I'm posting after a long time in this section. It is unfortunate that due to immense stress in personal and professional life I stopped my sitting sessions a few months ago. Partially, it was also due to the fact that I was not able to find joy in it. I've restarted, with a stutter and a stop, my practice
, but I'm experiencinng some difficulties which I would like to talk about.
As I've posted earlier, I practice Anapanasati, the samatha variant.
1. Pain and Pressure: During my sitting sessions whenever I have a decent concentration on my breath, I feel surging pressures all over my head, in particular in the front of the head. The pressures are accompanied by pain, sometimes sharp, sometimes pressing and consistent. This makes meditation helluva difficult and sometimes I get really discouraged. I feel like a sealed bottle of coke after it has been shaken vigorously.
In the summary of the article "Mystery of the breath nimitta" by Bhikkhu Sona, he mentions an airy, light-headed, pleasant feeling accompanying strong concentration. With me it is just the opposite! This disheartens me to no end as I don't have access to a meditation teacher. I heard a student on one of Bhikkhu Thanissaro's talks say that he had told her of a way to "release" this pressure and "channel this energy". Is there a specific technique that might help me?
2. Optical Illusions: This is not so much of a problem but just an inquiry. After my meditation a couple of days ago I was sitting in the toilet, and I was looking down at the mat on the floor. Suddenly there was a change in my perception of the mat and it began to "shimmer", something like the optical illusion of a mirage. It lasted only a few seconds though. I have had a similar experience before but I rejected it thinking I must have been day dreaming or something, as I wasn't even meditating at the time. Is this normal? Or is it something physiological, totally unrelated to meditation?
Thank you for your kind suggestions,