How to distinguish between insight raptures and neurological issues?

David A, modified 11 Years ago.

How to distinguish between insight raptures and neurological issues?

Posts: 27 Join Date: 10/10/09 Recent Posts
Howdy all, I'm wondering if there's a way to discern when nerve type sensation and phenomena are due to purely physical, neurological issues, and when they are insight raptures, kundalini, movements of chi, prana, etc...either direct manifestations of them or somehow caused or influenced by them.

I've had kriyas (spontaneous involuntary movements and postures) and energy flows/tingling/waves/vibration for a few years so I am familiar with and not freaked out by them. However, in recent months what feels like a new kind of nerve stuff has arisen, including numbness and burning pain, and in some cases the symptom patterns resemble that of medically established neurological problems.

I've been getting what appears to be neuropathy in both arms, mainly along the ulnar nerve pathways. Tingling sensations running from armpit and down the arm to the ring and pinky fingers, sometimes causing cramps along the way, and occasionally also stinging or burning pain. Often my arms go numb if there is sustained pressure near the funny bone (where often there's lingering pain) or the inside of my upper arms, and I have been woken from sleep by this a couple times. My hands and arms at times during bigger flareups feels like they're on the verge of losing a bit of motor control -- they feel somewhat reluctant to respond, is the best way I can think of describing it.

These arm symptoms first started in October of last year. I originally attributed it to the overzealous and incorrect execution of some stretches a friend had showed me that he thought would help with chronic pain I'd been having in my hands and forearms. A doctor and a physical therapist have told me that probably the ulnar nerve was overstretched and that it should take care of itself. However, the fact that it's been more than three months now and is worse than it was before makes them think that there is some psychosomatic factor(s) that is keeping it from resolving. I don't disagree, although unlike them I am wondering if there is a structural problem as well.

The reason I am entertaining any notion at all that there might be an energy component to this arm problem is because at the time it all started I was meditating 3-4 hours a day, and one night I was meditating in bed and on multiple occasions there was an energy surge through my armpit into my arm, and that arm would spontaneously start to furiously spin at the elbow joint like the rotor on a helicopter. If I recall correctly it was the very next day that I first got shooting pain in the ulnar pathway of my left arm. It could just be a coincidence, I really don't know.

At about the same time I also started getting streams of tingling and occasional burning pain in both legs and into the ankles and feet. Pressure on the buttocks or back of the thighs merely from sitting in a chair have caused numbness and even falling asleep of the leg. I don't know if this is physical or psychosomatic or energetic, but one thing of note is that the only other time I experienced something like this in such a sustained way and with such sensitivity to pressure was during a long retreat at MBMC in 2007. However during that time I don't recall there being pain.

All this stuff tends to worsen when I'm under stress or experiencing strong negative emotions. Focusing attention on them in a worried way also tends to make them intensify as well. On certain occasions there's been an intersection between the symptoms and my "normal" chi/prana stuff. For example, an energy pressure or blockage area briefly "breaking up" and dissipating and radiating out neutral or pleasant waves, some of which go through the symptom-affected areas of the arms and legs.

So...that's the data. To be honest I'm inclined to think that these are straight neurological issues but I thought I should cover my bases, so my questions are these:

Can insight rapture/kundalini/chi/prana phenomena manifest as peripheral neuropathy such as I'm experiencing?

And/or can they interact with and exacerbate neuropathy that arises from purely physical/structural causes, perhaps prolonging it even after the original causes have passed?

I realize that there isn't necessarily a sharp divide between the energetic systems and the nervous system, but perhaps there are some general tips as to how to determine what's what?

The reason I ask is because I am considering seeing a physiatrist or neurologist and/or getting tests done like cervical and lumbar MRIs and EMG/NCS. My insurance deductible is really high so I'd have to pay for it all myself, and it would end up costing a lot. If there's a good chance that some or all of it is happening as part of the insight process than I would be fine just letting it be for a while and saving the money.

And also, would appreciate any advice on how much of the kriya and kundalini experience stuff to mention to a medical specialist when discussing neurological symptoms.

