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John Lilly

John Lilly

John Lilly, (1915-2001) invented the first float tanks in 1953. An American genius and genuine founding father of the American counter-culture, Lilly was part of a cluster of game-changers that included the likes of Baba Ram Dass, Buckminster Fuller, Steve Jobs and Terence McKenna. Like many of the aforementioned individuals, Lilly began by making his way through more traditional channels; becoming first a doctor, a neuroscientist, and a psychoanalyst, in turn. Singularly original, he would not be defined by any particular one of those disciplines. He took what he needed from each category, and then transcended it, ingesting formidable amounts of psychoactive drugs along the way. Eventually, it was his research for the Navy on extreme sensory reduction that brought him to the source of his current fame as the originator of “sensory deprivation tanks“. The Navy wanted to know what might happen to astronauts or submarine operators while cut off from normal external stimuli for long periods of time. Lilly wanted to know the same thing, but for different reasons.

Born a Catholic in St. Paul Minnesota in 1915, John Lilly quickly went beyond the teachings of the Church. He read Huxley’s “Brave New World” and philosopher George Berkeley, (whose writing foreshadowed quantum physics by about three hundred years). When Lilly began experimenting with the pathways of consciousness in the 1950’s he was trying to discover if awareness originated in our brains. Do we generate it, he wanted to know, or are we simply conduits for it? Are we gods, or merely flesh instruments reacting to sensory stimuli? Lilly’s idea was that if he eliminated all external sensory contact with the world, and analyzed brain activity, he might find some answers.

Lilly's First Experimental "Float-Masks"

Lilly’s First Experimental “Float-Masks”

He made his first trial tanks (more like vats) out of wood. Volunteers had their whole heads covered in light-blocking latex and were completely submerged, sitting upright. Subjects had to breath through complex tubing apparatus. Many of these lab-floats lasted hours on end. Needless to say, the experience was uncomfortable and probably a little scary.

Always his own foremost guinea pig, Lilly himself spent many hours under water, sometimes ingesting LSD or Ketamine to augment the experience. It’s important to note, however, that the benefits, and the “high” received from floating requires no mind-altering substances.

One of Lilly’s many visionary research projects involved Dolphin/human communications. He was trying to find ways to create a language through which the two species could speak to one another despite radically different vocal equipment. Lilly did not just try to teach Dolphins human words, he endeavored to learn their language, immersing himself in the sounds of their high-frequency sonar utterances. Dolphin brains are larger than human brains and Lilly quickly came to perceive the astonishing sophistication and complexity of their language. He believed that real conversation between humans and dolphins was just around the corner. He also understood that a larger, galactic community could not, indeed, would not include humanity as members until we could first learn to fully relate with our fellow Earth-species. Like many farseeing geniuses, his work sometimes traversed a murky border between rigorous science and fanciful experimentation.

Lilly once instructed a young female protegé to live alone with a dolphin for many months, interacting with him on any level that seemed right. Eventually they both got pretty lonely and that interaction took a turn to the amorous. Forty years later, that same woman, now settling into a less experimental phase of life, doesn’t like to talk about her inter-species affair. Was it immoral or cruel? Was Lilly a mad, voyeuristic scientist to encourage it?

Conscious Beings Communicate

Conscious Beings Communicate

I would argue that Lilly was well aware that there is no such thing as pure “empirical” proof. In so far as the observer influences the result, Lilly’s unconventional, radical methods are exactly what brought him the biggest reward of knowledge. “Rigorous science” has often delivered to us humans some information and a lot of avoidable horror stories as well. It doesn’t make you a better “scientist” to have your heart closed off, but even more ruinous to discovery is shutting down your imagination. The Navy funded a lot of Lilly’s early research, at one point asking him to outfit Dolphins as living bombs, (among other dubious ideas). But John Lilly blithely refused many of their requests and said “no” when they asked for things that he felt were unethical. He also made his work freely available to anyone who wanted it, also against the Navy’s wishes. The man had heart, mind and soul in full flower and he offered all of it to his research without reservation. I believe that there will be a further vindication and renaissance of his work. Float tanks are just one of his many contributions, their uses and benefits are just starting to be understood. The brilliantly creative mind behind these almost radically simple devices, as well as Lilly’s dedicated research, have a lot to do with why float tanks so unique.


“Altered States” the 1980 movie based on Lilly’s work, features William Hurt devolving into a primitive hominid after many hours in a float tank. The lurid Paddy Chayefsky film  sensationalized the real experiences of John Lilly and Dr. Craig Enright after taking Ketamine and floating for many hours.  The film managed to foster a lingering notion that float tanks just might be idiosyncratic, counter-culture devices right at home along side of Orgone rocks and Altered-States-1980pyramid tents. Float tanks might have easily never made it into mainstream use. But they did, in large part because Lilly, although often perceived as a fringe-dweller, grew his technology out of the grounded territory of traditional academics and scientific training. Ironically, thanks in part to the rigorous testing and experimentation of their military-funded roots, float tanks have soared well beyond sideshows from the ‘Conscious Life Expo’ and have continued to evolve and thrive. Like yoga, the reason for this is simply that they work.

