Question about energetic activity while meditating

With great concentration comes… interesting phenomena.  I’m sure this isn’t common to all meditators, because many I’ve spoken to (most, actually) give me a kind of curious response when I bring it up, but it’s very common in my sitting and I have run into a few people who also have these experiences and I want to know more about it.

When sitting, and typically only once a steady concentration has been achieved, I can start to feel strange phenomena in my body.  The phenomena feels like it is body sensation, but unusual patterns of body sensation. I often feel pressures that seem to move parts of my anatomy, when in reality, no such motion is happening. Sometimes I feel sensations that suggest items are moving *through* me – under my skin, through my skull, or opening my ribcage, for instance.  Sometimes small and other times quite large. I have come to categorize these as something happening in my “energy body”, not knowing a better way to classify them.

The pressures move slowly, and aren’t painful, but they are exceedingly strange. If I open my eyes suddenly or move my body or otherwise lose concentration, often the sensations disappear completely.  I truly feel that if someone were looking at me during one of these events, they would see what I am feeling, but I know this isn’t the case.   For instance, I’ve had the feeling my jaw was opening very wide.. so wide that my head was tilted back at an extreme angle and my mouth was wide open. If I “peek” to see if I’m staring at the ceiling, I’m not.  I’m sitting in normal posture. The checking makes the sensation disappear.

I’ve had the sense that a hole had been created between my ribs in my back and that the hole was quite large, allowing for some sort of energetic exchange in my chest.. this happened at my most recent retreat and left me feeling as if my insides were spacious and light for about a week.  While I don’t think the person behind me would have actually seen a hole in my back.. I felt at the time as if they would have.. and certainly SOMETHING happened!

Other experiences include: extreme facial distortion, downward pressure on the nose, lifting sensations on my palette (in my mouth), large blocks (like a loaf of bread) moving through my chest (which happened on retreat just after my mother passed away), and other sensations often in my head (ie. my skull).

The only teacher to address this directly was Shinzen Young. He said the sensations were a form of Kriyas, an energy some cultivate in Yoga practice, and that the energies were “cleansing” my body/mind.  Hearing this was good, and helped avoid any fear that might arise during these events. I know that the first rule about anything that occurs during meditation is to treat it with kind attention and equanimity, don’t get attached to it or avoid it. I know that’s the basic instruction, but I feel some understanding may be helpful. I feel these occurrences are important to my practice because they show up when my practice is strong and they seem to “operate on me” while I’m on the cushion. In short, I want to know more.

Does this happen to others? Will anyone share?

Can any teachers shed light on these occurrences?  Is there a way to work with them (or just observe as stated above)?

Thank you to anyone who can shed some light on this.

97 thoughts on “Question about energetic activity while meditating

  1. I am familiar with everything in this post, the chest sensations came for the first time a month ago, so it is what I feel first when I am tapping into deep meditation, within the past couple of weeks for the first time I started experiencing the jaw sensation you mentioned, and the exact same way (feel like your leaning your head back but you weren’t) right before commenting in this post, glad to see others feel the same way I do when meditating and cool to know I have energy flowing now!

    • I feel like body starting to paralise…iy starts from the legs then moving to the whole body. When this type of paralised feeling rule the who body i could feel my soul in my forehead.

      • I too felt the same way and that too at the very beginning of the practice!
        Can anyone suggest, what’s the reason behind it? Am I following some wrong techniques?

        • Yes, i felt it right away, the first day i started, it was like a hanging down feeling that my upper head is falling forward, while i am sitting straight with the correct posture, and there’s a pressure, that’s the only thing that’s happened to me, and that’s also what’s making it difficult for me to keep carrying this on, as the pressure feels like turning into a headache and then i must discontinue.. Any suggestions or advice?

        • try what I call “the opposite of tensing” as you breathe in. It feels like a plane taking-off! and thats just the inhale – the exhale can be even more powerful and energetic, causing a huge pressure in your frontal lobes. Tell me what happens. We must understand this phenomena

    • I have been putting-off researching these phenomena until now, and, the first thing I hit is this. I COULDN’T HAVE SAID IT BETTER! My methodology for checking this stuff was if I somehow harmed myself with something as essential and gentle as meditation, or felt pain from what I have so far been calling Xi-Rushes (and I can command where in the body they manifest [I have been developing this phenomena for years. but its getting so strong now that I don’t understand why it NEVER hurts – no matter how much I resonate the lungs and, most importantly, solar-plexus-to-brain-skull-jaw and the nose is a big one {it’s like a huge line of coke just smacked you in the face and you can’t feel it}, I mean, the sensations are getting so strong that I feel as though I should stop, but it is almost certainly something I have learned to channel and control. Sometimes i feel like putting a petre-dish full of iron-filings on my forehead and telling people when and where I am moving the energy throughout my body. Does anyone know wtf is going on in my body? I have been a practising/non-practising Taoist since 14 – im 29 now, so almost 15 years every-day med. Any wisdom out there???

    • As said by Kundalini custom, there are seven distinctive kundalini chakras (energy center) situated along the spine as well as in the brain. The central energy center is not single symbolic ideas they are in fact certain energy drive within our body. Let’s have a look at these 7 Kundalini Chakras.

  2. Troy – Thanks for your comment. This is clearly a rare but distinct meditative experience that deserves some attention. I’m always happy to hear that there are others who understand this and have had similar experiences.

    It’s also great to get feedback via the blog – it’s a new creative channel for me and it helps me explore the practice in a different way. I’m happy you found it and honored that you shared your experience here, too. Come on back from time to time and feel free to add comments when something resonates!

      • I felt my body lifting, at first I panicked than relaxed and thought I was dreaming. I felt heavy shoulders, like someone put stones on them. I have seen colors. My last one was today hence I found this post. My tongue started to jump in my mouth. So much so that it’s so painful now! I wonder what this tongue business was all about?! Anyone? Maybe to let me know that I should be more silent?!

  3. My first experience was about three years ago when I was lying on my back on the sofa and started to slow things down. I crossed my hands and held them on my stomach and closed my eyes. After a moment the most weird thing started to happen. My eyes started to roll back and my mouth opened and (this might seem stange but here goes) I concentrated all of “me” or at least my brain into a single point and was able to tranfer that point into my crossed hands. It felt that some kind of passage opened, an believe it or not, I heard a voice saying “kill her”. I have a daughter who wasn’t with me tht evening and a girlfriend who I’m not with any more. Well, that was then. Now, many years later, today, a similar phenomenom happened. I was lying on the be on my back with my hands crossed. I actually was a little upset because I just earlier watched a movie about the universe being a simulation and started thinking about things and I asked for some knowledge and that I could see a little bit how everything works. Well, pretty similar things this time also, but some differences; my right eye started to move towards the middle and at the same time my eyes started to shut. I had had my mouth closed some time, so I noticed when it opened when I heard the litte sound when one’s mouth openes due to dry lips. Slowly my head started to go backwards again but then something violent happened. My mouth opened realle, really fast so that my jaw bones started hurting and my head was in a really unnormal position, way, way back. I opened my eyes, thinking I’d be somewhere else, but I was still in my room. There I was about 30 seconds or so and all the time I noticed some kind of gradual change (taking me into some kind of “mode”) but I just ha to stop the process. I was way to afraid of what was to happen next. After all, there are things we cannot control. This really freaked me out. If you want to, please send me e-mail

    • Same things happened to me…eyes rolling,some force pulling our head back,jaw movements,toungue moments,sometimes my legs and hands also started moving..but i felt its harmful…so i left meditation…but now i am very happy..from my experience i learned one point that meditation may beneficial or harmful no one can decide..based on own experience only we can realize

  4. http://www.kagyu.org/ktd/densal/archives/1802/mingyurprt3.php

    Here it is said NOT to let one’s head lean back and NOT to allow one’s mouth to open. To me it come automatically, I thought that trying to prevent it would get me distracted. Btw. I forgot everything about good/bad forces and thought about this purely about energi, and was able to go through the whole thing, and I got it on tape. It was pretty scary to watch, and it took longer than I remembered. I would be glad to share this with someone who has shared the same experience and is as amateur as I am. Send me e-mail and let’s share our experiences (even though probably nobody has them on tape 🙂 ) patrik1488@gmail.com

    • Patrik –

      Thanks for your comments. Your spontaneous experiences have some similarity to the ones I was describing, but I do have some responses I’d like to share. First, I’d like to say that I have no experience with “voices” coming to me beyond the normal stream of mental thoughts. When I have thoughts, and have the mindfulness to know them as thoughts, I like to acknowledge them and let them go. If the thoughts are scary or angry or full of desire, it may be useful to track the corresponding body sensations that arise around the thoughts as well. It sounds like the experience you had may or may not have fit into this category of mental thinking. If not, I’m entirely unqualified to address them.

      As for the link you provided regarding the advice against letting your head fall back and mouth open, as I read that it is referring to the physical body and not an experience of the energy body. They are literally talking about good posture with a straight spine – and keeping one’s head ‘level’ and not tilting it back. When I was discussing the experience of my head going back and mouth opening wide — that was an experience on the energy level, but did not seem to have a corresponding physical component (i.e. my head was level, but FELT as if it was extremely tilted). You also seem to suggest that you have VIDEO proof evidence of something occurring. I don’t know what to make of that. It suggests that the experience you’ve had is different that what I’ve experienced, but the possible experiences are unlimited — so your experience is no less valid than mine.