Thanks!
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: How to distinguish between insight raptures and neurological issues?

Posts: 3199 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
While it is always sketchy to play doctor over the web (actually, I am a doctor), based on what you have said, this is my general impression, realizing that this is imprecise and lacking the standard things I am used to, such as the ability to do a physical exam and the like, so is just a friendly guess at best:

Numbness is very unlikely to be dharma/chi related. It is much more likely to be nerve related.

Shooting pains down the arms and legs that persist are very unlikely to be energy/chi/kundalini related, much more likely to be something else, such as disk disease or other neuropathy.

I think that talking to a neurologist is a very good idea: see what they say. I realize that this might cost, but then you have to consider the risks and benefits. Consider a government job... ;)

As to things that might help, I have a disk problems in my neck that when I get tired or stressed too much or lift heavy things or sometimes for no particularly good reason will send really sharp, electrical, zinging pains from my lower right neck to right arm. Fish oil helps moderately: I take about 1100mg of EPA+DHA/day, as does rest and not lifting heavy things. I also find that when I do reclining practice I can't have my hands on my stomach or chest, as it makes my ulnar nerves zing and parts of my hands go to sleep pretty rapidly.

Helpful?

Daniel
David A, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: How to distinguish between insight raptures and neurological issues?

Posts: 27 Join Date: 10/10/09 Recent Posts
Daniel, thank you.

I've gone ahead and scheduled an appointment with a particular physiatrist that I've thought about seeing. Unfortunately he's going on vacation soon so the earliest appointment I could get was March 15th. Is this too long a time to wait, do you think? The problem will have been going on 5.5 months by then (assuming it hasn't resolved itself).
I don't know how to judge the urgency of this kind of stuff.

I also have what I was told at the time was a disc thing in my neck, brought about by lifting a heavy cabinet about 12-13 years ago. It causes pain once in a blue moon for brief periods, and sustained lifting of something heavy can cause flare up for me too. My current ulnar neuropathy is bilateral and not associated with any neck pain, so I'm hoping this means I won't have to do the cervical MRI. But of course I'll do it if the specialist I am seeing thinks it's necessary.

The parts of the hand falling asleep while reclining with hands on chest or stomach has been happening to me, too. Even if my hands are resting palms down on the front of my hips with elbows slightly bent, that still apparently puts enough pressure on the ulnar nerve pathway to make the hands fall asleep.

How then are you positioning your arms when you are lying on your back to meditate or fall asleep so that this doesn't happen? I've not yet found a way that I can sustain comfortably, and once I'm asleep my arms shift back anyway so that my hands go numb while I'm unconscious.

Do you have any advice about how much to say to a specialist about the kriyas or chi/energy/kundalini sensations?
I've never been to a neurologist before but I imagine they might ask about tingling sensations or involuntary spasms...
But to be honest, at this point with relation to some of the unusual feelings or involuntary movements in my limbs, I don't know what to attribute them to. Some intuitively feel like nerve things and some feel like dharma energy things.
Would have been nice if the Buddha had seen fit to deliver a sutta on how to tell the difference! emoticon
Chuck Kasmire, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: How to distinguish between insight raptures and neurological issues?

Posts: 559 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Don't know where or if there is a real dividing line between these two things but some thoughts:

Energy will respond to directed attention. For example: If you have a numb area put your attention on that area and invite it to dissolve or break up. If energy is moving in the arms see if you can gently draw it in one direction or another – say up the arm or down and out through the finger tips. Have some patience – I have had areas that took several days before they broke up.

If you do notice that they respond to directed attention (and it may be that some will and some won't) then you might try working with Robert Bruce's New Energy Ways techniques – good for working with energy in the extremities. Also, you might try an acupuncturist – they will probably be more open to your practices also.

If it looks like you need to go the medical route and it is going to get real expensive consider these folks.

Good luck to you,

-Chuck
David A, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: How to distinguish between insight raptures and neurological issues?

