Meditation Forum

Vipassana Meditation Forum => Meditation, Practice And The Path => Topic started by: behappy123 on May 28, 2017, 08:15:47 AM

Title: Thoughts on sensory deprivation
Post by: behappy123 on May 28, 2017, 08:15:47 AM
Has anyone tried a sensory deprivation chamber?  I'm curious to know your thoughts, impact with vipassana meditation and if you would do it again or stay away from it?
Title: Re: Thoughts on sensory deprivation
Post by: Matthew on May 28, 2017, 03:40:07 PM
Hi behappy,

I have experience of this using "floatation tanks" filled with water and high density Epsom salts that make the water heavier than the person. The tank was warm, dark (but with the option of lights) and silent (but with the option of playing your own music). I used to go regularly as part of my physical and emotional well-being routine and spend 40 minutes to an hour in the dark and silent tank.

I found this to be an excellent enhancement to my physical well-being as it meant my weight was borne entirely by the water. My spine would lengthen as I relaxed. I also found it to be an enhancement to practice as it met the Buddha's instruction to take oneself to a "secluded place"!

I would not recommend it (without some caution) for persons who suffer high anxiety or other mental distress. At first it can seem very strange to be in a place where the only thing you can hear is your own mind and breathing, and the only thing to be felt is the breathing and the warm water supporting the body.

After a short while I became used to this and was able to immerse fully into awareness of the processes of self arising and falling. In this way I think it can give a taste of some of the deeper meditation experiences that can be found with practice on the cushion. It is no replacement for the hard work of going beyond oneself in practice, yet it can be a taste of such experience.

Kindly,

Matthew
Title: Re: Thoughts on sensory deprivation
Post by: Middleway on June 03, 2017, 10:35:49 PM
After seeing this post, I tried one float session. I found the experience very similar to the one on the cushion. The isolation tank does the sensory deprivation versus sense withdrawal on the cushion. The good news is cushion is free. I think it would be useful for beginners who do not yet have developed concentration. The isolation tank does that for them. It is easier to concentrate on the breath in the tank without other sensory inputs. I will not repeat the tank.
Title: Re: Thoughts on sensory deprivation
Post by: LoneWolf on June 09, 2017, 03:37:22 AM
Hi Middleway,

I've done this about 10 times, the place I used to go to offered a pretty good deal if you buy a package of floats. For me, it didn't do too much, but it was great for my posture. It was similar to that feeling before you fall asleep. I have heard of people having some very strong experiences, so I guess it depends on the individual like many things.

Various times I tried to meditate in the tank, but I could only hear the sound of my breath, so I focused on that. It took longer to feel sensations on the body with sensitivity.

Glad you tried it out!

Mathew--also interesting to read your experience, although I don't think I had quite as strong experiences as you.