My First Experience In a Sensory Deprivation Tank
“I think it’s one of the most incredible pieces of equipment for self-help and introspective thought that you could ever find”
Note: This blog might seem weird, or fictional…
Just last week, I traveled about an hour south to north Orlando to have my first ever experience of zero gravity. No, I wasn’t going to Cape Canaveral to visit NASA and get on a rocket to go into the stratosphere, but it was close to that…
Last Friday I had my first ever experience in a floatation tank or as it is better known, a sensory deprivation tank. A sensory deprivation tank is a pod-like piece of equipment that you lie in. This ‘pod’ for lack of a better word has about 1 foot of water in it and that water has a high concentration of Epsom salt. There are about 1000lbs of Epsom salts in a sensory deprivation tank and this is essentially what makes you float. The water is constantly at skin temperature, which is ideal because in that case, you barely feel it and you never get cold.
I had done some research, but not a lot on these tanks, but Joe Rogan swears by them. I went in with the hope of better understanding my consciousness and being alone with myself, without inputs. Our lives have become so input oriented that we simply don’t know how to feel or act when we are left alone with our thoughts and this is quite scary. Honestly, I was fearful going into this new experience as I’m sure many people are when they’re about to try something new or different. The guy at the front desk simply told me to have an open mind and have zero expectations, which I did.
The Sensory Deprivation Tank Experience
After about 15 minutes I began to settle. Because you’re floating, you’re weightless and your body is experiencing zero gravity and this is nice. I had a hard time letting my neck relax, perhaps that comes from the continuous reading, being hunched over a desk or looking at a cell phone. I then began to notice that I am really in darkness, without outside influences, simply me and my thoughts. Of course, closing the door behind you to climb into a tank that is in complete darkness without outside influences is daunting and can be claustrophobic, but it is humbling. To truly be with yourself for a period of time is beautiful.
As time began to roll by, I wasn’t exactly sure how long I was in there or how long I had left but I was just going with it. The whole idea of this experiment was 1. To see what it could do for me and what I could learn about myself. 2. To see where my mind goes when it is left to its own devices without control and without inputs. It was fucking fantastic. I went on a journey, touching on many aspects of my life. I touched on my golfing life, school, my relationships, UYP Lifestyle, the mistakes I’ve made, what I can do moving forward and much more. At times, it felt like I was floating through space, without a care, just simply enjoying the vastness that was in front of me. I felt like I was in a different dimension and when I could really allow my mind to be free, it went to some interesting places. Parts of me became paranoid which was all part of the new experience and I understood that. Other parts of me felt guilty about past mistakes. Other parts felt very vulnerable. All in all, I had a humbling experience because I could take an honest look at myself and see who am I? During the experience when I became paranoid I went with it, but all of these seemingly negative thoughts have a role to play in our lives. The paranoia, the vulnerability, the honesty, all allowed me to express myself to myself and just better understand the person that I am. I reconsidered or reflected upon a lot of my life. The ideas of being vulnerable or paranoid help us take a closer look at ourselves and it helps get through the layers which we have become accustomed to seeing ourselves through. It’s like taking a dirty pair of reading glasses and cleaning the lens for the first time. Your ego is altered or even diminished and you can see past all your judgmental and cognitive biases.
Initially, I was going to go into this tank and meditate, but in doing that, I would be trying to focus a little too intently on one thing and that wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted to go in and be me. By floating and feeling like I was floating through time and space, I was able to peel back the initial layers of my life.
I highly recommend the sensory deprivation tank but I do think that an hour is simply too little time. I am going to go again in the coming days for another hour session, but after that, I will try to do longer sessions. The reason is because the longer you’re in there, the deeper and deeper you can go and the farther you can go, the more you discover. My first experience was beautiful and humbling and I cannot wait to do it again.
To find places to float, simply type into Google ‘sensory deprivation tank’ and the town or city you’re near. Like me, you might have travel for an hour but it’s worth every minute.