Dropping head, drooling and swallowing reflex in meditation

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
User avatar
TheNoBSBuddhist
Posts: 1614
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:06 pm
Location: Loch Lomond, via the High AND Low road....

Re: Dropping head, drooling and swallowing reflex in meditat

Post by TheNoBSBuddhist » Wed Jul 09, 2014 5:52 am

Sati1 wrote:Dear TheNoBSBuddhist,

I am sure that I am not falling asleep, as I can clearly review the five hindrances and detect no sloth and torpor whatsoever. My awareness is bright and I remain well-focused on the breath throughout. think it's more a state of extreme relaxation of the muscles than any dozzing-off or falling asleep.

Metta,
If you are becoming so physically relaxed that you 'lose' control of functions in your body, then your Attention is either faulty or incomplete.
One teacher I had advised his pupils that meditation is a state of heightened attentive Mindfulness, or heightened Mindful Attention. In other words, completely still and present, yet ready to leap and stand t attention as required.
Meditation is complete discipline and Being Present, both physically and mentally.

If you were to ask accomplished teachers if this happens to them, i would dare or venture to suggest they would say no.

Therefore, there is an extreme relaxation in you which is unguarded and non-Mindful.


This is after all though, merely my observation, so please feel free to totally ignore my input.
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



Image

Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....

User avatar
Kumara
Posts: 673
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:14 am

Re: Dropping head, drooling and swallowing reflex in meditat

Post by Kumara » Wed Jul 09, 2014 8:38 am

Sati1 wrote:I am sure that I am not falling asleep, as I can clearly review the five hindrances and detect no sloth and torpor whatsoever. My awareness is bright and I remain well-focused on the breath throughout. think it's more a state of extreme relaxation of the muscles than any dozzing-off or falling asleep.
Do you think you might be overdoing the relaxation bit?

In a proper state of samadhi (composure/collectedness), the body is energetic, thus naturally and relaxingly upright.
I'm not just a monk. I'm a human being. — Sayadaw U Jotika

User avatar
Sati1
Posts: 319
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2013 5:54 am

Re: Dropping head, drooling and swallowing reflex in meditat

Post by Sati1 » Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:38 am

Hello,

Yes, I probably have developed a bad habit of "letting myself go" when the body relaxes. I shall condition the body to remain upright even when it is relaxed.

Metta,

Andy
Sati1
London, UK

----
"I do not perceive even one other thing, o monks, that when developed and cultivated entails such great happiness as the mind" (AN 1.10, transl. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)
"So this spiritual life, monks, does not have gain, honor, and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of moral discipline for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision for its benefit. But it is this unshakable liberation of mind that is the goal of this spiritual life, its heartwood, and its end," (MN 29, transl. Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi)

User avatar
Kumara
Posts: 673
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:14 am

Re: Dropping head, drooling and swallowing reflex in meditat

Post by Kumara » Fri Jul 11, 2014 2:57 am

Sati1 wrote:Yes, I probably have developed a bad habit of "letting myself go" when the body relaxes. I shall condition the body to remain upright even when it is relaxed.
Good that you notice that. When the awareness is bright with discernment, things naturally fall into place.
I'm not just a monk. I'm a human being. — Sayadaw U Jotika

User avatar
Sati1
Posts: 319
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2013 5:54 am

Re: Dropping head, drooling and swallowing reflex in meditat

Post by Sati1 » Sat Jul 19, 2014 6:52 am

Hello,

Since I first wrote the original post, I have implemented several of the suggestions, which have worked out well:

-dropping head can be prevented by repeatedly returning the head to an upright position until, through conditioning, it ceases to drop forward. Not only is this helpful for the meditation, but it is probably also healthier on the long run for neck and spine.
-when the swallowing reflex arises, one can either avoid swallowing and focus on the intensifying reflex as an object of meditation, or else swallow mindfully and quickly without much loss of concentration. The latter approach is the one I have mostly been employing.
-drooling is no longer a problem when the head stops dropping and one prevents saliva from accumulating in the mouth.

