Author Topic: Racing heart during meditation!  (Read 11877 times)

John Bruzi

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  • I don't seek happiness, I just seek control.
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Racing heart during meditation!
« on: October 23, 2013, 03:13:37 PM »
Hi guys! This is my first post.

I'm new to meditation and have been practicing it for about 4 days. During my first session, after some 20 minutes of concentrating on my breath and bodily feelings, I had this crazy feeling of imminent movement in the head and as the "movement" got stronger my heart started rushing badly to a point where I was shaking and losing concentration.

It felt almost like a confrontation. I was becoming heavy and the adrenaline was rushing to my nerves and paralyzing me. Somehow I'm not unhappy with this, as it represents an opportunity for me to face those annoying emotions of fear without real-life consequences (like losing face in front of family or friends).

So, why is this happening?

Quardamon

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    • Teachers were: P.K.K. Mettavihari, Frits Koster, Nel Kliphuis. (In the line of Mahasi Sayadaw)
Re: Racing heart during meditation!
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2013, 06:56:19 PM »
Hello John Bruzi,

Maybe you will not like what I am going to say.
There is a small category of people form whom it is not a wise thing to meditate.
That is the category of people that live with an inner volcano.
For those, even relaxing needs to be done under strict control.

Some people need control to survive. Or they needed it in the past. For those it is an unwise thing to simpy relax and see what happens. It is wiser, to first grow an understanding of what might happen. Do you know the book "Waking the Tiger" by Peter Levine? 

If you do not understand what I am talking about, then I am simply wrong.
If you do understand, we can have some interaction on this forum to clarify things.
I could explain why I think along these lines.
But I like to check with you first, if that is OK with you.

Take care.

Quardamon

John Bruzi

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  • I don't seek happiness, I just seek control.
    • Mindfulness
Re: Racing heart during meditation!
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2013, 10:18:53 PM »
Thanks allot for the comment.

I thought I was "waking up" stuff in my subconscious when I meditated that day, I mean the feeling was so familiar! Yes, I do have an "inner volcano", a terrible one too. After spending some time being honest with myself I can safely conclude that my childhood is the root cause. I can elaborate further if you want me to.

However isn't "bringing out" the bad stuff in your mind through meditation much safer than having the same stuff surprise you in your daily life where it will totally overwhelm you?

Quardamon

  • Member
    • Teachers were: P.K.K. Mettavihari, Frits Koster, Nel Kliphuis. (In the line of Mahasi Sayadaw)
Re: Racing heart during meditation!
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2013, 10:45:32 AM »
The point is, that the bad stuff that can surprise you in daily life and totally overwhelm you there - well, that stuff is also able to overwhelm someone in meditation. It takes careful steps to prevent that.

You say that the feeling was so familiar when you meditated that day, so you know you were waking up stuff in your subconsciousness. That is good. I mean: It is good, that you were actively feeling / sensing what was going on. And it is reassuring for me, that the feeling was so familiar. Both things, the active sensing and the familiarity of what came up, help not to get overwhelmed.

Long time ago, I did karate for a few weeks. To be able to sense what the opponent is going to do, and to be able to move freely, one needs a bodily sense of awareness, one needs to be very active, even while standing still. At the same time, one needs to relax or discard anything that is not to the point. You cannot think about frying potatoes at the same time. And having more muscle tension than needed is a waste of energy and of flexibility.
I suppose it is possible to sit in meditation and relax with the same active attitude. In fact, I know by experience.

From theory I know, that diving deep into trust en relaxation (in the sense of letting-go) could let the lid off the pressure-cooker instead of first allowing the pressure to diminish. That would be unwise.
It has to do with the systems for fighting, hunting and social care. Three systems that each have their social functioning and brain functioning.

Well - It may not sound so, but I would say: Use as many ways as you can think of to get to know the terrain. I used making large paintings (in fact with crayons) to get an understanding of the family I came from - along with sports and dancing to enhance my sense of self. I once tried clowning, but I failed - could not stand it.

