"The infinite vibratory levels, the dimensions of interconnectedness are without end. There is nothing independent. All beings and things are residents in your awareness. ~ Alex Grey"
My First Floatation Tank Experience
My First Floatation Tank Experience.
Tomorrow I am doing my first ever floatation tank. I'm well read up on the subject so I thought a before and after impression would give an interesting perspective. Intellectual vs experiential..
So, what do I expect?
Worst case scenario, hope I don't fall asleep in the tank!
To start with, I'm probably going to be a little jet lagged so I hope that doesn't get in the way of the experience. I hope I don't fall asleep, and that the tank helps me feel less jet lagged.. Actually, falling asleep in the tank is my biggest concern. I kind of feel like my mind will get bored and fall asleep after half an hour or so with no stimulation. So, to counter that possibility, I figure I will do some things to maintain my awareness, like counting backwards from 100 or visualisation techniques.
Best case scenario, out-of-body experience!
I expect the optimal experience would be that I start to get a feeling of spacelessness, like I might be floating in zero-gravity, and that might send my mind into sort of a hypnogogia and I'll find my self phasing out of body.
They say the after glow from floatation tanks is a sense of inner peace and tranquillity, and a deep relaxation that can last for days, but I'm wondering if, like hypnosis, it is something that gets better with practice and easier with experience.
That's my preconception in a nutshell, trying not to have too many expectations and let the experience unfold.
After the tank!
Just come from my first tank experience and here are my first impressions.
I did not realise while I was in the tank just how relaxed I was, but then when I got out I was smacked with a wave of relaxation and calmness both mentally and physically. My body felt so heavy, and when I was showering to rinse off the salts I felt my legs almost give way and had to catch my self from falling.
I have to say that the sensation of buoyancy of the water is something I just couldn't have imagined until I'd experienced it - I won't attempt to describe it except to say that it is really weird. I very quickly acclimatized to the tank environment got a feel for the sensory deprivation part in the first few minutes and I found it easy to relax into the experience. This could be due to my lucid dreaming practice, as I have cultivated the ability to relax and lie very still for long periods of time. However, it wasn't long before I started getting very distracted by my own breathing, and this took me a bit of mental gymastics to overcome. After that my stomach started making the most outrageous noises, amplified by the underwater acoustics, and at intervals that only just allowed me to start going deeper before drawing me back out again. (I'd eaten a small amount of yoghurt about 2 hours beforehand but my stomach was otherwise empty, I'll give this a bit more thought for next time). I also found myself getting the occasional itch and my feet brushing against the edges of the tank, or so I thought, in hindsight this may have been my mind playing tricks on me. It is hard having nothing to think about, no data for the mind to process, that is the minds primary purpose and when you deprive it of certain stimulation, it will create or imagine something else to fill the void.
I found the best position for me was to have the head tilted backwards, the mouth slightly open, and the eyes rolled backwards in the head (open or closes is good). The rest of the body just relaxes, and does as it pleases. The tank is large, like a double bed size, so you can float pretty freely without touching the sides. The water is not very deep, maybe a foot deep, and the boyancy is such that you never touch the bottom. The climate in the tank is body temperature both the air and the water are the same so you don't feel any contrast between them, and this gives the impression like you are floating in spacelessness.
I did not fall asleep like I had thought I might, and it seems to have helped my jetlag a great deal. Near the end of the hour, my mind finally began drifting through hypnogogia towards the edge of consciousness, but the session ended to soon for me to have an out-of-body phase shift. I felt it coming though! Next time I will definitely be doing longer, one hour is too short in my opinion, an hour and a half would be just about right for a first session, and with a bit of experience I could easily go for hours.
It is 3 hours after now and I am still feeling deeply relaxed and chilled out, and with all the extra magnesium my body will have absorbed, I expect to sleep really well tonight.
Gen Dreamerson. 2014