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Don Conreaux
from: Don Conreaux
Category: Sound Healing

All Night Puja and Brain Waves



During the all-night gong puja the mind goes in and out oftwo major phases of sleep.


In the early part of the 7.5-hour gong sleep-bath we havemore NREM (no rapid eye movements) during the SWS (slow wave sleep). The braintypically cycles through four sleep stages in the same order every 90 + minutes– the amount of slumber time spent in each stage varies across the total 450minutes of gong tone immersion, a minimum of 7.5 hours, and which comfortably cradles5 such 90 minute cycles.


Gong Slumber Baths can reduce the amount of sleep needed formemory consolidation and cellular rejuvenation.


Longer Sleep-time, beyond 7.5 hours, in Gong FieldImmersions usually is not needed. But, there is an option to attach a 6th90-minute cycle, and therefore extend the sleep-bath to 540 minutes, or a totalof a 9-hour Gong Puja Slumber or Sleep-over. However, this longer sleep cyclewould more likely occur naturally during the Winter Time with its much longerhours of darkness, especially in the extreme latitudes.  



You as a ‘Puja ‘ participant, absorb the gong’s universalsound of OM while you fall into a sleep-state. Beneath REM there are three NREMstages that you will experience:


As activity in your brain becomes slower and slower, yourbrain’s neurons will fire in greater and greater synchrony as you enter deeperNREM states.


From the Pre-Gonging Awake State of Beta, the listener firstgoes swiftly through the initial REM Alpha State and then enters:


Stage 1 NREM                       

You may not even know you have been asleep and think youhave been awake. Your body might also experience ‘hypnic jerks’ – involuntarytwitches.



Stage 2 NREM                       

This makes up the majority of our sleep. Dreaming is lesscommon than in deeper stages and you are easily awakened.


Stage 3 NREM or slow wave sleep (SWS)           

This is the deepest stage of non-REM sleep. There arehigh-amplitude slow oscillations in electrical activity with big differencesbetween the peaks and the troughs, reflecting the fact that the many neurons inyour brain are firing in synchrony.


The slowest brain wave state is called Delta, a pulsationbelow 4 cycles per second/ 4 Hz. It is in Deep Delta that anesthesia is set and the person cannot beawakened easily from Stage 3, as is possible to awaken in Stage 1 & 2.


In REM, paralysis sets in so the participant cannot act outdreams. As the dreams lessen we enter a rigid state of Savakalpa Samadhi, astate of ecstasy and peace that can be the precursor to Nirvakalpa Samadhi,where on may walk and work naturally in Bliss.


The Puja’s ten in one (45-minute) gong bath of 450 minutesis a path that can easily lead one to Savakalpa Samadhi and then to NirvakhalpaSamadhi. It is the path of healing tone fullness when the moment of highestgong consciousness occurs in the bath bringing the nectar of total health andthe momentary suspension of the biological clock. The extension of Gong Blissthrough the awakening after the gonging leads to more Nirvana in normal lifeconditions.




Gamma Spikes can occur at any time in the four cycles thatspark up to 40 Hz., moments of extreme clarity. They might also be caused bythe (24-hour) Innate Consciousness, which makes good use of the temporarynon-interference with no interruption caused by the Conscious Ego. Suspended inSamadhi the Innate Intelligence can more easily restore, rejuvenate,regenerate, cleanse, and re-establish holistic resonance between themind/emotion/body according to the Law of Phi/the Golden Ratio 1.618. This isespecially true during Deep Delta Sleep between 1 and 4 Hz.




If the full 450-minute Puja Gong Playing Cycle should beginat 10:30 PM after the opening Puja Ceremony, the deepest Delta state can bereached with its lowest level of Stage 3. NREM after 45 minutes. But after 60minutes, while spending another 15 minutes in deepest delta there comes a steep30 min. climb up back through Stage 2., then to Stage 1. In order to experiencethe Ego dream of Alpha REM. At which time there may be only 5 minutes ofabstract lucidity in the window of emotional dreaming after the first 90minutes of two 45-min Puja Playing Sessions in tandem.


The 45 min. Player Changeovers during the All-Night Puja areof two kinds:


The first 45-min section begins with the Awake Stage of Betaand then quickly descends through the initial REM state into NREM Stage 1. Thiscan happen within 30-90 seconds as we descend past the borderland state ofsleep that is a simultaneous neither awake nor asleep.



THE FIRST DESCENT 45-Min. (to 60-min.)

Within this time Stage 1, Stage 2 & Stage 3 occupiesabout 15-20 min each as we lower into the depths of sleep.



