Guest Post: "Accessing my float outside of the tank"

Member Chris Corona contributes his thoughts, "as fresh as they come," after a session. Thanks Chris!

Upon entering the tank, calmness overcomes my senses. The light dims, and darkness removes my sight. I can feel my heartbeat loud. See my thoughts. Thought projects as if it were only a movie. I let my thoughts flow. Then they vanish and I am truly there...being. 

When the music starts playing again, I reach for the walls of the tank as if they were the shores of reality. The light turns on but I am left with an empty mind. And I am still being. 

I enter the world, thoughts flood in. I know the space I've discovered in the tank is accessible even outside of the tank. So I access that space and be.

 

Mirror Lake, Yosemite

Mirror Lake, Yosemite

Going Deep

Whenever I sit down to write about floating I can never quite find the right words to describe it. I've often heard people describe a good float and they use the phrase "going deep." It seems like a fairly accurate phrase and yet I'm not sure what it means. It could mean a successful self analysis. It could mean you were somewhere between dreaming and meditation. Maybe you saw lights. Maybe you heard frogs ribbiting as you imagined yourself floating under stars. 

Somehow every float is different and "going deep" is a different journey every time. Maybe "going deep" means; I was able to lose myself, even if only for a half hour, I was able to let go of my little storm of dramas. 

Letting go manifests itself in different ways. One's brain often has a peculiar way of explaining itself. Sometimes it makes obvious sense, sometimes it is utterly nonsensical. Dreaming and going deep are similar in that way. 

When the music begins and the light dimly appears, my eyes adjust, i sit up slowly, and i reach for the door handle still trying to contemplate what just happened. I'm smiling to myself. Whatever it is it's going to last all day.

 

Letting Go

Walking through our front door for the first time can be somewhat intimidating.

Although we've tried our best to create an inviting space and strive to communicate a feeling of empathy and understanding with everyone that comes in, the fact is that what awaits for most is something entirely unfamiliar. However well disguised, this uncertainty often brings up a surge of emotion- excitement, anxiety, fear- and rightly so; while the range of experiences during any particular float vary from person to person, everyone who steps into the tank is in some way or another confronting themselves- it's just you alone, in the dark, with nothing but your thoughts to color the experience.

A flood of similar questions usually fuels the emotional uncertainty: "What am i going to do in there for an hour (or more)?" "Will someone walk in on me?" "How am i going to manage being alone for that long?" "Will i get bored just laying in the dark?" "What if i get locked in the tank?" "What if my mind starts playing tricks on me?" "Will I go crazy in there?"

When it's finally time to step into the tank all of these emotions are still attached at the hip. The experience can become quite unsettling, since you're thrust into an environment that offers you little choice but to notice intrinsic physical and mental stimulus. You're left to sort it all out- that deluge of thoughts, that tension in your shoulders, anything repressed or ignored that might float its way up to immediate consciousness. 

As difficult as letting it all go can be, the space that lies beyond is well worth visiting. Those who are willing to step outside of their comfort zone and disconnect from the outside world to wander the depths of their mind might find a solace in floating unlike any other yet experienced.

I speak for all of us here at Equilibrium when i say that one of the greatest pleasures we have is seeing the relaxed and revitalized look of everyone after their first float, their sense of inner calm and vibrant glow; they've faced the darkness and found that just beyond is a world that yearns to be explored, with a new understanding of what true "rest" and "relaxation" really is. 

 

How do you push past barriers in the tank to get to a place of deep relaxation?

 

- DS