[Float Tank] Ask Yourself: Why?

I don’t meditate like most people. Traditional practice asks that you should empty your mind, clear your thoughts, and calmly sit. While I’ve had some success with this method for reaching thought equilibrium, I’ve had more success in float tanks (or when I have downtime) letting the errant thoughts freely roam, with the most success occurring after going in with challenging questions that need time to develop, like a photo of an unclaimed optimal future.

“I go in there and I ask myself why. Why do I feel this why? Why is this a good choice? Why does this make me feel bad? Why do I want to go in this direction? [1]” I also ask the converse question – so what?! – after first fully acquainting myself with the epsom salt and fully appreciating the ability to experience sensory deprivation.

That gratitude is important because the answers aren’t always comfortable.

“All things change in a dynamic environment. Your effort to remain what you are is what limits you.[2]” If there’s something that’s challenging you in your life, prompting you to wonder why it’s occurring, the answer usually isn’t easy. There may be personal shortfalls you have to accept and you may need to get more than just a little uncomfortable.

Why? Why can’t it be easy?

I think that’s why most people go through life without ambition. It’s simply easier to not deal with stresses than to properly face them. Sometimes, it means telling someone that you really don’t want to do something, or even worse. Now I’m not a bastion of humanity in this regard. I’ve been a coward in many areas where I should have done something.

I’m not always the one to make the first approach.

However, embarrassing myself time and time again, it’s not as terrible now. It’s still awkward each time and there is no easy way to approach an end. When you build something with someone or a group, only to see that tearing it down is the only route that will lead to personal freedom and your development, you naturally want to be nice.

I find solace in the outcome.

If the why is something that I must fight to overcome, then in that moment, I don’t allow things to emotionally register. I will repeat “I understand” as I guide the conversation along to where it needs to go. I will not fear the repercussions, because during that float and in the time after, I will have fully envisioned what must happen. If it must happen.

If it does not need to happen, then I guide the future along mutually.

Maybe it’s just a casual clarification on boundaries? That can go a long ways. You’ve just got to be willing to accept their why in exchange. Maybe you were actually the bully in this scenario? Especially if they’re willing to have that conversation with you, you can learn more about yourself, and perhaps attain that more desirable optimal future.

You’ve just gotta ask the whys.

Sources: None

Quotes: [1] My thoughts before a float. [2] Puppet Master from Ghost in the Shell.

Inspirations: My own meditation technique.

Related: Float Tank essays.

Photo: The float tank.

My big goal is to write. My important goal is to write "The Story." My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame a fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. Let's strive to be better everyday. (Avatar)