Odd experience happening

kittyhawk kittyhawk kittyhawk, modified 3 Months ago.

Odd experience happening

Posts: 2 Join Date: 11/13/20 Recent Posts
I have something odd happening.

I recently switched to doing noting practice instead of TMI. Now, something mysterious is happening in almost every sit. I usually sit 45 minutes per day.

Approx 25-30minutes into the sit of focusing and noting bodily sensations. My whole body from arms up will begin to fill with electricity and sensation of coolness, at the same time as this my heart rate and breathing begins to increase in speed. I attempt to note through it and relax but it feels a bit like I am building up to an explosion, but due to the conditions it becomes more and more difficult to keep the focus on the noting and I guess due to my noting not being as consistent and losing composure , it fades out.

Some sits, once I have "calmed" from this event and my noting begins properly again, it will once again build up and ill have another "electricity build up leading to imminent explosion" event almost happen. This has been going on aroun a week.

I recognise the sensations as those from when i dabbled in energy practises and attempting to induce astral projection as a teenager.
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terry, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Odd experience happening

Posts: 1641 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
kittyhawk kittyhawk kittyhawk:
I have something odd happening.

I recently switched to doing noting practice instead of TMI. Now, something mysterious is happening in almost every sit. I usually sit 45 minutes per day.

Approx 25-30minutes into the sit of focusing and noting bodily sensations. My whole body from arms up will begin to fill with electricity and sensation of coolness, at the same time as this my heart rate and breathing begins to increase in speed. I attempt to note through it and relax but it feels a bit like I am building up to an explosion, but due to the conditions it becomes more and more difficult to keep the focus on the noting and I guess due to my noting not being as consistent and losing composure , it fades out.

Some sits, once I have "calmed" from this event and my noting begins properly again, it will once again build up and ill have another "electricity build up leading to imminent explosion" event almost happen. This has been going on aroun a week.

I recognise the sensations as those from when i dabbled in energy practises and attempting to induce astral projection as a teenager.


aloha 3k,

   The increase in heartrate and breath speed sounds alarming. I try to go in the other direction.

terry
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Helen Pohl, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Odd experience happening

Posts: 81 Join Date: 8/10/20 Recent Posts
Terry-

I've had that happen lots of times-heart rate goes up and to a lesser extent, breath. Sometimes several times per sit.  First jhana was very intense for me when it began. If it's like Brasington theorized, that it's dopamine breaking down to noradrenaline/epinephrine (IIRC) wouldn't that have that effect?


FWIW, I believe I am HSP.

edit: also FWIW I've struggled with anxiety for ~7 years and any bodily reactions I didn't recognize or know what to do with triggered the anxiety.
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terry, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Odd experience happening

Posts: 1641 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Helen Pohl:
Terry-

I've had that happen lots of times-heart rate goes up and to a lesser extent, breath. Sometimes several times per sit.  First jhana was very intense for me when it began. If it's like Brasington theorized, that it's dopamine breaking down to noradrenaline/epinephrine (IIRC) wouldn't that have that effect?


FWIW, I believe I am HSP.

edit: also FWIW I've struggled with anxiety for ~7 years and any bodily reactions I didn't recognize or know what to do with triggered the anxiety.


aloha helen,

    There is science as understood by scientists, and that is one discussion, and then there is pop science. I certainly don't have the background to intelligently discuss dopamine breakdown and its relation to behavior or sensation, but I very much doubt that there is any direct connection. Biochemistry is often presented as mechanistic but not actually understood that way, since the science doesn't actually go there on its own, so to speak. Explaining behavior by chemicals is a force fit. If it were that simple we would all be addicted to something.

   I would go further and suggest that treating psychological disorders with hormones (such as serotonin) is malpractice. No one has yet demonstrated a serotonin deficiency in a patient.

   Consider what I first said: the symptoms are alarming. You confirm this when you say even having the symptom of anxiety produced further anxiety.

   I consider meditation an anxiolytic. Many people practice all sorts of things under the rubric of "meditation," but to me, "peace is in every step" (tnhich nhat hanh). Many in their practice of meditation might observe (and even "note") anxiety while meditating and just let it build, anxiety producing more anxiety. I would advise to try to let the anxiety go, let it arise and pass without adding to it.

   I had to look up HSP, after some fun guesses, which I will spare you. I guess you are an introvert, so I am happy you have come out to play! Meditstion should be a space in which you can avoid social anxiety, and chillax. It is not a field of competition, and you need prove nothing to anyone.

