No, that is not some trippy, poor-lighting bathtub imitation of a space ship. Laugh now, but thank me later. This may just become your ultimate scapegoat. There are various names associated to this; float tank, Joe Rogan calls it an isolation tank, and Tim Ferris calls it a sensory deprivation tank. Call it what you want, it’s not about what you call it, but what it can do for you. But for all intents and purposes, I will keep it simple and call it a float tank.
We all know that meditation is extremely important to our life, right? Often times when people think about meditation, we all get it wrong. People assume that meditation is a form of a fancy yoga position while chanting “OHM” or we picture some guru-like levitating mid-air. But meditation comes in all ways and forms, and everyone has their own ways of doing it.
What you need to know are the 5 basic facts;
1. meditation is essential to our well-being.
2. meditation can improve our daily productivity and quality of life, when done right.
3. meditation is not measured by quantity or quality, it can be done in any way for as long as you want it to be.
4. meditation is a blank state of mind, and there are many ways to accomplish this.
5. meditation does take time to master.
So before I get into my own personal experience of the float tank, let me break it down to you. All it is, is just you in your birthday suit, in a light & sound proof room, with a tub filled with water and epsom salt. The only thing that is unique to this experience is the epsom salt, a natural remedy for so many ailments, but also the key ingredient to keeping your body afloat in such shallow waters.
A general consensus is that, this float tank experience is probably the easiest and quickest way to guiding you to the near meditated state. And why I say ‘near’ is because even with all the sensory deprivation ingredients, we still have a hard time getting it right on the first time.
First of all, the first experience will be the most difficult one, you are putting your body, mind, senses into a black hole and expected to do, nothing???!?? The mere thought is petrifying enough and when you are literally experiencing it, it is truly a feeling like no other.
My initial thought was my fear of the dark and confined space, but that all seemed to quickly evaporate into nothing eventually.
Your mind starts to wander from A to Z and everything in between, even after telling yourself to stop thinking and that you are supposed to clearing your mind. It is honestly so much easier to say than do (like anything). And to my previous point of my fear of the dark and space eventually evaporating is because of all these thoughts clouding your mind. But you soon realize that your body is floating, and consciously you are well aware of what you are doing (that you are stark naked floating in this space), but if you have been still all this time, at one point you do start to wonder if this is what it would feel like floating in outer-space. Or if this is what it feels like when our body and mind is asleep. Do I sound crazy yet?
When you do get used to it, I have heard some people fall asleep.
It definitely is not for everyone, but if you are curious to experience it, I do recommend it. Especially in this day and age when trying to get absolute peace and quiet is impossible, so I cannot even begin to grasp the thought of clearing our mind, especially when we have trained our minds to always focus on something, with the exception of when you are sleeping. But have you ever focused on something so hard right before you sleep, that you actually dream about it? Our mind and bodies are the most powerful things, and we never truly give it a rest. If you are able to clear your mind during this experience, I applaud you eternal peace on earth. But if you are able to master meditation without any aid, I am giving you the cut-eye and jealous of your lifetime accomplishment to eternal bliss.
If you never thought to meditating, may I suggest that you try incorporating it to your daily routine. I often recommend this to my Clients in my Professional job, which is providing Strategies on Executive career and succession planning and leadership training. But regardless of what you are doing with your life, meditation is as necessary as breathing and thinking. To my point above on the 5 facts of meditation, it is neither qualitative or quantitative, meaning, you don’t need to register to some fancy class nor is it about how long you can clear your mind. If you are able to do so for even 5 minutes, that is 5 minutes well invested to your life.
We are always on the go, even when we stop to smell the roses. We never fully realize just how challenging it is to not do or think anything for a moment. Don’t get me wrong, I am not religious or pulling a scientology a la Tom Cruise, I am factual and a realist at heart. So if you don’t like the word meditate because it comes off Buddhist, don’t call it that. Call it what you want. But the reality is, we all need a moment of clarity.
I personally enjoyed reading a book ‘Radical Acceptance’ by Tara Brach (@TaraBrach) a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and one of the leading teachers of Buddhist thinking and meditation in the Western world. For those who know my fondness for Stoic philosophy, I think her work is a wonderful compliment to Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, and other favorites.
A quote which I thought to be helpful, “Meditation is evolution’s strategy to bring out our full potential.” – Tara Brach
If you are interested in learning more, check out the podcast of Joe Rogan and Tim Ferriss’ interview below.
This is my own personal quote/mantra I have abided by, mainly because I like to keep things simple and at minimal.
“Simplicity is the most intricate form of complexity.”
And if you think about every simple aspects of your life and just how difficult it was to attain it, I am sure you can appreciate what I am trying to say.
What are your ways of meditating? What are some of your life quotes you live by? Have any of you tried the float tank, and if you have, what was your experience like? Share your thoughts on the comment below!
Thanks for reading!
P.S. for those of you inquiring about such locations; I have a few favourites from the 3 major cities I frequent.
New York City: Aspire Centre link to their site click [here]*
* I am in no way affiliated or sponsored by any of these places, but have had pleasant experiences as a paying customer.