anxiety/panic attack during concentration practice

J N, modified 6 Years ago at 10/27/15 5:00 PM
Created 6 Years ago at 10/27/15 5:00 PM

anxiety/panic attack during concentration practice

Posts: 2 Join Date: 10/27/15 Recent Posts
hey guys!

So im going to explain step by step what happened to me and hopefully you will be able to help me out.

Im pretty new to this whole thing. Ive only been doing samatha (mindfulness of breathing) and getting some good results, where I am pretty sure i was getting into access concentration and could stay with the breath pretty well. I have not being doing any insight practice except whatever insight i received from the first few chapters of  "Focused and Fearless" by Shail Catherine and also a book called "The Book of Not Knowing" by Peter Ralston. I was doing my 3rd 30 minute sit today when I decided to shift my focus from my breath to this feeling in my chest area, it wasnt really pleasent, I think it jsut felt neutral. After a while i started to become a little twitchy, anxious and my heart started beating VERY fast. I got nervous and stopped. Afterwards I felt pretty anxious and head this hightened sense of awereness where I was really aware of everything happening around me and also had this feeling like I could for example when looking at my arm I could  see and count every hair on it.
I searched this the forum to help me understand what happened. I found this thread:

and following the lead I started reading the begging of this chapter of MCTB:

to be clear I have never read this book. Still anxious the whole time I started skimming through that chaper and noticed the capitalized sentance saying something like "STAY AWAY FROM THE DARK NIGHT". This really made me freak and away and always gave a a full blown panic attack so I decided to take a prescription pill to relax. I am writing this about an hour later and I calmed down a bit but I still have this feeling of hightened awarness where everything seems like its in HD. The experience was really intense. I dont really know much about this but maybe its was something with the Kundalini, cause I heard that it can give people some episodes of anxiety. I was not trying to do anything with the Kundalini, I have no idea how to do it, I was just tyring to get into access concentration and possibly Jhana.

Can someone please explain to me what happened and what should I do so this does not happen again? I feel like I might be a little nervous about getting back my meditation practice again.

P.S. Maybe I am imagining it but once i stopped panicking the whole experince seemed very profound. Its very hard to describe in words but like I said my awarness of everything was very heightened and it seemed like something about reality and the way I see things is different, but maybe it was my imagination. All of this was accompanied by pretty high anxiety.

I really have no idea what Im talking about because Im new to this, especially the insight/vipassana part, but it seems like maybe I got some insight I was not ready for and that made me panick. However, like i said maybe thats a complete BS explanation.

Thank you guys for all your help!
Derek, modified 6 Years ago at 10/28/15 10:23 AM
Created 6 Years ago at 10/28/15 10:20 AM

RE: anxiety/panic attack during concentration practice

Posts: 326 Join Date: 7/21/10 Recent Posts
I've come across a few papers pointing to adverse side-effects from meditation such as anxiety and paranoia. Generally these problems are severely under-reported by those who advocate and teach meditation. As a result of the under-reporting, they are also under-studied.

A couple of starting points for your researches:

The Buddha Pill by Miguel Farias and Catherine Wikholm

Anything by Willoughby Britton, e.g.
CJMacie, modified 6 Years ago at 10/28/15 3:15 PM
Created 6 Years ago at 10/28/15 3:14 PM

RE: anxiety/panic attack during concentration practice

Posts: 856 Join Date: 8/17/14 Recent Posts