   Here we can share without judgment.

terry

   
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Helen Pohl, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Odd experience happening

Posts: 81 Join Date: 8/10/20 Recent Posts
terry:
Helen Pohl:
Terry-

I've had that happen lots of times-heart rate goes up and to a lesser extent, breath. Sometimes several times per sit.  First jhana was very intense for me when it began. If it's like Brasington theorized, that it's dopamine breaking down to noradrenaline/epinephrine (IIRC) wouldn't that have that effect?


FWIW, I believe I am HSP.

edit: also FWIW I've struggled with anxiety for ~7 years and any bodily reactions I didn't recognize or know what to do with triggered the anxiety.


aloha helen,

    There is science as understood by scientists, and that is one discussion, and then there is pop science. I certainly don't have the background to intelligently discuss dopamine breakdown and its relation to behavior or sensation, but I very much doubt that there is any direct connection. Biochemistry is often presented as mechanistic but not actually understood that way, since the science doesn't actually go there on its own, so to speak. Explaining behavior by chemicals is a force fit. If it were that simple we would all be addicted to something.

   I would go further and suggest that treating psychological disorders with hormones (such as serotonin) is malpractice. No one has yet demonstrated a serotonin deficiency in a patient.

   Consider what I first said: the symptoms are alarming. You confirm this when you say even having the symptom of anxiety produced further anxiety.

   I consider meditation an anxiolytic. Many people practice all sorts of things under the rubric of "meditation," but to me, "peace is in every step" (tnhich nhat hanh). Many in their practice of meditation might observe (and even "note") anxiety while meditating and just let it build, anxiety producing more anxiety. I would advise to try to let the anxiety go, let it arise and pass without adding to it.

   I had to look up HSP, after some fun guesses, which I will spare you. I guess you are an introvert, so I am happy you have come out to play! Meditstion should be a space in which you can avoid social anxiety, and chillax. It is not a field of competition, and you need prove nothing to anyone.

   Here we can share without judgment.

terry

   
Thank you, terry. Was hoping you'd weigh in, I seem to have seen you say you have worked in healthcare in some capacity.
My musings were entirely unscientific, but I've wondered.

You're right I am introverted, but have no real problem with socializing. It's just that my cup fills up faster than other people's, and I mostly avoid too much sensory stimulation. 
I've learned to let anxiety come and go and these past months after what I believe were A&P and having access to jhanas-light as they are even compared to some people's-have helped tremendously. No more believing every little twinge of pain or odd behaviour of the body is a terminal disease. It's just pain. 

A  few nights ago as I was trying to sleep I had a MASSIVE anxiety attack out of nowhere but remembered Kenneth Folk's 1st gear and just by letting everything unfold as it would I could stay with the physical sensations and they did not bother me. At all. In fact they became vibrations almost at once. 
Felt like giving anxiety the finger, in a big way. emoticon
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Zachary, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Odd experience happening

Posts: 196 Join Date: 3/16/18 Recent Posts

A  few nights ago as I was trying to sleep I had a MASSIVE anxiety attack out of nowhere but remembered Kenneth Folk's 1st gear and just by letting everything unfold as it would I could stay with the physical sensations and they did not bother me. At all. In fact they became vibrations almost at once. 

Felt like giving anxiety the finger, in a big way. emoticon


This is great Helen. I remember noting my way through panic attacks early on in my practice. The last time it happened, a couple years back, a similar thing happened to me a few nights into my first retreat. I just kept noting all throughout an insane panic attack for what felt like an hour. All of a sudden the whole thing flipped and the experience of "me having a panic attack" was seen for what it was: just sensations in the chest and obviously false stories in the head trying to explain these physical sensations. The whole thing became laughable in an instant. 

While I never had a problem with a panic attack again after that, I still experience anixety and fear at times. I think the practice gives us another powerful tool in dealing with this stuff. 
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terry, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Odd experience happening

Posts: 1641 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Helen Pohl:
terry:
Helen Pohl:
Terry-

I've had that happen lots of times-heart rate goes up and to a lesser extent, breath. Sometimes several times per sit.  First jhana was very intense for me when it began. If it's like Brasington theorized, that it's dopamine breaking down to noradrenaline/epinephrine (IIRC) wouldn't that have that effect?


FWIW, I believe I am HSP.

edit: also FWIW I've struggled with anxiety for ~7 years and any bodily reactions I didn't recognize or know what to do with triggered the anxiety.


aloha helen,

    There is science as understood by scientists, and that is one discussion, and then there is pop science. I certainly don't have the background to intelligently discuss dopamine breakdown and its relation to behavior or sensation, but I very much doubt that there is any direct connection. Biochemistry is often presented as mechanistic but not actually understood that way, since the science doesn't actually go there on its own, so to speak. Explaining behavior by chemicals is a force fit. If it were that simple we would all be addicted to something.

