Microexpressions: The truth is written all over our faces

Body language is a fascinating topic. It has always been on my top topics of interest. Body language is a form of non-verbal communication which consists of body posture, gestures, facial expressions, and eye movements. We humans send and interpret such signals subconsciously. And thus is where the power of being able to consciously decipher and make sense of body language come in.

Everybody Lies ~ Lie to Me

In a previous post I delved into reading eye movements to help you become an effective communicator. This post complements the previous by helping you understand body language. Why? Because as John Borg attested, that human communication consists of 93 percent body language and paralinguistic cues, while only 7% of communication consists of words themselves. This means something extraordinary is happening under the layers of communication. Today, in our society we are primed with speaking skills and educated on the importance of good communication. Yet most of the magic happens beneath the spoken world.

Dr Paul Ekman’s research on microexpressions

Every person has 43 facial muscles that create the same expressions, says my favorite pioneering researcher in this space Dr. Paul Ekman. Unlike normal emotions which can last up to four seconds and are clearly yoked to the emotions on vocal and verbal display, “micro-expressions” are fleeting facial expressions that last between 1/25th and 1/15th of a second that occur when a person covers up an emotion. Something not even a poker face expert can avoid / control.

After 30 years of research in this field in Papua New Guinea with stone age tribes, Dr. Paul Ekman proved facial expressions of emotion are not culturally determined. They are universal across human cultures and thus biological in origin. Further, he summarized these 43 facials muscle types into 7 universal emotions. These 7 are scientifically proven to trigger the “same” muscles in each of our faces, backing up Charles Darwin’s theory that the facial expression of emotion was intrinsic.

Emotions Revealed This and more is documented in detail in Dr Paul Ekman’s book on emotions. Ekman examines and explains how, when and why we become emotional and how far we can change what we get emotional about; why we sometimes get emotional when others don’t; how to recognize and understand the subtlest signs of emotion both in ourselves and other people; and much more.

Lie to Me – TV show

Lie to Me was an intelligent series educating the viewer on micro expressions while wrapping the whole show in a 1 hour TV drama. Lie to Me TV Series Based on the real-life scientific discoveries of mentioned Dr Paul Ekman, the series follows Dr Lightman (Tim Roth) and his team of deception experts as the assist law enforcement and government agencies to expose the truth behind the lies. If you want to be entertained and learn the art of body language & micro expressions then this show is a must. They even show photos of famous people caught lying. You can get all 3 seasons off Netflix or Amazon.

The truth is written all over our faces ~ Lie to Me

The 7 key emotions

Ekman determined that all humans share the following 7 emotions: Anger, Disgust, Fear, Happiness, Sadness, Surprise and Contempt. According to Ekman, emotions developed through evolution as a sign of letting others know we sensed danger. Being able to comprehend an emotion consciously can help you understand people better. The following is a visual representation of these 7 emotions using Dr. Cal Lightman (Tim Roth) from Lie to Me TV series.

Microexpressions - Anger Microexpressions - Disgust
Microexpressions - Fear Microexpressions - Happiness
Microexpressions - Sadness Microexpressions - Surprise

Microexpressions - Contempt

Study these. Learn these signs off by heart. Then try to spot them in people you interact with daily and on television. You will get better and better over time till it becomes an automatic function in your brain.

Knowledge & Application

Having this power to detect the 7 signs will allow you to:

  • Identify when you should back off from a dangerous conversation before it turns nasty/violent.
  • Change topics when the other party gets irritated and/or out of patience.
  • Bring peace and safety to people who are afraid or scared.
  • Immerse yourself with people who feel true love, satisfaction, pleasure, or joy towards you.
  • Help those that are have feelings of disadvantage, loss, and helplessness.
  • Catch a liar at work or in a social environment.
  • See whether that smile is truly genuine or fake.
  • Understand whether the other person has a lack of respect accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike towards you.
  • Be in a better control of situations within your environment and adjust accordingly to best meet satisfying objectives.

