Why do I feel cold after meditation?
Dealing with feelings and thoughts in meditation
Whether we are aware of it or not - it flows in constant stream of thoughts and feelings through us. always. The spectacle continues at night and we can watch and experience in the form of dreams. It is sometimes even easier to perceive this fact at night than during the day, when our attention is externally bound in the many errands, things and activities.
People who try out meditation or are at the beginning of their meditative practice notice (possibly surprisingly) that in the silence of the contemplation the stream of thoughts seems to flare up. This is a kind of "mental delusion"That made up two aspectsn is composed of:
- Our perception, our image of meditation became like this embossedthat we combine peace and quiet with meditation and then also expect. Many also believe that thoughts can or should be stopped in meditation. This is initially not possible in this form and mainly leads to frustration and possibly even more turmoil in the head (see also this little Zen parable)
- The stream of thoughts (and feelings) is always there and we are just not aware of it. We are “trapped” in a certain unconsciousness at this level. In meditation we have the opportunity to develop this ability and then notice with the first meditation units how this happens to us Only becomes conscious of the flow of thoughts and feelings. It does not just flare up, but when the external noise "subsides", we notice the internal "noise". This is then also the first step towards inner peace, calm, freedom, self-determination and finally also to happiness / contentment.
At this point, however, many unfortunately break off the path of meditation. As is so common with this expectations is the case - if an expectation is disappointed, it fizzles out hope towards achieving a Target, on which the process was based and we find ourselves in a state that (possibly unconsciously) as negative is felt. The constant inner dialogue, which one has only now become aware of, then speaks in sentences like these: "Meditation is just not for me.„; „I can not do this. So quiet sitzen is just not mine.„; „It doesn't work for me."; etc…
This is a shame as this is actually exactly that proof It is experienced how quickly and how strongly the awareness grows in us when we turn within ourselves, seek the position of the observer or, if necessary, can already take it and simply look at the spectacle in us. The first difficult step has already been taken, only we stand in our own way (as is so often the case).
At first it feels like a step backwards. We were looking for silence, but we find a constant stream of thoughts. That can be frightening. The unconscious escape before this current is already widespread and has many forms and facets - alcohol, Underattitude (film, series, games), smoking, drugs, wanderlust, homesickness, etc ... We can of course run away from ourselves for a lifetime. This can be clearly seen in many places. In any case, we are all experts in observing and seeing things in other people that we categorically hide from ourselves (here is a small literary tip).
How can I, as a meditator, continue on this path? How can I find peace in myself with thoughts and feelings?
Before we get into the specific Tips & Tricks I would like to emphasize at this point that for most of us (and here for men more than for women) this Thinking is superficial at first. For many, feeling has wandered so deeply into the unconscious that the (also always present) feelings are not consciously perceived. I often see people in the supermarket on Saturdays, for example, who are full of anger, hatred, anger and envy, but do not even notice this themselves, with the corresponding consequences for their appearance (posture, skin, eyes (rings), possibly twitching or compulsive movement patterns ). The "basement" is already full of unprocessed emotions and loops of thought. For this reason we will first dedicate ourselves to the thought, but more on that later ...
- Why can't I stop thoughts with my thoughts? What initially sounds plausible is unfortunately not possible in this way. Let's just imagine we're a house and the owner isn't there. All the servants who were supposed to take care of the house have long since forgotten that there was an owner and that they were servants. Everyone begins to feel and act like the master in the house. The thought of a servant is telling another servant that he should leave something or do something in the household. This will not be fruitful, since both now consider themselves the masters and neither can submit to the other. The thoughts are absolutely equal for our being, in the sense that they do not receive commands from each other. It would be like trying to hold on to our leg with one arm to keep ourselves from walking. Therefore, the thought is not suitable for commanding “one's own kind”. A higher authority is needed, the original “masters in the house” - the Awareness. This is the case with (sufficient / correspondingly high degree of) awareness. The question that follows is - how do i get to more awareness about me, my being, my thoughts? We never tire of emphasizing this again and again: observation and thus attention. This is directed energy that is transformative and transcendental. It is just the "effortless effort“Which is so often spoken of in Zen.
