I used to view the desert as the kind of place where you don’t stray far from the swimming pool. I should know better. One of my favorite childhood memories is camping in Death Valley in 132 degree heat, where the only swimming pool within 50 miles was 95 degrees and standing-room only.
The desert is anything but a barren landscape. It’s a blank canvas that has inspired rocks musicians, UFO hunters, and artists alike… Oh, and little old me. So far, my work of art includes a time machine, a secret waterfall, and some painted mountains. All set before the bluest sky you can imagine. Now let me paint you a better picture, starting with the time machine.
The Integratron near Joshua Tree is a sound chamber built in 1954 by George van Tassel, who claimed to have received the plans from an alien visiting from Venus. Van Tassel built what he believed was a rejuvenation machine and a time machine. Today, the public can attend 30-minute sound baths at the Integratron, in which quartz crystal singing bowls are played to provide healing and rejuvenation to the body.
I visited the Integratron for the first time a few years ago. Walking up to the Integratron feels like boarding a space ship. Once you’re inside, you climb up a wooden ladder to the upper level and find a comfortable spot to lay down. If nothing else, I prepared myself for a relaxing meditation.
At first, I was seeing waves of color. No big deal. But at some point, I fell into a dream and was re-living early-childhood memories. You know when your parents ask, “Don’t you remember when you were born, and we baptized you in the swimming pool?” Well, no. I’m pretty sure there’s some fancy term called “infant amnesia” that makes that highly improbable. But now I am a believer that anything is possible in the time machine.
When I brought my little sister and roommate to the Integratron a few months ago, I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to time travel. But I did end up having a very good nap. Few things are as rejuvenating as a good nap. You’re just going to have to experience the sound bath for yourself to find out what I’m talking about.
Note: During my visit, the cost for the public sound bath was $15 per person. Make sure to check the website for current prices and schedule. Arrive early because the sound baths fill up quickly. They provide mats and blankets, but you can also bring your own.
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