I was recently indulging in my other passion; teaching an ancient branch of yoga philosophy called Kashmir Shivism. Within this tradition, they describe 4 different upayas. These upayas are methods, modes or means of obtaining spiritual liberation. The metaphor I like to use is that of them being like vehicles which drive us towards the final destination of our spiritual journey.
The third upaya is that of shambhava upaya which translates as the divine means. This upaya centres on finding oneself in an un-minded state; of being able to find a space, consciously, in which we are free of all thoughts, perceptions and concepts. And the reason why this is such a powerful method is that the destination of our spiritual journey is itself beyond thought, perception and concept.
Now, let me slow down a bit… If you are new to meditation or floating (and after over a decade of practice, I still consider myself “new,”) it is unlikely that you will find a space free of concept in your first few floats. This is completely normal. In fact, the second upaya; shkata upaya centres on placing yourself within your consciousness, or as I like to say to my friends at the floating room, “roaming in the landscape of your mind.” This roaming is, in itself a valid method of spiritual transformation.
The longer we spend roaming, the more the thoughts, perceptions and concepts slow down.
And when we can slow them down enough, we can start to see gaps, spaces in-between.
And yes, it is entirely possible to slip in-between, consciously that is.
And what lies beyond? Well, my friends, that is your journey to take. But just remember, every moment that you spend in the tank, roaming around the landscape of your mind is taking you towards your final goal. And if you are lucky enough to have those precious un-minded moments, know, that in that moment you truly are rubbing up against something special.