Tension - Practice Related?

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Mike Kich, modified 10 Years ago.

Tension - Practice Related?

Posts: 170 Join Date: 9/14/10 Recent Posts
Hey all, I was wondering if anyone else has experienced bouts of physical tension in specific areas of the body connected with or following practice? I've had this recurring throat and upper chest tension that drives me crazy at times which has been occurring on and off for several months, and it distracts me during practice.
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Tension - Practice Related?

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
Sounds like you might be getting into Re-Observation, tension and discomfort at the top of the chest and throat are physical symptoms I would associate with this stage but, just to complicate matters further, physical tensions are something I also associate with passing through 3rd ├▒ana, Knowledge of the Three Characteristics, so it could be related to that.

What's happening before and after this discomfort during a sitting?

Learning how to deal with these unpleasant sensations can be a great addition to your yogi toolbox, what I find works most reliably is to allow these sensations to have free reign, let them happen but keep the attention on them. Don't fight with them and try to make them go away, if you're doing this correctly then they will go away of their own accord and can be seen for what they are i.e. transient, unsatisfying and selfless sensations. I like the idea of "persistent visitors", these niggles and pains keep coming back 'cause they're trying to show you something really important but, since it's natural to label these sensations as unpleasant, most of us will do whatever we can to force them to leave. If you let them happen and note them accurately then they'll pass themselves and you can learn some really good stuff from them.
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Mike Kich, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Tension - Practice Related?

Posts: 170 Join Date: 9/14/10 Recent Posts
Mmmm, well I don't wanna do the nana guessing-game. That stuff's too vague and abstract and it doesn't correlate well enough to my actual experience of things consistently. I bitch a lot and so people say I'm a Dark Nighter, then I say I have a twinge and they say I'm not even post A+P. If I put stock in everyone's guesses I must occupy almost every spot on the maps simultaneously. It ultimately doesn't matter, though no one should take this as a criticism of them - I know of course you're trying to help.

As to what's happening, there's not really anything that precedes or follows it. It does seem to be psychologically rooted, because I notice that when I'm really mentally busied with other things I don't notice it much or at all for most of the day. Otherwise, as during driving or something that I only have to half pay attention to, it's semi-permanently there as a sensation, and it's really there in force during any kind of meditation. Paying attention to it without letting my attention shift, as in concentration meditation, I observe the sensation pretty quickly soften and dissipate, but only as long as I rigidly hold my attention on it. If my concentration flickers, which it still often does, it begins to return. Another reason I think it's a psych-related thing is because I've noticed the tension I store tends to go to my throat, as when I have a mental story I'd rather not fly away into, I have the tendency to almost sub-consciously 'swallow' it down, usually just a little bit faster than I notice I'm doing it. Probably not a great trick, but oh wells. Being with it inside of meditation and making an effort to accept it does help, but only temporarily. I can see dealing with discomfort in its various forms, but what I can't see is accepting it as if it doesn't matter or as if it's not distracting. Discomfort has never led me to some kind of profound insight other than that I can usually deal with it.

I have been worried (being a proud hypochondriac) that I'm giving it mental explanations when it could turn out I have loving throat cancer, but what I've described above about the way the tension shifts in and out makes me doubt that somewhat. Still, the idea of it is enough to distract me.
no-name seems more proper, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Tension - Practice Related?

Posts: 12 Join Date: 8/16/11 Recent Posts
Hold your breath, relax and breath out slowly, breathing in 30% less than you feel you need. Allow and welcome this tension to build. Heat may follow a high tension, which is fine. The thig-le might be activated, so you experience a lot of visual activity, to the point of full hallucinations. You will experience various states of bliss, extreme lightness, contentment, other misc. altered states of mind if you accept and joyfully abide in the KI (tension). May the natural peace dawn on you!
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Tension - Practice Related?

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Mike Kich:
Mmmm, well I don't wanna do the nana guessing-game. That stuff's too vague and abstract and it doesn't correlate well enough to my actual experience of things consistently. I bitch a lot and so people say I'm a Dark Nighter, then I say I have a twinge and they say I'm not even post A+P. If I put stock in everyone's guesses I must occupy almost every spot on the maps simultaneously. It ultimately doesn't matter, though no one should take this as a criticism of them - I know of course you're trying to help.


a side-note: you might have crossed the A&P at some point but currently be experiencing 3rd nyana stuff. when someone suggests 3rd nyana it doesn't mean they're suggesting you have never gotten past it, just that that might be what you're experiencing right now. so you're not at every spot on the map at once, just at different spots in different times.
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Bruno Loff, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Tension - Practice Related?

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
Lots of them, always there has been some point where it was more prominent (currently solar plexus and sometimes back of the neck). Always there when I focus on it. Sometimes not a problem, but always there. Slowly dissolving over time (some of them have already disappeared).
no-name seems more proper, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Tension - Practice Related?

Posts: 12 Join Date: 8/16/11 Recent Posts
Physical tension is also called the energy KI and is the energy that unites body and mind. Allowing the mind to rest in the KI as one builds KI is a very decent practice that leads to the state of little resistance, an achievement that stays post-meditation in direct relation to how much is practice, first time it happens will be around 45+ hours of extreme lightness and bliss, feelings like they have muscle or bodily resistance.

Personally most of the 3rd path 4th path stuff I read on this website is crap and seems to set the bar lower then it has ever been lowered...including contemplative Hindus and the average zazen practitioner. (both say enlightenment is samadhi...which is REALLY pushing it).
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Mike Kich, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Tension - Practice Related?

Posts: 170 Join Date: 9/14/10 Recent Posts
I would agree with your assessment of the goal of most Hindu stuff as being Samadhi, but I really don't know what Zen sources you've been drawing from or who you've been talking to if you think Zazen's endpoint is concerned with concentration-themed abilities; Zen is generally allergic overly much actually to any sort of Samadhi/concentration/absorption style stuff, other than as much as is necessary for insight practice. I wouldn't know though as far as your assessment of the 3rd and 4th path stuff on this website; I'm not any path yet, and honestly I don't care very much if I'm pre-1st path or 20th path as long as I turn out contented with what my experience of life is. Sometimes I almost think it'd be better if I'd stumbled onto some kind of practice and done it intuitively without any exposure whatsoever to formal instruction or religious philosophy or theories of how paths go or any of that stuff.

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