Hello Beautiful People,

I have a quick question. After years of meditating with a mixture of Mahasi and Goenka style, I would like to ask the following.

Very often when I sit to mediate, it is a matter of seconds to experience a subtle sense of pleasure and/or spaciousness. But more interestingly, is that after meditating a bit more there comes a feeling that my eyes want to move upwards, almost like if they want to see behind my head/brain.

The first times this eye movement happened, years ago, there was fear in me because this was unusual and unexpected - it was even a bit painful. But after letting this movement happen I realized that the traditional lights, pleasure, and spaciousness became more present. Sometimes this leads to a very focalized pleasure spot at the top of my head and sometimes to the feeling that from that spot a very strong and interesting sense of pleasure would come from it (like if there is a cascade of pleasure emanating from the top of my head).

The eye movement I am describing is not like REM. It is rather slow and it is directed upwards.

So, I guess my question is: what is this eye movement thing? Is it anywhere described? Is it a Jhana thing? a symptom of any stage of the path?


2 Answers 2


No. Its not jhana. However, the eyes moving upwards can be related to the Path because such eye movement can be indicative of a degree of letting go (not-attachment; surrender). This said, in itself, it is not stream-entry.

  • "such eye movement can be indicative of a degree of letting go" what do you mean by this? I dont understand.
    – Remyla
    Apr 6 at 16:02
  • For example, in ordinary life, if someone says something that is incredulous/not believable, you look at them & roll your eyes back. This is what happens when the mind lets go and surrenders. Apr 6 at 19:36

You can tell completely when you have jhana for the first time, you have piti and sukha but more importantly with piti you get piloerection, goosebumps.

As the meditator experiences tranquillity (samatha), one of five kinds of physical pleasure (piti) will arise. These are:

Weak rapture only causes piloerection.

Obviously the structure of the meditation will be samatha, piti, sukha, jhana...something like that. Hard to distinguish in the moment.

My only suggestion would be to just note the experiences and don't follow them, Following them in meditation is a distraction. Though of course when it comes to meditation advice you need to seek help from a person in real life who has also experienced what you are experiencing. Seek refuge in sangha.

As for your experience. Well we always have differing experiences and so much can happen in our heightened states of mind whilst we meditate. Too numerous to mention. All I can relate to is that I too have experienced a myriad of strange things in meditation, I too thought they meant something, had a purpose, meant I had attained etc...they were not, they were just experiences.

My "favourite" experience was seeing a clear white light pervade my mind. From mahayana teachings, which is what I first started studying, I knew of the "clear light of bliss" which I then thought I had attained a great state of mind. No....I didn't, I just saw white light in my inner mind...

Just explaining the example to give you an idea of what type of unique stuff can happen to us all in meditation!

  • What?.............
    – Remyla
    May 7 at 18:43

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