By the way, Lilly did succeed in proving that consciousness is not dependent upon external stimuli. He also found that by drastically reducing the input from the external world, such that the mind can only turn inward, one could get access to and traverse other dimensions of reality. Lilly reconfirmed what ancient sages and today’s scientists (most recently Robert Lanza, author of Biocentrism) have said: Consciousness precedes form. Pure consciousness pervades everything, and is the driving force of the universe.


Please See: Three Part Series: THE LILLY PATH TO FREEDOM




Highly Recommended:
LA Float Center   818-914-4887


Float Clinic, Torrance, CA



Floatation.Com lists many places to float worldwide:




Phone Zombies

Dunk In, Tune Out, and Float Away. I woke up one day to find that my daily life had grown electronically cacophonous. Multiple devices that I never turned off were keeping me hooked to instant updates about family, friends and the general diaspora; not to mention a deluge of news, social media, and hawking. My “break” from working on my computer was to open Facebook or the news. When I finally looked up from my iPad, faces were going by in the crowd, and everyone was looking down at their phones. People were texting even while crossing busy intersections; checking their messages during movies, and peeking at their devices during the course of normal conversations. Had I become one of them? I wondered. All of us (and me too), toting our noise with us wherever we went, staring at little blue screens, slaves to technology. When exactly did “sharing” become less of a selfless act, and more of a narcissistic one? “Watch me do something that you are not doing”. If you are not photographing, “sharing” it, and getting 20 “likes”, did it really happen? This was extreme disconnection from the present moment, and Ekhart Tolle was nowhere in sight.

Sitting Meditation

Sitting Meditation

Lest we become beleaguered shells run about by a constant barrage of e-babble, it is necessary to invest real time in some form of self-induced stillness. Also, it’s pretty much mandatory if you have any wish to hear the still, small, inner voice of Truth. Not to mention for the sake of your sanity, health, creativity and even everyday decision-making. Being “constantly connected” is fun, but It can also start to steal your soul. I knew I had to do something.

My own meandering quest for inner stillness has taken me down some interesting  paths, with varying degrees of “success”. I’ve chanted mantras until I couldn’t remember my own name, bent my body into Cirque De Soleil Hatha yoga poses, done Holotropic breathing until I hallucinated, and those are just some of my more mainstream consciousness-raising experiments. Learning how sit still and meditate has ironically been the biggest challenge of all. It turns out that besides the ambitious goal of spiritual enlightenment, meditation is simply good for our over active, reason-stuffed minds. My own personal best breakthrough as an adult came after a ten-day silent Vipassana retreat. But that was back in 2011. I needed a practice that I could do without becoming a temporary acetic or going nuts. Something gentle that I could fit into my daily life.

I’ve known aboutsensory deprivation tanks” for at least the last fifteen years, or so I thought. Even though I had heard about many of the touted benefits (deep meditation, accelerated healing and drug-free magical mystery tours), I still secretly wondered, why would I (or anyone else for that matter) want to go and bob naked for 60 minutes or more in a pitch-dark, womb-like pod filled Epsom salt-saturated, warmish water? It sounded just a little alarming.

Getting Feet Wet

Getting Feet Wet

Cut to 2014, when our friend Randall casually mentioned that he’d been going to a float tank to help heal a neck injury after a bicycle accident. A little “ping” went off in my stressed-out head. The silence, weightlessness and rest that he described suddenly sounded a more like a vacation and less like a wacko science experiment. But where to find a tank and get my feet wet, so to speak?

If you wanted to try floating ten or more years ago, chances are, (even in trailblazing LA), you probably would have had to wheedle an invitation out of your best hipster friend to use his backyard unit, secretly hoping he’d recently changed the water. Nowadays, like the next big wave of the mainstreaming of yoga and meditation, there is a good possibility that a pristinely clean, well-maintained “float center” has cropped up somewhere near you.


New Style Float Tanks

Looking on-line, I quickly found that no less than three float centers had opened in the greater LA area, and in fact they are popping up all over the USA, Canada, Europe, Australia and the Netherlands. Not your neighbor’s grungy tank, these current models are sleek, with high-tech filtration systems. Many of the new float centers are more like luxury spas, catering to people of all ages for all kinds of reasons. A lot of these offer opulent touches like meditation music piped directly into the units, as well as optional pastel lights to ease the sudden transition from traffic and mall shopping to complete darkness and silence. Some, (like LA Float Center in Woodland Hills, CA) even have oxygen bars with fruit or mint-tinged oxygenated air to inhale post-float.

