Sensation of Heartbeat in Head

KundaliniLinguini, modified 3 Years ago.

Sensation of Heartbeat in Head

Posts: 39 Join Date: 1/9/16 Recent Posts
I never or very rarely can find stillness in meditation because as soon as I close my eyes, my attention focuses within my head naturally and there is sensation of the heartbeat there which gets more and more intense and soon I am just deeply surrounded by this whirlwind of pressure and throbbing and pulling all in time with my heartbeat and it is constant motion and jostling and there is no balance or stillness or silence or peace, only rhythmic chaos like riding on an amusement park right that just jerks you forward and backwards constantly. Why is this and what can I do about it? I want to get past this. It has been this way for a couple of years now. What is it? I know maybe all I can do is just sit in equanimity or go to the doctor, but is this state or condition discussed anywhere in the sutras of either Buddhism or Hinduism?

I feel in myself that the aversion to this sensation is very much tied in with how a sensation of self is generated here, and I would expect this to apply to others, so I am suprised that I never see it discussed anywhere. I would assume this is a common issue but perhaps not.
neko, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: Sensation of Heartbeat in Head

Posts: 756 Join Date: 11/26/14 Recent Posts
KundaliniLinguini:

I am just deeply surrounded by this whirlwind of pressure and throbbing and pulling all in time with my heartbeat and it is constant motion and jostling and there is no balance or stillness or silence or peace, only rhythmic chaos like riding on an amusement park right that just jerks you forward and backwards constantly. Why is this
Emptiness.

Nana-wise, this territory is usually most evident to me in the later dukkha nana stages.

KundaliniLinguini:

and what can I do about it?
Abide in it. It is very useful.


KundaliniLinguini:
I want to get past this.
I would say note this too. Try to accept it.

(If it is really unbearable, change technique.)


KundaliniLinguini:

I feel in myself that the aversion to this sensation is very much tied in with how a sensation of self is generated here, 
Yes! Good direction in my opinion / experience.
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Bruno Loff, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: Sensation of Heartbeat in Head

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
I recognize what you are saying. The "clinginess" or "stickiness" or "obsessiveness" of the sensations inside the head (but also somtimes at the base of the neck and other chakras) has been for me a good measure of progress. In that whatever other progress I see in my practice, it seems to faithfully accompany shifts in the intensity of this clinginess. (less clinginess = good)

Try to pay attention to these sensations without putting them in the center of focus, trying more and more to integrate them with the entire field of sensations. When I do this successfuly, it happens that these clinginess sensations arise, flow through the field, and fade away. When I don't do this successfully, the clinginess of the sensations increases, and my focus becomes "stuck" in them and they become the most prominent sensation in my experience. A few years ago this clinginess would be so intense that it might take hours before it would fade away.

You are looking for "shifts": the shift feels as if this clinginess releases suddenly; you know it's real if the clinginess becomes permanently less than what it used to be, in that it becomes permanently easier not to cling to these sensations.

If I try to break this clinginess appart and see what it is made of, I find a kind of strobing sensation, a on/off pulse which is most obvious for me in the center of the head. Paying attention to the strobes and letting them come in and flow away, lead me to progress. (One must pay attention without "touching" the strobes, which is difficult precisely because of the stickiness)

If I try to follow this clinginess to its source, I find that the "strobing" sensation is generated all the way down in the belly, below the dan-tien point. This strobing propagates very quickly throughout the energy channels, and gets amplified and maybe even replicated in the various chakra points.
Yilun Ong, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: Sensation of Heartbeat in Head

Posts: 623 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Bruno Loff:

Try to pay attention to these sensations without putting them in the center of focus, trying more and more to integrate them with the entire field of sensations. When I do this successfuly, it happens that these clinginess sensations arise, flow through the field, and fade away. 

If I try to break this clinginess appart and see what it is made of, I find a kind of strobing sensation, a on/off pulse which is most obvious for me in the center of the head. Paying attention to the strobes and letting them come in and flow away, lead me to progress. (One must pay attention without "touching" the strobes, which is difficult precisely because of the stickiness)

If I try to follow this clinginess to its source, I find that the "strobing" sensation is generated all the way down in the belly, below the dan-tien point. This strobing propagates very quickly throughout the energy channels, and gets amplified and maybe even replicated in the various chakra points.
I second Bruno's great advice in these first 2 paragraphs. I ty to get these to move to the background and if it fails I shift to focus on them and question if this is my aversion to suffering, which helps to make me sit through experiencing them. 

Hi Bruno! I use this feature of this point below the dan-tien to move the energies of rapture and I find that it detonates and 'explodes' the rapture to the whole body, accelearating jhana entry. Is this a good or bad practice?
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: Sensation of Heartbeat in Head

Posts: 3183 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
And then there is the good old medical question which the doctor in me can't help but wondering about: might you actually have something like a bruit (sound made by a flow problem in the vessels to your head) that might benefit from imaging, like a carotid doppler (ultrasound)? Not to pathologize anything, and it all might just be meditation stuff, but sometimes sounds like that actually mean something medical, and you might get that checked out.

David Blair, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: Sensation of Heartbeat in Head

Posts: 28 Join Date: 9/12/17 Recent Posts
I just started a daily practice about 2 weeks ago (the intent to just start with concentration) and I think I am experiencing something similar.  I really key into the adjective "throbbing" that you use.  This is very intense sensation that I could describe as a lurch (after my last sit I was thinking it was like a mental frog hopping front to back in my head) and seemed to have some visual flashes associated with each pulse.

The good news for me is that I don't find it disconcerting at this point, and moreover it seems optional.  Here's how this seems to work for me in the couple of sits where I've had it.  When the throbbing is going on and I lightly focus on my breath, the perception of the breath stops being solid/continuous and becomes discrete and synchronized with the pulse (sort of a pressure/flash/breath sequence)  By returning to my breath with a bit more intent I could re-solidify the breath and the throbbing goes away.  To be honest, I was kind of hoping this was my starting to get at the 3Cs.  Somehow, I fear this description won't be helpful for you since you're entire point seems to be that you can't get back on the breath like I am suggesting.  Sorry about that, but maybe you can get something out of considering how your breath is perceived during the maelstrom. 

One last thing, is that I'm not completely sure this synchronized with the heartbeat (that is what I thought initially too).  I read the chapter on stage 7 in TMI/Culdassa and he mentions that the beginning of discretized perception may seem to be an artifact of the heartbeat but suggests that you take your pulse during experience to check it out.  I did this in my last sit and sure enough the frequencies didn't really match.  Kinda cool and maybe another thing to try to make the experience less annoying for you?
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David Starflower, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: Sensation of Heartbeat in Head

Posts: 33 Join Date: 9/10/17 Recent Posts
Hi everyone,

I don't know if this applies to my experience, as I consider myself only in the earliest stages of meditation, but "focusing on the sensations around the nostrils" is often hard for me for the same reasons; the throbbing is just way more dominant than the breath sensations.

I am following TMI, but did a Goenka retreat recenlty, which is a lot about feeling bodily sensations. When oveserving my body, breath and heartbeat seem so "in the way" when feeling the body. After a while I realised that I was breathing very shallow to get around these gross sensations.

I will try and incorporate the tips given above. Thank you all

David

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