Posts: 27 Join Date: 10/10/09 Recent Posts
Chuck Kasmire:
Don't know where or if there is a real dividing line between these two things


Glad to hear you say so. I think Daniel's right that numbness and pain in this case indicate nerve involvement, but I'm having a hard time particularly in the last few days teasing out how much of it is getting instigated or magnified by energetic stuff. There have been some indications that the two sets of conditions are affecting each other, and it's been making the medical decision-making difficult.

Chuck Kasmire:

Energy will respond to directed attention. For example: If you have a numb area put your attention on that area and invite it to dissolve or break up. If energy is moving in the arms see if you can gently draw it in one direction or another – say up the arm or down and out through the finger tips. Have some patience – I have had areas that took several days before they broke up.


Okay if numbness comes again I'll give dissolving a try. Can this also be used in areas of pressure buildup or where it feels like there is energy congestion or blockage?

Regarding moving arm energy in a direction...in my case most of the time the flow is from areas of buildup in the head/throat/trunk and out to the limbs. If I'm feeling like there's too much energy in the body is it better to move it out the finger tips rather than back up the arm again?

Chuck Kasmire:

If you do notice that they respond to directed attention (and it may be that some will and some won't) then you might try working with Robert Bruce's New Energy Ways techniques – good for working with energy in the extremities. Also, you might try an acupuncturist – they will probably be more open to your practices also.


I've skimmed through parts of Robert Bruce's site. Looks to be a lot of valuable instruction there. I have a question about it, though. I notice there seems to be a lot of emphasis on stimulating and raising energy. Many of the techniques seem geared toward creating or increasing sensations of tingling, buzzing, heaviness, pressure, flow, etc.

At this time I actually feel like my body is over-energized. There are already a lot of those sensations throughout my body without my intentionally cultivating it. The overall feeling is that either I've got too much energy, or else it's distributed or flowing in imbalanced ways that makes it feel like this is the case, both when I am meditating and when I'm not. Besides the energy sensations there are some weird musculoskeletal reactions that go with it, most of them are not harmful, but some of it is pretty strong.
Are the exercises on Robert Bruce's site something appropriate under these conditions?

I am aware that in MCTB Daniel mentions that in his experience the best way to get inconvenient raptures to subside is to progress on to the next stages of insight. I'ma workin' on it! emoticon
But in the meantime I'm open to exploring other avenues too. I am interested in anything that will help my energy system get back into balance (again, in MCTB "energy imbalance" is held to be an unhelpful perspective, but for better or for worse that's how it's often framed in my thinking when the results are unpleasant), but I don't know the rules of the game so to speak so have been leery about being too aggressive about it.

One web page I came across while reading what I could find on kundalini had this to say:

Some qigong masters can help with energy that is too intense and some acupuncturists can help. Be careful because they can also make it more intense. Most healers, whatever the type - Reiki, healing touch, etc. - work by passing more energy into the person. For most ordinary conditions that a person needs healing for this is fine. But with Kundalini challenging a person's abilities to tolerate it or continue their necessary work, etc., then just dumping more energy into their system will only make it worse. It is much rarer to find an energy worker who can, in a sense, siphon off excess energy, help it go to ground.

(from here: http://sites.google.com/site/kundalinijourney/howdoyoudealwithkundaliniawakeningsympto)

I don't actually know if what I'm dealing with is kundalini according to his model, but in general what do you think of this?

Having read and heard caveats like that are part of the reason I've not gone the energy route when dealing with these rapture-things, other than doing some tai chi or "generic" qi-gong.

Chuck Kasmire:

If it looks like you need to go the medical route and it is going to get real expensive consider these folks.


I'll keep this tip in mind. I know their reputation is good, and I certainly could use a vacation, too!

Thanks, Chuck!
Chuck Kasmire, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: How to distinguish between insight raptures and neurological issues?

Posts: 559 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Hi David,

General thoughts: Very well could be that things are a bit out of whack energy wise but let's try some things and see what happens. Good news is that if this is what is happening, it's temporary and it will correct itself over time.

Okay if numbness comes again I'll give dissolving a try. Can this also be used in areas of pressure buildup or where it feels like there is energy congestion or blockage?

