Just as everyone who is relaxing on a mat during a gong bath has a unique experience, gong players also report different feelings, emotions and sensations. However, without exception, we all love playing the gong and are deeply affected by the sounds and vibrations.
Most describe being in a meditative state while playing, even though we are fully present to what we doing. Each gong has unique qualities and sounds, and has a different effect when played. We all love our own gongs and the others that our friends bring along, and we enjoy getting to know each magnificent instrument. Gong mallets have different properties too.
Some players say that, during a gong bath or gong puja, they are transported into a different realm and feel themselves merging with the universal consciousness, where time seems to stand still and the body is in a state of constant vibration. Being so close to the gong physically, we feel these vibrations with great intensity. One regular player at gong pujas speaks of meditating on the nervous system and observing the healing and strengthening that takes place with the gong vibrations.
In the Kundalini Yoga tradition, we have been trained to play by people who were, in turn, trained directly by Yogi Bhajan, the person who brought Kundalini Yoga to the West in the 1960s. For extra intensity, and in line with this training, many of us mentally chant and play to a mantra. This takes us into a very blissful, relaxed state of inner shuniya (silence), which is perfect for leading a gong session.
We also revel in being on the receiving end, and take great delight in taking our turn on the mat and simply enjoying. Whether playing or being played to, we love the sounds and the effects of these divine instruments.