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on watching the breath

It amazes me that I cannot sit still and watch my breath without being carried off into thought.

Is this simple Buddhist practice showing me what I’m really made of? That because I cant control my thinking, any thinking really is just robotic response mechanisms?

Perhaps I’m taking the wrong viewpoint. Who said there is a me, a breath, and a visual thing to focus on. maybe floating starts way beyond this. Beyond the physical assumptions of that breath practice.

What I find in the tank is constant floating of thought – no ability to hold a thought train. What I find in shamatha meditation (the breath thing) is that I fixate on certain thoughts which aggravate or excite me.

So one practice draws me into a bee’s hive of attraction or repulsion if I am not aware. The other keeps thoughts surfacing and falling away if I am not aware…. hmm..

Now, if you can have a thought and not react to it, then that means that you have weakened its effect on you.  So maybe floating is dropping the charge in my thought bank automatically. While I have to work at it in shamatha?

the Avatar story

In an interview given in 1988 to the Star Gazette, an American newspaper, Palmer says he was the victim of an “extortion campaign” at the same time promising to make refunds, with no obligation, as a “gesture of kindness.”

He then set out “to explore many systems of beliefs, the psychedelic movement, Eastern philosophies, the hippie movement, Zen, modern psychology….” It was at this time he began to develop a particular technique: “I create my experience according to what I believe.” Float tankTo arrive to this end, he replaced the table of his dining room with a 500 kg sensory deprivation tank. He remained inside over an eight week period in a state of weightlessness, thanks to an Epsom salt solution dissolved in water. “It was at this time,” he states it in his book “Living Deliberately, “that the Avatar lessons appeared. I observed my consciousness become defined, starting from the void, advancing and ebbing like the tide, in this non-space ocean of inexpressible source consciousness. From this point of view, one can perceive or apprehend (i.e. to perceive without instructions) a thought form. It is something!” Before concluding: “relativity is the ultimate truth! If Albert Einstein had had a tank, he would have understood that much earlier.”

What is a floatation tank?

Here is a cutaway view of a floatation tank: It contains 1000 pounds of Epsom salt in water… so you float effortlessly. It is warmed to skin temperature. And it is sound light-proof. So you are free of stimulus… an easy automatic way to “get away from it all” without taking a trip to the Swiss Alps!

this Deepspace grows on you.

Not aggressive space music. Very floatey. This first release by Deepspace has joined my discriminating collection.

Getting clear on the reprogramming of “Programming and metaprogramming in the human biocomputer”

I own Programming the human biocomputer” but was wondering why this work was titled differently from the book mentioned in “Tanks for the Memories”… and here we have a clarification by Beverly Potter.

Well I just ordered two copies of the original text and am curious about how they vary. In order that I get the “pure Lilly” I will wait on those books.

thank you Michael Shannon

Michael Shannon is a prolific ambient and space artist on archive.org . I like about 25% of his work.

* Domestic Tranquility is not bad

* Icicles on Bells is not bad either. Thing is, it has a lot of movement and change which make it somewhat hard to float to.
but mainly I am grateful for him pointing me to some free software to compose ambient music. if you read his music overviews, he points you to IXI Software and Jungulator.

Thank you Michael.

Arbaco Portable Furnace review – poor customer service, poor product

Do yourself a favor and do NOT purchase an Arbaco Portable Furnace.

The risk-free policy for the portable furnace states “There is absolutely no risk, and your satisfaction is guaranteed. ” and the return policy page states ” Leave box with product for return at any shipping company and send product to the following address.”

but the customer has to pay return shipping costs… My issues with this:

  • they do not state that the customer has to pay return shipping
  • they promise ‘risk-free’ and ‘satisfaction guaranteed’ but you run the risk of paying return shipping… which not risk-free
  • One of their salespeople and one of their customer service reps hung up in my face when I attempted to discuss this issue with them.

On top of all this, the furnace simply did not work. It was noisy and did little to heat my bedroom after 4 hours of continuous use.

And I can’t forget the “Inspected By” certificate inside… when I tried to open the metal casing the head of one of the screws was stripped out, forcing me to do one of two things. Go through another wait period or bend back the casing to install the lamps.

Oh well, at least I get my money back for returning it!

Time for some Laughter Yoga.

achieving yoga through floating, yes. floating yoga – no

I was browsing sound photosynthesis for Lilly material and noticed something titled “Floating Yoga” by Jack Scarfatti. I googled around for floating yoga and ran across a site by a relative of the Perry family. Her definition of asana is at odds with mine. Asana is simply a posture in which you can remain still for a long time. However she says that asana is “the practice of body exercises.” Also, she thinks that pranayama involves breathing. Actually pranayama has to do with controlling the prana and only uses breathing in certain cases.

I tried a few postures anyway in the spirit of experimentation.

They did open up my body in a gross way very quickly. Normally the water works gently and slowly. Adopting postures as a form of intervention got things stretching quickly. But without the wisdom of gravity and water combined. And I certainly was not stilling my mind but rather constantly focused on the sensation of trying to pull my body into a position.

Near the end, I tried for a fetal posture. I fell over onto my side and water shot into my nose, creating a lot of pain.


Yoga is about stilling the body and mind. It is not about twisting into elaborate positions. The default “posture” in the tank is analogous to shivasana, the last posture in almost any physical yoga set and the place where the real relaxation begins.

For me, the yoga of floating involves adopting shivasana and allowing the body and mind to die and the ever awake Atman to shine forth.

I have no interest in ever trying those poses again.

left scapula, anus, lower back and thighs

This was a powerful float. Overall, I now know that sleeping in a tank is 10 times more powerful than waking state floating. Why is this? Well, in the sleep state, you automatically shutout the outside world. Also, YOU are out of the way of the body when sleep comes on. Anyway, on to this most pivotal float: neck scapula communication Mother water did her best to improve the communication between my neck and my left scapula and arm. She patiently and gently stretched and strengthened this area, working me towards reconnection and improved use of this area. anus I thought we were talking 1/2 year to 1 year before anything loosed up in the anus area. But really, the same thing is happening there as happened in my upper back. My upper back started out as hard as a rock. And now things are getting fluid there. And then the anus was the same way but it began to flow easily… but not before releasing a ton of psychologically impacted matter primarily of a sexual nature – I am talking floods of release, both physical and mental happened this time. And all without me doing anything. I also know that the regular release I receive in the lower back can be prevented if I simply start loading into my thighs instead of locking out my lower back as shown here: A very impressive session… from a very impressive tool!

co-dependant arising – the useless breeds the useful

In “The Quiet Center” Lilly says that no system of concept manipulation is of use in discovering reality. He was well-versed in mathematics, logic, and semantics, but made it clear that they had no value in discovering reality. On the other hand, to build the float tank required mathematics, logic and engineering. The very devices which could not discover reality were used to build the float tank to discover reality!