      I’d like to keep our communication within this forum. Please feel free to respond to this – or any other post. I’ll try to respond as well as quickly as I’m able. I haven’t found many other discussions of this type online – so I think it’s valuable for others who may be interested to be able to read all of our comments and see what resonates with them.

      Peace, Patrik.
      Dw

      • I don’t know if you’ll read this as your post is quite old, but I have had many of the sensations you are talking about, I feel the movement in my body and mind when ever I focus on it I can also see it, I see multi coloured wires of different thicknesses entwined, im pretty sure they’re connected to my chakras ( or mybe are my chakras) I’ve been experiencing this everyday since 2003.
        Kind regards Reuben

      • Dear Patrik, please contact me at teamalpal@gmail.com – I would really like to know what this phenomena is called, what it means, etcetera, because I have been developing the power and honing my ability to direct it for years and I am VERY curious as to what is going on in my energy-body or otherwise. Thanks for posting!!!!!!!!

        • Is there a community or group where we can find others like us?

          I too have been experiencing certain things during mediation. For example, when I was a 10 year old more or less, during fevers I would get this sensation as if everything was extra large, id feel pressure on my body, like if I was being squished but with no pain, just a gut sensation. Very close to when you have an upset stomach but no pain, just an emotion or feeling of pressure all over. After some searching the closest thing I found is called Alice and Wonderland Syndrome.

          Well recently during meditations, when they are deep and focused enough, I get into this state. I have started to try to control it and I feel the pressure lessens while still seeing/feeling the room different(larger). I have started to visualize that energy more and try to be it, and I felt as if I was part of the room, part of everything around me.

          The feeling is a bit uncomfortable but perhaps because its something out of the usual. I do question wether this state is a good or bad, id like to say good but would be amazing to find concrete data on this.

          • i have always felt different than everyone as a child. I was always quiet, observed & listened, connected with animals as I still do (I feel like I can actually understand them and communicate) around the age of 15 I started having dreams that would have images of wolves & soon after I started experiencing night terrors. These night terrors were horrifying because there will be a small demon man in the corner of the room & he gets closer if I stop trying to wake my unconscious body. Lately I’ve been feeling tingly all over & I became obsessed with the idea I was infested with parasites. I felt dirty & helpless. I have never felt so alone. I lost my mind mentally from it, my once calm mind became crazed. Filled with rage, I would lash out at those close to me. I wanted to kill my self. This wasn’t me, I got to my breaking point where I was in the hospital yet again with doctors basically laughing in my face that I need to seek counselling. That’s when I seen my deceased grandmother (who I was never very close with since I was too young when she passed. She had a very very rough life, has native ancestory, & very wise woman I wish I knew better) she brought me in touch with my spirituality, which I haven’t paid much attention to since I was a kid. I have been through many awful things experiences in my life, mainly revolving around bad people taking advantage of me & me letting them & not speaking up. I feel no one understands me & I even feel crazy sometimes. I have seen spirits before my grandmother, The first spirit I encountered was my other grandmother who reassured me things were okay. I also seen my husbands grandmothers mom although I didn’t know how to communicate with her. I have started meditating in an attempt just to clear my mind, I am tired of lashing out at the people closest to me. Always such a calm patient person, this person I am now scares me. Meditating has been an experience like none other. I have started to remember surpressed memories – I have recently started having the same dream I used to have when I was 4 or 5 years old. In this dream I am in a house with my older brother & sister who are playing & are unaware I am screaming for their attention because the man watching us is bad. And my mom and dad are not there & I am screaming this man is bad but no one hears. It has been very scary to learn through meditating that I was a victim of sexual abuse as a child. I believe I blocked it out because I didn’t quite understand what was happening. Anyways In this recent dream I am back to that house except as an adult & this man is holding me down. I can see above me the angels in a circle of light trying to get me to stand up & take control. I seen both my grandmothers but I couldn’t get up. He had me & the dream became sexual. He was having his way with me i front of them & worse, I was enjoying it. The next day I felt possessed. I didn’t smile all day. I ignored everyone & isolated myself in my bedroom. I have two kids 5 and 9 months & I wanted nothing to do with them. I felt after that dream that that man still had me. I have since done more meditation which has gotten more intense. I now get an intense vibration in the palms of my hands & especially my temples. I thought my temples were going to Errupt. My head kept moving this way and that way, my hands kept moving up so that my head and hands would touch together. This was all involuntarily. I kept trying to resist because I got scared and my heart started to race but my mind wouldn’t let me stop. My upper lip started to tingle, my eyes kept opening bigger and bigger, my brain was explanding. I seen a light. I was so scared I ended up just stopping & left to do something else but I started to bawl instead (I never cry, I never deal with my emotions or the heart break I’ve experienced in my life. I keep it all inside. Since the birth of my second son I have been unable to hold in my emotions.) the next morning I woke up feeling 10 pounds lighter. I could breathe into my chest. I had so much energy. My skin was breaking out though, & I was so sweaty the whole next day. My family is not spiritual at all but I have always felt connected somehow though I have always surpressed it. Instead caring more about looks and material items. I am so lost and confused. I am scared. What is happening to me? I am trying to work on getting in touch with my root chakra which is helping a lot. I am very much trapped in my head & I am trying to reconnect body & mind. But I am so scared & feeling so alone & crazy please respond. Please help.

          • Dear Kelli,
            I’m sorry you are suffering so deeply. I hope you are able to get the help that you need. It sounds like your exploration of meditation might best be done in the context of therapy, since the silence and stillness of meditation can open us up to psychic energies and it sounds like you have the potential for difficult mind states to arise spontaneously. I encourage your exploration of grounding. Yoga may be good in terms of reconnecting with the body. Sound meditation may also be more beneficial than seated breath meditation. Connecting with nature can also be good — going for a hike is very physical and can give us space to think without encouraging our minds to run wild. Thanks for sharing your story. I wish you well.

    • My eyes roll back and start fluttering to when I meditate and my throat feels as if some one is choking me and I can’t breath anymore I am still a begginer so im not that experienced but this is not a good sign right?

      • Tiananmen –

        Working with things as they come up and in skillful ways is part of the path. I wouldn’t take it as a good sign or bad sign, necessarily. That would be assigning some meaning to the experience and that may lead you in some direction or other or get you to abandon the practice without giving it a chance.

        The Buddha talked about suffering and freedom from suffering, and while some intense experiences can come up while sitting, it’s not meant to MAKE you suffer. Developing equanimity with unpleasant sensations is good, but especially at this early stage in your practice, it isn’t necessary to force yourself to endure anything — you’re just trying to slow down and pay attention to breathing (or whatever your focus is). You’re just trying to connect with the present moment – over and over.

        My suggestion is to meditate with your eyes open for a while. This is very common in Zen meditation and I think it will be useful for a few reasons. First, it will assure you that you are not being choked. You’re just sitting still by yourself. You’re just sitting on a cushion and paying attention. Sometimes if my sitting practice gets too intense in one way or another, I’ll open my eyes to get a sense of the room and ground myself in the reality of what is actually going on – sitting still. Second, it will let you know if your head is actually tilting — and let you bring it back to neutral if it does. If the tilting is just an illusion (as I’ve described) it won’t likely happen if your eyes are open.

        I find that when I open my eyes, I get a different sense of things and my imagination is a little quieter. It may take a little longer, but my concentration can still build if I just un-focus my eyes, keep them still and stay with my breath.

        Come back and let me know how that goes (if you decide to give it a try).

    • I had this happen last night.. uncontrollable opening of my jaw wide open during my meditation and a lot of energy movement in and around me, including my teeth.

      • Bianca,
        From the responses I’ve gotten on this site, this type of experience seems to be a common one among people who are having these energetic experiences. I’m going to be posting more about this. I have some new insight as to what these “energetic experiences” are. Check back with the blog and please stay in the conversation!

      • I thought I was the only one who had this experience and that I was doing it myself subconsciously. What happens to me is that every now and then while meditating, I feel my mouth slowly start to open. Sometimes it opens very wide and usually this is followed by sensations that that something like a tube is inserted into my mouth and energy flows through the tube, sometimes into my cheeks and sometimes into my teeth. Usually I know it is about to happen because I experience a quick short inhalation of air into my lungs. It happened today after I meditated on repairing my DNA and increasing my personal vibration. My experiences are not unpleasant, they are more like psychic dental work. I have experienced this more than ten times in the past couple of years.

        • Rhonda – Thank you for sharing your experiences. I hope you stay in touch with the blog and continue to share if these sensations continue to arise in your practice. I find it fascinating that so many people have had similar experiences and I think what your comment adds is that you were explicitly open to having some ‘work done’ on yourself… or seeking a vibrational change when this occurred. Isn’t it interesting that something so intense can happen and yet it’s not unpleasant? I also feel like I’m having some kind of adjustment in my energy body when these things occur. I’m going to be writing a post on Piti, which is an energetic experience and one of the Jhana factors. I hope you come back to read it!

        • Hi Ronda,

          I have had the same experience recently… On the mouth opening spontaneously… It felt like a force of energy in my mouth, causing it to slowly open wide.