John Bruzi

  • Member
  • I don't seek happiness, I just seek control.
    • Mindfulness
Re: Racing heart during meditation!
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2013, 07:53:03 PM »
I don't understand, you want me to use various meditational techniques instead of just one? Also I don't think "bringing out" the horrible stuff in me is a bad idea, even if faced with overwhelming emotions during meditation. You see I want to know exactly what's wrong with me, at all costs.

If this "bringing out" could be managed in a way that reduces the harming effects, please, point me to the right direction.

Also from what I know these symptoms (rushing heart, feeling of imminent movement) are signs of the so-called "astral projection". Does this have anything to do with what is happening to me? I mean I did have an OBE before during a moment of extreme stress, so it's not unlikely that meditation is bringing me back to it.

Also, by bringing out the "volcano" and somehow understanding it, am I actually solving the problem? Does this mean I will no longer be held back by fear in my everyday life?

Quardamon

  • Member
    • Teachers were: P.K.K. Mettavihari, Frits Koster, Nel Kliphuis. (In the line of Mahasi Sayadaw)
Re: Racing heart during meditation!
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2013, 10:35:22 PM »
OK. Let us recuperate.
You are new to meditation. In your first session something happened that felt like a confrontation.
You have an inner volcano and you mention your childhood as the root cause.
You say that you want to know exactly what is wrong with you, at all costs.
You hope not to be held back by fear in daily life, in the future.

This is a forum on meditation. Few on this forum have experience with an inner volcano. Those that have, did not only do meditation, but also various therapies to be able to handle their situation. (Maybe I am wrong, but that is my guess after a few years on this forum.) I was pointing into the direction of creative therapy.


I stop now. It is late. I will meditate, and go to bed.

redalert

Re: Racing heart during meditation!
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2013, 11:58:34 PM »
This is a forum on meditation.
It is, so why are you pointing towards creative therapy?

Few on this forum have experience with an inner volcano.

We all have an inner volcano, some have erupting volcanos and in some this volcano lies dormant.

Those that have, did not only do meditation, but also various therapies to be able to handle their situation.
For some of us our meditation practice is the only form of therapy needed to observe these eruptions.



redalert

Re: Racing heart during meditation!
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2013, 12:27:15 AM »
Hi guys! This is my first post.

Hi John welcome to the forum.


I'm new to meditation and have been practicing it for about 4 days. During my first session, after some 20 minutes of concentrating on my breath and bodily feelings, I had this crazy feeling of imminent movement in the head and as the "movement" got stronger my heart started rushing badly to a point where I was shaking and losing concentration.

It felt almost like a confrontation. I was becoming heavy and the adrenaline was rushing to my nerves and paralyzing me. Somehow I'm not unhappy with this, as it represents an opportunity for me to face those annoying emotions of fear without real-life consequences (like losing face in front of family or friends).

So, why is this happening?

Begin with observing 5 precepts, this will act as a strong foundation for you to build a practice, this can help you from taking actions that will harm others and will bring a level of calm to the mind.

Keep up the practice you are comfortable with, and if you become overwhelmed by these emotions and sensations. Re-group and simply start again, don't give any importance to them, give all importance to the object of meditation. Also don't try to create or anticipate anything in meditation just try your best to observe whatever presents itself from moment to moment.

As your practice develops, I would suggest looking for a face to face instructor who can get to know you intimately and who can help guide you.

If what comes up in meditation is overwhelming you to the point you cannot face it, then as Quardamon suggested some alternative therapy could be useful.
 I don't get the impression from you that this was incredibly unpleasant. I think you just need some reassurance.

Be well and be sure to continue your practice,
Red


John Bruzi

  • Member
  • I don't seek happiness, I just seek control.
    • Mindfulness
Re: Racing heart during meditation!
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2013, 05:54:05 PM »
Thanks guys!

I will definitely continue the practice as I have no other option. I mean in light of the fact that my mind seems to respond rather quickly to meditation, I will continue that path and see what happens.

Quardamon

  • Member
    • Teachers were: P.K.K. Mettavihari, Frits Koster, Nel Kliphuis. (In the line of Mahasi Sayadaw)
Re: Racing heart during meditation!
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2013, 08:07:10 PM »
OK. That is a clear decision.

If later you want to tell more, or have other questions, it will help us if you tell what your meditation practice exactly is.

Be well.

John Bruzi

  • Member
  • I don't seek happiness, I just seek control.
    • Mindfulness
Re: Racing heart during meditation!
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2013, 10:02:18 PM »
Thank you Quardamon.

For now I'm just trying to get a grip on it; focusing on my breath and bodily feelings and simply letting go. I'll keep you updated.

John Bruzi

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  • I don't seek happiness, I just seek control.
    • Mindfulness
Re: Racing heart during meditation!
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2013, 01:51:48 PM »
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that during the second or third session my sexual drive (for a reason I don't understand) was highly aroused. I don't know, but I felt like I was much more responsive to sexual thoughts/images in my mind. Could it be that due to stress, my brain wanted to blow off some steam? Or is meditation bringing to surface my repressed sexual feelings as well?

Also my sleep pattern was badly disrupted for 2 or 3 days after the first couple of sessions.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2013, 02:46:53 PM by John Bruzi »

Quardamon

  • Member
    • Teachers were: P.K.K. Mettavihari, Frits Koster, Nel Kliphuis. (In the line of Mahasi Sayadaw)
Re: Racing heart during meditation!
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2013, 02:17:54 PM »
Sexual drive is very basic, sleep pattern is very basic, breath and bodily feelings is very basic - seems that there is an effect on the basis of your being. From what you told, that is also what you want.
As redalert said, keep a strong foundation.

John Bruzi

  • Member
  • I don't seek happiness, I just seek control.
    • Mindfulness
Re: Racing heart during meditation!
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2013, 10:11:55 PM »
So this is what meditation (among other things of course) does? Bring to surface suppressed emotions and feelings? What then? Does it help me come to terms with them?

Quardamon

  • Member
    • Teachers were: P.K.K. Mettavihari, Frits Koster, Nel Kliphuis. (In the line of Mahasi Sayadaw)
Re: Racing heart during meditation!
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2013, 08:57:44 PM »
Yes, that is what it does among other things, it brings to surface suppressed emotions and feelings.
For most people, it also helps to come to terms with these emotions and feelings. Somehow, the body has a way to process these things. And awareness has a way to transform things.
Most people start with relaxation, learn to concentrate, and when emotions and feelings come to surface, they come is sizes that can be handled. Lager sizes come when people are more trained.
(That training, by the way, can be in things that are not formally called "meditation". It can also be sport, or art, among other things.)
When someone is used to be in the fight-or-flight mode, and is welcomed in the mode of social care, a major shift can happen - like when the lid is let off a pressure cooker. (The Dutch book that I have this from gives as a resource "The Compassionate Mind" by P. Gilbert.)

You confirm that you have an inner volcano.
That is why I encouraged you to get to know the terrain.
In terms of what happened. But also in terms of what your skills and resources are.
What emotions and feelings can you reasonably expect to come up? If one comes up, in the discipline of meditation, you will keep a bit of distance from that feeling and allow it to be there, while you keep on sitting. But apart from that (and after that): can you go for a walk, do physical exercise, talk to family or a friend. Just like when you are a cyclist and do racing, you will want to have ways to recuperate.
Also discipline and moral conduct are resources. Nothing extreme, but knowing that your behaviour is OK helps to have confidence. You mentioned "being honest with yourself" as a resource. That is a beautiful one.

So I see meditation as one of the tools. I do not see it any more as the ultimate one.

I suppose it is fair to mention that I do not have experience with out-of-body-experiences. And sometimes, like in the past week, an other group and also family demand more attention from me than this forum (in the sense that they have priority. Sorry - that is how it is.)