It is amazing how learning to recognize these 7 simple emotions can drastically alter your lifestyle and bring better clarity in human interaction. If you are like me you may be too outspoken and sometimes this can cause a clash if you questions their “real intent”. People lie. It’s that simple. And if you are confrontational about their lies then be ready for some clashing. So hold yourself back a bit 😉

Other microexpression signs to watch out for

  • A fake smile is usually shorter than two-thirds of a second or longer than four seconds.
  • Innocent people flash the most genuine surprise.
  • Guilty people flash an emotion of fear.
  • Fear held for longer is a sign of something being hidden.
  • To catch someone responsible watch how their brows and mouth move, and for how long. Prolonged surprise gives you a cue for further probing.
  • Be cautious of people who give you half-smile or smirk since this is an unmistakable expression of contempt and moral superiority – aka Killer Contempt.

Enjoy your new-found knowledge!

~ Ernest

Links mentioned in this post:

Effective communication: Using Visual, Auditory & Kinesthetic words

In business, and especially Silicon Valley, you need to learn to be an effective communicator. An effective communicator is not someone who can waffle on for hours on end but someone who is effective in getting results from their communication. Extrovert or introvert, it doesn’t matter. An effective communicator gets heard & understood. If you are a great engineer but cannot effectively communicate then you are missing out on an important part of your career influence. Being able to communicate effectively is within everyone’s reach. It is something most humans are capable of doing and with the right tools can sharpen.

To be an effective communicator you need to learn & be always aware of the 3 human primary modes that people use to process thoughts during communication. They are Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic. Just like being right-handed primary, each of us uses one of the 3 modes as our primary form to convey messages during communication. Understanding which one the person you are speaking with is using is a step forward to being a better communicator.

Primary modes

head-positionsThe following applies for right-handed people. For left-handed switch everything I tell you below to the other side i.e. right to left and left to right.

Visual

  • Speaker will primarily look up / up and to the side as they process information (answers to your questions). As if looking into the sky for an answer.
  • These people are known as “the fast talkers” because visual memories are a lot quicker to process and put into words.

Auditory

  • Speaker will primarily move their eyes left to right / right to left (from ear to ear) as “they need to hear” what they are saying.
  • These people are moderate speed talkers.

Kinesthetic

  • Speaker will primarily look down and to the right as “they need to feel” what they are saying.
  • Typically these people will be slow talkers because to feel their response before speaking, this takes longer to come out.
  • Kinesthetic people usually have beards.

Note: Don’t get confused with people looking down and to the left – this is common when people are having internal chatter like reciting a preplanned script e.g. actors or individuals during an interview with a pre memorized script/s.

Communicating effectively

people-communicatingYou may have come across individuals where you just couldn’t click together or something was not right after your discussion. Like you did not understand each other. There is a high chance this may have been the choice of words you used to communicate with. The other party’s primary mode of communication might have been different to yours and thus the two of you did not really understand each other hence the feeling of disconnect.

To avoid this happening again, try to recognize the other person’s primary human mode. Once recognized, add (or change) some words & sentences in your communication. It isn’t about changing what you say but how you say it.

Step 1 – Identify there (speaker’s) primary mode

  • Listen to their choice of words, how their eyes move and speed of speech. My previous post on understanding each other using primary human modes talks about other indicators you can use to get this information.
  • Ask about the weather “how is the weather today?” – always a favorite. Is the weather, sunny (visual), warm (kinesthetic) or windy (auditory). Or, “is your car” – yellow (visual), safe (kinesthetic – Volvo drivers) or noisy (auditory). etc… you get the drift right?

Step 2 – Add the appropriate “words” into your communication

Here is a list of keywords you can throw into all your communication in order to get a “better” message across and be heard or simply understood.

Visual Auditory Kinesthetic
see
look
bright
clear
picture
foggy
view
clear
focused
dawn
reveal
illuminate
imagine
hazy
an eyeful
short sighted
sight for sore eyes
take a peek
tunnel vision
bird’s eye view
naked eye
paint a picture
heartell
sound
resonate
listen
silence
deaf
squeak
hush
roar
melody
make music
harmonize
tune in/out
rings a bell
quiet as a mouse
voiced an opinion
clear as a bell
give me your ear
loud and clear
purrs like a kitten
on another note
grasp
feel
hardun
feeling
concrete
scrape
solid
touch
get hold of
catch on
tap into
heated argument
pull some strings
sharp as a tack
smooth operator
make contact
throw out
firm foundation
get a handle on
get in touch with
hand in hand
hang in there

