It started during the last day of Mingyur Rinpoche's retreat. An iron hand pressing down on my chest, then slowly moving up to encircle throat, and head. I had the same experience again this morning, during sitting meditation at home. The energy felt even stronger. Remembering Rinpoche's instructions, I knew better than to believe interpreting mind. This was not a panic attack, nor something to be feared, but rather a manifestation of "innocent movement".
My notes from Rinpoche's talk on the topic:
Innocent movement is a part of meditation process. It is important to recognize and not get attached.
Four signs of innocent movement are:
- Physical sensations: very real sensations of unusual warmth in stomach or in the head, tingling in the spine, tightness in the throat, chest or stomach
- Sensitive perceptions: seeing colors, fireflies, visions, or dream like states, sounds, smells that are not real
- Emotions: feeling of energy, positive or negative, which is partly real, partly not
- Senses: alternating between up and down, happy and anger, not real
This does not mean that you are special, or that you are going crazy.
Practical steps to take when faced with innocent movement:
- Drink water
- Do physical exercise
- Stop meditation for as long as needed
Taking Rinpoche's prescription to heart, and looking forward to mid-day swim practice :)