Gong Bath

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Dear Rabbi Simon
I would like to know if a ‘gong bath’ is permissible from a halachic perspective. A gong bath is a type of sound therapy where the participants lie on the floor and someone hits a gong, and the frequency/sound waves “wash” over you as a form of meditation. Many people who attend this sort of event are also involved with things like chakra, other forms of meditation, Buddhism, spiritual healing etc which is why I feel that there is a potential issue. Thank you for your assistance.

Dear Tammy,
Thank you for your question, which has prompted me to learn about a newly-popular form of meditation. I am not surprised that some advocates and practitioners of “gong bath” are similarly involved in forms of Buddhism and the like. Nevertheless, the technique/experience itself, considered alone, rather than as part of a polytheistic religious ritual, would seem to be benign. (I am not speculating on its benefits or effectiveness.)
Again, “gong bath” may well feature as part of meditative or other rituals which are halakhically objectionable. But in and of itself I would consider the practice to be halakhically permissible.
Best wishes
Rabbi Rashi Simon

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Ask the Rabbi: Quinoa on Pesach
Dear Rabbi Simon,
Where do you stand on quinoa (and the kitniyot ban) for Pesach?
Many thanks,
Dear Tzippy,
In line with other American authorities, I am in favour of quinoa. Although I reject completely the voices (mostly from Israel) seeking to abolish the ban on kitniyot entirely, IMO we do not need to include in the prohibition pseudo-grains that were unknown in the Old World until modern times. Best to buy with a Pesach hechsher though, to be free of any possible wheat contamination.
Rabbi Rashi Simon
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