Visual and Body Sensations During Meditation

Question

Today I started my day with kriya techniques, I usually see flashing light while doing techniques, today was no different, but after I finished practicing kriya, I layed in my bed and started meditation, focusing on third eye chakra, I was seeing rapid white light flashes, movement of indigo color,small twitchings of random body parts, BUT here comes the real confusion: at one point I felt warmth and joy with my whole body and feeling like I’m jumping out of my body. what was that experience?

—DAVIT MARMARASHVILI, Georgia

Answer

Dear Davit,

The kriya technique we practice here at Ananda is Kriya Yoga brought by Lahiri Mahasaya and Paramhansa Yogananda. The term ‘kriya’ is also applied to other yoga techniques from other lineages. Because I do not know if you practice Kriya Yoga as we do at Ananda, I will have to answer you more generally.

During meditation we may at times experience inner sounds, inner light or bodily movement. Our goal in meditation is to withdraw our energy inward and upward and concentrate deeply at the spiritual eye to attune to the divine presence which can be experienced as the divine qualities of peace, joy, calmness, and love. Other qualities include the inner sound of Aum and the inner light of the spiritual eye also called the third eye. These divine qualities are realized when our mind becomes still. You might like to read about the spiritual eye and how to see it here.

People sometimes have visual experiences in meditation that are not aspects of the spiritual eye. These are passing phenomena on our way to going deep in meditation and it is important that we not get distracted by them. There may also be bodily movement which may be related to increasing relaxation or uplifting energy. If an experience in meditation is disturbing it is a good idea to bring yourself out of meditation and offer that experience up without attachment into the divine presence at the point between the eyebrows where the spiritual eye is located.

You mention lying down to meditate. Here at Ananda we encourage sitting up to meditate if at all possible because when we lie down it is easy to slip into a subconscious dreamy state of mental wandering which is not true meditation or the right direction for connecting to higher consciousness. In meditation we seek to access superconsciousness; we are deeply relaxed but also intensely aware, concentrated and focused one-pointedly on higher realities.

You mention experiencing ‘joy with your whole body’ in meditation. A way to know if a meditation experience is coming from superconsciousness is the quality that comes with it. Qualities of expansive joy or peace or stillness or love may accompany superconscious experiences. When we access this level of consciousness in meditation we intuitively ‘know’ that the experience is not ‘of this world’ and not a product of our emotions or personal history. You will have assess for yourself whether the joy you experienced was of divine nature. Those experiences, no matter how brief, are deeply meaningful and sometimes life-changing.

I encourage you to keep up meditation practice. (In case you would like to read more about the path of Kriya Yoga as brought by Paramhansa Yogananda please take a look here.)

Many blessings,
Nayaswami Mukti