My Experience in a Sensory Deprivation Tank

It is exactly what it sounds like.

I had been interested in floating in a Sensory Deprivation Tank ever since I heard about them a few years ago.

You climb naked into a soundproof pod that is filled with 10 inches of water which is saturated to the max with Magnesium Sulfate, also know as Epsom Salt, which is one of my favorite healing minerals (click here to read about how much I love the stuff), and then you turn off the light and float in total darkness for an hour with absolutely no distractions.

Meditation has always been a part of my life. Both my parents and the religion I grew up in taught me how to do it as a way to get closer to God, and I’ve continued to practice long after leaving them behind.

And what better place to meditate than floating in ether with your senses on mute.

I decided to go to a place called Lift Floats in Caroll Gardens, Brooklyn. They seemed to take what they did very seriously, and I would have rather had a post-float trek home through Brooklyn than in the more hectic atmosphere of Manhattan.

The entrance isn’t very Zen-like, but we are definitely in Brooklyn.

Doing a float isn’t cheap, this place had a 79$ deal for first timers, and most other places had a minimum price of 100$.

The equipment and surroundings were top-notch and the room with my pod in it was completely devoid of light and sound once the door was shut and lights were off.

I showered first, peed down the drain, and then climbed in to the pod.

The water was exactly at body temperature so it just felt like I was sinking into a neutral sort of goo.

I closed the lid, turned off the light and music and laid out suspended in total darkness and silence.

The solution is so concentrated with salt that you are completely buoyant, there is no need to worry about drowning if you fall asleep because I guarantee you have never been in water like this before.

Four years ago I went swimming in Mono Lake in California–one of the saltiest bodies of water on the planet–and it was nothing compared to the way I floated in the tank.

The first thing I felt was a severe sting on my back. There was a scratch left behind from the last girl I fucked and the salt made its way in and caused my neurons to fire for a minute.

My mind was alert during the first few minutes and I was really into the feel of the water. I rubbed my hands all over my body and it felt like I was covered in slime.

Like a fish with a protective layer of mucous secreting out of its body, I was slick. It was fascinating.

While I was enthralled with touching myself, I moved my hands up over my face and through my hair.

That was stupid.

Some water got into my eyes and holy fuck did that wake me up.

I struggled to find the light switch, opened up the pod and grabbed a towel to get the demon fluid out of my burning eyes.

After settling back in and calming down in the dark once again, I ignored the temptation to feel my skin and let my mind go.

At first the sensation of pure flotation took over and I felt like I was alone in outer space. In those moments it would have been spectacular if there were little starlights on the lid of the pod because the feeling of weightlessness was so overwhelming.

I was expecting to see visuals and patterns emerge since the last time I was in total darkness, in a deep cave in Kentucky, I started seeing forms in the air, similar to my visions while laid out on top of a temple in Calakmul.

Ever since ayahuasca, I see these patterns in certain parts of the world.

But the energy in the city air wasn’t conducive to creating forms, and only small, weak, distant patterns would appear.

As I floated through the Universe, my sense of self shrank to a pinhead, and then I blew out of it like the Big Bang and considered my place in the world.

Many people are drawn to me and my writing because I bring a sense of wonder about the world that most lose as they age.

I didn’t even realize that was the case until feedback from my books started coming in. Having others critique and give reactions to your work can be very useful in figuring out where your talents lie.

With this at the forefront of my mind, vivid memories from childhood sprung up from deep in my brain.

I saw myself as a precocious little kid, spending most of his time outside and enthralled with Nature.

My family was very poor when I was growing up, and we frequently moved around to different trailer parks.

Cable TV wasn’t allowed in the house, and this was before personal computers, so I was out in the forest occupying myself by trying to capture every animal that lived there.

This was back when everything I saw was new and fresh, each new bug I found was like finding a treasure, and the smell of the woods after a rain permeated my nose.

I wasn’t in the Tank anymore, the memories became so real, I was 8 years old and the only thoughts were ‘why and how?’.

I have no idea how long this lasted, time wasn’t a consideration in the Tank, and it suddenly shifted to my mid 20s when I found myself disillusioned and depressed with life.

And then the connection was made instantly. The reason I was such a mess in my 20s was because I had lost the sense of wonder that was such an integral part of my personality.

A major reason it was lost was because the social anxiety I was battling had crippled my ability to communicate with others, and as a result, my sex life was no where close to where it needed to be.

Then along came Game, and changed everything.

With my sex-life where it needed to be, and living life with a purpose, the sense of wonder reclaimed its rightful place in my psyche and I was able to return to the childlike state of viewing the world with curiosity. And this time with the added benefit of wisdom and insight.

I felt good about myself.

Which is something I’ve always had trouble doing (thats what happens when you grow up in a cult-like religion who blames normal boy behavior and desires on sin and the devil).

With the glow of self-esteem surrounding me, I was able to let myself go even more, and it was very similar to the last time I did acid in the desert.

When you let yourself go on acid, the visuals start to take over and you start melting into the landscape.

