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Pressure in my head (left and right temples)

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I have been practising shamatha meditation for the past 8 months (in retreat) and a week ago I started experiencing pressure in my the left and right temples of my head. The pressure increases if I continue to meditate. It remains even after the meditation, i.e. it is present most of the time. The pressure is so strong that it's difficult to meditate. It fades away if I lie down. But after almost a week of resting without meditation, the pressure is still constant. I wonder if anyone here have similar experience? Any advice in this matter would be very much appreciated! 

RE: Pressure in my head (left and right temples)
Answer
1/17/16 10:34 PM as a reply to B WC Teoh.
I have experienced a lot of this. This pressure is the result of a volitional formation. It starts with some idea in the mind (such as "I am going to meditate" and an idea of what that should look like), there is some kind of pleasant feeling associated with that, so that there is craving, and then you take some kind of action to try to obtain the desired outcome (such as trying to put one's attention on the breath). The craving/grasping/forcing causes some muscular contractions (probably in the neck and head) that result in head pressure.

In other words, while you are practicing you are also thinking about an outcome, desiring it, and trying to get it (grasping/forcing). The grasping/forcing results in bodily tension.

It can probably be addressed in various ways. At the level of thought, it could mean giving up your intention to "attain" something. Could also mean being extra mindful of mental processes in a non-judgemental way. Or just intentionally dropping any extra mental activity when it's noticed. At the level of feeling or craving, it might mean being totally non-judgemental toward whatever arises. At the level of muscular contractions, it could mean just relaxing the body (and mind) every time attention wanders even subtly, or practicing yoga or something. You will have to play with it and see what you need.

Be on the lookout for a subtle stream of thought in the background of your meditation, esp. monitoring outcomes, thinking about the meditation, etc.

Not an expert meditator, but I have spent quite a bit of time with this ...

RE: Pressure in my head (left and right temples)
Answer
1/18/16 8:21 AM as a reply to Chris G.
Thanks very much for your input.  However, the main issue is that the pressure persists even during post meditation periods, i.e. it is present most of the time. It lightens up when I lie down. When I make special effort to relax, it also lightens up. But it comes back again if I'm not totally relaxed. 

RE: Pressure in my head (left and right temples)
Answer
1/19/16 11:40 PM as a reply to B WC Teoh.
I have a similar issue, though for me it might be anxiety related. Not sure if you also experience anxiety, but it seems to be a symptom some people have. The only advice I could offer would be to try to practice in a lighter, more open fashion, instead of forcefully constraining your attention to that one area.

RE: Pressure in my head (left and right temples)
Answer
1/20/16 8:05 PM as a reply to Elijah Smith.
Thanks! Yes, I'm trying to practise in a lighter an open fashion - it seems to be the only way I can inch a little forward with my practice. And even then the pressure persists, though somewhat less. I don't have any anxiety issues that I'm aware of. 

I think this thread should be in the 'concentration' section. I can't figure out how to move it there. So I'll re-post another one there. Hope it's ok.

RE: Pressure in my head (left and right temples)
Answer
1/25/16 7:44 PM as a reply to B WC Teoh.
Yeah, it definitely sounds like there's an emotional thing going on beneath conscious awareness. There's usually some thinking and craving/aversion happening, even if you can't see it at the moment. Which is why lying down or taking it easy helps (even if only a bit). 

Try taking some time out to just sit and do nothing. Maybe just on the couch or a chair, not trying to meditate or do anything, just giving yourself a break. It's a very healthy thing to do. Or go for a walk -- not to go anywhere in particular, not a strenuous hike or run or anything, just an easy walk with no particular destination.

RE: Pressure in my head (left and right temples)
Answer
1/27/16 3:31 AM as a reply to Chris G.
Thanks mate! Will try.