When the need arises, the technology will come. Obviously the ‘Information Age’ has added a whole new rung of stress to the ladder. Research has shown that floating alleviates chronic pain and stress-related issues. It is well-documented that floating helps free people from compulsive

Beautiful Shell Tank

Beautiful Shell Tank

disorders, such as over-eating and other addictive behavior. It also accelerates healing, increases self-confidence and fosters general well-being. Not to mention the occasional drug-free, out-of-body experience. All by, well… doing absolutely nothing for 90 or so minutes in a weightless environment.

Do they really work? What is it like to float? The only way to find out was to do it.


Did I mention that I was claustrophobic? I do not like small elevators. Standing in my closet finding clothes makes me anxious, and the first time I heard about the float tank, I said to myself, “Ha! Not EVER gong to do that.” Tight rope walking across the Grand Canyon seemed like it would be a more likely scenario than me getting inside a salt-water filled, completely sound and light-proof, travel case for sensitive marine life samples.

However, I remained cautiously curious. My yogic experiments have at least taught me what it feels like to finally let go of one’s tangled thoughts, if even for a moment. During those rare, fleeting flashes of clarity, bliss, and quantum leaps of understanding, I have always made a pact with myself to find ways to get even more unknotted. I know enough to at least know what seasoned meditators are after; if one can enter a condition of waking dreamlike stillness, it has the power to transform your life and help you go beyond the limited notion of self. It is an extremely liberating state. So, when I found that a float center had opened nearby, I did the courageous thing and booked an appointment for my husband.

Star Fleet Shuttle

Star Fleet Shuttle

I went along too, not sure until the last-minute that I would actually get inside the thing. The first float is usually a kind of orientation to the process, the unconventional wisdom being that you need to go a few times to get the hang of it. We both chose some beautiful, Indian style, meditation music and entered our private rooms. Once inside I beheld what looked like a fiberglass mock-up of a Star Fleet Shuttle filled with water.

You have a few minutes to shower off before entering the pod. The filtration systems are very good, but it’s essential to wash before entering to keep oils out of the tank, and then afterwards to remove the salt solution from your skin. Earplugs serve to further quiet the experience and keep salty water from seeping into your ears.

Almost immediately, my husband opted for total dark and quiet (he reported to me afterwards) finding the music and light a distraction. Not quite as intrepid, I lay back in the water and quickly pressed the button to turn off the pastel ambient light, but left the music playing. As I began to relax in the dark I felt my body start to adjust to weightlessness.

At the same time, I experienced odd, violent itches on my neck and legs which seemed too deep under my skin to have anything to do with Epsom

Red Glow Float Tank

Red Glow Float Tank

Salts. There was an initial disorientation as my mind grasped for “things” to hold onto. Every noise seemed bizarrely loud; my heart thumped like a shaman’s drum, my breathing sounded like Darth Vader, and the music was almost painful as I could hear every note and beat with incredible clarity. Deprived of outer sensory play, my mind raced to “think” about things…anything. Am I hearing a clarinet? Did both my grandmothers have blue eyes? I saw every detail of a red Flexible Flyer sled I had when I was ten. Random images from childhood flashed across my brain with no apparent connective tissue. My neck and shoulders felt very strange and somewhat out-of-joint. I interlaced my hands behind my head as the helpful person at the front desk had advised us. Eventually, the odd sensations and racing thoughts subsided. Layer after layer of high alert tension peeled away like skins off an onion. The space around me suddenly expanded out as if for thousands of miles. Far from claustrophobic, I felt a tremendous sense of freedom, like flying. Even in the blackness I was sure  that I could see shining stars. Euphoria.


Azure Sky on an Alien Planet

Azure Sky on an Alien Planet

Suddenly, I clearly felt and saw myself swimming up towards the surface of a huge body of indigo-colored water. I realized immediately that I was able to breathe even whilst submerged and felt no lack of oxygen. My husband swam next to me as we rose to the top together, finding ourselves in a beautiful, but totally alien place. The vast, violet sky around us was dimly lit by a golden orb that was like a very bright full moon in its luminescence. A pervading azure glow danced off the surface of gentle, lapping water, and touched the entire

Plants of Unknown Origin~Voynich Manuscript

Plants of Unknown Origin~Voynich Manuscript

landscape. Enormous flowering stalks, the size of eucalyptus trees but with bright dewy, succulent petals, grew straight out of a vast lake. These flower-trees were everywhere, resembling aloe plants, but soft as rose petals to the touch. We hovered in the water for a bit, looking all around. There was land nearby, but I felt no urgency to swim to it. Unusual creatures, that looked something like manatees morphed with lions, swam near us. They were very friendly and curious, coming close up and nuzzling, regarding us with large, soft eyes. About a quarter of a mile away, on the land, there were dwellings or temples made of white stone, shining iridescent in the half-light. I asked my husband if he knew what this place was. He replied that we were on a planet about midway between Earth and the galactic core. He said there were “so many wonderful places” he wanted to “show” me. I didn’t question how he knew this. It seemed that we were “us”, but in a different place and time where he possessed a great knowledge of things I knew nothing about.

