Spinning Sensation

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

Spinning Sensation

Postby Viscid » Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:30 pm

So, lately when I've been meditating (Breath Meditation, observing the senations of breathing mainly at the abdomen) I've been getting a very odd spinning sensation after about 30-40 minutes-- sometimes it's back and forth, sometimes it's in circles. It's difficult for me to tell if my body is actually rocking slightly with the sensation or not. It has an interesting character-- it'll be there for a few minutes, go away, come back slightly differently.. very odd!

Does anyone else get this? Is it common? Is it in any way relevant, or shoulid I just ignore it? Is there anything describing such a thing in Theravada literature?
"What holds attention determines action." - William James
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Re: Spinning Sensation

Postby daverupa » Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:37 pm

Sometimes, the regular coursing of blood through the body is enough to cause a wobbly sensation, especially when relaxed but otherwise when blood pressure is a little high and you're sitting still or laying down. You might try taking a deep breath and seeing what that affects - maybe the blood is getting a little de-oxygenated and is thumping around for that reason, since the breath is likely to have been shallow in the minutes preceding the effect.

Obviously, my inclination is to see it as a body thing, rather than some subtle energy or mental eruption. Explore it if it's distracting and needs to be addressed for that reason, otherwise it's a body among the bodies, and get back to work!

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Re: Spinning Sensation

Postby Viscid » Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:47 pm

daverupa wrote:Sometimes, the regular coursing of blood through the body is enough to cause a wobbly sensation, especially when relaxed but otherwise when blood pressure is a little high and you're sitting still or laying down. You might try taking a deep breath and seeing what that affects - maybe the blood is getting a little de-oxygenated and is thumping around for that reason, since the breath is likely to have been shallow in the minutes preceding the effect.

Obviously, my inclination is to see it as a body thing, rather than some subtle energy or mental eruption.


Seeing it as a body thing is probably best.. doing so makes it much easier to stop wondering about the sensation and to dismiss it. Trying to understand its physiological basis while meditating is probably counter-productive, too.
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Re: Spinning Sensation

Postby marc108 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:32 pm

http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma4/mpe10.html
Problem 3
Odd Sensations

People experience all manner of varied phenomena in meditation. Some people get itches. Others feel tingling, deep relaxation, a feeling of lightness or a floating sensation. You may feel yourself growing or shrinking or rising up in the air. Beginners often get quite excited over such sensations. As relaxation sets in, the nervous system simply begins to pass sensory signals more efficiently. Large amounts of previously blocked sensory data can pour through, giving rise to all manner of unique sensations. It does not signify anything in particular. It is just sensation. So simply employ the normal technique. Watch it come up and watch it pass away. Don't get involved.
"It's easy for us to connect with what's wrong with us... and not so easy to feel into, or to allow us, to connect with what's right and what's good in us."
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Re: Spinning Sensation

Postby bodom » Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:42 pm

marc108 wrote:http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma4/mpe10.html
Problem 3
Odd Sensations

People experience all manner of varied phenomena in meditation. Some people get itches. Others feel tingling, deep relaxation, a feeling of lightness or a floating sensation. You may feel yourself growing or shrinking or rising up in the air. Beginners often get quite excited over such sensations. As relaxation sets in, the nervous system simply begins to pass sensory signals more efficiently. Large amounts of previously blocked sensory data can pour through, giving rise to all manner of unique sensations. It does not signify anything in particular. It is just sensation. So simply employ the normal technique. Watch it come up and watch it pass away. Don't get involved.


:goodpost:

You beat me to it! :tongue:

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The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Spinning Sensation

Postby Viscid » Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:51 pm

Well, seeing stuff as this as just another sensation that comes up and means nothing is an obvious and fine answer.. but you can't help but wonder why they do come up. Marc's quote which says something about 'blocked sensory data' is likely mostly BSing on the author's part. I see a lot of meditation teachers try to explain things using scientific-sounding language such as that, and it's usually just nonsense they've made up.
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Re: Spinning Sensation

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:15 pm

Here's advice from Mahasi Sayadaw, that is similar to Bhante Gunaratana's advice above:
Should you intend to sway the body, then knowingly note intending. While in the act of swaying, swaying. When contemplating you may occasionally discover the body swaying back and forth. Do not be alarmed; neither be pleased nor wish to continue to sway. The swaying will cease if you keep the knowing mind on the action of swaying and continue to note swaying until the action ceases. If swaying increases in spite of your making a mental note of it, then lean against a wall or post or lie down for a while. Thereafter proceed with contemplation. Follow the same procedure if you find yourself shaking or trembling. When contemplation is developed you may sometimes feel a thrill or chill pass through the back or the entire body. This is a symptom of the feeling of intense interest, enthusiasm or rapture. It occurs naturally in the course of good contemplation. When your mind is fixed in contemplation you may be startled at the slightest sound. This takes place because you feel the effect of sensory impression more intensely while in a state of concentration.

http://www.aimwell.org/Books/Mahasi/Pra ... tical.html

My experience is that swaying tends to happen if I have strong concentration but not strong enough energy and mindfulness. For me, this is a sign of laziness --- I'm just wanting to dwell in a blissful state, rather than maintain mindfulness of the current state.

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Re: Spinning Sensation

Postby Viscid » Sat Jul 14, 2012 6:08 am

mikenz66 wrote:My experience is that swaying tends to happen if I have strong concentration but not strong enough energy and mindfulness.


Ooo, I sit late and am usually rather tired so this can very well be the reason. Thanks!
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Re: Spinning Sensation

Postby Son » Mon Jul 16, 2012 5:00 am

mikenz66 wrote:Here's advice from Mahasi Sayadaw, that is similar to Bhante Gunaratana's advice above:
Should you intend to sway the body, then knowingly note intending. While in the act of swaying, swaying. When contemplating you may occasionally discover the body swaying back and forth. Do not be alarmed; neither be pleased nor wish to continue to sway. The swaying will cease if you keep the knowing mind on the action of swaying and continue to note swaying until the action ceases. If swaying increases in spite of your making a mental note of it, then lean against a wall or post or lie down for a while. Thereafter proceed with contemplation. Follow the same procedure if you find yourself shaking or trembling. When contemplation is developed you may sometimes feel a thrill or chill pass through the back or the entire body. This is a symptom of the feeling of intense interest, enthusiasm or rapture. It occurs naturally in the course of good contemplation. When your mind is fixed in contemplation you may be startled at the slightest sound. This takes place because you feel the effect of sensory impression more intensely while in a state of concentration.

http://www.aimwell.org/Books/Mahasi/Pra ... tical.html

My experience is that swaying tends to happen if I have strong concentration but not strong enough energy and mindfulness. For me, this is a sign of laziness --- I'm just wanting to dwell in a blissful state, rather than maintain mindfulness of the current state.

:anjali:
Mike


The blood flowing feeling earlier described is something I have had to deal with, but it's not what you're experiencing. Sometimes when meditating, or when bowing for a long moment to the Buddha for example, I will get that spinning back and forth or in circles experience. It just means that you're trying to focus, and you're having difficulty concentrating for whatever reason.
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