I had been meditating on and off for a few years, but a couple of months ago made a serious commitment to a daily practice. Since then ive been experiencing deep changes, but unfortunately, not entirely positive and I would appreciate your help.
Thanks in advance for reading through the long post, I want to describe my experience in detail so you understand whats happening to me.
I meditate atleast once, sometimes 2-3 times/day for about 20 mins each. Before I started meditating I wasn’t greatly moved by positive or negative experiences, but any movement would be towards a low state, and only rarely to a higher state than average.
After starting regular meditation, I have started experiencing brief but profound glimpses, few minutes or so, of peace and presence. I felt like time would stand still, the great beauty in everything around me, birds, clouds, even leaves on the ground, felt compassion and understanding, for casual acquaintances and much as for my loved ones. most importantly I felt aligned within myself and confident in all my actions. i thought that my mind was playing tricks on me and these were just ‘hallucinations of mindfulness’ because I was so focused on becoming more present. But this state reflected even in how positively people would respond to me and seemed to be drawn to my energy.
however, when I ‘fell out’ of these high states, I would enter a low state, and it would be deeply unconfortable. Onslaught of negative thoughts, doubts, selfcriticism, drudging up the past, anxiety. I cant really tell if this was drastically different from the average negativity I felt pre-meditation, maybe the contrast with the high states (which I never felt before) made these low states feel worse. but pre-meditation I never felt that my chest tighten, shallow and strained breathing, the muscles in my face, especially around my eyes would get tense. Also people pick up on the negative energy and get unconfortable/close up.
This went on for a few weeks, and since then the intensity levelled out somewhat, but I still cycle through high states and low states, almost never feel just ok, just average.
I refrain from artificial stiumlants like alcohol, nicotine or caffeine, as coping mechanisms. breathing exercises sometimes help relieve the physical symptoms in low states, but my thoughts are still negative. Meditation when im in the high state, is almost effortless, but in the low state, near impossible.
I don’t know whats going on, if this is normal at all. Im even open to the possibility that this is not because of meditation, but I cant think of anything else. I assume that is a stage along the journey that started with meditation, and as much of a roller coaster as it feels, I am grateful for it if it takes me to a better place. But there are times when I just wish I could take a break and get off the ride, if even for a day.
Has anyone else experienced this? What should I do?