There it was, the sensory deprivation tank that I’ve only previously seen in pictures and videos online. Now, if you haven’t heard about sensory deprivation tanks or seen the TV show Fringe, then here’s a video from Vice that will help give you a quick rundown on what it’s all about. Trust me, you will definitely want to check this out.
To say the least I felt excited and just a little nervous. Thoughts that ran through my head consisted of:
“What if I can’t float?”
“What if I fall sleep and go past my 2 hours?”
“What if the salt gets in my eyes?”
What if….what if….
Of course, I know myself enough to realize that this was just mind clutter that is making me worry for no reason.
I stepped inside this dark chamber. I closed the latch behind me and proceeded to lay down. Immediately, I almost bounced to the surface of the water and was floating just like that. I guess it was the 500 lb of EPSOM salt that really got the job done.
Once I adjusted myself and stopped fidgeting, I still felt uncomfortable but after a while I was left feeling absolutely weightless as if floating in the midst of a dark void. At first, I was really bored and kind of wanted to get out but I persisted. Had I not been meditating for the past few weeks, I would have been really uncomfortable and bored by the stillness but it was somewhat calming and familiar in a way.
I began to notice a few subtle things about myself that you might relate to as well but not notice like I did before this experience.
- My body was very tense. In fact, it took me quite a while to relax my body
- The thoughts that raced in my head were mainly about what is to come (goals, expectations, responsibilities), half of which were worries.
- I have a very short attention span. During the first few minutes, I felt a strong urge to grab my phone and open Snapchat or see if I had any messages.
Towards the end, I began to feel completely present and in the moment. Once that happened, I lost sense of time and was not even aware of the water or the fact that I was in a tank. I was just solely focused on my breathing ….. inhaling ….. exhaling……inhaling…..exhaling. It was almost as if for a moment I completely forgot that I was in a water filled tank in some building and that a whole city of people was just outside those stairs next to the chamber door.
I was interrupted by 3 knocks outside the tank which signaled that my 2 hours were up. I came out and felt 10/10 relaxed. I was completely at ease and even now (8 hours post float). I feel a sense of calm and serenity. I thought it would be best to write down all my thoughts about the experience while they’re still fresh in my mind. Nonetheless, I still wrote a couple notes down in my Evernote to share with you guys.
I definitely recommend this experience to everyone and anyone. It definitely is something very different than what you have experienced and the only thing that comes closest to this is meditation. I find that it was worth my time and money and I think you will also find it to be worth your investment, especially, if you are the type of person who is open to new experiences. I can honestly say that, without a doubt, I will find myself going to float in the near future.
Definitely, check it out and see what you experience and find out more about yourself. If the idea of stepping inside a dark chamber scares you, that’s completely normal but remember, doing something that makes you a little uncomfortable every day is good. Even if you don’t learn anything and are completely bored the whole time, you will come out very relaxed. I can guarantee you that. Yes, really, it is that relaxing!
By the way, if any of you are interested in the sensory deprivation tank lab that I went to, you can check it out here.