Yes, most certainly. I use two techniques: nudging and dissolving.

Nudging means to try giving the energy a little push in many different directions. Pay no attention to official 'channels' - experiment and see if it wants to move in any direction. Just try pushing it with your attention - off to the left, or up, or where ever. If it moves a bit, then you can just kind of coax it - a bit at a time - off in that direction. It's ready to go. Let it show you where it wants to go. I find this works best with small, sharp sensations.

Dissolving doesn't try to move it but rather just open up space around it and invite it to open or dissolve. It may take on a sparking or effervescent quality and visualising it as dissolving can help. This seems to work best with numbness, pressure, soreness, etc.

Regarding moving arm energy in a direction...in my case most of the time the flow is from areas of buildup in the head/throat/trunk and out to the limbs....At this time I actually feel like my body is over-energized. There are already a lot of those sensations throughout my body without my intentionally cultivating it. ...Are the exercises on Robert Bruce's site something appropriate under these conditions?

Good point. His site is more focused on a step by step building of the energy system. Some thoughts: First of all, strong noting practice will aggravate these things as well - they are intimately connected. If you want to slow things down - back off on practice, switch to a heavier richer diet, more physical exercise (all the suggestions in the website that you linked to are good - so experiment).

A common problem in the beginning is that the back channel is more open then the front one - this causes a sense of pressure in the head and can be quite uncomfortable. Don't know if this is your situation so here is a technique to try: sit upright in a chair with your head tilted a bit forward. Place the tip of your tongue on the roof of the mouth toward the front. Place the palm of your hand close to your forehead (palm facing inward) and with a slow motion move your hand slowly down the front of your body (maybe a couple of inches away from your body) to just below the navel. Then pull your hand back, bring it back up to your head again and continue this sweeping process. As you sweep, imagine that you are pulling energy from the head down through the front channel to the navel center. Try this a few times for several minutes and let me know if it relieves some of the symptoms. When you are done with this practice just try resting your attention at the navel center - not intensely - just resting attention there in a gentle broad way for a while.

Here is something else to try when the sensations are uncomfortable: This is sort of a sutta approach. Do slow breathing while keeping the entire body (energy sensations included) as your 'object'. Do not carefully note the uncomfortable sensations - instead focus attention on the whole body (whole body awareness) and the soothing energy that comes with slow breathing. See if you can find a shimmering soothing whole body energy on top of which is supper-imposed the strong uncomfortable sensations (it's there!) - you can't strain at this but just sort of be open to feeling it. I want to emphasise the importance of whole body awareness again! This is important. Your attention will want to contract around the stronger sensations which will just make them stronger.

Try these things out and let me know what happens.

-Chuck
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Constance Casey, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: How to distinguish between insight raptures and neurological issues?

Posts: 47 Join Date: 9/21/09 Recent Posts
"At this time I actually feel like my body is over-energized. There are already a lot of those sensations throughout my body without my intentionally cultivating it. The overall feeling is that either I've got too much energy, or else it's distributed or flowing in imbalanced ways that makes it feel like this is the case, both when I am meditating and when I'm not."

I find that for being overstimulated:
drinking more water and/or taking a bath
absolutely no caffeine or sugar
gentle exercise, (not rugged hiking), some stretching or Tai Chi
a whole body massage
being with the color blue, staring at a blue sky or putting out some blue fabric, painting with blue paints
improvising anything that has been calming and worked in the past
remembering someone who had a calming presence, remembering the calming outcome
eating heavier appears to put more focus of the energy into the digestion system, slowing mental processes

Just a few ideas for going with the flow,
with metta, Constance
David A, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: How to distinguish between insight raptures and neurological issues?