We rise quickly up from Stage 3. Rising through Stage 2.& Then Stage 1. from the long period in deep delta NREM to spend about 5min. in REM before returning back along the same pathway downward back to Stage3.


In each of the subsequent 90-minutes of sleep, we do not goas deep as the time previous.


There are 4 of such descents and ascents within a 7.5-hoursleep. Each one less deep with more time spent in REM each of the times when werise above Stage 1 NREM level. The third and fourth descents never reach thedepth of Stage 3. The fourth usually just reaches to the bottom of Stage 1.


The times spent in REM after the first NREM dive.

1.     5minutes

2.     10minutes

3.     15minutes

4.     30-60minutes


In deep NREM sleep there are high amplitude slowoscillations of electrical activity with big differences between the peaks andthe troughs reflecting the fact that many neurons are firing in synchrony.


In REM under darting closed eyes and in emotional dreams thedifferent areas of the brain are doing their own thing just as they would dowhen we are completely in an awake state; they are unsynchronized. However inthe REM, the body is in paralysis so that we don’t act out the crazy dreaming.



In REM sleep the neurotransmitter acetocholine is twice whatit normally is when we are awake promoting the altering of connections betweendisparate pieces of information. This often happens in the hypnogogic REM stateat the end of sleep and where the Beatles classic “Yesterday was channeled, aswell as the archetypal “Frankenstein”.


Dreams pervade our sleep in both REM and NREM, and occureven when we daydream while awake. In REM our dreams are more vivid, emotional,and bizarre than in NREM.


When we are deprived of sleep we enter into a semi-euphoricstate. Although this might help in the case of depression, prolonged sleepdeprivation can lead to impaired working memory and other health problems.


Eight hours of sleep is a norm, but 5% of people need only 5hours. Also, some 40 % of people are genetically predisposed to staying up lateand arising late rather than early to bed and early to rise.


What we may have learned yesterday is frequently replayedduring sleep.


There are millions of neurons in the outer layering of thebrain, the neocortex. In the act of remembrance the visual and audio net, whichis distributed throughout the neocortex layer, consolidates, for instance,voice with face, and so the visual and the audio cortex are involvedsynchronously. “Neurons that fire together wire together” is a classic sayingof the neuroscientists. To re-remember is to shore up the staying power of amemory through concurrent neural activity.


In sleep there are dramatic changes in the levels ofneurotransmitters-chemical messengers that carry and modulate signals betweenneurons and parts of the body.


Acetylcholine, which plays an important role in keeping thebrain awake, drops to half its normal concentration during SWS.


When concentrative study is involved, a short SWS and NREMnap will strengthen the individual memories, since low concentrations ofacetylcholine are thought to promote the transfer of information from thefragile short-term storage network that relies heavily on the hippocampus deepwithin our brains to a more robust storage system that depends instead uponneocortical areas.


We have little to no choice how long we really spend in eachof the phases of sleep or which memories are being kept or strengthened.  The graph is a guideline that ismalleable.


We do know that an intense study in the afternoon followedby a nap brings us the slow wave consolidation of NREM while more REM emotionalmemory learning occurs better in the morning.




Before and during the all-night puja the strategic use ofthe scent of essential oils may support consolidation because it is not blockedfrom reaching the brain like the other outer senses when the reticularactivation gate is closed in pratyahara, and the senses turn inward from theouter world.


For instance, learning a new language with the scent of rosein the air strengthens in sleep when the scent of rose is wafted in the airaround the sleeper.


The same thing happens when music is strategically played.


The Puja can be orchestrated with shruti and sacred soundagainst a background blanket of gong-tone for the first 15 minutes when thelistener is in Stage 1. And also Stage 2.

Every 45-minutes incidental music and scent andwisdom-drops/shrutis are introduced into the sound field of the Gong Waters.But, when the gongs are played alone they are rising and falling without anyother sounds conflicting.


In retrospect, the first Shruti overture can begin at theonset of the 45-minute descent in sleep while going through an initial REMquickly to drop into NREM Stage 1, (for 15 Min.) and then farther down to thesecond NREM Stage 2. (For 15 Min.) And then, through the deep NREM of 3. Stage(15. Min.) We are now at the 45-minute mark).

At this time consciousness is a bottom dweller for about 15Min. Then quickly ascends through Stage 2. And then through Stage 1. Ascendingto REM again. This time for around 5 minutes before it heads back down into theslower waves of brain activity. Each descent is not as low as the one preceding it. But, the time spentin the REM lengthens to 10 Min. and then 15. Min. And then in early hours ofthe morning 30-60 Min.