          Prior, I have different kind of sensations such as body twitch, head being ‘pull’ back, body moving in all directions ( I sit in half lotus meditation posture) and having a feeling of weightlessness… Sometimes I see colored energy in mind’s eye, very rarely I hear or see vision, only few rare occasions…

          The mouth thing is very new ‘phenomeon’ to me, so I was searching for some answer when I chance upon this discussion.

        • I am new to meditation. I meditate lying down. I feel I am pretty good at not following thoughts but I just acknowledge that they are there and let them go, I have had a couple of things happen to me recently and wasn’t sure what to make of them. I can be very calm and present and nothing strange happens until i look up (with my eyes closed). I start to see colors swirling and a center point of light. my eyes start fluttering. My mouth is closed and I am breathing through my nose, then very slowly my mouth start to open, and it opens wider than you would normally open your mouth. It almost felt like someone else was opening it for me. Also 2 times after my mouth was open my tongue would raise to the roof of my mouth (which felt unnatural when I did that on purpose after meditation to see what it felt like). I start to feel a vibration starting at my feet traveling up my legs (never went high than my legs), I would then feel my legs start to tighten and my toes start to point downwards. I wasn’t sure if these movements were just in my mind or real, but I came out of meditiation and my legs released back and my mouth was open with my tongue on the roof of my mouth, which felt awkward. Just a side note, I had never read anything about this happening before this happened to me, so I don’t think I had a subconcious knowing of this kind of thing.

          • I think my experiences are way different and powerful than all of you discussed, but I did had all the similar experiences you had. The only thing no-one talk is holding the energy by one hand and walking around the room. The energy mostly exits from my right hand and pulls it upward and I get a very hard and strong sqeez in the process. In addition, after every meditation I feel scared and wanted to scream so load. Anyone experienced?

          • Nazari –

            If you are scared by the experiences you are having, you might consider talking to someone about it. Perhaps a teacher would be able to guide you. I’m not very clear about your experience of “walking around the room” with the energy squeezing your hand. Is this something that’s happening to you during meditation practice? Typically, I would trust whatever comes up and know that some kind of release is happening, but if there is fear involved, then it’s worth talking to a teacher. The process may be intense, but being scared could be a sign that you need to make some adjustments to your practice.

          • this is all good just relax allow it to happen, been going on with me for 21 years ….now all my body gets moved around energy moves through it etc,,,

  5. I have been meditating for a month, and I have experienced some of the feelings mentioned by many people here. But today when I was meditating I had an entirely different sensations through my body. When I started initially, I felt like an ant is moving over my skin of the right hand. I tried to find it out by touching, but I couldn’t. The feeling then disappeared. Then I had the same feeling on various parts of my body, like my right neck and left part of the face. Initially many times I tried to find out the ant it was so real. But every time I couldn’t find the aunt. Then as time passed I realized it is just the sensation and when it came again I just observed it. The feeling got really intense when I didn’t try to avoid it. When the same sensation occurred on my right part of the neck, it got so intense that my right neck got stuck. I felt that I can’t move it, it got locked completely. After some time the feeling disappeared and the same sensations started moving on my left part of the face like again an ant was travelling on my face and then it got intense similar to that happened to my neck and after some time it disappeared. It was really strange. Can anyone help me out here on this? has anyone had the same feeling and glad to share with me? I read all the comments above and it was helpful. Thank you for this blog.

    • Abhijit –

      Thanks for commenting. I understand the “phantom ant” sensation. I’ll give you my thoughts on it.

      First, and most important was that this is just another phenomena. It arose and passed away. You said yourself that you “realized it is just the sensation and when it came again I just observed it.” This is just what you want to do. Your other observation, that “after some time the feeling disappeared…”, is a direct experience of impermanence. It means you stuck with it long enough to learn something very important, and very directly through your own experience. All things that arise, pass.

      The sitting practice lets us feel things very precisely. Mindfulness, when it is strong, can magnify experiences and make them very intense — even tiny experiences like tingles on the skin or hair growing or whatever. Typically, we either ignore these sensations or we unconsciously rub our arm or brush our skin with our hand and the sensation goes away. In meditation, we allow these sensations to persist and we have enough awareness and focus to experience them quite vividly. This is very normal.

      The experience of the tingle, by itself is just another phenomena, as I mentioned, but looking more closely at what happened you’ll notice that the sense experience was followed by a perception; your mind created a story about the sensation: The Ant! Once the perception of the ant arose, it became the basis for a whole string of thoughts and images and even secondary sensations (the tight neck). Now you have a lot going on: the sensation, the perception, the bodily reaction and the mental fabrications!! See how quickly all of that happens? It’s hard to track it all in real time, but it’s helpful to reflect on it afterwards (now).

      Next time it happens, see if you can be “open to what is”. Simply feel the sensations. Be open to experiencing the phenomena as they are.. ant or no ant. Let it get intense. Let it arise and spread, let it change, let it be, let it subside. See if you can have equanimity with whatever experience arises. This is a very powerful practice. It will serve you well. If you are feeling particularly mindful and open, you can even return to your breathing meditation (or whatever meditation focus you were using) and let the “ant” be in the background. Focusing on something subtle while something intense is present is a very powerful practice, too.

      Try it out and let me know how it goes!

      • Welll said DW108. Everything that starts, stays for a time does its mischief and disappears. If you carefully observe without craving for that to repeat ( if the sensation is pleasant) and without aversion ( if the sensation is unpleasant), you are on the path of Dhamma that Siddharth Gautam taught 2500 yrs ago. It is that simple. Observe without craving or aversion. Your mind may get agitated and bring in extremely bad memories or extremely good memories from the old stock but if you stick to the basics, it WILL run out of fuel and you realize your Self.

  6. Hi,
    Thank you for sharing your experiences. I’ve done some extensive search on what I’m about to describe, but still not able to find an explanation. I’ve been meditating for a while now and have no problem “going really deep” in a few minutes. So the last time I meditated, I knew I went to a very deep state…then my husband opened the door of the room that I was meditating in just to observe me. I heard someone opening the door but suddenly started breathing short, rapid breaths followed by a pause and then continued. This scared my husband and he approached me to “wake” me from my state. Now, I could hear his gentle voice calling my name but could not respond…instead the short, rapid breathings continued. Then he proceeded to touch my hand to gently stroke it. That is when I felt like I was in a trance and could not maintain an erect spine while sitting on the chair. I was “drawn” towards his abdomen (as he was standing beside me with my left hand in his palms). I felt like his abdomen was a magnet strongly attracting my forehead. At times I lost control and consciousness (going in and out of consciousness) but strangely enough being FULLY AWARE of the entire event! This whole happening scared my husband and I and we still don’t know what really happened!

    • Gowri –

      Thank you for sharing your experience as well. I have a few thoughts and one possible resource for you, but first, I have to be clear that I’m not a certified teacher or professional in either meditation, or in a health related field, so take this as a friendly conversation with a fellow meditator.

      I’d be curious what kind of meditation you are doing. There are many kinds of meditation, of course, including various concentration practices (which can also be called ‘absorption’ practices, insight practices such as vipassana, visualization practices, mantra practices..and the list goes on and on. I know from your description that you were self-reporting a very “deep” state, a change in breathing, some loss of control, a loss of consciousness while maintaining awareness, a feeling of being pulled in a direction and later, some fear arising in connection with not knowing what happened. I can’t say I can give you a definitive label for what happened during that session and my guess is that if you asked 10 different teachers, you’d get 10 different answers.

      A skillful teacher would likely guide you according to the tradition they taught (and the tradition you were learning from them in seeking their council). A zen teacher, for instance, might see such an episode as irrelevant to the path of liberation and tell you to ignore it. A vipassana teacher might suggest doing a metta practice to bring ease to the fear that arose, or question you to see if these experiences happen regularly and really get into the details of the experience itself, noting that it is impermanent, not self and should be regarded as a passing phenomena. A tibetan teacher may harness the depth of your concentration and welcome the arising of an experience that seems to be somewhere between the typical waking experience and the liberation of the mind — an experience from the “sambhogakaya” layer of reality.

      From my perspective, the loss of control and arising of fear suggests that there is an imbalance in the practice. Concentration and mindfulness need to be balanced by appropriate energy, wisdom and loving-kindness. Meditation can produce strong experiences, as you know. Working with them skillfully is important. You may never really find a definitive explanation for what happened during your sit, but my hope is that you don’t let it de-rail your practice. I hope you use it as a springboard to seek out a teacher, explore various traditions, discover how you can balance your “deep” meditations with Metta (loving-kindness) practices, and stay open to the benefits your current practice has brought you.

      One teacher you may ask (who introduced me to the concept of Sambhogakaya) is Shinzen Young: http://shinzenyoung.blogspot.com
      You could read this and watch the embedded clip: http://www.bodhipaksa.com/archives/the-dark-side-of-meditation You could even try to contact Willoughby Britton, who’s studied strange phenomena in meditation.

      I hope this was helpful. I’d love it if you came back at some point to let me know how it’s going.

      • Dw, thank you very much for the feedback. You have truly provided me with insight. It looks like that was only a one-time experience. I have now gained control of my fear. Nowadays I get all my chakras activated in no time, when I sit to meditate. I also feel electric current-like sensations on my back that gets intense when I increase my focus/concentration. However, I cannot seem to get the current to rise from mooladhara to at least visuddhi. I guess it will take many years for one to be able to do that, right? Also, I seem to be doing spontaneous Kriyas that have significantly reduced. I am guessing that these Kriyas were important in unblocking some major channels.

