Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Author Topic: What exactly is happening to me?  (Read 579 times)

John Bruzi

  • Member
  • I don't seek happiness, I just seek control.
    • Mindfulness
What exactly is happening to me?
« on: April 10, 2017, 09:24:36 PM »
Okay, usually I post questions about particular stuff I experience during meditation. Enough of that. Let me narrate to you my whole experience, from the moment I sit (or lay down) to the moment my alarm clock rings and it's time to stop, and then you can explain to me what exactly is going on in my brain/body.

When I started my meditation practice about a year ago I did it using the lotus position. But as time went by I noticed that laying down on my back resulted in exactly the same "experience", which brings me to the most interesting part of my story.

Meditation always felt like it had a similar mechanism to sex for me. Now hold on. I don't mean that it "feels" like sex in any way, but just that it progresses in pretty much the same way. What I mean is this. If I "force" a meditation "high" through rigorous and controlled breathing, I eventually get there but like I said, it feels forced and kind of defeats the whole purpose of the practice. If, however, I observe my breath without trying to control it in any way, which is something I think I have now mastered, the whole process of meditation becomes slower, more relaxed and the eventual "high" is induced in a very natural and involuntary way, just a lot stronger.

This "high" is none other than the racing heart, spinning head and vibrating feeling I keep talking about. A feeling of imminent departure from the body during the "high" is very common too. It's like my meditation has to take me there at some point no matter what I do or don't do. Like orgasm in sex, it appears to be the only way a long meditation session can end. Not that my heart is normally beating slowly before this "high" is induced. In fact, my heart starts to beat slightly faster the moment I sit down (or lay down) and begin to relax. Oddly enough, this isn't just in meditation but has recently been happening to me while doing other relaxed things, like prayer rituals and stuff. In this regard, meditation has had a clear effect on the way my brain reacts to relaxation and focusing.

Now what exactly is happening there? Why is meditation taking me to these very weird places? What am I doing to my brain when I'm meditating? I want to understand what is happening to my brain during meditation. I don't want to "stop" anything or change the way my meditations progresses. I just want to understand my practice, why it is inducing panic in my brain/body or if it's panic at all.

Dharmic Tui

  • Member
  • Something
    • Some Theravada, some secular
Re: What exactly is happening to me?
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2017, 11:02:41 AM »
For a while in my practice I would experience something that sounds similar to your experience. A feeling in my body as if I were going to burst, similar to being on the edge of climax. In hindsight I feel that was a mixture of anticipation of something happening, and a feeling of uncertainty. Perhaps even the ego being fearful and protective.

You should find greater ease over time, I still experience a subtle vibration or hum from time to time, I'm figuring that's the energy of my body and mind on standby mode.

stillpointdancer

  • stillpointdancer
  • Member
  • Retired teacher, deepening understanding of Dharma
    • Insight meditation
    • Exploring the results of 30 years of meditating
Re: What exactly is happening to me?
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2017, 12:08:44 PM »
Years ago I had panic attacks when concentrating on the breathing during meditation. On reflection, it was the body getting used to noticing when automatic breathing tried to take over conscious breathing. I think something similar happens when the brain wants to get back to it's normal thought processes when you are trying to work on them. It starts throwing strange stuff into the mix. Most long-term meditators will say the same kind of thing, and that this stuff recedes over time.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff Admin
  • Member
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Here and now forever.
Re: What exactly is happening to me?
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2017, 02:29:50 PM »
John,

I think upon reflection the title under your name may be related to this arising phenomena:

Quote
I don't seek happiness, I just seek control.

.... If I "force" a meditation "high" through rigorous and controlled breathing, I eventually get there but like I said, it feels forced and kind of defeats the whole purpose of the practice. If, however, I observe my breath without trying to control it in any way, which is something I think I have now mastered, the whole process of meditation becomes slower, more relaxed and the eventual "high" is induced in a very natural and involuntary way, just a lot stronger.

This "high" is none other than the racing heart, spinning head and vibrating feeling I keep talking about. A feeling of imminent departure from the body during the "high" is very common too.
...
In fact, my heart starts to beat slightly faster the moment I sit down (or lay down) and begin to relax. Oddly enough, this isn't just in meditation but has recently been happening to me while doing other relaxed things, like prayer rituals and stuff. In this regard, meditation has had a clear effect on the way my brain reacts to relaxation and focusing.

Now what exactly is happening there? ... What am I doing to my brain when I'm meditating?
...

So, you have discovered force is not the most wholesome way forward. This is good. I'm just wondering if on the way there you have re-wired your brain a bit to that pattern? It could be that or, as DT puts it, "perhaps even the ego being fearful and protective". It could be a bit of both.

For a while in my practice I would experience something that sounds similar to your experience.
...
Perhaps even the ego being fearful and protective.

Whatever the case, now you are mindful of this phenomena, as long as you continue to practice without force (and keep an eye out for subtle arisings of that tendency), I agree with DT on the resolution:

You should find greater ease over time ...

