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Tricks to minimize salivation during meditation?

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Hi guys,

I have a very practical question - so practical it's a little crass.

When doing concentration practise, I try to keep the body totally still, and this helps still the mind. Apart from my breathing and heartbeat, the only movement is that my mouth fills with saliva every few minutes and I have to move my tongue and tthrroat to swallow. This is slightly distracting, certainly enough to break a delicate jhana.

Is there any way to stop this happening?

Thanks

RE: Tricks to minimize salivation during meditation?
Answer
11/13/11 4:19 PM as a reply to Conor O'Higgins.
i've always had this, i often resort to filling my mouth with tissue paper. don't knock it till ya try it ;)

although it only gets that bad if i'm sick and oversalivating

RE: Tricks to minimize salivation during meditation?
Answer
11/13/11 5:22 PM as a reply to Conor O'Higgins.
Place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth, just at the point where the gumline sinks down to the palate. There's a point slightly further back which is used in, I think, certain Taoist techniques, but it's not necessary for this purpose and not swallowing your tongue can become a distraction. Allow the tongue to bend slightly, as if you're trying to lick peanut butter from that spot in your mouth and relax.

It takes some practice at first because the gag reflex can kick it automatically causing you to swallow. What happens after a while is that any saliva generated will run unnoticed down your throat and you can continue. Something worth knowing is that it's the movement of the tongue in the mouth that generates saliva, so learning to let your tongue rest at the point I mentioned above should take care of that anyway.

It's not a big deal if you salivate, or if you need to swallow saliva as long as you're mindful of it happening; if you're doing concentration practice just return to the breath or whatever object you're using. Don't let this become a distraction in itself.

RE: Tricks to minimize salivation during meditation?
Answer
10/22/12 12:57 PM as a reply to Conor O'Higgins.
[quote=Conor O'Higgins]Hi guys,

I have a very practical question - so practical it's a little crass.

When doing concentration practise, I try to keep the body totally still, and this helps still the mind. Apart from my breathing and heartbeat, the only movement is that my mouth fills with saliva every few minutes and I have to move my tongue and tthrroat to swallow. This is slightly distracting, certainly enough to break a delicate jhana.

Is there any way to stop this happening?

ThanksIt is a positive phenomenon, you shouldnt let it perturb you. My advice would be to hit it from an active perspective earlier in your meditation - e.g. from the seated 8 brocades there is the move of sticking your tongue around your mouth and swirling it and such; if you actively trigger the function then it should manifest less later on when deeper. Swallow with a turtle neck motion and as the head crests feel the connection to the lower dantien, you'll feel the saliva "go all the way down there." Done a couple times earlier in the session should clean out the salivary glands so that its not as bothersome while deeper in meditation.

RE: Tricks to minimize salivation during meditation?
Answer
10/22/12 2:11 PM as a reply to Tommy M.
Tommy M:
Place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth, just at the point where the gumline sinks down to the palate. There's a point slightly further back which is used in, I think, certain Taoist techniques, but it's not necessary for this purpose and not swallowing your tongue can become a distraction.

Tommy, personally do think that swallowing the tongue is a valid concern?
I have never heard of it happening to anyone before, I can reach kechari mudra level 3 with a certain ease now, and never had to worry about "swallowing the tongue", BUT I never meditated for many consecutive hours, so I'm not sure, but I think the gag reflex would kick in anyway, so it wouldn't be a problem.

RE: Tricks to minimize salivation during meditation?
Answer
10/22/12 10:30 PM as a reply to Conor O'Higgins.
I've never had much problem with saliva but I have read the same instructions as given by Tommy in many of the Tibetan meditation books.

RE: Tricks to minimize salivation during meditation?
Answer
10/24/12 5:49 PM as a reply to John P.
John P:
Tommy M:
Place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth, just at the point where the gumline sinks down to the palate. There's a point slightly further back which is used in, I think, certain Taoist techniques, but it's not necessary for this purpose and not swallowing your tongue can become a distraction.

Tommy, personally do think that swallowing the tongue is a valid concern?

I've heard from numerous sources that it is actually impossible to swallow one's tongue.

http://sciencebasedlife.wordpress.com/2011/06/27/its-impossible-to-swallow-your-tongue/

I know an EMT who has confirmed this.

As far as the saliva issue goes, I've had luck with mindfully swallowing and returning to the pattern of concentration, with a "no big deal" kind of attitude. It does take some practice, and it can definitely mess with delicate altered states.