Third eye pressure

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Brian Eleven, modified 11 Years ago.

Third eye pressure

Posts: 221 Join Date: 9/14/10 Recent Posts
Hi, I'm new to this and just have a question or 2. I've been focusing on my breath, trying to increase my concentration. I'm sitting between 40 & 120 minutes/day and have been for about 3-4 months. I've had some very pleasant experiences with this practice, feelings of vast openness, tingling on the skin and general mild euphoria. For the past couple of weeks I've been experiencing a pressure in my forehead around my temples. It begins while I'm sitting and continues afterwards for about 30 minutes. The last 3-4 days this pressure has moved to the area between, and slightly above, my eyebrows. The first time I could feel it slowly move across my forehead, and now it seems to move back and forth very quickly. I've also noticed a vastly increased ability to remain mindful in my everyday life. It feels very similar to my attention when I am seated. I remain focused and become distracted every few minutes but then come back. I'm finding that I can stay with my breath while reading or casually interacting with people. Now the questions, is the pressure in my forehead a result of my meditation, or am I getting a tumor(lol)? Is this increasing level of mindfulness that I'm experiencing normal, and should I keep up with samatha? I've been doing some noting but find that it distracts me, will if eventually lead to other benefits and is worth the initial awkwardness? I'm also curious if anyone may have some idea where I am on the map? Thanks in advance for any responses.
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Dan Bartlett, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Third eye pressure

Posts: 46 Join Date: 7/20/09 Recent Posts
There's not enough information here to judge "where you are", but the third eye pressure is a very common phenomena amongst insight meditators so don't worry about that.

You seem to have good concentration so I would move on to a more insight-based focus. I never got on well with noting either; try a looser choiceless-awareness focus. To me this always just felt like "resting" on the sense field, with the light inclination to investigate the sense field and any apparent watcher within it.
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Brian Eleven, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Third eye pressure

Posts: 221 Join Date: 9/14/10 Recent Posts
Thanks Dan!
The 'Watcher within it' , is this the 'who am I' question, trying to determine who is experiencing the sensations? I'm not really all that clear on this approach any advise or links would be great. Thanks again.
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Dan Bartlett, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Third eye pressure

Posts: 46 Join Date: 7/20/09 Recent Posts
I will quote a section of Daniel's book (have you read it?) which I spent a lot of time with, a section which strongly informed my whole approach to meditation / enquiry:

There also seems to be something that is frequently called “the watcher,” that which seems to be observing all this, and perhaps this is really the “I” in question. Strangely, the watcher cannot be found, can it? It seems to sometimes be our eyes, but sometimes not, sometimes it seems to be images in our head and sometimes something that is separate from them and yet watching the images in our head. Sometimes it seems to be our body, but sometimes it seems to be watching our body. Isn’t it strange how we are so used to this constant redefinition of ourselves that we never stop to question it? Question it! This odd sense of an unfindable watcher to which all of this is happening yet which is seemingly separate from all that is happening, which sometimes seems in control of “us” and yet which sometimes seems at the mercy of reality: what is it really? What is going on here?

One of my teachers once wisely said, “If you are observing it, then it isn't you by definition!” Notice that the whole of reality seems to be observed. The hints don't get any better than this. Here are three more points of theory that are very useful for insight practices and one’s attempts to understand what is meant by no-self:

1. There are absolutely no sensations that can observe other sensations! (Notice that reality is made entirely of sensations.)
2. There are no special sensations that are uniquely in control of other sensations.
3. There are no sensations that are fundamentally split off from other sensations occurring at that moment.

To begin to unravel this mystery is to begin to awaken. Simply put, reality with a sense of a separate watcher is delusion, and unconditioned reality, reality just as it is, is awakening.

[url=http://web.mac.com/danielmingram/iWeb/Daniel%20Ingram's%20Dharma%20Blog/The%20Blook/28A35449-618D-4C9B-98EF-D6AF1659B26F.html]MCTB - The Three Characteristics

In particular, I worked endlessly with investigating point 3, as this seemed such a simple and direct way of getting to the truth of things! i.e. if there is a sense of watcher/duality, then I am clearly not seeing something accurately! As I got further down the road I also realised - if I am experiencing any tension/separation then *by definition* the sensations that make up that subtle feeling must already be part of this unitary sense field! Building real confidence in this and then simply staying with things with the gentle inclination to allow tensions to release and reality to sync up was what really helped me.