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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    • Buddhism is a practical psychology and philosophy, not a religion.
    • If you cling to view, you must know this limits your potential.
Re: Racing heart during meditation
« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2013, 12:28:44 AM »
So this is what meditation (among other things of course) does? Bring to surface suppressed emotions and feelings? What then? Does it help me come to terms with them?

Yes, or no ... It depends. As these things arise into consciousness you will either be relaxed enough to take the strain or you will be too tight and break.

The key is no force, relaxed awareness, letting it come in 'bite-size' pieces, as Q implies. Don't chase, don't push away, don't measure and don't suppress. Cry if you need to cry, laugh if you need to laugh, come here or go to a trusted friend if you need to talk. Body and mind want to heal and hold all the needed wisdom to do so .... You only have to learn how to let that happen.

And that is entirely within your control, through letting go off control and riding the waves. Paradoxical? - yes, healing, yes.

Find peace, let go, let  what must arise arise and don't get caught up in the emotion and solidify it nor repress the emotion and solidify it. You may be in for a bumpy ride but you have all you need within you to surf the waves - if you did not this would not be coming to your awareness.

TRUST YOUR OWN PROCESS!

Warmly,

Matthew
« Last Edit: November 08, 2013, 12:31:30 AM by Matthew »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

John Bruzi

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  • I don't seek happiness, I just seek control.
    • Mindfulness
Re: Racing heart during meditation!
« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2013, 02:02:27 AM »
Thanks guys! I think I understand.

Santino

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Re: Racing heart during meditation!
« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2014, 10:34:32 PM »
HEy,

how is it going? Any new experiences with the volcano?

k r,

Santino

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Member
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • Buddhism is a practical psychology and philosophy, not a religion.
    • If you cling to view, you must know this limits your potential.
Re: Racing heart during meditation!
« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2014, 05:57:30 PM »
Hello Santino,

The Vulcano is only that as long as you perceive it to be so: come from a position of relaxed acceptance and it is nothing more than a soda-fountain: maybe a bit wet, fizzy and shocking but nothing that will burn you.

Kindly,

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

Santino

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    • Mindfulness Based (John Kabat Zinn)
Re: Racing heart during meditation!
« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2014, 07:31:39 PM »
Hello Matthew,

How do you know? I think this is different  for every person and not only depends on the attitude of the person who is meditating. I also think that the attitude is very important if you experience this.

For example I experienced very strong anxiety during meditation. I was accepting and just observed it. A person who does not have any experience with meditation may habe been freaked out because of this powerful emotion. But I just observed it passing by. It was gone after a few minutes and it was ok for me.

But in spite of my attitude the emotion was strong.

The same could be as somebody has a "volcano". I would think of very strong anger and sadness.
It won't be enjoyable to feel this. I think thats the reason for suppressing it earlier in life.

But of course this all is just a guess and nothing can bring evidence for.

My experience is that the feelings which come up while meditating when solebody experienced trauma like me, are really not comfortable. You can sit with them, but you may feel like you are depressive afterwards.

If you have time, it would be nice if dou read my topic. I habe questions about a curious experience I don't know how to handle this...

Thank you

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Member
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • Buddhism is a practical psychology and philosophy, not a religion.
    • If you cling to view, you must know this limits your potential.
Re: Racing heart during meditation!
« Reply #20 on: July 01, 2014, 06:01:55 PM »
Hi Santino,

Quote
The same could be as somebody has a "volcano". I would think of very strong anger and sadness.
It won't be enjoyable to feel this. I think thats the reason for suppressing it earlier in life.

But of course this all is just a guess and nothing can bring evidence for

I think your guess at these reasons is widely accepted as truth :)

Regarding attitude, yes, this is important for sure, it's what I was trying to say in my earlier post:

Quote
come from a position of relaxed acceptance

I have read your post, please accept my apology for not replying sooner - " what to say " has not really come to me yet.

Kindly,

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

 

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