Headaches from bhavana

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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befriend
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Headaches from bhavana

Post by befriend » Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:09 pm

I have increased my meditation schedule to about 20 minutes of brahma viharas and 30 minutes of mindfulness of breathing a day. I'm normally not this consistent with my practice and now I have a constant headache every time I wish someone well the headache gets worse. I'm not sure what to do it may be karmic or maybe it's trying to hard to watch my breathing. Anyone else have experienced this pickle?
Take care of mindfulness and mindfulness will take care of you.

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Headaches from bhavana

Post by JamesTheGiant » Thu Mar 01, 2018 6:01 pm

Simple stress headache, from doing it too hard?

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DooDoot
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Re: Headaches from bhavana

Post by DooDoot » Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:21 pm

My view of Buddhist practise is the effort involved is the effort to let go. At the end of the Anapanasati Sutta, it is said each factor of enlightenment, including mindfulness, should have the quality of 'letting go' (sometimes translated as 'relinquishment'). This means no special effort is required to intentionally direct the mind towards the breathing. If the mind is quiet, still & relaxed, it will eventually naturally know the breathing. I would try to find a balance between stillness & relaxation in meditation. Instead of doing the standard metta recitations (which I have never practised formally), try to focus on abandoning ill-will, hatred, judgment, criticism, etc, rather than creating the positive state of love. In short, as James said, headaches often occur from too much effort.
"Now what do you think, Sona. Before, when you were a house-dweller, were you skilled at playing the vina?"

"Yes, lord."

"And what do you think: when the strings of your vina were too taut, was your vina in tune & playable?"

"No, lord."

"And what do you think: when the strings of your vina were too loose, was your vina in tune & playable?"

"No, lord."

"And what do you think: when the strings of your vina were neither too taut nor too loose, but tuned to be right on pitch, was your vina in tune & playable?"

"Yes, lord."

"In the same way, Sona, over-aroused persistence leads to restlessness, overly slack persistence leads to laziness. Thus you should determine the right pitch for your persistence, attune the pitch of the [five] faculties [to that], and there pick up your theme."

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

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rightviewftw
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Re: Headaches from bhavana

Post by rightviewftw » Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:35 pm

Does not make much sense to me tbh, perhaps there is some aversion to meditation going on :shrug:
One thing sure is that it won't stay like this forever, so probably not something you should worry about it.
Do you have formal Satipatthana training? I think that would help a lot in dealing with painful sensations and studying these states.
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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Headaches from bhavana

Post by JamesTheGiant » Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:39 am

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:21 pm
My view of Buddhist practise is the effort involved is the effort to let go. At the end of the Anapanasati Sutta, it is said each factor of enlightenment, including mindfulness, should have the quality of 'letting go' (sometimes translated as 'relinquishment'). This means no special effort is required to intentionally direct the mind towards the breathing.
Yes, exactly. So often meditators fall into the trap of pushing their attention around, forcing it onto the breath, instead of letting go.

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binocular
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Re: Headaches from bhavana

Post by binocular » Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:12 pm

befriend wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:09 pm
I have increased my meditation schedule to about 20 minutes of brahma viharas and 30 minutes of mindfulness of breathing a day. I'm normally not this consistent with my practice and now I have a constant headache every time I wish someone well the headache gets worse. I'm not sure what to do it may be karmic or maybe it's trying to hard to watch my breathing. Anyone else have experienced this pickle?
Could be hypoxia due to shallow breathing.

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Mkoll
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Re: Headaches from bhavana

Post by Mkoll » Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:22 am

Have you tried noticing whether you're tensing your muscles while you're meditating, especially in the face, neck and shoulders? This tension can cause a headache.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

befriend
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Re: Headaches from bhavana

Post by befriend » Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:01 am

I think that was the case I've never done anapanasati before and was trying to really see almost every feeling from the breath.
Take care of mindfulness and mindfulness will take care of you.

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