Step 3 – Add the appropriate “sentences” into your communication

Step it up a bit and use appropriate sentences to respond back with or ask questions. Some of the common ones you can use for each primary mode include:

Visual Auditory Kinesthetic
Let’s look at it differently.
See how this works for you.
I can’t quite picture it.
Let’s draw a diagram or map.
I’d like to get a different perspective.
I never forget a face.
That sounds about right.
That rings a bell.
It’s coming through loud and clear.
Tune in to what I’m saying.
Clear as a bell.
That’s music to my ears.
That feels right to me.
I can’t get a grip on this.
Stay in touch.
Get in touch with.
That doesn’t sit right with me.
I have good feelings about this.
My gut is telling me.
I follow your drift.

Step 4 – Have fun!

Don’t forget that having fun is when you are having the most effective communication. Once you are connecting and communicating effectively with the other person doors open to opportunities and you really get to learn and grow from the experience. Everyone has a story to tell and once you are listening and communicating effectively the world is your oyster.

Has this helped you in any way? Please share your story below.

Ernest

Breathing exercise for anxiety and stress

Take a deep breath and relax is so common a mantra that most of us miss its core message.

Focused, controlled breathing has the power to defuse anxiety & stress and to boost energy. In fact, the notion of breathing as therapy has ancient roots in Pranayama, an aspect of yoga that means “expansion and control of cosmic power.”

It’s no secret that breathing is essential for:

  • Sustaining Life – the oxygen you take in is picked up by the hemoglobin in the blood and distributed to all of the body’s trillions of cells where it is then used to fuel the cells and release energy.
  • Cleansing inner body systems – balancing levels of Ph, CO2 & O2 for normal body functioning.

During stressful situations we rarely notice how the pressures of the moment keeps our mind occupied on almost everything but our physiological function – breathing. Consequently leading to irregular and short breaths leaving us in an unhealthy state of being. When we are in this state our mental and physical state diminishes leading to unsound decisions, behaviour and heightened anxiety states.

By becoming aware of this and practicing correct breath technique, stressful situations may be handled better and your overall mental and physical health will be improved.

“If I had to limit my advice on healthier living to just one tip, it would be simply to learn how to breathe correctly.” – Andrew Weil, M.D.

Breathe through your belly not your chest!

Breathing properly starts at your belly. Not your chest.

Alveoli, where gas exchange occurs between oxygen & your blood supply, are more densly packed at the bottom of your lungs.

Chest breathing is shallow breathing and mobalises the top part of your lungs leading to less oxygen consumed by your body. Using your belly helps move the diaphragm (helpful for breathing and respiration) like a pump pulling & squizzing the lungs. This gets more oxygen into your blood supply and ultimately into your body.

The Breathing Technique – the 1-4-2 ratio

There are many different techniques which aim to teach you this art of breathing properly. In my opinion, the simplest and easiest to implement is the 1-4-2 ratio. Here’s how it’s done:

1. Inhale in through your nose all the way down to the bottom of the belly for 4 seconds (ratio 1-4-2). Let the belly rise. You may hold your hand on your belly to make sure you are breathing properly letting your belly rise.
2. Hold for 16 seconds (ratio 1-4-2).
3. Exhale out through parted lips (ratio 1-4-2) for 8 seconds. Your belly should fall back down.
4. Repeat steps 1-3, 10 times, 3 times a day.

This technique of breathing through your belly is often refered to as Diaphragmatic breathing and used to treat hyperventilation and high levels of anxiety.

Walking – your lymphatic system & breathing

We should all aim to walk at least 30 minutes per day. Walking stimulates your lymphatic system to move toxins out of your body and is also a great way to burn those unwanted calories. Add a correct breathing technique to this and you are on your way to a healthier you.

While walking you can vary your breathing pattern so that you inhale using short breaths 4 times in a row for each step you take and exhale 4 times for each step. Do this for around 15 minutes and it will change your current mental state.
There is a University research article which described these 4×4 technique – I’ll try to locate it and update this post soon.