Thank you again for your advice.

Metta,
Last edited by Sati1 on Sat Jul 19, 2014 10:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
Sati1
London, UK

----
"I do not perceive even one other thing, o monks, that when developed and cultivated entails such great happiness as the mind" (AN 1.10, transl. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)
"So this spiritual life, monks, does not have gain, honor, and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of moral discipline for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision for its benefit. But it is this unshakable liberation of mind that is the goal of this spiritual life, its heartwood, and its end," (MN 29, transl. Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi)

User avatar
Kumara
Posts: 673
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:14 am

Re: Dropping head, drooling and swallowing reflex in meditat

Post by Kumara » Sat Jul 19, 2014 8:45 am

You're most welcome. There's a typo in the red part, right?
Sati1 wrote:-drooling is no longer a problem when the head stops dropping and one prevents saliva from accumulating in the mind.
I'm not just a monk. I'm a human being. — Sayadaw U Jotika

User avatar
Sati1
Posts: 319
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2013 5:54 am

Re: Dropping head, drooling and swallowing reflex in meditat

Post by Sati1 » Sat Jul 19, 2014 10:10 am

lol! certainly we hope that that never happens :shock:
Sati1
London, UK

----
"I do not perceive even one other thing, o monks, that when developed and cultivated entails such great happiness as the mind" (AN 1.10, transl. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)
"So this spiritual life, monks, does not have gain, honor, and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of moral discipline for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision for its benefit. But it is this unshakable liberation of mind that is the goal of this spiritual life, its heartwood, and its end," (MN 29, transl. Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi)

User avatar
daverupa
Posts: 5980
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: Dropping head, drooling and swallowing reflex in meditat

Post by daverupa » Sat Jul 19, 2014 1:07 pm

Resting the tip of the tongue on the roof of the mouth, somewhere near the juncture of the hard & soft palate, is a good way to prevent saliva accumulation.
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

User avatar
Sati1
Posts: 319
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2013 5:54 am

Re: Dropping head, drooling and swallowing reflex in meditat

Post by Sati1 » Sat Jul 19, 2014 1:58 pm

Thanks, daverupa, I will try that if saliva continues to be a problem.
Sati1
London, UK

----
"I do not perceive even one other thing, o monks, that when developed and cultivated entails such great happiness as the mind" (AN 1.10, transl. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)
"So this spiritual life, monks, does not have gain, honor, and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of moral discipline for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision for its benefit. But it is this unshakable liberation of mind that is the goal of this spiritual life, its heartwood, and its end," (MN 29, transl. Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi)

JackH
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:29 am

Re: Dropping head, drooling and swallowing reflex in meditation

Post by JackH » Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:39 am

Sati1 wrote:
Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:53 pm
Hello,

Recently, three strange and distracting things started to happen as I go deeper into meditation: my head slowly drops forward, I start to drool (slobber), and, as saliva builds up in the mouth, a strong urge to swallow arises. All three events are irrelevant at the beginning, but become somewhat of a distraction when they intensify: I lift my head back to straight posture in order not to hurt my neck, I feel the dripping of saliva on my shirt, and I swallow. Throughout the process I am well concentrated and fully aware of what is happening.

Has anybody had similar experiences, and do you have suggestions on what to do about this?

Many thanks for your help,
It’s a sign of deep meditation. My teacher calls it pre-Zen stage where the breathing is very short and distant apart but you’ve not achieved stage of breathlessness. The tongue I believe would also be very still, touching the top part of your mouth, your palate. The teeth may also be grinding tight and the body is completely still despite it being numb. These are signs that the Mind is settling down to its base. It’s a good phase to start to contemplate your mind and body, your defilements. “See” the veins and flesh and contemplate - “who is watching”, “who is I”. Try to keep your mind on your breadth as it’s the bridge between the mind and body. Over time you should “see” the distinction between body and mind and you’d be in a calm phase of emptiness, which is also an interesting phase for further contemplation

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests