Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Fine Line Between Meditation and Hallucination

Fair Warning: It's about to get weird in here. You were warned.

I went to a gong bath on Sunday evening. If you've never been, go. If you have been, the one at Elmhurst Yoga Shala on the first Sunday of every month is amazing. http://www.elmhurstyogashala.com/workshopstrainings/workshops.html

Sarah and Stephanie are amazing humans, being. You will want to hug them immediately upon meeting them. I love them both dearly and I barely know them. In addition to being wonderful people, they have absolutely angelic voices. You read that right. They open with some chanting (I told you it was going to get weird) in Sanskrit while playing instruments with which I am completely unfamiliar. Regardless of my ignorance, this is a beautiful, peaceful, calming experience. Then they start to play the gong. There is an Earth Gong tuned to the sound of Aum (for those unfamiliar, Aum is said to be the sound of the universe). They beat (I'm not sure what the correct word is) the gong in myriad ways to produce different sounds from it. Sometimes it is just a gentle little graze with a mallet(?). Other times, it roars to a cacophonous volume. It never hurts your ears, though. Which is back to the weird theme that I established earlier.

This was one of the most intense meditation sessions I have ever had. It lasted for ninety minutes, but felt like ten. I'm serious. I couldn't believe that it was over when things started to wind down. Maybe it was just wishful thinking on my part, but I literally thought, "Intermission?!"

Now, because I am completely self-absorbed, let's talk about me! More fair warning: It is about to get weirder. Those of you who know me know that I enjoy the occasional use of hallucinogenic mushrooms. Strictly as an aid to my meditation practice, of course. At any rate, the gong bath put me into a state of meditation that I have never been in, outside of said fungal alteration. It was wild! So when I "woke up" afterward, I felt like I was coming down from a trip. When I was walking around, I was seeing auras, like I do while tripping. I floated off into a state between wakefulness and dream, like I do while tripping and (if I'm lucky) meditating. I experienced a state of immense clarity (I have no idea about what, though). It was a super powerful experience that I plan to have regularly.

This post would be incomplete without a GIGANTIC "thank you" sent out to the Sisters Starnes. You two are awesome. Thanks for doing what you do. Also, thanks to the universe for bringing these two into my life.

The only question I am left with is this: Do I mix the mushrooms with the gong? Only time will tell.

Peace and Love,

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