White Temples on The Shore

White Temples on The Shore

I was completely stunned by this vivid vision, similar to a lucid dream, but I was not asleep! The sights and sounds were occurring with absolutely NO plant or chemical enhancement. I wanted to follow the thread of this enchanting and beautiful waking dream. I wished to go to shore and look around, but as soon as I tried to cling to it, stay on that plane of existence and deliberately explore, it vanished.


Plants of Unknown Origin~Voynich Manuscript

My neck and shoulders had relaxed considerably by this time and I felt that places of stuck energy in my body and psyche were being “shown” to me by an intrinsic intelligent force flowing through my body. My neck in particular held a solidified tension and muggle-type crispiness. I found that by simply focusing on a choked area, something beyond my rational understanding went to work on it, unraveling the thicket of crossed nerve wires, stuck emotions, and heavy caffeine levels. It was somewhat appalling to bear witness to how compacted certain areas of my body really had been. I had a certain amount of obviously misplaced feelings of immunity to these kinds of stresses because I practice yoga and swim. Alas, once inside the tank, I understood that my spine was more like a slinky pressed into travel mode than a serpent goddess unbound. I was also able to witness the level of unnecessary vigilance my left brain (logical, time-oriented), exerted over my existence in general.



It seemed like only minutes had gone by and my hour and a half session was up. However, my appetite was thoroughly whetted for this new experience, albeit with heavily salted water. My husband, less prone to effusive excitement, especially over anything that takes place in a salon-type atmosphere, seemed quietly elated and a nagging issue with his hip was drastically alleviated.

Afterwards, the known world felt smoother and somehow less noisy. Immediately following my float, choices made in conversation, relationships, creatively, business or even shopping for groceries, were on target. I was “in the flow,” effortlessly led to the right motions and words at the right moments. It was only later on that I realized the shift in my state of mind from floating affected everything I did for the better. The friction was gone! Many of these effects lasted for at least a week, tapering off slowly. After two weeks, I felt the need to get back to the tank as soon as possible.


I can only surmise that the cross-current of external events and mind-chatter takes us further and further from our authentic responses. Our surface, ego-mind begins to take over, making so-called “rational” decisions. Gradually, over the course of our adult lives, our choices get increasingly made based on information from external noise, and not from internal wisdom. When you completely quiet all that babble, even for short spans, you are able to listen to the sound of your own truth. Youth itself might be defined as the state in which your natural mind has not yet been polluted by outside influence. This is not in any way meant to dismiss education, learning and experience: rather to understand the stress placed upon us by faulty assimilation of competing data over a lifetime. Unable to hear our own genuine wisdom, we eventually loose contact with the sureness and courage of our youth. If there are no periods of complete silence, the body/mind will never fully digest the huge meals of information being sent its way. This is more true than ever in the ‘information age’. Consequently, many people suffer from prolonged intellectual and psychological “indigestion”.

No matter what you think you think, the real voice coming out of pure quiet from your core, always knows what is best for you. There are other ways to achieve this state of mind. Sitting meditation, hatha yoga, chanting, drugs and near death experiences, are some of the methods people have employed to profoundly quiet their minds. I tried all the above, except, thankfully, the last and have found that floating is the most effective method to get “there”, with the least amount of downside.

I am still plugged in to my many devices and communication systems. I admit it, I am an information junkie and I love gadgets. These days, as often as possible, I get into a float tank, immersing myself in silence for up to three hours at a time, and I emerge reborn. It is the greatest balancer for this noisy age that I’ve found short of flying to India and trekking to an ashram in the Himalayas.

Since that first hypnogoic vision, I have not experienced dimensional travel, although I fervently hope it happens again. Sometimes the real tank time seems monumentally uneventful. What always happens afterwards, no matter what, is at least a week or more of greatly enhanced clarity, general well-being and good decision-making. No other practice I have ever engaged in (and there have been a plethora of them) has ever given me such consistent and clear results. My advice? Get thee to a float tank!

“We had a Zen master who visited my lab once, and he asked to go in the tank for an hour. Most of his life he had meditated every day for four or five hours or more. And he thought the depth of meditation he reached in the tank was on par with a level he reached maybe once a year in his normal meditation environment—which was not exactly the middle of Times Square. He was amazed.” – Peter Suedfeld PHD

Please See: Three Part Series: THE LILLY PATH TO FREEDOM




Places To Float:

Highly Recommended:
LA Float Center   818-914-4887


Floatation.Com lists many places to float worldwide:










Miracle or just olive oil?



