A GROUP of meditation fans are banging the gong for a new free community service to help people in South Tyneside chill out.
The South Shields Gong has been created by four friends – Kyle Stubbs, Phil Skinner, Ryan Gibson and Jon Burton – to give people the chance to relax and unwind.
The idea came about after the pals previously ran ‘Meditation by Chi Station’, a twice-weekly meditation session, from their flat in Dean Road.
They decided to expand their service and created the South Shields Gong, which aims to appeal to more people.
Jon, 28, said: “We came up with the idea for the South Shields Gong after the success of our free group meditations that we run from our home on Dean Road.
“There, we use a modest set of gongs and bowls to introduce people to meditation in the easiest and most effortless way possible.
“Since starting the group in November, we have people who attend regularly, and find the service to be an invaluable part of their week.
“Our meditations help attendees to deeply relax and de-stress, and has been particularly beneficial for those who have trouble with over-thinking and anxiety, which is very common these days.”
Using gongs and singing bowls – or, sound healing technology – the sessions see strangers coming together to meditate for free.
Already the guys have raised £379 for their project and the cash will be used to fund a 32 =inch gong and stand, plus a gazebo/small marquee which would allow them to hold meditations in public/outdoor areas.
Jon said: “We turned to Kickstarter to raise the money for ‘The South Shields Gong’, a larger and more effective piece of sound-healing technology that would be owned by the community and for the community.
“We’d very much like to give something back to our wonderful town, and be of service to as many as possible without asking them to pay an arm and a leg.”
He added: “We believe everyone has the right to peace of mind and well-being regardless of what they can afford.”
In bid to buy more equipment they have launched a Kickstarter page – a creative project funding website – to try and raise £1,500.
n To donate, or to find out more about the South Shields Gong project, visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1008090400/the-south-shields-gong.
How it works:
The gong is one of the oldest instruments and has been used for thousands of years in meditation, ceremony and rituals.
Multiple tones and clusters of overtones build as the gong is played, eventually creating an effect of total sound, which can be directly felt kinaesthetically by the person
Gong meditation, or gong bath, is a relaxation technique in which the gong is played while participants lie on the floor and experience its vibrations.
It is said to reduce tension, stimulate circulation and remove fear.
It’s also thought the frequencies can alter a person’s energetic states, affecting their physiology, spirituality, emotional and mental condition.
Research also suggests that sound healing synchronizes brain waves to achieve profound states of relaxation.