I used to meditate daily for at least 15 minutes daily for 3 years. Within a few months I started experiencing a slight pressure between my eyebrows. Much later, after trying shambhavi mudra, the pressure became even more intense. The pressure is not painful but a dull sensation. It feels as if something is stuck in the center of my skull and is about to explode. Due to this, I sometimes feel disoriented and am unable to focus on day-to-day tasks that require focus or attention. How do I deal with this?
I had to look up the practice of shambhavi mudra because this term is not used in the meditation teachings as brought by Paramhansa Yogananda whose teachings we follow at Ananda. As I understand it, the technique involves bringing the attention to the point between the eyebrows, but it is done with some degree of tension.
The instructions I found online were: “Roll both the eyes upwards and try to gaze at the eyebrow center. When you do this, you will be able to see the two eyebrows as two curved lines meeting at the center. It forms a kind of V-shaped line with a dip at the center. Concentrate the eyes on this dip in the lower center region of the V-shaped line. Maintain this position for as long as you can. Initially, the eye muscles will start to pain after few seconds or within minutes. Relax the eyes and bring it back to the normal position. Rest for some time and try again. With practice one can maintain this gaze for a longer period of time.” I wonder if this describes the technique you are using.
Yogananda taught concentration at the point between the eyebrows — referred to as the Krishna or Christ Consciousness center or the spiritual eye. It is a central aspect of our meditation practice. But the concentration is done without tension. The eyes are gently uplifted as if gazing at a distant mountain peak. A way to learn this is to hold your right arm out in front of you with your thumb pointing upward. Then lift the arm so that the thumb is level with the top of your head. Gaze at your thumbnail. Your eyes should now be gently uplifted. Close your eyes and keep this gently uplifted gaze. You should never feel any pain. If you do the eyes are turned up too far. If you feel pressure between the eyebrows during meditation, you might be furrowing your eyebrows as you concentrate. Keep the forehead muscles relaxed. Your difficulty during the day may be because you now have an unconscious habit of keeping your forehead muscles tense and your eyebrows furrowed. This can give you a headache.
The purpose of the uplifted eye gaze is to help us access higher states of awareness called superconsciousness. When we enter higher states of consciousness our eyes will naturally uplift. By uplifting our eyes as part of our meditation practice it supports our effort to enter those higher states.
You might be interested in learning the basic meditation technique that Yogananda taught, called Hong-Sau meditation, which includes concentrating at the spiritual eye. You can learn it free at www.ananda.org/meditation/meditation-mini-course/.
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