Posts: 27 Join Date: 10/10/09 Recent Posts
Constance Casey:


I find that for being overstimulated:
drinking more water and/or taking a bath
absolutely no caffeine or sugar
gentle exercise, (not rugged hiking), some stretching or Tai Chi
a whole body massage
being with the color blue, staring at a blue sky or putting out some blue fabric, painting with blue paints
improvising anything that has been calming and worked in the past
remembering someone who had a calming presence, remembering the calming outcome
eating heavier appears to put more focus of the energy into the digestion system, slowing mental processes

Just a few ideas for going with the flow,
with metta, Constance


Constance, thanks so much for the list!
I'm doing these suggestions.
Will try and get to the fabric store tomorrow for some blue.
J Adam G, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: How to distinguish between insight raptures and neurological issues?

Posts: 286 Join Date: 9/15/09 Recent Posts
Chuck Kasmire:
Do slow breathing while keeping the entire body (energy sensations included) as your 'object'. Do not carefully note the uncomfortable sensations - instead focus attention on the whole body (whole body awareness) and the soothing energy that comes with slow breathing. See if you can find a shimmering soothing whole body energy on top of which is supper-imposed the strong uncomfortable sensations (it's there!) - you can't strain at this but just sort of be open to feeling it. I want to emphasise the importance of whole body awareness again! This is important. Your attention will want to contract around the stronger sensations which will just make them stronger.


Hi Chuck, I have a quick question about what you're describing.
Lots of meditation books talk about how you can find quiet in a chattering mind by noticing the silent space between thoughts, and then realizing that the silence is constantly present in the mind (in a mundane sense -- certainly from a dharma perspective, it's arising and passing away like everything else). Then you try and switch your viewpoint around and instead of finding a little silence where thoughts dominate, there's a silence that dominates and pervades and thoughts are floating around on top of it.

Is the exercise you mentioned similar to this? Is it supposed to be like the whole body sensation/awareness is the sky, and the individual sensations are like clouds that pass by? I tried the exercise briefly and felt like this similarity was there, but I don't know if I'm doing it correctly.
Chuck Kasmire, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: How to distinguish between insight raptures and neurological issues?

Posts: 559 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Something like that, yes. It is a way of grounding the strong energy sensations in a greater context (the shimmering field of energy that is throughout the body). Just resting with that - as best as can be managed, helps the more intense qualities to balance out.

Comparing this to silence implies there is nothing there (to me) - so in that sense it would be different - energetically the body is not quiet. If you don't have a sense of this, then you could try imagining that the surface of your skin is porous and that as you breathe in you are drawing energy in through the entire surface of your body that fills it up - kind of like a balloon - One way valve-pores actually - so every time you breath in your body just fills more and more with energy. But if you are already dealing with an abundance of strong sensations as David is then doing something like this could make things worse.

I see the stronger sensations as more like mountains that push up out of the low lands more than as something sitting on top. But whatever works really.

-Chuck
David A, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: How to distinguish between insight raptures and neurological issues?

Posts: 27 Join Date: 10/10/09 Recent Posts
Chuck Kasmire:

Good news is that if this is what is happening, it's temporary and it will correct itself over time.


I'm glad to hear that. Do you mean to say it would eventually correct itself even if I did nothing? I hope so but I confess it hasn't felt that way to me. It's been over two years now and while it fluctuates depending on various factors, for the most part it's been a steady phenomena. It could be that my fear that it won't resolve on it's own is in fact a maintaining factor?

Chuck Kasmire:

Some thoughts: First of all, strong noting practice will aggravate these things as well - they are intimately connected.


By strong noting practice do you mean Mahasi-style mental noting or are you referring to something broader?

Chuck Kasmire:

A common problem in the beginning is that the back channel is more open then the front one - this causes a sense of pressure in the head and can be quite uncomfortable. Don't know if this is your situation so here is a technique to try: sit upright in a chair with your head tilted a bit forward. Place the tip of your tongue on the roof of the mouth toward the front. Place the palm of your hand close to your forehead (palm facing inward) and with a slow motion move your hand slowly down the front of your body (maybe a couple of inches away from your body) to just below the navel. Then pull your hand back, bring it back up to your head again and continue this sweeping process. As you sweep, imagine that you are pulling energy from the head down through the front channel to the navel center. When you are done with this practice just try resting your attention at the navel center - not intensely - just resting attention there in a gentle broad way for a while.


