Today when i was doing "space between breathing" meditation i experienced something strange which caused me to panic. When i got deep enough in meditation, gradually space between my breaths expanded and my breaths became very shallow. I could no longer feel my breathing. Also i lost sensation of my body and awareness of environment. I entered a silent dark space which was very tight. I felt like a vibrating round mass. The vibration gradually increased and also i felt a really hot sensation in my body. As heat increased i felt as if the space became tighter. Then i had the panic attack. My heart start beating very forcefully and fast. I couldn’t feel and move my body. I couldn’t find my breathing. It took me so long to find my breath and get back to awareness. I am so scared i cannot meditatie again. I was wondering what was this sensation. is this feeling normal. How can i avoide the panic i experienced

2 Answers 2


I would recommend learning & practising meditation in a group, that has a competent teacher or monk, so you can learn to become fluent in the basics of meditation.

As for your panic attack, it sounds like your mind was focusing more & more on the space, thus lengthening the gap of the space & shorting the duration of the breathing.

Therefore, not only did your mind lose a soothing, comforting & calming sense object (the breathing) but also found itself in a state of 'emptiness' ('diminishing ego') that it could not cope with; thus fear or panic arose; which is similar to a fear of 'death' people commonly feel.

Ultimately, correctly practised Buddhism meditation should 1st develop a strong foundation of calm, which gives the mind refuge & strength to develop more profound insights.

Where as "space between breathing" (emptiness) meditation is taught by ambitious teachers who foolishly believe they will enlighten students more quickly.

The real Buddhist meditation path is something gradual & natural and based on giving up desire (craving) & positive & negative judgments (rather than based on exercises designed to eliminate the 'ego' or 'self' prematurely; when the mind is not yet ready or spiritually mature enough).

  • Thank you for your response. So you believe i shouldn't practice this kind of meditation so early in my practice? What can i do instead of this?
    – Rooloo
    Sep 27, 2016 at 3:02
  • 1
    Thank you. Most of us started with "mindfulness with breathing" meditation called 'anapanasati' because it makes the mind calm. Sep 27, 2016 at 3:50

It sounds like you may have had a very deep meditative practice. It is possible that your body may have fallen asleep while you were still awake. It's not very common but pro-meditators (like the 9 hour guys) may experience it more often than others.

  • Did your limbs randomly move or shift without your effort? This is usually one of the first signs that your body falling asleep. Your brain is now trying to wake up different parts of the body.

  • Did you lose your ability to move while sitting in meditation posture? At this point your body released a hormone which paralyzes the body not to move. If you can't move your arm or finger than your paralyzed. It's not permanent but it can be scary.

  • The mental realm became more solid. Your body is beginning to shut down and the brain starts activating the areas of the brain associated with sleep. The dream state you experience in the morning starts to become active in your sitting.

  • Sense organs officially start shutting down. You can no longer hear, smell, taste, touch, or see the room you previously were in. Your body has officially fallen asleep while your brain still remains partially active/asleep. You are officially conscious of the subconscious realm.

Of course this is not recommended for most meditators, and it shouldn't be practiced without having a trained teacher. But this does sound like your body was beginning to fall asleep. Tips on how to handle the anxiety?

  • Move your attention onto Metta meditation.
  • Move your attention onto the breath.
  • Move onto walking meditation.
  • Move your attention into the anxiety and notice how it's just energy.
  • Keep your awareness center and let the anxiety be itself.
  • Encase the anxiety in a space bubble and let it slowly disappear overtime.
  • Place your hand on your chest and let love flow into your body.
  • etc....
  • Yes as you said i lost ability to move my body, i couldn't even hear the loud ticking sound of my room's clock. It was exactly like the sleep paralysis i sometimes experience in my sleeps. So do you think this meditation is harmful for me right now? What can i do to prepare my self?
    – Rooloo
    Sep 27, 2016 at 3:06
  • I recommend on finding a teacher such as a Tibetan Lama for meditations such as these. They have certain protocols to protect you while in such deep states of mind. They will also tell you if your practice is moving forward or not. Sometimes the deep experiences can be the worst hindrances for our practice. Sep 27, 2016 at 12:19

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