The day I bathed in the sounds of Joshua Tree

After an hour of listening to the sound of a gong tuned to the frequency of my chakra’s sound, I stumbled out of the white domed building and into the sunshine of Joshua Tree. I left my phone on airplane mode and collapsed into a nearby hammock. To my left are Adirondack-style chairs made from snowboards; to my right, a knee-high statue of the Virgin Mary is being worshiped by a small plastic Tyrannosaurus rex .

After a long period of lockdown, I decided to spend my first vacation at Integration in Landers, California, a famous destination for UFO enthusiasts. If you're unfamiliar, a sound bath is a meditative experience in which participants are immersed in the sounds typically produced by a healing instrument such as a gong, singing bowl, chime, or tuning fork. They are designed to soothe the nervous system and remove any energy blockages typically associated with our emotions and conscious and subconscious thoughts, just like some of the benefits of yoga. The sound bath experience of the Integratron is particularly special, especially due to the acoustics and precise positioning of its structure.

The Integratron is located in a fairly desolate area of ​​the Mojave Desert, where you might expect tumbleweeds to roll next to your car, and it looks similar to the domes you'd see at an observatory. The red nodes around the building make it look like something out of a sci-fi comic book, but there are dwarf palm trees and cacti nearby. UFO murals, religious artifacts, indigenous sayings, dinosaur statues, and junkyard artwork create a one-of-a-kind design aesthetic truly suited to areas like the Southern California high desert.

The man who built the structure, George Van Tassel, was an aerospace engineer, author, inventor and UFO advocate who based his work on the Tabernacle of Moses, inventor Nikola Tesla and alien telepathic instructions designed it. Its location also makes it otherworldly: it sits on top of an already high region of geomagnetic energy (magnetic energy from within the Earth that radiates outside the Earth), known as a vortex, and is located in the desert on another very rare Phenomenon - above a body of water or in an underground reservoir. And, as if all this wasn't enough, I took my sound bath on the day of the full moon and lunar eclipse in Taurus. No matter what happened, I knew I needed this experience away from normal.

Upon entering the white dome set in the sand, we were greeted by the son of one of the owners, Michael Acquino, who briefly explained that we were to take off our shoes, turn off our phones, and leave our belongings in the main building. floor. Then head to the second-floor meditation room for an hour-long experience. We are also introduced to his cousin and resident sound therapist Joe Carr, who will be playing the Quartz Bowl.

Aquino directed us to leave the circular ground floor and walk up the steep wooden stairs step by step. In the domed room above we see the bowl. There are seven different tones - C, D, E, F, G, A and B, representing the root chakra, sacral chakra, solar plexus chakra, heart chakra, throat chakra, third eye chakra and crown chakra respectively. There is a small altar next to it with images and figurines of various gods and spirits, as well as a large amount of crystals. We each had a padded mat with a high headrest to lie on. I found my mat, covered it with the freshly laundered sheets they provided, and got ready to ride.

UFO murals, religious artifacts, indigenous sayings, dinosaur statues, and junkyard artwork create a one-of-a-kind design aesthetic truly suited to areas like the Southern California high desert.

To begin the sound bath, Carl instructs us to focus on gratitude and prepare our intentions, especially given that night's full moon and lunar eclipse, a time that, no matter what, means "big revelations, endings, and twists of fate" they may Will feel uncomfortable. He provides each of us with the opportunity to stand in the center of the building and speak out loud our gratitude.

"I'm grateful for the changes the past 12 months have brought to me," I said, standing in the center of this vast domed space made only of wood in my white Nike socks. My voice rang clearly through my feet and shoulders. vibration. It didn't sound loud per se, but it felt like I was walking up to a microphone on stage in an empty auditorium.

Aquino didn't speak for the next 30 minutes as he played in the Quartz Bowl. I'm looking at the big moments of the past year from the bottom of my heart and expressing gratitude for the changes in myself that I'm proud of but undeniably new, uncomfortable, healthier, and different from the past Very different.

This obviously brings up a range of emotions - about life in the second year of a global pandemic and so on - so I'm using this time and vibration to really surrender to them in hopes of releasing them by the end of the session. As I reflect on the past year in my mind, the different sounds from the bowl bring out different feelings, from almost floating to feeling like I'm under a weighted blanket. I was only distracted by the gentle snoring of those who had reached their optimal state of relaxation.

Before we begin, Aquino brings up how important it is to be mindful of what we are releasing or approaching as the sound bath nears its end and ambient music takes over the quartz singing bowls. When all the sounds stop, we want to review what we released in our minds.

As I spend a lot of time repeating my gratitude for the life-changing experiences of the past year, I’ve come to realize that focus comes from centering those people, places, and changes on the experience. During this very focused period of gratitude, I hope I can release my attachment to individuals and time frames and discover that I have experienced them all. This feeling of being centered is great.

I felt surprisingly exhausted over the next few hours, especially after sleeping so well in Pioneer Town the night before. It's not the same as oversleeping - I feel wide-eyed and uncomfortable, a bit like you would after a good cry. I don’t remember feeling this way the first time I experienced a sound bath at the Integratron, but there weren’t any major astrological events happening at the time, and pre-pandemic, I had a habit of falling asleep during most of my lying meditation practices.

While I don't know that I'll make sound baths a regular occurrence, I do know that I'd love to do them again at Integratron. Whether it was the special energy of the location, or the practice and process itself, it provided me with a much-needed pause to reset - now, I think I need to buy a hammock for my roof.