During Zazen - A strange pressure

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  • Kyotai
    • Jul 2024

    During Zazen - A strange pressure

    During my meditation practice, I often get a feeling of pressure, at the front of my head, just behind my forehead. This is not in the least bit uncomfortable, it almost feels relaxing. I am just curious if this is normal. I should also say, I only experience this sensation when I am completely focused on my breath. I do not have this sensation when my practice is struggling (ie, lots of thoughts bombarding me). I am not concerned it is medical related, as this has been consistent for the last 5 years of my practice. If you have experienced, or heard of this, please share.

    Shawn..
  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39392

    #2
    Re: During Zazen - A strange pressure

    Originally posted by zen_rook
    During my meditation practice, I often get a feeling of pressure, at the front of my head, just behind my forehead. This is not in the least bit uncomfortable, it almost feels relaxing. I am just curious if this is normal. I should also say, I only experience this sensation when I am completely focused on my breath. I do not have this sensation when my practice is struggling (ie, lots of thoughts bombarding me). I am not concerned it is medical related, as this has been consistent for the last 5 years of my practice. If you have experienced, or heard of this, please share.

    Shawn..
    Hi Shawn,

    Ah, the Buddha's 'Third Eye' perhaps?



    I also have sometimes noticed, on sittings which feel particularly still and centered, a certain tingling,warm pressure or pleasant sensation in the spot between the eyebrows. Perhaps this is the gyananakashu, "the eye of knowledge" or the ajna chakra (sixth chakra) in Yoga, Hinduism, Buddhism and other Indian traditions. Some say this is the spiritual eye opening, and perhaps so. Some more modern writers have noted that the pituitary gland is there.

    Perhaps so.



    I have noticed that the sensation may simply be a relaxing of the muscles of the forehead and ridge of the nose, a place where most of us "hold tension" unknowingly, and which we may relax during those particularly still and "tension dropping" sittings. It may just be that we are so used to holding those facial muscles tightly, that we feel the pleasant relaxing and warmth there. Also, any part of the body which draws the attention suddenly is "felt" when not felt before (draw the attention now to the back of your right knee, for example, and you will feel a part of the body usually invisible to our awareness).

    Perhaps so.

    Whatever it may be ... as in all moments of Shikantaza ... this too is a moment to be cherished, allowed, let go. We neither seek to run to such a sensation, nor stay there, nor feel that such moments are more sacred than all others. All moments are sacred in Shikantaza, and all is constantly changing.

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-15-2012, 03:56 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

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    • Dokan
      Friend of Treeleaf
      • Dec 2010
      • 1222

      #3
      Re: During Zazen - A strange pressure

      Hi Shawn,

      There was a post a while back that may be interrelated. I too used to have some issues on longer sits (~45m+) where I would feel lightheaded, just slightly.

      For me, I found that my posture was slacking and I was compressing my abdomen by curling my back over a long period. While a bit disruptive, I now make a alignment I find helped alleviate that compression and thereby removed my lightheadedness.
      concious effort to do a check every so often to follow Dogen's teaching in Fukanzazengi:

      "Be sure your ears are on a plane with your shoulders and your nose in line with your navel."

      This alignment I find helped alleviate that compression and thereby removed my lightheadedness.

      May not be related at all but you can look through what others posted here as well:

      Sometimes when I sit I get the feeling that I am spinning in all directions, and it sometimes makes me feel like I am going to fall off my pillow even though I am sitting pretty firmly. Is this something that should be let go, ignore, or checked out? or has anyone else ever experienced something like that? Hope to hear


      Good luck and thanks for practicing with us.

      Gassho,

      Shawn
      Last edited by Jundo; 10-15-2012, 03:58 PM.
      We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.
      ~Anaïs Nin

      Comment

      • Hoyu
        Member
        • Nov 2010
        • 2020

        #4
        Re: During Zazen - A strange pressure

        Originally posted by Jundo
        Originally posted by zen_rook
        During my meditation practice, I often get a feeling of pressure, at the front of my head, just behind my forehead. This is not in the least bit uncomfortable, it almost feels relaxing. I am just curious if this is normal. I should also say, I only experience this sensation when I am completely focused on my breath. I do not have this sensation when my practice is struggling (ie, lots of thoughts bombarding me). I am not concerned it is medical related, as this has been consistent for the last 5 years of my practice. If you have experienced, or heard of this, please share.

        Shawn..
        Hi Shawn,

        Ah, the Buddha's 'Third Eye' perhaps?




        I also have sometimes noticed, on sittings which feel particularly still and centered, a certain tingling,warm pressure or pleasant sensation in the spot between the eyebrows. Perhaps this is the gyananakashu, "the eye of knowledge" or the ajna chakra (sixth chakra) in Yoga, Hinduism, Buddhism and other Indian traditions. Some say this is the spiritual eye opening, and perhaps so. Some more modern writers have noted that the pituitary gland is there.

        Perhaps so.

        http://sawaal.ibibo.com/puja-and-ritual ... 72951.html

        I have noticed that the sensation may simply be a relaxing of the muscles of the forehead and ridge of the nose, a place where most of us "hold tension" unknowingly, and which we may relax during those particularly still and "tension dropping" sittings. It may just be that we are so used to holding those facial muscles tightly, that we feel the pleasant relaxing and warmth there. Also, any part of the body which draws the attention suddenly is "felt" when not felt before (draw the attention now to the back of your right knee, for example, and you will feel a part of the body usually invisible to our awareness).

        Perhaps so.

        Whatever it may be ... as in all moments of Shikantaza ... this too is a moment to be cherished, allowed, let go. We neither seek to run to such a sensation, nor stay there, nor feel that such moments are more sacred than all others. All moments are sacred in Shikantaza, and all is constantly changing.

        Gassho, Jundo
        Very interesting post! Haven't noticed anything like this for myself but should I ever feel this sensation at least I won't worry about having a tumor up there!

        Gassho,
        John
        Ho (Dharma)
        Yu (Hot Water)

        Comment

        • Geika
          Treeleaf Unsui
          • Jan 2010
          • 4980

          #5
          Re: During Zazen - A strange pressure

          When we work with the tension in that area, interesting things happen. I once did a little exercise I read in a book that was supposed to help loosen up the years of tension that we carry in the forehead. Afterward, I had some odd effects, like strong sensations in other parts of the body, but that all subsided, and I'm not absolutely sure it was related.
          求道芸化 Kyūdō Geika
          I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

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