Feeling of fear during meditation


#1

When I meditate, I get to a point, anywhere between 5 and 10 minutes in, where I feel this overwhelming fear. It’s like a black veil of darkness comes over me. My heart begins racing, my breathing becomes rapid, and I open my eyes and stop my meditation.

Any idea what I need to do?


#2

Hi Jason. I’m not sure I can help but I’ve got some questions and curiosities. They may help others help you.

What kind of meditation practice do you do? After you stop practicing, how long does the anxiety/experience last? Do you experience anything like this outside of your practices? For how long have you been meditating?

Maybe it’s some kind of energy blockage that you are needing to work through. I have experienced discomfort and fear in meditation. This usually comes from overdoing practices/pranayama. It is a fear not easily describable for me - I recall the sense of a vague awfully large scale and a hollow, awful dis-ease. Some might recommend that you simply be still and aware of what you are experiencing - but I find depending on the nature of the experience; it can be a sign that too much is going on internally. Although regardless, what you are experiencing doesn’t sound like something I’d want to willingly sit through. Perhaps you are very sensitive to practices.

I went through periods where because of sensitivity I couldn’t manage to meditate for longer than 5 minutes or I would experience negative symptoms - so I just shortened my meditation to a point where I was comfortable - which often times was only a few minutes. Over time blockages dissolve away.


#3

This is also to be expected nothing to be afraid of literally other than fear itself and yes this is very real and awful to experience, but it is also okay and if you continue in my experience it will be okay. This is a stage many go through. Each of us that do have to work our way through it there are no hard and fast rules to follow.

What you are experiencing is awareness separate from the ego identification and this can cause a backlash of sorts from the ego structure which is very complex. We as a species are so used to communicating & experiencing via the ego complex that it is shocking when through meditative or sadhana practices one begins being aware without it, or to a lesser extent. This is the cause of what you describe. Congratulations in arriving at this point in your practice the rest is up to you.

A word of advice do not seek to destroy the ego, it is better to continue to practice whatever sadhana or meditative practice you have chosen and allow the practice to do its work over time and you will find the ego becomes more transparent to the witness.


#5

Siro, I have a lifelong meditation practice. Due to illness i had about 1,5 year brake. and when I started to meditate again, i experienced shortens of breath and panic. i would guess that shortness of breath can bring the panic. when i started to breath deeply and concentrate on my breathing the body started to do the opposite. I guess that you ( and I) should not concentrate on that negative experience but just keep practicing…starting slow…but consistency would help i think:)


#7

accidental duplicate


#8

[QUOTE=jasondall22;83354]When I meditate, I get to a point, anywhere between 5 and 10 minutes in, where I feel this overwhelming fear. It’s like a black veil of darkness comes over me. My heart begins racing, my breathing becomes rapid, and I open my eyes and stop my meditation.

Any idea what I need to do?[/QUOTE]

[B][I]An awareness of your desires and motivations are necessary before you can ‘meditate’ in any sort of way that will bring health and happiness. Maybe you should master hatha-yoga asanas and mudras before going back to ‘meditation’ - Alternate-nostril breathing is a pretty good pranayama for calming your system until you can perceive your instincts and desires.[/I][/B]


#9

Are you using guided meditations? If not, maybe try a guided one. If so, do you have this experience with every guided meditation. Try changing them up. Their are so many free meditations out their that you should be able to find one that makes you feel at ease.

Don’t get discouraged, it will get easier!


#10

When I started getting deeper in my meditation practice I found I was in a very bad mood for a day or so after. I didn’t make the connection at first, but recognized the pattern and brought it up to my teacher. She smiled and said, that means you’re getting it right.

There are things coming to the surface for you. Are there any images or thoughts that recur during your periods of emotion?


#11

Touching upon many good points made here it may not be difficult to understand the ‘fear during meditation’. Whatever method of meditation one may follow there is no doubt that sitting in meditation is preceded by preparation. One way to recognize meditative state is as ‘sustained concentration’ requiring no external efforts. Based on my personal experience of self and others, here are some other possible reasons:

  1. rushing into meditation, either after a substantial gap or as a newcomer without preparation. Our body prefers a status quo and has natural inertia. Many people believe that meditation is all about sitting cross-legged, eyes closed and watching breath. Our body cells retaliate. Deliberately slowed down breathing starves the body of vital oxygen.

  2. Proper breathing needs diaphragm to be elastic, especially to drive clearer exhalation. By slowing down the breath rate we let the residues sit in the body than thrown out.

  3. Manipur chakra (behind naval button) is considered to be a seat of fear and anxiety inherited from millions of years of human evolution, more particularly the fear of unknown. When prana energy becomes upward mobile this negativity lands itself around anahata chakra (heart center) before getting erased.

  4. Watching the subtle breath, our sensitivity to subtle things grows. This shifts the physical body awareness to our emotional (astral) body. So, fear -like many other emotions - gets magnified until we master a balance.

  5. Mind’s monkey games are arrested during the meditation, and it doesn’t like it. It plays a variety of tricks to destroy the ‘menace’ of meditation. Many yogis have narrated a few common happenings - accentuated sex drive or desire to overeat and fear.

  6. Some times the distinction between meditation, a skill versus dhyana, a state, becomes vital. Ability to achieve concentration in whatever you do turns inside with dhyana. But one big difference is that in dhyana there can’t be any real object present. Slowly, this makes the external sense organ redundant. But vibrations are still received from the environment and the organ starts relaying garbled data that creates a new unknown.

Hope this will add value to what is said here otherwise.


#12

"Proper breathing needs diaphragm to be elastic, especially to drive clearer exhalation. By slowing down the breath rate we let the residues sit in the body than thrown out.

  1. Manipur chakra (behind naval button) is considered to be a seat of fear and anxiety"

Interesting that diaphragm is the manipura location;)