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Can meditation cause headaches?

carrie
usa

Question

blessings. many times when i meditate i have been feeling pain in my head. specifically around my temples, above my right eye and sometimes behind at the medulla oblongata. it seems to be very distracting to me and i try not to let it divert my focused attention but many times i get agitated about it. and this only makes the pain worse! of course. it seems like an intense pressure in my head. i am curious to know if you may have any thoughts about this...~in love and gratitude. carrie.

Answer

Dear Carrie,

Let me address both of your questions at once as they are seemingly related. As you know, when we meditate we are making a conscious and focused effort to first concentrate and then move energy up through our chakras to our third eye. When we do this, we are often dislodging and unseating energy that has been stagnant for some time... probably a very long time!

This can create resistance and dissonance as our ego struggles to keep everything exactly as it is. It is simply a part of the human condition to resist change. Often people feel physical and emotional "pain" as they begin and strengthen or deepen a meditation practice. As it says in the Bhagavad Gita, this is a struggle between our "upward and downward-declining tendencies."

Having said that, we often need help and support as we move on our path, and knowing what kind of help can be tricky. First, make sure you are in good physical, medical, and emotional shape. Have a medical check-up, and maybe work with a chiropractor for good spine care and alignment.

Ask yourself if you could use some help in the form of psychotherapy to deal with all of the emotion that is being released. As Yogis we often tend to dismiss or even deny our need for traditional types of support when in fact that may be exactly what we need to move forward.

Also, try and get directly involved with a meditation teacher and group so you are not alone. Paramhansa Yogananda said that next to God's grace the most important thing helping us on our spiritual path is the company we keep.

Many blessings,
Shanti

 

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