        • Gowri –

          I’m glad my comment was useful, though given your reply, it is clear to me that you are working in a tradition I don’t know much about. I’ve read about the Chakras, but I haven’t done extensive work with them or any formal work with the Kriyas. I think I’ve spontaneously discovered the Kriyas though vipassana meditation as described in the post, but I am sure other traditions work with these energies more skillfully than I have!

          Be well, and check in on the blog from time to time. Feel free to jump in on the comments in other posts as well.

          – Dw

  7. I’ve had similar experience during meditation. I felt as if av went from the front of my head and was now at the back of my head like going straight through the head, then felt my head tilted as if looking at the ceiling, my whole body was vibrating and after a while I lost feeling in my head and was surrounded by purple colours with a small bright white light trying to burst through. I have also felt facial distortion only way I can describe it is my head/face felt like an upside down question mark (?) the only feeling I can describe is absolute bliss.

    • John,

      I appreciate you writing on this topic. It is clear that you’ve had some experiences that are in the same category as I and others posting here have had. I like that you end your comment with “absolute bliss” after describing the twisting and contorted body parts and energies arising in your experience. I’ve just come across another talk that *might* help label these experiences in a new way. If you are so inclined, please listen to this talk (and possibly the one that follows it in the series) and let me know what you think: http://dharmaseed.org/teacher/96/talk/1968/

      Thanks again for reading and posting.

      Be well,
      Dave

  8. I found this post after searching for what seems like hours for some information on this topic. I’ve been meditating (nothing formal, just quiet sitting and letting my mind go blank) for about 1.5 yrs. I spend at least an hour sitting quietly each evening before bed. I find it to be one of the greatest catalyst for personal change and growth. I have been ‘releasing’ pain for the same amount of time in hands on healing sessions with a practitioner and have been preparing for ‘something’ to be remembered, based on my particular patterns of behavior, avoidance, fear and distrust.
    For the past 2 nights I have experienced a deep meditative state where a physical process begins. My throat becomes painfully enlarged and constricted at the same time, my eyes water continuously, there is a ‘roaring’ in my head and I feel panic and dread at a very dissociated level. I am aware of all of these feelings and watching them curiously, but there is no emotional connection. At the peak of these feelings I can no longer hold onto my meditation and I suddenly ‘resurface’, coughing violently, maybe 10-12 times. I also have the taste of vomit in my mouth, although there is no vomiting.
    I strongly believe I am re-experiencing something physical that I did not have the ability to understand or process, possibly as a very small child. It really doesn’t matter to me what it is about, only that it is being physically released. The feelings of relief at the release are tempered by feelings of panic and loss of control. I feel like this is a process, but I am largely alone in it. I am going by intuition, but I would love any insight into this situation. I realize this is an old post, but it’s the only one that seemed relevant to what I was searching for.
    I should maybe mention that I have begun to understand the intuitive gifts I have been given, and my desire to use them to help others is what fuels my interest in pursuing my own emotional clarity, so that I may be of best use to anyone else. Thank you for any insight you are able to provide. 🙂

    • Gerri –

      Thanks for coming by the site and for posting on this thread. I never imagined so many people would have had so many different energy-body experiences when I first wrote this post. I imagine you’ve had a chance to read through the other comments and replies, so you’ve probably got a pretty good idea of my perspective on these events — I like to treat them as any other phenomena, with careful attention and equanimity, watching them arise, persist and cease. It’s my understanding that if we can be with all phenomena in this way, seeing it’s impermanent and impersonal nature, then we can abide independently from the phenomena without getting entangled in it. It sounds like you are also seeing this experience in terms of shedding something specific from your past. I don’t have a lot of experience in this area – specifically using meditative states to release physical or emotional trauma from the past — but it may not be too different than the function of insight meditation in general in the sense that we are freeing ourselves through this application of mindfulness and equanimity.

      I’d suggest that you seek out other teachers who might be more familiar with energy body cleansing. The two things that make me concerned or reluctant to give you more direct feedback are: (1) your use of the word ‘painful’ and (2) the actual coughing and constriction of the throat. In my book, meditation can take you to some interesting places, but you should always feel safe and free from harm in the process. If you don’t, then seeking a teacher, changing your meditation object or simply backing off a bit may be in order. I’ll let you be the judge of that.

      One teacher you might like is Shinzen Young. He leads vipassana retreats, has a blog and is very interested and knowledgeable about energetic experiences. Look him up. It may lead you to furthering your practice or finding new parts of your path. Come back from time to time… I really do thank you for your comment.

      • I’m not sure if I have the same case, but i felt very strong energy round my throat & shoulder whenver my breath is strong ( breath from belly). But when I slow downt he breath, the energy is reduced. So may be it has something to do with the way we breath…

  9. Lets not allow this comment section to wither and die. 🙂
    On a more serious note, I came here searching for answer related to a similar phenomena. For some time now I am searching for it and could not find “decent” place to talk about it. There is too much gibberish, imagination, religious dogma etc connected to these things on our WWW.
    When I started meditating (Sadhguru’s Isha Kriya) I initially had a sense that my mouth is twitching in indescribable ways. Nothing “fantastic” as some of people here described but definitely fascinating. Twitching and twirling so much that I had to raise my hand a few times to check whats happening. My mouth was perfectly relaxed and closed. I definitely could not move my mouth in such ways even if I wanted to, there simply are no muscles for most of those movements. Ok, I thought, its interesting. Ill observe it. Through time, that violent (neither painful nor pleasant) twitching kinda spread through most of my face, also spreading/lowering its “volatility”. So i started feeling lower intensity movements around my mouth, cheeks near nose, nose, upper, boney area of nose and lower forehead. Its like a wavy, tension/magnetic set of movements. Sometimes it moves in relation to my breath, but not always. It also knows to envelop my whole skull like a set of gentle rubber-bands. It feels as if my skull is changing shape, like a gently pressed balloon.
    All of that is less interesting for this discussion as people already described similar things. But I had to write it. Now, whats more interesting is that I no longer have to be in formal meditation to “summon” that feeling. It needs just a bit of stillness and feeling sensations of breath for a short time and it arises. Eyes open, walking, riding a bus, reading, browsing etc. Any non-demanding “activity”. Sometimes, I can feel it while talking to people but thats quite rare. Has anyone experienced anything similar? Does anyone know of a resource which deals openly/soberly/possibly scientifically with similar phenomena without trendy/mystical BS which is all over the place?
    Thanks a bunch!

    • Marko –

      Thanks for writing. Your experiences seem very in line with my own. I just posted something completely different that might be interesting to you because it is all about tension in the head. You’ll have to be the judge (and you can let me know) if Bhante Vimalaramsi’s notion that craving is experienced as tension and can be “let go” by including a “relax step” within one’s meditation strategy is at all related to the energetic feeling of tension and tightness (or rubber bands in your head as you mention above). Read this and listen to the talk. Come back and let me know what you think: http://pranna.com/blog/2014/04/bhante-vimalaramsi-the-relax-step/

      Peace, Dave

  10. Hi

    I really found this forum interesting and helpful as a new comer in the meditation school.

    I have had different experiences with meditation. I have been doing this irregularly for couple of years but have only tapped into it with sincerity just recently.

    Initially I used to feel quite emotional and sometimes, tear would start trickling down my eyes but it always lasted a blissful feeling. After some time, I started feeling quite joyous and happy. So now recently, I get vibrational tingles or chills all the time even if I am talking abt it to someone or just thinking abt it, I will get them as Im getting them even writing this. But recently my sleeping pattern has been completely distorted. Usually I sleep like a baby, within 5 secs but now, Im always tossing in the bed for hours and getting lucid dreams all the time. I have to say I dream every single night and before, it used to be once in the blue moon. Today in my dream someone said to me that I will receive 3 letters but none for me, then in the morning received 3 letters. Anyway, back to meditation symptoms, I have had this a few times now. My eyes start fluttering, head starts tilting usually backwards, mouth is opened and I start breathing from my mouth feeling as if Im meant to do it. Sometimes if I pay attention to it and bring my head back to the front, after a few breathing exercise it brings it backwards again. So today I let it past and in the end, it felt like it cleansed my energy when my mouth was opened. Then it brought my head backwards and huge rush of tingling vibration raised from my toe to head. Dont know what it was or how to react, but I was curious and wanted to know if anyone had the same experience or has some comments for me.

    Thanks 🙂

    • Shiv, I won’t claim to be an expert here, but this post and others have drawn a lot of comments like yours. Clearly people are experiencing powerful energetic phenomena while sitting — many of which seem to involve the head movements you describe, which is fascinating! My understanding of these phenomena used to be limited to calling them “energetic body phenomena” or using the term Kriya, which Shinzen Young suggested when I brought this up to him. Now, I’ve begun to understand these kinds of phenomena as being related to “rapture”. Rapture is actually a term used in the Satipathana Sutta and it can point to a fairly broad category of experience. It is actually one of the factors of enlightenment, which are: Mindfulness, Investigation, Energy, Rapture, Calm, Concentration and Equanimity. I’d suggest downloading and listening to these two talks by Joseph Goldstein: http://dharmaseed.org/teacher/96/talk/1968/ and http://dharmaseed.org/teacher/96/talk/1969/ and then, of course listening to the entire series, which is amazing. Let me know if this helps you out! Peace, Dave

  11. I meditated for the first time a few weeks ago. I have always been a dreamer and have sunk into states of deep concentration previously, just while sitting or relaxing on my own, but had never before consciously attempted meditation.

