April 22, 2009
Our bodies are marvelous self-healing mechanisms. They are constantly busy with self-repair and working to move towards greater balance. The same is true, I feel, for our psyches. This latest podcast is designed take advantage of this by helping you tap into your intuition to promote healing. We start, as always, by relaxing into the flow of what is happening. Then we bring our attention to an area needing healing. Allowing something to be in our awareness is helpful in and of itself. Our attention is like a beam of energy and intelligence and when we direct it somewhere energy for healing is provided. The inner intelligence of the body puts that energy to good use. That’s the basis of the Relaxing into Healing guided meditation. This new meditation takes things one step further. We are more proactive, as it were, learning to direct our energy in more specific ways. We drop into our inner knowing to find just the right “flavor” of energy for the situation.
Visualization is a tool that is often used for healing. Sometimes very specific visualizations are recommended for specific problems. My experience is that it’s most effective when we allow the visualization to arise spontaneously from within. I personally find it difficult to follow guided imagery where you are supposed to follow a very particular image. I prefer to first let what needs healing to be fully in my awareness, and then see what “wants” to come, just naturally, to help the situation. I think it’s always more powerful to connect with ones own inner knowing.
As you listen to this meditation, be very easy about it. As with all our meditations, the words are just gentle suggestions for you to use as a springboard for your own experience. You don’t need to follow (or even hear) all the words. Your mind will pick up on the phrases you need for your process. As you are prompted to bring in energy, let that take whatever form comes easily. Some people may have very clear visualizations. For others, it may be something very subtle. Most importantly, it doesn’t have to be visual. You may have just a vague sense of some energy or movement. The energy may seem more auditory, like a hum, or kinesthetic, like a feeling of some texture or touch. Or you may just want to relax into the feeling of the meditation. Whatever comes easily for you is just right!
I’d love to hear what you experienced with this. This meditation was done with my local group. Everyone shared their experiences afterwards and each had a very different kind of experience.
January 9, 2009
I’ve had a lot of questions about spontaneous body movements in meditation. People report shaking, the head moving, twitches and all sorts of other body movements. When these movements occur, it can be surprising and sometimes people feel concerned about them or want to know if they have any significance.
Regardless of what kind of movements you have and what you are experiencing before they happen and as they are occurring, body movements that come up in meditation are the primarily the result of two things: 1) release of tension from the deep relaxation of meditation; and 2) increased flow of energy in your body’s “energy field” (or “aura”) which starts to move “blocks”. In a sense these could be thought of as the same thing, but each explanation has a value in understanding your experience.
- Release of tension. This is quite obvious. When the body becomes deeply relaxed in meditation, muscles start to relax. Usually this would be felt as twitches and small movements such as your thumb jumping, but it could also be a larger movement — your head might suddenly turn.
- Increased flow of energy in the energy field moving through blocks. This is a more esoteric explanation, but you may actually feel the movement as being associated with “energy” (see some of the comments on the Sensing Energy during Meditation post). In this case, deep meditation is opening up some energy pathways and as more energy starts to flow it can hit up against blocks. As the energy dissolves the blocks, the body may spontaneously shake or twist and turn since everything that happens in our energy field is reflected in the body. (Read about the Human Energy Field.)
The question then is, what should I do about this? There’s really nothing you need to do unless the movements are too strong or disturbing you in some way. If that’s the case, you can simply open your eyes. This will help you to come out of the deep state you are in and the movements will naturally subside. Take it easy and come out of meditation slowly.
If the movements don’t disturb you, just let them happen without trying to manipulate them in any way. It’s better to not get involved with the movements, trying to make them happen or continue. Just let them happen spontaneously on their own, not resisting them and not getting involved with them. In a sense, you can treat them like thoughts in meditation.
Note: Of course, if you have unusual movements happening outside of meditation or have any other symptoms of concern, it’s always advisable to consult a health care provider to make sure there isn’t a medical condition you need to tend to.
Related post: Sensing Energy during Meditation
August 4, 2008
Recently I’ve received a number of emails from people asking about feeling energy in various ways while meditating. People have reported things like a feeling of energy flowing and tingling. One person said it felt like water on the top of his head at the crown chakra with a sense of a slow circular motion under the skull while doing the chakra meditation. Sometimes people have these experiences outside of meditation as well.
There are lots of reasons why people ask about this. Some people may feel uncomfortable because they don’t understand these experiences. Others are simply curious about them, or interested in subtle energies. It can be helpful to understand our experiences in meditation, not only so that we can be comfortable with them but also to integrate them into our understanding of ourselves. Meditation is, among other things, an exploration of oneself. So I thought I’d explore this a little here.
If you don’t have these experiences in meditation, doesn’t matter. You can still enjoy the benefit of meditation on all levels. If you don’t care about these experiences or even believe in them, fine. Some people do, some don’t. This is for those of you who are curious about such things.
I like to keep things simple and not get too esoteric about these experiences. The bottom line on all of them is that during meditation we can sense subtle energies in the body (or even in the energy field around the body). That happens because during meditation our awareness can go to deeper levels. We can feel subtle energies that we normally don’t notice. In addition, some meditations can open up our energies so that they start to flow more freely.
Whether you are experiencing these energies as moving or still, flowing through the body or in one area, tingly or liquid, and so on isn’t important. What’s important is simply to understand that this is a natural experience as these energies are enlivened and as we open up to noticing them.
Sometimes people start to focus on the energetic sensations, wanting to control them or magnify them. My advice is to treat them like thoughts, not paying any special attention to them. Just continue the meditation, not minding the sensations. Let them go the way they naturally go. In this way you are trusting the wisdom of the body as it adjusts itself and comes into more balance. Let the natural intelligence of the body do it’s work rather than trying to manipulate the energies from your side. That way things will unfold in a more balanced way.
Please feel free to share any of your experiences and ask questions about them on this blog. I may be able to give more specific answers to specific experiences.
Note: What I say here refers to experiences while listening to our guided meditations on the podcast or our CDs. It may or may not apply to experiences during other meditation practices.
Related Post: Body Movements in Meditation
December 19, 2007
When I hear the word “aliveness”, it evokes something for me. There’s a recognition of something intangible that is always there in the background of my awareness. It’s always with us, and yet we miss it as our attention is usually focused on things and events. Aliveness is what can make life fulfilling, regardless of anything else. To be able to sense aliveness itself is a great gift.
In many ways all of our meditations are about aliveness — they’re about being more fully alive. I’m much more aware of the sense of aliveness thanks to the process of creating this meditation. I hope you enjoy this latest podcast as much as I enjoyed creating it! (Listen to the Aliveness Meditation.)
November 12, 2007
Our attention is like a beam of energy. When we direct our awareness to some area of the body, it brings energy to it. Our new podcast episode, Chakra Meditation, uses this principle to enliven the chakras, creating a better flow of energy throughout the body. (If you are not familiar with the chakras, or “energy centers” of the body, you can read about them here.)
As you listen to this chakra meditation, you may notice differences in how you feel as you focus on the different chakras. It may be that emotions come up, especially at the lower chakras and heart chakra, or that you notice subtle shifts in energy. Just be aware of how you feel, not trying to change or manipulate anything. Simply having your awareness on the chakra will wake up the intelligence in that chakra so that automatically things will shift in the direction of greater balance.
You may find that some chakras are easier for you to focus on. Some may seem very faint or slip away from your attention and others may be sensed more easily. If you continue to use this meditation, your experience of the chakras will become more clear over time. If you don’t notice anything in particular with you attention on the chakras, doesn’t matter. You will still be getting the benefit of the meditation.
Using this meditation regularly should help to bring balance to life, as each chakra is associated with different parts of the body and aspects of living. Let me know how it works for you!
— Thanks to Barry Stevens for the beautiful chakra image on this post.