- Dealing with one's own energy of observation / attention: Many scientific experiments (especially on plants) have shown the power of attention. Two identical plants were confronted with identical framework conditions and one of the plants was given a lot of attention in the form of viewing, encouragement and meditation, the other plant went unnoticed, but received exactly the same nutrients. As expected, the plant that receives attention grows and develops much faster and more strongly than the "control plant". In order to reproduce the experiment on humans, we only have to go to a children's playground for a while and observe the dynamics between child and parent in relation to the aspect of attention. The "takeaway" for our meditation practice and dealing with thoughts is therefore obvious - what gets our attention grows. We have the choice - we pay attention to the thoughts and words that are buzzing in our minds - they grow. But let's draw attention to the breaks between the thoughts and words of the internal verbalization, with a little patience, the pauses and thus the silence grow. Every thought, every word has a beginning and an end. The spiritual board on which they are written is silence. So we can cultivate this silence in us by putting our attention, our awareness in meditation on the pause between the thoughts.
- „As soon as I have sat down for meditation, I lose myself in my thoughts.“Anyone familiar with this sentence is in good company. It also happens to us every now and then after many thousands of hours of meditation. The cinema shown inside is interesting and somewhere the story of our lives. So how do we deal with being carried away by the stream of thoughts in meditation? It is very important one possible non-judgmental observation posture to take on yourself. Torturing myself for being "weak" / "inattentive" / dreamy "has the opposite effect. (Side note: Unfortunately, even coaches of hobby sports teams rarely seem to understand this connection.) On the other hand, I rely on positive reinforcement for my “inner team” when I can't completely stop valuing. Especially at the beginning, valuing is a “loyal” companion by our side (like chewing gum on the sole of a shoe) and hardly allows us to recognize reality without judgment. For too long we have learned to classify, categorize and evaluate everything - “I like / I don't”. So that this circumstance does not throw us back directly on the painful realization of our unconsciousness about our own patterns inside our psyche, I recommend the said positive reinforcement. So instead of being annoyed that I "ran away" with my thoughts again, I am happy that I had a moment of clarity in that I became aware that I was lost in thought and come back to the here and now with a positive note of a sense of achievement. We also need the successes because we have been trained for a lifetime to be successful: "2nd place is the first loser“Was a popular saying during my high school days in Missouri. With increasing practice, the mentioned “moments of clarity” become more frequent and longer. The return from the future or past of our thinking into the here and now is slowly trained and grows with the energy on our part. We therefore recommend steady and continuous practice - preferably every day. Here the practice usually makes the (Zen) master.
- If you find it difficult to turn to the pauses between thoughts at the beginning, you can try the following tip: Every thought has a direction from which it enters our field of perception. Observe this in meditation and you may notice that a thought appears straight from the bottom left on the screen, or from above, or from behind ... look at it spatially and follow it through the screen in the direction of its movement. For example, a thought of an upcoming appointment can appear from the left and you can gently accompany it on its way through your field of perception to the right - like a cloud in the sky. If you have accompanied him out and, if necessary, see him pulling away, you can recognize the "end" of the thought (according to point 2) here and pay more attention to it.
Somewhere in a paper on researching our habit formation I read that habits can be broken up and reconnected particularly strongly if they are clearly linked to an emotion. Since, from my experience, every thought goes hand in hand with an emotion, in my opinion what is meant here is the awareness of the respective emotion. When I think back to my former self, I can definitely see how the presence of the emotions was just not perceived by me. After some time of introspection and observation of the self, I now see very clearly how the emotions are constantly present in me, alternate almost instantly and are connected to the stream of thoughts. In my experience, these two forces are constant interaction and are mutually dependent.
If we now discover the feelings on the path of meditation or begin to perceive them more strongly, or have always perceived them strongly, a new challenge is presented to us. Similar to the stream of thoughts, the constant presence of which we have become aware of, the feelings are now “there” and dealing with them can become a challenge in everyday life. So that this becomes a little more tangible, let's imagine that we are sitting in a meeting with some “important” actors, whose perception for the course of our project / career / etc. we have classified as decisive (as an extrapolation of the information available to us, which of course does not have to be accurate ;-)). Now we have set out our concern and one of these actors is extremely negative / derogatory / disdainful of what has been said. At first sight, a program may be running in us which, if necessary, provides a tactical solution with a counter-argument / interview technique / NLP / etc. influences the course of the conversation and the project continues its course. On a deeper, emotional level, however, profound processes have occurred in this short period of time. Presumably fear, anger, despair, envy, hatred and whatever else was stirred up and triggered. We are very unlikely to be able to express these feelings in such a setting, even if this might have been the healthier alternative to suppressing. But the feelings don't just go away. They don't fizzle out just because we don't like to feel them. As with thoughts (and punishment), ignorance, or in this case unconsciousness, does not protect us from the consequences.
