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Hello Charlie,

This is the first time for me. It was weird but really amazing. I have lots of anxiety and somehow after doing your meditation I went into the middle of somewhere felt very in peace,comfortable, and happy, like in a protected place, felt energy concentrated where the body of the sternum starts. Some images pop: bike, birthday cake, and suddenly I felt a strong necessity to cry. At that moment you gave other instructions so I went out. But I don't understand why the brain will give an image that occurred thirty years or so ago, and why would I feel such a strong need to cry. Specially, since the vision was not a sad memory. As total beginner in the field of meditation, is meditation a personal journey where people will experience particular things that can't be really understood? Or is there a written guide that can explain the states one can encounter? Thank you much. I enjoy a lot the class! :)

Remembering all my sodas


This is a really great experience to have and many other meditators describe similar experiences. It sounds to me like there was a moment where you truly experienced a meditative state of consciousness. That feeling of being protected that you described is associated with the relaxation response, essentially the opposite of the stress response. In this state you will feel calm stable and collected under any circumstances. There will often be sensations of pressure or energy associated with this and if you look into the meditative traditions of the world you will find that there are points in the body that they will describe that correlate with these spots. For example in Vedic culture (northern India) they describe the Chakras, energy points in the body that when opened symbolize relief from physical or psychological conditions. The sternum lines up with the Anahata chakra which is the point most frequently connected to emotional release. And now we come to the crying... Don't you think it's interesting that in our daily social interactions we constantly reinforce that everything is fine and don't allow ourselves or others around us to be authentic with their emotions? Every time we greet someone we say "How are you?" Then reflexively they answer "Good" or "fine" without even thinking about it. What we are really doing when we greet people this way is saying "Reinforce to me that everything is fine because I don't have the energy or adaptability to deal with your real emotions." It makes sense then that after a lifetime of interacting with people in this way you'll feel a sense of emotional release during your meditation. It's good to let your guard down and let yourself feel the emotions that come out. By allowing yourself to be authentic with your sadness you also give yourself permission to feel spontaneously blissful. The message you convey to your body in meditation is that you love it no matter what emotions it gives you. The images that you experienced are from moments in your childhood when you didn't feel this pressure to always be "OK." Isn't it amazing how consciousness works!



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