Meditation Forum

Vipassana Meditation Forum => Meditation, Practice And The Path => Topic started by: DANE01 on January 17, 2011, 10:28:59 PM

Title: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: DANE01 on January 17, 2011, 10:28:59 PM
Hi there

Hope someone can help me.

Ive been doing meditation for a month now. I focus on the breath through the nose.

Its given me incredible benefits, but it is also making me unable to sleep. For the past 20 days i've had great difficulty falling asleep. Could this be because im entering some sort of meditative state when i go to bed?

Hope you can help. I dont want to give up meditation.

Greetings from Denmark, by the way
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Vivek on January 18, 2011, 05:53:03 AM
Disruption of sleep cycles could be a sign that you are progressing in meditation. I am not sure of exactly what meditation you practise and how long you have been doing it. I recently came across a video in Youtube by Shinzen Young in which he explains how meditation can cause some insomnia or light sleep, and how to approach it when it happens. Not able to get the link now. You could do a search in Youtube for him. The video could prove helpful to you.
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Jeeprs on January 18, 2011, 06:21:49 AM
I think it could be a result of the practice, specifically the 'liberation of energy' which has been locked up elsewhere and is being released by the practice. It happens to me occasionally.

One antidote might be long hard exercise to induce physical fatigue.
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Stefan on January 18, 2011, 07:35:53 AM
Yes, as Jeeprs points out ... you free a lot of energy.

Next question has to be: do you feel refreshed when getting up from little or light sleep?
Many Yogis reduce their sleeping period to a minimum, because they don't need more sleep. So, it can be normal, especially if this is your first meditation period in your life. There are huge quantities of energy bound in the Sankaras you are currently releasing. What are you going to do with it?  :)

But if you feel exhausted due to your insomnia, if you feel depressed, can't concentrate ect., then it could be that your progress got stuck ... that means you don't dissolve a certain sankara, but you stick to it. It means starting to deal with deep-rooted problems instead of letting go. And this will cause a subconscious tension that makes it difficult to relax enough to fall asleep.

However, as Jeeprs points out, hard exercise will help! (that is to say, bodily exercise!) I used to walk long distances at maximum speed when I had to deal with meditation problems.

Also a very good thing to do: start Hatha Yoga ("Posture Yoga"). Many meditation teachers recommend it especially for us beginners in meditation. This will balance your whole self.

With Metta, Stefan
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Matthew on January 18, 2011, 11:15:22 PM
Dane,

What time do you go to bed? Meditation releases much pent up energy and is tiring. If you are not getting enough sleep you may suffer sleepless nights.

Warmly,

Matthew
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Gadfly on January 19, 2011, 12:28:20 PM
I think it could be a result of the practice, specifically the 'liberation of energy' which has been locked up elsewhere and is being released by the practice. It happens to me occasionally.

I've noticed I am having much the same problem and the 'liberation of energy' you mention makes a lot of sense to me. I am also in counselling at the moment. Would that be a factor?
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Morning Dew on January 19, 2011, 12:44:56 PM
This is what can help make you tired in the evenings;

Get up e.g. at 6 o'clock or earlier every morning no matter if you feel tired or not, shower and meditate or do yoga or Qigong or simply go out for a walk. Just make sure to get up.
Go to bed only when you feel tired and sleepy and not because it is 22.00h and you have to go to work etc... Go to sleep only when you feel tired.
Now, because you are getting up every morning early or earlier as you are used to the body/mind will start feeling sleepy earlier in the evening.

Another thing which happens to me is that I suddenly hear all sorts of subtle sounds which can even drive me mad and some simply keep me awake.
I use ear pluggs and man  ;D I only hear my breathing then and fall a sleep in minutes.
You might be disturbed by some very subtle sound you are still not aware of and ear pluggs would help ALOT here.

This too shall pass  :)

Hej Dane, välkommen på forumet och big hej från Malmo Sverige   ;D

Friendly Che
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: DANE01 on January 19, 2011, 05:19:59 PM
Hi guys - thanks for all the input!

To answer a couple of your questions:


I use mindfulness of breath meditation, and spend around 20 minutes of meditation every morning - focusing on my breath, especially the breath around the nostrils. I think part of the problem is that it has made me very aware of my breath and also very "awake" in a funny way - so when I lie down at night to sleep, I instead of drifting off to sleep, suddenly become aware of my breath and start thinking "oh shit, I'm meditating, but I should try to go to sleep instead". And then I get caught in a vicious cycle of being irritated by this, and then focusing even more at my breath until sleep becomes possible.

When I wake up in the morning, I am not rested, and my body aches slightly.

I think the problem may be due to the fact that I suffer from anxiety (?).. The meditation has however done a great job of reducing this significantly within the last month though..

I dont really know what to do. The past two days Ive tried mantra meditation instead, in order to focus on something else than my breath, and that has helped. I think Ill go back to breath meditation, however, and see if I cant figure out a way to beat this insomnia cycle.

What would you do, if you were in my shoes? :)

Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: DANE01 on January 19, 2011, 05:23:25 PM
@Vivek

Thanks for the Shinzen Young tip by the way - but I cant seem to find the video..

@CheGueBuddha

Hey there fellow Scandinavian :) - I actually do a lot of physical exercise throughout the week, so I dont think thats the cause. The cause is rooted in some kind of mental process, I think..
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Morning Dew on January 19, 2011, 11:26:32 PM
Quote
focusing on my breath, especially the breath around the nostrils.

Try and stop doing this nose meditation and instead be simply aware of the whole body breathing including all body sensations. Try and switch to Shamatha for a while and see if it works better for you.
Anapana at nose can bring up energy into the head keeping you awake AWAKE. It is about balancing the whole body-mind not just the mind-nose ;)
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: dobe on January 20, 2011, 04:37:55 AM
I remember having troubles sleeping when I started meditating, especially if I meditated before bed...
Now I fall asleep quite easily, especially since school is in and I have to do so much left brain studying(i study accounting lawl).

Try reading a book for 20-30minutes before bed, engage your thinking part of your mind, do some stretches, then just release?

Also what Che Guebuddha says, too much nose meditation I think can bring energy up to your head.  I find where ever I bring my awareness too, energy seems to pool there now...
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: dobe on January 20, 2011, 05:39:56 AM
aaaand I can't get to sleep tonight. LoL :D
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Venetian on January 20, 2011, 11:36:11 AM
Try and stop doing this nose meditation and instead be simply aware of the whole body breathing including all body sensations. Try and switch to Shamatha for a while and see if it works better for you.

Very interesting indeed... I prefer body-awareness as well!  :)
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Matthew on January 20, 2011, 01:02:58 PM
Dane,

What time do you go to bed? Meditation releases much pent up energy and is tiring. If you are not getting enough sleep you may suffer sleepless nights.

Warmly,

Matthew
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Rocket on January 20, 2011, 03:09:05 PM
Effective Shamatha practice can trigger a huge variety of different "nyam" or meditative experiences according to the well trained instructor I learned from. It's said to be one way to know  practice is effective.  Insomnia would be one possibility.  It can become quite harrowing. Similar even to a rough acid trip.

Carl Jung taught us that peak and or mystical experience often follows a moment we allow ourselves down into a nadir experience. 
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Gadfly on January 21, 2011, 09:45:34 AM
Carl Jung taught us that peak and or mystical experience often follows a moment we allow ourselves down into a nadir experience. 

That sounds interesting. Can you tell more about it.
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Matthew on January 21, 2011, 01:37:27 PM
Try and stop doing this nose meditation and instead be simply aware of the whole body breathing including all body sensations. Try and switch to Shamatha for a while and see if it works better for you.

