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Sensation of suffocating/chest ache, and 3rd eye pressure - seeking input...

Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by john_h, May 12, 2010.

  1. john_h

    john_h Member

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    Hi folks,

    John here, new member and first-time poster seeking some input. I'll try and be succinct and paint a decent picture!!

    I am fairly new to meditation and have recently re-doubled my efforts to practice regularly and with simple focus on my object of attention (usually the breath, or the 3rd eye).

    Just a bit of background info... Just in my normal consciousness, I often carry around this "mass" of low-grade ache in my chest. Its like this dull ache that sits behind my heart/lungs, it feels like this amorphous mass that has a physical presence all to itself. There have been episodes just in my normal consciousness where this "mass", for lack of a better term, becomes "sick", and produces a severe feeling of sadness/ache in my chest, and my body responds by almost violently contracting all the muscles of my torso to try and "push" it out of me - similar to when you have a very profound vomiting episode, but this this is my body's way of trying to eject this mass of sadness and pain. BTW, I'm am seeking professional counseling to help with this, not solely relying on meditation!!

    This morning I began to meditate with my attention directed primarily to the 3rd eye, while also trying to keep my breath steady and relaxed (I know just a bit about the 3rd eye in concept, but it is routine for me to experience moderate dull pressure and tingling in the middle of my forehead while meditating, so I decided to focus on it). Anyways, within a few minutes of starting the meditation, this "mass" moved to the top of my chest, a very broad, quite intense feeling of dull ache, and almost suffocating - I almost felt like i needed to cough. I simply tried to stay with the sensation and observe it. It eventually eased up and melted away. As i sit right now in my normal consciousness, I do feel a sense of residual relief in my chest, like i can still feel the imprint of where this mass was "melted" or "pulled" off of my chest.

    All that said, I'm not sure what that experience means, what mechanisms are at work, what I need to recognize from it, and whether this is an indicator of something i need to develop and explore further.

    Eager to hear any input, thank you!!
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2010
  2. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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  3. Ta-tsu-wa

    Ta-tsu-wa Member

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    Giles and I are absolutely on the same page there. Meditation teachers who insist on a person remaining motionless during meditation or impose other, inflexible standards for practice often set their students up for disappointment. They forget that while we may not "be" the body, we certainly occupy a body with which we're intimatelly connected at the moment. Like it or not, it influences us just as we influence it, and insisting we ignore what it's saying is a sure-fire way to make certain our mind remains locked in chains to whatever physical event is currently going on. That approach seems to me at best a counterproductive one.

    It's good that you're having a knowledgeable professional assess your experience just to rule out any medical issues. You mentioned your physical sensations are sometimes with you during the non-meditation portions of your day. Sometimes buried emotions, thoughts, and so forth find expression in physical ways. Our language is filled with examples of exactly that.

    For example, when we are deeply saddened we say we have a "heavy heart". When we're elated we say we're "walking on air" or "on cloud 9", usually meaning we're feeling a corresponding sensation of physical as well as emotional lightness. And who among us hasn't felt "butterflies in my stomach" when they were nervous about something? Have you ever seen someone burdened by heavy responsibility whose shoulders are rotated forward and downwards as though they were "shouldering" a heavy physical load?

    What I've noticed is there are three areas that most often tend to feel a physical effect as the result of mental or emotional issues surfacing. The stomach area, the heart area, and the shoulders. I'd bet serious pushups the counselor you're working with noted right away the sensations you're feeling are in and around the heart area and probably started exploring emotional issues that tend to result in physical sensations in that area.

    In addition to following your counselor's advice you're probably very wise in your approach of observing these sensations in the most neutral way you are able. Carefully observed sensations like that can and do morph into different sensations without you needing to do anything more than the observation. The path of evolution they follow often contains valuable clues as to their true nature. If you're able you might want to jot down a few notes to yourself about them if you notice them changing under observation and share those with your counselor.
     
  4. zeroME

    zeroME Member

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    I know the sensation...

    Hi, I'm a first time poster, also. I know the chest sensation you speak of. I'm not sure what it is. I experienced this once, about a year ago. It accompanied an understanding of the power of creation and the Thing that created them. The thought was deep and deeper than I can describe or even think of now. I can't even remember the complexity of the thought at present moment, and I could I believe the chest pressure would return.
    I actually found this site while googling for someone who experienced said pressure. Kudos to you, for experiencing that. I know it takes a great capacity for conceptual understanding in order to bring that about. I know this because I've done this. Others post replies that are guesses without actually experiencing the sensation they are guessing at. This means that this depth of thought may not be that common. Again, kudos... you're an extremely intelligent being with a high capacity for understanding the complexity of what Is.
    If I remember correctly, the pressure was almost like pulling the center of my chest forward and up, to the point thatcmy back was almost bowed. Does this sound like what you experienced?
     

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