Take out your bucket list. This experience is one for the books. Get in your car and head towards Joshua Tree, and keep driving, deep deep into the Mojave Desert, and all of a sudden, just when you think you’ve reached the middle of nowhere, there it is. The unmistakable white dome off in the distance. The Integratron, in all its glory. A spellbinding creation of George Van Tassel, the UFOlogist who built this structure at the command of the Venusians who paid him a visit from outer space to instruct him on the specifications. Adding to the mystery, this building claims to posses the special powers of rejuvenation, time-travel and anti-gravity and was financed by the one and only Howard Hughes. This place is BEYOND captivating.
Van Tassel passed away in 1978 and eventually, after years of neglect and misuse, a group of three forward-thinking sisters purchased the property and turned it into a meditation mecca. On the website, you can reserve a spot at a one of the scheduled sound baths, a session where you and others lie down in the dome of the Integratron and absorb the frequencies created by the sounds and vibrations of quartz bowls, which will allow your brain to enter a deeper state of relaxation than you’ve ever thought was possible. Interestingly, it is also the only all-wood, acoustically perfect sound chamber in the United States.
Do not leave without performing a sound check with someone standing across the dome from you, under the same support beam. It sounds like they are whispering into a microphone right next to your ear. It will BLOW. YOUR. MIND. Also go stand exactly in the middle of the dome right at the little circle in the floor. Listen to yourself whisper loudly in your own ears. It is totally unbelievable. So far out!
They’ve created really cozy outdoor lounge areas that are set up for people to relax in before their sound bath. You can bask in the warm desert sunlight, slip into a brightly colored hammock, and drink filtered water from the faucet to stay hydrated. Stroll into the visitor center gift shop and chat it up with Jesse (super cool dude) who will show you where to stand, right in the middle of the room, so that you will hear your own voice echo loudly in your own ears. You can’t fully appreciate the bizarro factor until you’ve experienced it for yourself.
The group is led into the Integratron together and, after a short bit of background and history, you will climb up the ladder into the dome, grab a blankie, lie down, get comfy and await for your sound bath “pilot” to further instruct you on the flight you are about to take. For the next hour you will feel as though you have been transported into another dimension.
As the bowls began to ring out, they seemed almost deafeningly loud. After taking some deep breaths and allowing myself to fully embrace the experience, I started floating off into space. Only to awaken about 45 minutes later to the sound of people snoring and breathing very deeply around the room. And remember, everything is amplified here due to the architecture of the dome. That was some serious sawing of logs. It was hard not to giggle. But I was thankful for being unconscious for the majority of the sound bath and allowing my mind to aimlessly wander and explore like it never has before. I will say this is definitely one of THE most unique things I have ever done. WHAT AN INTOXICATING TRIP IT WAS.