"Tension" between eyes during prolonged Samatha

Silas Day, modified 2 Years ago.

"Tension" between eyes during prolonged Samatha

Posts: 23 Join Date: 4/4/19 Recent Posts
Hi all, hope this finds you well.

In the past when I have practiced prolonged Samatha meditation(4-6 hours), even when my entire body has become relaxed, a sensation of "tension" will arise between my eyes and a little up. While at first it would take me out of my concentration practice I have learned to simply recognize it as an aspect of it. However, if i turn and use it as a concentration object it feel like there is an "In flow" from that spot. 

I know it may seem odd, but I have found most things about meditation are that way! Any thoughts, comments, or concerns would be appreciated! thank you so much
Stickman2, modified 2 Years ago.

RE: "Tension" between eyes during prolonged Samatha

Posts: 375 Join Date: 7/24/17 Recent Posts
Hi Silas, well, people like to talk about the third eye and wotnot, but it just feels like tissues engorging. Does it feel like that to you ?
You'd think there would be an easy physiology explanation about fluids and cells etc but nobody ever seems to come up with something so mundane.
I find it happens when I start to really relax and get into empty space inside, and it's interesting why this reaction goes along with that. Maybe it's different for you ?
Yuki Saka, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: "Tension" between eyes during prolonged Samatha

Posts: 81 Join Date: 10/21/12 Recent Posts
Hi Silas,

Tension between the eyes is a fairly common occurence when engaging in meditation.

It is also associated with a "sense of self", as most of us unconsciously take ourself to be situated somehwere behind the eyes, looking out.  So, looking into our subjective sense of self, like engaging in meditation, seems to activate this sensation in the head.

This sensation can be actively used to effect insight into emptiness nature of self, as the self-charge associated with this sense of being a looker is released concomitant with the insight.  You may be interested in looking at the following book, where the practitioner of the so-called 2-Part formula experiences this tension behind the eyes, followed by its release.

Awake! handbook of Awakening

Hope it helps.

Stickman2, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: "Tension" between eyes during prolonged Samatha

Posts: 375 Join Date: 7/24/17 Recent Posts
Yeah interesting point I wonder if we build up tension in that area because we locate our self there to some degree. There's an emotional connection in that area that we can feel if we cry, I do anyway - intense sensations and plenty of snot (more obvious when you're a kid). So it's probably to do with all of that, the area is wired up to our emotions and stuff happens when we relax.
A bit more prosaic than claiming cosmic prana is opening the third eye etc emoticon
Yuki Saka, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: "Tension" between eyes during prolonged Samatha

Posts: 81 Join Date: 10/21/12 Recent Posts
Yes I agree.  It's an unconscious reflex...that we impute an "I" into that set of sensations.  But when you really look into it, it is seen to be mere fabrication: there is no "I" to be found apart from just the sensations being known.

I found the following quote by Dalai Lama from the book "How to see youself as you really are" as an interesting account of his personal insight into this notion.

"When I was about thirty-five years old, I was reflecting on the 
meaning of a passage by Tsongkhapa about how the “I” cannot be found 
either within or separate from the mind-body complex and how the “I” 
depends for its existence on conceptuality. Here is the passage: 
'A coiled rope’s speckled color and coiled form are similar to those of a
snake, and when the rope is perceived in a dim area, the thought 
arises, “This is a snake.” As for the rope, at that time when it is seen
to be a snake, the collection and parts of the rope are not even in the
slightest way a snake. Therefore, that snake is merely set up by 
conceptuality. In the same way, when the thought “I” arises in 
dependence upon mind and body, nothing within mind and body—neither the collection that is a continuum of earlier and later moments, nor the 
collection of the parts at one time, nor the separate parts, nor the 
continuum of any of the separate parts—is in even the slightest way the 
“I.” Also there is not even the slightest something that is a different 
entity from mind and body that is apprehendable as the “I.” 
Consequently, the “I” is merely set up by conceptuality in dependence 
upon mind and body; it is not established by way of its own entity.'
Suddenly, it was as if lightning moved through my chest. I was so 
awestruck that, over the next few weeks, whenever I saw people, they 
seemed like a magician’s illusions in that they appeared to inherently 
exist but I knew that they actually did not. This is when I began to 
understand that it is truly possible to stop the process of creating 
destructive emotions by no longer assenting to the way “I” and other 
phenomena appear to exist. Every morning I meditate on emptiness, and I 
recall that experience in order to bring it into the day’s activities. 
Just thinking or saying “I,” as in “I will do such-and-such,” will often
trigger that feeling. But still I cannot claim full understanding of