In the Tank, there were no visuals, but I melted into the water so completely that it felt like I had no more body.

I was dissolved and my mind was free, and you know what was there?

Nothing.

It was just complete blackness and no feeling, how I imagine death would be.

I have no idea how long this lasted because time was not a part of my world anymore, and when I blinked I snapped myself out of the trance and started breathing hard.

I was alive again and incredibly happy.

The rest of the time was spent meditating deeply on how lucky I was to be alive and able to experience so much that the world has to offer.

I laid there basking in the warmth of contentment.

A soft voice came on, letting me know that the light was about to turn on again and the session was over.

I emerged from the pod like an alien coming back to his home planet after a long journey.

And there was a funny sensation in my balls. It was like they were my new center of gravity and weighed 10 pounds. I smiled and thought ‘thats how it should be’.

The second shower was glorious in the warm water and I got dressed in a daze.

I made some tea in the lounge and sat on the couch while I took notes about the float.

They provide a nice selection of toys to play with after your session.

On the subway ride home, I was so out of my head that it seemed like everyone on the train was connected to part of the same web of life and all were struggling to find happiness.

A girl got on the train and sat next to me. She was reading a book by Paulo Coelho and when I turned my eyes to meet hers, she immediately made contact.

I asked her if the book was any good, I had read the Alchemist, but not that one, and she said it was great, it was something about finding your own personal truth.

I smiled and told her that I had experienced that a few minutes ago in a Sensory Deprivation Tank.

Her pretty face lit up with energy and she asked how it was.

I gave her the Cliffs Notes of what I wrote above.

I was transferring trains, and before I left I was sure to get her phone number and we planned see eachother over the weekend.

By 10pm I was falling asleep at my desk and slept like a stone as soon as my head hit the pillow. It was the most restful sleep I’ve had in a very long time and when I woke in the morning, I was extremely fresh.

I headed to a Cafe to have coffee, work, and write this up, and as I settled in my seat, I noticed a cute blonde girl working on a laptop across from me.

I just stared at her with the most relaxed face I’ve ever had and when she looked up, I said “I just got out of a Sensory Deprivation Tank”. She started laughing at me and I told her to just look at me, I haven’t been this relaxed in years.

That interaction didn’t go very far, but I definitely plan on dropping this story many, many times to girls as long as it is fresh in my memory.

I’ve had a lot of practice with meditation and psychonautics, so the Sensory Deprivation Tank was very effective and I immediately took to it.

If you are interested, I would highly recommend looking into it and finding a quality one in your area.

The only thing that is holding me back from being a regular is the price. I’ll probably request a pass for a Birthday gift if anyone asks.

And next time, a handful of mushrooms might come along in order to enhance the trip.

About Goldmund

Goldmund grew up a wild-child and was constantly being disciplined. Using ancient rituals and game, he broke free from the shackles of his mind and the norms of this backwards society. He frequents bars in Brooklyn, mountains in Mexico, and retreats to the desert. His passions are nature and women.

8 comments on “My Experience in a Sensory Deprivation Tank

  1. Thanks Goldmund…..I’d love to give it a try…. always reminds me of the episode of the Simpsons when Homer and Lisa went for a session in the deprivation tanks….. funny……

  2. Interesting and a good read. I did it years ago – in the leisure centre of a posh hotel in Sydney. I vividly remember how it stung on any nicks or scratches. I was given Vaseline to put over them but it isn’t the scratches you know about that get you! It was so buoyant I felt like I was lying on top of the liquid rather than in it. I felt generally relaxed, but I didn’t gain any sensation of transcendence or otherness. I think that in getting out of the tank I may have managed to get some of the liquid in my mouth, and felt quite unwell for a couple of hours afterwards. On balance not for me – if you are really looking for transcendence, take a dose of a hallucinogen and hold on to your hat!

    • I’ve had plenty of experience with hallucinogens and respect them a lot.

      The Tank was extra enjoyable because there was no need for drugs. It was all me.

      I’m still feeling good 36 hours later…and still talking to random girls at restaurants and on the train about it…and every one loves it;)

    • Its incredible how those fractals are Universal to everyone who gets the chance to tap in.

      Doesn’t matter if you are in the Amazon rainforest or an igloo in the Arctic, the same energy is still in the air.

  3. Thanks for sharing your experience, bro. I floated in the Dead Sea when I was in Israel a few years ago, and it was an amazing experience. A bit similar to yours, minus the total isolation. The buoyancy feeling was very surreal.

    After I got out, I rubbed the mud on my skin, and sat for a while. The healing properties are real, but unlike the crap they sell you at the malls here in the states. I rinsed off, then I went into the shower with soap and felt so rejuvenated. Definitely brought me a lot of spiritual, mental and emotional clarity. Cheers!

    • That sounds fantastic.

      I think the sensation could be recreated by floating in calm salt water at night. I’ve had some serious epiphanies while soaking in the sea before and try to do it as much as possible.

      The fractal visions come much easier in a Natural setting as well.

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