Driving through tiny dirt roads in Landers, CA, scanning the barren desert scenery for this ‘Venusian’ sound dome, you finally spot it in the distance… looking as out of place as ever – a tall white dome, built entirely of Douglas fir & calking. An “acoustically perfect” space, built by George van Tassel in the 1950’s per instructions from Venus.
Every other weekend the Integratron opens up its Sound Baths to the public – no reservations required (but spots fill up quickly), $20 for a one hour session. Drive out there early to make sure you secure a ticket, and then hang out in the eclectic courtyard, write a love phrase on the chalk wall, lounge around in the hammock village.
You enter the circular structure downstairs and remove your shoes. The walls of the circumference are lined with historic artifacts, relics from the Integratron’s timeline. The very center is a ladder going up to the top floor, where the sound bath will be held.
Once you are upstairs, one by one, you tip toe into the very center of the room – there is a square of different colored wood. You’re instructed to stand there, look up into the moonroof & announce your name to the sky. The echos from that perfect spot of equilibrium project past the ceiling, reverberate through your body, and makes you feel larger… grander… like your body encompasses more than you know.
In hushed overtones, everyone scrambles to find a spot on the floor. Some people have brought there own yoga mats, some get up to grab extra blankets so they’ll be comfortable and more relaxed. Two sisters, Nancy & Joanne Karl, are “stewardesses” of the Integratron (they now own the establishment). One of them will facilitate the session – she sits cross-legged on the floor, surrounded by dozens of quartz bowls (or Tibetan singing bowls), holding a pair of drumsticks, patiently waiting to begin.
I don’t want to give too much away… the experience really is magical & should be experienced in person, with fresh eyes. But the precision and vibrancy which I heard these sounds… the physical, mental (and even lucid) effects I experienced, were astounding… were in a sense, healing.
Part of the magic of the experience too is the community that shows up to participate. A destination like this attracts humans from all different backgrounds, from different walks of life, stereotypes or not. The sisters have a “multicultural alter” set up upstairs, where people who were touched by the experience leave behind relics from all religions, ethnicities & more.
I can’t wait to return – to experience another sound bath through a fresh lens, to heighten my awareness, and layer onto this first experience.
And go. You won’t regret the trip.