Who says meditation should be done in silence?
in Tolland is helping people find their centers with a different and noisier approach: gong concerts, performed by the Conduit Center, which is based in East Hartford.
Laid out in chairs or on blankets in a darkened room, participants drifted away to the sweet and penetrating vibrations of gongs, singing bowls and an ocean drum for an hour-long program.
“The goal is to find your breath, relax and let go,” said Jeff Nickell of the Conduit Center, who played the instruments with fellow performer Jimmy Cerrigione.
The gong program is one of many services offered out of the Conduit Center, including yoga and massage therapy.
Cerrigione said that listeners often return for another concert and take away something new from each session.
“Each individual, each time they do it, it’s a different experience,” he said, explaining that the concerts can soothe pain and enhance meditation.
This might be due to the great sensitivity of the gongs, which respond to humidity and the size of the crowd with subtle changes in vibrations.
Breathe…more owner Cherie Trice said that the center has hosted the concerts before. She finds the gongs to be both a method of relaxation and a pathway to meditation for beginners.
“We find that it’s a wonderful way to end the week,” she said. “And it’s a wonderful introduction to meditation. You never know what it might touch.”
Trice said that she often notices a visible change in the listeners when comparing how they entered the class to their energy when leaving afterwards.
“They’re in a different place when they get out of class,” she said.
First-time participant Leslie Johnson said that she would certainly attend another gong concert.
“It was a really nice experience,” she said. “I lost all sense of time.”
For more information on the Conduit Center and its services, visit the organization’s Web site.