The Floatation Tank: Microwave Meditation for Busy Creatives
If you’re a busy creative, working under pressure, with a mind addled by smartphones and social media, floating is a great way to find the creative downtime that is essential to great work
The float itself is a wonderful experience, but to me the after-effect is at least as important. Whenever I emerge from the tank and sink into a chair in the chillout space, I am in a completely different state of mind than when I arrived. The chatter in my mind has died down. I see and hear things around me very clearly. I have no urge to touch my iPhone. I often sit there for half an hour or more, without reading or talking, in no hurry to leave.
I’ve experienced a similar state of mind after the first couple of days of a silent meditation retreat. But the effect is much more dramatic, as I’ve only spent an hour in the tank. Which is why I call it microwave meditation.
Can you float your way to creativity?
Did you hear the one about the microwave bed? Eight hours’ sleep in ten minutes!
The nearest thing I’ve found to the microwave bed is a flotation tank. After relaxing for an hour in darkness, silence and what feels like zero gravity, it feels like I’ve been ‘away’ for much, much longer.
The Power of Shutting Down Your Senses: How to Boost Your Creativity and Have a Clear Mind
Getting rid of all sensory input allows the ‘constantly-make-sure-you’re-not-dying’ part of your brain to chill out for a second, allowing the creative, relaxed part of your brain to come out and play.
Being inside the flotation tank takes your brain from highly conscious alpha and beta waves to solid theta waves—the kind you would normally have right before falling asleep and just after waking up. Normally we only experience these theta waves for a few minutes, but having extended theta periods helps us to visualize better, often giving us vivid mental images.