Floating

"A man does not really begin to be alive until he has lost himself, until he has released the anxious grasp which he normally holds upon his life, his property, his reputation and position." - Alan Watts

---

There must be a million ways to meditate. You can find book after book of spiritual leaders touting their methods. I personally believe that there is no right way to meditate. Some ways may be better than others, but ultimately it's about finding what works best for you.

A friend once recommended that I try out sensory deprivation tanks. He kept going on and on about their benefits like some kind of fanatic. My inherent skepticism told me that he was overstating this experience. What is it about simply floating in water that is so enlightening? My memories of floating mainly consist of chlorine-filled summers, with red sun burns and loud kids running around our local pool.

But once you remove those external distractions and keep the floating, it's actually a wonderful experience. 

As a general disclaimer: your mileage may vary. In fact, the first 20 minutes of my hour long float session were rather uncomfortable. I felt the strong sting of salt in my eyes, and struggled to rest my head comfortably on the flimsy float ring they provided. But when I learned to just relax and let go, the rest of the hour went by in a blissful blur.

Emerging from the float pod, I felt like a new person. It sounds ridiculous. It sounds too good to be true. But if felt great.

For the rest of the day, I noticed that I was less reactive to everything around me. Before, small interactions could trigger a strong emotional response from me. Everything from road rage to loud neighbors no longer to have quite a strong hold on me. 

The stress of my internal monologue was turned down. I had my monkey mind under control. Even a few days later, I feel calm and relaxed.

So I highly recommend that you try floating. It may seem silly and expensive, but it could do wonders for your psyche. As mindfulness continues to trend in our culture, I think floating will emerge as the next big thing.