The Sound of Healing
By Emily J. Weitz
Lying back in a restorative posture, after kundalini yoga has opened the channels of the body to receptivity, a gong resonates like a healing embrace. When Jennifer Frasher first discovered the gong, she was celebrating the winter solstice in Florida and was deep in a meditative retreat.
“You do a little yoga to open you up, and then you receive the sounds in your body and you heal,” she said. “That was it for me. I’m never gonna do anything else.”
Frasher conducts “sound baths” at various locations across the East End, including the Montauk Salt Cave, where practitioners sit surrounded by tons and tons of pink Himalayan salts and absorb the vibrations of the gong into their being. At a time when negative energy and divisiveness seems to permeate every aspect of life, the gong seems to reach in to the deepest layers and extract the anger, fear, and anxiety, says Frasher.
“The gong is said to be the nucleus of sound,” said Frasher. “It contains every sound in the universe. That’s why it’s so powerful. It mimics the sound if you were to go to outer space and hear what a cosmic space realm would be like. It’s the sound of the universe, the cosmos, the center of sound. It’s where sound originates from.”
The gong is a flat, round metal disc that, when struck by a mallet, creates a vibration that rises and falls. The fullness of the sound is striking: where a singing bowl or a chime has a distinctive clarity, the gong seems almost murky.
“It’s cool because people hear different things,” said Frasher. “Some people say they heard violins, others heard a choir. Whatever you are receiving, that’s what you hear.”
She has traveled to Los Angeles to take trainings with her teacher, Harijiwan, who teaches kundalini yoga and gong. She started incorporating the gong into her regular yoga classes, and then transitioned to teaching exclusively kundalini classes. The gong is seen not as an instrument, but as an amplification system.
“You’re not playing the gong,” she said. “The gong is playing you.”