Second Float

This is a follow-up post to Thoughts After my First Float.  In that post, I had just gone to Rochester’s BodyMind Float Center. That first experience was promising, and I looked forward to another go.

This time through was… just a warm bath in the dark.

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2/5 stars.

 

I suppose I should say more.  On the other hand, the reason I’ve given a lower rating is that there really wasn’t anything more to say.

One thing that I looked forward to was further investigation of the feeling that some people report — that they start to lose the perception of where their body ends and where space begins. This feeling appears to be a fairly major selling point, as the model of tank employed at the center is a Samadhi tank. (Exactly what flavor of Samadhi, though, is hard to tell — it seems to be something derived from the Vedic-based traditions. Some types of yoga occasionally come up, in the pursuit of a pure state of Atma (human soul), freed from the confines of the body. On the other hand, Buddhist traditions are also sometimes invoked, even though the mind and body are inseparable in Buddhist scripture. Sooo… take with a grain of salt. (Ha!))

In any case, never even got close to this feeling. If anything, my sense of body was stronger. It made me wonder about the people who claim to lose the distinction — maybe they have poor proprioceptive sense? I’m not sure.

The one sensation that I did have, and that was strong enough that it has practically changed my memory of the event, was that I could still see my body. Now, of course, I could not see my body. I want to be clear here. The lights were off in the room this time, and the tank itself also is built to be largely light-blocking. But when I touched my own torso, it was accompanied with sensations of being able to visually make out the form of it. Or… perhaps a shadow of the form. I commented on this last post, and I think my insights are basically correct — this has to do with stored representations of the body that are re-activated through haptic feedback, producing what is, in most senses of the word, a visual sensation. That said, it was strong enough that I had to think hard just now as to whether the lights were actually off.

But that’s about all.  And honestly, the experience of the above phenomenon was not all that fascinating.  It felt very… mundane. Like looking around a familiar room that has a night-light on.

I don’t know. Maybe I was asking too much.  Looking for revelation in the fringes.  Did I really think there was a mystical experience awaiting in the form of a public bathtub?

In any regard. It was a fine, pleasant soak, but that’s about where the experience ended. A nice warm bath at home with the lights out would probably have done about as well, and then I could have splurged and spent the money on a nice bottle of Louis Roederer Blanc de Blancs.  Split a bottle over new years with a good friend.  Now that experience was

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5/5 stars.

Damn fine bottle.  Mmm.  Damn fine.

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