Forming this new habit

You may be thinking, but Ernest do I have to always conentrate on my breathing. I already have a busy schedule… Like most things in life, there is a solution.

Research has shown that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. So if you practise this breathing technique “daily” for around 30 minutes, after 21 days this new habit will became an automatic routine. Just like learning to drive a car required effort at first before it too became an automatic routine.

So, change your life today and start feeling better and full of energy – Breath.

Happy Breathing!

Recommended further reading

Failure is just Feedback

Looking back at my childhood I see I was afraid to fail. And I shouldn’t have. I wish I failed more. I wish I took more risk and failed more often. I wish I was wiser back then to see that failure isn’t about looking or feeling bad. Who cares what other people think. Who cares about the labels. It’s just noise, someone else’s noise. All that matters is that the more I Failed the more Feedback I would have received earlier in life. And here lays the root of the discussion on Failure and Success. Now when I say Success I don’t mean rolling in a treasure of money, rather being in a position to handle events that accomplish its intended purpose with more ease and grace.

That gut feeling

Few days ago I was speaking with a friend about the traits successful people have and their drivers. What is it that distinguishes these minorities from the rest and their guides to success.

In the business world, it is said that those successful have a gut feeling about business direction. This is extremely so with exceptional leaders who are known to drag companies out of holes and into success. Their gut feeling didn’t come from the sky, it came from experience. This leader spent early days failing, getting feedback, and learning from this feedback.

Let’s examine another example, the last time you drove your car. You probably listened to the radio while having a chat with your passenger/s and still managed to operate a vehicle that is travelling faster than the fastest land animal. All while avoiding collision with other vehicles & pedestrians. How is it that you traveled from point A to point B so autonomously.

This is due to a learning process you went through which started at the conscious level and with enough emotional experience got recorded into the subconscious (automatic) mind. That’s where the gut feeling comes from. That consciously unknown territory sending you a signal on direction.

Failure is important, early!

Both cases outlined above, the leader and a vehicle driver required early experience, early feedback.

The leader would have moved through the management ranks of a business over the years learning from the experience. The driver from the early days bunny hopping the vehicle or stalling it a few times. The reinforcements of these experiences today make you an exceptional successful person in that field. An accumulation of data (experiences) to make lightning fast decisions based on prior feedback. The power of the subconscious mind.

It is our human nature to want instant gratification. Everything today and now with minimal effort. But nature doesn’t work like that. Look at how your body consumes energy. We eat (a lot), pushing calories into our bodies and expect to not gain weight. If your body burned everything really quickly (so you wouldn’t gain weight) you’d be stuck eating all your life. A bit like the beautiful humming-bird. Your body takes time to extract the energy from food so you can live longer without needing to constantly feed yourself. Ok so you understand this simple concept.

Looking at how things work in nature it’s also important to realise that in order for you to encode (automate) something into your subconscious mind it will also take time. Learning is nothing more than feedback from a set of experiences. The most effective experiences are those where you make mistakes, you fail. Because they involve emotion. Read Think And Grow Rich (1938) to understand the power of emotion in encoding the subconscious memory.

Failure is punished

But hold on, failure is mostly punished. In our society failure is not looked positively upon. We only focus on and reward the successes. We get punished for failure. Hmm… and so the paradox begins. We see this in the corporate world (with the exception of some startups) too often it could cost our job, we see this especially in early childhood and the humility it brings to children when their peers laugh and tease them. Not to mention parents punishing failure.

So if we fear failure how can we learn. How can we change a life long fear of failure into a positive.

Who cares what they think

One solution is not giving a damn about what people say. It’s not going to be easy but you need to realize that failure is just feedback and the stuff in between is just noise. Noise that you can safely ignore and treat as just crappy noise. If this noise doesn’t agree with your feedback then it doesn’t deserve your attention because you are experiencing in order to get feedback to grow stronger and build that gut instinct which will help you drive your world (not theirs) into success.

If you think this is all nonsense then read a few biographies of great man. Man like Richard Branson in Losing My Virginity: How I’ve Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way. Branson explains how he built the Virgin Empire. One of the world largest brands behind everything from music, air travel (commercial and space), merchandise, entertainment etc… He did all of this because he chose to experience, fail early and learn from the feedback he received. He didn’t care what people thought of him (that noise) . One thing you will learn from Branson is that his story is littered with failures (feedback). But overall, he did bloody well and therefore is living the dream. His dream. Not someone else’s.