Very interesting indeed... I prefer body-awareness as well!  :)

It is what the Buddha taught. All this nose business in nonsense and never mentioned in the Suttas. Paramukham is the Pali word in the Suttas that leads to this confusion. Search for it from the forum homepage to find how that confusion arises and persists.
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Rocket on January 21, 2011, 02:30:57 PM
Shamatha practice for me is anything but tiring.  So serene,  restoring,  restful when done with relaxation as the baseline,  letting go in stead of huge effort.  The "huge effort" or "straining" technique is known to burn people out and result in unsustainable progress.  Relaxing completely can be oddly difficult when lots of crapola is coming at us from the back of our own minds.


I find focussing more narrowly just on the sensations at the tip of the nose seems to be useful as one progressive  step along a continuum leading to ability to focus attention at will generally ....  I've heard it taught this way.  

Progressive steps for acquiring stability: ...  sequentially: the whole body,    the chest,  then tip of the nose ....  is to turn to the space of the mind and its contents,  if any.  That one was oddly elusive at first,  tremendously interesting.  

I gather its a step toward Dzogchen,  though my first hand experience is limited.

Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: friendlyhugstoall on January 24, 2011, 11:32:38 PM
dear Dane,

it is never really the thing itself that is causing the trouble. It is the way you relate to it.
you say:
 ...so when I lie down at night to sleep, I instead of drifting off to sleep, suddenly become aware of my breath and start thinking "oh shit, I'm meditating, but I should try to go to sleep instead".
there are two ways you deal with it.
1. without focusing keep noticing what is happening. when you are thinking: Oh shit, I'm mediating you are not really focused on the breath. Rather, you are thinking. So notice that. I should try to go to sleep. Another thought. Notice that. Let it be. All that comes naturally. Then the mind focuses on breath again. Fine, let it be that way. Then comes another thought: Oh, my God, tomorrow I'll be so tired, I won't be able..., fine be with that: you can say, oh, look miss anxiety is here as well :), then comes another, I want to stop it, enough of that crap!! Oh, mister aversion is also here :) ok, let me see how long will you last. Do you understand?
Just relate in a friendly way to whatever appears on the mental stage. Befriend it. Be gentle to everything. To aversion, anxiety, sadness, happiness, amazement. Insomnia. Become a friend to it.
2. wish yourself well. It is the practice of Metta:
May I meet my experience in a friendly way
May I be peaceful
May I peacefully experience my thoughts, bodily sensations, sounds...
gently repeat that whishes and focus on the meaning. it is not a mantra work. Understand the meaning.
Find wishes that works for you.
It is in wishing to be well, peaceful and happy that a special energy arises. It is called love.

with Metta,

Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: thelastrich on January 25, 2011, 12:07:42 AM
That last advice is very good.
I sometimes become aware of being thinking and say to myself: "ahá.... so be it..." or something like that.
So for what I understand, I should not think any word, just watch and feel.
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: kidnovice on January 25, 2011, 01:53:40 AM
Yes, FHTA's advice is good. :)

I sometimes become aware of being thinking and say to myself: "ahá.... so be it..." or something like that.
So for what I understand, I should not think any word, just watch and feel.

Not so fast! If saying "aha... so be it..." works to create space, cultivates a calm awareness, and allows you to return to your breath in a non-judgmental way, that's a good thing! Don't simply stop doing it because someone tells you not to!  There are no should's. There is just what works.

"Talking to yourself" is one of many crutches that you can use when you meditate. Learn to walk with the crutch, and when you don't need it, drop it. Then, if you later find it helpful to walk with it a bit, pick it up again... but just as long as you need it. You obviously don't want to become dependent on it.

So, learn to use "verbalization" if it helps, and then as soon as it stops working (or you don't need it), see if you can maintain the same sort of gentle and accepting awareness without verbalizing. What matters is the type of awareness that you cultivate. You want that awareness to be calm and friendly, strong and accepting. Anyway you get there is fine.

Practice intelligently,
KN
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: ivana on January 25, 2011, 08:20:19 AM
Hi Dane
I can not know why you suffer by insomnia. But it could be that meditation bring us more to reality and maybe you have a problem which makes you that you can not sleep.
Have a nice day

Ivana
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: DANE01 on January 30, 2011, 08:38:32 AM
Hi guys

Thanks a lot for all the answers! I think friendlyhugstoall actually nailed it: The problem is not the "thing" itself, but the way I relate to it: I suffer from anxiety, and have started meditation to try and overcome it. It has worked wonders - within a month around 80% of my anxiety was gone. But I recently realized that this sleeping problem is simply a by-product of my anxiety, and not a by-product of meditation in itself.

I managed to defeat the problem about a week ago, simply by realizing that sleep and meditation were two much different states, and that I did not "meditate at night" as I thought - I was simply being manipulated by my anxiety. Once I realised that, I managed to just enter a state of indifference when going to sleep, and just using my willpower to gently zone out, into a state of relaxation and sleep, instead of a state of anxious focus on whatever might be hindering me from sleeping.

So far so good. But alas, a new problem has arisen - nobody said defeating anxiety was easy  ;). About 2 weeks ago, just a week before my experience described above, I decided to stay up all night, in order to tire my body and make me sleep better the other day (I couldnt sleep any way). I usually meditate in the morning, and when I meditated that morning (I used a mantra meditation instead of mindfulness meditation), I nearly fell asleep and woke up with a chock! Now that has produced the most peculiar effect ever: For a full week after that, every time I was very close to falling asleep (drifiting off), I would wake up with the same kind of chock, completely wakening me up.

This would go on for a full week, and typically I would get 2 hours of sleep one night, and then the next day I would just collapse in bed and get 7 hours, and then 2 hours the next day. Crazy stuff. I had trouble opening and closing my hands on the 6th day, due to sleep deprivation!..  ::)

The problem stopped about a week ago. But yesterday, when I was about to meditate, I felt very anxious about perhaps falling asleep when meditating. I know this is irrational: I've never been close to falling asleep while meditating, except that one time where I had been awake for 24 friggin hours. I know I would not fall asleep, and yet I still felt anxious. I felt the anxiety building inside me while meditating, but I was to afraid to shift my focus from the breath to deal with the anxiety. And voila: Now I have the same problem with waking up in a state of anxiety every time I am close to falling asleep..

The problem will probably fade out in a week or so, but I want to continue meditation, preferably without experiencing this problem again. I am sitting here at 9 in the morning typing, without having any sleep, and its becoming quite hard to feel my fingers  ;).

Anyone know what to do?

Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: DANE01 on January 30, 2011, 11:41:01 PM
By the way, I usually go to bed at 23.00 in the evening, and get up at 7.00 in the morning. But now the insomnia is there again - its past midnight and yet I dont feel tired. I just feel very much "awake" in a funny way. It has been like that since I started getting results with my meditation..

This may be a panicky idea, but would mantra meditation be better for me? Perhaps it wouldnt make me feel so awake all the time, or so aware of my own breath/body that I get caught up in feeling very much awake when I lie down to sleep. I know the answer is that it is probably the way I relate to it that is wrong, but so far I cant seem to change it..

Christ, this is harder than I thought it would be..

Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Matthew on January 31, 2011, 10:56:04 AM
Dane,

Don't try too hard to change anything, change will come naturally. In the evening when you meditate try not to do it too close to bedtime or too close to dinnertime if you can. Stick with the calm abiding practice.

To overcome the insomnia I think there is a very simple thing you can try. About half an hour to 20 minutes before you go to bed, sit down and relax a little. Then make a list of all the things that you have to do the next day, anything you have been putting off and anything that is worrying or concerning you. Don't work yourself up about it, do it gently with respect for yourself and these concerns, and do it comprehensively.

