Have you been feeling stressed out with work, over-exhausted from the never-ending pandemic, or seeking a way to treat your insomnia? If you are curious about the type of impact Breathwork can have on burnout, stress, and emotional exhaustion Breathwork teaches us to release stress in a natural way – through exhaling.
My life is divided into two life spans: Before Breathwork (BB), and After Breathwork (AB). I am thrilled to return back to my home city of Des Moines in order to teach a Breathwork session.
A good Breathwork class is all about breathing deeply, yelling, crying, sweating, laughing, and allowing stored-up pain to leave the body. Breathwork can be like five years of therapy in one session. Our bodies are like a reservoir for trapped emotion. Breathwork flushes our systems, clearing the reservoir.
The inaugural Breathwork: Des Moines: will be located at the Oakridge Neighborhood Greenspace. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Oakridge Neighborhood to create pathways to success for adults, children and families by providing exceptional housing combined with comprehensive education programs and employment services. Space is limited.
How to prepare for your Breathwork practice:
Please bring a yoga mat or blanket
We’ll be lying on our backs and I’ll be playing music during the session.
Breathwork helps the mind, body, and soul to heal and recover.
Breathwork helps people treat stress, deal with anxiety, while it encourages better sleep, and can help you to dream more clearly.
About Ryan Williams: Ryan’s life is now divided into two life spans: Before Breathwork (BB), and After Breathwork (AB). After growing up on Des Moines, IA., Ryan is returning home to reach his signature Vibrate Breathwork. Ryan worked in social media for Disney, Machinima, and many tech startups to help spread their stories, now he is using his skills to further his mission: helping others heal. Whether it’s recovery from PTSD, depression, anxiety, and trauma, everyone can benefit from the power of a Vibrate Breathwork class.
A few years ago Ryan was diagnosed with complex post traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD). To heal, Ryan sought the wisdom of sound healers, and connected with some of the best breathworkers and meditation leaders in the world. To build himself back up, he experimented with psychedelic, plant-based medicine on the bleeding edge of mental health, attended emotional balance workshops endorsed by the Dalai Lama, and met with modern-day shamans.
Ryan authored The Influencer Economy: How to Launch Your Idea, Share it With the World, and Thrive in the Digital Age, detailing the emerging economy of social media influencers that dominate our culture today. He hosted an Apple New and Noteworthy podcast, interviewing media personalities such as Larry King, Seth Godin, Jemele Hill, and Willie Geist.
Ryan and the class will be gathered in Des Moines, IA. on the traditional, ancestral, unceded land of the Báxoǰe (Bah Kho-je) or Ioway, Sauk (Sac), and Meskwaki (Fox) peoples. Ryan and Inner Space will donate a percentage of the Breathwork proceeds to education and housing support for Black and brown communities at Oakridge.
This is a true story that takes place around Joshua Tree, Landers, and Mojave, CA. the unsettled land of the Serrano, Chemehuevi, Mojave, and Cahuilla people.
We stand in the sand next to a fire pit and hot tub in a fenced in backyard.
There is an old RV trailer parked in the backyard of the house next door, with unreadable green graffiti tagged on the driver’s side. The moon is about 90% full and the white light shines on the open horizon, shadowy mountains, and neighboring one story houses.
Renting a desert house for a weekend, my friend and I are in Joshua Tree.
About a mile away, there is a glowing white light speeding around the night sky in the background. The object is too low to the ground to be an airplane or star. It’s zooming back and forth.
It appears to be an unidentified flying object.
Wait, is that a UFO?
I am tense, and consider the next natural question.
Are we ready to meet aliens tonight in Joshua Tree?
You may be asking why I would have aliens on my mind. Let me tell you a story.
The previous night my friend and I experienced an intense sound bath at the Integratron, twenty miles away in Landers, CA.
A sound bath is a healing meditation where people lie on their backs listening to the humming sound of crystal quartz bowls performed by a practitioner. It’s often a relaxing and therapeutic experience.
What is the Integratron?
The Integratron is a four story white dome that resembles an Italian renaissance church structure.
Except this dome is not built to be a house of worship. It originally was intended to be a time machine.
In 1953, a former high-ranking inspector at Howard Hughes’ aircraft company, George Van Tassel became inspired to build an all wood dome.