Indeed, I do often have strong uncomfortable pressure in the head. It's around the forehead and sinuses and sometimes the base of the skull. Usually energy buildup in upper lip too. Sometimes it bleeds down the jaws, under the jawbone, and down the sides of the neck. Usually more on the right side, and on some occasions the tip of my tongue involuntarily presses against my upper right teeth behind the canine (this happened a lot at MBMC).

I've been doing the sweeping exercise. I feel a definite sense of downward movement of energy in sync with my descending palm. It tends to track more on the right of the centerline once it reaches my trunk...maybe I just feel it more there because the right side has more energy and chronic tension in it. In my head, though, most does seem to go through my tongue and back of mouth/throat...some bleeds off to the right jaw and throat.

So far it hasn't reduced the overall "standing" pressure in the head as that tends to reappear quickly as if a spring were replenishing it, but it does feel like it's a good thing and that there's a widening of a channel and an encouragement of tendency to flow.

Chuck Kasmire:

Here is something else to try when the sensations are uncomfortable: This is sort of a sutta approach. Do slow breathing while keeping the entire body (energy sensations included) as your 'object'. Do not carefully note the uncomfortable sensations - instead focus attention on the whole body (whole body awareness) and the soothing energy that comes with slow breathing. See if you can find a shimmering soothing whole body energy on top of which is supper-imposed the strong uncomfortable sensations (it's there!) - you can't strain at this but just sort of be open to feeling it. I want to emphasize the importance of whole body awareness again! This is important. Your attention will want to contract around the stronger sensations which will just make them stronger.


I've tried this a few times. The energy level tends to jump up pretty quickly, particularly in the legs (pleasant/neutral) and head and throat (unpleasant pressure). The latter happens if my attention inadvertently contracts there, or if there's any forcing in my mental effort. There are at times pleasant vibration waves in the limbs and down the sides of my trunk area, sometimes in the back of the head. Getting more frequent.

It's not a very uniform whole-body field at the moment. The shimmering energy is mainly in the limbs or lower trunk. The head is pressure and vibration...the upper back, neck, trapezius, upper-chest and shoulder areas are more dead feeling as there is chronic tension there (dharma-, energy-, or emotion- based, and possibly 3Cs or Dark Night). Sometimes I focus more on the soft breathing at the belly if I find the unpleasant stuff is strongly pulling my attention. Sometimes I have to open my awareness to an area larger than my body to prevent a feeling of congestion of built-up energy.

I've also tried the dissolving and nudging. Sometimes I visualize and try to recapture the feeling of any of the few momentary dissolvings I've experienced in the past and that seems to encourage it.

There hasn't yet been an overall reduction of symptoms per se, but things feel more fluid. During my nighttime meditation when I'm lying in bed going to sleep, there have been more pronounced episodes of energy rebalancing which are encouraging. In particular energy from the head more easily comes down, through the back of the neck and then the spine I suppose, since there can be strong spinal convulsions that accompany it.

I'll keep up with this. If you have any feedback based on what I've mentioned so far feel free.

Thanks!
Chuck Kasmire, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: How to distinguish between insight raptures and neurological issues?

Posts: 559 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Do you mean to say it would eventually correct itself even if I did nothing? I hope so but I confess it hasn't felt that way to me. It's been over two years now and while it fluctuates depending on various factors, for the most part it's been a steady phenomena. It could be that my fear that it won't resolve on it's own is in fact a maintaining factor?

Yes, I think so but it makes sense to be proactive and see what can be done. I think fear could certainly play a role in locking it in.

By strong noting practice do you mean Mahasi-style mental noting or are you referring to something broader?

Yes, strong Mahasi-style mental noting – this is what I am talking about. It's throwing more fuel on the fire. What you need to do is find ways of channeling the smoke and flames – not creating more of them at this point.

