At the panditarama vipassana retreat they ask us to focus and observe on the object that pops up our attention, such as a pain or thought. I started having ticks that I had on my childhood, such as closing and opening my right eye intermittently very fast. The tick does not stop if I observe it, and it does stop if I focus on something else, such as the rise and falling of the abdomen.

Is it dangerous to continue focusing on the tick? Will it then appear in my life when not practicing meditation?

2 Answers 2


Acknowledge the tick only a few times as it appears, but then acknowledge what else appears, your mind reacts to it somehow -- fear, anxiety, memories, analyses etc. And go back to the anchor (step or breath). This way the tick will lead you to the stuff underneath; if you stay focused on the tick, you are practicing concentration and will miss that reaction. Mindfulness consists in both the ability to acknowledge what is there right now (not what was there two seconds ago) and also the ability to let it go quickly (back to the anchor).

It is normal that things don't disappear when you acknowledge them. Do you expect to start levitating when you acknowledge sitting?

It is likewise normal that childhood stuff appears in meditation (be it really from childhood, or only believed to be, that does not matter), and such symptoms might get worse temporarily; acknowledge worries about it (you seem to be worried about it being dangerous) and keep practicing, that's the way to clear it out, and the truth will show itself.

Usually (no guarantee; speaking of my experience) these things disappear as meditation wears off in daily life (e.g. feelings of craziness, extraordinary/painful sensitivity, physical symptoms etc).

Good luck!

(P.S.: since you are in Panditarama, won't the teachers give you an instruction when you ask them?)

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    "It is normal that things don't disappear when you acknowledge them". We are told that when we feel pain, to focus on it for a while until it usually disappears. Nov 12, 2015 at 13:51
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    Yes, it is normal. What you are seeing here, is that reality is uncontrollable and ungovernable. Reality is not amenable to ones will. Things do not go away, just because we want them to and things don't stay just because we want them to. That is the nature of reality and what you have seen is an insight into reality. Well done. Keep practicing and you will eventually be free from this conditioned existence.
    – user2424
    Nov 12, 2015 at 14:41

Yah, those damn ticks have bothered me too! Around the time I broke through some of my old baggage I had continuous eye ticks for almost a year.

My advice is to not pay attention to ticks themselves, but to the "energy" behind the ticks. Not all of your attention, maybe 10%.

Something is going on in there, some old tangle -- and you can't force it, just feed it with some attention energy and hopefully it will untangle over time.

Ultimately this is a good thing - don't worry, just some old crap coming up. If you keep going there maybe more coming :)

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    What do you mean by "the energy behind it"? How to do that? Nov 16, 2015 at 12:22
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    There's no further explanation. Just do it! :))
    – Andriy Volkov
    Nov 16, 2015 at 12:42

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