   I would go further and suggest that treating psychological disorders with hormones (such as serotonin) is malpractice. No one has yet demonstrated a serotonin deficiency in a patient.

   Consider what I first said: the symptoms are alarming. You confirm this when you say even having the symptom of anxiety produced further anxiety.

   I consider meditation an anxiolytic. Many people practice all sorts of things under the rubric of "meditation," but to me, "peace is in every step" (tnhich nhat hanh). Many in their practice of meditation might observe (and even "note") anxiety while meditating and just let it build, anxiety producing more anxiety. I would advise to try to let the anxiety go, let it arise and pass without adding to it.

   I had to look up HSP, after some fun guesses, which I will spare you. I guess you are an introvert, so I am happy you have come out to play! Meditstion should be a space in which you can avoid social anxiety, and chillax. It is not a field of competition, and you need prove nothing to anyone.

   Here we can share without judgment.

terry

   
Thank you, terry. Was hoping you'd weigh in, I seem to have seen you say you have worked in healthcare in some capacity.
My musings were entirely unscientific, but I've wondered.

You're right I am introverted, but have no real problem with socializing. It's just that my cup fills up faster than other people's, and I mostly avoid too much sensory stimulation. 
I've learned to let anxiety come and go and these past months after what I believe were A&P and having access to jhanas-light as they are even compared to some people's-have helped tremendously. No more believing every little twinge of pain or odd behaviour of the body is a terminal disease. It's just pain. 

A  few nights ago as I was trying to sleep I had a MASSIVE anxiety attack out of nowhere but remembered Kenneth Folk's 1st gear and just by letting everything unfold as it would I could stay with the physical sensations and they did not bother me. At all. In fact they became vibrations almost at once. 
Felt like giving anxiety the finger, in a big way. emoticon


    When I really started taking meditaton seriously (that is, every single day) was when I developed a heart condition that raised my normal pulse of 50 to 55 beats per minute to 100 to 150 bpm. It was like being alarmed and poised for flight or fight all the time, and seriously affected all of my relationships. The medications I was directed to take had enormous negative effects on my body. I lost a lot of weight despite continuously eating ice cream, pies etc, and was constantly nauseous, often vomiting copiously (and worse) in episodes lasting an hour at a time and happening two or three times a month anyhwere unpredictably. I was also so short of breath I had to stop halfway for a minute walking up a flight of stairs, and often found myself gasping, especially after I developed iron deficiency anemia. After a couple of years of this I had an operation which effected a complete cure, I dc'd the drugs and recovered my health 100%, and now feel better than I have in decades.

  The health issues and their effects on my life induced a lot of anxiety, and I am not an anxious person by nature or habit. The practice of meditation progressively gave me greater and greater control over fear in particular. Occasionally one's fears can be illuminating, though I find anger less tractable. I'd say the primary benefit those first years of uninterrupted daily mediation was the reduction of and "control" of fear. The ability not to stoke fear and to counter it with insight and equanimity. 

   If people want to tout meditiation for its medical benefits, I would say they are primarily the reduction of fear and anxiety and their eventual mastery. Anxiety has actually become a tool that I can use to penetrate delusion. If I find myself self-satisfied or even comfortable a little anxiety serves to wake me up.

terry
agnostic, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Odd experience happening

Posts: 1253 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
terry:

   I consider meditation an anxiolytic. Many people practice all sorts of things under the rubric of "meditation," but to me, "peace is in every step" (tnhich nhat hanh).

   

I find that if I focus on peace too much in meditation then I tend to suppress feelings of anger and end up behaving more angrily or passive-aggressively than I would otherwise off the cushion.
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Chris Marti, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Odd experience happening

Posts: 3770 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Focusing on peace, or enforcing peace? There's a vast difference. Too many people mistake the latter for the former, which could lead to being anxious, even angry.
agnostic, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Odd experience happening

Posts: 1253 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Chris Marti:
Focusing on peace, or enforcing peace? There's a vast difference. Too many people mistake the latter for the former, which could lead to being anxious, even angry.

Yes enforcing peace by ignoring anger, leading to the anger surfacing later.
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terry, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Odd experience happening

Posts: 1641 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
agnostic:
Chris Marti:
Focusing on peace, or enforcing peace? There's a vast difference. Too many people mistake the latter for the former, which could lead to being anxious, even angry.

Yes enforcing peace by ignoring anger, leading to the anger surfacing later.

   If the anger surfaces later, is it still the same anger? Is anger supressed anger deferred? There is a difference between repression and suppression, between neurosis and self control. I suspect it depends on whether you are lying to yourself.

   "Enforcing peace" is a contradiction, no doubt chris meant it that way. "Employees are required to have high morale at all times."

t



"You can't step in the same river twice."

~heraclitus
agnostic, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Odd experience happening

Posts: 1253 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
terry:
agnostic:
Chris Marti:
Focusing on peace, or enforcing peace? There's a vast difference. Too many people mistake the latter for the former, which could lead to being anxious, even angry.

Yes enforcing peace by ignoring anger, leading to the anger surfacing later.

   If the anger surfaces later, is it still the same anger? Is anger supressed anger deferred? There is a difference between repression and suppression, between neurosis and self control. I suspect it depends on whether you are lying to yourself.

   "Enforcing peace" is a contradiction, no doubt chris meant it that way. "Employees are required to have high morale at all times."

t



"You can't step in the same river twice."

~heraclitus

You're right Terry.

I was angry at you and I'm sorry.

Peace,
George
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terry, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Odd experience happening

Posts: 1641 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
agnostic:
terry:
agnostic:
Chris Marti:
Focusing on peace, or enforcing peace? There's a vast difference. Too many people mistake the latter for the former, which could lead to being anxious, even angry.

Yes enforcing peace by ignoring anger, leading to the anger surfacing later.

   If the anger surfaces later, is it still the same anger? Is anger supressed anger deferred? There is a difference between repression and suppression, between neurosis and self control. I suspect it depends on whether you are lying to yourself.

   "Enforcing peace" is a contradiction, no doubt chris meant it that way. "Employees are required to have high morale at all times."

t



"You can't step in the same river twice."

~heraclitus

You're right Terry.

I was angry at you and I'm sorry.

Peace,
George




aloha george,

   I forgive you.

love, terry
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Zachary, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Odd experience happening

Posts: 196 Join Date: 3/16/18 Recent Posts
kittyhawk kittyhawk kittyhawk:
I have something odd happening.

I recently switched to doing noting practice instead of TMI. Now, something mysterious is happening in almost every sit. I usually sit 45 minutes per day.

Approx 25-30minutes into the sit of focusing and noting bodily sensations. My whole body from arms up will begin to fill with electricity and sensation of coolness, at the same time as this my heart rate and breathing begins to increase in speed. I attempt to note through it and relax but it feels a bit like I am building up to an explosion, but due to the conditions it becomes more and more difficult to keep the focus on the noting and I guess due to my noting not being as consistent and losing composure , it fades out.

Some sits, once I have "calmed" from this event and my noting begins properly again, it will once again build up and ill have another "electricity build up leading to imminent explosion" event almost happen. This has been going on aroun a week.

I recognise the sensations as those from when i dabbled in energy practises and attempting to induce astral projection as a teenager.


Hi kittyhawk, welcome to the forum. 

As far as the sensations of electricity and coolness, these are normal phenomena that a meditator will encounter as one's practice progresses. These vibratory sensations (that you've noticed before while attempting astral projection, etc.) are what is meant by the term "impermanence" that the Buddhists are so fond of. Basically, it means there is always some aspect of your sensate experience that is not solid, that is arising and passing away rapidly. One of the goals of a meditator is to practice so that they can observe impermanence happening in their own direct experience. It's good that these are showing up and you are able to note them as they come and go. 

The increased heart-rate and breathing is less common from what I've seen, but it can happen for some people. For me, there were a couple months at one point in my practice where the heart/breathing issues you describe happened to me pretty regularly. Like you mention, there were waves of this that occured over and over again. My thinking as a totally-not-a-medical-professional is that practitioners with anxiety issues or trauma in their history might be more likely to experience this sort of thing. 
kittyhawk kittyhawk kittyhawk, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Odd experience happening

Posts: 2 Join Date: 11/13/20 Recent Posts
Zachary:
kittyhawk kittyhawk kittyhawk:
I have something odd happening.

I recently switched to doing noting practice instead of TMI. Now, something mysterious is happening in almost every sit. I usually sit 45 minutes per day.

Approx 25-30minutes into the sit of focusing and noting bodily sensations. My whole body from arms up will begin to fill with electricity and sensation of coolness, at the same time as this my heart rate and breathing begins to increase in speed. I attempt to note through it and relax but it feels a bit like I am building up to an explosion, but due to the conditions it becomes more and more difficult to keep the focus on the noting and I guess due to my noting not being as consistent and losing composure , it fades out.

Some sits, once I have "calmed" from this event and my noting begins properly again, it will once again build up and ill have another "electricity build up leading to imminent explosion" event almost happen. This has been going on aroun a week.

I recognise the sensations as those from when i dabbled in energy practises and attempting to induce astral projection as a teenager.


Hi kittyhawk, welcome to the forum. 

As far as the sensations of electricity and coolness, these are normal phenomena that a meditator will encounter as one's practice progresses. These vibratory sensations (that you've noticed before while attempting astral projection, etc.) are what is meant by the term "impermanence" that the Buddhist's are so fond of. Basically, it means there is always some aspect of your sensate experience that is not solid, that is arising and passing away rapidly. One of the goals of a meditator is to practice so that they can observe impermanence happening in their own direct experience. It's good that these are showing up and you are able to note them as they come and go. 

The increased heart-rate and breathing is less common from what I've seen, but it can happen for some people. For me, there were a couple months at one point in my practice where the heart/breathing issues you describe happened to me pretty regularly. Like you mention, there were waves of this that occured over and over again. My thinking as a totally-not-a-medical-professional is that practitioners with anxiety issues or trauma in their history might be more likely to experience this sort of thing. 


Thanks for the reply. 

I think the heart rate and breathing might be excitement of "something is happening". Which might be conditioned in a bit, as in those years of playing with astral projection, when those sensations arose i knew i was getting close. 

I have been trying to counter this by relaxing and continuing noting, but it is easier said than done i guess
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Zachary, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Odd experience happening

Posts: 196 Join Date: 3/16/18 Recent Posts
kittyhawk kittyhawk kittyhawk:


Thanks for the reply. 

I think the heart rate and breathing might be excitement of "something is happening". Which might be conditioned in a bit, as in those years of playing with astral projection, when those sensations arose i knew i was getting close. 

I have been trying to counter this by relaxing and continuing noting, but it is easier said than done i guess




That could definitely be the case. Sounds like a good approach! 
agnostic, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Odd experience happening

Posts: 1253 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
kittyhawk kittyhawk kittyhawk:

I think the heart rate and breathing might be excitement of "something is happening". Which might be conditioned in a bit, as in those years of playing with astral projection, when those sensations arose i knew i was getting close. 

I have been trying to counter this by relaxing and continuing noting, but it is easier said than done i guess

You could investigate the feelings of excitement about something happening. It sounds like you might be grasping after these sensations, which would tend to make them more sticky.
Tim Farrington, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Odd experience happening

Posts: 2397 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
kittyhawk kittyhawk kittyhawk:
I have something odd happening.

I recently switched to doing noting practice instead of TMI. Now, something mysterious is happening in almost every sit. I usually sit 45 minutes per day.

Approx 25-30minutes into the sit of focusing and noting bodily sensations. My whole body from arms up will begin to fill with electricity and sensation of coolness, at the same time as this my heart rate and breathing begins to increase in speed. I attempt to note through it and relax but it feels a bit like I am building up to an explosion, but due to the conditions it becomes more and more difficult to keep the focus on the noting and I guess due to my noting not being as consistent and losing composure , it fades out.

Some sits, once I have "calmed" from this event and my noting begins properly again, it will once again build up and ill have another "electricity build up leading to imminent explosion" event almost happen. This has been going on aroun a week.

I recognise the sensations as those from when i dabbled in energy practises and attempting to induce astral projection as a teenager.

hi kitty hawk x 3, and welcome to the DharmaOverground!

My gut response is that the bodily electrification and coolness, and the elevated heart and breathing rates, are very normal "onset" phenomena at the brink of an altered state of consciousness. I think you'll find that in general people are much more conservative here on DhO these days, as everyone is much more aware of what is coming to be called "meditation-related difficulties." The more people who come to meditation, the more people will find themselves in over their heads psychologically and biochemically, and so you hate to egg someone on into a possible psychotic break, obviously, by smoothing over emerging extremes of experience with reassuring spiritual vocabulary that ignores deep damage issues coming into the open, issues that often are better addressed through psychiatry-meds, psychology-therapy, bodywork of some sort, or other approaches than meditation. That's the fine print warning on meditation, in every instance. Meditation is a very deep, very potent existentially transformative process; the culture that helps people integrate their experiences of deep and prolonged practice of meditation is thin on the ground, and the human psyche is very complex and often volatile, and subject to very abrupt phase transitions, depending on the person's individual psyche. You sound like a person with a sensitive neurochemistry, and as you become more mindful of the range of your inner states and body through meditative practice, you're going to be astonished again and again by the shit that's going on. Most of it has been going on all along, and you are becoming aware of it now; and some of it will be brought into awareness by the specific meditation practice itself. So a certain volatility and range of experience is going to come with the territory pretty quickly, and is to be expected.

