meditation pain

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

meditation pain

Postby monaylo » Sat Jun 23, 2012 7:34 pm

Hello, I began meditating a few months ago. Not long after I began meditating I began feeling pressure around the upper nose and eyes, I thought it was normal would use these in my meditation sometimes. As time has gone by they have increased. I have been meditating sometimes 8 hours a day. My sinuses are now permanently inflamed, even if I do a day without meditating, and it is often unpleasant to breathe using my nose and have constant pressure around my eyes. I am now mostly convinced that it must be meditation causing this.

After looking at this I have noticed that when I bring my mind to the nostrils there is a very very slight tensing in my upper mouth, nose area. I can't "look" at my nose without doing it I don't think. I was also tensing up quite a lot while meditating. I have tried not tensing and staying relaxed but the problem isn't going anyway. I have a very hard time meditating on abdomen without controlling it so I want to use the nostrils.

Should I stop meditating until my sinuses heal? or is it impossible this could be meditation caused. If anyone has tips, or ever heard of anything like this I'd really be thankful
monaylo
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 7:15 pm

Re: meditation pain

Postby reflection » Sat Jun 23, 2012 8:06 pm

Hi!

If you -as you stated- are tensing up in meditation, this can cause tension in body, especially the face. So indeed it could be a result of meditation; possibly from trying to hard. Right now it is possible you are forcing the focus, which is not the idea of meditation and this could be the reason why you are so tense. (this is my guess)

My advice would be to not go to the breath too soon. Start with some open presence first before focussing on a specific object. The mind can already get very peaceful before it needs a single object, so there is nothing wrong with postponing breath awareness. Let the tensions and thoughts fade away first, then the breath attention will be much more natural.

Also a thing to do is start with attention on the body to relax the body. And smile. A small smile will naturally relax the area around the nose and eyes.

Also youcan sometimes come back to the area to see if it is tensed up.


Hope this can help a bit.
User avatar
reflection
 
Posts: 1115
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:27 pm

Re: meditation pain

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Jun 23, 2012 8:18 pm

Hi Monaylo,
Welcome aboard,
I doubt it is meditation associated, have you seen a doctor about this?
although have you tried imagining space around the area of pain? I find this useful when I have issue with tenion & pain due to some reason or other, although you could use your mouth to breath through or your chest movements/the full movement of the breath as a focus

also you could also just be noticing the tension as your attention goes to the area, so as reflection suggested a body sweeping exercise may also be useful to start with.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5687
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: meditation pain

Postby monaylo » Sat Jun 23, 2012 8:38 pm

I have been to a doctor as at first thought I was ill. They said perhaps it just a virus but I did not mention meditation. It very much seems to get worse with meditation but I keep changing my mind whether it is caused by it. Two weeks ago I did a very big 3 days meditation and then in the days after it really got worse but what I remember is that my throat was sore too and I was coughing. This was just one occurrence however. In normal circumstance there is no normal signs of illness. Just lots of pressure in my upper nose and around eyes. It is possible this was something else but I can't rule out maybe that the underlying issue is an nasal illness of some kind and that meditation is just emphasising it.

Could I try not meditate using the face for 4 days if it does not resolve in entirely then It must be something else? Would that definately rule out meditation?
monaylo
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 7:15 pm

Re: meditation pain

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:20 pm

monaylo wrote:I have been to a doctor as at first thought I was ill. They said perhaps it just a virus but I did not mention meditation. It very much seems to get worse with meditation but I keep changing my mind whether it is caused by it. Two weeks ago I did a very big 3 days meditation and then in the days after it really got worse but what I remember is that my throat was sore too and I was coughing. This was just one occurrence however. In normal circumstance there is no normal signs of illness. Just lots of pressure in my upper nose and around eyes. It is possible this was something else but I can't rule out maybe that the underlying issue is an nasal illness of some kind and that meditation is just emphasising it.

Could I try not meditate using the face for 4 days if it does not resolve in entirely then It must be something else? Would that definately rule out meditation?

it sounds like blocked sinuses more than anything to me, but I am no expert. and it would be better to exhaust the idea it is than to keep the doubt regarding this so try someother area, or change to the mind as the primary object as it is a little further removed from the area than feelings, although reflecting on the three characteristics and four noble truths are also an option if you are inclined to try a more active process.

