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I am practising mindful breathing and after a while it takes my concentration directly to my forehead. I tried to be in thoughtless state and just keep watching my forehead. After this practice for 2 or 3 days i feel a kind of pressure in my forehead for a day now. is this normal ? i am hesitated to continue my practice because of this. why i experience this sensation ?

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This sensation is being experience probably because you are deliberately focusing your intention on your forehead. Your post states:

I tried to...just keep watching my forehead.

Practising mindful breathing probably takes your concentration directly to your forehead because you are probably concentrating with your forehead.

There is no need to 'concentrate' to practise mindfulness with breathing. If you simply let go & make the mind quiet, awareness of breathing will still occur.

This is because when the mind is quiet & not craving, breathing becomes the most gross or dominant sense object for the mind.

That is why the 8 fold path does not start with concentration but ends with concentration.

'Mindfulness' means to let go of craving. When the mind is quiet, it starts to 'collect' or 'gather' itself, which is the meaning of 'concentration' ('samadhi' - 'collectedness').

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  • There is no meditation master for me. I tried meditating on what was said by to watch mindful breathing in a book. I have the pressure on forehead and also night sleep was too disturbed. I stopped my practice due to this. Will these symptoms subside on its own ?
    – SGN
    Aug 5 '16 at 9:18
  • yes. the symptoms will subside. possibly, you were concentrating too hard; with too much effort & force. just return to normal activities & do some physical exercise. if you meditate again, try to be more gentle & natural in your approach. kind regards & best wishes Aug 5 '16 at 10:12
  • really thanks a lot. I was practising this for a couple of days an hour each day but felt this problems so stopped immediately. I was really concerned about my night sleep and pressure in the forehead. If i concentrate something i get the pressure on my forehead again. Day by day the severity is subsiding but I want to know whether this would return to normal completely.
    – SGN
    Aug 5 '16 at 13:59
  • my forehead pressure is getting better on and off. but my night sleep is affected. how long does it take to return back to normal ?
    – SGN
    Aug 7 '16 at 6:43
  • I can't say. But meditating over-vigorously generates unbalanced energy, which why it disturbs sleep. It happened to me in my very 1st week of practising meditation. On that occassion, I stopped meditating, went to a beach & surfed all day for a week. It you returned to normal activities, it should settle. The pressure was created by an impermanent cause and if the cause is stopped the pressure will subside & cease. You have said it is getting better so that is how is should be. Regards Aug 7 '16 at 9:28
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The suttas didn't place any restriction on what area of the body one can focus on for mindfulness of breathing meditation. But there're 2 areas commonly taught by most masters and widely practiced: the nostril gates or the diaphragm. The nostril gates are taught in the Visuddhimagga commentary (starting from page 259). If you find some discomfort during meditation, please consult your meditation master if you have one. I you don't have one, make sure to closely follow the textual instruction and try switching the focus to the nostril gates to see if it helps.

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May be that your problem lies in taking literally what your meditation master said. If you find that focusing on the breath gets you distracted, the normal advice that you get is to just focus right between your eyes, or the middle of the forehead when breathing. The problem comes when you stare right there literally. While sitting upright, you should ‘touch’ that spot with your mind’s eye, and not strain to focus your eyes to that spot.

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In my humble opinion, you should not be hesitant to continue - you should be happy. This started happening to me yesterday, and continued today when I meditated. I have a sensation in the middle of my forehead, a humming/glowing feeling. As I meditated, I simply went with the flow to see what this was about. I believe that it's what's called the "Third Eye" or the "Mind's Eye". If you think about the way mindfulness mediation activates your brain's prefrontal cortex (please look at this article: http://www.mindful.org/how-the-brain-changes-when-you-meditate/ ) it completely makes sense that we feel a tingling sensation at the center of our forehead. I realized that while meditating I was sort of seeing myself from some interior position, like my 2 eyes but further in. Then when I felt this third eye opening, I decided to let that be my vantage point for looking within, for viewing the chatter and the images that my mind throws about, and when I did that I felt that I made a real breakthrough in strengthening the powers of my prefrontal cortex.

Thinking now about the result of this, well, I can say that I have had some real progress thinking through some career issues today, and it may very well be that I have gotten more in touch with my gut instincts and deeper self-knowledge.

I'm no expert, this is just me. I hope this is food for thought. Good luck

Michael

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