This space is unique in concept and design, yet maybe similar to the caves and grottos where people have gathered for sacred ritual since the earliest times.
Our intention is to provide a sacred space for the exploration of healing, prayer, meditation, voice/song, sound, vibration, light, heat/steam, aromatherapy, etc.
Contact Harmony and Health Foundation for info. about it's availability.
The harmonic chapel is the body of a large instrument we play with our voices and other musical toys. It is shaped like a tortoise shell about 12x14 feet (3x4 m). It is a sculpted bell that is played from the inside. Imagine being inside a cello or a bass, or how it sounds when singing in your shower. Concentrated light (sun, moon) from above can shine in the roof portal to experiment with specific colors or mandalas of light. The space is designed with curvature calculated to reflect and concentrate sound energy, having 6 resonant alcoves of varying size and shape. All alcoves focus on a central axis- the line of concentrated sound where a person can lie on a table, or a specially tuned harp be wheeled in. We think it should be possible to play the harp with our voices, thus leading/training harmony. Imagine the sound of Gregorian monks chanting in a side chamber of a large cathedral. This space is a small chapel in the larger cathedral of the earth!
Built into the structure is an earthen wall with resonance of 1-2 Hz. Sixty heartbeats per minute is 1 cycle per second. (1 Hz) It is in this frequency range when the most healing states of sleep occur. Inside the chapel we often play around with interference phenomena to create virtual beats in the range of 1-2 Hz. With 2 or more voices there are amazing multiples of under and over harmonics showing up which creatively change over time with the group effort. Digeridoos and drums sound awesome!
The construction method is ferrocement. Ferrocement is layers of steel mesh (chicken wire, hardware cloth, steel lath, etc.) plastered with sand and cement. It is incredibly strong and flexible. This design has 6-9 layers of mesh, which is excessive for usual architectural uses (2x the usual), but intended for energetic reasons. The harmonic chapel is a ferrocement bell... like the bell of a stethoscope that faces the earth. The overall shape is like that of a mutant tortoise shell, or maybe a lumpy uterus!
A woodstove heater can be used for cold cloudy winter nights, or to heat as a sauna. A double row of redwood benches in two tiers lines either side of the egg shaped space. Finish interior plaster is gypsum for energetics and for purposes of keeping the interior an unpainted white "canvas", allowing for freely expressive/creative latitude. The floor is paved with thick sandstone slabs. There is a sipapu- an energetic portal to the earth. The walls have specific "mojo" integrated within certain layers that includes: extensive 9 guage wire woven in sacred designs & geometry, 108 strategically placed crystals like rose quartz, numinite, and celestite, and a layer of magnetite sand.
During construction, tortoise unexpectedly emerged as a theme. The outside of the structure has six panels to decorate in paint and mosaic. These are to tell a story of 6 tortoise adventures. A review of mythology and cultural traditions reveal positive values and attributes for tortoise. These include wisdom, nurturing, perseverance, healthfulness, creation, yin, etc. We are in the west familiar with the story of hare and tortoise, where the persevering tortoise wins the race. Bells will hang from the shelf below each panel. Four drum seats with mosaic tiling and legs with claw feet sit along the outside shell, and a tortoise effigy head rises above the doorway.
Also see Harmonic Chapel Plans