In the "normal state" we can only "choose" between the expression and the suppression of feelings
As we could see in the small example, we suppress many of our feelings in everyday life due to the lack of the possibility to express them. Shouting in a meeting is often a "CLM" (in our culture)Consultant jargon: carreer limiting move), unless you are in a C-suite / power position and cannot help yourself. So it is not surprising that there are some therapy methods in our culture that rely on catharsis and give the patient space to get rid of the many suppressed feelings. Some can also process these in (extreme / combat) sports. However, many bury them untreated in the "cellar". This can lead to some psychological and physical impairments. Very simplified this could be analogous to the following sketch run:
Let us briefly put our organism like this Main memory of a computer in front. There are also various cache / buffer levels there:
- On the first level, the subconscious is available to us and collects all information, thoughts and feelings for us that we do not consciously face actively at the moment of occurrence. At some point this buffer fills up and this manifests itself with various symptoms, such as: dreams (nightmares), recurring thought loops, etc. - The frequency and intensity of the symptoms are signs of how full this memory is and that it may be approaching its capacity limit. Of course, everyone has a different amount / size of memory, which is previously unknown and is also difficult to determine.
- When level 1 is full, another storage level is available to our organism - Level2 cache in computer jargon. The second level is the muscles, fasciae and possibly also the general tissue of the body. The unprocessed or repressed and suppressed things then migrate into the muscles and express themselves in sudden, unexpected and often inexplicable symptoms such as: grinding of teeth at night (the jaw is the strongest muscle in the body), back pain, neck tension, migraines, tennis elbow, inguinal hernia, Jerks (face, hand, eyelids), etc ... here, too, everyone has a different "depth" of memory.
- If we treat the symptoms only superficially and if we continue to ignore these signs, repression and suppression manifest themselves in the so-called level 3 memory. These are then more serious symptoms such as tinnitus, strokes, cancer, heart attack, neurodermatitis (although this can also occur earlier), etc. There are various studies that show that a large percentage of these diseases are psychosomatic.
So how can meditation to help with this and a Way out from this Escalation of symptoms Offer?
Meditation helps to discover a new way of dealing with feelings:
the observer position (#watcheronthehill)
In addition to expression and repression, there is a third, far better way of dealing with emotions - observation.
How can I neither express nor suppress my feelings and still process them?
If there is one thing meditation can teach us, it is this Ability of observation. As mentioned, this is linked to becoming aware of ourselves and the environment. Ancient writings keep talking about the #watcheronthehill Position in mental posture. In some modern meditation apps this is taken up again and again and reproduced in different formats - for example:
- "Observe the thoughts and feelings as traffic on a busy street instead of running after the cars ..."
- "See the feelings and thoughts like clouds that pass you ..."
If I have now become aware of the fact that an emotion is just rising in me or is already in full swing - e.g. fear - then I now have the choice.Before that, I was random. I did not consciously feel the emotion coming and expressed it (depending on my character and situation) blindly (e.g. with the result of a dispute) or suppressed it (e.g. with the consequences outlined above). But now I have a third option, that of observation in contemplation. I can use this new "feature" at any time, including in a meeting. As the?
- It helps many with that body to start, since this is ours anyway Anchoring point in the here and now and is always a great help to us anyway. For example, in such a stressful situation I go into my body and feel where the emotion is. In the example of fear, this can be in the stomach region or the throat, for example. Have I located the sensation….
- …feel i clearly in the sensation and watch this as precisely as possible in your nature. How does it feel - hot? cold? choking? urging? pulsating? heavy? painful? etc ... as it can be different for everyone (and every time if necessary), it is worth taking a closer look inside. The eyes can be open (or closed) during all of this process. It may only last a moment or several minutes. As I remember most of the meetings in my consultancy and banking career, we don't miss anything, except for self-portraying prose and even strengthen our strategic position by waiting and remaining silent. (Side note: this is worth trying out one way or another and after the "Mandella approach“To be the last to speak in a meeting / on a topic).
- If I have now localized and identified the feeling in myself, I can just sit with it without doing anything about it. In our example, I am currently in a meeting and can continue to listen, speak, and write - but I don't wipe away the feeling, I don't push the fear below the surface of the perception. Nor do I express it through a right fabrication, emotional response, or gesture. I just perceive it clearly and observe it very closely - how does it change from moment to moment? How does it pinch and tug at me and demand immediate action to “correct” or “avert” something? I feel these waves and impulses coming and going - it is precisely these clouds in the sky that we would also observe in meditation (see above).