He encountered an alien from Venus named Solgonda who gave him the plan to build this structure. The goal was to help humans rejuvenate themselves in addition to traveling in time.
The Integratron is a mystical UFO temple in the middle of the high desert of Southern California.
While intended to be a time machine in the 1950’s and 60’s, the modern day Integratron hosts regular sound baths. Three white sisters from New York took it over in the early 2000’s and began to use it to host sound meditations.
The Integratron is like a shrine to Van Tassel, UFOs, and sound.
Driving up to the structure I have a few questions.
Did Van Tassel see aliens? Am I about to see aliens?
The property surrounding the land is wide open desert. The Integratron leases the land from the United States Bureau of Land Management, and the Bureau owns the miles of vacant land surrounding it.
Knowing full well about the UFO history of the land, I have high expectations for the sound bath experience.
After checking into the property, looking at crystals in the gift shop, and filling my water bottle up with well water from an aqueduct that runs down from Mount Shasta, one of the caretakers of the Integratron announces that it’s go time.
Entering the Integratron
Around forty of us enter the white dome structure through a wooden door.
I have a child-like sense of wonderment as I prepare for the unknown.
One of the caretaker sisters, who appears to be in her sixties, gives us an introductory pep talk about the history of the Integratron.
She tells us that the land has electromagnetic energy that is beyond normal. Pre-colonialism, Native Americans inhabited the land and saw the neighboring Giant Rock as sacred land.
Van Tassel first encountered the aliens at Giant Rock, who inspired him to build The Integratron.
We are standing on Native American sacred land, in a time machine, and about to walk upstairs to take a sound bath. I am tripped out.
Next, all forty of us wait one by one to walk up a steep set of wooden stairs to the top floor. It’s a cool desert night, people are wearing hats, scarves, and jackets to keep warm. COVID-19 is still a problem in the U.S., and everyone is required to wear a mask.
It feels like we are walking up towards a scary attic in my grandma’s old house.
How Does a Sound Bath Feel?
On the second floor of the Integratron, the room is nearly dark. The sun is down and the windows are bringing in the dark sky.
There is a bald man who appears to be in his thirties sitting down on one side of the room surrounded by microphones and seven singing bowls. He is the son of the caretaker, it’s a family affair. Two generations of the caretaking family run the Integratron.
We meet the son of another caretaker sister. This guy has has a black pony tail. He is in charge of the audio. He comes upstairs to check on the microphones around the singing bowls.
There is a crowd of thirty people assembled outside the Integratron. These people will be hearing the singing bowl performance projected outside the space.
Our group lays down our backs on mini sleeper soft pull out chairs. Each pull out has a clean white sheet as an extra COVID-19 precaution.
My head faces towards the singing bowls, while my feet face the cylinder wall.
Before the sound bath, the man asks us to focus on love, gratitude, and forgiveness.
He conducts a sound bath. Humming noises come through these bowls. Some make me feel like I’m hearing nails on a chalkboard. While others make me feel calm like the waves of the ocean. It feels like nature, like I am connecting to the core of myself.
I feel tension rise and fall throughout my body for the next thirty-five minutes.
A few thoughts that come up for me during the meditation. Many of these thoughts tense up my body, while others allow me to relax.
I give my two daughters lots of love during the opening of the meditation, which help calm me down
Focusing on my family, I forgive myself and I forgive my Dad for our past differences
I recall a time when I ate psychedelic mushrooms at a concert in the Everglades in college, and I’m reminded of that energy tonight
I feel a mix of physical stress and tension, and then I relax. It is a mystical experience.
I define a mystical experience as a natural, mystical, unexplainable feeling that comes over someone as in meditation, psychedelic medicine, or a spiritual moment. It is a healing experience yet may feel loving, moving, intense, scary, and even unbelievable.
I remind myself to stay on Earth. I do not want to get too wrapped up in the alien mythology, and would rather focus on my own healing journey.
As I remain grounded, a final thought comes to mind.
I am at my best when I speak truth to power. Speaking my truth is what is important. That is when I’m reclaiming my power that I have given away.
I am in a state of deep relaxation.
We lay down after the sound bath ends, listening to ten minutes of soothing music coming through the speakers. This is called integration.
The goal with integration is to try and apply what we experienced to our life. Later that night I go and journal my thoughts to help integrate them and make sense of the experience. Some of those words are in this article.
