One of the most unique things to do near Joshua Tree is to get a sound bath at the Integratron. It’s sort of a spiritual-type experience that you need to have an open mind for, but if you really let yourself get into it I think it can be such an enjoyable experience. Sound baths are known to be helpful for relieving stress and anxiety, and there’s no better place to have one than in the energy healing Joshua Tree desert.
You may be wondering, what is a sound bath? What is the experience like? And what’s so special about the Integratron?
In this post, I’ll share some of the benefits of getting a sound bath and what it’s like to experience a sound bath at the Integratron in Joshua Tree, California.
Sound Bathing in Joshua Tree: A Guide to the Integratron
***Please note: During the pandemic some things may be limited in California. You can still experience the sound bath at the Integratron, but in a modified way. See the end of this post for more information.
What is a sound bath?
A sound bath is a meditation technique where participants lie comfortably on the floor while getting “bathed” by sounds that are produced by someone who plays crystal bowls. You’ll hear different levels of sound while you relax and meditate, but some people fall asleep. Sound baths have been practiced for years and are known to help reduce anxiety, stress, and even boost your mood.
To fully immerse yourself in the experience you need to allow your mind and body to fully relax. The hardest part is teaching your brain not to wander. If you want, you can practice meditation before you try a sound bath for the first time, but even if you don’t know how to meditate you can still enjoy it. Some people can feel benefits from just one sound bath, but others may need several.
Location of The Integratron
The Integratron is officially in the city of Landers, California, just 20 minutes from the town of Joshua Tree. It’s a quick 2.5-hour road trip from Los Angeles and Orange County. You can easily include the Integratron into your road trip itinerary for Joshua Tree and/or Palm Springs, or just make it a quick day trip!
The Integratron’s Story
The Integratron was originally built to be a generator for rejuvenation and time travel. With that information alone you can tell there’s a strange history behind this building. I love it because that just makes this experience even more unique. Apparently, the person who designed the building was receiving help from extraterrestrials…so yeah, there’s some weird vibes going on here.
On the Integratron’s website, you can find more historical information including some really eerie newsletters that talk about spaceship sightings. I kinda believe it – Joshua Tree does have that kind of vibe.
The Property & Building
While you wait for your sound bath reservation you can lounge in the hammocks outside. Water, restrooms, and a small gifts shop with souvenirs and snacks are also available.
When you enter the dome-shaped building you’ll stay downstairs for a brief history of the building and what it was originally built for. You’ll have to take your shoes off and use a ladder to get upstairs for the sound bath. If you’re not able to get up the ladder you can still take the sound bath from downstairs.
The upstairs of the Integratron is pretty impressive. The wood is a gorgeous color and you can tell it is well-maintained. I can’t believe how perfect the wood is shaped. It is literally a perfect dome.
There are windows all the way around the building and mats with blankets are setup perfectly beneath them. You can also grab an extra blanket if you need it. Before the sound bath starts you have a chance to walk around the building and see the crystal bowls setup.
The Sound Bath Experience
The sound bath starts off with an explanation of what to expect during the experience. You’ll also hear a short history of the building and the owners. You will be told to turn off your phone for the entire sound bath because disruptions are completely unacceptable.
Volunteers are allowed to stand in the middle of the building and speak towards the ceiling to hear the special sound the building creates. The shape of the building amplifies the sound, so other people will hear it a lot louder than the person actually said it.
The instructor starts to get you into a relaxed state with a little meditation before starting to play the bowls. You’ll lay on your mat in whatever position you find most comfortable and close your eyes. Pick a position that is comfortable enough so you won’t have to move later on. If you think you might fall asleep, pick a position where you are less likely to snore.
It’s super important that you are as quiet as possible during the sound bath. Whatever noise you make can be heard all the way on the other side of the building. You won’t just be disrupting your neighbor, but everyone else too. Trust me – you can even hear every little movement someone makes.
Once the instructor starts playing the bowls, the sound will start off a little slow and quiet. Eventually it gets louder and louder and you may even feel it vibrating inside your body. Each bowl is specific to an energy center of the body (the chakras), and the instructor knows exactly which bowls to play and in which order to go through each of the chakras. The different frequencies of vibrations enter your body and help lead you into a meditative and restorative state.
While the bowls are playing, do your best to really relax your mind and body. Try not to let your mind wander and just be in the moment and enjoy not having to worry about anything else.
Tips for a Getting a Sound Bath
There are a few things you can do to prepare for a sound bath so you have a more enjoyable experience. Not that you would have a bad experience anyway, but I think it could be beneficial to plan ahead.
First, I personally believe you will have a better experience if you already have an idea on how to meditate. If you really want to get into a super relaxing and meditative state during your sound bath, practicing meditation beforehand might be helpful for you. The first time I did a sound bath I didn’t get the experience I wanted and that’s because I didn’t even know how to meditate at that time.
On the day of your reservation, don’t overeat, but hydrate well. Dress comfortable and warm, and use an extra blanket if you need it. You should definitely use the bathroom before it starts.
Finally, make sure you go into the sound bath with an open mind. You have to believe in something for it to work. It also helps to set an intention before you go. For example, your intention could be gratitude, and during the sound bath you can focus on things that you are grateful for.
Reservations at the Integratron
The Integratron has special operating hours, so it’s always a good idea to check their website before you plan your visit. As of October 15, 2020, public sound baths inside the building are not allowed, but you can make a reservation for a small private group sound bath. Outdoor and virtual experiences are also offered.
I hope this guide helped you prepare for your sound bath in Joshua Tree. Have you taken a sound bath before?