Discomfort During Meditation

Question

Recently during my meditation I have been feeling some unbalance in energy. I find my right hand has not been aligned in my postures which bothers me during meditation. My right shoulder is slightly bigger than my left probably the reason I am having this problem but this is disturbing my concentration. It never used to bother me until recently. I am not able to go deep in my meditation because of this. I also feel a sensation of something moving on my back.

—Samarth Negi, India

Answer

Dear Samarth,

It is quite normal to feel certain kinds of discomfort when meditating. Apart from the medical or anatomical reasons for discomfort is the simple fact that when we sit still and internalize our awareness, the first thing we become aware of is the body and its various imbalances.

For this reason, at least in part, hatha yoga and the more recently adapted Energization Exercises given to the world by Paramhansa Yogananda are excellent as a preparation for meditation (before sitting). With stretching and tension exercises, muscles and energy are redistributed and rebalanced so that we feel aligned when we sit to meditate.

But it is also true that during meditation we can be distracted because we are more aware of the body. Generally speaking, we should concentrate on correct posture WITH deep relaxation of all parts of body and mind. With discomforts, it is usually advised to relax into it and embrace it so that its flow of disturbance can rise and then fall away naturally as all bodily energies and thoughts do.

Resisting it only makes it worse, generally. If a simple adjustment of one’s position can relieve the discomfort that is fine but too much reaction to minor aches etc. can just go on and on until one’s meditation time is exhausted!

It is as if our life force (prana) begins its withdrawal from the periphery of the body and as we focus inwardly, the prana travels through the layers of skin, organs, and tissue. As it does so it encounters various knots of tension and imbalances of various sorts. The result is a blockage of the inward flowing prana. If we can simply continue our withdrawal of prana without reacting to the blockage, the prana will make its way past it and the feeling of disturbance dissipates.

In this process, chanting, devotion and focus at the heart and spiritual eye will greatly help re-direct your attention inward and upward and to the degree of your own joyful intensity, all lesser distractions will simply go away.

Of course, there may also be some medical need or attention required so please don’t overlook the possibility that your attention is being directed to a medical issue that should be looked at.  Ok?

Blessings and Joy to You!
Nayaswami Hriman
Seattle WA USA
www.Hrimananda.org