Head pressure

Ben Harper, modified 1 Month ago.

Head pressure

Posts: 7 Join Date: 1/31/21 Recent Posts
I'm reading MCTB.  Finally I have found a book that discusses some experiences I have had and continue to have. During a meditation in 2001 (not really knowing what I was doing) I had a surge of energy that left me having something like a headache at all times. It's not a headache but that's the best way I can describe the moving pressure.  There are many more experiences and visions that I experienced thereafter.  Ie. The feeling of moving in slow motion as if under water. I believe Daniel described this in his book as an experience you will have once.

I have seen a vortex of colors spiral above me while lying on my back staring at the ceiling meditating.   I need to know how to begin a good meditation practice that will get rid of the sensation like a headache completely.  I know I'm on a path but need guidance. Any suggested reading or teachers would be appreciated. 
Barrie Hobbs, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Head pressure

Posts: 2 Join Date: 3/29/18 Recent Posts
I share your experience with head pressure. Have had it now for over 2 years, always in the background during the day but extreme when meditating. Sought medical advice, had surgery (septoplasty), tried drugs (gabapentin), all to no avail. Like you, I would be eternally grateful for a practice that would finally release this pressure.
Ben H, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Head pressure

Posts: 7 Join Date: 1/31/21 Recent Posts
Thank you for sharing 
Ben Harper, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Head pressure

Posts: 7 Join Date: 1/31/21 Recent Posts
I have a feeling a combination of concentration & insight meditation is necessary. If I'm not mistaken in MCTB insight was mentioned as a way. For me currently insight makes it worse where concentration meditation help with a small amount of insight. Again I'm untrained just kind of finding a way without a teacher. 
George S, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Head pressure

Posts: 1255 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
My experience - persistent headaches and other energetic effects are related to repressing emotions lower down in the body (anger, sadness, fear), also causing excess of thinking. Way forward is persistent relaxation and thinking of nothing until those repressed emotions are allowed into awareness and experienced. Might take months or years, but it's worth it!
Ben Harper, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Head pressure

Posts: 7 Join Date: 1/31/21 Recent Posts
George S
My experience - persistent headaches and other energetic effects are related to repressing emotions lower down in the body (anger, sadness, fear), also causing excess of thinking. Way forward is persistent relaxation and thinking of nothing until those repressed emotions are allowed into awareness and experienced. Might take months or years, but it's worth it!
Thank you. 
Ben Harper, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Head pressure

Posts: 7 Join Date: 1/31/21 Recent Posts
Thank you for that.  I don't think much of my past experiences i shared them so that maybe someone would be able to shed some light on it as a common experience .  It was refreshing to see most of what I have experienced was written in A & p and the dark night. Jus looking for guidance from here to progess faster 
George S, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Head pressure

Posts: 1255 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Ben H
Jus looking for guidance from here to progess faster 

Tell us more about your current practice!
Ben H, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Head pressure

Posts: 7 Join Date: 1/31/21 Recent Posts
My current practice I sit in zazen... kneeling position every morning no certain length of time but I do time it. It ends up being right around 30 minutes. I focus mostly on my breathing. After I focus on my breath for 20-30 minutes I will focus on the discomfort in my head and really look at it. That helps sometimes also. Many years ago I couldn't look at it as it brought more discomfort. But now I can look around and observe how the discomfort is impermanent. It is in 1 location one second. It is in a near area  the next. I am also able to focus on other areas that aren't having discomrort. I can go back and forth between an area or discomfort to an area without. I try to see how quickly I can go from one to the other. I watch and see how the discomfort changes. I've also done a little walking meditation lately. 

thank you 
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J W, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Head pressure

Posts: 345 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
Maybe not exactly what you are experiencing but I made a post asking about head pressure recently and there were some good answers, maybe you will find them helpful as well:

https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/22044456

(if link doesn't work, try copy/pasting it into a new tab)
Ben H, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Head pressure

Posts: 7 Join Date: 1/31/21 Recent Posts
Thank you I will definitely check it out. 
n0nick, modified 8 Days ago.

