Altered States of Consciousness - My Fifth Float in the Sensory Deprivation Tank

in #life3 years ago (edited)

Just climb in the chamber, close the hatch, and ease yourself down into the twelve inches of warm water. There’s so much Epsom salt dissolved in the water your body immediately floats.

The Samadhi sensory deprivation tank.

It’s so dark inside the chamber that you can see nothing, there’s no sound, and you’re floating in water warmed to your exact body temperature, around ninety-eight degrees. Due to the lack of stimuli what happens after a few minutes is you lose all sense that you have a body, you enter into a state of deep relaxation.

The particular spa I go to has a really old tank. It reminds me of an old Macintosh computer from the 1980's and looks like something someone could've made in their garage. Although it many not be as attractive on the outside as the newer sensory deprivation tanks but it still accomplishes the same thing. The modern tanks look more like space pods (as you can see below) and have a hatch that opens up wider so they’re easier to get in and out of. These would be better for the elderly or those with disabilities.

A modern sensory deprivation tank.

Today, I did my fifth float and I have to say no two floats have ever been the same but the experience gets somewhat deeper and more intense every time. I’ve been meditating for nearly a quarter of a century so I’m used to long periods of exploring inner-space but the sensory deprivation float tank takes things to an entirely different level. Today my session was about ninety minutes in total and it took ten minutes to really settle in and start to relax.

Once I found a comfortable position, my body and mind gradually started to surrender to relaxation and what I call the inner light show began. This same show of lights happens in deep meditation as well but in the tank it doesn’t end when you open your eyes because you’re in complete and total darkness.

Today all I saw was purple, it kind of reminded me of a song from one of my hometown’s most famous musicians. The light and dark shades of purple swirled almost as though I was staring into a lava lamp and shortly after the hallucinations began.

This is similar to what I saw.

At one point it felt as though I was actually floating in the darkness of deep space with pinpoints of light twinkling around me. I’ve never tried hallucinogenic drugs but after your first few floats, the tank induces an altered state of consciousness very similar to how I’ve heard people describe an LSD or psychedelic mushroom trip. My first float I considered “practice” and it produced nothing more than relaxation but each successive float has gotten better. So if you try it once and aren’t particularly impressed try to be patient and give it one or two more tries.

“When I first tried a sensory deprivation tank, people thought I had lost my mind. In fact, I had found it.” ― Ryan Lilly

My seventy-seven year old father is the only person I’ve ever talked to who had an intense experience during his first float. He was standoffish at first but ended up having a very positive and comforting emotional experience. My father told me he had a vision of his mother, who passed away before I was born, and explained it was so real that it seemed like she was actually there with him.

The Epsom salt is actually comprised of the mineral compound magnesium sulfate and is highly beneficial to your body. The Samadhi tank that I floated in has 800 pounds of salt dissolved into the water so you’re getting a pretty large dose absorbed through your skin. It has incredible health benefits (Click here to learn more about the benefits of Epsom salt.)

It’s been about twelve hours since my session this morning and I’m still extremely relaxed. My creativity is heightened as well. I’d like to stay up and write more but at this point what I’m looking forward to most is climbing under some warm covers a drifting off to dreamland.

If you are looking for an incredible (and legal) inner adventure as well as a good way to relax your body and mind I would consider giving the sensory deprivation float tank a try.

(Gif sourced from

"The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness." ― Lao Tzu

I am an American novelist, poet, traveler, and Steemit enthusiast. If you’ve enjoyed my work, my handmade poetry chapbook, Emancipation, is for sale on Peerhub for a limited time.

Eric Vance Walton ~ Media





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I find these sensory deprivation tanks fascinating. I think it is time to search for one near my home.
Btw, I am enjoying the integration of Agile Methodology into my daily routine. Prioritizing and sprinting are quite exhilarating.

They're getting easier to find. I found a franchise ( that's amazing. They're not here in Minnesota yet but this is where we set my father up for his first float. He had nothing but good things to say. I'm glad you're enjoying the integration of Agile! Isn't it a great sense of accomplishment when you look back on your day and see you're getting so much done? It takes a lot of the stress of your shoulders for sure. Thanks @lydon.sipe!

