As our meditation practice deepens, we transcend all distractions and dive into deep experiences. These experiences are also known as extra-sensory perceptions and are a direct result of the abundant flow of cosmic energy into our energy body.
Each person experiences this cosmic energy in different ways hence meditation experiences vary in their extent and scope. These spontaneous experiences are recognized through soul rather than through mind. Mind doesn’t play any role in these experiences. It is beyond the grasp of the rational mind, and is sometimes difficult to convey in words. Verbal descriptions sometimes cannot do justice to the real essence of the experience.
We tend to dismiss these experiences as figments of our imagination. The common perception regarding imagination is that it is a function of the mind, which can be initiated by a person. However, deep meditation experiences cannot be ‘imagined’. They follow their own flow and cannot be comprehended by us, because they originate beyond the field of ordinary consciousness.
It is important not to analyse or get attached to any one experience. Do not desire it again and again. And do not become too proud of any exotic and exalted experience. Most deep meditation experiences can be categorized as follows:
PHYSICAL & SENSORY EXPERIENCES
Body feels heavy
Some people experience their body becoming very heavy as if tons of weight has been added to it. This heaviness is because of the extra energy in the system. Generally, the head is the first place where this heaviness is noticed, because the cosmic energy enters from there. This heaviness vanishes once the meditation is over and the eyes are opened. Sometimes the body may feel immobilized or paralyzed, just refusing to budge.
Body feels very light
On the other hand, some people experience lightness in their body, as if it is a balloon or a feather floating and hovering above. They may even lose the body awareness and feel a sense of body-less-ness. This usually happens when the energy meridians are clear of all the blocks.
A human body has over 72,000 energy tubes called ‘Naadis’, through which the energy moves. When cosmic energy enters the body, the energy force rises in some of these channels. This force creates some random body movements; such as the head moving from side to side or falling backward and forward, bodily jerks, contractions or spasms, body swaying or swinging, body tremors or a spontaneous alignment of spine etc. When you understand that all these are mere manifestations of energy movements, you stop feeling anxious about such experiences. When the body is purified, and all the energy channels have been cleansed, energy moves in a smooth flow, and these experiences come to an end.
Sometimes a meditator may lose body consciousness. Then he experiences a violent jerk, and the body falls over. This usually happens when one is moving yet deeper into meditation. At times when the physical body becomes saturated with cosmic energy, it starts moving in a cosmic dance, creating various mudras and yogic postures.
Sometimes the body starts trembling while at other times it shakes violently; just like an earthquake inside the body. There may also be a movement of the tongue, tightening of the back of the neck, or various contractions inside the head.
In meditation, energy moves in and through each cell of our body. Sometimes this energy is experienced as physical warmth. Some people feel so hot that they start sweating profusely.
On the other hand, some people get cold shivers when high vibrational energy moves through them. They may even experience goose bumps. Some experience energy movements as cold waves emanating from the heart and moving outwards.
Sometimes people feel a cool, tingling, breeze like sensation all over the body, due to the movement of the cosmic energy.
Some people smell fragrances of flowers, incense or some unfamiliar, unidentifiable fragrances.
Some people experience excess saliva and automatic swallowing of this fluid.
Pain along the spine
Some people feel pain anywhere along the spine or upward creeping movements from the base of the backbone. This is due to cosmic energy passing through the energy tubes.
Changing breath patterns
Sometimes the breathing pattern changes automatically. It either becomes rapid or slow. Breath and mind have a very deep connection. People with frustrated, irritated minds have a short, arrhythmic breath while people with calm, poised minds have a rhythmic, deep breath.
During meditation breathing can sometimes simply stop for a few seconds. This is called breath suspension. These episodes of breath suspension varies among meditators. It usually lasts for a few seconds or at best a few minutes, but great yogis can remain in this no breath state for long periods. During breath suspension, the heart rate slows down further. This signals a strong relaxation response in the body. The mind is in complete stillness hence, the breath too becomes still for a while. Don’t get alarmed if it appears as if the breath has stopped.
Your breath is a very good indication of the state of your mind. Breath usually stops when the brain accumulates a lot of prana and less breath is needed. Metabolism too slows down, so less oxygen is required.
Lethargy, drowsiness and sleepiness is common. Sometimes falling asleep in meditation speaks about our tamasic nature. In that case we have to examine our lifestyle, food and sleep habits. Sometimes the sleep is actually yoga nidra a thought-free state of mind which feels like sleep. When you wake up the mind automatically goes back to the breath. Here, the meditator has been successful at making the mind quiet, but the feelings of peace, clarity and well being of deep meditation are missing.
If sleepiness is a repeated occurrence during meditation, then it is helpful to check your motivation for meditating. If you are really tired, take a rest and meditate later but do not get discouraged. If one is snoring, the awareness of snoring also means that you are aware of your relaxed body sleeping. In meditation, too much effort leads to restlessness, while too little effort leads to lethargy. Intention, focus, and balance make our meditation fruitful and rewarding.
