Boatloads of anxiety while meditating?

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Boatloads of anxiety while meditating?

Postby Nyseto » Fri Sep 18, 2015 9:37 am

Is it normal to have extreme anxiety when meditating? It literally feels like I am dying seeing thought after thought come to an end into absolutely nothing. Recently my meditation has been penetrating a lot deeper meaning that I no longer have as much mental noise going on but I have the visceral feeling or emotion that just sits there and it's so hard to stay with it without letting it get to my head. It almost seems like my mind wants to bounce around and it has nowhere to go. Solve what? Figure out what? Worry about what? Absolutely nothing. Nothing can be let go of until it is witnessed and there's some things I just don't want to witness, or at least they disturb me when they pop up into my awareness. When I do stay with them, they slowly start to disappear and this feeling of peace starts to emerge before another thought comes up.
"There is no such thing as enlightenment. The appreciation of this fact is itself enlightenment." -Nisargadatta Maharaj
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Re: Boatloads of anxiety while meditating?

Postby DavidB » Fri Sep 18, 2015 11:10 am

The more you stay in presence, or the more it becomes natural for you, the longer the gaps between mind activity become, and the lighter the movements. They still come, but they have a much lighter overall momentum.

It can often take a long time to undo a lifetime of dysfunctional learning. :wink:
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Re: Boatloads of anxiety while meditating?

Postby Enlightened2B » Fri Sep 18, 2015 5:36 pm

We are here on Earth incarnate to grow. We grow through contrast (experience). Therefore, growth can often be a life time's worth of experience or more. We are children learning to recognize the divinity of our true nature through our human experiences. We all get glimpses of it every now and then. But, learning to actually LIVE and express from that point of divinity while in a human body is a whole other animal and one that takes practice indeed and wisdom.

Therefore, it takes practice to still the mind and be able to live from there. Don't be hard on yourself. Love yourself through the toughest of times and even when ugly, dark stuff surfaces.
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Re: Boatloads of anxiety while meditating?

Postby kiki » Fri Sep 18, 2015 11:54 pm

Nothing can be let go of until it is witnessed and there's some things I just don't want to witness, or at least they disturb me when they pop up into my awareness. When I do stay with them, they slowly start to disappear and this feeling of peace starts to emerge before another thought comes up.

You found the answer yourself. Congratulations. Now, it's a matter of relaxing and allowing anything and everything to bubble up so that it can be witnessed.
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Re: Boatloads of anxiety while meditating?

Postby ashley72 » Mon Sep 21, 2015 10:51 pm

Fear that steadily increases (panic cycle) is due to treating the physical symptoms caused by first stage fear or anxious thoughts as "danger" itself. This causes the output signal from your neurons (nerve endings) in your network to feedback into the input signal via the dendrites again... which in turn causes more anxious thinking & symptoms of fear. This process is called Neural backpropagation.


All our neurotransmitters (illustration above) are connected to one another in a big matrix. We literally have thousands of nerving endings connected to each dendrite & so forth.

To overcome a panic cycle you need to stop treating the "symptoms" or output signal of danger as dangerous. So any anxious thoughts you have... Don't treat them as signal of danger, but rather mere unpleasantness or uncomfortableness that will eventually pass if you expose yourself to that & not try and avoid it.

We tend to either fight, freeze or flight in our response to fear. What you need to do is "expose" yourself to the symptoms of fear & stop treating those output signals as danger itself.

The practice of Meditation is about sitting without distractions & exposing yourself to your arising thoughts, emotions & physical feelings. So naturally if you have a pre-existing anxiety or panic disorder this may trigger a panic attack or anxiety attack. Whereby you treat those arising thoughts, emotions & physical sensations as a danger signal. This causes the Neural backpropagation to feed the output signal back into the input signal.


In the process of back propagation we update all the weights of the neurons. Which is like a recalibration of our network.

To overcome this disorder you should sit down and meditate again & see if you can notice when you start treating some thought, feeling, physical sensation as dangerous. Maybe you have a heart palpitation or nervous twitch, tension head-ache, that feels like discomfort or unpleasant & that in turn triggers the secondary fear. If this happens say to yourself this to will pass, it's not dangerous it's only transient & just stay with that feeling, thought or emotion until the unpleasantness starts to subside.

This will prevent a panic cycle from arising due to back propagation.

Note neural back propagation is the learning phase, as opposed to neural feed-forward the post learning phase.
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Re: Boatloads of anxiety while meditating?

Postby TribalInstinct23 » Wed Sep 23, 2015 1:38 am

I had something similar happen during my meditation sessions a few months ago and I still, very occasionally, get them today.

Remember, the whole point of meditation is to let whatever comes up, come up. If that's anxiety, that's fine. If that's bliss, that's fine. Just return to your focus. Trust the feeling will resolve itself. Which it always will.

I find that anxiety and focus cannot co-exist. True focus is emotionless. You don't feel anything, because you're so absorbed in what you're doing. Psychologists call this "peak experience" and it shares many similarities with meditation.

So the trick is to just treat the anxiety like any other phenomena. The same as you'd treat an idle thought, a judgement, an annoyance, or whatever it is. They all fall under the same category.
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