    Initially I felt nothing, but after several minutes I began feeling a rising current throughout my legs and lower abdomen. Suddenly, a single tooth on the right side of my jaw (the tooth behind the canine) began to feel as if it were being pulled upwards with great force. It was not painful but certainly unnerving.

    I have a tendency to grind my jaw while I sleep and initially believed that I was simply clenching my teeth but when I attempted to relax my lower jaw I realized it was already relaxed, hanging just out of contact with my upper jaw. This lapse in concentration did cause the feeling to subside but it quickly returned when I resumed concentration.

    Soon, the sensation spread throughout my upper jaw, one tooth at a time, until it felt as if all of my upper teeth were being used to lift my weight. I did not feel as if my head were leaning back, or that my mouth was open, as others have described.

    My friend who meditates regularly and was actually who encouraged me to try looked at me with curiosity and even disbelief when I described the events, which is understandable as he had never experienced anything like this and I was a first time meditator.

    Do you perhaps have any insight to my experience? I have not meditated since, not out of fear but simply because the event was a one-off while I was hanging with my friend. I plan to continue but I feel I would like some inkling as to what I was experiencing and how it is relevant.

    • Colin,

      The responses to this post have been surprising, but I’m so happy to confirm for myself and others that these experiences do arise for some people when they sit. As I mentioned, these things tend to happen more when I’m concentrated… in a retreat setting, for instance. This is why it is fascinating for me that you had such an experience in your first sitting.

      I’m not surprised that your friend was surprised, either. He may or may not have any experience at all with energetic activity such as this, even if he’s quite experienced with meditation himself. That’s ok.

      You should also not be too caught up in the experience, either. Don’t make any attempt to reproduce it. Don’t define yourself or meditation by it. Make sure you keep an open mind and keep practicing. There is a lot to learn, a lot to experience, and the subtle aspects of meditation can take time to understand and incorporate into your life, your actions, your view of self and selflessness, etc. The best advice is probably just to acknowledge the experience you had and let it go. Don’t label it as “special” or think that you did something wrong (or that you’re an extraordinary meditator because this happened to you). Any ideas that get ‘fixed’ in your mind will eventually have to be let go of. This is especially true when it comes to ideas about yourself. Suzuki Roshi talked about ‘beginner’s mind’ as being better than an expert’s mind because it held so much possibility and wasn’t “fixed” or solid. Keep your beginner’s mind by not drawing any conclusions at such an early stage of practice.

      Remember that liberation from suffering is the point of the Buddha’s path — not specific experiences or states of mind. This experience may serve you well if it simply shows you experientially that there is more going on in the body-mind-awareness complex than meets the eye! Stay curious. Learn from others. Read. Sit. Breathe. Open your heart. Do retreats. Etc. Etc…

      I do appreciate your question and welcome you back anytime to ask more or report on your progress!!

      Peace,
      Dave

      • Thanks for the insight, Dave. I had been thinking quite alot about it, so I’m glad to have found this blog and heard your opinion before attempting to meditate again–I would have undoubtedly become “fixated” to some degree on the event had I not heard your words first.

        I will acknowledge and let go to the best of my abilities, but I can’t lie and say I’m not excited for what meditation could hold for me…you are right in saying that there really is more than meets the eye, and I’m glad my first experience revealed this to me.

        Cheers,
        Colin

    • Tori-
      I’m so sorry it took so long to approve your comment and reply. I haven’t been blogging lately. I’ll say more in a future post. I’d love to hear more about what you are calling “visual snow”. I imagine you’re talking about the “noise” that your visual sense perceives when your eyes are closed. This is very normal. In fact, it happens when your eyes are open, too, but you don’t seem to see it because the other visual imagery is so strong — so you overlook the noise. I think this comes up for people in meditation because the mind is becoming less distracted by it’s own chatter.. it’s settling down some and certain phenomena is noticed where it is usually overlooked. Once it is noticed, the mind can start to cling to it as an object– making up stories about it, asking questions, giving it significance, whatever. Any of the mind’s patterns can come into play there. I’d recommend simply noting this as “seeing” (it’s just the eye’s physiology–the nerves, the blood vessels, the rods and cones). Note it as seeing and bring your attention back to your object of meditation. I hope that helps.. and let me know if your “visual snow” is something other than the “white noise” I’m taking it to be.

  12. Thank you all for sharing. Today for the first time, I experienced the bright white lights that felt like lightening, eyes rapidly fluttering and short sharp inhalation and exhalation.
    I did not know what to make of it, and was not in control. i i heard a voice also say to me that all will come true, do not be afraid! I felt very calm and felt like i had a most amazing blessing.

    i did not see others posting about hearing voices during their experiences and I am interested if any one has any insight?

  13. I’m new to meditation. This was my 3rd arrempt meditating and lasted 45 min today. I experienced strange sensations while sitting up. During about midway through I wanted to readjust my posture so I did and noticed my hands felt small, wet and cold. My left leg had gone numb. The oddest of all was the sudden urge to open my mouth and tilt my head back (which I did). Idk if I was looking at the ceiling because I chose to keep my eyes closed. It felt odd but not uncomfortable. Im normally a jaw clencher so the release was good. Also felt dry sensation in my front teeth like they were exposed to air a long time, dry mouth, and throat. Idk if I should try to keep posture or allow my body to do what it wants. The last time I meditated I had none of this, only good vibrations and a feeling of high energy and peace after 9 min. Any info would be helpful.

    • Jackie –

      I’m amazed by how much the open jaw sensation arises for people and how many have commented here on the site about it. My advice is to keep sitting. This may happen again, and it may not. Don’t give it too much importance. You can consider it a release of some kind of tension or energy if you’d like, but don’t fixate too much on it. If possible, let it be and come back to your object of meditation (be that the breath, or whole body sensation, or hearing, or whatever else you set as an intention). I find that if I have strong energetics, but ‘leave them be’ and bring my attention back to my breath, then the sensations calm a bit and there’s a balance between the energy and the building concentration. This balance is far preferable to focusing directly on the intense energetic sensation (which generally causes it to build and build, but doesn’t seem to lead anywhere). If you are new and this is happening, then you probably have a natural tendency towards concentration. You might be interested in Samadhi meditation, (and look for the term “piti”, which is how I currently understand this kind of experience) but know that it’s a good idea to balance concentration with Vipassana. Samadhi may take you into some interesting places, but the insights gained through Vipassana (seeing impermanence, dukkha, and no-self in all experience) are the ones that will set you free. Good luck and feel free to check back in anytime. Much Metta. Dave

  14. I’ve had strang feelings in my body but recently, I was meditating, and I felt a hugged amount of energy in my body flowing in all directions. I then Hurd electric sounds in my head an saw a purple orb with lighting in it. I snapped out of it an only felt my body sensation but I felt really good like my whole body have healed an I could breath normally witch is weird since I was under a blanket laying down. It was hard to breath untel after that point. What does this mean

    • Isaac,

      I’m not familiar with meditating while lying under a blanket wouldn’t actually recommend it as a form of practice (especially if it made it hard to breathe!). I hear that you had some interesting experiences there, but I’m less familiar with the electric sounds and the purple orb… so I’m afraid I’m not able to assign a meaning to that experience (or any experience). I’d just recommend meditating with a straight back, in an upright position if possible and trying to keep things simple. If energetic experiences happen again under those circumstances — write back and we can discuss it.

  15. I am a beginner – 2 months in meditation.
    I am doing about 1 hr meditation everyday along with kriya yoga. few days ago I experienced something ecstatic and i believe that was samadhi.
    My concern is when I sit down for meditation and when the energy starts rising, my body sways towards right side only and i have to bring it back to center to avoid falling towards right. The force is so much that if i leave myself relaxed the body will fall on right. It starts with the head panning towards right and then the lower jaw starts stretching towards right side and then the shoulders and then torso. Then I pull myself back to center. This disturbs meditation.

    What am I doing wrong? Is it normal? Will these movements go away?

    • Dear Hunt212,

      I don’t think there is a “wrong” in meditation – we are all learning as we go and experimenting and making corrections.

      When you experience the sensations in your right side – or the pulling to the right side – see if you can relax the whole body. Take a wider view of the whole body and really relax all the parts. Don’t necessarily focus on the pulling sensation. See if you can keep your attention on the object of meditation and let this pulling be ‘in the background’ and see if it subsides at all. You could also try opening your eyes some and see if that either “breaks it” or if you still notice the pulling sensation but are, in fact, still perfectly upright.

      You are likely right that the stronger experiences are related to increased concentration (samadhi), but don’t try to define it too soon. Let it be what it is and continue on. Be sure to always evaluate your experience in terms of an increased sense of well being and compassion — not whether you are “getting into x,y,z states”. Knowing about the states and using them as guideposts can be handy, but ultimately, it’s the development of wisdom and insight that’s going to set you free.