Carbon 60 Molecule

Fullerene (carbon 60) molecules are a configuration of 60 atoms in a perfectly spherical shape resembling a soccer ball.  Amongst all the chemical elements, carbon has the greatest capacity to bond and form new structures and is the basic building block of life as we know it. The Carbon 60 molecule, a very pure form of carbon, also has an unmistakable resemblance to the ancient, esoteric “flower of life” symbol found in Cabala and other hermetic traditions. Humans have depicted the “flower of life” image since long before  modern microscopes existed. Could this be evidence that ancient seers were already aware of the microscopic level and familiar with the C60 molecule? Fullerene molecules are also miniscule Doppelgangers of famed neo-futurist architect Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic domes, hence the nickname “Buckyballs”.

Buckminster Fuller in front of a Geodesic Dome

Buckminster Fuller in front of a Geodesic Dome

In 2011, French scientists gave six rats a specially prepared olive oil infused with Fullerene molecules. The truth is, the French scientists were trying to discover the lethal dose of Fullerene molecules, so they kept feeding the rats greater and greater amounts of the stuff. Then something completely unexpected happened. The rats lived… on and on and on…! They lived past the normal life expectancy for rats with good health. They kept on living past the known upper ranges of lifespan for rats in general. In fact, they lived double their normal lifespan. The rats did not even die naturally; they were eventually euthanized so the scientists could have a look at their organs. What they found were hearts, livers, and spleens all in pristine condition, like those of much younger rats.

Da Vinci's "Flower of Life"

Da Vinci’s “Flower of Life”

The publication of the French study’s results sent many in the scientific community into a tizzy. It had to be the olive oil, already known for its health benefits, they scoffed. Or it had to be a mistake, maybe something was wrong with the data, they grumbled. Although olive oil by itself is in fact very beneficial to health, it alone cannot account for these incredible results. While the academics are still dithering over the French study’s findings, the alternative health community has jumped on the histoire of the French rats with its usual vitamin induced vigor, with many intrepid individuals guzzling Buckyballs as if they’d found Ponce de Leon’s fountain. Although the FDA has not yet approved Buckyball olive oil for sale in the US, you can still buy it online for lab uses only (wink wink).

More recent experiments have provided insight on how C60 molecules may make our cells more youthful. Much like the larger organism, each cell processes fuel to release energy, and then excretes the resulting waste. For this purpose, every cell has organelles known as mitochondria. Mitochondria act as cellular power plants, releasing chemical energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) through the process of respiration. They also play key roles in a cell differentiation and life cycle. As we get older, our cells tend to do these tasks less and less efficiently. Eventually, there is build-up within the cells of toxic materials in the form of “free radicals”, which are not being properly disposed of. This build up of oxidized material is most likely a primary cause of aging. Research suggests that C60 molecules are able to penetrate the mitochondria membrane and bond with free radicals, facilitating their excretion as cellular waste. This increases the overall efficiency of the metabolic process, essentially making the cells work as if they are far more youthful.

"Flower of Life" at Abydos, Egypt may be 10,500 yrs old

“Flower of Life” at Abydos, Egypt may be 10,500 yrs old. Carved into granite with unexplainable precision.

Sir Harry Kroto shared the 1996 Nobel Prize in chemistry for discovering Buckyballs, while researching carbon chains in the interstellar medium. He commented, “this most exciting breakthrough provides convincing evidence that the Buckyball has, as I long suspected, existed since time immemorial in the dark recesses of our galaxy. In other words, it is a basic building block of our universe.” Some scientists have speculated that these molecules were instrumental in delivering the codes of life to our planet in the earliest primordial times.

Buckyballs, it turns out, are all over the place. These beautiful geodesic, carbon molecules are found in the soot of burning candles, lightning bolt discharges, and the material flowing from supernovae events. Even common molasses, the byproduct of refined sugar, has significant amounts of Fullerene molecules. Buckyballs have been observed as far away as 6500 light years from Earth, hovering in clouds of cosmic dust; and as near as the impact zone of the Sudbury meteor crater in Ontario, Canada.



The mineraloid Shungite, first discovered in Russia, contains substantial amounts of naturally occurring Bucky molecules. Shungite has been used since at least the time of Czar Peter (1672-1725) for its ability to cleanse water, although Russian peasants apparently were aware of its properties for a long time before that. The Czar himself drank Shungite water and some believe this practice contributed to his extraordinary vitality and power. He also instructed his troops to disinfect their drinking water by placing chunks of Shungite in their carrying pots. As a result, the occurrence of intestinal problems among Russian soldiers was drastically reduced, and they were able to prevail against the dysentery-afflicted Swedes at the battle of Poltava. Shungite’s ability to purify water is now well-known and documented.


Besides the possibility that C60 may prolong life span, there is also a veritable shopping list of super-supplement qualities being attributed to it. We must all ultimately use our own experiences and judgment to decide. For now, I’ll present the most common things that people are saying Buckyball olive oil can do.

1. Prolongs lifespan.
2. Improves mental acuity, sharpness, and increases reaction/reflex ability.
3. More energy, and better athletic performance; better use of oxygen in the body.
4. Higher libido (even in very low doses, according to those who watched the rats frolic day and night.)
5. Fast recovery from sunburn if applied topically. Good for any burn type injury, but not for use on broken skin.
6. Good for the skin in general. Some researchers have suggested that it should only be used at night as there is still a question about how C60 reacts with direct sun.
7. Immediate reduction of “bad” cholesterol in the body.
8. Alleviation of symptoms of many chronic diseases such as ALS, (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and Parkinson’s.
9. Just about everyone that has tried it has reported that C60 helps them get a really good night’s sleep.


They say knowledge without experience is just hearsay, so we here at HH eagerly bought some Buckyballs online. It arrived in a dark bottle to protect it from light damage. The oil has a deep reddish amber color and a curiously peppery taste. The instructions say to take one dropper a day, although I have read tales of people on the Longecity site who take lots more than that and are still quite alive. We started with one dropper before sleep for the first few days.

Immediate effects were as follows:

  1. Taken before bed, it greatly enhances the depth and quality of sleep. That alone could lead to greater health and longevity. Too much (two droppers) left us groggy the next day. The optimal dose we arrived at was one dropper before bed about 1-3 times a week.
  2. Although these results could be from other factors, we experienced enhanced daily energy and endurance. Personally, my allergies, which normally completely incapacitate me for about three days every spring and fall, have been almost non-existent since our Buckyballs experiment.
  3. Age-related skin issues, like sun damage and dehydration, also diminished. I will cover this more in the beauty section.
  4. The greatest surprise has been its apparent effectiveness with animals, in particular our 14-year-old Jack Russel/Dachshund mix, Moosheka. Being immune to the placebo effect, she is an excellent test subject and was happy to gobble down her dose with a bowl of food. At fourteen, she’s in good health, but was slowing down to the point where I was concerned.
    Moosheka, after Buckyballs

    Moosheka, after Buckyballs

    After ½ of a dropper in her food over three consecutive evenings, Moosheka began behaving like a puppy again, running up to three miles on mountain trails and bounding around like a dog half her age. While I do not administer Buckyballs to Moosheka on a regular basis, I start it up when I see she is flagging. It always works. By the next day she’s full of energy, barking her shrieky little bark and exhibiting joyful doggie behavior!


1. Carbon filters are one of the oldest methods for removing impurities from water. (There is a 2000 BC Sanskrit text that refers to filtering water through charcoal.) The human body is mostly water (between 60- 80%). It is possible that carbon 60 Fullerenes act like tiny, microscopic carbon filters on cells, cleansing them of detritus.

2. C60 Fullerene molecules dissolved in olive oil are possibly an adaptagen. This is not yet proven by way of empirical research, but its symmetrical molecular structure combined with its propensity for bonding suggests that C60 may have multiple uses in stabilizing various organic processes. Carbon is well-known as a substance that can form into many other things and C60 seems to help people in the areas where they need help.

CLOSING THOUGHT: Something of interest is going on here and definitely warrants further study. If you the reader feel inclined to embark on your own personal C60 experiment, or have already tried it, we would love to hear about your experiences in our comment section.

To learn more, you may want to read the following articles and discussions.

(1)   Possible Mechanisms of Fullerene C60 Antioxidant Action

(2)   Longecity: C60 experiments @ home

PLEASE NOTE: Hyperborean Health has NO financial interest in any of these companies. Here are two places to buy Buckyball Olive Oil.

Bucky Labs



This article is the second of an eight part series. It will present the second limb: yama (outward attitude and behavior) of the 8-fold path of Raja yoga.

It is a widely held Hindu belief that we are all just characters in one of God’s dreams. The eight limbs (angas) detail a methodical approach by which we can awaken within that dream. Ashta-anga-yoga has been specifically devised over many millennia with the sole intention of leading us to the highest possible state of human potential, God-Realization.

The Yamas: What We Think We Create

The yamas are the first limb of the eightfold yogic path taught by Patanjali. They consist of moral observances, which form the very foundation of spiritual discipline. We use the yamas as a guide for how we deal with the outer world, allowing our behavior and relationships to reflect an attitude of compassion. According to the Yoga Sutra there are five yamas:

  • Ahimsa or non-harming
  • Satya or truthfulness
  • Asteya or nonstealing
  • Brahmacarya or chastity
  • Aparigraha or greedlessness.

These constitute the maha-vrata or ‘great vow’ of the yogin.

