The other night I decided to go to a Sensory Deprivation Tank at at the Floatation Location in Venice. (http://www.floatationlocation.com/).
It was $50 for 90 minutes. I figured I would last about 45.
After I arrived I met with the owner and discussed what I wanted to achieve. Then he led me into the room.
The Tank looked like this
I showered and got in, closed the hatch. Pure darkness. Is this an episode of LOST?
It was very trippy at first. I felt… weird. My head was floaty and my senses were all messed up. There is 800 lbs of salt dissolved in the water which is about 2 feet deep. Because of all the salt you float on top. I spent at least 15 minutes getting my heart rate down while wiggling around a lot.
After playing around a bit I let my brain do what it wanted. At first that was thinking about all the ‘what if’s’ IE what if there was an earthquake? Or a spider in the tank? Is this tank clean? Why’s the water so slimy? etc. Then I got itchy. My nose would itch, id scratch then my leg, id scratch… Mind over matter. Find the zen. Don’t let anything bother you. The itchyness soon went away.
My thoughts raced to a time before memory, when I was in the womb. This was like my own, larger womb. There was something comforting and… insightful about it. It was at this point that I had some great realizations about my life. I let my brain dump out all these thoughts which i knew was necessary to get to the theta state.
Even though the salt supports your body I found it hard to get comfortable at some points. I experimented with different positions. Ultimatley just laying with hands to the side is the best bet. The point is to not be able to tell the difference between body, water and air. You are all one.
I became self aware of what I was doing – I am supposed to be in here to be calm, let my mind and body relax and get into the theta state…. Push those thoughts out, bring in calm, bring in nothing. Relax….
Suddenly I was in a dream. But I was awake. Theta. Then i stopped breathing. I didn’t want to leave. Of course breathing is fairly essential function. Back to being self aware.
I went back to the original state of wiggling around. Then back to the dream like world. Then more wiggling around. Repeat a few times.
For a long while i was squirmy and sort of ‘over it. I couldn’t settle down and thought I might be done. I figured I’d been in for 30 minutes. I opened the hatch to let in some air and decided I’d give it one last go.
I went into a deep relaxed mediative state for a while. At this point I had some visuals both open and closed eye. Nothing too interesting mostly just patterns and shapes flashing around.
And then all of the sudden an hour and a half was up. They single that your time is up by playing calm music in the underwater speakers. I was wearing ear plugs so I couldnt hear any outside sounds, but I could hear the music. I couldn’t believe it. I thought for sure the guy had messed up. There was no way I had been in there for so long.
I got out, and sure enough it was 7:45. I showered, got dressed, and left the room. I talked to the guy about my experience – about being self aware and taking a while to get into the state, etc. He said that i had a very common first experience. He explained that the next time I go I will get into that state much quicker since I know what to expect and how it works. By the third time you are very well ‘trained’.
All in all a great experience. I learned some things about myself, had some great thoughts and came out very relaxed.
For $100 you get 3 sessions and I think I may do that and try to go 3 times a month.