The ego is a slippery beast. When it feels you nearing it in meditation it will likely throw all kinds of shit in your way. It's a case of remembering "this too shall pass" and remembering/being mindful to continue the practice, to breath in sensitive to body and mind and calming body and mind.

kindly,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

John Bruzi

  • Member
  • I don't seek happiness, I just seek control.
    • Mindfulness
Re: What exactly is happening to me?
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2017, 04:26:51 PM »
Thank you all for your responses. The first time this "high" occurred I wasn't even aware it was a thing. I was new to meditation and I had absolutely nothing to anticipate. This "high" was my natural response to meditation, and still is. The symptoms I described are not my only response to meditation, actually. About a year ago I was hit with a dreadful form of sexual OCD which produces irritating movements/sensations in my groinal area. I guess you don't need me to tell you that I get those sensations during the "high" in meditation too. Also, my dreams have become much more vivid, symbolic and persistent. Ever since I started taking meditation seriously, there's absolutely no telling what my dreams are going to be about.

It's like everything that's "wrong" with me comes to the surface of my mind and body when I "let go" and meditate. Mostly it hits me by surprise. Anticipation is out of the question if you ask me.

Yes, I have learned to let go of control, at least during meditation, but that has in fact increased the aforementioned symptoms in my practice. That's fine though. I'm not exactly complaining or anything. I am simply trying to gain an understanding of the dynamics/mechanics of what is happening to me.

The explanation that it is the "ego trying to resist change" makes sense, but it's not incredibly clear.

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff Admin
  • Member
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Here and now forever.
Re: What exactly is happening to me?
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2017, 04:50:08 PM »
John,

Keep up the practice, see these phenomena as transient arisings - and they will pass. Your dreams are a reflection that there is much unresolved tension in your bodymind that needs to find expression. Try keeping a dream journal. It can be very productive when combined with meditation. Be prepared to reflect on what comes up and understand where it stems from.

Regarding the ego you have chosen with your ego to dissolve the strength the unconscious/subconscious parts of mind have upon you. They will resist this. Those habituated parts of mind and ego are strongly patterned in your neurological wiring. It takes time to reprogram the synaptic connections.

Kindly,

Matthew
« Last Edit: April 11, 2017, 04:52:20 PM by Matthew »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

John Bruzi

  • Member
  • I don't seek happiness, I just seek control.
    • Mindfulness
Re: What exactly is happening to me?
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2017, 05:29:08 PM »
Matthew, that makes a lot of sense thanks. But does this mean that meditation is some kind of exposure/response prevention, like in CBT? Is it just the way it feels? Old habits of the mind/neurological system being dissolved through the practice of meditation? If so, then my determination to continue with meditation will only get stronger because believe me, I hate my subconscious mind and most of its habits (unreasonable fear, excitation, hate, love, fussiness etc...).

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff Admin
  • Member
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Here and now forever.
Re: What exactly is happening to me?
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2017, 06:21:13 PM »
Basically yes.

Try and generate some love and curiosity for your subconscious ... all it is doing is trying to do the right thing ... it's just a very messed up little bunny!

Hate will only slow the transition.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

John Bruzi

  • Member
  • I don't seek happiness, I just seek control.
    • Mindfulness
Re: What exactly is happening to me?
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2017, 08:11:36 PM »
Noted.

stillpointdancer

  • stillpointdancer
  • Member
  • Retired teacher, deepening understanding of Dharma
    • Insight meditation
    • Exploring the results of 30 years of meditating
Re: What exactly is happening to me?
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2017, 11:44:11 AM »
The changes that take place to the conscious brain when you meditate also change those parts of the brain responsible for your subconscious thoughts. They may still be subconscious, but you have changed them by the way you practice. Matthew's advice makes a lot of sense when you look at it that way.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

kcarneglia

  • Member
  • Passionate about spirituality, yoga, meditation
    • Transcendental
Re: What exactly is happening to me?
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2017, 02:59:24 AM »
Hi there,
It sounds like you might be experiencing Astral Projection. This is where the soul leaves the physical body for a short time and can be "cast" for lack of a better word to other planes or physical locales without you leaving your bed. The tingling you're reporting sounds like it might be a side-effect of said Astral Projection. Do you also find you cannot move during this event? If so, you might be experiencing body paralysis (a defense mechanism used by the brain to prevent you from acting out dreams while asleep). Neither are anything to worry about, but if you feel light-headed you may want to stop for good or take a short break.

As for not being able to end your sessions without this, what exactly precedes the feeling of tingliness? Do you consciously do something to cause it, or does it come on by itself? Most Astral Projection enthusiasts cause the tingling purposely for the sake of projection. Also, you may be feeling your body/spirit raising its vibration. If you think of your body as a radio, you must first "raise your frequency" before you can access higher planes and get messages from them. Raising your vibration feels very strange but isn't harmful, and can actually help you do things like commune with spirit guides and avoid negative influences.

