Nik_V

Stomach discomfort after meditation

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone,

 

I am new to Daoist meditation, and only decided to try it a few days ago (before that, 99% of my meditation experience was with Buddhist methods). I have decided to try a very simple method I found in the book "The Jade Emperor Mind Seal Classic" (translation and commentary by Stuart Alve Olson). Basically it involves sitting down and concentrating attention 3 fingers below the navel, on the lower Dantian area, and nothing else. I started doing it for 10-15 minutes every day to see how it goes.

 

For about 3 days the experience was overall positive. I immediately got the feeling of heat in my lower abdomen, but it wasn't unpleasant, and I felt good overall during the rest of the day. After that, however, I started getting the feeling of discomfort in my stomach. It's nothing major, but I got all kinds of weird feelings like slight cramps and internal noises, the feeling of tension, the feeling of movement, some vague soreness, etc. Really hard to describe, and doesn't sound like a big deal, but it's definitely unpleasant, especially at night as it interferes with my sleep.

 

I am a bit worried that something as minor as concentrating on that area for 10 minutes per day produces such side effects. Is this common? Maybe I'm doing something wrong? I've discontinued the practice for now, the feelings have lessened but are still there after 2 days.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could be intestinal worms...do you eat sushi???  By chance??  :)  Try some peppermint tea.  They help you to relax your stomach muscle and to aid your digestion. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Nik_V said:

Hello everyone,

 

I am new to Daoist meditation, and only decided to try it a few days ago (before that, 99% of my meditation experience was with Buddhist methods). I have decided to try a very simple method I found in the book "The Jade Emperor Mind Seal Classic" (translation and commentary by Stuart Alve Olson). Basically it involves sitting down and concentrating attention 3 fingers below the navel, on the lower Dantian area, and nothing else. I started doing it for 10-15 minutes every day to see how it goes.

 

For about 3 days the experience was overall positive. I immediately got the feeling of heat in my lower abdomen, but it wasn't unpleasant, and I felt good overall during the rest of the day. After that, however, I started getting the feeling of discomfort in my stomach. It's nothing major, but I got all kinds of weird feelings like slight cramps and internal noises, the feeling of tension, the feeling of movement, some vague soreness, etc. Really hard to describe, and doesn't sound like a big deal, but it's definitely unpleasant, especially at night as it interferes with my sleep.

 

I am a bit worried that something as minor as concentrating on that area for 10 minutes per day produces such side effects. Is this common? Maybe I'm doing something wrong? I've discontinued the practice for now, the feelings have lessened but are still there after 2 days.

 

What is happening is that you are open at the middle dantien (or heart chakra in Hindu terms) and the energy follows your attention. It is your subconscious mind showing you are beyond such a practice. In terms of “consciousness”, you are forcing your energy to kind of “hit” issues around the individual sense of self, when you should be more focused on opening your heart to others (or bodichitta in Buddhist terms). The positive thing is that you are actually moving your own energy flows. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Jeff said:

 

What is happening is that you are open at the middle dantien (or heart chakra in Hindu terms) and the energy follows your attention. It is your subconscious mind showing you are beyond such a practice. In terms of “consciousness”, you are forcing your energy to kind of “hit” issues around the individual sense of self, when you should be more focused on opening your heart to others (or bodichitta in Buddhist terms). The positive thing is that you are actually moving your own energy flows. 

Thank you, I can understand most of what you are saying, except this part: " you are open at the middle dantien... and the energy follows your attention ". Wouldn't the heart chakra be closed if my problems were related to infufficiently developed bodhicitta? I am not very familiar with this.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you. I have done Buddhist meditation with concentration on breath before, though it caused me much frustration (I was supposed to just observe the breath, but I couldn't help controlling it instead). For a long time now I've been feeling very detached both from my body and from the world around me, living too much "ih my head", so I went looking for a practice that would "ground" me and bring me more into harmony with my body and surroundings. So I chose the practice involving the lower dantian. I was really thrown off by this strong and very objectively real side effect though, in response to nothing more than directing attention to the inside of my stomach and holding it for a few minutes.

 

I suppose I need to be even more careful. I will check the Golden Flower practice too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Nik_V said:

Thank you, I can understand most of what you are saying, except this part: " you are open at the middle dantien... and the energy follows your attention ". Wouldn't the heart chakra be closed if my problems were related to infufficiently developed bodhicitta? I am not very familiar with this.

 

Sorry if what I said was confusing. What I meant to say is more like saying...

 

With the opening of your heart, you have reached the point where you can consciously direct your own energy flows within your body. Or you could say that the energy follows your attention. In Taoist terms you could say that you have started to fill your middle dantien. By focusing on the lower dantien space like that, you are kind of energetically creating a backflow (or forcing energy to a level below your natural state). In terms of “layers of consciousness”, it is like you are directing energy towards your internal sense of self, when you are ready to be more outwardly focused (open your heart more). Sort of like expanding to care more about others, rather than just internal self focused. Loving, rather than self absorbed (at an emotional level).

 

So rather than forcing your energy lower, you want to more “transmit” at increasingly higher levels. Consider something like a micro cosmic orbit, or If interested, I can suggest some other more robust energy movement practice.

 

The key point I am trying to make is that your openness is beyond the practice you are currently doing. Try simply moving the energy around you body a little, see if you notice the shifts.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Nik_V said:

Thank you. I have done Buddhist meditation with concentration on breath before, though it caused me much frustration (I was supposed to just observe the breath, but I couldn't help controlling it instead). For a long time now I've been feeling very detached both from my body and from the world around me, living too much "ih my head", so I went looking for a practice that would "ground" me and bring me more into harmony with my body and surroundings. So I chose the practice involving the lower dantian. I was really thrown off by this strong and very objectively real side effect though, in response to nothing more than directing attention to the inside of my stomach and holding it for a few minutes.

 

I suppose I need to be even more careful. I will check the Golden Flower practice too.

 

Sounds like exactly the right practice for you to 'ground' yourself, perhaps as A&P suggested just ease up on the concentration, starting at the lower dantian IME is excellent - I followed exactly this practice for years, as I was drawn to the sensation in my lower dantian, more noticing it than concentrating hard on it though.  

 

Perhaps the side effects are a response to energy being stuck here, and slowly starting to shift. If your discomfort is a response to LDT concentration only, you could always do it for a shorter time and less intensely, it depends how committed you are to this particular step. 

 

BTW if your LDT were already full, you would already be grounded and properly attached to your body. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For years my LDT felt 'unpleasant', my understanding is that I had unresolved emotional issues there, but staying with the 'noticing' and working through the issues it finally cleared, and what had been developed in my LDT was then ready to rise to my MDT. I personally can't imagine doing a top-down process, it makes no sense to me, but each to their own of course. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would be interested in a bit more detail regarding the use of yin and yang and the inverse use from your understanding of the texts. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do a moving system like yang style taijiquan. Better than seated meditation for beginners 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dwai had a good suggestion. Will also send you some more stuff in a pm.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites