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Rara

Strange Cooling Sensations

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I was going to post something a while ago about this but thought nothing of it in the end. Now the sensation has come back, I thought I'd share in case anyone else has experienced this.

 

Months ago, I kept noticing a cooling sensation around my tailbone. Almost like a menthol rub, only that there was no rub! I'd notice it mostly when static and relaxed. Something new and pleasant, but odd.

 

Over this weekend, it has returned in my mouth. At first I assumed it was toothpaste but realised it came on later in the day and after food. It was late afternoon yesterday and early evening today.

 

Maybe it's nothing, but if you've heard of anything that this could be, let me know!

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It might be ching-an you are starting to experience. From William Bodri, empasis mine:

 

Before someone achieves the state of samadhi, they always experience the state which Chinese call "ching-an," which means clear and peaceful. In Tibetan Esotericism, it refers to the stage of pliancy, and in Chinese Confucianism is referred to as "Springtime." I've been through and then lost ching-an several times myself, so I can verify all the following characteristics of the state which have been described by a variety of spiritual traditions. In a moment I'll relate my own experiences.

 

Ching-an is so easy to recognize because the signs are unmistakable, and it's such a low stage of the cultivation path that I wonder why all the modern day gurus, Zen masters and others never mention it.

 

What are the traditional descriptions of ching-an? Let's start with Nan Huai-Chin's Tao & Longevity: Mind-Body Transformation which states:

 

Quote

When restlessness and torpor both disappear, and the mind suddenly fixes on a single thing in the absence of sleep and restlessness, then lightness occurs. For some, this sensation begins at the top of the head, whereas for others it originates in the soles of the feet.

 

When lightness begins at the top of the head, the top of the head feels fresh and cool as if cream were being gently poured over. The Buddhists and Taoists call this "internal baptism." This sensation circulates around the entire body, the mind is rested, the body is relaxed, and one feels so soft and flexible that it often seems as if the bones themselves have dissolved. It is then natural for the body to become straight as a pine tree. The mind is clear and there are no feelings of restlessness or torpor in response to external surroundings. One experiences a natural state of joy. This experience of lightness, however, eventually disappears.

 

When lightness originates in the soles of the feet, one experiences sensations of either coolness or warmth, which move upward to the top of the head. It often feels as if this lightness moves beyond physical boundaries to penetrate the sky. The lightness that originates from the soles is much easier to retain than the lightness that originates at the top of the head. It does not disappear quite so easily.

 

http://www.meditationexpert.com/yoga-kung-fu/y_pre-samadhi_stage_of_ching-an_pliancy_lightness_peace.htm

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2 hours ago, virtue said:

It might be ching-an you are starting to experience. From William Bodri, empasis mine:

 

Before someone achieves the state of samadhi, they always experience the state which Chinese call "ching-an," which means clear and peaceful. In Tibetan Esotericism, it refers to the stage of pliancy, and in Chinese Confucianism is referred to as "Springtime." I've been through and then lost ching-an several times myself, so I can verify all the following characteristics of the state which have been described by a variety of spiritual traditions. In a moment I'll relate my own experiences.

 

Ching-an is so easy to recognize because the signs are unmistakable, and it's such a low stage of the cultivation path that I wonder why all the modern day gurus, Zen masters and others never mention it.

 

What are the traditional descriptions of ching-an? Let's start with Nan Huai-Chin's Tao & Longevity: Mind-Body Transformation which states:

 

 

http://www.meditationexpert.com/yoga-kung-fu/y_pre-samadhi_stage_of_ching-an_pliancy_lightness_peace.htm

 

Very interesting as I'm also feeling strong tingling and heat now when I practice as well.

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I'm reminded of Glenn Morris's writing, how most people when they start circulating energy run hot.  Some are able to switch running cold, and that tends to be more advanced, and more feminine, I believe in his writing. 

 

Doing a meditation type Spotless suggested made me feel I was running cooler. 

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Feeling icy cold in parts of your body - particularly if quite specific and localised - can often mean that you're touching upon an area with extreme depletion. It means that the spot has no Yang Qi flow at all. Sometimes you'll feel these cold areas and in the process of training over time, they'll start to warm up and get hot - this means Yang Qi is able to get in and bring the area back to life.

 

16 hours ago, virtue said:

Before someone achieves the state of samadhi, they always experience the state which Chinese call "ching-an," which means clear and peaceful.

 

What I explained above is very different from this.

 

This ching-an feeling is cool (not cold) - kind of like a pleasantly cool breeze on a hot day... it's also very expansive. The body feels light and empty - like you're hollow inside, it feels very 'clean', expansive, and very pleasant.

 

The extreme depletion feeling is less ethereal - and usually more physical, static and compressed/contracted.

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19 hours ago, virtue said:
  Quote

When restlessness and torpor both disappear, and the mind suddenly fixes on a single thing in the absence of sleep and restlessness, then lightness occurs. For some, this sensation begins at the top of the head, whereas for others it originates in the soles of the feet.

 

When lightness begins at the top of the head, the top of the head feels fresh and cool as if cream were being gently poured over. The Buddhists and Taoists call this "internal baptism." This sensation circulates around the entire body, the mind is rested, the body is relaxed, and one feels so soft and flexible that it often seems as if the bones themselves have dissolved. It is then natural for the body to become straight as a pine tree. The mind is clear and there are no feelings of restlessness or torpor in response to external surroundings. One experiences a natural state of joy. This experience of lightness, however, eventually disappears.

 

When lightness originates in the soles of the feet, one experiences sensations of either coolness or warmth, which move upward to the top of the head. It often feels as if this lightness moves beyond physical boundaries to penetrate the sky. The lightness that originates from the soles is much easier to retain than the lightness that originates at the top of the head. It does not disappear quite so easily.

Isn't this basically what people think the 1st samatha jhana is? - What that "Absolutus" guy was talking about if you've heard of him

Edited by EmeraldHead

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6 minutes ago, EmeraldHead said:

Isn't this basically what people think the 1st samatha jhana is?

 

Certainly not. It says in the meditationexpert.com full article that it's a pre-samadhi stage.

 

6 minutes ago, EmeraldHead said:

What that "Absolutus" guy was talking about if you've heard of him

 

I have no idea what you are talking about.

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3 hours ago, freeform said:

Feeling icy cold in parts of your body - particularly if quite specific and localised - can often mean that you're touching upon an area with extreme depletion. It means that the spot has no Yang Qi flow at all. Sometimes you'll feel these cold areas and in the process of training over time, they'll start to warm up and get hot - this means Yang Qi is able to get in and bring the area back to life.

 

 

What I explained above is very different from this.

 

This ching-an feeling is cool (not cold) - kind of like a pleasantly cool breeze on a hot day... it's also very expansive. The body feels light and empty - like you're hollow inside, it feels very 'clean', expansive, and very pleasant.

 

The extreme depletion feeling is less ethereal - and usually more physical, static and compressed/contracted.

 

That's useful to know, thanks. Yes, it is a confusing sensation because I'm going through phases of feeling serene and almost blissful, but also, I am tiring much earlier in the day to the point of irritation so this inconsistency is a bit of a concern. If it helps, in ZZ, the heat in my hands is quite intense right now.

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1 hour ago, Rara said:

 

That's useful to know, thanks. Yes, it is a confusing sensation because I'm going through phases of feeling serene and almost blissful, but also, I am tiring much earlier in the day to the point of irritation so this inconsistency is a bit of a concern. If it helps, in ZZ, the heat in my hands is quite intense right now.

 

There's also 'the 8 touches of qi' - with various somatic experiences as a byproduct of Qi movement.

 

So actually it's hard to say exactly what you're experiencing - but you can probably work it out yourself.

 

The cold from extreme depletion isn't from a single event usually - it takes years to set in and usually happens without you noticing.

 

So I'm not saying that you're feeling cold sensations because you're depleted... just that it's possible that you're touching on areas in the body that have had this extreme stagnation/depletion from a long time ago - and they're now becoming apparent to you as your Qi mobilises.

 

It's like you've had frostbite in parts of your body, but have been unaware - until your qi is mobilised and starts to flow - showing you these areas.

 

A. Pre-samadhi experience - Ching-an. It's likely to be this if you're feeling very clear, clean, light, and almost hollow inside... the mind is largely quiet and stable for long periods. The cool breeze feeling moves within and is unobstructed.

 

B. 8 touches of qi. This is usually the stage where your Qi really begins to mobilise and you feel various somatic sensations inside:

1 - Hot (as in you get physically hot and sweaty and have sensations of heat moving in the body)

2 - Cold (this is a reaction to the movement of qi - as it moves it leaves a sort of 'empty' area and that area feels suddenly cold (and usually changes again))

3 - Heavy (your body feels heavy and drawn to the ground)

4 - Light (feeling like your body or limbs float up)

5 - Soft (released, song)

6 - Tight (tissues inside start to grip - but not the large muscle groups)

7 - Exhilaration (you feel sort of hyper and excited)

8 - Shaking (physical vibration, trembling, sometimes strong sometimes very subtle almost invisible)

 

C. Extreme depletion/stagnation. This is usually a static, very cold sensation - quite unpleasant. It's like the energetic equivalent of gangrene or frostbite.