In the morning when you have woken, stretched, showered, meditated etc. take a look at the list and see if there are things you have been putting off - and do them.

Sleeplessness and anxiety can both be symptoms of learned procrastination. Learned procrastination is an extremely common problem in our modern world. It is a way of coping with the inconsistent and incoherent messages given to you as a child about the value of your own feelings and wishes against those of the people who raised you. "Do this now", you are told. The message here from the person giving the instruction is "my feelings matter a great deal, yours do not matter at all". The way we cope with this loss of power in the face of lies is to procrastinate, do it slowly, later, badly - or not at all.

This reaction also leaves us feeling an anxiety we can't quite identify but which is pervasive. Each time we do something to enforce our own "will to power" through forms of procrastination we know we are breaking the injunction "do it now, your feelings do not matter". We feel bad. Anxious.

This comes over into adult life as a tendency to procrastinate and put things off. It leaves us in a constant state of mild anxiety - and when we relax through meditation this is often one of the first habitual conditioned reactions we face and must surmount. We have to relearn that we are in charge, that our feelings (and others) matter - have equal value - and unlearn the forms of procrastination that we employ unconsciously.

Thus by writing each night a list of things to do and worries or concerns - not too near bedtime, but as part of the routine - we take these worries out of our minds and onto the paper. This allows for much better sleep - as long as one also engenders the habit of looking at the paper in the morning and asking "what can I do that is on this list right now, today?"

Stop worrying about your meditation. Stop playing around with it. Stick to basic Shamatha and realise it will change you. If you are not making the changes off the cushion that meditation is leading you towards then you are creating stress where the meditation is relieving it and creating a tension between the practice and reality. The "procrastination list" is a good method of working out what some of these needed changes might be.

23.00 is an OK time to sleep. If you need an alarm to wake you at 07.00 then you might want to experiment with going to bed earlier. I have found, after much experimentation, that my bodymind likes to sleep at 21.00hrs and wake at between 05.00 - 06.00hrs - this is a very natural time to sleep (genetically/historically) and also the hours you are sleeping before midnight are much more powerful than hours after midnight.

Warm regards,

Matthew

NB. Being aware of your breath and body will not keep you from sleeping: hiding from the feelings that awareness brings up, will. Mantra meditation for you would almost certainly be a form of hiding.
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Morning Dew on January 31, 2011, 08:02:05 PM
Thank you Matthew for yet another great advice  :)

On top of what TIB said I would just add my personal experience which works well for me and that is to sleep on the oposite side of the bed. So I simply put my head where my feet were and I fall a sleep in a few minutes.
Another good way for me is to use ear pluggs. This way I just hear my self breathing and ... sound sleep in a few minutes.

Che
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: DANE01 on January 31, 2011, 08:38:00 PM
>>>IRR. BUDDHIST

Thanks for a great and highly detailed reply. I think I will try and implement what you suggested: Stick to my meditation practice as it is, don't try and find up ways to hide myself from emotions and also maybe make a list, as you point out.

I know I have to continue meditation, even though it is hard. I am so close to being almost cured of social anxiety (80% gone within a month), and I have the feeling that all I need is just a little courage to see these hard times through, until I learn to cope with the meditation in a proper way.

Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Jhana4 on February 01, 2011, 09:13:16 PM
Hi there

Hope someone can help me.

Ive been doing meditation for a month now. I focus on the breath through the nose.

Its given me incredible benefits, but it is also making me unable to sleep. For the past 20 days i've had great difficulty falling asleep. Could this be because im entering some sort of meditative state when i go to bed?

Hope you can help. I dont want to give up meditation.

Greetings from Denmark, by the way


I apologize if this ground has already been covered,   I don't have time to read all of the other replies.

I had this same problem many years ago and got over it.

First, meditate earlier in the day, further away from bed time.

Second, slight differences in attitude during meditation produce huge differences in the results.   Concentration in Theravada meditation is achieved by LETTING GO of distractions,  NOT by PUSHING or PULLING yourself back to the object.

You should do meditation with the attitude that it is a relaxation exercise.   In fact once you get warmed up, it might help to silently repeat "relax" on every out breath for a while AND practice "letting go" by letting go of the tension in your muscles as much you can, as well asletting go of anything on your mind.

You also may not be strong enough or flexible enough to sustain the posture you are using.  That could be generating muscular tension which could be leading to adrenaline being dumped into your system.   Get stronger.   Get more flexible.   In the interim, change you posture more often or meditate only as long as you are completely comfortable.

Above all, meditate with the attitude of relaxing, letting go.......not with an attitude of trying to make something happen.


Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Matthew on February 02, 2011, 12:17:56 AM
...I apologize if this ground has already been covered,   I don't have time to read all of the other replies. ....


Welcome to the forum Jhana4. This place is very much about community. I'd suggest reading things to the extent you can before posting.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: DANE01 on February 02, 2011, 05:33:32 PM
>>>JHANA4

Thanks a lot for your answer. I think I may be too bad at relaxing during meditation (mentally) and too much focused on doing it "the right way".. I think I will start to take some time to become relaxed first, before meditating.

My experience is quite weird: I average only 4-5 hours of sleep every night, and my fingers are starting to feel slightly stiff - typing is kinda hard :). And I also feel dizzy during the day, and have trouble concentrating when at work. Bottom line - I am not getting enough sleep. Yet I feel so "awake" in a funny way during the day and at night. It's like when I lie down to sleep, I feel so alert, I can sense everything that is going with my body and breath, and the last thing I feel the need for, is to sleep.

How did you overcome this problem? And how long did it take you?..

Thanks for your input

Dane
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Matthew on February 02, 2011, 05:55:13 PM
Dane,

Jhana4 explains how in his post if you read it again.

What you are describing seems like a state of hyper-awareness or alertness, probably related to some past trauma in your life. Relax into the meditation and have no fear. Try sticking to some of the suggestions made earlier for a while and see how they work out. It takes time for new things to sink in.

Warmly,

Matthew
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Matthew on February 03, 2011, 07:40:02 AM
Cognitive Neuroscience of Mindfulness Meditation (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sf6Q0G1iHBI#)

About 29 minutes in he is talking about the Amygdala and an immediate response in new meditators such that before better regulation cuts in the mindfulneess leads to a burst in Amygdala reactivity. Amygdala is behind anxiety symptoms. Keep going and the spike drops.
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Andrew on February 03, 2011, 08:46:59 AM
Hi Dane,

Some practical questions.

Are you being safe?? (Being so tired, are you putting your life at risk driving to work etc?) Have you been prescribe medications that you are not taking? 

Not to say what is being said isn't relevant, but we do need to be careful as we are dispensing advice to you about something which could be dangerous (driving while tired is like driving while drunk) Whatever the cause, I am concerned that you are safe and mentally able to deal with what you are going through. You mention "Anxiety", has this been professionally diagnosed? If so, you need to make sure you are communicating with your doctor and keeping them in the loop with all of this. Do what you can, and use modern medicine for what it's worth. There is no prize if your tiredness leads to an injury or worse. (I'm not trying to add to your anxiety by the way, I just know that we are talking across cyberspace, I would feel lots better to know that your doctor is attending to you in person)

love

Andy
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Quardamon on February 03, 2011, 12:53:47 PM
Hello DANE01,

Pfff. You seem to be in an unpleasant situation. And you seem to have been so for quite some time.

