Dizziness, Whirling sensation, physical pressure while Meditating?

topic posted Thu, July 28, 2005 - 3:36 PM by  Unsubscribed
Lately the more and more I meditate the more I experience a variety of sensations. It pretty much started out as more of a dizziness that occured, but recently its been stronger and incorporated a whirling feeling as well. Last night was the most intense I've experienced it. It felt as though I was in the ocean and a wave was washing over me. I could feel the sensation spreading across my whole body and causing a whirling similar to that of the tumultuous undercurrent after a wave crashes. It felt like my center of balance was completely off, I wouldn't have been able to walk had I tried (at least it felt this way). There is also a pressure that occurs at my third eye point between my eyebrows. This pressure can get pretty strong as though someone had their finger pressing against my forehead. I am getting this similar sort of sensation on the top of my head now as well, this is almost even more distinct! Sometimes there's an explosion of light inside my head. Sometimes I feel as though I'm weightless, floating. Last night all of these things occured strongly and at one point it was as though the dichotomy of 'inside' and 'outside' disappeared, losing sense of all things physical. Later, after I had finished, my field of vision seemed to move around dizzyingly for a rather short period of time.

Now for my question.

What in the world is going on here? I can't seem to find much info on search engines. Has anyone else experienced this? Can anyone relate what has happened to them? Any other comments? Advice? Insight?
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  • There was another thread like this... look for one titled "woozy deep state" .

    As my Rinpoche said "All these things are just phenomena... just focus on the breath (or mantra)."

    I know that doesn't sound helpful or informative - but whatever happens during meditation - boring or exciting - one should not be drawn into it. The point is to retain one's center even while all these wild sensations happen.
  • I had a lot of what you describe happen to me doing chakra work at a meditation retreat last fall (first one I'd been to; I'd been a solitary up to then). The advice that you should just keep breathing/counting/chanting/whatever you do is what the swami told us, and it did help.

    I didn't really buy into the whole chakra thing before that experience, but I certainly do now. I'm not sure what's happening, exactly. The explanations you get from the old texts, or from the granola heads that are usually willing to talk about it aren't terribly informative. But I started thinking about it like this:

    Your brain and your body are all wired together into one system. Parts of your brain that control certain moods, sensations, cognitive abilities, etc. are also closely wired into other parts of your body. For instance, a shrink who treats people with OCD wrote a book on neuroplasticity (remind me to look up the title; his name is Peter Schwartz) in which he said that PET scans he did on his patients showed that people with OCD show extremely high levels of activitry in the orbital frontal lobe. The corrolation is so strong that some neurophys folks call this brain region the "worry circuit". It just so happens that this brain region is heavily wired into the gut control system. The gut, of course, is associated with the navel chakra. Problems with this chakra tend to result in... yep. Worry! Now when I get time, I need to see if there are corrolations with the other chakra regions as well. But anyway...

    I'm thinking that chakra meditation accesses something much like the control panel on your OS. It gives you sort of a map of where your stuff is, and a portal for accessing it consciously, without having to take drugs or cut your head open or anything.

    But to get back to the subjective experience, it's tough to say what's happening to you without being you. It's not too likely that any of it is going to hurt you, as long as you don't get into arguments with it. I don't know if you have ever taken LSD or anything, but the same rule seems to apply: don't get into an argument with the experience, and you'll come out OK. Start getting uppity with it, you'll get the psycho smackdown. Well, probably not that bad, but it might short-circuit what could be a valuable experience for you. Remember what you're sitting for. You're supposed to be watching what happens.

    Personally, I've found that these experiences might get me a little hinky for a short time, but in the long run, the benefits have been IMMENSE. I notice this the most when I'm not meditating, actually. Those areas of my body seem a little more integrated with each other than they used to be, like I'm literally more "together". Some days, I can feel them humming away in the background, just a little. Those are the days where I feel like I'm spending every minute in "the zone" or close too it. Reactions to other people are better, my reasoning is clearer, I can adapt an adjust to externals more easily, without having to twist myself up like a pretzel in order to figure stuff out. It's very good stuff.

    One possibility that just occurred to me: maybe the physical sensations are just the result of your nervous system reorienting itself as your practice develops. I do get the pressure on my third eye chakra a LOT, have for years, even before I started meditating. I get the floaty, out-of-body stuff mostly when I do navel chakra work. I thought that might be because all of those nerve ending in the solar plexus are part of what helps you sense your body center and orientation in space. One possibility anyway. I did some very intense heart chakra work for several weeks at one point. It turned out to be really good for me, but my time sense got all screwy for awhile. Odd thing though, I don't need to wear a watch anymore. And I used to be LATE everywhere!

    Anyway, I have gone on for awhile. Please update on this. I'm really curious to hear about how this develops for other people. But again, remember you're sitting down to WATCH. You can do stuff with it when the bell rings, know what I mean? ;-)
    • Rachel sez > "Personally, I've found that these experiences might get me a little hinky for a short time..."

      Hinky? lol, what's that?

      and > "I don't know if you have ever taken LSD or anything, but the same rule seems to apply: don't get into an argument with the experience, and you'll come out OK."

      Totally. I am also reminded of a story ramm dass told of taking some LSD to a guru in india to ask him what it does. After dropping enough to trip for days and sitting for a while the guru said; "This does nothing!"

      To Michaels original question:

      I have experienced this too. It is a symptom of your energies being out of balance and a need for grounding. The guyan mudra (downward facing) along with chanting VAM can be useful for opening the root chakra and grounding.

      An awareness of breath can help through these sensations. Yoga journal has a nice article on breathing. [ ]

      I have found the 'micro-orbital breath' technique [ ] to be very effective at establishing balanced energy movements in meditation.


  • hi, Michael --

    yes, it's all par for the course. the sensations in meditation are usually signs that a lot of purification of your neurophysiological system is happening -- this is a good thing. energy is moving, balancing itself, opening things up in you. this is all good.

    3rd Eye pressure is normal -- same with seeing light, internally. same with feeling weightless. these are all symptoms of a good meditation and ultimately aren't the point -- just what happens in the process.

    nothing to worry about. just enjoy the ride.

  • Unsu...
    this has been happening to me for years. almost as soon as i sit down, i get the overwhelming sensation that i am sitting cockeyed, leaning usually to the right. i try to just sit through it, ignore it, but i inevitably end up trying to adjust my posture. i often also feel like i'm twirling upside-down or spinning around, and it gets me quite dizzy. it's become a major distraction in my meditation.
    i spoke with the dharma teachers at my zen center, and they described it as makyo, which are "distracting hallucinations or illusory sensations experienced during meditation, and presenting a hindrance to enlightenment and spiritual advancement."
    however i feel like when all these obstacles to meditation suddenly arise, you're close to breaking through.