The pre-gonging meditation is as important as the postgonging meditation and so is each change of the gong players. I usually leave30 minutes before and after the Gong Puja Proper for prelude and postlude.  Shunyata or Silence after the last UltimateStroke is as long as possible, usually about 10 min. before any musical orspoken Ahata sound again while shifting to the Awake State


In a prototypal puja the gong bathers enter the sleep arenaaround 9:30, bed down, and come to silence by 9:45 if possible.


10 PLAYERS (1 player at a time) or 20 PLAYERS (2 Players ata time)


Each player brings a Shruti Song or Wisdom Seed to transmitinto the sacred space of tone. However, the Gonging once is begins must not beinterrupted, even the Instrumental/Shruti interludes may only overlap thesustained gonging.



The Gong Puja adheres to the Classical 5-Act InitiationMystery Dramas of Greece.

Between each Act is a ‘Seeding’. Shruti Songs/Wisdom Drops


0.            10:00– 10:30            THEDEDICATION            PRELUDE


                                                ACTI, Scene 1

1.            10:30– 11:15 45-min gong-bath (Then a Short Shruti Interlude)


                                                ACTI, Scene 2

2.            11:15– 12:00 45-min gong-bath (Then a Short Shruti Interlude)


                                                ACTII, Scene 1

3.            12:00– 12:45 45-min gong-bath (Then a Short Shruti Interlude)


                                                ACTII, Scene 2

4.            12:45– 1:30 45-min gong-bath (Then a Short Shruti Interlude)



                                                ACTIII, Scene 1

5.            1:30– 2:15 45-min gong-bath (Then a Short Shruti Interlude)


                                                ACTIII, Scene 2

6.            2:15– 3:00 45-min gong-bath (Then a Short Shruti Interlude)



                                                ACTIV, Scene 1

7.            3:00– 3:45 45-min gong-bath (Then a Short Shruti Interlude)


                                                ACTIV, Scene 2

8.            3:45– 4:30 45-min gong-bath (Then a Short Shruti Interlude)



                                                ACTV, Scene 1

9.            4:30– 5:15 45-min gong-bath (Then a Short Shruti Interlude)


                                                ACTV, Scene 2

10.            5:15– 6:30 45-min gong-bath (Then Shunya/Silence approximately 10 Min.)


11.            6:40-7:00                         THEREJOYCING, AND REJOINING            POSTLUDE


The most coherent memories occur during the more mundanedreams of non-REM sleep early in the night. Memories that happen during thevivid dreams that characterize the REM sleep, a phase that increases throughthe night, are much more fragmented.


A steroid called cortisol builds up gradually across thenight. When the levels become high during the early morning REM sleep, itinterrupts communication between the neocortex, which stores individual memoryfragments, and the hippocampus, which helps bind together to form completememories. Morning dreams can be quite bizarre.


As we age the amount of SWS we obtain in a night declines.By 75 or so, many will get none at all. The greater decline in SWS, the greaterthe cognitive decline. The absence of this critical sleep stage may be a factorin the further degeneration of the brain. To stave off further cortical ageingan electrical current is injected into the head at the same frequency thatfiring normally happens in SWS- just a little slower than once a second, itre-engages this NREM state that is so important to memory consolidation.


(For this information we give thanks to Dr. Penelope Lewis,lecturer on neuroscience at the University of Manchester, and author of thebook, The Secret of Sleep.)


The 45 min Gong Bath is said to clear out that which isobsolete and bring together the fragments, synthesized into a new functionalwhole. When this OM underlies the entire night of normal sleep, the NREM Stateof neurons firing together in synchrony and the consolidation process arespiritualized with the SWS/ slow pressure wave sound within the Gong’sTone-field.


When we dream powerful electrical waves start in thebrainstem (pons) and radiate upwards to the visual thalamus (geniculate) andthen to the occipital  (visual)cortex.

These waves, PGO for short, are figurative lightening bolts,electrifying the visual brain and creating the vision of dreams. Wave afterwave ripples through the visual brain for as long as we are in REM. Dartingeyes under closed lids occur during this time. We spend time dreaming indrowsiness and non-REM sleep but it is in REM that we spend most time dreamingwith dreams that are longest and most developed.


Dreams are mostly visual with touch, smell, taste, and soundless important than imagery. Dream emotions, especially fear, are connected tothe activation of the limbic amygdala and the orbital frontal and anteriorcingulated, are important in fight-or-flight reactions. The activation of ourhippocampus accounts for dream memories.