How would it be if we saw it like this:
Over the last years, there has been in your life something hidden. This Factor X had the form of an anxiety. It was known, unpleasant and most of the time present, as an anxiety.
Recently, half december 2010, you started meditation. That changed the form of the X Factor. In stead of anxiety you now had insomnia. You were not pleased at all. You wanted to get rid of the X factor, and now it was there still.
And a few days ago, it took yet an other form: fear to fall asleep while meditating. (A strange fear, for someone suffering from insomnia, once you think of it ... ;) )
Again, you do not get what you want, and you are quite annoyed, understandably.
There is even a tone of need, and must, and danger  ...  Is that tone familiar, from the anxiety you had, say a year ago?

So in this view, there is something that you cannot see (yet) and of which you used to think as anxiety. In one month, through meditation, you found out, that it can take a very different form. And in a further two weeks you saw yet another form. You did not get what you wanted, but you got a lot of information. You do have an interaction with it, and it can change form. So at any rate, you are not simlpy stuck.

When I was around thirty, I had a period of four years, that I was afraid of spiders. Spider was a very powerful symbol for me. Before that time, Spider was powerful in my life and I was not even aware of it. During the time of confrontation, I was aware of Spider and learned by and by what it stood for, and learned how to handle it. Now I know it, and in a sense it is a helpful symbol. Still, Spider can wake me up. But now I know what is called for, I do that, and an hour later I go to sleep again. So I never got rid of Spider, but I got familiar with it; I see its strength, and find it annoying now and than, are glad with it at other times. Like going to the toilet, or washing dishes or attending to the garden.
There is always dishes to wash. Don't you worry. ;)

That is what I want to say at this time.

Like Andy sais: take care.

Oh, by the way: Do you know the feeling that you are being taken care of? Maybe not. If you do, it is now a good time to activate that feeling, to the amount that you need it. That may not be vipassana, but it can be helpful.

Be well,

Quardamon
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Jhana4 on February 03, 2011, 05:26:55 PM
>>>JHANA4

Thanks a lot for your answer. I think I may be too bad at relaxing during meditation (mentally) and too much focused on doing it "the right way".. I think I will start to take some time to become relaxed first, before meditating.


Hi Dane.   You are missing the central point I made which you need to hear to get better ( sorry for the harsh language ).

Meditation  is a relaxation exercise.

You don't try to relax, you just do,  you let go to the best of your ability and don't think about it otherwise.   If you do that, relaxation and letting go will come on its own uninvited.

Quote
My experience is quite weird: I average only 4-5 hours of sleep every night, and my fingers are starting to feel slightly stiff - typing is kinda hard :). And I also feel dizzy during the day, and have trouble concentrating when at work. Bottom line - I am not getting enough sleep. Yet I feel so "awake" in a funny way during the day and at night. It's like when I lie down to sleep, I feel so alert, I can sense everything that is going with my body and breath, and the last thing I feel the need for, is to sleep.

It sounds like you have serious issues with insomnia that go way beyond wanting to meditate.

I had such issues in the distant past too. 

This book helped me to put an end to insomnia.  The first chapters are written poorly.....like a flim flam sales pitch.  Hold you nose and tough out the first few chapters.  The book works and is powerful:

http://www.amazon.com/Good-Night-Insomnia-Gregg-Jacobs/dp/0805089586/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1296753995&sr=8-1 (http://www.amazon.com/Good-Night-Insomnia-Gregg-Jacobs/dp/0805089586/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1296753995&sr=8-1)

Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: kidnovice on February 04, 2011, 12:58:31 AM
Hey Dane,

Although I haven't suffered insomnia quite as extreme as yours, I have experienced it in small bouts (also associated with meditating). This has been especially true in the last year. I've also found that even when I do fall asleep with ease, I now typically wake-up after 4-5 hours.

So, here are some things that I've been figuring out for myself:

(A) First and foremost, I try to not stay up past the time when I feel tired. That's a big issue for me. If I stay awake despite my tiredness (either by meditating or reading, or whatever), I get my "second wind," and then it becomes really hard to fall sleep. So, I try to pay attention to my body/mind. This means no falling asleep while meditating and "bolting" awake. If I let that happen, there is a good chance I will fully "re-energize myself and be unable to fall asleep. So, if I feel tired, I listen to it! The moment I start nodding off, I smile, get up, and lay in bed.

(B) As someone else mentioned, it is important to start my evening meditation a bit earlier. And if for whatever reason I begin meditating late (say past 9 or 10pm) , I accept that I will cut my meditation short if I feel tired.

(C) During my evening meditation, I give special attention to ways that I might be "straining" and "trying" (even in pleasant ways). I find that this subtle "straining" is what wakes me up. It is often enough for me to simply notice the straining, and then I stop doing it. :P (note:this is a bit like what Jhana4 said about relaxing)

(D) When I wake up in the middle night (after 4-5 hours of sleep), I don't let myself start thinking of plans, etc. Instead, I will usually begin watching my body, and find that I fall back asleep. However, I sometimes I find myself completely awake. When this happens, I try to accept it as quickly as possible (i.e., as opposed to tossing and turning for two hours). Once I realize that I'm awake, I immediately get up to meditate, and I will sit with the intention of practicing until I am tired enough to fall back asleep. I find that this usually takes 30 minutes to an hour. This meditation will usually be quite calm and pleasant (notwithstanding the fact that it is 4AM, and I have to get up at 7:30), and when I eventually go back to sleep, I actually get real rest.

Anyway, that has been my recent approach. I hope you get some benefit from my own experience and all the great advice you have received from others.

With metta,
KN
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: DANE01 on February 05, 2011, 02:09:57 AM
Guys, thanks a lot for all your replies! You are helping me out more than you know - some of the advice you've given me, has helped me improve these last few days!

To answer a few questions first:

- Are you being safe: Well, yes.. I think so :). I am not getting enough sleep - about four hours per night. And I can feel it in my body. Yet, I don't feel as bad as I probably should. Meditation is somehow making me need less sleep. Normally I would be close to death after a month of only four hours of sleep every night. But im not. Im just dizzy, a bit sore and such. And BTW I take the metro for work, I dont drive ;-)

- Thanks for the advice of the book "Say Goodnight to Insomnia". It truly is a great book. I've read it before, as I used to suffer from insomnia, and that book helped me to cure myself of it, almost. But my recent insomnia problems are not due to bad sleeping habits. My sleeping problems have come sinced I started meditating.

- Are you seeing a doctor? Yes, I am seeing a psychologist, who is helping me cope with the anxiety. I've also contemplated seeing a meditation coach - there is one living nearby, fortunately.

Now to give you all an update, it has been an exciting last few days: I managed to defeat the fear of "falling asleep/becoming sleepy" during meditation, by simply confronting it and accepting it. The other day, I also managed to defeat my fear of lying down to sleep, where I would become aware of my breath and think that I was meditating. Actually the advice from Jhana and th Irr. Buddhist, helped me to acknowledge this fear once I got into bed - and voila, it lost its grip on me.

I think I am starting to see the punches coming in regards to anxiety and fear. Courage pays off - I am seeing progress! :) Yet I still can't fall asleep at night - when I lie down, I simply feel quite awake. It has happened tonight too - it's 3 in the morning now :). I dont feel awake in an anxiety way. Just awake, and uniterested in sleeping.

I will try to work more on letting go while meditating, and see if it helps. Moreover, I should probably also go to bed when I feel tired, and not stay up.

One thing that I have been thinking though, is that my problem with being much awake, is maybe due to the fact that I meditate when I feel tired or my body is winded? A couple of months ago, I felt great anxiety while meditating, and this feeling of anxiety would persist in my body for the next week or so after, even though I didnt meditate after that day! Fortunately I dont have this problem anymore. Yet, I cant help bu think that the problem may be that I am in this state of hyper-tired-energetic 24/7 - also when I meditate - and that my body notices this when I meditate and causes me to remain in this state thereaftrer?

