vibrations

C C C, modified 11 Years ago.

vibrations

Posts: 946 Join Date: 3/9/10 Recent Posts
This will be quite boring for all the advanced meditators, however it's new to me so any comments are appreciated.

Last night I had been awake for a few hours from about 4am. Then I sort of had a strange short dream, while half awake. I tried to get back into the dream from my awake state. Then out of nowhere my whole body (except my head) began to vibrate, very strongly, like a coarse electrical vibration. I thought 'oh right, so that's what vibrations are'. Somehow I felt like I'd had this before but couldn't pinpoint the experience. It wasn't pleasant or unpleasant, but very physical. I just lay there as it happened, wide awake. Then as the vibrations continued I felt like a nudging of my right hip and shoulder, like someone was trying to roll me over to the left. It would lift and let go, lift and let go. I kept still because I thought if I move it might stop. Then I heard what sounded like a little yelp, which I pictured as a tiny little coyote off in the distance. Then that made me think of the Simpson's episode where Homer eats the hot chilli and goes off on a spiritual quest! It yelped a few times. Then I thought: how can I make best use of this? So I decided the best thing was just to just pay attention to the vibrations, and they soon stopped. Whole thing lasted maybe 2-3 minutes. No raptures, no bliss. [EDIT]: frequency was about 20Hz but that's very much an estimate. I have re-read every indexed reference to vibrations in Daniel's book, but can't seem to find where I might be. I haven't crossed A&P, so surely I can't be in Dark Night territory?

I wasn't actually meditating when it began. But my eyes did some strange movements as it came on. Probably not a lot can be said about this, is there?
J Adam G, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: vibrations

Posts: 286 Join Date: 9/15/09 Recent Posts
I'm not so sure it isn't A&P. It certainly doesn't sound like any of the first 3 nyanas -- they usually are pretty solid. By my experience and Kenneth Folk's explanation, "vibrations" in the first three stages refers more to how fast you can notice sensations than to actual vibrating of the sense input, unlike in the 4th and later nyanas.

Frankly, anything happening at 20Hz in a beginning vipassana meditator sounds like A&P to me. The A&P isn't always rapturous and doesn't always involve bright lights. If concentration doesn't get really strong, you may not encounter much more than the breaking up of sensations into more discrete moments, which would be followed by Dissolution's laziness, tingly coolness, and difficulty paying attention.

It may not be insight-related. Could be hypnagogia. Check the wikipedia article on hypnagogia, or check a respected medical reference site such as mayo clinic or NIH. This may be listed under "sleep paralysis" because sleep paralysis is a common form of hypnagogia, even though that's not what you reported. (Then again, you didn't try to move, so maybe you were paralyzed.)

To muddy the waters a bit, insight activity tends to trigger weird A&P-like hypnagogic stuff when you're trying to fall asleep, or sleeping, or waking up. Meditating during dreams is a classic marker of A&P phenomena, but so are myriad other disruptions and weirdnesses.
C C C, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: vibrations

Posts: 946 Join Date: 3/9/10 Recent Posts
Thanks Adam. There was no sleep paralysis (I did some tiny finger movements) but definitely some resemblance to hypnagogia, and I think given my lack of practice it's the much more likely cause. It felt like my brain's sleep switch had got stuck half way. A bit like when you turn off a light switch half way, if you're very precise you can make it so that only a small amount of electricity gets through and the light goes crazy and makes a lot of noise and buzzing and eventually pops. I didn't pop but I was definitely buzzing right through. It felt like I had electrical stimulation machines all over my body (like TENS machine). The most unusual part for me was how it 'powered itself'. I was lying there thinking, "where is the energy or intent for this coming from"?; like it was happening to me.
ManZ A, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: vibrations

Posts: 105 Join Date: 1/12/10 Recent Posts
Hmm That sounds like what would happen before you have an OBE, but since you payed attention to the sensations in a vipassana-like way (I assume) it ended the experience. What you described actually happens to me quite frequently, but I'm usually too afraid to actually "roll" out of body, so I also end the experience by either just paying attention to the vibrations or I just kind of "work my way up" by starting from my toes and just sort of will the body out of paralysis. I know I used to try these sorts of methods long time ago, but don't really do them anymore. Even if you can move just your fingers, I think it's still sleep paralysis. Or did you mean that you had control of your whole body?

Since I had sort of purposefully experimented with these sorts of things and have experienced sleep paralysis, vibrations, lucid dreams, etc. a few years back itself, would simply having those experiences be sufficient grounds for diagnosis of A&P? Does anyone experiencing those kinds of things automatically mean they crossed the A&P?
C C C, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: vibrations

Posts: 946 Join Date: 3/9/10 Recent Posts
Hi manz, I felt like I could easily have moved any part of my body, but I didn't (other than fingers) because I thought like it would stop the buzzing. I have experienced sleep paralysis before during lucid dreams, and it seems a very different subjective experience to this. For one, I was fully awake, before during and after this experience.
J Adam G, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: vibrations

Posts: 286 Join Date: 9/15/09 Recent Posts
ManZ A, the short answer is that it depends on if their life starts sucking every time they do vipassana (or psychedelics, or anything else that triggers A&P).

Meditation hangovers are pretty standard for the dark night yogi. No meditation hangovers, no "I used to be able to concentrate on things but I can't anymore," and no "I don't know why but I really need to get enlightened" probably means it's just standard hypnagogia or OBE stuff. Weird sleep stuff is commonly caused by the A&P, but by no means is every buzzing sensation or weird sleep thing related to an A&P event.