During REM sleep, spinal paralysis sets in so we cannot actout our dreams. Our eyes and breathing muscles are left unaffected. Sensationsfrom the outside world are cut off.


REM is a vital function essential to our wellbeing. WithoutREM we can die faster through energy imbalance than when are deprived of food.


The brain areas turned off during REM sleep are as importantas the areas turned on. One off area is the dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex,which is essential to our capacity for logical problem solving and “executive”or planning abilities. It organizes information, thoughts, and emotions. It hasa role in delaying gratification.

When this area is off dreams seem real and we lack theinsight that we are, in fact, dreaming. The dreams seem out of context anddisorienting. Reasoning shuts down and we act crazy as a loon when in the gripsof a dream; time, places, people change abruptly in bizarre ways.  We are in a delirium, without volitionas the madness of our dreams just happens.


Because the dorso-lateral prefrontal and temporoparietalregions are turned off (use less energy) during REM consciousness, dreams arebizarre, and lucid dreams and NDE (near death experiences) feel real, as wellas out-of-body experiences.




If the dorso-lateral brain, instead of being turned off,were active in REM sleep, then we might realize we are dreaming as our dreamunfolds. This is lucid dreaming, a hybrid conscious state that may be veryclose to the near-death experience.


Lucid dreaming mixes the two conscious states of REM sleepand wakefulness. But only in 3 percent of dreams of do people enter thisborderland of consciousness.

We are awake while we dream, balanced precariously betweenreason and the surrealism of our dreams.


It is possible to go directly from an awake state into alucid dream state with little sense of transition. The real and the imaginedare scrambled in the REM state.


All emotions are felt lucidly, including fear, spiritualecstasy, and sexual bliss.


Non-lucid dreams are usually followed by amnesia, but luciddreams remains vivid after awakening.


Lucid dreams are unstable and usually last less then 2minutes on average. Strong emotions or pain can bring them to an abrupt halt.


The more lucid a dream, the more active is the dorso-lateralprefrontal brain. This can be turned on under our control somewhat.


When we shift from non-lucid to lucid REM consciousness, theresonant energy between the thalamus and cortex increases and resembleswakefulness.


This is the same rhythm; with a tempo of forty times asecond, that may bind sensations and thoughts from distant parts of the braininto the wholeness of conscious perception.




When either gongs or bowls are mixed in equal volume, livingtone magical alchemy is the result in various degrees. Also tuning forks andelectronically produced tones can blend their voices to do so, as well. 


LAMBDA (100-200 Hz.)

Mystical and OBE/out-of-body states

Integration and Wholeness

            “TwoSinging Bowls struck simultaneously with

a difference tone of 100-200 Hz.”


HYPER GAMMA (40-100 Hz.)

Loving kindness, higher awareness and mystical experiences

Tibetan Monks experience this during loving kindnessmeditations


GAMMA (40-100 Hz.)

Higher mental activity, greater focus and also certainshamanic or mystical states

            “Twosinging bowls with a difference tone of

40-100 Hz.”



SUPER HIGH BETA (35-150 Hz.)

Out-of-body experiences and kundalini releases and otherpsycho-spiritual states

            “Twosinging bowls with a difference tone of

35-150 Hz.”


K-COMPLEX (32-35 Hz.)

Spontaneous Creativity and sudden moments of self-realization



HIGH BETA (16-32 Hz.)

Possible states of anxiety

REGULAR BETA (13-30 Hz.)

When we are in our waking and rational state and we haveopen eyes with attention directed externally, we are functioning at normalmental activity. This is our normal waking consciousness

            “2bowls with a difference tone in a Beta range.”



Singing Bowls with various difference tones can create thefollowing:


ALPHA (8-12 Hz.)

Whenever we relax or close our eyes in light meditation yet areawake. Active during self-hypnosis and in Zen meditation


THETA (4-8 Hz.)

Deep meditation and auto-hypnosis, vivid day dreaming, andin the highly creative hypnogogic state when we are falling asleep and when weare awaking in the hypnopompic state. Most shamanic journeying is experiencedhere


DELTA (0.5-4 Hz.)

Deep sleep and deep meditation of being in the void or in othertimeless or formless states



EPSILON (0.5 and even lower Hz.)

When yogis are in a state of suspended animation. They areperceptive of higher light and sound frequencies. Blissful states ofconsciousness can be found within this Hz. range


Combinations of Singing Bowls with their sound waves can causea frequency-following response in our brain, which responds by reproducing thesound and then becoming synchronized/entrained to their various binaural beatsresulting in response reinforcement.












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