  16. What I have when I relax, am quiet, practice yoga, but especially when I meditate is movements, in the neck, in my head and it feels like in my brain. Sometimes I hear a ticking sound as I move. The movement is very subtle, but it feels more intense. I have been meditating on and off for years and it seems a natural way of adjusting my body/ the energy body… My breath also changes according to these unvoluntary movements. I practice vipassana meditation and early morning, like 4am brings the most intense symptoms

  17. Hi there,

    Wish all the readers love and peace. I’m a new visitor here and this is very interesting topic. I would like to add few things here and share my experience regarding meditation and energetic activity. Little did I know, it was QUITE tough..for me at least. Tough because I didn’t know what to expect when I first started meditation.

    For years, I was skeptical meditation (though I’m from the SE Asia). One might say, I should familiar with meditation and yoga and yes, I agree but I was not familiar with the “out of this world experience” from meditation until I myself tried it and experienced those signs. Some are good but some are.. I would not call it “bad” but was just not “pleasant”. Tingling sensation, “ants” crawling, foot cramp, head pressure, headache, pimples, emotional outburst, bright white light, shadow, strange entity, and etc,. I could handle that. For me, the worst part was, I was MENTALLY disconnected! Disconnected with the people around me including my family, my friends, my partner and the worst of all – LIFE! I felt so alone, isolated, lethargic and ultra mellow. I had a hard time to relate my day-to-day activities, had a short-term memory lost and lack of concentration like never before. I LOST me!

    For weeks, I was confused to a point it almost cost me my relationship. I was ALL OVER the place. I became quiet, down and anti -social but at the same time my body felt “light” and calm. My partner was the first person who noticed this (of course! lol) and I begged him to give me a chance and time. I personally tried to answer the question that I wasn’t sure of. I was searching… inside! One morning, I just had enough and decided to see a “guru” at the Hindu Temple nearby. He gave me this one simple advice- DO NOT BE HARD ON YOURSELF! He said, I was experiencing … “KUNDALINI Awakening”. Coiled three and a half times around the first chakra. Sorry, come again?! I lost for words.

    He told me to remain calm because my Kundalini was arising (Kundalini energy rests like a coiled serpent at the base of the spine. When this dormant energy flows freely upward through the seven chakras (energy centers) and leads to an expanded state). It is like a surge of electricity. He suggested to me to cut my meditation from 60 minutes to 30 minutes a day. The good news is, those emotions would pass. And drink a lot of water”, he smiled. “Take things easy, trust the guiding light and change your thinking pattern”, he added. Our meeting was very brief. I call it ,”The Magic of 30-Minute Meeting”.

    Try to remain positive if you reach this stage. Take it one day at a time and try not over-analyzing things. What you feel, what you see, what color and light appear during meditation ..it DOES NOT matter. It is between you and your 7 chakras. Give your emotion a chance and trust the vibration. Last week, I had my usual morning coffee on my balcony. I could strongly feel the “warmth” from the sun for the first time ever in my life. It felt intensely beautiful and pleasant. It felt REAL! Almost surreal. I begin to realize that people are drawn to me even more. People are more friendly and warm. I look at kids as if they are mine. I feel I have so much love to give It is difficult to explain. Strangers asked me for directions, neighbors sent me cookies, and friends keep buying me lunch. I have never felt so calm, confident, collected and articulate in my life.

    The point I’m trying to make here is, there is NO time frame, standard manual or even a shortcut. You must allow your mind, body and soul to experience this spiritual cleansing. You just like me, on a JOURNEY. Go for it and please clear your mind, open your heart and trust the Universal energy. When you TRUST better, you FEEL better!

    Good luck.

    • Hi there.just read your experience in meditation and its after giving me reassurance at a time when I badly need it.lately I’ve developed a fear whilst meditating as the energy I feel mostly in my throat,mouth and inner temple is becoming really intense.I’ve been seeing vague green and purple light and bright white light flickering around the room which I find really fearful as I don’t understand where this light is coming from.I’ve never been religious so this kind of experience has my mind doing overtime to find an answer to what’s happening to me.maybe I need to just trust my experience like you said and leave the energy sort itself out.thanks again.

  18. hi, I experience flow of energy starting from brain then to spine and neck while meditating or when I focus on something. I want to know why’s that please do reply..

  19. Have you ever seen the water vapor produced by an e-ciggerate swish around inside of a cup? The sensation feels somewhat similar to that, at least to me as I’m sure other things influence the flow/feel of this energy. Intellectual/emotional/moving centers perhaps.

    I’ve had it constantly as of late but it intensifies dramatically during meditation in which the sensation condeses at the top of my head/forehead and my nasal passages feel as if they’re being subjected to intense pressure that instantaneously clears my airways, which is highly noticeable considering my left nostril has always felt restricted. (no doubt symbolic of something, hah)

    I’ve had some very interesting experiences with this energy.

    • Matthew,

      That’s an interesting description. It’s clear you are experiencing phenomena similar to others who’ve come to the site. I’m amazed by how many responses there have been to this post. It’s worthy of more study!

  20. New to Meditation , maybe 4 self 20min sessions complete lying on my bed in total darkness .
    I listen to alpha waves and sounds from the sea on an App .

    I get a big smile to start woth after maybe 8mins in
    My head moves to the right onto my pillow
    My arms lift up and float
    My chest can completely deflate on exhalation , like it sags in
    I can sit upright and exhale for what seems like ages , maybe 30secs

    I have gone to an energy healer in the past and had similar sensations and movements .
    I feel fantastic after this but just curious on my experiences , is it normal for this to happen during meditation ?
    Have i any extra powers that are making me do this ?

    Please help as i want to make sure i am doing everything correct and it’s not harmful

    thanks
    x

  21. Hello DW!
    Thank you for being so diligent and invested in this blog. You have allowed people to share and muse and question and be comforted in a safe online presence since 2012.
    I am heartened to see so many seekers and journeyers of Spirit.
    Truly, our Earth is Awakening and Ascending.

    For you and others who come to read and comment:
    Allow me to briefly tell of my meditation experiences, resulting through trial and error, what works and what doesnt work for me as we are all different and will have different, and yet vaguely similar experiences. Also, forgive me for the ongoing use of the word “I”. But is there perhaps a different way to express and describe personal thoughts and ideas?
    *I begin with four cleansing breaths. This relaxes and calms my mind and body. Any given day, based on what my body is telling me, I will use a variety of breathing techniques.
    *Each day, I practice a type of Organ Breathing to energize and heal my inner body. Each organ emits and responds to certain sounds and breathing.
    *I discovered that by bringing in spritual energy of some sort before I go into deep meditation, i am no longer fearful of what manifests physically, metally, or emotionally. Connecting with Spirit at the beginning offers a peaceful protection from unsavory and unwanted energies that may wish to intrude while I am entering meditation, during meditation, and coming out of meditation.
    *I continue with gentle and even breathing, and scanning my body for areas that may need attention and healing. I bless my body, mind and emotions.
    *I center myself through calling in the Directional Energies.
    *I bless and offer thanks to my Higher Self.
    *I offer prayers for family and friends, and send out loving and healing energies to them. I expand my blessings to my community and the world.
    *When I first began meditating, i would often fall asleep. But it was indeed a sweet restful sleep.
    *I practice Mindfulness as I learned from Deepak Chopra.
    *I learned over the years to be gentle with myself and my meditation experience.
    *I began to understand that meditation, as is life, is a journey. A process of finding what is right for myself. As each of you will discover as you comtinue with yiour practice.
    *During meditation, i have experienced tremblings, shudderings, swaying, rocking, tinglings, surges, inner sounds of soft popping and rushing, I have heard voices, hummings, my name called, whisperings. I have seen visions, colors of purple, gold and bright shining white, epiphanies; and other phenomena that I don’t remember right now.
    *Toward the end of my meditations I experience a momentary cessation of breathing, a profound peace, swirling colors of energy, and lightness in physicality.
    Sometimes, I wish to not come out of meditation but feel i could stay there forever.

    Forgive me if my comment seems overlong, but i would like to address in general how I perceive the main theme of most comments.
    It seems most people are fearful on some level and these subconscious fears are manifested in their meditation results. Would you agree?
    We all are seeking to live in Peace with ourselves.
    In America, and perhaps in other countries and cultures throughout the world, we are not taught to trust ourselves, our thoughts, our fears, our dreams and desires.
    Our personalities are created by our peers, celebrities, movies, television, magazines, Facebook, and all the other social media, all of this telling us how we should act, how we should think, how we should Be.
    The whisper of our own Soul, our own Voice, is shouted down until we find ourselves submissive to the control of society.
    My journey into meditation and Spirit began in the mid 1970’s, long before many of the people commenting on this blog were born, after waking up from a night on a self pity Vodka binge.
    I too, was struggling at the time with finding “who I really Am.”
    Long story short, in 1976 I began meditating, after having received a Vision, and from that time onward the continuning Presence of Spiritual Guides.
    At this moment in life, I desire to practice what the ancestors would call ‘walking meditation.’
    Over the course of the years from then to now, I have experienced much the same physical, mental,and emotional occurences mentioned in the previous comments.
    My understanding of meditation and connection with Soul, or Spirit, has been enhanced through studying and embracing various types of the Yoga traditions; Paramahansa Yogananda; Native American Cosmology; ancient Britain and Celtic tradition; Wicca, the Hindi, Christian, Muslim, and Hebrew faiths; and at present the Goddess tradition. It is truly an eclectic practice.
    I also feel that one may never understand fully in this lifetime the path to Our Higher Selves/God. But this too is part of our exciting journey to Enlightenment.
    It is most unfortunate that the mention of God/Higher Power has become so distasteful or taboo or uncool a word, and thought, in our society.
    For we are Divine Beings in Essence.
    Pierre Teilhard de Chardin wrote many, many years ago, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
    May many blessings come to each of you in abundance!
    willowwings

    • WillowWings,

      Thank you for your contribution. It’s lovely to hear about your practice and your belief that we’re evolving spiritually as a species. I truly hope you are correct.

      Be well, friend.

  22. Greetings all. I had the head tilt / jaw open happen several times, at about the moment when I felt being pulled out of body . As a neurologist, I got scared, since this seemed reminiscent of the onset of a generalized seizure.

    • So noted. I don’t share the fear of meditative energy being a sign of a seizure, though, because I’ve been through it so many times and I’ve only come out of it with a positive orientation overall. I like to think of it as a release or cleansing. Maybe we perceive it differently given our different trainings.

      Be well.

  23. I have a sensation of forced air going onto my semi open mouth or both my nose and mouth. Its lije a blast. I also even after meditation is over, throughout the course of the day, feel movement within me. Jerking or just lije another me moving under the first me.

  24. Friends,

    This seems a platform full of energy experiences & I, too, have some of mine somewhat similar to all of yours.
    DWs advice to all of you is accurate to look forward for a guru or master to head on in right direction. Just to share some insights, Eventual aim of yoga is to get through the layers of body & transcend into ultimate. All your experiences during practices is of 3rd body ‘Energy body’ or in Yoga “Pranmaykosh”. Since YOGA is an ancient SCIENCE, you be careful while practicing anything pertaining to kriyas. It’s a science & follows methodology. If you urge to understand this science & imbibe it, better take a scientist (Guru) along with you.
    Just for your awareness, Deeper meditative state leaves your body energies feeble/Extreme, depending on the pitch & intensity of practice. In such states there is a chance you might slip out of the body permanently unknowingly. Take shelter of the guidance of a spiritual master.
    I did have few experience that left me bewildered initially yet resolved when master stepped in. You can look forward for Sadhguru. Simple practices like Isha Kriya, Attention to breathe, etc. can be good.

  25. I’ve been meditating for the last four years and I have noticed the energy inside my body, mainly my head get stronger and stronger in that time.as I go deeper into meditation I pin point the energy inside my head and it becomes so strong I start to see green and red balls of light in front of me and sometimes even with my eyes open I see white laser type light flashing in front on my face.it very confusing for me to grasp what this is or means.

    • Brian,

      There are some experiences that can happen in concentration meditation that involve seeing light. You might be interested in looking up literature or seeking out teachers who are familiar with the Jhanas. Look up the term and see what you can find. Typically, people don’t have these experiences very early in the meditation process, but four years (and your past karma) may be enough that you’re having these experiences. I wish you the best. Accept a little bit of confusion, as in “confusion feels like this” and welcome it. It’s all a mystery after all : )

  26. I have for some years now had both buzzing, tingling and humming in my whole body initiated by meditation after I had a meditation empowerment from a Tibetan monk. Initially it felt like pressure and was only there when meditating, a few months in it started to happen between meditation sessions ( I meditate every day). Now the pressure has eased and there is like an electric current running through my body 24/7, sometimes lighter, sometimes stronger.
    Also the corner of my mouth wants to tilt upwards in meditation, like a half smile, but mainly only on one side, my right. I haven’t met anybody with these experiences, only read about similar things. I’m not quite sure what it is I’m going through. I’ve meditated for many years before this happened, it always left me calm but never anything like this.

    • Ann,

      I’ve found that these experiences come and go somewhat during practice. One thing I learned while attending a concentration retreat was that energy is one of the factors of concentration – it’s one of five factors that ought to be balanced, not accentuated at the expense of the others. Look up the 5 Jhana factors. Once I understood the balance concept, I focused less attention on the energy experiences when they arose. I simply acknowledge them now, but let them be in the background. They tend not to get so intense without additional attention. If I do pay strong attention to them, they grow (sometimes wildly) but then I’m “out of balance”. Play with this!

  27. During meditation… I have usually heard that the breathe becomes fainter and slower… But in my case.. My breathe patters become uncontrollably rapid . I did some research on internet and i got to know that this happens due to my body adjusting the oxygen levels through fast breathing… i slip into diaphragmatic breathing itself.
    Nd after an intensely fast pace of breathing for about 20 mins,
    Breathe pattern comes back to normal.
    But today, i those tingling sensations exceeded.
    And my mouth started to fall wide open with my head tilting backwards . I got scared and dropped meditating.
    Does diaphragmatic breathing leads to kundalini awakening ??
    Is everything i am experiencing normal ?

    • Dear Anonymous,
      If your breathing is becoming very rapid and you are continuing to breathe rapidly like that for 20 or more minutes, you will likely experience some physical effects. I don’t want to advise you directly on this, as I don’t want to give you any advice that may put you in any kind of harm. I would suggest you find a qualified vipassana teacher, perhaps, and ask them. I would seek guidance for sure. In your research, you could also explore “holotropic breath work”. This may or may not be something you want to explore in practice, but you may learn more about the effects of rapid breathing on the body and what can be learned (and what to be careful about).

      If you want to continue meditating, but the breathing doesn’t seem like a good option at this time, try something else. You could do Body Scanning, Hearing Meditation, Metta Practice, Whole Body Awareness, Awareness of Talk, Awareness of Mental Imagery, etc. There are many skillful ways to tune into ‘what is happening right now’ using different objects of awareness. All of them are valid. You might want to experiment with another technique and see if the rapid breathing occurs or not. My guess is that it will not, but see for yourself.

      Feel free to report back and let us know how it goes.

      Dave

  28. Hello all, first off iam very new to all this meditation,It first started a few months ago when i moved into my new apartment, i woke up quite early in the morning and i couldn’t move and felt nothing but terror, it started to happen more frequent over the next few weeks some times two or three times in a row. only just rencently it has started to happen before i sleep and i get this vibration in my head all the way down to my toes and very loud sound(like trains passing on the tracks), last nights event is the real reason why i turned to a blog is that i felt a very very dark thing hovering over the top of me and in my mind (not sure if its just my imagination) i saw a gray figure walking away, i wont lie i was quite scared but i let it go because i guess i was curious, about 10 seconds or so both my arms felt very very light almost like they were no existent.
    If anyone can shed any light on what may have happened that would be awesome, as i really would like to continue meditating.

  29. Have had many of the above mentioned sensations in my many years of meditation practice. Always consider them to be energetic shifts of some sort. A sensation I had a couple of days ago on waling was that my mouth was full of these large purple cubes rattling around…it was uncomfortable and they tasted rather strange….havent worked this one out yet, does anyone have any insight into this? Tarang

  30. Hi All,
    I have been mediating recently on god and I noticed few things which are happening to me in meditation.

    1)My body swings back and forth and It happens continously on a daily basis and sometimes I get irritated
    2)One day my mouth opened wide and I could not control it.After a while I closed it and then it opened again and that was weird.
    2)Today ,on 26th Sept 2017 just few minutes before my post I was meditating and another thing happened.I started feeling that slowly my back is going backwards and head started moving upwards facing ceiling and my mouth wide opened and I am looking at ceiling with closed eyes.After a while I closed my mouth and started meditating again and then similar things happened and third time It happened again I gave up on meditation.All this happened in the span 12 to 13 minutes.Prior to this my body was swinging back and forth and then other things happened. It is actually happening to my physical body.These are not mere sensations or feelings .When I opened my eyes I was actually looking at ceiling.However,i am not scared as i am mediating on god so nothing wrong can happen to me.

    But anybody have any idea why It would happen.

  31. about six months ago I was severely addicted to benzodiazepine medication with alcohol and I stopped abruptly and almost died . i’ve been collecting crystals for decades my grandfather was a master cutter in gym all a just so I have quite the collection . for years I’ve been reading about what different crystals do but I was never knowing how to activate them or use their power . While doing and she energy work with a large smoky quartz crystal with whitecap and Fina Kate plate I was able to relax and gain a meditative state to wear my head started’s rocking o while doing and she energy work with a large smoky quartz crystal with whitecap and Fina Kate plate I was able to relax and gain a meditative state to wear my head started’s rocking in a infinity pattern. Scared the living daylights out of me and I thought that I was possessed and I have avoided meditation for a month or so after this, it was unnerving. over the next few months I gain perspective and did a tremendous amount of reading and my cognitive ability increased manifold as well as my physical strength . I’ve been eating a ton of fruit and the thought of meat is revolting. i’ve been eating a ton of fruit and the thought of meat is revolting.
    Once I started to feel like I understood what was happening was a positive thing I was able to trust the movements and go with them and in the past months I have gained senses extra perception senses Such as seeing auras and being able to feel other people’s energy physically to the touch with any part of my body.
    The reason why I started commenting was to say that I get this strange feeling in my neck very warm feeling in the back of my neck and crown as I meditate and my spine straightens my head tilts back in my jar opens to a point that I didn’t think it was possible The reason why I started commenting was to say that I get this strange feeling in my neck very warm feeling in the back of my neck and crown as I meditate and my spine straightens my head tilts back in my jar opens to a point that I didn’t think it was possible, as I’m meditating my body usually rotates in a clockwise motion my spine does and as I my body rocks in these motions I can feel the flow of the energy circulating through my mouth especially in my throat and even my teeth. as I’m meditating my body usually rotates in a clockwise motion my spine does and as I my body rocks in these motions I can feel the flow of the energy circulating through my mouth especially in my throat and even my teeth. in the past week I’ve come to realize that the clockwise rocking feels very different then the counter clockwise rocking and same with the back-and-forth rocking I know now that these movements or energy moving through my entire being .

