Estelle: Float #1

Whoa.  What a great experience!  I just finished my first float and it was lovely.  I was pleasantly surprised with how quickly my muscles relaxed in the buoyancy of the water.  Time is insignificant in there but it seemed I felt a full body release within just five minutes, and I smiled.  Being cut off from sight and sound made me acutely aware of my other senses, smell and feel.  There is little smell in there so feelings were very heightened and I allowed myself to explore the tank with my hands and even with my feet sometimes.  Because it was my first float and I wanted to make sure I could relax into it.  For me, this meant knowing where my boundaries were so I could then forget about them.  I recently had the wonderful opportunity to sleep in the forest for several hours and I was wondering how this experience would compare.  I loved how contrasting the experience was.  In the forest, in Nature, I was incredibly stimulated, even though I was relaxed.  In the tank, there is no sensory stimulus, except for the body awareness of course, but that goes away after some time and I imagine as one becomes more familiar with the sensation.  I enjoyed this juxtoposition and was mindful of it for some time while I was in there.  I experiemented with different hand positions (at the suggestion of the very helpful staff) noticing how my body position changed slightly.  I loved floating with my arms outstretched over my head.  When there is gravity, this is not a comfortable position to lie in for too long because it stresses the shoulder joints.  But, in the buoyant water, it was incredibly comfortable and I loved the sensation of flying through space even though I was barely moving.  At one point, and this is where time became completely irrelevant, I did become incredibly still, and all I could feel was the way my heartbeat moved the water underneath me.  I could feel the water moving on my back to the rhythm of my heart, and smiled…  I loved the sense of connectedness to my self and at the same time the feeling of being very small and insignificant – the same feeling I’ve had when at the edge of vastness – the ocean, large landscapes of the Earth that have existed long before humans.  There is a connectedness to the Universe feeling in that space.  I loved the sensation of not knowing whether my eyes were open or closed, and then at some point I thought my eyes had adjusted to the dark, but it was only my mind’s eye producing a picture of the ceiling.  It looked like I was in a space ship, or something; I could see a pattern on the ceiling, but there is no pattern on the ceiling in the tank.  And it seemed there was a luminescence coming from beneath me, or around me.  This also made me smile.  Once I realized it was something my mind was producing it slipped away and became dark again and I was flying through vast areas of space.  The luminescence came and went for the rest of my float.  I really enjoyed that.  I slipped in and out of dreams, it seemed, but I don’t know if I ever really slept. Difficult to say with the obliviousness of time.  I’m looking forward to my subsequent floats…

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