- If it is still possible for me to be with the feeling and the intensity of the feeling is still unbroken strong without deliberately influencing its intensity, I still have the opportunity to expand my observation a little. I can try to Source of feeling to penetrate my organism. Before that, I found the region of the feeling and now I feel that the fear, for example, "sits" in my stomach. As long as I still sit with this feeling and it continues to “shake” and “shake” me, after a while I can try to penetrate deeper into the feeling. Where is the epicenter of feeling? With my intentionSo with my observation I go inside (here it is actually helpful to close my eyes and also to breathe into the stomach) and go deeper and deeper into the feeling. As a result of this journey it can happen that the feeling suddenly begins to dissolve and to release energy. This technique must of course (like any other) be trained at the beginning. It may only work after a few attempts, but these are worthwhile. During this "training" it is important to always be positive with yourself and, ideally, to have a neutral attitude towards your own progress, behavior and attentiveness.
So far we have considered the subject of feelings in the "emergency" that can occur in everyday business life, in traffic or in any interpersonal contact. Let’s finally turn to that training in this context to - the Meditation practice. As stated, thoughts and feelings are a constant flow within us. So if we are in meditation and have chased one or more thoughts again, notice this and bring us back into the now, the opportunity opens up here to turn to the feelings. If necessary, this is the first opportunity to become aware of the feelings. If I have "caught" myself thinking, for example, joy arises in me about this circumstance - "yeah, I'm a little more conscious again"Or anger"Man, now I think about the stupid appointment again.“Both are of course ok and welcome (neutral attitude on the meta level). It is even THE opportunity to perceive these feelings and to sit with them. Here we can train to get from thinking to feeling and to be simple with the feelings, without suppressing or expressing them.
If I have now developed the ability to observe and “sit with feeling”, a whole new dimension opens up for me. In particular, I notice a significant one Energy boostthat is released from the transcendence of the situation. This energy is previously bound in the emotion and is exactly this "force" that is deposited in the "buffer" if we do not learn to "handle" it. So it is now available to me. With this energy and the freedom to react to the trigger thrown at me, I can now consider the situation from a distance and act. The additional energy can often inspire the creativity of finding a solution, but that too is of course a very individual experience and can be different for everyone and lead to different effects. In meditation this energy can flow into my alertness / awareness and make me more attentive to this moment, to my being, to the here & now. If necessary, the depth of being can be experienced more through this.
The attentive / conscious reader has probably noticed that for me the thinking and the mind are never in the now. From my point of view, the thoughts revolve around either the future or the past. Even if we actively think of the "now", it is no longer now. The feeling and the body are always in the now for meeven if the trigger for the feelings did not come from the present moment. The feeling of touching the ground, or the fear, joy, etc. I always feel in the now. For me, this connection is also part of the path of the meditator - from thinking to feeling and thus more and more into the moment.
Change comes from action
From my own experience and from working with many customers, I can only recommend and encourage everyone to work on their own awareness. A daily meditative practice is best suited for this. Just 10-15 minutes (e.g. with an app) is a very good start and should be expanded to 30 minutes (or more) over time. For most, the best time to do this is early mornings right after getting up. This is where we tend to be the most attentive and can "catch" ourselves as often and as quickly as possible while we "run" with the thoughts and feelings in meditation and bring ourselves back to the moment.
If you cannot do the practice in the morning, the time before lunch is also a good opportunity (in a meeting room, relaxation room or simply on the toilet ;-)). Anyone who builds the practice in the evening but struggles to fall asleep should draw conclusions for themselves and their own stress. The body gets what it needs most. Sleeping out of meditation is not necessarily a disadvantage. Some scriptures say that the subconscious continues the activity in sleep (thematically) that we “loaded” into our consciousness in the last few minutes before going to bed. So if I have watched the news or a movie, the "fear, hate, tits and the weather report" rant continues in my sleep. If I have meditated before going to sleep, the meditative quality is also continued. There are even some techniques that are deliberately designed to help you fall asleep (e.g. the OSHO Golden Light Meditation).
This article represents the subjective view of the authors and of course does not claim to be general or correct. The wonderful thing about the introspective is their subjectivity. Nevertheless, there are some parallels and patterns that we encounter again and again and we hope that we were able to give you inspiration, courage and energy on your path of meditation with our explanations. We are happy to answer any further questions, comments or suggestions you may have.
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