I have a blocked nose for about half of the year due to weather and other things.
There are some nasal irrigation techneques you could try (which helps the whole area you are having trouble with) but make sure you speak to your health care provider first, and just so you know these can be uncomfortable/painful to start with, I am quite inconsistent with it so get a reminder of the sensation, although this does ease off/stop after the sinuses have been cleared.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5687
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: meditation pain

Postby cooran » Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:27 pm

Hello monaylo,

I would recommend that you change your meditation object to the abdomen. Then you will be able to see if it really was meditation causing your headache.
http://www.buddhanet.net/vmed_2.htm

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
User avatar
cooran
 
Posts: 7356
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: meditation pain

Postby Zom » Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:04 pm

You are striving too hard. That is why there is tenstion and that is why you feel pains. This is a very common mistake for beginners - so just try to practise in more relaxed manner.

:buddha2: :buddha1: :buddha2:
User avatar
Zom
 
Posts: 789
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 6:38 pm
Location: Russia, Saint-Petersburg

Re: meditation pain

Postby mirco » Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:05 pm

cooran wrote:I would recommend that you change your meditation object to the abdomen.
Then you will be able to see if it really was meditation causing your headache.

I wouldn't recommend meditation objects not mentioned in the suttas.
I get what I give
mirco
 
Posts: 362
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:12 pm

Re: meditation pain

Postby mirco » Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:07 pm

reflection wrote:If you -as you stated- are tensing up in meditation, this can cause tension in body, especially the face. So indeed it could be a result of meditation; possibly from trying to hard. Right now it is possible you are forcing the focus, which is not the idea of meditation and this could be the reason why you are so tense. (this is my guess)

My advice would be to not go to the breath too soon. Start with some open presence first before focussing on a specific object. The mind can already get very peaceful before it needs a single object, so there is nothing wrong with postponing breath awareness. Let the tensions and thoughts fade away first, then the breath attention will be much more natural.

Also a thing to do is start with attention on the body to relax the body. And smile. A small smile will naturally relax the area around the nose and eyes.

Also youcan sometimes come back to the area to see if it is tensed up. Hope this can help a bit.

Yeah. Too much energy & tension. Relax.
Best post, so far.
I get what I give
mirco
 
Posts: 362
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:12 pm

Re: meditation pain

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:14 pm

mirco wrote:
cooran wrote:I would recommend that you change your meditation object to the abdomen.
Then you will be able to see if it really was meditation causing your headache.

I wouldn't recommend meditation objects not mentioned in the suttas.

Neither would Cooran, I, or the various teachers who recommend it.

There are two points here:
1. The suttas don't say how to be aware of the breath, so any suggestion that one should (or should not) use a particular way to be aware of the breath is an addition to what is written in the suttas.
2. Perhaps (to be consistent with the commentaries, not the suttas!) some teachers do not want to describe using the abdomen as "being aware of the breath". In that case, when using the abdomen as an object, one can note that observing motion (wind element) and sensations of the abdominal area (body awareness), are mentioned in the Satipatthana sutta.

:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10112
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: meditation pain

Postby mirco » Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:46 am

monaylo wrote:Hello, I began meditating a few months ago. Not long after I began meditating I began feeling pressure around the upper nose and eyes, I thought it was normal would use these in my meditation sometimes. As time has gone by they have increased. I have been meditating sometimes 8 hours a day. My sinuses are now permanently inflamed, even if I do a day without meditating, and it is often unpleasant to breathe using my nose and have constant pressure around my eyes. I am now mostly convinced that it must be meditation causing this.

After looking at this I have noticed that when I bring my mind to the nostrils there is a very very slight tensing in my upper mouth, nose area. I can't "look" at my nose without doing it I don't think. I was also tensing up quite a lot while meditating. I have tried not tensing and staying relaxed but the problem isn't going anyway. I have a very hard time meditating on abdomen without controlling it so I want to use the nostrils.

Should I stop meditating until my sinuses heal? or is it impossible this could be meditation caused. If anyone has tips, or ever heard of anything like this I'd really be thankful

What about exploring the pain. As it is.

Funny, again I can suggest reading Ajahn Maha Boowa.

He is talking about severe pain happening while long term sitting and how to cope with it.

Chapter "The Investigation of Dhukka Vedana" (p. 67 ff) - http://www.mediafire.com/?to4dyw1lmmz

Regards , :-)

P.S.: But I'm not shure if that is the original way the Buddha meant the practice to be. Only my two cent.
I get what I give
mirco
 
Posts: 362
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:12 pm

Re: meditation pain

Postby marc108 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:50 am

are you using the nose as a focal point? when i did that, i found i would unconsciously breath harder to create a sharper sensation.
"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."
User avatar
marc108
 
Posts: 464
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:10 pm


Return to Theravada Meditation

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests