Author Topic: twitching and jumping while meditating  (Read 12533 times)

bryony

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twitching and jumping while meditating
« on: January 07, 2009, 07:05:40 PM »
I am new to this forum, and meditation, and I was wondering if anyone could help me regarding a problem I have while meditating.  I recently attended a 10 day vipassana course in England and on the 9th day while meditating, my arm jumped up on its own.  At first I thought that I had fallen asleep and my heart had missed a beat but later in the day it happened several times while I was practicing plunging through my body.  By the end of the day, every time I sat down, I immediately started twitching, and soon started jumping - to such an extent that I thoutht I would be disturbing the meditators near by.  At the end of the day, even when I had stopped meditating I carried on twitching.  I had a bath, and walked arround for an hour or two, but nothing doing... I found the assistant teacher as I was a bit worried as my heart started pounding very fast.. She was very nice and said that I sould open my eyes as soon as it happens, so that I break the habbit.  She also said that when I get back home and am not meditating intensively, it will go away.  anyway that evening about 3 hours after I had stopped meditating, it calmed down and I was able to sleep (eventually) but I have now been back for nearly a week, and everytime I meditate for more than 30 mins and I start really getting into it,, I start twitching again. Maybe I just shouldnt worry about it.  Has anyone got any advice or comments? (sorry about the spelling!)

frepi

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Re: twitching and jumping while meditating
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2009, 07:09:45 PM »
Hi bryony. I knew you would manage to post your first message!  ;)

mettajoey

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Re: twitching and jumping while meditating
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2009, 11:46:05 AM »
Hi Bryony,

Your situation is interesting and I can't say I have direct experience with this.  I do wonder though if your arm jumping may have more to do with your sitting position than the meditation.  There is a large bundle of nerves in your armpit and maybe there is some pressure being applied there as you sit.  Have you tried putting your arm in various positions to see if it goes away?
The best type of meditation is the one that you'll do

vikram_erra

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Re: twitching and jumping while meditating
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2009, 12:33:35 PM »
hoy,
i am also have intrest in meditation.i am confused about your position.in meditation only this kind of experience might be happen.any way take care.

vikram,
« Last Edit: January 08, 2009, 12:51:23 PM by mettajoey »

Matthew

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Re: twitching and jumping while meditating
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2009, 01:06:31 PM »
Welcome bryony and vikram,

bryony,

I would suggest you stick with it and see how this develops.

The nerve roots that affect the area affected emerge mostly in the cervical spine and join in the Brachial plexus under your collar bone near your armpit. In addition there are two or three cranial nerves which could be compromised in some way that directly or partially control or provide feedback from some of the major muscle groups such as your upper Trapezius.

It may be that you have a longstanding injury pattern that is causing this twitching as your muscles relax in meditation.

The best way to find out is to continue a gentle meditation practice and pay attention to these arisings so you become more and more aware of them, how they arise and from where. If after a month or so there is no improvement or if you feel things are getting worse then I would recommend you consult your GP and suggest you try seeing a McTimoney method Chiropractor to establish if there is any dislocation of your spine or physical imbalance leading to this.

Keep at it and keep learning about who you are.

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

bryony

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Re: twitching and jumping while meditating
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2009, 03:16:57 PM »
thanks for your advice but I think maybe I didnt explain clearly.  It started in my arm - but after a  while it was just general jumping.  As if my heart had missed a beat.  Somtimes it was just my left hand that twitched, but sometimes it seemed that my whole body jumped.   I have no pain, and the local GP's here in the south of france will just think I am mad - if I say I have just ppent Christmas at a scilent retreat meditating  cross legged for 10 hours min a day... They will probably want to put me on prozasc...  It cannot be the cussion as it happened at the retreat and at home.  Different cussions.  An I always spend several minuites adjusting my possision in order to be as confortable as possible before I start..So if there is any one elce out there who has experienced something like this or knows who I can go to for advice I would be so happy.  It did seem a bit better this morning - but then I didnt meditate last night so the meditation wasnt as deep.

frepi

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Re: twitching and jumping while meditating
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2009, 04:31:55 PM »
I am not a very experienced meditator and never went through those kind of phenomenons during meditation but that looks like you are releasing long accumulated tensions. I experienced this but when I tried containing fury. I am not used to express my anger and in the rare situations where I did, my whole body shook uncontrolably. I think repressed emotions that are allowed to come out might cause this. So I would do as TIB says: keep meditating, chances are this will go on for a while, maybe it will get worse but if you remain equanimous and observe, you will probably see it vanish and the repressed emotions probably move from the subconscious to the conscious level.

bryony

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Re: twitching and jumping while meditating
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2009, 07:27:40 PM »
Yes Freppi -TIB's seems very knowledgable, and I will follow his advice because what he says makes sence to me!  I will however log in now and again to see if anyone has had a similar experience and how they delt with it.  Thanks to all of u  and Freppi for getting me started on this forum :) Vicram asked about my possition - well its an normal half lotus so nothing strange there.

Bryony

PS  TIB what does Tat tvam asi mean?

Bryony


deanmw

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Re: twitching and jumping while meditating
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2009, 07:48:05 PM »
Jack Kornfield writes in his book "A Path with Heart" about an experience he had with involuntary arm movements:-

Quote
Early in one year-long training retreat, I experienced a period of very powerful release where my head began shaking back and forth for hours. Some days later my arms started to involuntarily flap like a bird's wings. When I would try to stop them, I could barely do so. If I relaxed at all, they would flap continuously. They did so for several days. When I asked the teacher about it, he inquired whether I was being fully aware, and I said, "Certainly". Later he said, "You're not really being aware. Look more carefully and you will see that you don't like it. You subtly want it to go away." When I saw he was right, he said, "Simply go back and observe it," and over the next two days the movement subsided, and I sat there feeling my arms throb, bringing hours of deep bodily release.