After feeling the Integratron, my friend and I go out for pizza to a local spot in Landers. It looks like a restaurant full of local artists. We listen to a woman singing over an electronic music instrument, while we sit outside in the cool desert air. We eat a pizza and a salad, as I sip a beer.
I am relaxed. I am calm. I am peaceful.
Meeting an Alien
The next night I am still feeling the effects of the sound bath, and intrigued by the possibility of seeing aliens. The flying object moves around in the night sky, begins to head towards my direction.
The object is moving to the backyard. I am more tense.
There are no street lights in Joshua Tree. The sky is clear, I see the North Star, planets, and airplanes in the clear pollution free sky.
Yet this object is due to fly over the backyard.
If this is an alien, what do I say? What do we say?
Are we ready to encounter an alien?
I ask my friend if we are having a psychedelic experience.
The object looks more like a drone the closer it gets. I break out my video camera just in case this is truly an alien aircraft. I want to show people the proof.
I am excited to consider that this could be an alien ship, even as my rational brain convinces me it’s not.
I have a wonder like I am a child again. I am in awe of this craft heading towards me.
I am not prepared to meet an alien.
My body tenses up. My friend and I stand side by side, looking at the sky together.
The object flashes its high beams in our backyard about twenty feet above me. It is a drone.
I am relieved. I tell my friend that I am not ready to encounter an alien.
Laughing out loud. We realize how funny that sounds.
A couple hours after the possible UFO encounter, my friend and I were run off the road by a car speeding down the street. Walking back from a nighttime flea market in Joshua Tree, a fast moving car laid on its horn and came barreling down the road. With no sidewalks or street lights, we dove off of the street, stumbling onto a vacant lot, and briskly walked back to our house.
A woman with pit bulls came out of her house on the scene as we continued to walk. She and a man came out after hearing the honking car. She asked:
I thought someone had hit my dogs. Are you okay?
Yes, that was scary. That person had bad energy.
Thanks for checking on us, have a nice night.
That was crazy, have a nice night.
We continued walking home, with a heightened sense of concern for our safety.
I cannot help but think the tension here is not too different from what the United States is experiencing in 2021.
I’ve been back from Joshua Tree for a few weeks, and I’m still processing what happened.
The Integratron helped me to feel tension, calm myself down, and I am now integrating what I went through.
And I’ll be ready for the aliens next time.
Places to visit in Joshua Tree:
Giant Rock – a sacred seven story boulder in the Mojave Desert known as a spiritual land to the Serrano, Chemehuevi, Mojave, and Cahuilla people.
This is the welcome email for my The 15 For 15 Meditation Challenge 🧘. to help people meditate fifteen times in fifteen days. It’s a free fifteen day journey, where you’ll get 5-6 emails from me helping you to create a daily meditation practice. Sign up here to start the challenge! You can read the first email in the Challenge below.
Welcome! I’m grateful that you signed up for this challenge.
Before we jump in, I’d love to know why you joined me on this challenge. There are thousands of meditations apps, articles, and teachers who could help you on your journey.
Why are you here, in this email, in this course?
I’d love to hear from you, feel free to email me directly what you’re looking to gain from the next fifteen days.
With the ’15 for 15 Meditation’ 🧘 Challenge, I want to you to prove something to yourself: You can meditate fifteen times in fifteen days.
I discovered my own system for meditation creating a daily practice.
Whether it’s finding calm during your stressful day, sleeping more deeply at night, or relaxing your body before starting to work – starting a consistent meditation practice produces results.
Have you been feeling stressed out after the pandemic, an upcoming career change, or grieving a loss due to Covid-19? Emotional exhaustion is real, and we have to take care of our energy.
The way that we interact with the world is of great importance. We need to learn to protect our energy; meditation is a practice to teach us how to do this.
PS: If you are reading this, you probably found my writing from my newsletter, have followed my work around the Influencer Economy book or podcast. Or you may have taken a breathwork class with me. Or, if you found me somewhere else…I’d love to know how you found me!
It’s around Christmas time. I’m at a holiday party with friends, many of whom I have not seen in decades.
I am back home in Des Moines, IA. I hug old friends as I greet them, and we laugh hysterically at one of our friend’s drunken grandma, who is so wasted that she goes to bed early.
