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After stressful events that I'm unaccustomed to, or after strenuous workout, my body feels as if it wants to cry.

I am unable to produce the tears to "cry it out", but my body feels it.

This started happening when I had a miscarriage (at the time, I didn't know I had miscarriage, but Doctor estimates it was at that time).

Right now, I do meditative drawing to ease the symptoms. People think I am an artist (I'm in IT) because the drawings are so intense and beautiful.

Also, I do deep-breathing meditation, 15 minutes, 2 times a day. I lay on my bed on my back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor. I place one hand on my stomach, one hand on my chest, and I concentrate on breathing through my diaphragm.

As I inhale, diaphragm expands, exhale, diaphragm contracts.

Anything else I can do?

What does Buddhism recommend about art? Or anything to ease this suffering?

  • I deleted some comments. People should please post answers instead of comments: comments are mostly only for when you don't understand the question, to ask for a clarification, or to suggest a way to clarify the question. – ChrisW Feb 5 '16 at 10:45
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    Maybe this question could be rephrased to include, "How can Dhamma help when facing the loss of dear ones? Would doing art be an approach, according the Dhamma?" – user7586 Feb 5 '16 at 11:46
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Body feels like crying is good. This means your body-heart connection is not numb, you feel things. This is good, people spend years breaking through the barrier.

Several things you can try are: (not necessarily Buddhist but from the eastern yogic practices)

  • tai-chi style dancing improvisation. Turn on some low tempo music, close your eyes and move how you feel. This will help you reconnect your deeper layers.
  • tapping. With soft fists or hard fingers tap like the King Kong, lower abdomen, solar plexus, chest, head. This will help relieve habitual psychosomatic tensions.
  • slow bowing aka full prostrations. Something like on this video. This is a universal stretching / balancing / syncing the body-mind exercise.
  • spend enough time in the nature regularly. Spend time doing nothing in particular at a place where there is healthy vegetation and moving water. This will help you reconnect with the spirit of life.
  • try incense. I recommend Tibetan incense or the good old sage.
  • hugging. Find a buddy to hug with, to stay healthy we need ~6 hugs a day.

And then of course there is actual meditation when you sit and stare at your feelings and stare and stare and stare until you see ;)

  • Wow those are some fascinating points. I was thinking of putting incense in the kitchen because angry feelings appear the most in this room. Plus, on the other side of the kitchen is our building's garbage disposal room. But the "body crying" happens in my bedroom, so that's also a place to keep incense. As for hugging, I hope teddy bear is ok? – Rhonda Feb 6 '16 at 18:10
  • I do 54 reps of Surya Namaskar (aboutyoga.in/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Surya-Namaskara.jpg), and aim is 108 reps. This must be similar to full prostrations, correct? – Rhonda Feb 6 '16 at 18:16
  • A cat or dog would be better than a toy bear, if you don't have access to humans. The Sun Salutations (surya namaskar) are very good too, although with prostrations you focus a lot less on stretching / muscle power and a lot more on subtle energy feelings in your body. – Andrei Volkov Feb 6 '16 at 18:57
  • LOL, then I'll have to "borrow" a pet .... – Rhonda Feb 6 '16 at 19:58
  • or you could make a baby ;) – Andrei Volkov Feb 14 '16 at 18:33
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Welcome to the site.

There are (many) people on this site who have practised meditation themselves, but perhaps there's no-one who is very experienced as a teacher of meditation? It seems to me that this ("Body feels like crying") would be a question which an experienced meditation teacher will have heard before: so, one small bit of advice is, can you try to make contact with an experienced meditation teacher?

There are several forms of breathing (during "breathing meditation"): see for example Active breathing, passive breathing.

Anapanasati is most commonly practiced with attention centered on the breath, without any effort to change the breathing.

In the throat singing prevalent amongst the Buddhist monks of Tibet and Mongolia the long and slow outbreath during chanting is the core of the practice. The sound of the chant also serves to focus the mind in one-pointed concentration samadhi, while the sense of self dissolves as awareness becomes absorbed into a realm of pure sound.

In some Japanese Zen meditation, the emphasis is upon maintaining "strength in the abdominal area" (dantian or "tanden") and slow deep breathing during the long outbreath, again to assist the attainment of a mental state of one-pointed concentration. There is also a "bamboo method," during which time one inhales and exhales in punctuated bits, as if running one's hand along the stalk of a bamboo tree.

The above spends more words talking about chanting and the "bamboo method" than it does in the first paragraph about "passive breathing", but it might be right in saying that "passive" breathing is the way in which it's most commonly practised.

There's a book about Anapanasati, Unveiling the Secrets of Life: a Manual for Serious Beginners by Buddhadasa Bikkhu, which has information about several (not all) techniques of breathing meditation, and which people recommend.


