Monday, November 9, 2009
My husband has been teaching martial arts for over twenty-five years, and currently runs an Okinawan Shorin-Ryu Kobukan Karate and Aikido school in our town. One of the things that fascinates children the most in the Dojo is the large gong near the wall. For centuries, meditation gongs have been used to enhance awareness, and certain gongs are used to begin and end a meditation session. The children in his class love to use the mallet to sound the gong that let's everyone know that class is beginning. Some of the little ones tend to get carried away and hit it a little harder than necessary!
While many gongs are designed to be used in meditation, we also have a gong in our home that is designed to make a dramatic crashing sound. It's on my husband's drum set, and it is loud! My girls don't know how to play the drums yet, but they love to try. It's a good idea to wear hearing protection or stand at a distance when they play. He's tried to give them a few lessons, but at this point, I think they're more interested in seeing how much noise they can make. Thankfully, we don't have any neighbors to complain!
I enjoy the peaceful sound created by the gongs on a meditation cd that I listen to in the evening. It's a soft, subtle sound in the background, nothing startling. The cd plays peaceful music from a wooden flute with the sound of a wind gong in the background. I never realized that those relaxation tapes could actually be so effective, but I've found myself falling asleep to them several times.
Whether you're searching for a few moments to meditate in your office during a stressful day, or looking for a sound that will call everyone to attention, you'll find a gong to suit your purpose. Their beauty and traditional appeal are sure to add peace and harmony to any environment. Unless, of course, you're in my home while my children are playing the drums. Then it's every man for himself. You can't say I didn't warn you!