Swaying during meditation freaking me out

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.

Swaying during meditation freaking me out

Postby jzpowell93 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:08 am

Hiii

Sooo this happened a bit on Sunday but I didn't really pay much attention to it.

Then it happened a lot more today and it actually disturbed me quite a bit, so I thought I'd ask about it.

On Sunday near the end of my session I felt myself falling slightly to the right, three times, each time leaning a bit farther than the last.

Then my alarm went off.

I didn't think much about it, didn't think it would happen again (or, if it did, it'd only be for like a second or two, so I wouldn't have to worry much about it), but it did happen again, today, and quite a lot.

Almost a few minutes into sitting I felt it start, first like it was just inside my body, but then I felt myself moving side to side, and I could feel my hands lifting off of my lap so I knew I was moving. If I opened my eyes a bit I could see the room moving a bit, like centimeters, almost imperceptible but still noticeable.

The thing is this actually kind of freaked me about because I am pretty sure I wasn't consciously doing this (I did do it consciously, just to make sure, and it wasn't the same). And every time it started happening I would freak out because I wasn't sure what was going on, and then I would start to get this feeling of panic and so I couldn't let it keep going to see what would happen, I had to stop it. Of course it came back, but I stopped it each time. I actually had to *force* myself to be still because my body wouldn't stop moving.

I've looked around the internet and other people have had this happen to them, so I know it's common, but I didn't expect it to be so disturbing to me when it happened. I just wanted to ask if anyone here has experienced this? If so, what is it/what's causing it, what does it mean, and how can I stop it? (or, should I stop it? or can it be stopped?)

Also this had lead me to read a bit about the dangers of meditation. Are there any other unpleasant experiences I may come across in the future that I should be on the lookout for?

Thanks in advance for the help! ^^ <3
jzpowell93
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:13 pm
Location: Durham, NC; Atlanta, GA

Re: Swaying during meditation freaking me out

Postby futerko » Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:39 am

My guess would be that it's your arteries in your backside. Try changing your sitting position and see if it still happens.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
User avatar
futerko
 
Posts: 993
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:58 am

Re: Swaying during meditation freaking me out

Postby Qing Tian » Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:49 am

Well, on a casual level I am not sure whether you are aware that the body is never still? Google postural sway for a good explanation. Attempting to sit as still as humanly possible is a self-defeating practice. Also, when sitting, as the joints relax there is a certain amount of 'settling', for want of a phrase. Generally speaking, and I do mean generally, balance problems don't usually just appear out of the blue. It is more likely that you are simply more aware of our body's movement and spatial positioning right now.

Anyway, relax, breathe, observe. You know the drill. :smile:
“Not till your thoughts cease all their branching here and there, not till you abandon all thoughts of seeking for something, not till your mind is motionless as wood or stone, will you be on the right road to the Gate.”
User avatar
Qing Tian
 
Posts: 187
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:18 pm

Re: Swaying during meditation freaking me out

Postby householder » Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:29 am

I was at a teaching this weekend and someone there had a similar issue to the point it caused them nausea. The teacher brought up "proprioception" which is a phenomenon apparently fairly common to meditators, although I have never experienced it myself. Your issue sounds a little different, but here is the Wikipedia link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proprioception
May you always find happiness and its causes
May you always be free from suffering and its causes
User avatar
householder
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Oct 28, 2013 4:28 pm
Location: Northeast Kingdom, VT USA

Re: Swaying during meditation freaking me out

Postby jzpowell93 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:00 pm

Thanks for the responses! I looked at the wikipedia article on balance and it said this:

Sway is the horizontal movement of the centre of gravity even when a person is standing still. A certain amount of sway is essential and inevitable due to small perturbations within the body (e.g., breathing, shifting body weight for one foot to the other or from forefoot to rearfoot)


I did realize that it seemed to be connected to my breathing somehow. It's good to know that it's just something that happens :)

So no worries then? Just let it come and go? ^^
jzpowell93
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:13 pm
Location: Durham, NC; Atlanta, GA

Re: Swaying during meditation freaking me out

Postby avisitor » Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:45 pm

That is interesting.
In Zazen, the practice is done with the eyes slightly open
I would guess this might help in preventing the swaying action from beginning, not sure.

It seems that when one begins meditation, all sorts of things are learned about oneself ... :shrug:
User avatar
avisitor
 
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:03 pm

Re: Swaying during meditation freaking me out

Postby ball-of-string » Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:56 am

I don't know if your situation is similar to mine. I was at a retreat when the teacher asked to speak with me. He said I rock back and forth when I am meditating. I had no idea. I started to observe: at first it is subtle, but by the end of the hour it is pretty pronounced. I have back pain, I think the rocking is a self-soothing mechanism. As someone mentioned above, I've discovered that my posture has a subtle rocking in my day-to-day life. The longer I sit still, the more pronounced it gets.

Anyway, the teacher stated this is pretty common. He encouraged me to try and not rock when I observe it happening. He said ultimately the rocking is a distraction from my meditations.
ball-of-string
 
Posts: 102
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:05 am

Re: Swaying during meditation freaking me out

Postby ClearblueSky » Fri Nov 15, 2013 8:52 am

It honestly just sounds a lot like the beginning stages of falling asleep. When you start to relax more and are kind of falling asleep your body can sort of start to lose orientation (like in hypnagogia). Also as your muscles start to relax you may be swaying like that. Either way I wouldn't worry too much unless you're getting like heavily dizzy, but I would definitely try meditating with your eyes open and seeing whether that makes any difference.
User avatar
ClearblueSky
 
Posts: 173
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:27 am

Re: Swaying during meditation freaking me out

Postby seeker242 » Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:07 pm

I have observed swaying during meditation and it's pretty normal thing. Not very excessive but a very subtle movement, hardly noticeable from someone watching. For me it has to do with the body keeping itself upright and balanced, but being relaxed at the same time. If the body becomes completely relaxed it will just slump over to the ground. The little movement keep itself centered over the center of gravity. Excessive swaying is not all that normal I would say.

Also, when the mind becomes more quite, these very subtle sensations may appear to become much more pronounced when they actually aren't. So it might feel like there is a lot of swaying when there is actually the same amount as before. But that may be only because the mind can better observe more subtle movements that may not be noticeable at other times. The awareness of sensations can become heightened, which gives the appearance of the sensations being different. When in fact it may just be only an increased awareness of the subtleties of body sensations that has changed.

jzpowell93 wrote:Thanks for the responses! I looked at the wikipedia article on balance and it said this:

Sway is the horizontal movement of the centre of gravity even when a person is standing still. A certain amount of sway is essential and inevitable due to small perturbations within the body (e.g., breathing, shifting body weight for one foot to the other or from forefoot to rearfoot)


I did realize that it seemed to be connected to my breathing somehow. It's good to know that it's just something that happens :)

So no worries then? Just let it come and go? ^^


No worries! For this and any other weird stuff that happens. "Weird stuff" happening is quite common.
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!
User avatar
seeker242
 
Posts: 723
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:50 pm
Location: South Florida, USA


Return to Meditation

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests

>