 

So it could be any of these three.

 

Since you mentioned lots of heat in the hands, it suggests that it's likely to be option B.

 

If you're sitting long hours with a stable, quiet (not necessarily silent) mind and finding that you're completely and effortlessly absorbed on your object of meditation (like you can easily sit 3, 4 hours and not notice time pass) and the cool breeze sensation is ethereal, pleasant and moves freely and fluidly - then it could be option A.

 

If it's a deeply cold spot and the cold sensation is persistent and doesn't move/expand and seems to be almost physical then it could be option C.

 

If you think it's likely to be C - you should talk to your teacher. If it's A - you should also mention it to your teacher... If it's B (most likely) - then it's not worth mentioning - and expect to feel all sorts of stuff from the list above in the coming months!

 

Edit:

Somehow missed this:

18 hours ago, Rara said:

Very interesting as I'm also feeling strong tingling and heat now when I practice as well.

 

To me, it suggests that you're feeling the Ba Chu - 8 touches of Qi!

 

Edited by freeform
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1 hour ago, Bhathen said:

Sorry to ask this side note and not to derail the topic

@freeform

What could be the possible causes for "C. Extreme Depletion"?

 


I’m not 100% sure about the underlying mechanics behind the cause.
 

It sounds bad - but effectively it means that part of the body is ‘energetically dead’...

 

Generally it seems to be related to stagnation - but taken to an extreme.
 

One example that comes to mind is when my teacher was treating a very long term qigong practitioner - he had decades of intense practice under his belt.
 

But his Dantien had this very cold sensation. Actually it was his Qi hai acu point - not the true Dantien - he was focusing too far forward (luckily). As I understood it, he’d been focusing so intently on this point for so many years that simple stagnation turned to this quite serious form.

 

it’s treatable! Sometimes when Qi mobilises and correct practice is followed it even clears without external assistance.

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19 hours ago, freeform said:

 

There's also 'the 8 touches of qi' - with various somatic experiences as a byproduct of Qi movement.

 

So actually it's hard to say exactly what you're experiencing - but you can probably work it out yourself.

 

The cold from extreme depletion isn't from a single event usually - it takes years to set in and usually happens without you noticing.

 

So I'm not saying that you're feeling cold sensations because you're depleted... just that it's possible that you're touching on areas in the body that have had this extreme stagnation/depletion from a long time ago - and they're now becoming apparent to you as your Qi mobilises.

 

It's like you've had frostbite in parts of your body, but have been unaware - until your qi is mobilised and starts to flow - showing you these areas.

 

A. Pre-samadhi experience - Ching-an. It's likely to be this if you're feeling very clear, clean, light, and almost hollow inside... the mind is largely quiet and stable for long periods. The cool breeze feeling moves within and is unobstructed.

 

B. 8 touches of qi. This is usually the stage where your Qi really begins to mobilise and you feel various somatic sensations inside:

1 - Hot (as in you get physically hot and sweaty and have sensations of heat moving in the body)

2 - Cold (this is a reaction to the movement of qi - as it moves it leaves a sort of 'empty' area and that area feels suddenly cold (and usually changes again))

3 - Heavy (your body feels heavy and drawn to the ground)

4 - Light (feeling like your body or limbs float up)

5 - Soft (released, song)

6 - Tight (tissues inside start to grip - but not the large muscle groups)

7 - Exhilaration (you feel sort of hyper and excited)

8 - Shaking (physical vibration, trembling, sometimes strong sometimes very subtle almost invisible)

 

C. Extreme depletion/stagnation. This is usually a static, very cold sensation - quite unpleasant. It's like the energetic equivalent of gangrene or frostbite.

 

So it could be any of these three.

 

Since you mentioned lots of heat in the hands, it suggests that it's likely to be option B.

 

If you're sitting long hours with a stable, quiet (not necessarily silent) mind and finding that you're completely and effortlessly absorbed on your object of meditation (like you can easily sit 3, 4 hours and not notice time pass) and the cool breeze sensation is ethereal, pleasant and moves freely and fluidly - then it could be option A.

