Head Pressure and Meditation

I was suffering from pressure to the forehead. Sometimes I could feel it on the sides or at the crown of the head. It began with meditation and mindfulness so I took it upon me to investigate the feeling.

Initially I considered the feeling to be interesting and being naturally curious I enjoyed it. Eventually it became too hot to handle so I tried to educate myself. Reading books and consulting online resources helped me get a better idea of what this was about. Some people talk about the pressure as being an opportunity to get deeper into the meditation practice. I did not immediately understand what that meant. Today, I can say that there is some truth in that idea, but it is incomplete as far as we remain uninformed of certain realities. Their was also talk about the opening of the third eye, but I tend to stay skeptical with these words. We tend to take words for cash instead of looking at what concept they point to. Finally, some guru said that the pressure was the consequence of meditating with the mind and not with the heart. I could see his point, but applying it was beyond me at the time.

I even went to a meditation center for an information session and asked the abbot and the local priests what they thought of this physical sensation that slowly started feeling like an affliction since I could feel it while doing normal activities on my own such as doing the groceries or walking around the park.

I wasn’t impressed with their answers. Some of them outright told me they have never felt that feeling and so I thought that their answers were pretty shallow. Were told not to have judgments, but hey, I’m a human being and I felt like an automaton. Were quick to fire labels based on our first impressions, I just learn to accept it and laugh it off ironically as being a funny trait we humans possess. So I said it, fuck them I gotta figure this one out on my own.

After acquiring a decent amount of knowledge on the subject I logically moved on to self-exploration. I understood basic concepts that were brought fort from Buddhism, psychology and psychotherapy so I felt confident in my self-assessment.

I came to consider that my meditation practice was much to focused on the mind and not on the other parts of the body. I also concluded that any kind of pressure is similar to muscle pressure. The same kind of pressure we get after reaching our physical limit doing push ups. I also knew that the more I would try to suppress it, the more the feeling would retaliate. So I gave up on that and started laughing at my pathetic case.

I started meditating with a focus on my heart too. That helped me because I stopped giving so much attention to all the mind-stuff that was going on in my head. Always looking after the mind can be considered neurosis. Or like a mother who tries too hard to control her children. It feels like were out of air to breath as the kids.

I remember a phrase from Takuan Soho which went like this :

“Make the whole body the mind. Only by unflagging striving can one attain this.”

I don’t know what my possibilities are to reach a state of using the body as one complete organ of senses, but it does make a clear point that focusing attention in one place should not become an obsession.

Today my pressure has subsided. Whenever it comes back I treat it like the weather. I can’t do a thing to stop it so I might as well watch and enjoy the show. A little bit of humor goes a long way too. I will crack a smile in helpless situations and feel like it was exactly what life expected of me at that precise moment.

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