What is the point of floating? A question I often receive and I answer by asking them what is the point of anything? Why do people meditate, play sports, play music, take risks, go travelling, do drugs, drink alcohol or have sex? Why do any of these things? The answer is that we do them to engage our consciousness.
Sure, we receive pleasure for some of them, but all of these activities mentioned force a person into the present moment, and as a result, they escape the ongoing thought patterns that continuously play in their mind. This is why we enjoy them, this is why we do them regularly and this is why we often become addicted to them.
You know that internal voice that is constantly judging, assessing and worrying about situations that aren’t even occurring in the moment? We call that the ego. For myself, the ego has operated and existed in two primary ways: the first, by causing depression and the second causing anxiety.
Depression is the result of reflecting on events and circumstances that have happened to us in the past. We cannot change these things, but they can impact us daily if we allow our ego to make them more than a memory. By reflecting on them each day we associate the feeling that occurred when the events actually happened, thus reliving the pain over and over again, causing the continuous pain that we call depression.
cloud-9-float-spa-PalauThe other path the ego operates through is the future. Anxiety is the result of worrying about events that have not even occurred yet. When a person stresses about encounters that may happen in the future, or situation that could arise they are really just living through ongoing horrible experiences. If these experiences are going to happen and they are going to be negative, why live through them more than once? The irony is that many events and potential-experiences that we stress over never actually occur. In fact the majority of worries that we live through never come to fruition.
So why do we choose to live like this? The answer to this question is that most people don’t even realize this process is happening. We identify with this compartmentalizing process so strongly, and live in this space so often, that we believe this is who we are and how life is supposed to be. But it’s a lie.
You are not the thoughts running through your mind. Just like you are not the imperfections that exist on, or in, your body. You are the thing that exists behind and beyond these thoughts. If you ignore this fact, potential futures and unfortunate pasts can easily consume you. If you can harness this realization then you can live in a state of perpetual peace. Because, despite all of the terrible things that have happened to you and might happen to you, the present moment isn’t usually that bad. And if it is bad, we are usually not that upset, because we are busy dealing with it. If it is terrible, it will pass; and when it does so let it pass and let it go.
The mind is just a part of our body; and much like our physicality, if left unattended to it can grow weak, lethargic, and ultimately become a hindrance to our happiness. However, when maintained, exercised and properly trained, the mind can open worlds that we have never imagined. The mind is an amazing thing: it is both the gateway to peace and the gateway to despair; it is only how you decide to enter it that results in the direction that it will take you.
So, for me, that is the point of floating. Every time it reminds me that I am not those thoughts, I am not my ego and I am alive, here and now. An experience I want to share with the world.