The history of floating

Where did floating begin? Why did it come about? All this and more in our edition of On Top of the Water. 


Once upon a time there was a man named John C Lily. He was testing a question of "What happens if you remove the stimulation of the outside world?" The actual scientific hypothesis was "Many scientists wondered what would happen if a person were cut off from all sensory stimulation and from interactions with the world outside. Scientists influenced by the "behaviorist" school, thought of the brain as an organ that reacts to stimuli. They predicted that if all outside stimuli were cut off, the brain would cease its activity resulting in a condition resembling coma, or dreamless sleep." The result was "Dr. John Lilly tested these hypotheses with experiments he set up at the National Institutes of Mental Health Lab in the Virgin Islands. He limited stimulation to the minimum possible level while removing sources of discomfort and stress. His "isolation" tank design approached this ideal as closely as possible and the experiment was up and running by the end of 1954." 

His results? Incredible focus, relaxation, a greater degree of self-control, strength in his consciousness of situations, and so much more. "The important discovery was, "So within yourself you do have at least the circuitry to exert control over these systems. You can create a sense of well-being, or you can create a sense of fear out of the operation of your own bio-computer. That's the most important message we have in regard to self meta-programming. I saw that in the tank.""


The tank itself, originally the Sahmadi tank, which is what is located at Honest Floating inside Hands in Harmony, is the traditional shape of a rectangle and filled with 10 inches of water and 700 pounds of epsom salt. This large amount of epsom salt and water, at this point it is called a solution, allows the guest to float nearly on top of the water. They are suspended in a relaxing environment that is matching their internal body temperature of 93.5F, the solution via a heating element below the solution and the air via an infrared in the lid of the tank. The environment also removes light and sound. This is an excellent mixture of relaxation to tone down all the noise in our minds and the outside world. 

In 1972, Glenn Perry, a computer programer, read "Center of the Cyclone" by Dr John C. Lilly. He then took a workshop with Dr. Lilly and it turned his life around. It opened him up to the ideas of a float tank. Samadhi Tank Co., Inc. was started in 1972 and named by Dr. Lilly. The first tanks were designed by Glenn Perry with Dr. Lilly's assistance. "Dr. Lilly encouraged our work with the tank. He spilled lots of wisdom on us, gave us the specifications, gave us the program that we shouldn't program people before they used the tank, (and admitted that was his program), he gave us the name "Samadhi" and a lifetime of work which we greatly appreciate." said by Glenn Perry. To this day Glenn and his wife, Lee, Perry continue to make float tanks, always tweaking, perfecting, incorporating new technology, creating new sizes and commercial tanks. 


"You may call it a Floatation Tank, a Float Tank, a Float Room, a Float Pod, a Float Spa, a Float Chamber, a Float Cabin, an Isolation Tank, or Sensory Deprivation Tank. Whatever you call it, look to Samadhi Tank Co. for quality, value and a helping hand." Glenn and Lee Perry, creators of the first float tank! 

Fast forward to 2018 and their tanks are still in high demand and they are the grandparents of floating still! And the rest is history in the making!!

Thank you Dr John C Lilly, Glenn and Lee Perry for your faithful love of floating! 

Dr John C Lilly

Dr John C Lilly

Glenn and Lee Perry   

Glenn and Lee Perry


excerpts taken from