Sensory Deprivation Helps you Access Lost Memories
I was standing in my friend’s garage. Rain was pouring down outside, causing a sheet of water to be just beyond the gape of the doorway. My brother and my friend Nicholas were next to me, and we were plotting our mode of attack against imaginary goblins.
This was a memory of mine that surfaced during one of my first floats. It was something I hadn’t thought about since it had happened in my early childhood. Yet there I was: in the comfort of a warm Samadhi float tank, and somehow this memory managed to rise to the surface of my consciousness.
What was interesting to me was just how vivid the memory was. I could recall the sound of the rain. I could remember the sheets of paper scattered around us. I could recollect the smell of that old garage. Since that time, one of my favorite things to do in a float tank is try to search my brain for forgotten memories.
The process is pretty simple. What I first do is clear my head of the day. I think back to when I had woken up that morning, and I run through my entire day up until the point that I got in the float tank. I’ll do this a few times (usually three) and try to recall more details each time. What was the barista wearing? What color was the car that cut me off in traffic? What did I have for lunch?
Going through the day serves two purposes. First, by viewing and acknowledging everything that has happened so far that day, it’s a lot easier to “take the day off.” This will prevent present day worries and stresses from coming up later in my float.
Second, trying to recall as much detail as I can starts working the memory function of my brain. It gets me consciously trying to think of all the little things that I’ve already forgotten… even though they only happened hours ago.
After I’ve gone through the day leading up to my float a few times, I’ll take a few slow deep breaths. On my third deep breath, I’ll say to myself:
“I’m going to think of a memory that I haven’t thought of in years.”
Then I relax! I let my mind wander, and before I know it some distant memory bubbles up to the surface.
This is an interesting technique because you never know what’s going to come up. In the float tank, with no distractions, it’s amazing to see how vivid these forgotten memories can be.