    Toward share my experience

  32. I have started primordial sound meditation about 3 weeks ago. I try to do 2x 20 minute sessions per day. Recently I have experienced that my arms start to “float”. I start my meditation with my hands resting on my thighs. I sit comfortably upright in a chair. After a while my hands start to lift away from my legs and keep on raising to about 20cm above my legs. This is not just a sensation, my arms physically do lift up. Any ideas what may cause this?

  33. hello, i saw alot of people discussing the symptoms they got during meditation therefore im about to tell my symptoms.

    recently during my meditation, just about 2~3 deep breath, a strong force will begin and pulling my head backward. i dont know should i resist it, or let it be. if i let the force be, i will end up lying on bed, with that head still backward-tilting. if i resist to lie on bed, the force will keep pulling my body to 6 o’clock direction. if i let it pull me, with resisting myself from lie on bed, then, once my body “reached” 6 o’clock, it will starts to turn clockwise, and my body begin spinning clockwise. the force are pulling me so strong on 7~8 o’clock direction. i have to use my crossover-sitting legs to counter the spin g-force. if i dont resist it, i will absolutely being “thrown” out from the spin.

    is there any actions or improvements i can take for my meditation case, thank you teachers.

  34. These sensations you describe sound like what happens to me before astral projection after I’ve been still and meditative for so long that I start to lose connection with my physical body. I’m new to it and just getting the hang of it, so every sensation is mind-blowing and weird and sends me into a research frenzy. While I’ve never had my jaw open widely, I’ve had the opposite happen. It feels like my lower lip is pulling up over my nose, like I’m trying to swallow my face. It feels so real that I HAVE to touch my face to make sure I’m not really consuming my own head. This is usually followed by the beginning sensations of pulling away from my physical body like taffy, usually in my limbs. My own inferential guess is that these feelings are you becoming aware of your subtle body as something distinct from your physical body. But I really want to learn the traditional thinking on this.

    • Jennifer,

      I like this interpretation of these sensations. I’ve often thought of all of this as phenomena within the ‘energy body’, but I haven’t heard of it or thought of it as having to do with ‘leaving the body’ or ‘astral projection’. Thank you for your contribution. We’re really building a body of evidence here that these extra-physical perceptions DO happen to people. I’d love to hear more!
      – Dave

  35. I have had many of these experiences during meditation. My head started to move as off someone else’s moving it . Then head goes back very far and mouth Starts to open very wide. I have no fear during this, I’m actually excited about getting to experience it again. One night last month I decided to take some mushrooms and just relax and enjoy the ride……Well, my third eye was wide open ,I could see everything and my eyes were closed, before I knew it my head was being tilted back and mouth opened very very wide. What I witnessed was a funnel let’s say going in or coming out if my mouth. This funnel was made of energy, but the energy was all symbols and numbers flowing flowing down to me from the heavens I want to say. After that was over I opened my real eyes and I saw and was right in the middle of the most beautiful grid that had sparkly corners, everywhere . And all objects faded in and out turning into numbers and symbols. When vibrations flowed through these numbers and symbols, it created objects. Even my man laying next to me was melting in and out of this grid, I could see through him. It was just showing me about our reality. And how we really do manifest our own realities and we are all made of numbers and symbols, everything. All that’s in front of us is our energies creating it. Also I felt as though I was getting some kind of downloads from the collective, or visa versa. When my mouth was open with flowing energy. It was a little scary at first but exciting I feel as though I’ve learned so much more about creation and our ascension. Can’t wait for that to happen again!!

    • We’re starting to get more input from the explorers lately, with mentions of ‘ascension’ and, from the prior comments, ‘astral projection’. I will not fault anyone for exploring with psychadelics, if done in safe environments and in moderation, but I want to keep this conversation centered around experiences in meditation. This experience is beautiful in it’s visual imagery, not only connecting to a source of information, but in showing us a glimpse of the energy body’s potential, indeed, it’s function of creation. Thank you for sharing. Keep working towards understanding and liberation on the cushion. Know these phenomena as just that — passing phenomena, even when the content is splendid and amazing, it arises and passes. Don’t get stuck. Be honest with yourself. Keep learning, keep developing awareness and equanimity.

      I have spent a lot of retreat time clinging to past experiences – when something amazing happened – and while it’s natural to want to repeat such an experience, it doesn’t typically work that way. This can take a lot of energy and bring disappointment. Let the journey unfold. New, different experiences will come. There is no way to predict them or know what they will look like (but they are unlikely to be the same experiences). Just keep practicing. Ultimately it’s not about the experiences anyway. Keep a journal, write experiences down, paint a picture, tell the story…then let it go!

  36. Ive had similar experiences. As a child I read a book about astral projection and I felt like I already did it myself without knowing the name. Its so embarrassing I didnt tell anyone.

    While meditating…especially if jve been readinvg or while listening to holy chants or spoken words..I have similar experiences to whats described here, sort of.
    It seems I usually need to make a few attempts in order to clear my thoughts and breathe. But then, its instant. As someone else said…exceedingly strange.

    Last week, this happenned while listening n m3ditating to scripture (hebrew). After a few attempts my breath regulated and I had an instant of total clarity. Like a snap or a bell..that fast…I felt my entire body shaking slightly..or vibrating. At that very instant my ears felt like they popped and i could feel/ hear this vibration. All at once. I felt as if I was lo9king down at my lap , but i wasnt. I saw a flash of blinding white then the color gold mixed with a reddish or orange that seeemed to be coming from my hands and all around my hand or lap area. The vibration in my body felt like i was moving but im sure i wasnt. The shaking or vibrating in body and ears happenned all at once. I actually kind of scared myself a bit.

    Last night i had another strange experience. Its so strangely bizarre that i was almost scared to google it or talk about it. Except I did end up telling my husband…though its wierd or humiliating sometimes I thi k he may already know things i experience.

    So I have had so many odd type of experiences n dreams n visions in my life. For a long time i tried to ignore or not talk about it. I still dont really. I know this thread is old but i was so happy to find out others had this happen..or somewhat similar experiences.

    I didnt feel like i was flying or the mouth or rib back things…
    More like very very clear headed to the poinv i wasnt in my body. Also..it seems to happen very quickly now.

    Im so happpy i read your comments..thanks! Is there a messaage board or anything similar? If anyone even sees tbis that is. Sorry for rambling but iTs hard to put words to it

  37. I also wanted to ask a question about intuition n meditation. I dont know what it is exactly, how to describe this really. I may be wrong but I sometimes think I have an ability to sense or communicate with spirits…also an ability to percieve things ive no knowlege of..like a psychic. I know most dont trust or believe thT but crazy as it zounds im serious.

    Thing is, breath is so much a part of the process. As a child I think these things frightened me and I couldnt explain or describe it so I just hid it. It scared me on occassion so besides hiding these things I experienced Id ignore it and stuff it down. I think among other things, this caused an anxiety and I would tend to hold my breath. Much of what I experienced I couldnt understand…also much was subconscious. Anyhow..it sometimes came out anyway in stories that werent really true..yet i wasnt lying. Anyway for whatever reason I was blocking or attempting to. It caused stress anxiety and nervousness along with addiction to help me ignore. So now as I attempt to heal…for the last couple years i find myself noticing im not breathing…always holding it. Im still healing, both physically and mentally and that seems to have really increased these abilities somehow. Just being aware…not doped up or drunk or just listening to my spirits and others rather than avoiding or blocking. I often have these experiences but im more tuned in now…i think im beginning to comprehend all of it. The tiniest bit of yoga or self disipline, having conve4sations with real humans, and small ampunts of m3ditation have helped exponentially.

    Sorry for going on and on again. Ive finally forced myself to communicate and then i go on too much. Im glad Im not the only one with strange experiences during meditation. My question is have you heard of meditation increasing a 6th sense? Thats the only way I can describe this ability. As an ability to combine all senses and kind of feeel them at once…yeet in a different way. Besides the dreams.

    If anyone reads or replies I would be grateful.

  38. Hi, I am meditating 1 hour a day for about 1 year now. Similar experiences as the most of you. Especially Sudden movements of the head. I feel this happens because the energy flow becomes that strong that the body can only follow. Just relaxing and surrendering in it and enjoying it works best for me.
    But lately the swirling in the head is that strong that I feel my head is morphing in every way which gives a lot of distractions.
    A was evaluating my posture and have always my tong up to the upper palate behind the upper teeth. But my upper and lower teeth weren’t touching. When I started touching the teeth as well energy quites down considerably in my head while the flow seems stronger. Anyone who can confirm this or try this out? Looking forward for your feedback

    • Bastiaan,

      Thanks for writing. It’s clear there is something this group is tapped into with all of the commonalities we’ve seen in the comments. I can’t confirm the change in experience with the teeth touching or not. Anyone else have any input??

      Dave

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