Drawing from an ancient legacy of meditation and healing, health practitioner Leith James uses the power of the gong to help West Enders and others unleash their inner best.
Leith James is the owner and founder of Gong Sound Meditation, which he runs out of Zen Central at 71 Russell Street. He is a certified group sound therapist and pioneer in this very unique style of meditation. By using a range of instruments like gongs, the didgeridoo, and Himalayan and crystal singing bowls, James uses his passion to help his clients reduce stress, encourage creativity and productivity, enhance sleep, and relieve physical, mental and emotional pain symptoms.
But for James, exploring the healing powers of gong sound meditation was more of a personal journey in pursuing a long held passion. “I closed my catering business after many years of hard work when I eventually decided to follow my passion in music and sound,” James said. “I believe that sound has had a huge impact on my health after suffering from the high stress caused from overworking,” he said.
“A regular practice has meant that I am more focused and grounded in my everyday life,” James said. “I feel that I’ve been able to crystallise my visions for sound healing and bring these to fruition, such as starting regular gong meditations throughout Brisbane, facilitating corporate mindfulness programs and supporting yoga retreats and workshops.”
James exclaims, “Now I am able to follow my true purpose, which is helping others to heal through sound.”
The gong, a central component in James’s sessions, dates its existence back to the Bronze Age and is believed to have been produced in Burma, China, Java and Vietnam. Since this time, having a gong has been viewed as a symbol of status and success among families from these regions, and the secrets of gong making were closely guarded.
James said that the gong provided a focus during a meditation session that served to help the meditator clear their mind. “One of the concepts behind the going is firstly to allow people to come to a more present state of being,” James said. “The vibration of the gong interacts with the cells of the body causing resonance, which is when the cells of the human body vibrate at the same frequency of the gong. This allows the person to receive the benefits of gong sound meditation,” James said.
Research from the British Academy of Sound Therapy shows that after 20 minutes or more of sound therapy, the body enters into a deep relaxation state where blood pressure and respiration drop, and brain waves often fall into a meditative frequency.
“My biggest dream is to heal the world through sound — one heart a time,” James said.
Gong Sound Meditation hosts a session each Friday evening at Zen Central, as well as a four-week gong meditation course. More information can be found at their website at www.gongsoundmeditation.com.au
Words by Shannon Coward | Images by Gong Sound Meditation