Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Because sensory deprivation tanks are awesome in theory, but expensive as all get out in practice, I'm so excited about this. Consider the Ganzfeld Effect the college student's key to sensory deprivation, hallucination and meditation without the risk of a schedule I drug sentence! This is for the days when you get home and feel like melting into your couch. The practice of sensory deprivation is basically a productive, introspective nap. A real day-dream and the key to deep relaxation.
The Ganzfeld Effect works by creating a blank screen for your mind to draw on. To start, you'll need two ping pong balls, a comfortable place to lie down and some optional mittens/gloves. The goal is to get rid of all the sensory input you can, so for instance if your home has an obnoxious smell, maybe buy some nose plugs (or clean your room?)
Cut the ping pong balls in half so that they easily fit over your eyes without letting in any light. Before you use them, make sure to wash them out with some water. (Apparently ping pong balls have camphor oil inside of them so you'll know when they break. Fun fact.) Some basic knowledge of meditation is helpful, but not necessary. Playing some white noise in the background can help too (or if you want to fall into a mind vortex, play some binaural beats for yourself - also known as the first digital drug! welcome to the future future future future future.)
Try focusing on your breathing in a comfortable position for as long as it takes to get into a relaxed state. Try not to actively think about things, but if things do come to you, think passively. With any luck, or with some practice, you'll enter a dream state. Jot some notes down, keep a journal, or just enjoy it for what it is!
eta: If you think cutting a ping pong ball with a sharp knife is a good idea, don't. It is not a good idea. Repeat, not.