Quote of the Day:
"The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it." - Jean Paul
A few years back I had heard about sensory deprivation tanks. It was actually a talk by Alan Watts that I first heard of the concept.
He talks about how sometimes people make this crazy assumption and mistake that they need to empty their minds to reach a meditative state.
It is interesting to me to think about trying to empty my mind. I used drugs and alcohol for a really long time. I never really wanted to empty my mind really. I just wanted to slow it all down. My mind was constantly going what seemed to be a million miles an hour. How can you catch your breath if you feel like you are always moving at speeds that you have no control over?
The booze and the drugs worked well for as long as they worked. I didn't realize that my thoughts were not really good or bad. I had such a clear image in my head of how my mind should or shouldn't work. And I clung to that idea with all of my mental strength. Which, in an odd sort of way, just perpetuated the cycle. Adding an additional thought on top of each thought that seemed to be spiraling out of my control. This is a thing that I come to realize is present with or with out any mind altering substances or practices. If I cling to and am attached to an idea of how things should or shouldn't be I add another layer to complex concepts that have been created by my own thoughts about what ever "it" is.
Alan Watts talked about how when skin divers go down below a certain number of feet, get a sense of weightlessness. That sense of weightlessness deprives them of every sense of responsibility. Becoming alarmingly happy, and they have been known to simply take off their masks and offer them to a fish. And of course they then drown. So if we were to skin dive, we would have to keep our eye on the time. we would have to have a water watch or a friend who's got a string attached to us. If we were to go down that far, and at a certain specific time we know we would have got to get back, however happy we feel, and however much inclined we feel to say 'Survival? Survival? Whatever the hell's the point of that?'
It hit home for me. That was exactly what my relationship with mind altering substances had been like. Only it had got to the point where I didn't care whether I had a friend that would pull me back up. I had fell pry to that little inclination to say 'Survival? Survival? Whatever the hell's the point of that?' and to act accordingly.
When I heard him say "Well, sensory deprivation, if you know how to handle it, can be quite interesting. It'll have the same sort of results as taking LSD or something like that, and there are special labs nowdays where you can be sensorily deprived to an amazing degree." I was incredibly intrigue. I had to know what that was all about. I did some research on sensory deprivation. Found some great stuff and even some locations to be able to experience it.
A few days later I actually had the opportunity to enter a contest to win a free float from a guy that I follow and have come to look up to on instagram. I actually won the free float! I had scheduled the float and I missed the appointment. I had been in drug and alcohol treatment at the time and had only just recently started a mediation practice. So i think that there was a higher power at play. In hindsight, I think that I was not prepared for the experience at that point in my life.
I have been doing some rambling here, so if you are still with me thank you!
Walking into a room and finding a scene like this seems futuristic to me . I was excited and looking forward to the experience as soon as I woke up that morning. I was in the area more than an hour early just to make sure that I didn't miss out again. I met this guy that I have been looking up to for a while now but had only ever known him from his online presence. He explained the run down. Shower before I hop into the pod with a thousand pounds of salt. I am going to float whether I want to or not he tells me. I chuckle a bit in my head. he tells me the lights are going to shut off and music will stay on to ease me into the experience for about 10 minutes. Then it will be total sensory deprivation. I found myself trying to focus mostly on my breathing. Not trying to maintain any particular rhythm necessarily but to just be a quite observer. After being in for a while feeling myself being completely weightless and deprived of all of my senses a thought keep creeping in. "Intellectually I know that I wet. I am in a big pod of salt water. I have to be wet. But I don't feel wet at all." It was funny to me that I was so intrigued by this thought. I wanted to not be attached to anything and be open to everything. I won't bore you with every single that that came to mind but I do want to tell you about how there were several times that i felt as if my body wasn't real. That my existence was more about my consciousness than about any sort of physical and or tangible "things" I also had the strong feeling that when I felt my body start to disappear my body politely reminded me that I needed to breath by pulling me back from where ever it was that my body might have escaped too. Or maybe it was pulling my mind back from where ever it always could be? Another thing that I recall is that the concept of time seemed to fall away. There was no reference to time. It could have been 30 minutes or 3 hours. My mind wouldn't have known how to interrupt the concept of "time" with out that frame of reference. Quite intriguing. I am excited for my next scheduled Float!!
Mind, body, and soul.
There is a balance.
The interconnection is intrinsically there regardless of my awareness or effort.