Does it sound far-fetched?  :)

I have tried before that a feeling during meditation (anxiety or fear of falling asleep) would remain in my body for a week after. Could it be that the lack of sleep and the awake feeling is continued due to my body experiencing it every day through meditation?

All the best,
Dane
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Matthew on February 07, 2011, 10:45:19 PM
Dane,

It is good to hear you are finding your way. We can signpost for each other but each of us has to choose our own road.

One thing I would point out is that it can be quite natural for meditation to reduce the need for sleep. I am not entirely sure this is what is happening with you because from the sounds of it you do need a little more than you are getting. I think it is more related to the anxiety and it seems your current work is paying off and you will soon move beyond this phase.

Warm regards,

Matthew
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: friendlyhugstoall on February 08, 2011, 06:25:15 PM
Dear  Dane,

In your place I would practice Metta and drop the practices of mindfulness and concentration for a while.
Although a practice of Metta can be a practice of concentration - that comes in the picture when you can generate the feeling of Metta and place your mind on it - when you come to that point, you can safely do whichever practice you want.
In mindfulness you meet both, pleasure and pain, physical and mental. It seems to me that you don’t need to get to know the way you relate to pain right now.
No climbing a mountain when you have a flu.
Concentration sharpens your attention. While you are meditating by placing your mind on an object, the feeling can be wonderful and all can look well and it is very healthy and all, but the sharpened attention will cut deeper into the mental storage. Very often happens just like that. The painful guests often crop up. The life off the cushion becomes once again tight and painful.
My advice is to drop both of these practices for a while.
Practice only Metta, please.
Each person whom I gave such advice, and they were in the kind of tremolo you are in, got much better, and slept well, and lived happier. I read and heard about many other as well. After getting skilled in Metta practice, they came back to mindfulness practice. That was my story too. I practiced for years, attended many retreats, but the deep change and well being came only when started to practice Metta.
Even more, deep down, these two practices, mindfulness and metta, don’t differ-just as Dipa Ma said  when asked what is the difference between metta and mindfulness.
You cannot grow tighter, more tense while you are practicing Metta. It is pretty impossible. It gives only benefit. Many benefits. One of them is sound sleep. I feel that the practice of Metta is for many many of us a true necessity.
Forgive me for being so direct.
Do you know how to practice Metta?
with Metta,
friendlyhugstoall
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: DANE01 on February 08, 2011, 07:27:14 PM
Hi Friendlyhugs

Thanks for the advice! I haven't heard about Metta meditation before though.. How does one practice it?

Best regards,
Dane
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Jhana4 on February 08, 2011, 07:45:05 PM
Google on "metta meditation" or "loving kindness meditation", you will be buried under an avalanche of links to directions.

Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Morning Dew on February 08, 2011, 07:55:46 PM
Metta didnt work for me  ;D
My ego self was laughing at it  :P ;D

Metta can easily turn into an ego game. Ego being a good person suddenly even though being a person is just a delusion, a nice good delusion, metta, fabricating loving kindness LoL.

I would advice Calm-Abiding first to relax into the body which is storing all the stressful tension, the traumas and such. Not concentrating, not focusing just simply being aware of the whole body breathing and relaxing with each in and out breath.

friendlyhugstoall how do you know that your Metta practice actually worked because you already practiced for retreats so many times before?  ;)

What is the use of encouraging a deluded Self to delude it self even more by repeating empty words without knowing its self at all, without understanding its actual deluded nature?  :)

Thank you for answering mate!

Dane, try and stick with JUST ONE practice and do it for at least 3-4 month to actually see if it is for you or not. Jumping from one to another just creates more tension.
If others have any compassion they will not try to push you away from the practice you already practice. Relax into the body and fabricate nothing. You can always start with Metta after 3-4 month. Metta will not run away  ;D

Hav det godt min ven  :)

Friendly Che
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Morning Dew on February 08, 2011, 07:58:14 PM
 ;D
Quote
you will be buried under an avalanche of links to directions.

And get even more confused  ;D  exactly why less reading and more practicing of calm abiding for the beginners is of great importance, at least for the first 3-4 month. Just take it easy and reeeelllaaxxxxxx  :)
Che
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Jhana4 on February 08, 2011, 08:06:38 PM
;D
Quote
you will be buried under an avalanche of links to directions.

And get even more confused  ;D  exactly why less reading and more practicing of calm abiding for the beginners is of great importance, at least for the first 3-4 month. Just take it easy and reeeelllaaxxxxxx  :)
Che

I've taken my own advice in the past.   There are many sites giving brief and simple instructions for how to do metta meditation.

You have to put time into it like any other meditation method, but it does yield results.

Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: DANE01 on February 09, 2011, 07:46:17 PM
Guys, thanks a lot for all your replies

I've decided to quit meditation for now: Over the past month and a half, I've averaged 4 hours of sleep every night, and am close to falling apart. I can feel my body aching from the lack of sleep, so unless I want to develop sleep deprivation ilnesses, I have to give it a rest for now. Hehe, this meditation experience has taken all of my personal courage: Last week my sleep was exceptionally bad, and for a full week I was so sleep deprived that I had trouble clenching my fists! It'll make a great story one day :)..

I talked to a local meditation instructor the other day, and he had never heard of meditation-induced sleep disorders on the scale that I have experienced it. He suggested it might try and start from scratch, and just try one minute of meditation every day, and see if that impairs my sleep. And if it doesn't, I could progressively turn up the volume over several months, to see if my body and mind adjusts to the meditation.

I think I may do that.

I don't really know why I react the way I do. I think I might be extremely sensitive to meditation: To give you an example, I had only meditated for 10 days, 10-20 mins a day, before my social anxiety literally was reduced by 90%. I felt as I was in a bliss all day, I felt an incredible surge of energy, like I wanted to run a marathon or climb a mountain. And all that after only 20 mins of meditation for 10 days.

I've overcome most of the anxiety-related reactions connected to meditation, such as my anxiety of falling to sleep while meditating, my hyper-awareness of my breath etc. Yesterday however, a new thing unfolded: As I lay in bed, and was very close to falling asleep, I got to the point where the mind just rushes your head with thoughts. You know the stage right before actual sleep. Normally we don't notice such thoughts as we are really relaxed. But yesterday I suddenly found myself very aware that I was having an incredible rush of thoughts, and I could follow and observe and be conscious of every thought as I was falling asleep. Weird! Needless to say, it weirded me out, and I woke up. And alas, another night of only 5 hours of sleep awaited me  :-\.

As Irr. Buddhist points out, I think that my heavy reactions to meditation, is due to my anxiety. And that my body and mind need to be accustomed to this new stimulus. It makes sense, as I've been able to gradually overcome every anxiety-related response during this past few weeks. In time, I think that I could also overcome this new awareness of my own thoughts before sleep, and actually get a good nights sleep. But my body is encouraging me to stop now :).

My first priority now, is to start getting some sleep again. After a week or two, I think I might give meditation another go. I have two options - I haven't really decided on which one to use yet:


I don't really know which approach to assume, I can't really decide yet..

Please know that all of your advice has helped me. I am a newbie in meditation, so the valuable info that you've posted, has helped me in overcoming a lot of my doubts and anxiety regarding meditation!

