Since water out in the desert is in short supply, it makes total sense to take sound baths instead, right? Sure… wait, say what?!
The desert in California is home to a number of extraordinary, and sometimes downright eccentric, operations. Some attribute it to geomagnetic forces, while others blame the sun that never stops beating down, but the dry harsh terrain really is home to the weird and wonderful.
FROM ALIENS TO AURAL ASCENSIONS
We stopped for a sound bath in the Integratron en route from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. Situated in Landers, just north of Palm Springs, the Integratron’s history is as colourful as its current mission.
The construction of the Integratron began in 1954 by former aircraft mechanic and flight inspector George Van Tassel. He had received visitations from extraterrestrials from Venus, who advised him to built the Integratron, a structure that would have the power to rejuvenate human cell tissue and enable time travel. Following Van Tassel’s sudden death in 1978, the building fell into disrepair till it was bought by the Karl sisters in the early 2000s.
These days, thanks to its ‘acoustically perfect sound chamber’, the Integratron is mainly used for sound baths. Also musicians, such as the Arctic Monkeys, go there to record music.
The exterior of the Integratron, with its geodesic dome, makes it look like an observatory. Inside, it is divided into two floors – the ground floor functions as a museum for the history of the Integratron and the floor above is where the sound baths take place.
SURRENDER YOURSELF TO THE SOUND
We were some of the last to arrive for our ‘no reservations’ sound bath session and had to make do with whatever little floor space was left.
The bathers lie down on mats, surrounding the bath master and the quartz bowls used for creating the sound waves. The sound from the bowls circulates around the dome and by lying on the floor, you feel the sound as much as you hear it. It’s hard to describe the experience exactly and do it full justice, but I’d say it felt something along the lines of meditating inside of a gently whirring vibrator. Not that I’ve ever meditated inside of a gently whirring vibrator, but you get the picture.
On a few occasions the sounds hit frequencies that completely enveloped my senses – it was as if a torrent of sound and sensation flushed right through your body and mind. At other points it was just simply relaxing.
If you’re visiting Palm Springs or the nearby Joshua Tree National Park, you ought to try and fit in a visit to the Integratron. While there are no guarantees of it rejuvenating your cells or enabling you to travel in time, it is certainly a unique experience.
- The Integratron sound bath is normally by private or ‘pop-up’ reservation only. On two weekends every month ‘no reservation baths’ are offered at first-come-first-served basis. Please see the Integratron website for more information.