2 week float intensive


On a whim, I decided to take on 12 floats in 14 days.

Some of you may be saying "duh, if I had a float pool I would float every day."  But it's not that easy. I've got kids, 2 businesses, a mountain bike obsession, and life happening all around and within me. I'm busy, right? Well so are most people. If I can't find the time to really get into the float experience, and share some of what I find in there, how can I expect people to come join me in it? And deeper than that, I really needed it.

What follows are some snippets of relaxation, and the thoughts engendered as I sunk deeper into the experience of floating solo in Luke-warm epsom salt solution. I share these for anecdotal interest, and to provide at least a little bit of a handle for those who have not yet floated. As a disclaimer I'd like to say that these are just my experiences, and as you will see each one is different. There is no telling what your floats will be like, and what I don't want is to color your impressions with mine. Take them with a grain of Epsom salt I guess.

Day 1
40 minutes

It had been a couple of weeks since my last float, so I got in with a little nervousness today. I don't know why I'm nervous, other than I'm probably nervous a lot of the time without realizing it. And maybe I'm aware on a subtle level that floating this much can put me in touch with parts of me I have been avoiding. Either way, I'm getting in and doing it. This morning I didn't have a lot of time available for my float, but it felt like the time stretched to fit me in. This float seemed like at least an hour.

After I relaxed a while, I knew I had to get out soon so I set my mind to grabbing a sample of the state of mind I was in. What I retrieved sounds like I was giving myself advice:

Your body is amazing.
All you have to do,
is get on board with its basic needs.
You will find meeting these needs to be immensely enjoyable,
and this relationship will be a primary source of wisdom in your life.
Come into your body.

I'm not exactly sure why I said that to myself, but it came in strong so I teased it out word by word once I got out of the tank. I could definitely enjoy more harmony in my physical being, so that's probably where it came from. I'll take it.

Off into the day, feeling pretty good about it.

Day 2
40 minutes

Day 2 of my 10 day float intensive, I find myself thinking about some core components of my life. Then I remember that I can relax.

Such a lovely sensation. Pure peaceful bliss. I feel myself in "theta state" for a minute..

Then I notice a thought. And it's shinier, clearer, more glistening than my normal thought quality. It's like I've touched down on a sea bed of moldovite, and I can't help myself -- I grab a handful to bring back up to my boat.

Quite often I take the bait like that -- I get obsessed about remembering an idea. But there's more deeper down, and by grasping at a false bottom I beset my deeper progression. I now call this "the false bottom phenomenon."

I think that my source is pure creativity, and as I get closer to the core, it gets more awesomely interesting. I usually stop short, distracted by glistening thoughts. I know that deeper there are some patterns that are creating my world. I want to witness these patterns, and maybe even proposition some changes. There are some things about my life that I do wish to change. It seems like discipline might be the way to get there.

Day 3
60 minutes

Didn't sleep so well last night, didn't take such good care of myself last night. So when I got in this morning it was all creature comfort, because my mind was pretty erratic.
My breathing was catchy, my belly and back were tight, and my thoughts shallow and redundant. The creature comfort was there for me though, and the warm easyness held me afloat. A couple of times a deep breath shifted a vertebrae into place.

Time passed quickly, and when I reached out and shut my alarm off I felt much better. So I dipped into my work preparation time to float another 15 minutes. I wanted longer.
This is in contrast to the previous 2 floats, where by 40 minutes I felt like I got something valuable and was ready to get out and start my day.
Even though today's float wasn't as enjoyable as the previous two perhaps, I appreciate the spirit of surrender. It feels like this approach could take me deeper.

Day 4
60 minutes

Had a hard time getting out of my head today.
I'm pretty sure I'm witnessing the effects of dietary habits, in that last night and the night before I ate hastily because I was looking after my son. We miss each other when I'm gone all day so I'll slam my dinner down to get more play time with him. This is a great reminder to slow down and enjoy my food.
I did get into a spell of purity in my float, and at that moment it felt like there was space being created in my fascial matrix. Felt like an emanating lengthening.

Day 5

Had to rush out after my float without logging it. And now all I remember is that familiar womb-like environment.

