Message Boards Message Boards

Dharma Diagnostic Clinic, aka "What was that?"

"Spontaneous" head movements and more

Toggle
"Spontaneous" head movements and more
Answer
1/30/18 2:34 PM
Hello everyone,

I've been meditating for 2 years, and I think I've gained access concentration to an extent that allows me to focus mostly on the insight aspect of meditation making use of the ability to stay with objects and their impermanence.

I don't know if this is very normal or it'll look like a joke, but it's true and it happened last night.

By the way, I used to have a lot of tension in my mouth and jaw, which has been slowly dissolving into a more manageable tingling vibration over the months, probably through practice. Last night I was doing my meditation session when I started experiencing the usual sensations in the mouth and I did my business of using it as an object for contemplation, trying my best to focus on impermanence. The usual tingling then became little opening and closing movements of the jaw, which I focused on one by one. This had happened before, but it used to stop maybe after I lost concentration. But this time I stayed with it and it didn't stop. Then my head started rocking gently. As if I had been hypnotized (by no voice), my head kept moving back and forth, and then went back to the max, then forward until my chin was nearly leaning on my chest. Then it went back to normal, but bent to the left, completely, then right, then back, forward, then my mouth opens completely. This sequence was completed at least two or three times. I just stayed in the present without interrupting or forcing anything. Of course I say "my" for the sake of convention, but the movements had never felt as "alien".

I stayed calm and didn't interrupt this in part because I assumed that it would be OK if I just stayed mindful of what was happening, that it would stop. After a few times, these movements did stop, my eyes opened spontaneously and then everything from breathing to swallowing saliva became very spontaneous in the body, in such a way that the mind was like a visitor or witness whose job is only watching. It really felt similar to the relaxation and automatism experienced during self-hypnosis, but there was no voice giving orders.

I still think it might be some trick related to concentration (or lack of it) but I wonder if you can share any thoughts about it. Maybe I should try to stop it if something like this happens again? I don't think it's absorption, because I was fully alert and could listen to anything going on around. Something like depersonalization? I'm not sure.

Thank you in advance.

RE: "Spontaneous" head movements and more
Answer
1/31/18 3:05 AM as a reply to P A HP.
Welcome!

These are called kriyas and are normal until it isn't anymore - which is when you are feeling resistance towards it, which is worthy of investigation. Are you afraid and why? How does this lack of control feel like? No one can satisfy your questions other than you going along for the ride and finding out the answers. I can only say that it can only be worth your while to do so, and do so bravely. For the fruits can't be gained from shying away or building aversion for it, can it?

RE: "Spontaneous" head movements and more
Answer
2/1/18 8:31 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Yilun Ong:
Welcome!

These are called kriyas and are normal until it isn't anymore - which is when you are feeling resistance towards it, which is worthy of investigation. Are you afraid and why? How does this lack of control feel like? No one can satisfy your questions other than you going along for the ride and finding out the answers. I can only say that it can only be worth your while to do so, and do so bravely. For the fruits can't be gained from shying away or building aversion for it, can it?

Thank you for your answer! Fortunately, there was enough calm when this happened. And I think it can happen again, so I'll try not to develop aversion to it. But I was wondering if I was too lost, since my aim is to practice insight. Maybe it's a possible outcome in the process (?) Just that I had no idea.

Thanks again!

RE: "Spontaneous" head movements and more
Answer
2/1/18 9:25 AM as a reply to P A HP.
Keep going - that cannot go wrong and therein lies the answer! emoticon