At the risk of going off-topic I'll also mention two non-Buddhist forms of breathing, from my own experience

  • Aerobic exercise (e.g. bicycling) -- I'm not sure how you can do "deep breathing" when you're not exercising, but exercise is recommended e.g. by (non-Buddhist) doctors as a way to help your body manage 'stress'. I mean, a bicycling fast enough that it begins to affect your breathing (and/or cycling up-hill), at e.g. 20 km/hour; or, various forms of running if you prefer (though I prefer cycling, myself, because it's easier on my joints). The experience (of well-being from being physically fitter) may make you more 'attached' to feeling physically fit (and perhaps monks don't recommend physical exercise, except perhaps "walking meditation"); nevertheless it (exercise) is meant to be one of the ways to cope with stress: see for example Exercising to relax from Harvard Medical School.

  • I've also sometimes enjoyed practising a "Tai Chi" form, which is also called a "moving meditation". There's a description of that (with links to videos) here. The caveats are that you need a reasonably good teacher; and a form with a reasonably low stance; and maybe a couple of years of lessons: because you need to learn the form before you can practice it, and you have to practice repeatedly (having already learned the movements) to learn to integrate the breathing with the movements; and learning a long form (e.g. 108 moves), which takes about 20 minutes to practice, might take a year (or more) to learn. Still I found that's it's good for breathing and posture (so, "physical well-being" again), and there's something to be said for its way of handling conflict.


Another (Buddhist) form of meditation which you might like to investigate is Metta Bhavana.

There are various ways of practicing metta-bhavana, the meditation on universal love. Three of the principal methods will be explained here.


In terms of insight about suffering, it might be worth considering "the Three Poisons" i.e. ignorance, desire, and aversion; for example:

  • Aversion: I don't want to feel sad
  • Desire: I want to feel happy
  • Ignorance: I don't know why I feel sad

A common problem is, apparently, that if you think you're averse to something then you may try to avoid it. If you "feel like crying" and are averse to that feeling then there's a tendency to avoid inspecting that feeling, avoid thinking about that feeling. Instead maybe you need to be willing to investigate (accept, work out) such a feeling if it arises. I presume you'll find that such a feeling is transient (impermanent), because most feelings eventually are.

  • How fascinating! I am trying to understand significance of 108. I do Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) in morning, 54 reps so far. Ancient Indian medicine says do 108 Surya Namaskars a day – Rhonda Feb 6 '16 at 17:59
  • The three poisons is also interesting. Lot of "Law of Attraction" sites will tell you to say "I want to feel happy". I suppose everything is done in steps. After all, Buddha was once a Prince who had everything one could desire. Only then he was able to ponder their temporal nature, hence became Enlightened. – Rhonda Feb 6 '16 at 18:01
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    There was a topic about "108" here ... but I don't know that it is especially significant in Tai Chi. In the Tai Chi form it's not one move repeated, it's a sequence of more than 100 moves. A reason why the long form is preferable to the short form is just that the long form takes longer to practice (e.g. 25 minutes, compared with the "short form" which is I don't know about 18 moves). So you can spend an hour doing the long form 2 or 3 times, or an hour doing the short form about 10 times -- which is more repetitious, more starting and stopping. – ChrisW Feb 6 '16 at 18:14
  • Thank you for the link. There must be some deeper significance to certain numbers. After all, it's shared by so many Eastern cultures, i.e.Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, etc – Rhonda Feb 6 '16 at 18:21
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    "May I be happy" (or at least, "may I be free from suffering ... may all beings be free from suffering") is part of the Metta meditation. – ChrisW Feb 6 '16 at 18:27
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You can start with a smile, when you wake up in the morning each day, be grateful that you are alive and just think to yourself "I will make this a joyful and pleasant day".

Start today. And increase it to moments during the day and then be grateful that you are here each moment, breathing. Simply accept each moment and each person for what it is and what they are. This increases your acceptance of your life and every moment.

As for the exercise that you do, I suggest you don't deep breathe too much. Just start initially with about 3-4 deep breaths. Smile. And then focus on normal breathing. I suggest you do this sitting up as erect as possible but not tight.

As for art, I think it is fine to adopt more sceneries and beauty in things. Because as such that is creation. Be grateful that you have this talent in you to sketch. And do it with a smile. :)

This life is to be loved and lived. And living happens in the "now". Not in the past and not in the future. It is upto you to create life as it is.

Don't live in the mind. Live the moment.

I wish you pleasantness and joy with each passing moment.

  • Oh boy, positivity in the morning does take work! However, before I go to sleep, I thank God for whatever it is I have. Will start on making this a morning routine. – Rhonda Feb 6 '16 at 18:03
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You might find somatic (in the body/sensations) meditation helpful since you have the feeling of grief so strongly in the body.

This form of meditation deals directly with the sensations in the body and bypasses the thinking left brain. Observing the sensations, working with, and finding the right context to process them, might help find release from the stress you are experiencing

Reginald Ray (he is from the lineage of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche) teaches Somatic Buddhist meditation.

Here's his website: Dharma Ocean

I'll also link to two articles by him, which you might find helpful:

  1. What is Somatic Meditation?
  2. Reflections on the Somatic Foundations of Meditation

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