The author of this article asked to stay anonymous and chose a name Peppermint Sparkles, which I thought was the coolest thing to read on a Tuesday, especially accompanied by a unicorn portrait they sent over representing their feeling about gong baths!
“Shanghai has a crazy rhythm to it. I had moved to Shanghai from small town Vermont (USA) in 2012 and was trying to find ‘balance,’ as a teacher. I had tried meditation and singing bowl sessions to try to ease this tension I felt in Shanghai, but nothing seemed to work. I found it challenging to ‘let go’ as singing bowls moved around the room or as the musicians seemed to evoke melodies that did not really seem to ‘transcend’ me or the people around me for that matter. We kind of left thinking ‘oh, that was nice’, but then the next day it was back feeling unhinged. The group meditations I attended were filled with people trying to unwind, but I could not help but want to laugh out loud as we all took turns adjusting ourselves because our backs were killing us due to the hours just spent sitting in office chairs. We had gone from a long day of ‘tense-work sitting’ to a long meditation of ‘relax-letting-go sitting.’ I couldn’t find the right release. I remember being told about Gong Baths by a friend and a little while later reading an article entitled “I Submitted to the Healing Tides of the Gong Bath,” by Morgan Short (Jan. 13, 2017) in SmartShanghai. The universe was obviously telling me something, so I decided to reach out to Valeria and try it out. I mean, if Morgan Short could succumb to the Gong, maybe I could, too?
The first thing that was different about the Gong Bath compared to that of other ‘well-being’ practices I was dabbling in at the time, was the warm welcome. The space seemed calm and cozy. I attended my first bath during a cold February evening. There was a warm rug on the floor that greeted me, as well as a deliciously flavored warm herbal tea sitting on a table in a room wrapped in a soft salt lamp light. There were pillows and blankets available and Valeria had a calm soothing voice that assured me everything would be fine during this sound vibration journey (And no, we did not have to get naked).
She was right. It was more than fine. I felt as if I was flying through a cosmic wonderland as her soft mallets danced around her Gongs. It was bliss. This bliss, to my surprise, lasted more a whole week. After my first bath I noticed I was shockingly happier and in a calmer state of mind throughout the week. I was hooked. I started attending Valeria’s Gong baths regularly in order to feel this state of calm and joy. After a while I drank the Kool-Aid, full on, and converted. I ended up taking a Gong Master course with Valeria’s teacher Don Conreaux and bought two gongs of my own. I now play privately in my family’s home or offer the ‘gong experience’ to children and teachers at Shanghai United International School, Hongqiao campus. I am so grateful and humbled by this experience. As I play I not only experience the benefits that the gong offers (clearing blockages, supporting mitochondrial growth, stimulating healing, allowing your intentions to become actions, and more), but I am also able to witness what Valeria is able to each time she plays: the power of healing through love and sound. It is pretty far out and a trip I highly recommend.”
Stay tuned for Peppermint Sparkles’ guest apperance at one of the gong sessions soon! Read about what gong baths are, post-session care and questions, and discover more stories from Sarah, Sophie, Andrew and Candice-Lee, or just contact me to book your private or group session for your own slice of gong bliss.
Wishing you a sparkly week!