It is not necessary to travel all around the world to meditate! There are also nice meditative surprises in Paris, like ( Meïsō ), the first “floating” center to have opened in France. My feedback on this unique experience.
The story behind
Opened about two years ago, ( Meïsō ) – “Meditation” in Japanese – is the result of an entrepreneur couple’s work with complementary skills: he is an experimenter designer and she is a sophrologist.
They discovered floating meditation in London, which they enjoyed so much that it convinced them to create their own center in Paris.
Thus, they created a cabin at the “Paillasse”, a coworking center at the heart of Paris. Then they opened “L’Oasis” last january. Located in Barbès, this 200-square-meter space is nested at the end of a courtyard that makes you immediately disconnecting you from the Parisian rush. Equipped with two circular pools, it also has a cozy mezzanine furnished with pillows, sofas and inspiring readings, ideal for relaxation and reflection.
They were joined during their adventure by Florent, an engineer that became their teammate and associate. He helped them (among other things) to develop the cabins monitoring program and to create the center in Barbès.
Floating at ( Meïsō ) is based on three principles:
- Sensory isolation : protecting the body from any exterior stimuli enables the brain to enter different cerebral wave frequencies, which is specific to a meditative state.
- A weightlessness feeling: carried by a salt saturated in magnesium, the body floats (twice more than in the Dead Sea!), liberating the brain from his usual priorities to keep the body’s balance and thus giving it more resources for other activities.
- The Epsom salt: this salt is rich in sulfur and magnesium, which not only helps the body floating, but is also famous for relieving muscles tensions and pain or skin disorders.
A floating session lasts one hour, during which different conditions can be chosen:
- Immersion in total darkness or with a pilot light (which color you can choose)
- Silence for 1h, or different meditation guidance before the silence phase: Tibetan singing bowls (10 min), or the choice between three 20-minute meditation journeys, depending on the effect you are looking for (relaxation, mindfulness meditation or creativity).
Finally, an infusion of jiaogulan (an Asian herb with many benefits) is offered at the end of the session, to come back to your senses in peace.
As soon as I entered the Oasis, the disconnection was immediate for me. Carefully furnished, this wide space made of wood and vegetation is an invitation to feel zen.
Alexandre, (( Meïsō ) co-founder) greets you gently and explains you how the session is going to unfold.
I chose the Tibetan Singing bowls and the pilot light for this first floating session, which I finally quickly regretted. Darkness would have been even better to let it go, as it makes you loose your spacial and temporary marks.
Even if I managed to relax pretty easily once in water, it took me some time to calm all my thoughts. This little voice that keep moving, this unstoppable rush that never leaves you in peace… the bubbling in my head even seemed to be multiplied compared to my “classical” meditation sessions.
Though, after a while, the magic happens. Not completely asleep but not conscious either, the mind calms down, the body is light and the interior journey can start. This fullness is a difficult state to describe, as it really touches you deep inside, and is completely unique for each person.
When the floating time comes to an end, coming back to reality leaves a feeling of returning from far away. Like a waking dream, a cloud from which you would never like to come down… and the desire to do it again as soon as possible.
Want to try?
You have already tried floating meditation (at Meïsō or somewhere else)? You have some questions about this experience? Don’t hesitate to comment!
Info and reservation: www.meiso.fr
Cost for one session: 60€
* A little extra: I had the occasion to discover Meïsō thanks to my points collected on Usbek & Rica, a website full of very interesting and inspiring articles that I highly recommend.