Ahimsa, nonviolence, means more than just the absence or negation of violence. Ahimsa is the practice of kindness in all thought, speech and action, developing a considerate attitude toward ourselves first and then extending benevolence outward in our behavior toward others. To effectively practice ahimsa we need to confront the source of violent impulses, fear and anger. Both fear and anger result in a contraction of our consciousness, isolating us from union with divine energy. Anger pulls a person’s vibration down and is an extremely wasteful expenditure of accumulated spiritual merit. In Buddhist teachings patience is recommended as a countermeasure for anger. However, being patient is much easier in theory than in practice, which is why they call it a practice.

Fear and anger often arise when we are not firmly established in the present. Fear stems from apprehension of a future event, while the source of anger is frequently an inability to let go of something in our past. Gratitude is a strong medicine for both. Negativity and gratitude cannot co-exist in the same space.

Perhaps the most formidable fear-obstacle we will inevitably face is our own death. Knowing that the end of this body is not the end of our existence is essential for developing the trust and surrender necessary to overcome our fear of death. The deeper we delve into our yoga practice, the more directly we can experience God and gain that knowledge.

Satya is the practice of truthfulness. It has been said that, “if you always speak the truth, everything you say will come true.” This means that truth is inherently powerful. When we only speak words we know to be true, we align ourselves with the vibration of creation. In meditation, when our mind is still, we can ‘hear’ the vibration of truth. It’s a feeling – a ‘knowing’ that is beyond words. For the yogi, the origin of truthful speech and action is truthful thought. Those who cause harm out of ignorance are less culpable than those who know what is right and still act otherwise. There is no value in knowing truth unless we act in truth.

Asteya addresses more than just non-stealing, it also means not coveting and not misusing the trust or confidence of another for our own personal gain. “The world has enough for every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.” (Mahatma Ghandhi).

In the west we tend to spend the first half of our life running around like crazed squirrels, gathering up as many nuts as we can find, not appreciating what is happening in the present moment. If we’re “successful” in accumulating, we then spend the second half of our life worrying about who’s going to take our nuts away. When we take more of the world’s resources than we can use, in a sense we are taking what is not ours. Giving away what we don’t need or use, recycling Mother Earth’s precious resources and performing acts of selfless service are all proactive ways in which we can cultivate asteya.

Brahmacharya is the containment of sexual energy for its conscious use. This is not necessarily instruction to choke off a natural urge from an outside-in approach, but to become aware of and contain all sexual energy down to the subtle level of thought. A person in a monogamous relationship or marriage can still be practicing brahmacharya if they keep their sexual energy within that closed circle. When we see a person, rather than negate our natural instincts, we can try to see them from the perspective of all of our chakras, not just the lower three. As yogis we aspire to look beyond the impermanent exterior to that which is eternal.

In the strictest literal sense, brahmacharya means the practice of celibacy. All of the yogin’s physical and psychic energy is directed towards the divine. Sexual energy is pulled upward from the lower to the higher chakras, fueling the spiritual growth and ultimate awakening of the yogi. Qualities in another person such as charisma, brilliance or artistry are in fact sexual energies transmuted. The yogic practices are designed to ignite and increase this energy, which by means of the yamas and niyamas, the yogi channels toward kindness away from ego.

Aparigraha, greedlessness, is a form of asteya and perhaps the most difficult yama for westerners to employ. It means ‘non-hoarding’ or not keeping more than one needs. To a sadhu in India, that would mean not possessing more than a loin cloth, a blanket and a bowl. To a westerner the line between “need” and “want” can often be very fuzzy

So how does a contemporary western yogi understand and practice aparigraha? Perhaps by giving away what is not being utilized. Our giving can also extend beyond the material so that we are not hoarding our caring or compassion for others either. It’s helpful to recognize all of energy as a flow; if one stops the flow of giving, one also impedes the flow of receiving

Through the practice of yama and niyama, we become channels for the good of the universe. Connecting with the truth residing in each of our hearts, connects us with all that is.

Loka Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu ~ May all beings be happy and at peace.

*{published Jan/Feb 2006 issue of ‘LA Yoga & Ayurveda Magazine’, by Sydney and Kevin Light}


This article is the first of an eight part series. It will present the first limb: niyama (inward moral observances) of the 8-fold path of Raja yoga. 

The eight limbs of yoga (ashta-anga-yoga) expounded on in the 2,300-year-old Yoga Sutra compiled by Patanjali, are a progressive series of steps or disciplines, which purify the body and mind, providing us with the means to achieve direct experiential knowledge of God. They comprise a scientific system formulated such that the practice of each limb reinforces the others, ultimately bringing the practitioner to a state of yoga: union with cosmic consciousness.

The yamas and niyamas comprise the universal moral truths that are the backbone of every religion and spiritual practice. Although they are often misinterpreted as ‘shalt nots’ they cannot be effectively practiced in this way. It’s much more helpful to consider them as things that we ‘do.’ Rather than negate our behavior through censorship, it is a much more powerful practice to journey inward and address the impulses behind our actions.

