By Jay Fenello
Whenever you want to get to a destination, it is often helpful to have a map that can lead the way. Especially if you’ve never been there before.
While numerous maps of consciousness exist, what I find interesting is that they all share a common description of their highest state. Whether you call it Nirvana, connecting with Source, or being one with the Holy Spirit, the experience of it is the same.
All of the major world religions align on this point, especially within their mystical traditions. While it’s more openly embraced within the eastern traditions, it also exists within Judaism (the Kabbalah), within Islam (Sufism), and within the Christian traditions (Contemplative Prayer).
These transcendent experiences are unusual, profound, and life-changing. Many people never have this experience. Those that do often find their lives change drastically after the event.
While the experience of transcendence is the same, the way each of these religions introduces people to the state varies quite dramatically. Unfortunately, there are no techniques you can follow that will guarantee you a transcendent experience.
There are, however, some that consistently help. One common technique is to quiet your mind to the point of silence—a very difficult thing to do. Those that are successful, however, are only prepared for transcendence, not guaranteed access to it.
Floating as a Vehicle
One of the easiest ways to quiet your mind is to completely eliminate distractions. And floating in a sensory depravation tank is one of the easiest ways to eliminate distractions.
When you enter one of these tanks, you enter a world that is completely pitch black, utterly silent, with no tastes and no smells. And because the water is Epsom salt rich and heated to the same temperature as your body, you float in an environment where you don’t even feel sensations on your skin.
When people float, they quickly enter an altered state of consciousness—a state where higher levels of consciousness become more accessible. Once attained, people can use this state to improve mindfulness, or to remain passive in their pursuit of transcendence.
Just like any other traveler, the more often you visit an exotic location, the easier it is for you to find your way there. And that’s a good thing, because floating is both expensive and inconvenient.
Luckily, there are other approaches to transcending consciousness. Most are based on repetitive activities designed to distract the mind or focused activities designed to quiet the mind. Examples include:
- dancing, spinning, rocking
- prayer (chanting, contemplative)
- light and sound machines, ganzfelds
- gazing into mirrors, candles, obsidian
To summarize, your journey to transcendence begins with quieting the mind toward a receptive brain state. One of the easiest ways to achieve this state is through floating. Once you reach this destination, revisit it often using the most convenient technique that works for you.
Frequent travelers benefit from increasing mindfulness and, if lucky, a transcendent experience or two over the course of a lifetime.
Happy travels, and best wishes on your journey.