RE: Sleep paralysis induced by meditation?

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David Matte, modified 1 Month ago.

Sleep paralysis induced by meditation?

Posts: 68 Join Date: 8/3/19 Recent Posts
Hello!

Lately when I do a lot of formal sitting meditation (6+ hrs daily), sometimes in the next morning, my mind wakes up but my body is still frozen paralyzed in bed.

During these episodes, I have conscious awareness, am aware of my body, but I can't move my body to get up. I can't even open my eyes. My mind usually panics thinking there was some permanent brain damage and I'm stuck permanently in this state. I make a panicked effort to open my eyes and after about a minute, the body comes out of paralysis.

I also noticed that it's likely to occur after I have waked up once already during the night.

Anyone else experience something like this? ​​​​​​​I would appreciate any ideas to deal with these episodes.
George S, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sleep paralysis induced by meditation?

Posts: 1546 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
It happens to me quite often, usually with the feeling that I'm shaken to pieces. It used to alarm me until I learned to relax into it, which usually puts me into a quite pleasant meditation state.
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Emil Jensen, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sleep paralysis induced by meditation?

Posts: 238 Join Date: 7/16/20 Recent Posts
 I agree with George emoticon

Doesn't happen too often for me either, but learning to relax into it is super pleasant.
The problem with this, when it used to happen often for me, was that usually shadows and other "beings" would move around in the room and make me feel creeped the F out.
The trick with those creepy entities is to blast them with love and compassion. A good metta exercise and effective anti-freak-out technique.

One time a white figure dressed all in white with a hat was stabbing me in the gut with a long dagger while I was in sleep paralysis. I panicked but started sending love towards this fucker and it became quite pleasant actually. Powerful moment obviously...

Anywway, learning to like it/ be OK with it would be my approach emoticon 
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Oatmilk, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sleep paralysis induced by meditation?

Posts: 95 Join Date: 7/30/20 Recent Posts
You can interrupt sleep paralysis by breathing forcefully and fast - nothing to worry about
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Nirasanka, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sleep paralysis induced by meditation?

Posts: 3 Join Date: 3/29/19 Recent Posts
According to my own experience, the chance of experiencing sleep paralysis is increased when one also increases to be mindful during the day (open awareness) with additional intervals of meditation (focused attention). For me it causes to be more aware of the (1) sleep-wake transitions (increasing the chance to experience sleep paralysis) and (2) having a lucid dream. Normally I use the sleep paralysis as a start of an out-of-body experience (focus on the body sensations, be aware of the sounds that will start after a while [a kind of amplitude-modulated white noise] and to intend to sit up).  The sleep paralysis is also a great training to stay calm in a stressful state.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sleep paralysis induced by meditation?

Posts: 5321 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
For me it has helped to just move a pinky a little, starting with imagining the sensations of doing it. I learned that earlier in life when I used to dissociate. That tiny movement sort of breaks the spell, and it doesn't take that much willpower to do it compared to larger movements. 

I only saw a being during sleep paralysis once, as a kid, and it helped me to take off my watch that felt too tight and caused me to panic as the sleep paralysis made me claustrophobic. I took it for granted that it was one of my parents. In the morning I thanked them and they looked very surprised. None of them had even noticed me panicking. I'm not sure what actually happened, but as I remember it, I couldn't move, and some adult-looking being kindly helped me to take off my watch. Somehow the watch was lying on the dresser next to my bed. I did not have the habit of putting it there, and the dresser was rather tall. My parents didn't do it. 

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Steven E Barnes, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep paralysis induced by meditation?

Posts: 25 Join Date: 4/15/18 Recent Posts
I used to be able to occasionally meditate into lucid dream states. There is s threshold state, in which I could feel sleep paralysis setting in. I was generally able to force myself out of paralysis at will, although I did have one briefly terrifying episode.
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hae1en, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep paralysis induced by meditation?

Posts: 98 Join Date: 10/13/19 Recent Posts
David,

Many people experience strange transitions from meditation to dream time. Since meditation questions your cultural and psychological assumption wired into the brain that there is a division between body and mind, consciousness probably becomes more free from biological bonds and wakes up before your body kicks in.
You can read on the forum how people were first unknowingly bringing vipassana and noting into dream time and other similar stories. In Korean tradition the test of your samadhi is to keep a great question first in the Dharma Room, then in the motion of wakefulness, then into the dreams and then dreamless sleep. I practice lucid dreaming in the mornings when sleep is lighter and often have some problems later to reincarnate in the body again. Get paralisys or nausea sometimes too - the last one due to the overactivation of parasympathetic (calming, brakes-on) nervous system.

It's a good oportunity to investigate a family of states, in which consciousness is dissociated from the flesh: Whose body is it if there is no control over it? Where spacially the thoughts are at that time? What shape does the consciousness have during paralisys?

Sometimes you can start seeing certain visual patterns during paralisys - zoom in into them and see where you get ;-). And have fun!
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David Matte, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep paralysis induced by meditation?

Posts: 68 Join Date: 8/3/19 Recent Posts
I really appreciate all the replies everyone has contributed here; there's some useful tips to keep in mind. The paralysis hasn't happened since first posting this topic. 
@George S : thank you, I will try to relax into the experience next time it happens. I set an intention before I fall asleep now to do so. "If I become conscious during sleep but can't move my body, may I recognize this state and relax"

​​​​​​Also gonna try the interesting tip from Linda "Polly Ester" to try moving my pinky a little. If I can't wake up of the paraysis, I believe there could be some useful and interesting investigation that can be done in the state.
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David Matte, modified 27 Days ago.

RE: Sleep paralysis induced by meditation?

Posts: 68 Join Date: 8/3/19 Recent Posts
Just want to report that moving my pinky finger worked fantastically for me to wake up from sleep paralysis. 

​​​​​​​Conscious paralysis happened last night twice. I quickly became aware I was sleeping and remembered the tip to try moving my pinky. The pinky and the ring finger seemed to be basically the only motor movements I could do as the rest of my hand appeared frozen. I woke up and then drifted back asleep into the same conscious paralysis. Pretty cool state! 

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