Why Do I Feel Emotional During Meditation?


When I meditate, I get an overwhelming flood of emotion that wells up from my gut and rises up to my chest, sometimes higher, and releases. This isn’t a single emotion, but all emotions at once — neither good nor bad. Is there a name for this?

—Peter, New Zealand


Dear Peter,

Thank you for writing in to us. In meditation the varieties of feelings, energies and sensations that can take place are beyond number, and I’m not aware of any particular name to describe yours. But I can offer to you the suggestion to simply be present with the experience; observe; remain calm; (with practice your ability to simply observe with grow).

The good news from your statement is that whatever it is is being released. After this, I assume you are able to meditate calmly and with focused attention (yes?).

Many, indeed most, of such experiences convey no particular message or details. They simply happen. Nor is it typical that meditation is filled with such experiences. “The road to enlightenment is not a circus” (to paraphrase somewhat Paramhansa Yogananda).

So the general counsel is not to get involved with such phenomena. There are other things that happen as our meditation deepens. Any of the astral five senses (smell, taste, inner sights and sounds, e.g.) can be activated during meditation. Those which are sustainable, rather than fleeting, can be “objects” of meditative concentration. Some, like the sound of Aum reverberating through the astral body, can be communed with as divine manifestations — similarly with inner light and especially with the appearance in the forehead of the spiritual eye.

So there’s nothing “wrong” with such things happening, but simply “let them go.”

There are experiences which can be painful (whether physically or emotionally) and there are some to be avoided (by ceasing to meditate, e.g.) But you’ve not indicated anything of this nature.

So for now observe with keen interest but without imposing a need to analyze or react (whether in repulsion or congratulation). It will come, it will go! Okay?

Nayaswami Hriman
Seattle, WA