It’s great to catch up with Kelly, Murph, Shuter, and Kelly’s sister. Their smiles are big. Everyone is cordial, and we are having a hysterical time.
Except I’m not physically in Iowa. I’m having this dream while in my bed in Los Angeles.
This isn’t an ordinary dream. It’s a lucid dream—a dream where you feel like you are in control. In some cases you can actually control what is happening.
What is a lucid dream?
In a lucid dream, you are aware that you are dreaming, and the dreams feel vivid and real. Imagine if you were an active participant in your dream rather than a witness?
In lucid dreams you are controlling the dream like it is a real-life video game. You control the story. When you wake up, the dream is deep enough that it feels like it happened in real-life.
After the dream I wake up and jot down a few notes in my dream journal about what happens. I feel calm.
I get out of bed and walk down the hall to check on breakfast. I feel happy.
I last recall seeing these people drunk at high school parties or in the summers after we all went off to college.
In the dream, I made amends with people who I have not seen in twenty years, enjoying one last party together. It was like we were all younger. Their hugs make me feel loved.
My last meaningful memory with Kelly was in freshman year geometry class with Mr. Cummings. She was a cute older girl that I acted cool around, trying to keep everything low key. Our teacher, Mr. Cummings died of brain cancer that year, and I remember hiding my tears from my Dad as I walked away from his funeral towards our car.
People like her were my surrogate family, who I confided in to help me get through the ups and downs of life.
Murph and I played baseball together in little league, where I struggled to get hits and make plays on the field. Baseball was never my sport, yet guys like Murph remained optimistic and light around me. His freckled face and monotone voice helped me to feel calm.
Shuter and I played a lot of front yard tackle football together, and sometimes sat together at lunch in middle school. He was another person who I wanted to act low key around.
Getting back into my morning routine, I have positive energy from this dream, lots of it, as I recall these decades-old childhood friendships.
I carry this loving energy with me as I drink my morning smoothie, drive to run an errand, and type at my computer to start my work day.
The waking state after this lucid dream is can feel better than an orgasm.
If you can believe it, my body feels more relaxed than it does after I have sex.
Do you want to have lucid dreams?
How to trigger lucid dreams
The chances for lucid dreaming increase when you practice meditation, specifically sound bath and breathwork meditations. Since I started practicing breathwork, my dreams are more alive.
Keeping a dream journal helps me to remember these dreams.
When I wake up at 5am and have a dream, I grab my phone and type out a quick recollection of the dream. This helps me to recall my dreams in case I forget them.
My dreams are fleeting and I need to write them down.
Breathwork and a dream journal are my two devices to help me experience lucid dreams and train myself to write out these moments.
Studies show that if you wake up after 5 hours of sleep, stay awake briefly, and then go back to bed to try to enter an REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep period,” than you can possibly trigger a lucid dream.
You can also trigger a lucid dream if you use a Mnemonic induction of lucid dreams (MILD), which uses “prospective memory,” the act of remembering to do something in the future. When “you wake up after sleeping for 5 hours,” you “tell yourself several times that the next time you dream, you will remember you’re dreaming.”
In my recent dream, making amends at this party helped me to open up a part of myself.
I never officially said goodbye to these friends when we all went off to college. It’s like these childhood friends were dangling in my mind and I cleared out old cobwebs.
Lucid dreams allow me to look at my dream as if I have the full awareness of my waking state.
Lucid dreams give me energy.
One of the cooler benefits of practicing breathwork, meditation, and other reflective practices is that they give me a chance to have these dreams.
I was embedded in the fabric of Des Moines, IA for the first 18 years of my life, and then I moved away. And thus all my friends went away too.
You remember old habits, ways of life, and friends from your past. Meditation helps heal lost parts of yourself. You uncover parts of yourself that go beyond the conscious mind. My brain helped me to pick specific people from my past, and have a healthy and fun interaction together.
It is freeing, cathartic, and quite enjoyable. In this case, my dream helped to close the loop on past connections.
If I practice breathwork before crawling into bed, I’m almost certain to have a lucid dream. It calms me down, and opens my mind to the benefits of dreaming, and it’s a lot of fun to take these dreams with me the next day.
If you want to try a breathwork class with me, you can explore the possibility of having more clear and lucid dreams. I teach virtual classes every Thursday at 6:30 PST, and you can RSVP here.