Dane

Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Matthew on February 09, 2011, 09:03:14 PM
See you in a couple of weeks friend :)
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: friendlyhugstoall on February 09, 2011, 09:15:40 PM
Dear Dane,

Metta is a state of mind. Like mindfulness. Or hatred.
We don’t work directly on the feeling of metta just as we don’t work directly on mindfulness.
We work on its causes.
Like with a plant, we need a seed (that is already in each of us) and then we nourish it giving it enough water and sunlight. We cannot pull it out.
What causes Metta?
Wishing well. When you are steadily wishing well for yourself and/or others, there is a special energy that appears. It is called love. Or Metta.
The most important thing is to focus on the meaning of the following intentions.
May I be peaceful.
May I in a peaceful way experience sounds, pleasant, unpleasant, neutral.
May I in a peaceful, friendly way experience bodily sensations, whether pleasant, unpleasant or neutral.
May I in a peaceful, friendly, soft way experience thoughts, pleasant, unpleasant, neutral.[/b]
Focus on the meaning of it. Understand that it is well, it is good to be peaceful when experiencing any kind of bodily sensations, for example. The actual words don’t matter much. The meaning does matter. A lot.
May I experience my life in a friendly way.
May I be safe.
May I be healthy.
May I live happily.
May I be free from identification with negative mental states.
May I be free from identifying with anxiety.
May I be able to experience anxiety as a state that comes, does its scene, and then leaves.
May I experience insomnia in a friendly way.
May I be free from identification with insomnia.
May I be free in insomnia.
May I be peaceful.
See what makes sense to you. Understand intention. The meaning. Improvise and be creative.  Find your expressions of wishing well. Just wish yourself well.
In a week or two time, change the I with someone else. First with a person that easily triggers in you positive feelings, later on with whomever. (May you be peaceful....) If there is no one like that, don’t worry. Just keep on wishing good for yourself.

With metta,
fhta
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: friendlyhugstoall on February 09, 2011, 09:18:46 PM
Dear Che,

You say Metta didn’t work for you...it already works for you mate, every day and many times a day. Before eating you wash your hands, and wash the food before cooking, don’t you? You take such a good care, don’t you? These are expressions of love. Of what else?
What do you think where do such actions come from? Such as washing your hands before eating? It comes from intention. Even more: In such case it comes from the intention to be well. That is metta. Furthermore, you cannot move your hand without intention.  Everything that is created has originated in intention. Your whole life actually.
It is very simple. If you are deliberately cultivating an intention then this intention becomes stronger. It takes over. If you are intending to play some tennis, and keep on bringing that intention, then you will play it.
If you are intending to be well, if you know how, if you meaningfully put your mind on it, then a special energy arises, a lot of it. It is called love. You have experienced it many times. You have very good intentions, and some of them are deeply ingrained. And that is very helpful and necessary at the same time. But when you are working directly on it, and keep on doing it, then you are nourished deeply.
You ask how do I know that it worked for me. One simply knows it, but it’s not easy to describe. How do you know how does an orange taste? Can you describe to me, how does an orange taste? You know it,  certainly, so please tell me.
You are talking about deluded self in such way. You are mistaken. There is no such thing as self. It cannot be deluded when there isn’t any in the first place. Just likewise, there is no awakened self. Self is a concept, just like a river. We are only wrongly believing. This is a river. This is me. No such thing as river. No such thing as self. But if I want to cross the river I construct a bridge and cross it. If I am hungry I eat. I hope you understand (if not, I’m not clear enough)
The power of intention is beyond any doubt whatsoever (and the skeptical doubt is the hindrance that you described when you practiced Metta, it is one of the five hindrances).
Buddha taught us: On the tip of your intention lies all of your destiny. Think about it for a while, friend.
Sorry for being so direct. My intention is that you get liberated and be free of suffering  and the causes of it :)
I send you much love,
fhta
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Jhana4 on February 09, 2011, 09:28:43 PM
Two of the benefits of Metta meditation is that it decreases anxiety and helps sound sleep.

That didn't happen for me when I had my sleep problems, but it takes time to see the results.

Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Morning Dew on February 09, 2011, 09:46:21 PM
Quote
There is no such thing as self.

Agreed, but tell me friend who is this one repeating metta words May I be happy be free be a pop corn, etc... ?

There is no self yet the self created all the world outside and inside. The whole world suffers in their own fashoon yet we say there is no self. Cool! Who then creates all this suffering if there is no self?

Is there life out of the world of the self, the world made of past? Yes!
Can the self make an ego game out of metta? Yes it can. Sending love to others ... healing others etc...

I did reiki for a while healing my self and others ... Led me to nowhere but more confusion.

There is no love without first actualy facing the self as it is in solitude of the silence, fabricating nothing, invoking nothing not even metta. If metta is the actual me then i will be patient for it to rise out of the dark of ignorance of the nonexisting self.

Friendly Che :)

Hej Dane my friend do what feels right. Taking break can be very helpful. I actualy gained some very good insight when i stopped with meditation for a few weeks.

Good man.
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Stefan on February 16, 2011, 07:36:15 PM

Don't try too hard to change anything, change will come naturally.


*sign*  :)
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Stefan on February 16, 2011, 07:40:12 PM
Quote
There is no such thing as self.

There is no self yet the self created all the world outside and inside. The whole world suffers in their own fashoon yet we say there is no self. Cool! Who then creates all this suffering if there is no self?


There is a self.
There is no self.
There is.

It's this duality stuff again.  :)
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Stefan on February 16, 2011, 07:41:54 PM

... repeating ... may I be ... a pop corn ...


 ;D DON'T try this at home!!
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Morning Dew on February 16, 2011, 08:23:45 PM
Quote
There is a self.
There is no self.
There is.

It's this duality stuff again. 

It is maybe "this duality stuff again" in your concious mind but for the very first time in my concious mind and in the minds of other beginner meditators.
Did you forget when you first became aware of the self and its fabrications? What a shock it was for me at first.
There is the self even if just a false sense of the self but it is very real and i can now see it in the every day lives, in myself, my wife, my colegues, boss, customers, news, advertising, politics, etc...
It is very much there.

Can there be any discusion about non-duality without creating duality? Probably but to do so we must aproach each other at the very same level, but even then there might be duality.
I mean what do 2 Buddhas have to discuss about  ;D LOL
Those who justify themselves do not convince.
The road to non-duality cant be find i feel by excluding the very duality we suffer from. Being aware at all times of this very duality is all i can do for sure. Non duality is just another cloud in the sky.
I doubt a non dual mind would say "i am non-dual" because this very sentence creates duality and conflict.

Discussing about something we never experienced is delusional no matter how sofistcated we put it. All we know for sure is happening right now as we speak. The rest is just dust in the eyes.

Tell me to back off if im stepping on your toe too hard :D
I like you though.
Friendly Che :)
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Stefan on February 17, 2011, 06:27:34 AM

Don't worry about toes  ;)

Please be a bit more careful with interpreting my words. I don't like to discuss stuff that I don't know about. Erm ... or at least I think I know about.  ;) And we all experience the "self-no self"-game very often. Are we aware of it? And I am quite sure that you know it, too, maybe without labelling it as such.
We meditators tend to take everything too serious. That's why I put my post there ... I had the feeling to do so. So please don't reduce my posts to an intellectual "head thing" because they aren't. Erm ... at least they aren't all the time  ;)  And I don't even know what "sofisticated" means?

Something for your toes, then: (Caution! Another joke coming through!) Maybe your self-noself doesn't enjoy too much to hear that it is not important enough to be discussed seriously? (Serious again): Self or no self, who cares? Something is sitting on the cushion ...  ;)

But since I am right and wrong at the same time, you may believe me and not believe me in one go.

Non-Egothing-Metta to You, Stefan
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Stefan on February 17, 2011, 06:44:06 AM
*Mod-mode on*:

Stefan, please start a "duality"-thread or go back to topic.

greez  8)
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Morning Dew on February 17, 2011, 08:40:41 AM
Sofisticated (misspelled)
Sophisticated meaning;
Quote
To cause to become less natural, especially to make less naive and more worldly.

