Are You Not Supposed To Move When You Meditate?


While the chanting phase of meditation, I became lost in deep focus (and couldn’t chant anymore, as if lost my voice) and was in a state where I felt intense bliss and 'oneness' with God. My body couldn’t sustain itself and I was swinging around like a drunken man :). I felt immense joy and the first thing I did after the meditation was to hug someone I had immense hatred for. I am not sure what that state was and what to do if it happens again. Should I try not to move around? It just happened.

—Ashwin , India


Dear Ashwin,

What Divine Mother gives to you: accept! From your description, you were “engrossed in the blue lotus feet,” so to speak, and were moved by your experience. I can’t say this is very typical! But there’s nothing wrong with hugging someone you formerly disliked. (Can I assume this worked out well for you? That the person was appreciative of your heartfelt gesture?)

And yet you do point to a subtle aspect of “sadhana”: the importance of remaining still. From your description it seems that you didn’t have much choice; at least it was natural for you to stand and weave about in a kind of drunken ecstasy. All I can say is: don’t make the mistake of thinking that by staggering about you will necessarily induce an ecstatic state. Too much bodily movement can actually suppress or interupt your ability to enter into a deep, meditative state.

So for now, simply accept the grace of what took place as a spiritual gift. It may never happen again, nor should you attempt to make it happen by will power or desire. “What comes of itself, let it come,” Yogananda-ji would sometimes say. Divine Mother has infinite ways to beguile the soul, and the deeper states of meditation (dhyana–sabikalpa samadhi) will involve suspension of all bodily movement — even if in moksha (liberation–nirbikalpa samadhi) we can still act or move.

Blessings to you!
Nayaswami Hriman