So those are the responsible caveats. You actually sound pretty sane so far, lol. I speak humbly here as a long-time meditator who is also clinically bipolar; i've been hospitalized for both depression and mania, and have experienced no-nonsense psychotic breaks. I don't get any of that from your reports here. But i do recognize, as i said, the genuine bodily-mental aspects of a strong move from one kind of consciousness to another. If you ever did any drugs, you might have noticed something similar there, when the stuff starts to kick in. Meditation is much like that, but more gentle in general, cheaper, more tweakable as to pace and intensity, and if done properly it will hopefully be an integrate-as-you-go expansion and deepening of your awareness that won't fuck you up. Except existentially, but being fucked up existentially is where the rubber really meets the road. And faith and persistence in the path of meditation will eventually get you through that somehow too, or so I've heard, lol.

At this point, I would simply stay with your practice, and as the excited state arises, recognize it and gentle your breathing, not shutting anything down, but easing toward a consciously measured and easy breath, letting the rapid breathing deepen and slow. And see what happens. Just know that there's no reason to be urgent or hurried, and no reason to be afraid, it's just you sitting there, basically, and continue your practice. If you find a sense of inner space opening, or a qualitative change in consciousness, explore that with interest and without hurry or fear. And if you find yourself pursued by demons, or running up your credit card, or going around in public without clothes, you should probably ease off the meditative gas pedal a bit. So far so good, right?

love, tim
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terry, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Odd experience happening

Posts: 1641 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Tim Farrington:
kittyhawk kittyhawk kittyhawk:
I have something odd happening.

I recently switched to doing noting practice instead of TMI. Now, something mysterious is happening in almost every sit. I usually sit 45 minutes per day.

Approx 25-30minutes into the sit of focusing and noting bodily sensations. My whole body from arms up will begin to fill with electricity and sensation of coolness, at the same time as this my heart rate and breathing begins to increase in speed. I attempt to note through it and relax but it feels a bit like I am building up to an explosion, but due to the conditions it becomes more and more difficult to keep the focus on the noting and I guess due to my noting not being as consistent and losing composure , it fades out.

Some sits, once I have "calmed" from this event and my noting begins properly again, it will once again build up and ill have another "electricity build up leading to imminent explosion" event almost happen. This has been going on aroun a week.

I recognise the sensations as those from when i dabbled in energy practises and attempting to induce astral projection as a teenager.

hi kitty hawk x 3, and welcome to the DharmaOverground!

My gut response is that the bodily electrification and coolness, and the elevated heart and breathing rates, are very normal "onset" phenomena at the brink of an altered state of consciousness. I think you'll find that in general people are much more conservative here on DhO these days, as everyone is much more aware of what is coming to be called "meditation-related difficulties." The more people who come to meditation, the more people will find themselves in over their heads psychologically and biochemically, and so you hate to egg someone on into a possible psychotic break, obviously, by smoothing over emerging extremes of experience with reassuring spiritual vocabulary that ignores deep damage issues coming into the open, issues that often are better addressed through psychiatry-meds, psychology-therapy, bodywork of some sort, or other approaches than meditation. That's the fine print warning on meditation, in every instance. Meditation is a very deep, very potent existentially transformative process; the culture that helps people integrate their experiences of deep and prolonged practice of meditation is thin on the ground, and the human psyche is very complex and often volatile, and subject to very abrupt phase transitions, depending on the person's individual psyche. You sound like a person with a sensitive neurochemistry, and as you become more mindful of the range of your inner states and body through meditative practice, you're going to be astonished again and again by the shit that's going on. Most of it has been going on all along, and you are becoming aware of it now; and some of it will be brought into awareness by the specific meditation practice itself. So a certain volatility and range of experience is going to come with the territory pretty quickly, and is to be expected.