 

If it's a deeply cold spot and the cold sensation is persistent and doesn't move/expand and seems to be almost physical then it could be option C.

 

If you think it's likely to be C - you should talk to your teacher. If it's A - you should also mention it to your teacher... If it's B (most likely) - then it's not worth mentioning - and expect to feel all sorts of stuff from the list above in the coming months!

 

Edit:

Somehow missed this:

 

To me, it suggests that you're feeling the Ba Chu - 8 touches of Qi!

 

 

I think we've narrowed it down. I'm going with B as this has been my main concern. A variety of sensations, nothing particularly settling.

 

It has always been common for me to emit lots of heat. I learnt early on in my journey that I have lots of "yang", and one of my teachers even laughed and said I needed medicine. She also didn't seem to think it was a big deal, her tone was very jokey, and it's not like she bought it up ever again. So I just carry on, and now I heat up very quickly, but it also feels like I'm purging the heat.

 

The other seven sensations come and go. No. 8 is very intriguing because I was getting those tremors and I just took them as something natural and paid little attention. The thought did cross my mind that it was a bit freaky and maybe I had a medical condition, but then I calmed down.

 

Thankfully, it doesn't seem like it's "C" and I am not meditating enough for it to be "A" due to time constraints. I'm currently just working/dealing with other uncertainties that are going on right now and my taiji is all I can consistently maintain.

 

Also what you said about speaking to my teacher if it's any of the others... It's funny, that's why I posted here. I don't often post questions anymore but there are just some things that don't seem "serious" enough to speak to a teacher about. It's almost instinctive, some things can be pretty much answered without that :) And I like that, as often I get told "it doesn't matter", so I'd rather find that out here haha.

Edited by Rara
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30 minutes ago, Rara said:

It has always been common for me to emit lots of heat.


It’s normal!

 

Was discussing this with a friend over PM. It’s the first ‘touch’ and it simply means that there’s some internal resistance... the friction between resistance and flow creates heat.

 

Most people when they train properly will go through this stage. I used to put down rags beneath me to soak up the sweat!

 

For the heat to settle, you must develop Song more. It takes time. Song in your breathing. Song in your tissues and Song in your mind.

 

Enough Song and the resistance fades then Qi flows more... then usually you’ll hit another layer of resistance... and need more song... and so it goes later by layer :)

 

34 minutes ago, Rara said:

some things that don't seem "serious" enough to speak to a teacher about.

 

In my experience, teachers like to see you try and work things out by yourself... even take some time over it, experiment, test hypothesis etc.
 

Then if you need to you can approach them and explain how you’ve tried to work it out - and whether you reached the correct conclusion or not. Your teacher will be proud :) 

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5 hours ago, freeform said:

Enough Song and the resistance fades then Qi flows more... then usually you’ll hit another layer of resistance... and need more song... and so it goes later by layer :)

 

 

Ah, that's comforting. For a moment I thought I was going backwards as I've had such a calmer time with it all for almost a year. Well then, I'll carry on as usual!

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Can I ask another what "what does it mean when this happens" question?  Lately I´m getting lots of teeth chattering.  Also yawning and burping.  There´s no feeling of cold with the teeth chattering or any temperature change at all, just my body wanting to make that movement.

 

My guess is that I have chronic jaw tension and when I practice it starts to want to release resulting in the chattering.  Any feedback?

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16 minutes ago, liminal_luke said:

Can I ask another what "what does it mean when this happens" question?  Lately I´m getting lots of teeth chattering.  Also yawning and burping.  There´s no feeling of cold with the teeth chattering or any temperature change at all, just my body wanting to make that movement.

 

My guess is that I have chronic jaw tension and when I practice it starts to want to release resulting in the chattering.  Any feedback?


Yup - it’s a sort of release happening as Qi is mobilised. Just let it happen and don’t be too concerned about it.

 

It’s not even necessarily chronic tension in your jaw... it could be a channel opening somewhere and it touches your nerves... it could be a part of the spine opening and affecting the jaw. 
 

It’s best to be only semi-interested... like watching an episode of a tv show you’ve already seen - you’re aware of it, but not intently following everything. 
 

You’re likely to notice other things like this as the Qi mobilises and moves through your body. Same advice :) 

 

It’s a good sign :) 

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On 6/2/2020 at 2:40 PM, freeform said:

You’re likely to notice other things like this as the Qi mobilises and moves through your body.

 

Something i find hilarious lately, once in a while my nose will spontaneously twitch exactly like in that old t.v. show Bewitched :lol:

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