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RE: Shaking body while meditating ?

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Shaking body while meditating ?
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1/5/10 5:30 PM
Hi all,

I have done three 10-day retreats in SN Goenka's meditation centers in last one and a half years. Recently while practicing anapana(observing breath going in and coming out) back at home, my body starts shaking violently and breath also becomes very violent/harsh. This "body shaking" would be the case for about 45 minutes in an hourly sit. Body shaking is strong enough that I am not able to focus on breath. And if i push myself to stop "body shaking" so that I can observe breath then I feel that I am not observing the phenomenon "as it is". I am not sure how to deal with this. Any help/comments/suggestions will be highly appreciated.

RE: Shaking body while meditating ?
Answer
1/6/10 12:20 PM as a reply to Pradeep Kumar.
Hello Pradeep,

I am reminded of an excerpt from Jack Kornfield's book "A Path With Heart" that may be helpful for you at this time in your practice...

"Early in one year-long training retreat, I experienced a period of very powerful release where my head began shaking back and forth for hours. Some days later my arms started to involuntarily flap like a bird's wings. When I would try to stop them, I could barely do so. If I relaxed at all, they would flap continuously. They did so for several days. When I asked the teacher about it, he inquired whether I was being fully aware, and I said, 'Certainly.' Later he said, 'You're not really being aware. Look more carefully and you will see that you don't like it. You subtly want it to go away.' When I saw he was right, he said, 'Simply go back and observe it,' and over the next two days the movement subsided, and I sat there feeling my arms throb, bringing hours of deep bodily release...

"...These spontaneous bodily releases are neither enlightening nor harmful. They are simply what happens when the energy being generated in our practice encounters blocks and tightness where it cannot flow... When these spontaneous movements appear, we can begin to respect how deep our physical patterns of holding can be. For many students, physical releases and openings take place over months and years of their spiritual practice. It is best to meet these movements by softening, especially relaxing the back and the area at the base of the spine. if the release is only moderately strong, it is often best to try to relax and yet hold the body still in the face of it and allow the energy to push open new channels in the body, rather than be released in movement. For stronger release this is impossible, though there are ways to temper and soften the buildup and flow of energy. As we become concentrated, the energy of our body system will follow a natural process of opening and balancing itself. We will feel how the heat, pulsations, and vibrations spontaneously move through our spine to open blocked energy channels and then radiate out to every nerve and cell of our body. We can discover that some of the deepest healing and body work can take place as we sit still and meditate. Remember that this can be a long process, so be patient with your body."

I hope this helps.

~Jackson

RE: Shaking body while meditating ?
Answer
1/6/10 4:22 PM as a reply to Jackson Wilshire.
Dear Jack,

Thanks for the kind reply. I really appreciate this ! This was my first post on the website and I already feel this is a helpful and invaluable site. Cheers to all !!

After reading the excerpt I suspect that "shaking" might be happening due to imbalance in energy and concentration (just a speculation ! ). As Jack Kornfield explains this with "release of energy" and "it won't happen in higher concentration". Anyone with any comments/suggestions... ?

For releases which are moderate, the prescription is clear : Hold the body and energy will get released through some other channel. For stronger releases (which I have quite a few in my daily sits) , the prescription is not very clear. Can anyone please shed some light on this aspect or someone out there with a similar experience ?

Thanks,
Pradeep

RE: Shaking body while meditating ?
Answer
1/8/10 4:07 PM as a reply to Pradeep Kumar.
Shaking is natural at the stages of Cause and Effect, Three Characteristics, and then the A&P, as it gets finer and more intense. Not everyone shakes as much as you are, as we are all wired a little differently, however, the advice is the same: notice things arise and vanish rapidly every instant, regardless of what those things are. I wouldn't worry about the shaking at all: just let it happen. As on Sayadaw said to me when I was shaking and sniffing and my breath was going crazy, "Note it. Not dangerous."

Try reading here: http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/dharma-wiki/-/wiki/Main/MCTB%202.%20Cause%20and%20Effect?p_r_p_185834411_title=MCTB%202.%20Cause%20and%20Effect

Helpful?

Daniel

RE: Shaking body while meditating ?
Answer
1/9/10 7:38 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Thanks Daniel. This sounds helpful !