So those are the responsible caveats. You actually sound pretty sane so far, lol. I speak humbly here as a long-time meditator who is also clinically bipolar; i've been hospitalized for both depression and mania, and have experienced no-nonsense psychotic breaks. I don't get any of that from your reports here. But i do recognize, as i said, the genuine bodily-mental aspects of a strong move from one kind of consciousness to another. If you ever did any drugs, you might have noticed something similar there, when the stuff starts to kick in. Meditation is much like that, but more gentle in general, cheaper, more tweakable as to pace and intensity, and if done properly it will hopefully be an integrate-as-you-go expansion and deepening of your awareness that won't fuck you up. Except existentially, but being fucked up existentially is where the rubber really meets the road. And faith and persistence in the path of meditation will eventually get you through that somehow too, or so I've heard, lol.

At this point, I would simply stay with your practice, and as the excited state arises, recognize it and gentle your breathing, not shutting anything down, but easing toward a consciously measured and easy breath, letting the rapid breathing deepen and slow. And see what happens. Just know that there's no reason to be urgent or hurried, and no reason to be afraid, it's just you sitting there, basically, and continue your practice. If you find a sense of inner space opening, or a qualitative change in consciousness, explore that with interest and without hurry or fear. And if you find yourself pursued by demons, or running up your credit card, or going around in public without clothes, you should probably ease off the meditative gas pedal a bit. So far so good, right?

love, tim


   As a clinical laboratory scientist, I feel confident in saying that human brain chemistry for one is human brain chemistry for all, and the idea that people have "different brain chemistries" and that this somehow explains behavior is simply false. We publish normal ranges for body fluid chemistries that serve for average populatiohs quite well, 99% of the time or better.

   Emotions such as lust, anger or anxiety flood the system with psychoactive chemicals which have predictable results in all sentient beings. These biochemical cascades can be inhibited, and the ability to do so is enhanced by meditation practice.

   You don't want science, don't talk chemistry.

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terry, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Odd experience happening

Posts: 1641 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
terry:
Tim Farrington:
kittyhawk kittyhawk kittyhawk:
I have something odd happening.

I recently switched to doing noting practice instead of TMI. Now, something mysterious is happening in almost every sit. I usually sit 45 minutes per day.

Approx 25-30minutes into the sit of focusing and noting bodily sensations. My whole body from arms up will begin to fill with electricity and sensation of coolness, at the same time as this my heart rate and breathing begins to increase in speed. I attempt to note through it and relax but it feels a bit like I am building up to an explosion, but due to the conditions it becomes more and more difficult to keep the focus on the noting and I guess due to my noting not being as consistent and losing composure , it fades out.

Some sits, once I have "calmed" from this event and my noting begins properly again, it will once again build up and ill have another "electricity build up leading to imminent explosion" event almost happen. This has been going on aroun a week.

I recognise the sensations as those from when i dabbled in energy practises and attempting to induce astral projection as a teenager.

hi kitty hawk x 3, and welcome to the DharmaOverground!

My gut response is that the bodily electrification and coolness, and the elevated heart and breathing rates, are very normal "onset" phenomena at the brink of an altered state of consciousness. I think you'll find that in general people are much more conservative here on DhO these days, as everyone is much more aware of what is coming to be called "meditation-related difficulties." The more people who come to meditation, the more people will find themselves in over their heads psychologically and biochemically, and so you hate to egg someone on into a possible psychotic break, obviously, by smoothing over emerging extremes of experience with reassuring spiritual vocabulary that ignores deep damage issues coming into the open, issues that often are better addressed through psychiatry-meds, psychology-therapy, bodywork of some sort, or other approaches than meditation. That's the fine print warning on meditation, in every instance. Meditation is a very deep, very potent existentially transformative process; the culture that helps people integrate their experiences of deep and prolonged practice of meditation is thin on the ground, and the human psyche is very complex and often volatile, and subject to very abrupt phase transitions, depending on the person's individual psyche. You sound like a person with a sensitive neurochemistry, and as you become more mindful of the range of your inner states and body through meditative practice, you're going to be astonished again and again by the shit that's going on. Most of it has been going on all along, and you are becoming aware of it now; and some of it will be brought into awareness by the specific meditation practice itself. So a certain volatility and range of experience is going to come with the territory pretty quickly, and is to be expected.

So those are the responsible caveats. You actually sound pretty sane so far, lol. I speak humbly here as a long-time meditator who is also clinically bipolar; i've been hospitalized for both depression and mania, and have experienced no-nonsense psychotic breaks. I don't get any of that from your reports here. But i do recognize, as i said, the genuine bodily-mental aspects of a strong move from one kind of consciousness to another. If you ever did any drugs, you might have noticed something similar there, when the stuff starts to kick in. Meditation is much like that, but more gentle in general, cheaper, more tweakable as to pace and intensity, and if done properly it will hopefully be an integrate-as-you-go expansion and deepening of your awareness that won't fuck you up. Except existentially, but being fucked up existentially is where the rubber really meets the road. And faith and persistence in the path of meditation will eventually get you through that somehow too, or so I've heard, lol.

At this point, I would simply stay with your practice, and as the excited state arises, recognize it and gentle your breathing, not shutting anything down, but easing toward a consciously measured and easy breath, letting the rapid breathing deepen and slow. And see what happens. Just know that there's no reason to be urgent or hurried, and no reason to be afraid, it's just you sitting there, basically, and continue your practice. If you find a sense of inner space opening, or a qualitative change in consciousness, explore that with interest and without hurry or fear. And if you find yourself pursued by demons, or running up your credit card, or going around in public without clothes, you should probably ease off the meditative gas pedal a bit. So far so good, right?

love, tim


   As a clinical laboratory scientist, I feel confident in saying that human brain chemistry for one is human brain chemistry for all, and the idea that people have "different brain chemistries" and that this somehow explains behavior is simply false. We publish normal ranges for body fluid chemistries that serve for average populatiohs quite well, 99% of the time or better.

   Emotions such as lust, anger or anxiety flood the system with psychoactive chemicals which have predictable results in all sentient beings. These biochemical cascades can be inhibited, and the ability to do so is enhanced by meditation practice.

   You don't want science, don't talk chemistry.


lo tim,

   One peculiarity of the clinical laboratory business is that certain tranches of people with the same disease profiles regularly show up at the lab to have blood chemistries done. Operating the small clinical lab in north kohala which serves less that 2000 residents, I got to know every bipolar person in the district because they all came in monthly to have lithium levels drawn. (Also, my best friend of 25 years and diving buddy was bipolar, on his better days.)

   These people are extraordinarily attractive in their manic phase, and often very physically attractive as well, though tnt to live with. When manic they pour out their whole lives to you, their effects on their significant others often poignant and lovingly detailed in all their inevitable mayhem, the constant drama of rapid change. Meet them once or twice and you know them well. In their depressive phase they are often extremely sympathetic and affecting.

   No one has a lithium deficiency either, and my friend was not so much bipolar as schizophrenic. On his bad days only stellazine, thorazine and sedation in a hospital bed would do; when he was good I doubt lithium had any effect at all. Even for real bipolar people I suspect drug treatment is more or less ineffective. 

love, terry
A. Dietrich Ringle, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Odd experience happening

Posts: 685 Join Date: 12/4/11 Recent Posts
kittyhawk kittyhawk kittyhawk:
I have something odd happening.

I recently switched to doing noting practice instead of TMI. Now, something mysterious is happening in almost every sit. I usually sit 45 minutes per day.

Approx 25-30minutes into the sit of focusing and noting bodily sensations. My whole body from arms up will begin to fill with electricity and sensation of coolness, at the same time as this my heart rate and breathing begins to increase in speed. I attempt to note through it and relax but it feels a bit like I am building up to an explosion, but due to the conditions it becomes more and more difficult to keep the focus on the noting and I guess due to my noting not being as consistent and losing composure , it fades out.

Some sits, once I have "calmed" from this event and my noting begins properly again, it will once again build up and ill have another "electricity build up leading to imminent explosion" event almost happen. This has been going on aroun a week.

I recognise the sensations as those from when i dabbled in energy practises and attempting to induce astral projection as a teenager.
This sounds like a medication issue. Have you seen a Doctor. Sounds like Parkinson'sesque stuff to me. This comes from one who shakes.
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Odd experience happening

Posts: 3166 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Standard map theory: building up of energy and the feeling that something big will happen is common in the early phases of the A&P (aka 4th ñana, 2nd vipassana jhana, etc.). See here. Heat is more commonly noted, so cold is an interesting variant. Directly experiencing each little tingle is vastly more rapid, clear insight practice than trying to note in that state. That is "impermamence", as noted above. It happens on its on, so that is "no-self". It is disconcerting, so this is "suffering". So, this is good practice. Notice those qualities directly. Best wishes! -Daniel
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Zachary, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Odd experience happening

Posts: 196 Join Date: 3/16/18 Recent Posts
Daniel M. Ingram:

Directly experiencing each little tingle is vastly more rapid, clear insight practice than trying to note in that state. That is "impermamence", as noted above. 


Kittyhawk, this is a better approach than what I said above. Once you can feel these vibrations directly, like you report, you can drop the verbal/mental noting and just "tune in" to this quality of impermanence.