Sensory Deprivation in the Tank
The words "sensory deprivation tank" don't necessarily conjure the image of bliss, but when you consider floating in dense Epsom salt water, feeling weightless and enjoying the stillness of the mind, it's a pretty deep experience. That was how I started 2017 - floating in a tank for an hour on New Year's Day. It's dark, warm, and silent, and the salt water is so dense, you can't sink, but you can float effortlessly.
At first I only noticed the sound of my breath, then the sound and feeling of my heart seemed so loud and present that I could notice my pulse vibrating throughout my body. It was odd at first, but then I settled into my meditation. At one point, I smiled to myself realizing this is pretty much what it must feel like in the womb, but just a bit more crowded.
I highly recommend the experience for relaxation, renewal, or mindfulness meditation. Other reported benefits are pain relief, reduction of hypertension, and reduction of anxiety and depression. The only thing I would do differently with my experience is to ask them to warm the air above the water by a couple of degrees, the water by one degree perhaps, and then go for a full two hours. My skin above the water was slightly cooler than the temperature in the water, which is a distraction. I did start to doze off toward the end, so that gives you an idea how comfortable and relaxed I was.