st_emma: (Default)
( Sep. 9th, 2015 05:59 pm)
Today's float was more somatic, still. I kept hallucinating touch – someone touching my foot or my hand. It wasn't the tank, since I did an impressive job of centering myself and staying centered, for the most part.

I processed a lot of emotions around my mom's illness and death. There was some catharsis, although mercifully I didn't start crying.

Time did not fold in on itself today. If anything, it expanded. I felt like I was in there for about three hours, instead of 90 minutes.

I had the usual swirling colours, and the universe expanding around and through me. And I had a few other interesting experiences as well. I had a strong impression of a tree, of being a tree, of feeling my bark and seeing my bark and leaves from the inside out.

And I was both in an egg, and the egg itself. The capsule dissolved into a radiant shell of white, lit from within, and I could hear my heart beat and see it reflected in the pulse of the egg. Then I became the shell itself, as well as the contents, as my body thrummed in response to the beat of my heart.

So, yeah. Trippy.

I drank some tea after, and did some colouring on one of the sheets they provide.

On my way home, Boston drivers did their level best to harsh my mellow by acting like complete ninnyhammers. But nothing fazed me. That's what I love best about floating – it temporarily renders me calm and unfazeable.

Well, that and it's trippy.
st_emma: (Default)
( Jul. 26th, 2015 11:58 am)
After both float sessions, I've noticed a dramatic increase in the vividness, intricacy, and strangeness of my dreams. I am able to remember them in much greater detail.

Even the ones I don't remember don't disappear entirely. Several days after my first float, I was occasionally struck by little fragments of memory, flashes of events that I can't remember whether I witnessed personally, saw in a movie, or dreamed. There was never enough of the memory fragment to enable me to determine where it came from, merely a haunting wisp of something I'd forgotten that was right on the tip of my ability to remember.

It was a little disorienting when it started happening. It felt almost like an odd reality slip, or recalling memories that were never mine in the first place. After several days of this happening, I realized where it was coming from. They weren't memories; I was being haunted by the ghosts of forgotten dreams.

Of all the things I expected to get from floating, that one never even occurred to me.
st_emma: (Default)
( Jul. 25th, 2015 05:27 pm)
Very different from the first. 90 minutes this time. I was much more successful at centering myself in the tank, floating and then holding that position. It was easier for me to relax. Not so much of a struggle.

Weird time distortion. I had been floating for about 40 minutes, it felt like, when the music began playing, signalling the end of my time. I did not think that could possibly be right. It was right.

This was a much more somatic experience. I could feel my pulse emanating in my body. My hallucination today was the universe. All of it. Open and expanding in front of me. An infinity of stars. It was a part of me and apart from me. Surrounding me. Buoying me up. Nurturing me.

It was also a much-needed stripping away of stress and heartache.

The attendant says that the reason their beginner's package is three floats is because the first three can be completely different. I wonder what my next one will be like.
st_emma: (Default)
( Jul. 7th, 2015 03:19 pm)
First Float – 60 min @ Float

A slightly cool shower is best, so the tank feels slightly warm when you enter. There is no need to worry about knowing when your time is up, because music plays. Apparently if you fall asleep, the gentle music gives way to Coldplay.

I chose 60 minutes for my first float because I wasn't sure I was up for 90. In retrospect, this was a mistake. I was just starting to really get the hang of it when my time was up. Next time just do 90s or longer. And yes, there will be a next time.

The tank did not feel claustrophobic at all. Once the door was closed and I settled myself in the middle of the tank, it felt like an infinity of space opened up inside the tank. This seemed to expand even more as I settled in and started to really relax.

There is a real resistance to relaxing, at least in my body. I switched between chanting sa ta na ma and the names of deity until I could get my brain into chill-out mode. That's when the visual hallucinations started. Nothing too insane, just swirling purple galaxies – a vibrant, almost unnatural colour. Interesting and beautiful and weirdly soothing.

The consciousness does not want to leave the body. I was very frequently aware that I was a body, floating in a tank, supported by water. But even then, there was a calm, peaceful, almost uterine feeling about it. Like floating in the womb of the cosmic mother.

There were a couple of moments where the borders of my body seriously dissolved and I could reach beyond the body for something else. My yoga experience was helpful with that, I think, because I did manage to achieve a kind of consciousness escape velocity, if only for a very brief moment of time.

When the music began to play, I left the chamber, showered, and padded down the hall to the chill-out lounge. They have some books on floating. About how hard it is to leave the body behind, cross the threshold and leap into pure consciousness. But even if I can't do that, the relaxation factor alone is enough. The last week of tension, fear and anxiety dissolved in a tub full of salt water.

I was so dreamy and calm when I left the facility. I am so dreamy and calm writing this down nearly an hour later. Colours are more colourful, all my senses are more vivid. The wind was pushing the clouds around in the sky, and the leaves were swaying, and everything was very sensual.

I want to do this again. For longer, next time. I want to see where this journey takes me.


Next day notes: The quality of sleep was improved, I think, because I only got about four hours of it and felt moderately refreshed. What's more interesting is that while I was asleep, all of the angles of a vexing situation unfolded for me, enabling me to write them down in neat bullet-points for analysis. Instead of, you know, flailing around the edges of being able to identify them. That's different.
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