He then goes on to say:
Quote
These spontaneous bodily releases are neither enlightening nor harmful. They are simply what happens when the energy being generated in our practice encounters blocks and tightness where it cannot flow...
... It is best to meet these movements by softening, especially relaxing the back and the area at the base of the spine. If the release is only moderately strong, it is often best to try to relax and yet hold the body still in the face of it and allow the energy to push open new channels in the body, rather than be released in movement. For stronger release this is impossible, though there are ways to temper and soften the buildup and flow of energy. As we become concentrated, the energy of our body system will follow a natural process of opening and balancing itself.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2009, 07:57:22 PM by deanmw »

Matthew

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Re: twitching and jumping while meditating
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2009, 09:21:47 PM »
Yes Freppi -TIB's seems very knowledgable, and I will follow his advice because what he says makes sence to me!  I will however log in now and again to see if anyone has had a similar experience and how they delt with it.  Thanks to all of u  and Freppi for getting me started on this forum :) Vicram asked about my possition - well its an normal half lotus so nothing strange there.

Bryony

PS  TIB what does Tat tvam asi mean?

Bryony



Bryony

TatTvam Asi is Sanskrit.

From Wikipedia:

Quote
Tat Tvam Asi (Sanskrit: तत् त्वम् असि or तत्त्वमसि), a Sanskrit sentence, translating variously to "Thou art that," "That thou art," or "You are that," is one of the Mahāvākyas (Grand Pronouncements) in Vedantic Hinduism. It originally occurs in the Chandogya Upanishad 6.8.7, in the dialogue between Uddālaka and his son Śvetaketu; it appears at the end of a section, and is repeated at the end of the subsequent sections as a refrain. The meaning of this saying is that the Self - in its original, pure, primordial state - wholly or partially identifiable or identical with the Ultimate Reality that is the ground and origin of all phenomena. The knowledge that this is so characterises the experience of liberation or salvation that accompanies the Unio Mystica.

Major Vedantic schools offer different interpretations of the phrase Tat (That) Tvam (You jiva) Asi (Are):

    * Advaita - absolute equality of 'tat', the Ultimate Reality, Brahman, and 'tvam', the individual self), jiva.
    * Shuddhadvaita - oneness in "essence" between 'tat' and individual self; but 'tat' is the whole and self is a part.
    * Vishishtadvaita - identity of individual self as a part of the whole which is 'tat', Brahman.
    * Dvaitadvaita - equal non-difference and difference between the individual self as a part of the whole which is 'tat'.
    * Dvaita - “Sa atmaa-tat tvam asi” in Sanskrit is actually “Sa atma-atat tvam asi” or “Atman, thou art not that”.
    * Acintya Bheda Abheda - inconceivable oneness and difference between individual self as a part of the whole which is 'tat'.

In October 1998 I had a clairvoyant dream in which one of my Buddhist teachers (I had never yet met or heard of at that point) said it to me in the dream. I met in the year 2000 year for the first time.

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

bryony

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Re: twitching and jumping while meditating
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2009, 09:37:45 PM »
Deanmw

Thanks for the quotes - I feel quite reasured by their content.  I was beninning to get quite worried.

Mettajoey

I tried folding my hands in my lap facing upwards instead of on my knees facing downwards.  This seems to help a bit.

I just want to thank the people who started this forum.  I am amazed and reasured by the responce. I am new  to computers and the internet and was very hesitant to jump in... but I am so glad I did.

Matthew

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Re: twitching and jumping while meditating
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2009, 10:10:05 PM »
We are all glad when someone jumps in. Your presence enriches our world byrony :)

And I forgot to explain "Tat Tvam Asi" to me is the single highest teaching. Difficult to grasp because you have to let go of everything to do so.

However, my understanding of the phrase differs to other interpretations. I understand it to mean "Thou art that" or "Be that which you are" in modern language. That which you are you have just started discovering - by joining the club of "those who look within". For that is where truth and truthfulness are to be found and from where they spring. And when you can let that profound well of wisdom inside of you flow freely you will know "That which you are". This knowledge does not come in the form of verbal understanding. It must be experienced by the individual being through right mindfulness, meditation and discipline, etc.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
« Last Edit: January 08, 2009, 10:18:48 PM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

bryony

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Re: twitching and jumping while meditating
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2009, 11:21:19 PM »
Mathew

I have to be careful not to crave this site.  I have just noticed that I have spent more than 4 hours looking at messages from people from all over the world.  some damming comments about vipassana amongst alot of other very interesting information.  I am now too tired to meditate.  I think u are absolutely right about the fact that the practice of meditation is the most important thing - so even though this has been a very useful experience I think that I am going to have to digress to my non computer life before I get sucked in for ever!  I will come back if I have any other questions. Be happy and keep up the good work.

Bryony

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: twitching and jumping while meditating
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2009, 11:36:24 PM »
Byrony

We have our moments including some heated debates. Craving to be right sometimes blinds us all.

If you have questions and you feel we can offer assistance in any way you know where we are.

If the things with the arm continue try sitting in a dining chair - not using the back for support at all - but sitting upright, with both feet firmly planted right under your knees and pointing forwards with your chin tucked in a bit.

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