Day 6

Missed my alarm, no float today.

Day 7
time unknown

Today I feel I reached a causative layer deep in my waking consciousness.
I hovered there, breathing and feeling a weightless rush.
Many ideas came, and it was a strange sort of effort that kept them from taking me over.
My saving grace was a decision, which I had to keep making over and over, to let go.

I know there are much deeper levels I can get to, but for today this one is not ready to yield. I think maybe if I can sink past this lightly obsessive feeling I might be able to get perspective on it, and lessen its surface tension next time I hit it.

After being there for a nice while, I could feel myself being pulled back to the surface. So before I left, I deposited some prayer and intention there.

Now back on the surface I feel clear and creative. I see that I have a lot to do in order to create what I envision. Inner and outer work. It's somewhat ironic that the peace I seek already exists, always exists, and I could just let everything go and be at peace. But for some reason it's not time for that yet.. 

Day 8

Didn't have a float today because of early morning logistics, but what I'm noticing is that I'm careful with my diet tonight. As I saw last week, if I eat poorly or hastily, my inner environment suffers. And while floating, that's all there is. This is very valuable perspective to me.

Day 9
80 minutes

I had a pretty easy time with my mind today. Right when I hit the water I was at peace. Actually before that.
After a while I noticed tension in my hips. Longstanding, fortified tension. So I breathed in and out of my pelvic floor for a while, and noticed them relaxing a little. I added a pelvic rock technique from yoga, and I got a couple more releases.

There was a lot more to do in there, which in retrospect I kind of obsessed about. And so thought gained some real-estate in my experience. Luckily, I had more time in my float, which I used to let go again. Yes please.

Coming out of my float, my son was there smiling in the living room. We had a silly good time until I went to work, where I felt clear and relaxed all day.

Day 10
125 minutes

The progression of this float went through some layers of personal dramas that I will spare you. I will say that I had some great stretches about an hour in, and that at about 123 minutes I found myself where I wanted to be.
Before the 2 hour mark, I experienced an enhanced state of mind, alongside deep physical relaxation. But I wasn't quite there. I feel like my meditation practice can bring me to desirable states, and improve me physically, but the depth of relaxation I achieved after 2 hours of floating this morning is something I haven't felt before on dry land..

Day 11
45 minutes

I didn't want to get out. Today's float felt like a turtle-paced surrendering that could have gone on for much much longer, and been a great help to me. The general enjoyability of this float was somewhere just above creature comfort, until towards the end I started to relax into it. I had a pretty big face of change enter my world yesterday, and I can tell it threw me off center a little. I had been aware that this change may come in for quite a long time now, and my simulations of its arrival had been a lot worse inside of myself. So far I've been handling it all with grace. I recognize that a lot of this grace is because I've been floating so much. In fact, yesterday I had an experience during my float that has helped tremendously: I thought of a potential me in the future, a me that is content, creative, balanced, and present. Then I waited until I really felt that potential me, and when it arrived I asked him questions. He wouldn't answer some of the questions, and that kept steering me back to the right questions to ask, which were questions about myself and my approach.

As airy-fairy as it may sound, I feel I have a rapport with a future probability of myself. And while things probably aren't going to be all easy there is a deep sense that everything is going to be even better, on the other side of change. It's really neat to me that I had the experience with my future self the day before a seemingly large stress came into my life. I recognize that time is an illusion, and that enhancement is real.

Day 12

No float today because bed felt too good to leave at 4am on a sub-zero morning. 

Day 13
120 minutes

Today was my longest thinky float. Not my favorite, but still I enjoyed the solo time and the warmth. I also got some good stretching in there for my hips.
What kept pulling me back up to think face was some things from my outside world that needed my attention. For some reason, I couldn't let them go in my float today. Each time I tried, I couldn't get past the thought that I needed to take action. So when I got out I had a short and very clear to do list. I was even a little angry. I've learned from Eastern Philosophy that anger is a natural emotion, and is there to get things moving. I'll take it.

