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A beginner's hello and what's this feeling?

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Hi,

I'm a German dude who's meditating for about two months with 1-2h per day using TMI (except that I use sight as the object as my nostrils are often asymetrically blocked), which is pure concentration training at the beginner's stages.

I have a consistent mystery sensation that developed about two weeks in and has stayed almost continuously, but I can't find anything about that in TMI - so I'm asking here. The feeling

  • feels like a physical sensation located behind the eyes and around the temples (it could be muscle, but I can't find it),
  • appears to come with concentration and the even more the increment of concentration,
  • is continuously present in higher concentration ("high" in my case is at most single-pointed attention I think) and
  • is bouncy if a lot of it comes at once.
The bounciness manifests as a wave of at most about half a Hertz, but it can get arbitrarily slow and then stabilize.

When the bounciness is very strong, it can cause my eyes to defocus on the peaks of the wave.

So far I've used it as my main guiding method for evaluating my practice in the moment, as it's much easier to feel the strength of that feeling than to go by degrees of clarity or the timing of continuous attention (which I also do, of course, just less often).

So what do you experts think this is? And is it wise to use it for measuring concentration? Or do I do something stupid?

Thanks in advance!

Jens

RE: A beginner's hello and what's this feeling?
Answer
9/14/19 7:34 AM as a reply to Jens Theisen.
(Not an expert)

I would say, please don't use it as a measure for concentration, since it can create bad habits. I have a similar vibration in my head and above and behind the eyes, which happens almost always if I get a little concentrated, that has created a wrong metrics for me, and I am trying to change that habit recently. I've used it for about a year for the same purpose, and it has caused lots of wrong directions, for instance in Jhana practice, instead of looking for joy, I would look for stronger vibrations and etc, and develop harsh vibrations but not joy.

I've heard Richard Shankman talk about this, and he recommends not to use piti for measuring concentration and progress (I don't mean to say that it's piti in your case, it could be, but the same principal applies to it.).

RE: A beginner's hello and what's this feeling?
Answer
9/14/19 1:14 AM as a reply to Siavash.
Thank you for your advice! I'll be cautious.

Out of curiosity, what do you think it is in your own case?

RE: A beginner's hello and what's this feeling?
Answer
9/14/19 4:03 AM as a reply to Jens Theisen.
Does it feel like your eyes are relaxing and moving back in their sockets? Does it cause you to squint a bit behind your eyelids?

RE: A beginner's hello and what's this feeling?
Answer
9/14/19 4:23 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Does it feel like your eyes are relaxing and moving back in their sockets? Does it cause you to squint a bit behind your eyelids?
Difficult to say. I usually have my eyes open, and I can't detect any actual skin, eye or eyelid movements unless it's very strong (then the defocusing happens).

There's another related thing I've not mentioned yet to not complicate things unnecessarily, but maybe that rings a bell: Sometimes the feeling is asymmetric or has "holes". Those missing parts are then often filled up by certain actions such as
  • Centering the eyes away from the meditation object while still keeping attention on the meditation object (a dot at a wall or something). It appears to matter where I center the eyes.
  • Noticing a thought and letting it go.
The filling up happens with a delay of about 2-4s after those actions took place. The wavy-pattern is then often restricted to the areas in which the hole is filled until it settles.

It's somewhat unreliable though.

A highly speculative working theory of mine is that the feeling of holes is somehow related to the "parts of the brain that are not paying attention" and that certain actions bring those into the fold.

RE: A beginner's hello and what's this feeling?
Answer
9/14/19 7:05 AM as a reply to Jens Theisen.
Jens Theisen:
Thank you for your advice! I'll be cautious.

Out of curiosity, what do you think it is in your own case?

I don't know really. Probably it's a manifestation of piti. It usually lasts 2-5 seconds, then stops and then happens again a few seconds or minutes later. If there is stronger piti and energetic sensations in the body (often as a result of more practice), it may last more, 10-30 seconds, then pause for just a few seconds and happen again. Often in those intense occurrences, there is a very bright light in my vision too, and sometimes a sharp feeling in the tip of my nose, similar to the one that happens before a sneeze, and towards the end of the vibration, it feels like a release has happend in my face and nose. I think it started with my first try of Fire Kasina last year, or maybe I was focusing on the murk for my daily practice that it started to happen, and since then almost always happens when I focus on anything, and sometimes in daily activities without doing meditation it happens. If my eyes are open, when this vibration starts, it causes my eyes to close and squinch, unless I force my eyes to stay open, but even in that case they would close if the vibrations are more intense. It's above and behind the eyes, and on my skull, mostly in the sides of it and I think I don't feel it near the neck and in the crown, but I am not sure. It feels like my head is connected to a vibrator, and vibrates with that vibrator, and there is always a buzzy vibratory sound/noise in head along with the vibration. Previously I was thinking that probably it's just the buzzy vibratory noise and there isn't a physical sensation there, and the buzzy noise makes me feel that there are physical sensations of vibrations, but I was wrong, the noise and physical sensations vibrate together with a frequency of maybe 3-5 pulses per second.

RE: A beginner's hello and what's this feeling?
Answer
9/14/19 7:02 AM as a reply to Jens Theisen.
Jens Theisen:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Does it feel like your eyes are relaxing and moving back in their sockets? Does it cause you to squint a bit behind your eyelids?
Difficult to say. I usually have my eyes open, and I can't detect any actual skin, eye or eyelid movements unless it's very strong (then the defocusing happens).

There's another related thing I've not mentioned yet to not complicate things unnecessarily, but maybe that rings a bell: Sometimes the feeling is asymmetric or has "holes". Those missing parts are then often filled up by certain actions such as
  • Centering the eyes away from the meditation object while still keeping attention on the meditation object (a dot at a wall or something). It appears to matter where I center the eyes.
  • Noticing a thought and letting it go.
The filling up happens with a delay of about 2-4s after those actions took place. The wavy-pattern is then often restricted to the areas in which the hole is filled until it settles.

It's somewhat unreliable though.

A highly speculative working theory of mine is that the feeling of holes is somehow related to the "parts of the brain that are not paying attention" and that certain actions bring those into the fold.


Hm... Does this hole appear in the center of your focus? Is it easier to maintain clarity in the periphery?

RE: A beginner's hello and what's this feeling?
Answer
9/14/19 7:35 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” :
Hm... Does this hole appear in the center of your focus? Is it easier to maintain clarity in the periphery?

The "hole" is in the feeling, not the sight. It's like when you have a headache only on one side (only that it's not a headache and it's not painful).

I found a reference
Answer
9/14/19 7:39 AM as a reply to Jens Theisen.
I found the following quote on this site:

Many meditators have experienced feeling a sort of pressure in the center of the forehead between the eye brows. This sensation is evidence of the establishment of concentration.

It's from here.

I wonder if there's a name and a more detailed discussion somewhere.

RE: I found a reference
Answer
9/14/19 7:57 AM as a reply to Jens Theisen.
There are extensive discussions about piti and energetic sensations in TMI, in the interlude after Stage 6, I think the name of the interlude is Stages of an Adept.