Author Topic: Hello & a question  (Read 3448 times)


Hello & a question
« on: June 27, 2012, 08:03:17 AM »
Good morning everyone, I hope you are all well.
I have recently (within the last year) started (again)  and stopped (again) meditating. I usually do a breathe counting session and then try to become aware of sensations.
As I had never done standing meditation before I gave that a try. Just standing balanced and as relaxed as possible. This was my main posture for a few weeks, half an hour each morning. I tried to do some breathe awareness during the day as well.
About a month into the practice my body started to turn to the right & then left repeatedly. Just deep relaxing I thought and ignored it. Then my body started to turn 100 degrees (I moved my feet to stop any accidents) and the upper body & head would bend down towards the floor. I tried to ignore it and carried on counting breathes. Then I ended up (gently "helped") to the floor where my body started to twist & stretch of it's own accord.

So I thought that maybe the standing wasn't for me so I started sitting and meditating. And it happened again.
The twisting, rocking, stretching...

It's not unpleasant, or worrisome when it happens but it is sometimes difficult to ignore so I've stopped. I am now doing extra Tai Chi (I've asked my sifu he doesn't know what's happening in the meditation.).

Does anyone have any idea what might be happening and whether it would be good to continue with the standing/sitting. Any ideas to help with ignoring the movements?

Many thanks for any advise/reasons you may be able to give. I enjoy meditating and would like to be able to continue as I find it very beneficial.




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Re: Hello & a question
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2012, 09:03:06 AM »
Hi John,

I've had (and still have) similar experiences during meditation. Common things to occur for me are tremor, the chattering of my teeth, my head rocking and nodding, or my back and neck stretching. Sometimes my eyes spontaneously open.
I don't know exactly why this happens, and I've heard more than one explanation for it. One thing I've read is that these things occur when your body starts to enter a deep state of relaxation, and can be a sign of you entering a deeper state of concentration.
I hope someone else here can explain this a bit more, because I'm curious too.


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    • Teachers were: P.K.K. Mettavihari, Frits Koster, Nel Kliphuis. (In the line of Mahasi Sayadaw)
Re: Hello & a question
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2012, 11:42:19 AM »
Hello AtMywindowSadAndLonely,

Many years ago I had a meditation practice, with a few clients.
One day, after giving a massage, I decided to clean my energy not in the ususal way, but by dancing. (I had had several years of dance training.) After a while, dancing became whirling: turning around a vertical axis. After a few minutes of whirling, I found I could not stop. So I carried on whirling. After a few more minutes, I got scared. I was scared that I would never be able to stop and would hurt myself. So I forced a stop, and was dizzy for a few minutes after that.
That was the start of an interest in mandala's, an interest that I pursued several years. (For me the analogy between whirling and mandalas was evident.)

Five years later, in my first 9-day retreat, during sitting meditation, I started swaying.
I knew I was 'trespassing the rules' by not sitting still. But it felt very natural. And, when looking closely, I had to admit that it felt like a natural effect of the sitting and meditating.
From what I wrote above (and more), I also knew, that the body has its own wisdom. So I decided that the only thing that I could do was to allow this.
I allowed the swinging. At the same time, I stuck to the discipline: When it was time to get up for the walking meditation, I did walking meditation; when it was time to do prostrations, I did prostrations. And after that sitting again.
In this retreat, each participant had a small room for themselves, where they were the whole day, except for a daily interview with the teacher, and a group sit and dhamma talk in the evening. So I hindered nobody with my swaying.
Like you are describing, there seemed to be a certain order or sequence:
First I would sway to front and back - later sideways, left and right - still later, in the next sitting, my body would make circular movements. First only the head, later the whole body from the pelvis upward. It felt funny, but I got the hang of it. The movements would become bigger and bigger, and I would feel more energy going through me. That again would scare me, but again I felt that this was natural and the outcome of doing the meditation, so there was no objective reason to have fear. By again allowing the process, the fear went away.

When I told my teacher (Mettaviharee), I was surprised to find that he was quite enthusiastic. After a day the movements subsided and I sat still again.

The way I see this now, is that the body wisdom takes over.
You mention doing 'extra Tai Chi'. So you body is used to Tai Chi Chuan. So it must have some wisdom.

I support what Renze writes.
Also, I know such spontaneous movements are seen as a cleansing process.

I hope this helps.


P.S.: I am convinced, that is is OK to allow this process. I am also convinced that it is wrong to stimulate it. (Unless you have a teacher who can handle that.) From what you write, I see no reason to elaborate on this.
It is more a warning for other people who read this also.


Re: Hello & a question
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2012, 04:27:29 PM »
Hi Renze & Quardamon,

Thank you for your replies. I had heard that the movements may be energy clearing/cleansing but there are also people out "there" in internet land who caution against spontaneous movement and thing's can get quite confusing. I may try some standing again after my Tai Chi form. That may work out better if my body needs the movement.

Thanks again for your time.



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