Indeed, I do often have strong uncomfortable pressure in the head. It's around the forehead and sinuses and sometimes the base of the skull. Usually energy buildup in upper lip too. Sometimes it bleeds down the jaws, under the jawbone, and down the sides of the neck. Usually more on the right side, and on some occasions the tip of my tongue involuntarily presses against my upper right teeth behind the canine (this happened a lot at MBMC)......I've been doing the sweeping exercise. I feel a definite sense of downward movement of energy in sync with my descending palm. ... In my head, though, most does seem to go through my tongue and back of mouth/throat...some bleeds off to the right jaw and throat.
...
So far it hasn't reduced the overall "standing" pressure in the head as that tends to reappear quickly as if a spring were replenishing it, but it does feel like it's a good thing and that there's a widening of a channel and an encouragement of tendency to flow.

Yes, sounds like the front channel is a bit blocked. The practice won't cure it – just kind of bleeds off a bit at a time but it does build back up. I have started putting up some information on the energy practices portal in the wiki. I added a practice there that works on opening the centers along the du and ren meridians – give this a try. If it makes things worse then don't do it and keep up the sweeping practice – it will open over time. Also, as I just posted it today, let me know if the directions are clear enough.

The shimmering energy is mainly in the limbs or lower trunk. The head is pressure and vibration...the upper back, neck, trapezius, upper-chest and shoulder areas are more dead feeling as there is chronic tension there (dharma-, energy-, or emotion- based, and possibly 3Cs or Dark Night).

A couple other things to try:
Try using Reggie Rays prana breathing exercise that I link to in the wiki. This one focuses on opening up through the feet and legs. Many channels pass through that area and working there can help open things up all through the body. Also try using some Goenka style body scans on the upper chest/shoulder and in general where there are dead or numb sensations. This just consists of mentally creating a grid of these areas and placing your awareness in one section at a time (maybe 2 inches by 2 inches). Stay there for a few breaths and try to feel anything at all then move on to the next. Just keep going over these areas until you can feel something there. This will help open them up. Don't try to force energy through these areas but you can invite them to dissolve.

During my nighttime meditation when I'm lying in bed going to sleep, there have been more pronounced episodes of energy rebalancing which are encouraging

You might try some affirmations before going to bed that you are open to this process continuing even while you are asleep.

-Chuck
David A, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: How to distinguish between insight raptures and neurological issues?

Posts: 27 Join Date: 10/10/09 Recent Posts
Chuck Kasmire:
I have started putting up some information on the energy practices portal in the wiki. I added a practice there that works on opening the centers along the du and ren meridians – give this a try. If it makes things worse then don't do it and keep up the sweeping practice – it will open over time. Also, as I just posted it today, let me know if the directions are clear enough.


Wow that's great that you're starting to put this stuff up.

On the main page you make a recommendation to find a live teacher to help with working with these practices. How would suggest going about finding a good, qualified teacher in one's area?

I haven't tried the Microcosmic Orbit practice yet, but the directions that you've written seem clear enough so far. (One small typo, though. In the first paragraph "center" has been misspelled as "cener")

I will try out the prana breathing, Goenka method, and affirmations before sleep suggestions as well. Thank you.
Chuck Kasmire, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: How to distinguish between insight raptures and neurological issues?

Posts: 559 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
On the main page you make a recommendation to find a live teacher to help with working with these practices. How would suggest going about finding a good, qualified teacher in one's area?


Hmm, good question. Where are you located? Maybe someone here knows of someone in your area. Other than that you could try searching under things like taoism, microcosmic orbit etc. along with your location and see what pops up. If you find some possibilities - go talk to them and see how you feel about working with them.

-Chuck
David A, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: How to distinguish between insight raptures and neurological issues?

Posts: 27 Join Date: 10/10/09 Recent Posts
Chuck Kasmire:

Hmm, good question. Where are you located? Maybe someone here knows of someone in your area. Other than that you could try searching under things like taoism, microcosmic orbit etc. along with your location and see what pops up. If you find some possibilities - go talk to them and see how you feel about working with them.


Ah okay thanks. I wasn't sure if the energy practices listed were within the Taoist system only or teachers in yoga, Reiki, or other systems might also be able to help with them.

I'm currently in a suburb of Philadelphia, if anyone knows of a good teacher around there.

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