Some people tune into mystical sound waves and hear the sounds of Om, bells, drums, veena, conch, flute etc. Some of these sounds are known as ‘Anahata Nada’, which means sounds emanating from the heart chakra, or ‘Brahma Nada’, the universal sounds of creation.
Buzzing, droning, hissing or thunder sounds
Some people feel a deep buzzing, droning, or hissing noise in the ears. Sometimes the ears become very warm and one feels hot air coming out of the ears. At times people hear the beating of their own heart from inside.
Losing awareness of sounds from outside
As we become aware of the stillness surrounding us, our hearing partially blocks the outside noise. Gradually, we do not hear any noise at all. At this stage, we are going deeper into meditation.
As we stop following our thoughts they decrease in density and number and gradually disappear.
In deep meditation we lose complete awareness of our thoughts. That is the stage of stillness.
A deep meditation session usually makes us feel refreshed and energized. Some people experience deep contentment, peace, bliss and ecstasy. Sometimes people cry or laugh aloud for no apparent reason.
THROAT CHAKRA EXPERIENCES
When the energy activates the throat chakra people start involuntary yawning, sighing, burping, or coughing.
THIRD EYE EXPERIENCES
Some people feel pressure, pain, tingling, itching, pulsing, pulling or some other sensation on their forehead or third eye region. This means that their third eye is being awakened, which is a window to the spiritual world. Sometimes the eyeballs automatically roll upwards and become focused on the inner eye.
Most vision experiences happen with the awakening of the third eye. Seeing intense white dots, black sky with numerous stars, or the shape of an eye, are all signs of an awakened third-eye.These visions originate in higher dimensions.
Lightening of the field of vision
Some people feel that the darkness behind their closed eyes is lifted and the field of vision has lightened.
Seeing brilliant lights
Some people see brilliant lights that may increase or decrease in brilliance. Sometimes they feel the light burst and cover their body, from head to toe, with white liquid light. Sometimes inner lights appear in the body parts related to various chakras or energy centers. It may feel as though a light is filling the head and nothing else exists. A great light may appear at the third-eye chakra. This is the light of your own Soul. Some people see themselves following a light; which usually signifies following a master/higher energy.
Seeing various colors such as blue, red, yellow, green, violet etc with different geometric shapes and patterns is a very common experience. These colors are also seen through the inner eye, which becomes active during meditation.
Visions of deities
The influx of cosmic energy raises our vibrations. When these vibrations are sufficiently raised we start receiving communication from other realms. Some people see visions of deities, guides and masters. These visions may or may not correspond with a person’s religious beliefs. Some people see friends and relatives who have departed from this realm. The higher the vibrations; the more developed the dimensions that one explores.
Seeing snapshots of future events
Some people see all kinds of images concerning future events. Some of these images may be blurred and may not make any sense while some others may be very vivid. Some people access parallel realities. Some see future events as though they are happening in the now. Some people see a book or a pen, which is suggestive of trying ‘auto writing’.
Seeing scenes of nature such as hills, forests or rivers
Some people feel as if a television has been switched on in front of their inner eye. They see nature, waterfalls, seashore, beautiful mountains, and vivid rainbow colors. These nature visions energize and fill us with peace and tranquility. These scenes are usually part of an astral journey.
Spontaneous past life recall
Some people experience spontaneous past life recalls.
When our astral body receives a great influx of cosmic energy, it loosens up and gains momentum. The cosmic energy provides an impetus to the subtle body to come out and gain many astral experiences.
The coming out of the subtle body may feel like a swirl of energy that wants to suck us away into something. This experience is called the tunnel experience. We feel that we are moving very fast through a dark tunnel like hole, which emerges out into brilliant light and bright worlds. Some may feel their body contracting and becoming very small, while some may feel their body being expanded greatly and becoming gigantic in size. Some have an experience of falling from a height. This happens when the astral body re-enters the physical body suddenly.
Astral travel or out of body experiences
In an out of body experience we feel that we are not present in our body, but moving in a different world. We may even project our self in a different location. We may feel that we are flying like a bird or an airplane. Some people experience undergoing astral surgeries.
Losing awareness of time
When we are with the Source, we lose awareness of time. We realize how much time has passed only when we come out of our meditation.
At this stage we feel that we are inside our Self. We become aware of only our Self. That is becoming one with Source or All that is.
Receiving great wisdom, inspiration and insights
In this stage we are at a very high vibration level. We can hear the sounds and see the images of other realms. We may also receive great wisdom, insights and inspirations. In this state, we learn about the nature of our souls. We can even hear remarks and conversations of masters. Sometimes these conversations do not make any sense because they are suggestive in nature. Some visions don’t make any sense because they are symbols that we don’t understand. These symbols get embedded in our DNA and gradually decimate the knowledge contained in them. Over a period of time, our brain retrieves this knowledge as our own thoughts.