Throat discomfort

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

Throat discomfort

Postby greggorious » Sat Sep 29, 2012 3:25 pm

I don't know why I get this, but when I do breath concentration I always have an uncomfortable feeling on my throat/neck on exhalations. It's not painful, it's just uncomfortable and I keep on having to adjust my jumper or t shirt, if my neck is bare at all I don't like it. I'm starting to get a bit OCD about it. It's interrupting my practice quite a bit.
"The original heart/mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and nonself, beyond birth and death. When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the true Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.” Ajahn Chah
greggorious
 
Posts: 250
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:40 pm

Re: Throat discomfort

Postby daverupa » Sat Sep 29, 2012 3:54 pm

Perhaps your posture is making your neck muscles tense; trying to get the back 'perfectly straight' is unnatural, and might cause this sort of thing, else a slouching posture can also cause tension. Tucking the chin during exhalation, perhaps, or the throat muscles are tensing, perhaps in order to control the rate of respiration due to seeking to calm it all. Just shooting into the dark here.

So, it might be related to concentrating on the breath, as opposed to paying attention alongside it. The third and fourth steps of the first tetrad in anapanasati broaden awareness to the whole body, and then one starts to let go of intention with respect to that: actively trying to calm the breath gives way to letting the breath and body function on their own, without intentional activity, which prevents tension. Intentional gives way to un-tension-al, we might say.

In my experience, of course; YMMV.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
User avatar
daverupa
 
Posts: 4246
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: Throat discomfort

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Sep 29, 2012 4:12 pm

this has happened to me a few times and it eased when I adjusted my posture to a more erect position.
do you get any other sensations with this?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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: 5829
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Throat discomfort

Postby m0rr1s » Sat Sep 29, 2012 4:43 pm

It's probably related to the control of your breath that comes automatically from focusing on it. When you take a "false" breath it will not be as relaxed as a normal one. If you "forget" about your breath, does the pain go away?
m0rr1s
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 8:41 am

Re: Throat discomfort

Postby greggorious » Sat Sep 29, 2012 7:53 pm

Yes when I don't focus on the breath at all I feel much more comfortable. From the instructions in a book by Ajahn Chah he mentions the breath is the only thing you need to focus on, yet to me this seems more like samatha than Vipassana? I've heard very different instructions as to what Vipassana actually is.
Anyway I try not to force my breath, rather just let it be natural, but the sensation I get on the outbreath is one one of vulnerability to my neck. Maybe I am too tense. Do you reckon I should try and do some muscle relaxation techniques before I sit?
"The original heart/mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and nonself, beyond birth and death. When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the true Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.” Ajahn Chah
greggorious
 
Posts: 250
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:40 pm

Re: Throat discomfort

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:09 pm

greggorious wrote:Yes when I don't focus on the breath at all I feel much more comfortable. From the instructions in a book by Ajahn Chah he mentions the breath is the only thing you need to focus on, yet to me this seems more like samatha than Vipassana? I've heard very different instructions as to what Vipassana actually is.
Anyway I try not to force my breath, rather just let it be natural, but the sensation I get on the outbreath is one one of vulnerability to my neck. Maybe I am too tense. Do you reckon I should try and do some muscle relaxation techniques before I sit?

I do do some stretching of the neck which had helped in general but started doing this after the last time I had this issue myself so can not say it would directly help with this issue.

out of curiosity what instruction have you been given on vipassana? which Ajahn Chah book are you using and which chapter name is it?
Pm it to me if you want to keep this clear of this particular side conversion.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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: 5829
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin


Return to Theravada Meditation

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 4 guests