stone head syndrome

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

Post by farmer »

I'd like to add my voice to the other posters who have suggested focusing on your abdomen or diaphragm.

I get similar sensations in the head, and occasionally in my chest. Focusing on the sensation usually intensifies it. See if you can find a way of focusing that takes your attention away from the uncomfortable sensations.
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Ben
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Re: stone head syndrome

Post by Ben »

daverupa wrote:(If I was esoterically-minded, I might suggest gently placing the tongue on the roof of the mouth to drain accumulated energy back down to the abdomen... but that's just silly, isn't it?)
No, not if by 'energy' you mean saliva.
It works a treat!
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Monkey
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Re: stone head syndrome

Post by Monkey »

I think I had the same thing for some period because I was trying to concentrate too much or trying too hard.

This short video by Sogyal Rinpoche might give you some advise on the kind of attitude/mind you should have during meditation. Spaciousness or relaxation is a big part of it :smile: !

http://goo.gl/dKgVU" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
daverupa
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Re: stone head syndrome

Post by daverupa »

Ben wrote:
daverupa wrote:(If I was esoterically-minded, I might suggest gently placing the tongue on the roof of the mouth to drain accumulated energy back down to the abdomen... but that's just silly, isn't it?)
No, not if by 'energy' you mean saliva.
It works a treat!
Agreed!
  • "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]
chownah
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Re: stone head syndrome

Post by chownah »

daverupa wrote:Some people concentrate so hard they tighten the muscles surrounding their ocular sockets without quite knowing it; another might tighten their jaw muscles; another might tighten the muscles which support the head at the top of the spine. All of these things can lead to these sorts of feelings.

Relaaax...

(If I was esoterically-minded, I might suggest gently placing the tongue on the roof of the mouth to drain accumulated energy back down to the abdomen... but that's just silly, isn't it?)
When I was taught the proper posture for meditation it was described to have the tongue gently touching the upper palate and to have the upper and lower teeth gently resting together.....this will result in a minimizing of stress in those areas. Also to keep the head erect and eyes staight ahead.
chownah
daverupa
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Re: stone head syndrome

Post by daverupa »

chownah wrote:When I was taught the proper posture for meditation it was described to have the tongue gently touching the upper palate and to have the upper and lower teeth gently resting together.....this will result in a minimizing of stress in those areas. Also to keep the head erect and eyes staight ahead.
chownah
I find this interesting, because I have always kept only the lips together, and completely relaxed the facial and jaw muscles. The tongue thing is useful for a couple of reasons, but in my experience keeping the teeth together results in tension.

:heart:
  • "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]
Buckwheat
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Re: stone head syndrome

Post by Buckwheat »

Thanks, all. I had a hunch that all I had to do was relax, maybe improve my posture, and feel more expansions in my meditation, but since stone head was only slightly reduced and still sticks around, I was worried I might be missing something else. I think I've played with stone head long enough. Now it's time to sit down and relax!!

Of course, real world stuff definitely plays a part. Trying to set up my life to be more in accordance with the dhamma (ie: focus on right livelihood) and also more conducive to regular practice.

I just registered a few days ago, and I'd like to say that I like the atmosphere on dhammawheel. Everybody is genuinely helpful, and kind. Take pride in the community you have built!! And of course, thanks to the Buddha for starting this tradition that brings us together.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.
chownah
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Re: stone head syndrome

Post by chownah »

daverupa wrote:
chownah wrote:When I was taught the proper posture for meditation it was described to have the tongue gently touching the upper palate and to have the upper and lower teeth gently resting together.....this will result in a minimizing of stress in those areas. Also to keep the head erect and eyes staight ahead.
chownah
I find this interesting, because I have always kept only the lips together, and completely relaxed the facial and jaw muscles. The tongue thing is useful for a couple of reasons, but in my experience keeping the teeth together results in tension.

:heart:
Good point.

I was taught that there are two similar but different ways to compose the body and they can be understood by observing a plant....the difference is like the difference between a well watered plant and one that is dry to the point of wither. A well watered house plant uses only enough strength to hold optimal posture.....a plant dry to the point of wither is not holding optimum posture. Emulate a well watered plant for attention/contemplation/meditation....emulate a withered plant for sleeping.

Of course everyone's anatomy is different and it might be for some that the proper posture for some is for the teeth to be slightly seperated.....you will need to ascertain this for yourself.....

The issue of how to compose the mouth in general is of most importance to people who express stress there.....some people have restless mouths......but we can all benefit by studying, understanding, and reducing stress even to the subtlest levels.
chownah
Buckwheat
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Re: stone head syndrome

Post by Buckwheat »

This thread gave me the confidence to really relax, and I seem to have turned my "stone head syndrome" into something much more subtle and relaxing that fills the entire body (not just my head). I will continue relaxing and looking for subtle disturbances so that I may continue to progress. Really, thanks so much to everybody and especially elvedas for starting this topic.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.
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vacvvm
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Re: stone head syndrome

Post by vacvvm »

Buckwheat wrote:This thread gave me the confidence to really relax, and I seem to have turned my "stone head syndrome" into something much more subtle and relaxing that fills the entire body (not just my head). I will continue relaxing and looking for subtle disturbances so that I may continue to progress. Really, thanks so much to everybody and especially elvedas for starting this topic.
Hi, hope you dont mind me reopening the tread after a couple of years! I wanted to ask how your head has been lately :) it sounds like you made great progress, were you able to overcome it entirely? if so, could you describe exactly what you did?

I've had this pressure for about 6 months (even right now), tried to not worry about it expecting it to leave on its own, but now I've heard stories of people who have it for years.
who has had this themselves and successfully overcome it? methods?
SarathW
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Re: stone head syndrome

Post by SarathW »

daverupa wrote:Some people concentrate so hard they tighten the muscles surrounding their ocular sockets without quite knowing it; another might tighten their jaw muscles; another might tighten the muscles which support the head at the top of the spine. All of these things can lead to these sorts of feelings.

Relaaax...

(If I was esoterically-minded, I might suggest gently placing the tongue on the roof of the mouth to drain accumulated energy back down to the abdomen... but that's just silly, isn't it?)
:goodpost: (all of them)

I also think Vipassana meditation is less stressful than Samatha.
:thinking:
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daverupa
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Re: stone head syndrome

Post by daverupa »

The tongue thing also helps minimize saliva buildup.

There are two ways to do it: the tip of the tongue resting on the back of the hard palate, or just behind the teeth, or somewhere in between; or, the tongue sits like a cobra in the mouth, covering some or most of the hard palate.

Each mouth is suited to different approaches.
  • "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]
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vacvvm
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Re: stone head syndrome

Post by vacvvm »

SarathW wrote: I also think Vipassana meditation is less stressful than Samatha.
I could give that a shot again, this all started during a Vipassana retreat, for the past month or so I've been doing anapanasati instead thinking that might help! I read somewhere that it's due to a misunderstanding of the breath, and there does seem to be a connection.
when my breath gets very subtle and rapture and happiness arise, it subsides.
but if the pressure is too strong to begin with it can be difficult to get to that point, particularly if it happens to be manifesting right across my nose!
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vacvvm
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Re: stone head syndrome

Post by vacvvm »

daverupa wrote:The tongue thing also helps minimize saliva buildup.
think there's a relationship? I'll give it a try! thanks :)
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Kumara
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Re: stone head syndrome

Post by Kumara »

SarathW wrote:I also think Vipassana meditation is less stressful than Samatha.
:thinking:
Whatever you practice, whatever you call it, when done with a wrong attitude, the result is more suffering.
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