Start today

Ok so it’s never too late to start. Yes starting early in life would have meant that today you would have been in a different position. But starting today is better than not starting at all and then wishing on your death-bed you did more with your life. Regret hurts more than fear of failure. If you want to remember what a great life you had, start today. Make small incremental changes in shaping this new habit so that it becomes a part of the new you. Never forget that failure is just feedback, there will always be noise – who cares about it, and that each day you are only getting better to ultimately start making successful gut decisions. That is success right there.

Here’s to feedback!

~ Ernest

Floatation (isolation) Tank – indepth and upclose

Welcome back for more juice on Flotation Tanks. If you have not read my previous post “Floatation (isolation) Tank – fringe science?” then I highly recommend you go there first and read the introduction to understand what they are, the benefits of the experience and see some screenshots of tanks I’ve been in, in Sydney (Australia) and San Francisco (USA).

Let’s delve inside – how to temporarily turn off your 3 senses

Isolation Tank specs

  • The tank is not airtight – it is designed to let air in via the roof.
  • It’s pitch black inside. Used to disassociate your visual senses from the environment.
  • The tank environment is humid – 37° celcius (99° Fahrenheit) – your body’s temperature. Helps with disassociating your kinestatic senses from the environment.
  • Around 10 inches of water in the tank with 800 lbs. of Epsom Salt dissolved in it. When you lie back you will float like a cork. Your ears will be under water. All places I’ve been to provide you earplugs. Use them to cut out all remnants of noise. That’s how your auditory senses are disassociated from the environment.
  • Keep the salt out of your eyes. Once inside do not rub your eyes or touch your face – the salt is very strong and even a small drop will sting. Make sure you have a towel near the tank to dry your hands before touching your face / eyes. The same goes for any cuts you have on your body. Make sure you cover them up with Vaseline or similar to stop the salt from entering the wound.
  • At the beginning of each float set an intention for what you would like to accomplish during your float. Then enjoy the float – the rest of the journey your mind will take you through.

What to expect during a float

The following is based on my experience. Each experience varies but they all share similar stories.

  1. First 20 minutes is calming down your mind and relaxing your body. First timers will find it strange to let go at first because being buoyant is a strange feeling and letting go of tension without touching anything in the tank is even stranger – yes you do float in the tank without touching the bottom or the side walls. When the tension pain is gone that’s when you have fully let go (especially neck muscles).
  2. Concentrate on your breathing – in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try this approach, 4 seconds in, hold for another 4 seconds and 2 seconds out (I will cover breathing techniques in a future post and why doing it correctly is super important). Also try to resist moving or scratching an itch. During the start of a meditation session when your senses are slowly being turned off, your brain will send signals to your body to try to awaken them – this will come through as an itch or a muscle twitch. Resist it for couple of minutes and it will pass. Concentrating on your breathing will also help you with the fight against the “monkey mind”. The monkey mind are random distracting thoughts which rush in and out of your mind.
  3. After 20 (or so) minutes have passed you will find yourself in an open minded state. Your mind should feel clear & open, your body free of tension. This is the relaxed state. Your mind will be in a frequency state called Alpha. A state which you can also use for accelerated learning.
  4. After another 20 minutes (40 minutes into the float) you will enter Theta state. You will be conscious in this state and know when it comes. In this state your subconscious mind awakens and your concious mind will experience auditory and visual hallucinations. You will feel as though you have separated from your physical body and are pure energy, a part of something  greater. Monks practice years to reach Theta in a concious state. Do not resist. Do not get frightened. This state gives you access to insights, bursts of creative ideas – a key state for “reality creation” through vivid imagery.
  5. After 1 hour of floating, soft music will start playing inside the tank. This is your queue that the journey for now has came to an end and it’s time to go back to the reality we call society.


With time you will want to float for longer and longer. I have floated for 2 hours before and even though it may sound like a long time there is no sense of time during a good float. John C. Lilly was known to float for up to 6 hours and trained himself to reach such high states that his experiences are what some people would call out of this world.

I would love to hear your experience in the tank. Please use the comments section below to share your journey in the tank.

Common questions & answers

  1. Q: Will I drown if I fall asleep in the tank?
    A: No. You are always buoyant, floating on top of the water like a cork. Same as the dead seas. If you did roll over, the strong Epsom Salt in the water would instantly wake you up.
  2. Q: I have a fear of being alone in the dark, drowning, not having enough air, claustrophobia, and others
    A: For some the first time might be a bit overwhelming. You can go in and out of the tank as you please. You can use the tank with the door completely open, you can keep it partially open, or you can close it. There is no particular way to use the tank that is more correct than another. Any way you use it, that is comfortable for you, is correct. But once you relax and let go you will experience peace and tranquility and want to come back for more.
  3. Q: I did what you said to do and nothing happened. What gives.
    A: Practice makes perfect. Like anything in life you need to immerse yourself in it and embrace the offering. I recommend you give it a go at least 3 times and each time be open and willing to let go.

Joe Rogan on Floatation Tank

Floatation (isolation) Tank – fringe science?

This is my personal favorite – Floatation Tank. I have been floating from early 2008 and enjoy every session. 1 hour of floating is about the average you need to get the same as 6 hours of sleep. This 1 hour passes quickly, time doesn’t exist in the tank, and when you finish your session you will feel as though you just had a brain & body massage. The feeling is amazing and lasts for most of the day.

What is an Floatation (isolation) Tank?

A floatation tank (also known as isolation tank or sensory deprivation tank) is an enclosed chamber filled with approximately ten inches of warm saturated solution of Epsom Salt. A solution so dense that even the thinnest person floats supine with the entire body at or near the surface of the water like a cork.

Isolation Tank "Classic" model with Ernest Semerda
Isolation Tank "Classic" model with Ernest Semerda

The buoyancy counteracts the effects of gravity, giving the floater a sensation of weightlessness. The chamber is pitch-black and silent. In the absence of sensory input to the logical side of the brain, the left side of the brain synchronises with the creative side (right side) and creates a free state, at peace. In this state, the brain releases vast amounts of endorphins. Most floaters report enhanced mental powers. Virtually everyone finds the experience immensely pleasant.

While the state of relaxation may be deep and profound, the individual’s brain stays dreamily alert. To get technical, the brain gradually shifts from its usual “alpha” state to generate theta waves, the state-of-mind that Buddhist monks try to reach through hours of meditation and years of training. You can achieve this in a matter of minutes just by floating! Best of all, the effects of floatation are cumulative – the more regularly you float, the better it gets.

Why float – the benefits

  • Meditation
  • Reduces stress & anxiety
  • Reduces heart rate & blood pressure
  • Reduces muscle tension
  • Stimulates endorphin production (providing relief from chronic pain)
  • Stimulates Alpha & Theta brain waves (associated with creative insights and meditative states).
  • Relaxation
  • Rest and Recovery – one hour of floating is equivalent to 6 hours sleep. Great for Jet Lag recovery!
  • and in alternative medicine.

In more detail…

Promotes total calm & peaceful relaxation; eliminates fatigue and jet lagimproves sleep; alleviates stress (mental and physical); energises, rejuvenates andrevitalises.

Stimulates left/right brain synchronisation; shifts brain waves from Beta to lower frequency Alpha, Theta and even Delta; creates mental clarity, alertness;increases creativity, problem solving; heightens visualization; deepens meditation; expands awareness, intensifies acuteness of all the senses, accelerates learning.

Enhances hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis; increasesmotivation, diminishes depression, anxiety and fear; facilitates freedom from habits, phobias and addictions.

Improves athletic performance and helps prevent sports injuries, speeds healing process.

Decreases the production of Cortisol, ACTH, Lactic Acid and Adrenaline; increases production of endorphins; quickens rehabilitation and recovery; relieves pain – arthritis, migraines, injuries etc.; boosts immune function. 
Improves circulation and distribution of oxygen and nutrients; reduces blood pressure, pulse, heart rate and oxygen consumption.

The safe sensory isolated environment is naturally conducive to relaxation and peace of mind. Released to float in suspension without the body experiencing the effects of gravity and outside distractions, your entire being achieves levels of rest and higher state much deeper than you have ever previously experienced.