Looks like truerest is making their way towards Kentucky. Their floats look like a cryogenic chamber. Lol.
Yes! It does feel great to look back at a productive day. I am intrigued to see how much can be done in a day now.

That's great! I know there are a few locations in Ohio if you wanted to make a road trip out of it. My parents are in Columbus.

Awesome brother!
I started floating in 2011 after hearing about them from Joe Rogan.
Glad you wrote this post, more people need to have this experience for themselves!

Thank you @scan0017! Joe is definitely a fellow explorer of inner consciousness. Do you float regularly? The world would be a better place if more people did this.

I don't float as often as I'd like; it's been a goal to have one installed in my home sometime in the future.
They're getting more popular every year, with float centers opening all of the country.
I expect the price on personal home installed ones ought to become more reasonable in price over the next several years.
Have a great week man! 😀

These tanks are amazing! @sharingeverybite and I have used them several times, and we have another one scheduled. The level of relaxation we feel afterward is off the charts.

We both like them too. My wife has only tried it once but we both have one more session scheduled. It really is amazing. I'd like to find a spa with newer tanks. This business only has one tank so it's not always easy to find an available time.

Very interesting. That would be fun to try some day.

Eric, I enjoyed the post as I've floated once myself in the newer "egg" version. It was gifted to me and I did enjoy it but agree it's about exploration the first time. Especially enjoyed hearing of your fathers experience- how "young" is he? The facility i went to is top notch as each room has a shower. The pod has music option. You've triggered a desire to go back but $40 is only an occasional treat. Perhaps they will let me interview them and I'll write about it! First this newbie must learn how to insert photos from my iPad.

Congrats on the top pic award also

My pops is 77 years old. He had a hard time getting in and out of the tank but he figured out a way. I'm looking forward to hearing more about your experience! I'd really like to try a more modern tank. I'm curious how binaural beats would enhance the experience. They can be a good aide to meditation.

That's so cool your dad was open to that. I don't meditate in the true sense so I can't relate to the binaural beats. I'l definitely take pics and write when I go again

Yes, he's always been willing to try new things. I'm glad you're going to give it another go!

Great post! This reminds me of the sensory deprivation story of Richard Feyman. Feyman is a Nobel Prize winning Thoeoretical Physicist who really led a fun, quirky and exciting life. Thanks for the great read. Keep Steeming!!!😃

Thank you very much @alexandergomez! I'll have to look up Richard Feyman's story!

As soon as I saw the title I was brought right back to the briliant and thought-provoking movie "Altered States", featuring William Hunt, where Dr. Jessup goes deeper and deeper into the meditative states... The machine you are going into is extremely similar to the one in the movie too.

I must have been around 7 years old when I first saw that show and since then have always dreamed of trying sessions in there. thanks for the little extra nudge in that direction. glad you could enjoy it and allow yourself to move toward self-realization.

All for one and one for all!!! Namaste :)

Thanks, @eric-boucher. I need to see that film! I knew I had to try this when I saw an article on them a few years ago. My wife and I actually bought a membership to this spa in Minneapolis and get a discount on the sessions. I would do them weekly as a boost to my regular meditation practice if I could. Namaste!

Steem on soul brother, thanks for sharing and let me know what you think of this movie after you see it. It stuck with me since I first saw it and I still often think about it. It actually influenced my methods of meditation, especially around the practice of visualization. Have a wonderful day, keep your smile, and thrive on! Namaste :)

Sounds outrageous... Can't believe I haven't done this...

You need to try it @macksby. You'll be hooked. 😊

Thank you for posting your experience mate, I have been interested in experiencing time in a tank for a while now. However life being life you tend to forget some goals as more important ones come alone, cheers for giving this an internal bump up.

You're welcome! I hope you get to try it. Please let me know how you like it if you do!

this has always seemed like a great idea but I worry my claustrophobia will kick in.

It's really amazing. You can float with the door open. Many people have to do it this way during their first session.

really? well ok, then I might just try it. I could use the the winter I feel more tense
thanks for the comment and the post, I like reading about your experiences

You're welcome, @natureofbeing, I'm glad you enjoyed it! I'd be interested to hear how it goes if you try it. You won't be disappointed!

