Newbie meditator, post meditation question

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.
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rayyogi
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Newbie meditator, post meditation question

Post by rayyogi » Mon Mar 07, 2016 5:02 am

Hello, Greetings to you all.

I am not sure this is place to post this question. I have been meditating on breath last few months. Mainly mindfulness of breath for about 30 mins per day. I have noticed a sort of uncomfortable voidness feeling at the centre of the heart , after the meditation. Usually wears off after a while. Feeling is kind of like something is missing in the heart region. I get the feeling from reading that it may be parts of the "self " missing....but would like to ask for advice on what you people think and how to combat it.

Many thanks and Metta to you all! :smile:

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jundo cohen
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Re: Newbie meditator, post meditation question

Post by jundo cohen » Mon Mar 07, 2016 5:28 am

rayyogi wrote:Hello, Greetings to you all.

I am not sure this is place to post this question. I have been meditating on breath last few months. Mainly mindfulness of breath for about 30 mins per day. I have noticed a sort of uncomfortable voidness feeling at the centre of the heart , after the meditation. Usually wears off after a while. Feeling is kind of like something is missing in the heart region. I get the feeling from reading that it may be parts of the "self " missing....but would like to ask for advice on what you people think and how to combat it.

Many thanks and Metta to you all! :smile:
Hello, and greetings to you.

I am going to offer just a couple of possibilities, others will have more to add from their perspectives.

Sometimes in the quietness of meditation we can become aware of parts of the body that are always present, but which we don't notice in our daily busyness. So, for example, if I say to you now "tip of your nose", good chance you will now focus attention on it, and it will start to itch. The tip of the nose is always there, with nerves producing sensations, but one just does not notice most of the time.

Maybe for some reason, you attention is now being brought to the heart. Also, if there is a feeling there, and you fixate, you can actually magnify the sensation. So, for example, if you keep focusing on the itchy nose, soon the feeling becomes very strong and bothersome.

One can also talk oneself into some feeling, a kind of small hypochondria. If you convince yourself "there is an uncomfortable voidness in the center of my heart" with "my self missing", sure as shooting one may feel it! One starts to convince oneself that a piece is missing.

My advice would be to drop all such concerns from mind, pay them "no never mind", and maybe they will fade away ... like the boogeyman under the bed who is only made real by our thoughts, vanishes when we just ignore him,

HOWEVER, it is also possible that in meditation, you are actually noticing some subtle chest pain that is always there, and which your distracted mind usually does not notice. Go to a doctor, get a check just to be safe. I had a student who discovered a mild case of angina during Zazen in some similar way.

Anyway, others may offer other possibilities.

Gassho, Jundo
Priest/Teacher at Treeleaf Zendo, a Soto Zen Sangha. Treeleaf Zendo was designed as an online practice place for Zen practitioners who cannot easily commute to a Zen Center due to health concerns, living in remote areas, or work, childcare and family needs, and seeks to provide Zazen sittings, retreats, discussion, interaction with a teacher, and all other activities of a Zen Buddhist Sangha, all fully online. The focus is Shikantaza "Just Sitting" Zazen as instructed by the 13th Century Japanese Master, Eihei Dogen. http://www.treeleaf.org

rayyogi
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Re: Newbie meditator, post meditation question

Post by rayyogi » Mon Mar 07, 2016 6:03 am

Dear Jundo,

Many thanks for your prompt reply, that was helpful. Its good to know that at least I am not doing anything wrong during the meditation. I am going to perservere with practice then.

Metta and thanks! :anjali:

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Newbie meditator, post meditation question

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:00 am

It sounds like a somatic thing to me, unlike Jundo I don't think you should ignore it or dismiss it..it's calling to you by coming into the field of your awareness.

That kind of pain comes up for me a lot in meditation. I would seek out some teaching and really try to delve into what is happening there, it could be a door to deepening your practice.

One thing's for sure, such experiences are very "normal", but the deeper you get with it the better it is to have some kind of guidance IME.

If it is emotionally disturbing your meditation, and you do not have the ability to accommodate it or bring it to your meditative awareness, I would be find someone whose teachinhgs can help you learn how to do that, as dealing with emotional pain (which is often stored and presents "in the body") is a good thing to know about, and part of meditation. You could just be becoming better friends with your pain, too, I imagine.

Of course it's possible it's "just physical", but pain or ache in the heart center is a pretty common somatic response in meditative traditions, traditional medicines, and even in various modern therapies to the best of my knowledge. Like I said, good reason to pursue help from someone qualified to give answers on meditation.

Both Reggie Ray and Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche have teachings out there on this kind of thing, off the top of my head.....anyway experience of the body is an important thing in meditation, so while I think it's good advice not to obsess over it, it's my understanding that we also should not try to use meditation to dissociate from or ignore pain. Dissociation is not equanimity.
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rayyogi
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Re: Newbie meditator, post meditation question

Post by rayyogi » Mon Mar 07, 2016 11:47 am

Thanks Johnny,

I found that doing metta practice seems to alleviate it for some reason. It may be as you say putting awareness onto it, together with the loving kindness.

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skittles
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Re: Newbie meditator, post meditation question

Post by skittles » Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:44 am

When parts of the body are missing you can connect the parts that are there to form a contiguous whole. Then visualize the breath energy entering that area.

So if you're missing the heart region, visualize other parts of the body connecting, going across, and filling in the space. Then visualize the breath energy entering that area.

Some people do make an association between illness and empty spaces like that when meditating, in which case the above is the remedy. Personally, I visualize my dependently existing body being cut, ground, scattered, and burned into countless particles several times a day and I feel it improves my health. So visualizing something aggregious to the body in itself doesn't cause problems.
"My main teacher Serkong Rinpoche, who was one of the teachers of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, explained that having a protector is like having a very strong and vicious dog. If you are a strong person, you could go sit and guard your own gate every night to make sure that thieves don’t attack, but usually people wouldn’t do that. It’s not that we don’t have the ability, it’s just: why bother? You could post a dog there instead." - Alex Berzin http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/ar ... rs_ab.html

SeeLion
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Re: Newbie meditator, post meditation question

Post by SeeLion » Fri Mar 11, 2016 7:47 am

Feeling is kind of like something is missing in the heart region. I get the feeling from reading that it may be parts of the "self " missing....
Try not to complicate yourself too much.

I don't know what that feeling is, but you are complicating it through trying to intellectualize it.

That is simply your mind telling lies to you.

For example: "parts of the "self " missing"

What you are describing is certainly not a feeling, but a conceptualization. A feeling might be warm or cool, heavy or light, pressure or movement or tingling, etc.

It is perfectly normal to have various feelings come up during meditation and after meditation.

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seeker242
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Re: Newbie meditator, post meditation question

Post by seeker242 » Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:32 pm

SeeLion wrote:
Feeling is kind of like something is missing in the heart region. I get the feeling from reading that it may be parts of the "self " missing....
Try not to complicate yourself too much.

I don't know what that feeling is, but you are complicating it through trying to intellectualize it.

That is simply your mind telling lies to you.

For example: "parts of the "self " missing"

What you are describing is certainly not a feeling, but a conceptualization. A feeling might be warm or cool, heavy or light, pressure or movement or tingling, etc.

It is perfectly normal to have various feelings come up during meditation and after meditation.
:good:
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!

TaTa
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Re: Newbie meditator, post meditation question

Post by TaTa » Tue Mar 15, 2016 12:41 am

More enfasis on the relaxation and openness aspect of shamata. Resting from time to time in awareness without support can help. Maybe you are to tense? I dont know.
Metta can also help
And of curse, do your best to find a teacher =)

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