Quote
Stefan, please start a "duality"-thread or go back to topic.


Do you have problems with Insomnia?  ;D   ;)
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: DANE01 on February 17, 2011, 10:44:00 AM
Guys, something amazing has happened.

As you may remember, I suffer from a social phobia, which is what led me to meditation in the first place.

I have been seeing a psychologist for the past year or so, and two days ago, we had a breakthrough. I think.. I think I may have been cured of my social phobia. Holy shit.. I have actually been cured of my social phobia  :). And it was something I achieved without meditation, meds, relaxation excercises or anything else. I'm sitting here in my apartment, listening to some of my favourite music, smoking a cigarette and literally crying out of joy. After so many years, I have been cured of my social phobia. I almost can't believe it. Yet it is true. I have been cured of my social phobia.

This Tuesday, I went to see my psychologist as I have done every two weeks for the past year, and I finally realized something. I realized that whenever I had to speak in a public setting, a thought or a voice would pop up inside of my head and say "oh no, now you are gonna sound nervous". It's amazing, I had never really noticed this thought before, because it has just been an automatic response for so many years. But through the therapy, we found out that this is what I said to myself right before becoming anxious.

The next day at work, I really paid attention to these thoughts, for the first time in my life. And indeed, every time I would have to speak up in a public setting, this voice would pop up. For the past two days, I made an effort of paying attention to this voice every time it popped up, just noticing it. And something amazing happened: Once I started paying attention to it, and actually acknowledged this thougt, it started losing its power over me, and the anxiety went away.

It's just as my experience with meditation; whenever I felt anxious of falling asleep during meditation, that anxiety would go away if I accepted it. And in the same way my social anxiety has seemed to fade once I started recognizing and accepting this internal voice within me in social situations.

Today at the office, I made an effort of paying attention to it once again, and already, it seems to be much harder for the anxiety to manifest itself. Today I couldn't really feel anxious, even though I really tried to  :)! It's incredible, but it makes sense: Once you start acknowledging a fear, instead of fleeing from it, or trying to ignore it, your mind learns that this is no longer something to be afraid of.

I feel so exhilarated: I am starting to get rid of anxiety without using any means of escape whether that be meditation, meds or self-hypnosis; by paying attention to it, I am actually curing it. I can't describe the feeling of joy, bliss and love that I feel right now. I feel like my life is only beginning after so many years. And I know that this is permanent - I'm not using a pill, which will lose its effect eventually, I'm not meditating, which I may have to stop eventually - I have simply identified my source of anxiety, and am paying attention to it. And in this way, the anxiety loses its power.

In the light of this, it was actually a good thing that meditation impeded my sleep so severely. If it hadn't, I might have gotten a significant anxiety relief from meditation - significant enough not to pay attention to the therapy I was given - significant enough for me never really to cure my anxiety in a natural, permanent way.

I don't belive in fate or "meant-to-be's", but it seems weird; just 3 minutes of meditation a day would give me bursts of energy to go on for 20 hours and not get any sleep. It seems that there was "something" that wanted to impede my meditation and every other anxiety-relieving excercise I did, so that I instead could face my anxiety in real life, real time, and overcome it.

Ah well, I don't believe in fate. I'm just happy that I've finally got a breakthrough in coping with anxiety. For the first time in years I feel.. free. I feel like this is the beginning of something great: The beginning of my life. I can finally do all the things I want to do, without being overpowered by anxiety. I've had that feeling before, but never in this way. Because my anxiety management would always be centred on trying to circumvent anxiety in some way. And it's not anymore - I'm facing it, and overcoming it.

Today is a great day. This is a great life.

I feel free. And that is the greatest feeling I have ever experienced.

Be well my friends  ;)

Dane
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Morning Dew on February 17, 2011, 10:56:02 AM
I am glad you feel free and happy my friend :) well done!

You wrote;
Quote
I feel so exhilarated: I am starting to get rid of anxiety without using any means of escape whether that be meditation

This is not directly for you but rather all the ones new to meditation :) Meditation is not an escape but rather being aware of all that is, being aware of the anxiety without fabricating anything. As you say you gave your attention to your anxiety :) i call attention awareness.
Meditation is not an escape but being attentive/aware in a relaxed manner.

I am realy glad for you :) well done.

Che
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Quardamon on February 17, 2011, 01:16:56 PM
Hello Dane,
That is beautiful. So now is a time for celebration. Congratulations.
And then comes a time to oversee how your possibilities have changed. And a time for landing in the new situation, the real harvesting. I trust that will be a good time.
Please, inform us in a few days, how your sleeping is going. Obviously, it was good for you to stop meditation.
Be well,
Quardamon
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Stefan on February 17, 2011, 05:16:39 PM
Great, Dane! Other people fight stuff like that forever. You've "seen" that thought, you realised what it did to you, and you reacted in the only possible way - just focussing your inert awareness on it. I'd say you don't "have been cured" but you cured yourself.

So now ... go for the BIG stages!

Metta, Stefan
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Andrew on February 18, 2011, 08:03:10 AM
Hi Dane
Wow, it is really heart warming to see this resolved. I bet you are almost high with excitement. Any breakthrough when "the truth just sets you free", feels like you're dancing over green hills with wings on you feet and flowers in your hair!!!! You feel like skipping through the streets, hugging people at random, and writing a book called "HOW I GOT FREE"!!!! ;D  ;D  ;D  ;D  ;D

Such a small thought causing all that trouble....who would have thought.. ;)

love

andy
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Stefan on February 18, 2011, 08:17:25 AM


Such a small thought causing all that trouble....who would have thought.. ;)


The smaller the thought, the harder to notice.
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Stefan on February 18, 2011, 08:20:08 AM


Quote
Stefan, please start a "duality"-thread or go back to topic.


Do you have problems with Insomnia?  ;D   ;)

yes ... ;) ... my children won't let me sleep ...
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: DANE01 on February 18, 2011, 06:33:24 PM
Hi guys - great to hear your encouragement and excitement! :) And yes, it certainly feels good.. :). I will use this newfound insight in more and more "high-pressure" social situations, and see how it goes. I feel "prepared" for this in a sense that I've never felt before.

To be honest I've never really understood why the meditation impaired my sleep in the way it did. I tried meditating just 3 mins 2 days ago, and it gave me a rush of energy and bliss afterwards. This rush of energy has lasted since Wednesday actually even though I haven't meditated since, so once again I am suffering from sleep problems.

I did some searching the other day, and found that my state has a lot of similarities with a Kundalini awakening, as I feel cold air on my fingertips, coolness in my legs, a rush of energy, a super-erect spine, occasional bliss and a feeling of "detached" hands and a tingling feeling on my face. It's not all unpleasant, except for the fact that it's so goddamn hard to fall asleep. Yet I doubt it can be a real Kundalini awakening, as it went it away when I stopped meditating, and resurfaced this Wednesday during a short meditation?

Anyways, my sleep problems are due to some kind of bodily rush that I experience from meditation. Now I am gonna stop meditating completely - no more testing here and there :). And hopefully it'll go away.




Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Quardamon on February 18, 2011, 08:36:14 PM
Hello Dane,
Good to hear from you. Yes, this could be kundalini. Something that is regarded as holy by some who never met it, and regarded as very difficult to handle by most who did meet it. My teacher commented, that one does not need to step into a fire to be able to observe the fire. I am glad that you can keep a distance from it. Sleeping well is a healthy thing.
Be well,
Quardamon
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Matthew on February 21, 2011, 06:19:04 PM
Guys, something amazing has happened.

