I finally did it. I have wanted to do it for a long time, and maybe it's the new branding of "float therapy," as opposed to "sensory deprivation," that did it. But I finally did my first float. Two, actually, and they were fairly profound.
Not Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds profound, but still very profound.
First of all, coming into the New Wave Float Therapy facility, I was greeted by a very pleasant woman and the space was immaculate and clean. She explained how to shower, avoiding conditioner and how the pod and left me to my first sense depriving experience.
It took me 30-45 minutes to fully relax. The muscles that hold up the body in gravity just did not want to give in. Finally I was able to keep my body relaxed and focus on breathing and reached a point of being able to stay still without breathing. Everything was very still. Except my heart. It was pounding so loud it seemed, and then I noticed that indeed the entire pod was reverberating my heartbeat. Then I though about the butterfly effect, and I realized that mere existence brings a profound and infinite set of cause and effect relationships that I am not sure could ever be quantified.
I like this idea. I don't know why. But it makes me feel as though everything matters, and that gives me a good frame.
Amazingly, I found myself starting where I left off! I was able to relax much more quickly and went straight through the heartbeat experience described above to what felt like dissipation. Touching everything at once. Like my arms and legs were connected to the entire universe in a beautiful way. I know this to be intellectually true, but to experience it was a different thing entirely. I did notice that my mind was louder in this one and that my ongoing narrative wanted to talk more, where in the first one I was in a much more meditative noticing state. I am interested to see how the next two go!