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Note: For the complete lessons, with additions, see the AYP Easy Lessons for Ecstatic Living Books.

Update: For additional assistance with meditation sensitivity issues, see Lessons 365-367.

Lesson 160 - Q&A – Extreme sensitivity to meditation - what to do?

From: Yogani
Date: Fri Apr 9, 2004 11:25pm

New Members: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the web archive, as previous lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why This Discussion?"

Q: After 5 - 7 minutes of meditation colors like orange, yellow, green and dark blue in the form of bright light appear before my eyes. This stays about for a minute or two and my head starts to ache and I can't meditate any longer. I come out of my meditation and I sleep as my head is very heavy. At night when I sleep after meditation I am getting very violent dreams like a woman getting raped, and such destructive activities. The feeling is so real that it is scary. This kind of thing has never happened to me. The day I don't meditate I do not get these dreams. I very much want to keep my meditation going but these experiences are becoming a hindrance. Would appreciate your advice.

A: Thank you for writing and sharing.

You are one of the few people who are very sensitive to meditation, with a lot of obstructions coming out very fast with just a little practice.

The thing to do is find the right balance of practice for yourself that will allow the obstructions to be dissolved during meditation rather than continuing after. It will take trying some different things to find the balance. If you are determined, you will be able to work it out. Here are few suggestions. Feel free to experiment until you find a stable routine.

First, try and meditate for 10 minutes only in the morning before breakfast for a few days. Lie down for 5-10 minutes afterward, or longer if you feel uneasy. Taking adequate time to "come out" after meditation is very important, especially if there is a lot of release going on during meditation. See if you can get a comfortable routine going with just 10 minutes of meditation plus rest in the morning. If you can, then try adding a second 10 minute session in the early evening, before dinner, not near bedtime.

If strong sensations or headache come in meditation stop the mantra and just sit and let the attention be easily with the sensation. It is obstructions dissolving, and easy attention on it without mantra will help it dissolve. If it is too much, as you described before, then lay down and continue to be easy with the attention letting it be drawn to the sensation. Don't force the attention at all. Just be easy with it. Try not to get up until the sensation subsides. Then you will know the dissolving process has completed. Don't meditate beyond your allotted time - that includes time spent in thoughts, on sensations, etc. Everything that happens in the allotted time (10 minutes in this case) is considered part of meditation.

Make sure you have good activity during the day and during the evening after meditation. This is important to stabilize the purification happening in the nervous system during meditation. Being with people, family activities, walking, doing creative work or service - wherever your heart takes you.

Don't meditate right before bed. Always meditate before activity.

If you get it to 10 minutes twice a day with good stability and are feeling okay in activity during the day and evening (and in sleep too), then try for 15 minutes twice a day. If that is good after a few weeks or months, try for 20 minutes. If you are feeling discomfort and feel you are meditating too long, then back off to the last comfortable level you found and stay there for a while.

Self-pacing matched to your experience is what you should do. This is the key to long term success in all practices - finding stable daily practice over many months and years.

Another thing you can try is some light spinal breathing before meditation (5 minutes or so), as given in the lessons. This can help smooth out meditation. Spinal breathing is very good for balancing unruly energies in the nervous system, which includes mind and emotions. Finally, you can also try some light asanas, bending and stretching, (5-10 minutes) before spinal breathing and meditation. Maybe only spinal breathing will help at this stage. Maybe only asanas. Maybe both. Maybe neither. You will only know by trying.

Maybe you will find that only asanas once or twice a day with or without spinal breathing, and no meditation, are what you need to do for a while until the obstructions get cleared out of your nervous system a bit. Then you can try and add meditation later. Where there is a will, there is a way.

Those are some options to consider for finding a stable routine. I wish you all success.

The guru is in you.

Note: For detailed instructions on deep meditation with self-pacing, see the AYP Deep Meditation book.

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