hurt me anymore,but no one could reach me either. It was time to take the wall down. I began to take it down, one block by one block. I don’t know that it is completely down today….but would have to say, by and large the anger and pain I was holding onto in that wall has been forgiven and put behind me.
Another night, I saw my ex and I flying around. I had been struggling with letting go, of him, and all the dreams, and plans of a 32 year marriage, a 40 year relationship. We flew around, we waved to each other. “Good luck, have a nice life! Maybe I’ll see you, and maybe I won’t”, we called to each other. And then I flew in one direction, he in another, and we were alone, without each other, and happy, and I had let him go.
Another night, I saw myself, lying on the floor. And four entities, I don’t know what they were, were hovering over me. Protecting me. From what I am not sure, but I’m sure they knew, and that I needed them. When it was over, as I lay there trying to work my way back to the room I was in, out of the meditative state, the facilitators who are good friends of mine by now, began to talk about how the gongs can thin the veil, and allow spirits into the room. They knew nothing of my experience but I knew that it was verification of what I saw hovering over me.
Tonight I went. I didn’t know what I wanted to work on. The man who hurt me so badly by having sex with the stranger was on my mind, a lot. I have been talking to him. I miss him, his funny intelligent self-deprecating nature. I have always enjoyed his company. But I am full of mixed emotions. First it was rage, then pain, and now, it’s mostly fear. He has been in the hospital the last 2 days, having surgery to repair a hernia operation. I have offered to do whatever he needs done. I try to remember that I don’t have to like someone to show compassion. Of course….I do like him. A lot. So that part is easy. But I am scared shitless of being hurt again. So, fear. I have lots of it.
I went into the gong bath, as we call it. Bathing in the vibrations of the gongs….There are 8 gongs. I had the intention just to try to get deep enough to sort out my emotions regarding this man, what he did, and our relationship, where it should go from here. Love. First of all. Love. I think I love him, in more than the unconditional way. But so what? If I am subject to being hurt like that again. Then I remembered the rage…I remembered it, but didn’t feel it. I have let that fire burn out. The hurt, well….I still feel it, though it is not nearly so raw these days.
But my solar plexus and my sacral chakras both felt like there was a ball of something unpleasant in them. Fear. My heart wants to love this man, my head tells me I’m a fool. I am much more inclined to follow my heart than my head. But my gut…well,not happy with any of it. Fear.
I heard Elizabeth Gilbert talk the other day, about how when she was in India on her Pray part of her Eat, Pray, Love journey, she went to an island by herself for 10 days, and battled with all the voices in her head. Crying, screaming. She told them all, guilt, shame, pain, anger, love, joy, “look, we all have to find a way to work together. So from now on….I’m in the drivers seat. I love you all, you are all a part of me. You all have a place in me. But I’m in charge now.”
And that’s where I was at the end of the meditation tonight. Fear, hurt, anger, love, shame, …listen you all. I’m in charge now. The fear will keep me cautious. The love will keep me compassionate. The hurt and anger and shame….will remind me not to become too vulnerable to someone who has not earned my trust. Maybe he can earn my trust back, maybe he doesn’t really want to. It remains to be seen. But……
I’m in charge now.