Yes! Heartily endorse these! A friend of mine had one in his basement when I lived in San Francisco. At one point I was floating twice a week for two or three hours at a go. Even though there was ample opportunity, I never combined the tank with any psychedelics, it was just so profound by itself, it seemed completely unnecessary. Truly the best meditation environment. And yeah, magnesium... It's hard to go wrong. :)

I would jump at the chance of have unlimited access to one of these. If I ever become independently wealthy I'll be floating once or twice per week. : ) I agree, there's no need to use psychedelics while you're floating, almost the same effect happens naturally with the tank.

Awesome, great to hear about your sensory deprivation tank experience! I plan on going for my second time very soon! I think the one you go to is more sound proof than what I did. Do you wear ear plugs?

Hey @ballinconscious! Thanks. The spa I went to offers circular wax earplugs that work great to seal out water. The main issue I had during my first float was the plugs lost their seal and I battled and the water in my ears was a huge distraction. I'm anxious to hear about your next float. I'm going for #6 soon!

Your welcome! Yeah those are the ones I received too. I think the chamber that you went into is more sound proof. Cause even though I had my ear plugs completely sealed, I could still sometimes hear sound. Thanks, I will definitely post about it; It most likely will be in February.

Pretty cool, man. How long you expect to keep doing that? Or will you just know when you're done?

Thanks, @thornybastard. I plan on doing this the rest of my life. I give sessions away as gifts to my family members too. My father's going to be doing his second float very soon.

Excellent account, and I second the recommendation to check out the film Altered States.

Reading your experience, I was reminded of my own from a year or two ago. I took my wife to a spa for her birthday and we discovered they had "sensory depravation rooms" which sounded intriguing as we'd both been meaning to try this for a while now.

Rather than a proper float tank, it was a little closet with a salt water baby pool and pool float. They suggested getting naked and sitting on the cushion and let the experience take you away (or some such).

The only problem was that because it was not a tank, and I was floating on the cushion in the tiny pool, It was basically spinning me around in a circle for 30+ minutes. There must have been a little current in there as well.

Adding to the atmosphere, there was a big palm tree in the room. and when I'd spin around a certain point, the leaves would brush my face. Not quite sensory deprivation. More like induced jungle fever !

My wife emerged from the room totally freaked out saying how it was too weird. I didn't mind so much but couldn't really get into an altered state. More of a fever dream.

Perhaps next time we will go for the real deal.

I'll definitely check out that film! You made me laugh out loud. 😂 What an experience that must've been for you! You guys should try the real thing. Thanks for your comment!

Magnesium is good for you yes, but like many things too much can pose problems. I've never done one of these sensory deprivation tanks, but I have some friends who had. Mixed reviews, some found it relaxing, others couldn't handle the experience and freaked out. I am curious how my experience would be .

I agree, too much of even a good thing can be detrimental. I think a person has to be ready and have a natural curiousity about this sort of thing before trying it. Like psychedelics, I think the float tank brings to the forefront whatever is in your subconscious mind.

It certainly sounds like an interesting experience to try out!

Great, be sure to read reviews of the spa before you go! I'd be interested to hear about your experience if you try it.

Interesting. So you are having this at home?

No, I probably wouldn't want to own a tank due to the cost of maintenance. The water has to be filtered through a 4 stage filter after each use. I like just being able to do my session and leave.

Oh, I see, sure :D
I don't know why I had this feeling...
Thanks for sharing, this would be some new experience for sure :D

You're welcome, @richman! Thanks for your comment!


Interesting post about a subject that I personally like and write about too: non ordinary states of consciousness. Keep on.

Thank you, @awakedev! I'm glad to hear you're writing about the same subject. More and more people need to be introduced to this sort of thing...the world would be a better place.

The thought of shutting myself away from the noise of the world for 90 minutes sounds amazing! I must give this a try someday.

You wouldn't believe what it does for your creativity! I came home yesterday and had ideas for three new writing projects. Highly recommend!

You just need to now find the time to write 3 more writing projects! I can see the potential for a sensory deprivation tank with a combined time machine.

Lol! You've got that right. You understand the struggle! I need to figure out how to write full time and then everything will be so much easier.

Why on stingy vote
Why ?
Though my article that is funny