Does that help?
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Brian Eleven, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Third eye pressure

Posts: 221 Join Date: 9/14/10 Recent Posts
Dan,
I think that helps too much(kidding). This is why I haven't finished Daniels book yet. I come to something like that and it takes me 2 days to get to the next page, very slow going because it's so full. This stuff makes me feel drunk! Thanks, hopefully this will all make sense to me one day, I'm sure it will.
Brad Schwags, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Third eye pressure

Posts: 9 Join Date: 6/19/10 Recent Posts
Hi Brian! (and everyone else too since this is my first post)

I've been reading this forum since May and its extremely helpful, if at least just motivating or inspirational to see what's actually possible through meditation. I know it's been said a bunch before, but I'm very grateful!

Back to this thread, I think my experience may be very similar to yours Brian. I'm curious to how you're practicing, if there's any overlap. I'll give a rundown of what I've been up to, experimenting with the 3rd eye stuff and maybe we can compare notes and questions.

What is really awesome, now that I look at, is that I've kept a journal starting in May. So its pretty easy to see the cycles and where my head's been at...

Quick background: I had very hard jhana/2nd jhana on retreat last October and have been sitting regularly for 30-120 mins a day for the last six months. After becoming addicted, longing and creating ego stories to re-create the jhana, I've finally settled down a bit. I was doing vipassana/3 characteristics meditations until May and began trying concentration practice after reading Dan Ingrams book then. I was coming pretty close to jhana again (4 of the 5 factors) for a couple weeks. However, I gave up on this for the time being and for the last month have been going in different directions by experimenting/focusing on different objects.


OK, back to how the 3rd eye stuff came up!

I started saying mahayana prayers and the 4 immeasurables to open up my heart, since I feel this is really important in setting the stage for being calm. Slowly I began noticing more energy/vibrations in the body, especially the heart chakra and flows through the spine (outside of retreat). During one sit I said outloud "om mani padme hum" and thats when I felt the 3rd eye come up, starting from a moving itch to a more solid or swirling object. Have you tried that? I find it helps and makes the object super easy to concentrate on, at least when its new. You can trace around it looking for edges, inspect through it and look for channels of energy connecting outward. At times it can be pretty defined. This has been going on for a couple weeks now and I generally feel the "pressure" there most of the day. If someone told me this last year I would have been a huge skeptic.

Anyways, I feel there are some seemingly unrelated things associated with this. I noticed how simple breath sensations lead to elaborating stories, creating a perspective and unnecessary filler. There's no way to avoid this, there's always some subtle emotions mixing in. If I can detach just enough, some of that filler will come across as "no self" - for instance, maybe as not identifying with that person who's talking in my head. So where am I going with this? I noticed these stories manifest as space. I hope someone could help clarify this more to me. But I feel when I get distracted and "snap" back to the present, I am actually creating the space around me. Anyone else get this? The scientist in me relates it to a quantum state collapse, or the part of the brain that correlates images from two eyes to make a 3d mental image. But last time I sat with my sangha this became very apparent and it was bewildering to look around the room during walking meditation. It was sort of amusing actually

A second effect this has may be on concentration. During one sit I got my clarity of focus down to a really small point on my nose. Then I felt a sense that it was just a perception, exaggeration, filler - as mentioned earlier. I don't want to go so far as to say "nothing inherently existing" But anyways, I "gave up" or "gave in" on the focus and it switched to be very inclusive of space around me. This inversion only happened once - but I felt the physical limitations, such as being confined by a wall, having objects forced to hold a form went away slightly. I feel like it was an insight into how our mind creates physical limitations somehow, and in whatever way it was connected to the 3rd eye as well.

Lately I feel I am not that distracted sitting for a while, or if I do wander, it doesn't bother me. But what is bothering is that I have lost a lot of the clarity from the 3Cs. (Calmness is still good, concentration definitely depends on the day)

Lastly, on a funny note, I sat with a new shambhala group the other day and the organizer lady said "my daughter just thinks I sit in bliss staring at my third eye! But this is hard work!" Meanwhile I had given up on vipassana 10 seconds into the sit and stared at the 3rd eye. gotta laugh outta that

I hope this post doesn't come across as totally self-centered; I don't know of any other way to explaining introspective ideas! If anyone knows whats going on, or better yet ideas on how to direct future practice it would be more than helpful

Anyways, cheers & thanks for posting your experiences!

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