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Pleasurable tingles when meditating?

A couple of months ago a friend of mine showed me meditation. I don’t know if it was Zen, Transcendental, etc. I just focus on my breathing and try and reach a point where I think no thoughts. I notice when I reach a state around no thoughts, warm good feelings come out of my temples and surround my head in a crown kind of thing. Then these feelings shoot down my spine. It’s a very euphoric feeling. While this is happening my body starts twitching but it all feels good so I don’t worry about it. Does anyone else experience this or know if this is common? Thanks.

11 Comments

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  • There can be different things that result in those sorts of experiences. Sometimes it’s what Buddhists call “kriyas” — which can include physical twitches. And those tend to be analogous to the literal twitch you can get when a tight muscle starts to relax, only in this case its a more “energetic” part of you that is relaxing.

    Sometimes it can actually come of pushing too hard. There’s no need really to make your mind blank, for instance. Just allowing any thoughts that arise to come and go, like boats on a stream or clouds in the air, is more the idea. There are different procedures in meditation, but by and large you’re just looking to be honest and present (and not “identified” with thinking).

    And that is also a way to treat both pleasurable and not-so-pleasurable tingles when meditating — watch them come and go, without trying to grab onto them and not trying to thrust them away. Occasionally things like that need your acceptance and attention — they are “telling you something.” But most of the time they don’t need much of anything; they can then be regarded more like just changes in the weather.

  • It’s kind of like an exhilarating thrill mixed with the fear that it might end. A “light bulb” moment when everything starts to fit into the grand scheme of things. Where there is no good no evil just events that we interpret as good or evil in our arrogance of thinking we can see the broader picture.

  • These types of experience are quite common. The teachers warn not to attach to them, just as you shouldn’t attach to any type of phenomena–pleasant or unpleasant. Just go back to focusing on your breath.

  • My understanding is that your relaxation is allowing the qi to circulate freely, and the twitches are the slight adjustments that your body makes to even out the qi flow. There’s nothing wrong with this, but I would recommend in-depth training with somebody who knows his stuff or at least buying Qigong Empowerment so you can recognize symptoms of problems and what to do about them.

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