RE: Head pressure

Posts: 16 Join Date: 6/12/20 Recent Posts
I have the same problem and while it might be a unpopular opinion here I dont think the progress of insight map is universal to all traditions. The head pressure is mostly because of an energy imbalance in the body. Repressed emotions in the lower part of the body cause excess energy to be trapped in the head. As per tantric traditions energy goes up from the back channel along the spine and comes back down along the front channel to complete a circuit in the body. While meditating energy comes up from the through the back channel but is unable to flow down from the front of the body to complete a circuit. Hence the pressure. It's no wonder that in tantric traditions they start with hatha yoga/ qi gong/prostrations which help opening up the channels before starting with sitting meditation practices. Scanning the body from head to the lower part of the body while making friends with the repressed emotions should help. Another option is to seek help from a experienced ayurvedic or traditional chinese medicine practitioner. They are well versed in the energy body imbalances and have herbs and treatments to help with this problem.
Adi Vader, modified 8 Days ago.

RE: Head pressure

Posts: 9 Join Date: 6/29/20 Recent Posts
Pl see if this helps you in any way:

https://www.reddit.com/r/streamentry/comments/ekrscz/samatha_practices_to_balance_attention_and/?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share
Tim Farrington, modified 7 Days ago.

RE: Head pressure

Posts: 2397 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Hi Ben, and Barrie (welcome, Barrie, to DhO!),

I'm sort of late to the party on this thread, sorry for that. JW already cited a previous thread on head pressure , though his situation had its own specific twist--- still might be some helpful stuff there for y'all---  https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/22184648

Barrie, it's great that you've already ruled out actual brain stuff for your headache, as it would be terrible to be saying anything here if what is really going on is a brain tumor or something. So with all due humility, on that front---- 

First, what I said to JW, which is that head pressure for me tends to be a side effect of subtle efforts at control--- the ghost in the machine thinks the steering wheel is in the third eye, or something. When I have it, i use the next breath to sink lower in the body. I knew a teacher who said that 90% of the contemplative life happens below the shoulders, and that seems about right to me. There is a distinct and common bias in meditative practice toward a sense of ascent and clarity, privileging vision. I think that's a deep human thing, with a lot of culture and spiritual metaphor reinforcing it: upward, into the light. So you need a conscious counter-pose to that at times, when the upward-tending eye-work finds itself dead-ended, a change of the attention's tendency, toward sinking and bodily/kinesthetic awareness. Simply moving your breath awareness from the nostrils to the abdomen, or even lower, is a good start: let the in-breath register as low in the body as possible (the sitz-point is an obvious place to start feeling it), let it resonate, and "stay" there. You may notice a natural rising movement of the attention on the out-breath, and no need to fight that, but let the next in-breath register deep again. You can start to see/feel the dynamic, and as you deepen the technique it will slow down eventually and you can really start to see the play between the body and breath, essentially solving all the mini-adjustments of posture and sitting effortlessly, if often unforeseeably, and the counter-pointing effort at control in the head somewhere, trying to reassure itself that it is pulling the right levers and strings, and causing pain, like trying to steer a bicycle with the muscles in your jaw or temple.

The paradoxical effect, space-wise, is often that working from low and deep in the body, the space that opens up includes the head pretty effortlessly. 

Adi Vader gave a link just above to a good thoughtful technically detailed reddit thread. That guy's instructions are addressing both head pressure and what he calls coarse piti, but his practices for getting into the tactile/kinesthetic/body awareness sound great. I think n0nick's tantric yoga angle also offers some good stuff (n0nick, lol, don't sweat it about reactions to your sense that the progress of insight map's universality might be qualified, in countless ways; I'm sure Daniel would be the first to agree with you and the conversation would take off from there).
Barrie Hobbs, modified 7 Days ago.

RE: Head pressure

Posts: 2 Join Date: 3/29/18 Recent Posts
Appreciate the welcome Tim, lots of good advice to get stuck into here, thanks.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 7 Days ago.

RE: Head pressure

Posts: 1574 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Hi Ben and welcome to DhO. You seem to be getting good replies from others. 

I just wondered if you are THE Ben Harper the singer songwriter? 

Either way you are most welcome and I hope you find what you are looking for emoticon 
Robert L., modified 7 Days ago.

RE: Head pressure

Posts: 4 Join Date: 2/10/19 Recent Posts
I experience the head pressure as well, though it has diminished greatly over the last several months. I completely agree with Tim's advice, as changing the focus from the nostrils to the chest and lower helped me relegate the pressure to just another sensation to arise and pass away. Also, switching to open awareness "do nothing" practice helped a lot as well, as it spread  out awareness and the pressure just became a smaller area in the "room" and is easier to accept and become ok with. I think most of the problem with the head pressure is focusing on it, turns to obsessing on it, which creates a feedback loop that can last for years.