Feeling smothered when meditating

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Karma Chyizom
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Feeling smothered when meditating

Post by Karma Chyizom »

Hello everyone!
Often when I'm meditating I feel like I'm being smothered. I don't have any problem with asthma or anything like that. I asked at the Buddhist meditation group I go to and they said they've never experienced anything like that. (and I got the feeling they found it a strange question).
Has anyone else experienced this? Is there anything I can do about it?
Namaste
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Anders
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Re: Feeling smothered when meditating

Post by Anders »

Where in the body do you feel you are breathing from when it happens?
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Feeling smothered when meditating

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

Are you having any signs of panic, is your heart rate increasing etc.?
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

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Ayu
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Re: Feeling smothered when meditating

Post by Ayu »

I heard of such phenomena before... Difficult to judge it online.
It reminds me of this thread: https://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f ... 09#p344455
Especially of this last sentence in the OP:
NineLions wrote:....
I want to get rid of this feeling in my chest, I can hardly breathe with it.
....
My own feeling of pressure in the chest/on the heart vanished, when I got deeper into the practice - I could take ten days for practice only, and I found out my permanent lack of time gave me pressure and made things going wrong before. Additionally I became cautious about incense's smoke.
For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:
binocular
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Re: Feeling smothered when meditating

Post by binocular »

Karma Chyizom wrote:Has anyone else experienced this?
Yes. I eventually explained it to myself that it is anxiety and that it had to do with my concerns about Buddhism and being a Buddhist.
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kirtu
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Re: Feeling smothered when meditating

Post by kirtu »

Perhaps walking meditation first followed by short sitting with walking meditation in between.

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"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
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Karma Chyizom
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Re: Feeling smothered when meditating

Post by Karma Chyizom »

Anders wrote:Where in the body do you feel you are breathing from when it happens?
In my chest area and across my nose.
Karma Chyizom
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Re: Feeling smothered when meditating

Post by Karma Chyizom »

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Are you having any signs of panic, is your heart rate increasing etc.?
No, I feel very calm when it happens.
Karma Chyizom
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Re: Feeling smothered when meditating

Post by Karma Chyizom »

Ayu wrote:I heard of such phenomena before... Difficult to judge it online.
It reminds me of this thread: https://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f ... 09#p344455
Especially of this last sentence in the OP:
NineLions wrote:....
I want to get rid of this feeling in my chest, I can hardly breathe with it.
....
My own feeling of pressure in the chest/on the heart vanished, when I got deeper into the practice - I could take ten days for practice only, and I found out my permanent lack of time gave me pressure and made things going wrong before. Additionally I became cautious about incense's smoke.
Thank you so much for the link...I do have incense smoke right there in front of me....I think I'll move it and see if that helps! :)
Karma Chyizom
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Re: Feeling smothered when meditating

Post by Karma Chyizom »

kirtu wrote:Perhaps walking meditation first followed by short sitting with walking meditation in between.

Kirt
Really good advice, I'll try it today. Thank you!
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khemmis
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Re: Feeling smothered when meditating

Post by khemmis »

Maybe your are just breathing abnormally? Focusing too much on the breathing process to calm the mind - or chant the mantras too fast - can lead to such problems.
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Anders
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Re: Feeling smothered when meditating

Post by Anders »

Karma Chyizom wrote:
Anders wrote:Where in the body do you feel you are breathing from when it happens?
In my chest area and across my nose.
I would suggest to move your breathing downwards, so that you are drawing in and releasing your breath more from (and putting your perspective and attention to) the deep part of the belly. This should ease pressure and increase relaxation. Another method for adjusting this is to put your attention at the soles of your feet, which has a lighter quality to it than focus on the belly. In either case, spend a few moments feeling how your body connects to the ground you are sitting on ('grounding yourself', so to speak).

If you are actually physically breathing by expanding your chest, this is the first point of adjustment. Breathing should always be done with the diaphragm, so that it is the belly area that expands instead of the chest area.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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