Archive for April, 2009
Floating Toward Samadhi (2005)
I’ve always been interested in the isolation tank experience, which I first became aware of through the works of Dr. John Lilly. Nowadays these are commonly referred to as floatation tanks, and a few months back I started scouring the web for places in California to float, in particular the Sacramento area where I would be spending a few weeks during April. This led me to Lee and Glenn Perry of Nevada City, who I later discovered had been colleagues of Dr. Lilly as well as early designers of the commercial versions of these tanks, which they sell under the Samadhi brand name.
I really had no pre-conceived idea of what my experience would be like, as it had been many years since I’d read Lilly’s books, so I went into this adventure with an open mind. Having dabbled with meditational states over the years, I had some idea of how to approach this experience: mainly, to attempt to shut off the internal chatter and go with the flow. Prior to embarking into this realm free (for the most part) of external stimuli, Lee gave me a brief tank orientation, mainly on how it worked, without getting into how the individual can use it for whatever intended purpose. As I later discovered, this is the approach that Dr. Lilly taught the Perry’s: namely don’t pre-program novice tanksters; let them come up with the own reasons and methods of using the tank. Similarly, I didn’t try to pre-program myself (much). I just went in, remained calm, cleared my mind and tried to objectively observe what happened. And what happened was pretty remarkable, though not earth shattering or the attainment of total mind blowing Samadhi, by any stretch of the imagination. But it was a valuable experience.
When I sat with Lee and Glenn afterwards, I stated that it was hard to put into words what I’d experienced, to which Lee replied that we simply don’t have the words in our limited earthly vocabulary to describe this experience. However, I found it similar to states I’ve encountered in the hypnogogic realm, and was very relaxed and refreshed afterwards. I certainly intend to float again. It also conditions your hair quite nicely!
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Once again I find myself stepping out a bit from my NorCal confines to bring to you a tale about a giant bird who supposedly haunted SoCal in the late 1800’s, until later purportedly relocating to Arizona (another fine LOWFI state) where it was reportedly shot down by a bunch of ranchers.
Here is a link about the tale of the Tombstone Thunderbird.
In a recent Arizona LOWFI post our own Thomas Cosgrove explored the myth that might be much more than that!
As always, Kimball hits the nail on the head as much as he misses the mark with his selections. However, five out of seven of his picks reside within LOWFI managed states, so I won’t argue too much except to say that if Roswell’s International UFO Museum is any type of a wonder, then he really needs to get out more. However, one should certainly consider the town of Roswell itself (and the nearby purported crash site) as important historical (hysterical?) ufological landmarks, although I find the International UFO Museum on a par with many another small town museum trying to cash in on a local claim to fame, not unlike the Walmart Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas. However, what makes it “international” is beyond me, but I guess it’s just as easy to toss around the word “wonder” as it is “international.”
On a similar note, I’m not sure what to make of the inclusion of the “International” UFO Congress Convention on Kimball’s list, although I dig ufo conventions as much as the next pimply-skinned nerdy geek, however they very rarely fill me with the perpetual sense of wonderment that Kimball ascribes to the UFO Congress, as to rank it as some kind of ufological wonder certainly attests to the good doctor’s sometimes unbalanced mind, which at times is razor sharp, although other times it seems to unravel under the weight of its own immensity.
However, that being said, ol’ Doc Kimball is mostly right-on with his other selections, such as L.A.’s Aetherius Society Headquarters and their Operation Prayer Power party hour, which is a fascinating experience to behold as this group of wide eyed saucer enthusiasts and trance channelers fill up some kind of crazy box with their collective energy then later use it to get some sort of universal cosmic consciousness groove on. Or something like that…Whatever the case, it’s an experience not to be missed!
Area 51, landing at # 2 on Kimball’s ufological hit parade, cannot be denied as a ground zero focal point for the ufo legend in modern manic times, not to mention the Little A’Le’Inn which falls within its proximity.
Rendlesham Forest, # 3 on Captain Kimball’s Countdown, I consider a stone cold wonder in UFO lore, and one of the more convincing cases that something weird is going on in the skies here and “across the pond.”
However, Kimball’s listing of some sketchy “UFO Landing Pad” in Alberta, Canada seems nothing more than a shameless display of Canadian bias for his hoser homeland, whose greatest claim to fame is actually the production of Molsen and Moosehead beer, which in itself is of much greater renown than some spurious ufo “landing pad” which some drunk Canucks probably constructed with shovels and hoes as a half assed hoax after imbibing one too many of the aforementioned Molsen and Moosehead brews. ‘Nuff said.
Just the same, Kimball totally redeems himself with the inclusion of the Integratron and Giant Rock in the number one spot as their history and overall otherworldly charms certainly place these wonders above all others on anyone’s list of ufological marvels.
Here’s a recording of myself and buddy Joe Hook called UFO Lane we played inside the Integratron during Retro UFO 3, which is a song about seeing UFO’s on psychedelics and brings this post full circle as this experience happened in a NorCal town long, long ago…