The man behind the magic – Dr John C. Lilly

The first floatation tank was developed in 1950 by the American neurophysiologist Professor Dr John C. Lilly while working at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in Bethesda, Maryland. Together with his associate Dr. Jay Shirley, Dr. Lilly became intrigued by the question of the origins of conscious activity within the brain. The question was whether the brain needed external stimuli to keep its conscious states active. Lilly and his associate set to work trying to devise a system that would restrict environmental stimulation as much as was practical and feasible. Lilly’s first tank was one in which the floater was suspended upright, entirely underwater, head completely covered by an underwater breathing apparatus and mask (now you know where the producers of “Altered States” got their ideas!). Over the years Lilly continued his experiments with floatation, simplifying and improving the general design of the tank. Dr. Lilly found that he could float in a more relaxing supine position, rather than suspended feet downward in fresh water, if more buoyant salt water was used. Other refinements, such as water heaters with thermostats sensitive enough to keep the water at perfect temperature, an air pump to keep the air in the tank fresh, and a water filter for the re-use of the Epsom salts, were added over the years. By the early 1970’s, Lilly had perfected the floatation tank in much the design used today.

Dr Lilly is also famous for the historical work with Dolphins which has allowed Dolphins to be treated as intelligent & protected creatures.

If you want to read more about Dr Lilly, his amazing journeys into the subconscious & work with Dolphins, check out his books:

  1. The Scientist: A Metaphysical Autobiography
  2. Center of the Cyclone: Looking into Inner Space

Places to float / experience the magic

Here are my 2 favorite floatation centres.

Sydney, NSW, Australia: Bondi Junction Massage and Float Centre – Flotation
Level 1 Royal Arcade, 175-181 Oxford Street
Bondi Junction, NSW, Australia, 1355
Email: info@massagefloat.com.au
Website: http://massagefloat.com.au/
Phone: 93877355

Isolation Tank Sydney
Isolation Tank Sydney

San Francisco, California, USA: Atha Floatation
San Francisco, Sunset District,
California, USA
Website: http://www.athafloatation.com/

Isolation Tank "Classic" model
Isolation Tank "Classic" model San Francisco

Where else will you find flotation tanks

In the Community: The Australian Institute of Sport, Hayman Island resort, Victoria University of Technology and many more.

In the Movies: Altered States, Fringe: The Complete First Season

Hungry for more? keep reading Part 2 – Floatation (isolation) Tank – indepth and upclose.

Jairek Robbins on Creating Certainty in an Uncertain Time

I’m buzzing full of positive energy! Today (28th June 2009) I attended a seminar by Jairek Robbins on Creating Certainty in an Uncertain Time. Plenty of take home learning’s, life techniques and I even got to have a great conversation with Jairek.Jairek Robbins & Ernest Semerda Jairek Robbins & Ernest Semerda Favourite Quote from Anthony Robbins

About Jairek Robbins

JAIREK ROBBINS — http://www.jairekrobbins.com
Jairek offers his lifetime experience growing up in the Personal Development industry. From spending time in Denmark with John Grinder the Co-Founder of NLP to Leaderships Academy with the Anthony Robbins Companies.

At 20 years old Jairek was coaching individuals from around the globe, sharing with them the Jairek Robbinsuniversal tools, ideas and strategies it takes to create an extraordinary quality of life and Business.

As a speaker Jairek shares his unique view of what it takes to create an Extraordinary Quality of Life, define and achieve consistent lasting results in your profession, as well as clearly assists in creating a powerful vision for your overall success.

Jairek has his BA in Psychology from the University of San Diego and has spent his entire life immersed in the Personal Development Industry. In working towards his greatest passion of helping people achieve their peak potential Jairek was awarded in 2008, “The Congressional Award, Gold Medal”.

From 2006-2008 he served as a representative of Robbins Research International 1 of 11 organizations under the Anthony Robbins Companies. He advised and consulted with Fortune 500 companies, executives, managers and sales professionals in the areas of personal and professional achievement and sales mastery. During this time he traveled 48 weeks a year speaking to over 400 companies giving presentations and running training programs throughout the world.