What is an Floatation tank, and what are you supposed to do in one? Team Renaissance return to Floatworks, St George Wharf for our 4th visit. My first visit dates back to 2013 and was a very relaxing and pleasant experience. However, I have now been meditating for over 3 years and my goal this time was to focus on the breath and see if I could repeat my daily 20 minute practice for a full hour in the confines of an Isolation tank.
The Isolation tank, or floatation tank, or the Sensory deprivation tank, is a fantastic tool to create an environment without distraction that you cannot find anywhere else in the world. The water level is about knee high and is set to body temperature so that after 10 mins, you lose the sense of where your skin ends and where the water begins. The water is full of about 1000 lbs of Epson salts, allowing the body to float. There is no sound, no light, no smell - no distractions. Imagine how you would feel for an hour in these conditions.
For many people, being alone with their thoughts is the last thing they would want to do. We have so many distractions in our daily experience that we almost do not realise the madness of the continuous stream of thoughts that run wild in our monkey brain. The purpose of this float, was to pay special attention to my thoughts.
We have on average 60 thousand thoughts a day. Shocking. Furthermore, we do not realise that spending all day in non stop thought is extremely bad for you health, both mental and physical. You can search the benefits of meditation online and you will come across an infinite number of articles, videos, research papers that will confirm this.
As opposed to simply 'relaxing' in the floatation tank, I had a specific exercise to complete. A very short exercise that is as profound as it is simple:
1) Notice a thought as a thought
2) breath and bring the attention back to your anchor.
Easy? Not quite - My first aha moment in meditation was when i was first able to see a thought like a picture on a screen. This separation helps so much with the exercise. Every time that I notice a thought on my imaginary screen, I take a breath... and the thought goes away. This 2 step practice has changed my life completely and I practice every morning for 15 mins. Peace and relaxation are a small benefit to the panacea of benefits that can be reached through meditation, but thats for another time. (yep, panacea)
I first found about the tanks on Joe Rogan's podcast and have to credit him for this great journey. For all this and more, click here to get access to the podcasts.