Day 14
time unknown

Getting in today I could feel that it was going to be a great float. I got in, stretched out a bit, and progressively let go. I'd guess this was just over a 90 minute float, in which time I went in and out of blissssful relaxation, with spurts of creative thought in between. Since getting out I have gotten a lot of work done, and am just now getting around to log my float. I feel very capable and empowered from within, and I'm going to make today great. 5 star float.

Here marks the end of my 2 week float intensive. Not surprisingly, I don't have a lot to say about it, other than I'm glad that I did it. Actually, I do have something to say, well two: I feel great, and there's work to be done.

Thanks for reading

Eye Yoga

During my float the other night I found myself playing with my eyes, looking around to see what kind of light my mind would create, when I remembered eye yoga. I immediately jumped into it, and had a very interesting time.

Eye asanas (asana essentially meaning posture, or practice) have been used traditionally to clear disease from the eyes and to tonify one's clairvoyance and concentration. My personal experience with eye asanas has been that they are strangely hard to do -- kinda like picking up things with my toes -- and leave me feeling especially awesome in my headspace.

When I practiced the movements in the pool, it was a whole new world. In the float environment the slightest tensions are made pretty plain to "see." In addition to some phantom light specks, I noticed all kinds of bodily tension when moving my eyes to extremes. And not just locally around my head and neck. My whole body became tense in strange waves, and it was hard to breathe while doing the movements. Again, like picking up odd things with my toes. But my eyes aren't nearly so distal as my toes, they are perhaps the most central and paid-attention-to parts of me. How could they be inflexible and out of shape? Could this mean I am inflexible and out of shape other, more subtle and essential ways?? If I know a thing about being human, there's an implication there at least.

Robert Abel, author of The Eyecare Revolution, is quoted in the above eye yoga link saying "The eye desperately needs darkness to recover from the constant stress of light. And the simplest way to break eye stress is to take a deep breath, cover your eyes, and relax." There's no need to cover one's eyes in the float tank (besides being redundant you'd get salt in your eyes), and it is quintessentially relaxing in there, I say floating is the perfect time to practice eye yoga.

When I come out of a float I usually feel superb no matter what I did in there. Since picking up my eye yoga practice in the pools I have also noticed some slight shifts in my perceptions, gross and subtle. I'll just say I've been enjoying it.

If you're intrigued by eye yoga I encourage you to give it a try, in or out of the tank.

Revelatory Relaxation

Tonight's float started off like many before it; after settling in to the surrounds, my mind goes round for a while. Starting with the mundane, I then move into a stronger frame of mind, where I gain perspective on some earlier ideas about the float spa, about my family and my wholistic health.. about central components of my life.

After entertaining these ideas a while, I notice a feeling in my head, or sometimes in my chest: each time I actively think I can feel it! It feels like tension. And it is a multi-faceted dis-effort to relax that tension. Almost as if thinking were my natural state. Almost. But it's not, it's more of a tendency. A deep tendency of tension.

Through my meditation practice, and more recently my float practice (which is the same thing to me, only different) I have come to believe in the value of letting go. No matter what the thought is, it is is not as important as I think it is. What is important is the health of the ground fabric of thought. And that ground fabric revels in deep relaxation.

So tonight, as usual in my practice, I found myself at that doorway of letting go. To which tonight I said yes. And continued saying yes until eventually I found myself in the state of being that I got wet and salty for.

I summoned the tension there to write a short something to share with you, because this is my work. The following words came from that effort. And while they can't get you there on their own, they're what I have to share. To borrow a quote I've loved so long I can't remember who said it: "Doors are but an entrance, doors carved deep in cold clay."

As my sense of the outer world diminishes, my sense of Self grows; the sense that originates ambiently in-side, and emanates towards the outer.

My own physicality seems an intermediary between the two worlds; a sample of both, and a reminder of the sacred strength and fragility of my physical existence. 

In this state, I see the balance of two worlds as liquid streams meeting midair. Where before the outer was penetrating past, infringing on the inner, there is now a mid-way meeting. The streams of dark and light, inner and outer, yin and yang meet, and their splatter sprays and coalesces toroidally, creating me.


A short while before I took that sample I heard, through the water, my son talking somewhere upstairs. I had been in for about two hours I gathered, and I wanted to go love him up. So I sat up, stepped out, and went witness this creative flux "out there."