Spontaneous Movement During Meditation

Question

I have been meditating for about 2 years in the morning on my own. (I start my practice with meditation on compassion and then I go on with a body scan from foot to head). Lately I have moved a lot during meditation (my legs move towards a lotus position, my body bends, my arms move around, and my mouth opens and feels very tense). I wonder if I should resist these uncontrolled motions or if I have to go on like this. Can you please help me?

—Yann, France

Answer

Dear Yann,

In meditation the energy withdraws inward from the body into the astral or energy spine and then upward through the chakras (or energy centers) to the spiritual eye, also referred to as the 6th chakra, the point between the eyebrows and the seat of enlightenment.

From the 6th chakra a passage opens to the 7th chakra. In Yogananda’s teachings that we follow at Ananda, focus is at the spiritual eye rather than the crown or 7th chakra. During meditation occasionally, but not usually, there may be body movement associated with this movement of energy. Sometimes this occurs for a time and then passes. It is not necessary to actively suppress body movement, nor should we try to exaggerate movement when it does occur. When you have body movement, first relax and offer that energy up to the point between the eyebrows, concentrating deeply there, and then return to your meditation technique, diving deeper into stillness. Concentration at the spiritual eye acts like a magnet to draw the energy upward.

If you find body movement disturbing to your meditation, end your practice for that session and return to meditation sometime later. Do notice if you feel a lot tension with this body movement. If that is the case I suggest you do some hatha yoga postures before you meditate to relax the body. Deep relaxation along with intense awareness are necessary for effective meditation.

You mention that you meditate on compassion. Compassion is a heart quality. The heart, which is the center of our feeling nature, is essential for progress in meditation, because if we do not have a longing of the heart for what meditation can bring us — connection with higher consciousness and Divine Presence — then meditation becomes a mechanical exercise. So it can be good to open the heart in meditation, though we want to draw the energy upward from the heart to the spiritual eye, lest getting caught in whirlpools of emotion rather than the purity of the heart’s feeling.

Use of a meditation technique to focus our efforts on higher consciousness is essential to decrease mental wandering and other misdirected energy. Are you using one? If you would like to explore meditation techniques brought by Paramhansa Yogananda, I encourage you to take a look at our free meditation mini-course that you can view here.

Many blessings on your meditation efforts,
Nayaswami Mukti