My first sensory deprivation experience

Sep 12th, 2011 by Budo Jake

Quiet please.

The moment I lied down a big smile came over me. I was totally buoyant lying in 10 inches of water inside a steel isolation tank in Venice, California. Even though my eyes were open it was pitch black so I couldn’t see anything. At first I felt like I was spinning around, like an astronaut in space. I couldn’t tell where the air ended and the water began because the temperature was identical. Is this how it feels to be in the womb?

Just before entry.

800lbs of Epsom salt dissolved in the water kept me floating. With every muscle relaxed it was like I was floating in the Dead Sea without a care in the world. With no bodily senses to distract me I was left to observe my mind. Observing the thoughts as they came one by one. At some point I figured I should check the time so I opened the door and to my amazement nearly 2 hours had already passed! I quickly hopped out and showered to make the 2 hour deadline.

The entry

Should you try your own isolation tank experience? Yes, I think you should. Without receiving any messages from your body you are left alone – just you and your mind. From someone who has regularly meditated for over 15 years, an isolation tank is not going to become a major part of my training. You can get the same experience from zazen (seated meditation). Do zazen long enough and your body sense drops away and again you are left with your inescapable partner – your mind. The isolation tank however will give you this experience immediately. Will you enjoy an isolation tank experience? I suppose that depends on your mind. Try it and get to know yourself.

View from the entry looking back.

  • BoodistDoug

    I’ve meditated TM for 15 years and floatation is something else – you have to do it more than the once to fully appreciate what it’s all about….. but trust me you can go deeper and further in a floatation tank.

  • Salami

    Awesome Jake! I go on a regular basis! Float On in Portland.In negotiations to put one in 10th Planet Portland.

  • Jay J Pages

    What if you have issues with claustrophobia?

  • Saungkh

    Man I thought I was one of the few people in the world that does Za Zen and has utilized a sensory deprivation chamber in attempt to get into a much deeper meditative state. Thanks for posting Budo Jake.

  • Aesopian

    I was just talking with a teammate about isolation tanks and joking genetic devolution a la Altered States. How much did it cost per hour?

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