Glenn and Lee Perry
Glenn Perry, mentored by Dr John C. Lilly, developed the first ever commercial float tank, the Samadhi tank. Since then, he never stops tinkering, continuing to push the world of floatation forward with his own ever present brand of functional innovation and design, focusing on improving the user’s experience at an affordable price.
Lee Perry, as president of the Samadhi Tank Company, has spent the last 38 years working to keep the business of floating a journey into the realm of service and adventure. As chairman of the board of the Floatation Tank Association, she focuses on advocating best practices, educating health departments on regulations for this industry, and supporting new float businesses.
John Lilly, the creator of the float tanks, passed along his message to Glenn and Lee Perry, his good friends and the manufacturers of the first commercial tank, Samadhi (a name that he gave them). His message was clear - Thou shall not program.
What does this mean, and how do we accomplish it? For me, I avoid ever telling people what their float will be like. Instead, I start by talking about some of the more common benefits. Reduced Gravity, back and spinal decompression, reduction in the work the central nervous system has to do processing stimuli, lowered cortisol... there's no end of easy examples.
A Little Past
Published by Glenn Perry on January 20, 2013
In the late 1960's, I was a systems computer programmer. At one point, I was in a department with just two other people. If I went down to the cafeteria with one of them, I would talk. But if I went down with both of them, I was too shy, and I would be silent.
In 1972, someone at work recommended John Lilly's"Center of the Cyclone". I was so impressed with it that, a short while later, when I saw an ad for a 5 day workshop he was giving, I immediately signed up.
There were 8 of us and we were each able to use a makeshift tank that was there. That first morning I used it. I came out to a scintillating, vibrant, energy universe. My senses were heightened and my sense of time was distorted. I was in a very unusual altered state. It was fantastic and I felt incredible.
Then after lunch, John asked me to share my experience. I did so and found something even more incredible. I was comfortable. I was actually comfortable talking in front of a group of people. Now, that was significant.
I decided I had to build one for myself.
We each used the isolation tank daily and by the end of the workshop, I thought that if I was going to make one for myself, then I might as well make them for others, cause surely someone else will want them. I asked John what he thought of the idea and he loved it. He gave me whatever technical information he had - things like, copper is toxic in the water, so be sure not to use anything that comes in contact with the water that has copper in it.
John suggested the name Samadhi Tank Co and I started, in spare time from my programming job, to research and build a prototype out of wood. I ended up not liking wood, so I then made another one out of fiberglass. Since I had moved half a dozen times in the previous 10 years, I didn't like how incredibly heavy it was. I wanted one that was light weight and portable. I'll write more on this another time.
I would like to share one more thing with you. In the tanks John used, he used 20" of fresh water and bent at the knees and placed his feet on the bottom. He did what he called dolphin breathing. He would inhale and hold his breath. When he needed another breath he would exhale and inhale and hold it again.
When he gave me the technical information, he mentioned that in the tank he had in the Virgin Islands, he had run the ocean through the tank. So he thought I might like to add 3% sodium chloride to my tank, so that the upper part of my body wouldn't fall so far into the water when I took a breath.
I float very poorly. So instead of using 3%, I used 10%, and nearly floated without my feet on the bottom. The next time I set a tank up for one of John's workshops, I put in 10%. He liked it so much that he suggested we go to saturation. Though he still called it an isolation tank, to me, it was now a float tank.
Lee Perry's Sensory deprivation tank orientation
2012 Float conference
2013 Float conferance