Although the yamas are typically listed as the first limb of yoga, before purity can reflect in our actions it must exist in our thoughts. Therefore, the niyamas will be presented first in this article. Niyama, the second limb, has to do with purity of thought. Everything that exists has been preceded by thought. We are the co-creators of this reality.

The Niyamas: What We Think We Become

The niyamas address inner observance and self-discipline, how we treat ourselves. They lead to ‘right intention,’ which comes from the expanded perspective of doing what is best for all of consciousness, even at the expense of personal sacrifice. According to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, there are five niyamas:

  • Shauca or purity
  • Santosha or contentment
  • Tapas or austerity
  • Svadhyaya or self-study
  • Ishvara-pranidhana or devotion to the Lord.

Shauca, purity, is important for both our inner and outer well being. Practicing good hygiene habits combined with asana and pranayama remove toxins and cleanse us inside and out. In a physical sense it means purity of body as well as purity in what we nourish the body with. This includes what we eat as well as how the food is obtained.

Perhaps even more important than the physical aspects of shauca is the purity of our thoughts, actions and deeds. Impure thoughts can be cleansed through the practice of bhakti or devotion, while faulty reasoning and perception can be purified by svadhyaya or introspective self-study. With a clear and lucid mind we are better equipped to practice the other limbs of yoga.

Santosha, contentment, is the means by which we free ourselves from the winds of desire. The practice of this niyama has become even more crucial in today’s consumer-based society where we have been conditioned since birth to believe the key to our happiness lies in some external thing. True and lasting happiness can only be attained as an internal state of being. So how do we go about ‘cultivating’ contentment?

We can set the context by practicing acceptance and gratitude. Acceptance – saying ‘yes’ to what is in this moment; gratitude – recognizing the grace we have already received. As we do, contentment and joy naturally arise.

Tapas refers to any austere practice requiring a burning, self-disciplined effort resulting in the purification of our character. Patanjali states in his Yoga Sutra that tapasya leads to perfection (siddhi) of the body and the senses. Tapas are those situations in life, contrived or naturally occurring, from which we can push off of, in order to propel ourselves higher. Whether engaging the body, speech or mind, tapasya entails a sustained and regimented endeavor to connect with the divine, while all obstacles are burned up and fall away.

Pranayama and asana are voluntary forms of tapasya. The Buddhist practice of vipassana is another example of an intentional tapasya, where the practitioner takes a ten day vow of silence and sits in meditation for eight hours a day. A disability such as a stroke can become an involuntary tapasya if the practitioner is able to adopt an attitude whereby they can use that condition to move closer to God.

However, the austerities, hardships, which help us to discern body from spirit, should not be taken to an extreme. The Bhagavad-Gita speaks out against exaggerated asceticism, which involves mortification of the flesh and ignores the fact that the Lord (Ishvara) resides within the body.

Svadyaya, self-inquiry encompasses all learning, reflection and experience, which result in a greater understanding of our own fundamental nature. It includes the study of sacred texts or any books that resonate with us in a way that moves us toward the light. Self-study is perhaps the most crucial of the niyamas because at some point we must all reconcile to the fact that although higher consciousness is within everyone’s grasp, no guru, priest or other person can do the work for us. Sri Ramana Maharshi, the great Indian saint who left his body in 1950, advocated self-inquiry as the primary proponent of sadhana (daily practice). He guided his followers toward freedom from ego-illusion by instructing them to always look to the source of the “I-thought.”

The Yoga Sutra says that as we progress on our path of self-study we develop a connection to the universal Divine laws and the spiritual masters who revealed them. Mantra is a way of strengthening our Divine connection, so svadyaya also includes kirtan and the repetition of mantra.

Ishvarapranidhana, devotion to the Lord literally means, ‘to lay all of our actions at the feet of God.’ It requires that we detach from the outcome of any endeavor, just do our best and leave the rest to a higher power. Ishvarapranidhana addresses ‘right intention.’

Is the source of our motivation behind a particular action ego-driven or is our intention selfless? Ram Dass, a spiritual pioneer who is, and has been, instrumental in introducing Eastern spirituality to the west, often speaks about dis-identifying with our ‘role’ as helper when performing acts of service. When we perform a good deed and there is nobody there as witness, did we acquire karmic merit? When a tree falls in the forest and there is nobody there to hear it, did it make a sound? The answer to both questions is a resounding ‘Yes,’ because both involve a transfer of energy, which according to Sir Isaac Newton can neither be created nor destroyed, but only transferred or transmuted.

Besides, Presence is always there as witness. In fact, when we perform acts of service with the knowledge that nobody will ever know, it is far more likely that our intention is pure.

Through the practice of yama and niyama, we become channels for the good of the universe. Connecting with the truth residing in each of our hearts, connects us with all that is.

Loka Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu ~ May all beings be happy and at peace.

*{published Jan/Feb 2006 issue of ‘LA Yoga & Ayurveda Magazine’, by Sydney and Kevin Light}