It has been a few days since I floated in a sensory deprivation tank so just wanted to capture thoughts from the experience. This is my 5th time floating, so not a full-time thing for me at all but I have had a chance to float without mushrooms, with 0.30g, and now 1g dried.
I did not follow my protocol (6hrs fasting) on food as I had some meat for lunch (small portions) and a protein bar about 2hrs prior to consuming the 1g dried mushrooms. Also, I had only the pill form readily available this time from a batch of dried mushrooms that I blended in a bullet blender and then capsulated in 0.25g increments (per pill x/weight of pill capsule). I have found that the capsules do not time as well due to the variability of your stomach acids breaking down the pill so I would need to slightly cut the capsules so that they would break down faster but even then it was not as predictable as just the mushroom itself. Thus, I decided to open the four capsules and empty into a small cup of water for ingestion.
Once I arrived at the float facility I was about 30min from ingestion and then entered the pod roughly at the 45min mark with the dim LED blue light still lightening the pod within. I got comfortable quickly and braced myself for the onset.
As I began floating I could feel the humidity of the pod more than I remember caring about in previous floats and beads of sweat began to build on my face. I remembered to not touch my face because the salt water might get in your eyes so I just tried to get comfortable and wipe it with the cloth provided in the pod. As the water began to stabilize I was hoping I would began to see lights but that never happened. I was also a little afraid of images that might jump out of the dark but that also never happened.
So, I began to think about my intentions for wanting to float and the 1g dose to help me let go. I wanted to work on how I react to others when their emotions become extreme towards me and/or when situations demand me to act without the time I generally like to process information and plan which I then internalize as stress. I usually become more calm when others have extreme emotions but when they bombard me consistently with meaningless information (my definition) I can become too assertive or shut down for energy conservation and reflection. As I thought about this more, the humidity was starting to feel overwhelmingly constricting and more sweat was building in my face. I also was struggling staying still with moving my arms above my head and by my side, palms up and palms down, I could not seem to get still. Then I had a sudden tickle in my nose and was just like - damn it, why is this so uncomfortable? I finally stuck my finger in my nose to relieve the itching and then the salt water got in my nose and began to burn.
It was this moment that I began to make connections. The humidity, beads of sweat on your face, and the tickling sensation I had in my nose did not deserve my concern. I was trying to control the experience of getting comfortable which was now backfiring. The salt began to go down my nose to the back of my throat burning and destroying the path of cells in its wake. I used the back of my tongue to scratch my throat and more sweat began to build on my face also itching and bothersome.
Suddenly, I stopped myself! I put my arms out and let them float freely and my body began to form a "Y" shape. I also began to focus in on the pain in my throat and nose and feel it for what it was. Also, the thousand sensors that were on my face from the sweat beads began to feel like rain droplets on my face in long runs - and I just focused on breathing and being as still as possible. I don't know how much time has passed but I no longer was feeling my body and reached this stillness that was powerful and of clear mind. I began to reflect on the form of my body as the imagery of Christ on the Cross and associated that with surrender and sacrifice.
I began to think what is the difference between surrender and sacrifice? I have been practicing surrender and that has helped me in hot yoga, long runs, and higher doses so that definitely is worth practicing but what about sacrifice? I tried to think...and could not form any examples of what I do to practice sacrificing. Which then got me thinking about a podcast with Rupert Sheldrake on fasting. I wonder if not eating is a form of sacrificing yourself and should be a practice I exercise in my life..what would be the benefits? This then correlated to my intention on how I handle myself with others when I began to feel overwhelmed or stressed from extreme emotions from others maybe I should try sacrificing myself to that person as a mode of relating..what would that look like? Maybe, I need to give up the idea that self exists at all and allow those extremes to be treated like sweat on my face through surrender and sacrifice.
This went on for some time as the key lesson during the float. I never got to fly through the cosmos or see the bright lights but I am also realizing more and more that food is playing a major role in the experience. Specifically, some of my best experiences of clear mind with higher doses is when I have not eaten for up to 12 hrs. I think I would like to fast for 4-7 days maybe with psyllium husks and water only and report back, first without mushrooms and then maybe near day 7 try a 1-2g dose.
Okay, I wish this was a better experience but it was nice to have this 90min float as an opportunity to reflect on the idea of sacrifice as a need in my life.