When it comes to what's occurring in your brain, your mind will automatically compensate with hallucinations and random thoughts to "entertain" itself if it doesn't have any other sensory info to process. You might be feeling the tingliness either as a hallucination or some kind of compensation for the lack of other sensory information. Also, the oxygen supplied to your brain all at once can sometimes add to the light tingly feeling and the feeling of light-headedness. Hope this helps! If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to get in touch with me at Mod Edit: email removed. No self promotion is allowed on this website.

Sincerely,
Kevin Carneglia
Mod Edit: website removed. No self promotion is allowed on this website
« Last Edit: April 20, 2017, 02:07:28 PM by Matthew »
Personal info removed. Read forum rules.- Moderator.

Quardamon

  • Member
    • Teachers were: P.K.K. Mettavihari, Frits Koster, Nel Kliphuis. (In the line of Mahasi Sayadaw)
Re: What exactly is happening to me?
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2017, 01:27:17 PM »
Sorry John and others, but I am going to break in into this thread, hopefully only with this one post. I read only the last post, the one of kcarneglia, and I will react to that.

Kevin Carneglia,
What you write is to me a welcome contribution to the discussion - That goes also for another post of today that I saw of yours.
On the other hand, there is one thing that you should keep in mind: This forum is meant as a forum where participants share experiences and by that learn form one another. Time and again, you mention your email address and your website. They have been removed by the administrator a few times from your posts, in January and in the beginning of this month. There is a reason for that. If only half of what is going on is mentioned on this forum, and in another contact a different view and approach is promoted, than that is confusing for the other participants on this forum. In that case, we do not know what is going on.
Apart from that you might be using this forum just to harvest for your own project.
So: Stop this.
Either you participate, as a participant, or you leave the forum.
Again: from the little I see now, your contribution is welcome. But your contribution should be an investment in this forum. (And not an investment in your own project.)

If you want to discuss this, than discuss this with the moderator. As it is now, you are breaking the rules of the forum.

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff Admin
  • Member
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Here and now forever.
Re: What exactly is happening to me?
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2017, 02:12:34 PM »
Kevin,

If you post your website, email or in any way invite people to contact you off the forum YOU WILL BE PERMANENTLY BANNED, NO QUESTIONS. This is the third and last time you have promoted your own project through this forum - it will not happen again.

Kevin has been banned.

Matthew
« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 04:28:51 PM by Matthew »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff Admin
  • Member
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Here and now forever.
Re: What exactly is happening to me?
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2017, 03:20:39 PM »
It sounds like you might be experiencing Astral Projection.
...
When it comes to what's occurring in your brain, your mind will automatically compensate with hallucinations and random thoughts to "entertain" itself if it doesn't have any other sensory info to process.

Kevin,

Has it ever occurred to you that what you label "astral projection" is just another example of 'hallucinations and random thoughts to "entertain"' the mind?

Kindly,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

stillpointdancer

  • stillpointdancer
  • Member
  • Retired teacher, deepening understanding of Dharma
    • Insight meditation
    • Exploring the results of 30 years of meditating
Re: What exactly is happening to me?
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2017, 12:46:35 PM »
Hi Matthew. I agree that my two experiences of astral projection, one as a child and one as an adult whilst meditating, are a product of my mind. The interesting thing is the emotional impact they can leave with you. I would say they rank up there with insight experiences in that sense. It is not surprising that people who have had them can be very persuasive when arguing for others to do the same.

For me the danger is treating such experiences as something to 'go after' using different techniques, as this would take your focus away from meditation and the path.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff Admin
  • Member
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Here and now forever.
Re: What exactly is happening to me?
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2017, 04:27:45 PM »
I agree that my two experiences of astral projection, one as a child and one as an adult whilst meditating, are a product of my mind.
...
For me the danger is treating such experiences as something to 'go after' using different techniques, as this would take your focus away from meditation and the path.

The primary danger is imagining that these experiences are something other than created by the mind. Then a secondary danger arises: the one you express, something to "go after". The primary problem is reification or imagining that which you imagine to be real, solid, concrete, factual - as apposed to just another mental fabrication:

Quote
Reification is making something real, bringing something into being, or making something concrete.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 04:29:47 PM by Matthew »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

John Bruzi

  • Member
  • I don't seek happiness, I just seek control.
    • Mindfulness
Re: What exactly is happening to me?
« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2017, 08:33:00 AM »
I don't know whether or not Astral Projection is real, and frankly I don't care. It might be real in some sense, but most probably just a hallucination (which doesn't make it less "real" for the person who experiences it).

Parapsychology is an interesting field but it's not why I chose to meditate. I only meditate to shed light on the dark, unexplored and sometimes unpredictably ill regions of my brain. My brain is a very messy and unsettled business (phobias, OCD, false hopes and false fears, etc), and I want to see where my inner journey will eventually take me and what will come of it. After all, I have nothing to lose and certainly nothing better to do with my brain.

So I stand by the number one principle of meditation; relax, close your eyes and go with the flow.