As you may remember, I suffer from a social phobia, which is what led me to meditation in the first place.

I have been seeing a psychologist for the past year or so, and two days ago, we had a breakthrough. I think.. I think I may have been cured of my social phobia. Holy shit.. I have actually been cured of my social phobia  :). And it was something I achieved without meditation, meds, relaxation excercises or anything else. I'm sitting here in my apartment, listening to some of my favourite music, smoking a cigarette and literally crying out of joy. After so many years, I have been cured of my social phobia. I almost can't believe it. Yet it is true. I have been cured of my social phobia.

This Tuesday, I went to see my psychologist as I have done every two weeks for the past year, and I finally realized something. I realized that whenever I had to speak in a public setting, a thought or a voice would pop up inside of my head and say "oh no, now you are gonna sound nervous". It's amazing, I had never really noticed this thought before, because it has just been an automatic response for so many years. But through the therapy, we found out that this is what I said to myself right before becoming anxious........

Dane,

This insight is wonderful and it will change your world. Don't make the mistake of assuming you "achieved this without meditation ....".

How do you know you would have reached this insight without some subtle changes brought on by your meditation experiences? You don't! I suspect there is a link as "insight" is one of the fruits of meditation.

Whatever the case it's good to read your experience and I look forward to hearing more of your progress as things move on. Everything changes. You may want to come back to meditation for some more insight somewhere down the line ...

Warmly,

Matthew

Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: sinkingthinking on March 02, 2011, 11:05:58 PM
@Vivek

Thanks for the Shinzen Young tip by the way - but I cant seem to find the video..
Here it is  :) Sleep Interruption & A Good Night's Rest ~ Shinzen Young (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUQFw2jNf7s#ws)
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Andrew on March 03, 2011, 12:37:22 AM
thanks sinkingthinking,

just what I needed to hear! :)

thanks

& love

andy
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: DANE01 on March 27, 2011, 08:10:20 AM
>>>MATTHEW

You may actually be right - it's not certain that I had reached this mindfulness state without meditation.. :) I've actually thought about that a couple of times - since I meditated, I've gained much more control over my thoughts, and have become "aware" of them.. I probably owe more to meditation than I might know..

To give you all an update, I can indeed affirm that I did experience a mild Kundalini awakening. It's been a month and a half now, and I've got it under control and have reduced it by 90% through a special diet and a series of habits that counter the Kundalini energy.

I think I'll write a forum entry soon about this, as it seems that most people who suffer from the Kundalini Syndrome don't have a clue as to what to do. Hopefully I'll be able to help some of those who are suffering badly.
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Quardamon on March 27, 2011, 01:21:55 PM
Hello DANE01,

Good to hear from you again. I'm glad you found ways to deal with the kundalini. Indeed I have no idea about diet or habits that would help. Maybe the idea to help others after six weeks of experience comes too soon. In my opinion, staying careful is the first thing. So if you would get excited with the idea of helping others, than relax. Take your time, and than later you will be a more solid helper.
If you can post your findings and stay quiet, that is beautiful. I am convinced, that helping others is a good way to deal with kundalini energy. (Or maybe I should say: being aware of a larger circle. What I mean is not a one-way thing.)

I hope you sleep enough now.

Be well,

Quardamon

Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Matthew on March 29, 2011, 08:55:26 PM
Dane,

Glad you are well and feeling more under control. Kundalini does come and go in some meditation practices. First time I experienced it in 1994 it was like you describe and turned on and off. No special diet but when I changed techniques it went away. In fact it was an advanced meditation I was doing and was not ready for.

Warmly,

Matthew
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: DANE01 on April 02, 2011, 09:21:50 AM
>>>QUARDAMON

You are right: It might be better to wait a bit before giving out advice: The Kundalini has flared up again, and I honestly don't think I've slept for three days now  :o, so I'm by no way over this and ready to share my thoughts about a "cure". This time however, I now what to do in order to reduce it.

I talked to an expert on the subject the other day, and he said it would seem like a have an extremely ripe Kundalini, as it got so easily activated. This means I should never meditate again - *sigh*. That's a shame - I really liked it.

Take care guys
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Matthew on April 02, 2011, 09:15:43 PM
That's not true. Be well.
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Quardamon on April 03, 2011, 10:03:07 PM
Hello DANE01,

Do not be sorry about not meditating any more. Kundalini is often seen as an effect of meditation, that has its own process. So in a sense, the you are not doing the meditation, but the meditation is doing you. Just relax, trust, and navigate (if you can). You do not need to add fuel, you do not need to concentrate hard. 
I wish you well.

Quardamon
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: DANE01 on April 04, 2011, 05:22:23 PM
For those interested in Kundalini, I can recommend this link, by the way:

http://www.biologyofkundalini.com/ (http://www.biologyofkundalini.com/)
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Stefan on April 05, 2011, 06:36:03 PM
This means I should never meditate again - *sigh*.

That's not true.

Matthew's right, you know. There are times to reduce your meditation effort, I experienced that. But don't make a decision like "never again" since you cannot take decisions for a future that hasn't yet happened.

And then, you do a lot of different stuff, don't you? Somewhere you wrote "so I switched to Mantra meditation for two days" ... there IS a good reason why Goenka and others advise not to mix up techniques.

Take care & Metta to you, Stefan
Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: DANE01 on April 17, 2011, 05:58:53 PM
Well I think that we should appreciate the old mantra of "everone is different": Each time I started on a new round of meditation, the Kundalini would flare up again. - Each time more powerful and lasting than the previous time.

My third and final meditation practice saw me igniting the kundalini after just three minutes of meditation!..

If I meditated again, I'd be afraid it would come on so strong that I couldn't subdue it again - as it has happened to some people. Therefore, I likely won't be meditating again. However I have heard of multiple people who just experienced a brief flareup, and continued meditation and never experienced Kundalini again. - I guess we are all different.

But to have this energy safely awoken by a guru without the sideeffects must be awesome - when the kundalini fire was burning, I felt the most extreme bliss and joy you can ever imagine  8)

Title: Re: Meditation is causing insomnia for me - why?
Post by: Andrew on April 18, 2011, 02:31:08 AM
Hi Dane,

There are plenty of resources on the net that deal with what you are going through, though individual expert help cant' be beat. JJ Semple's site goldenflowermeditation.com seems informative and he says he has been dealing with it for a long time.

One thing that comes to my mind is; though you feel you cannot sit down to meditate as such, there is much more to a enlightened life that just that. Lifestyle choices are still within your reach, good solid reading, spiritual friendships, honest living, healthy food and avoiding drugs. In my reading I have noticed that those experiencing what you are often become obsessed with it, and perhaps rightly so for a time.  But I do not think that any single experience leads to awakening, but all of a persons efforts directed together can open the door to the next step.

I have some recent experience with energy that I had not felt before, and I too wake up very early and can't sleep. It encourages me to make sure that my lifestyle is as pure as i can make it, from what I have read, if energy is trying to straighten out in you, it will give you hell if you don't do what you can first!
It is what it is, and understanding will open a path through if our eyes are open.

There are deeper and more important things to be realized than anything happening in the realm of phenomena. Please understand energy like you would driving a car, or eating a restaurant; there are things you should and shouldn't do, but the reason you are doing them is for other reasons entirely i.e picking up girlfriend,  taking her on a date! She would be very put off if you drove on the wrong side of the road, or ate off the floor, so do what is proper with energy but don't forget why you are here.

I would seem that you have the answer for what you are going through; align yourself with an expert and understand what to do.  Please keep checking in here, we are happy to chat with you about all sorts of other useful things as well that may help in your 'whole life' efforts!

love

andy