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From Intellect to Intuition - Chapter Ten - The Need for Care in Meditation
The second type of difficulty which we should consider is the one that can be interpreted in terms of energy.

Students frequently complain of over-stimulation and of such an increased energy that they find themselves unable to cope with it. They tell us that, when attempting to meditate, they have an inclination to weep, or to be unduly restless; they have periods of intense activity wherein they find themselves running hither and thither serving, talking, writing and working so that they end by undergoing a violent reaction, sometimes to the point of nervous collapse. Others complain of pains in the head, of headaches immediately after meditating, or of an uncomfortable vibration in the forehead, or the throat. They also find themselves unable to sleep as well as heretofore. They are, in fact, over-stimulated. The nervous system is being affected through the medium of the fine and subtle "nadis" which underly the nerves and to which we earlier referred. These troubles are the troubles of the neophyte in the science of meditation [255] and must be dealt with carefully. Rightly handled, they will soon disappear, but if they are ignored they may lead to serious trouble. The earnest and interested aspirant, at this stage, is himself a difficulty, for he is so anxious to master the technique of meditation, that he ignores the rules given him and drives himself, in spite of all the teacher may say or the warnings he may receive. Instead of adhering to the fifteen minute formula which is given him, he endeavors to force the pace and do thirty minutes; instead of following his outline, which is so arranged that it takes about fifteen minutes to complete, he tries to hold the concentration as long as possible, and at the height of his effort, forgetting that he is learning to concentrate, and not to meditate, at this stage of his training. So he suffers, and has a nervous breakdown, or a spell of insomnia, and his teacher gets the blame and the science is regarded as dangerous. Yet all the time, he himself is the one in fault.

When some of these primary troubles occur, the meditation work should be temporarily stopped, or slowed down. If the condition is not sufficiently serious to warrant the complete cessation of the work, a close observation should be made of where (in the human body) the inflowing energy seems to go. Energy is tapped in meditation, and it will find its way to some part of other of the mechanism.

In mental types, or in the case of those who have already some facility in "centering the consciousness" in the head, it is the brain cells which become [256] over-stimulated, leading to headaches, to sleeplessness, to a sense of fulness, or to a disturbing vibration between the eyes or at the very top of the head. Sometimes there is a sense of blinding light, like a sudden flash of lightning or of electricity, registered when the eyes are closed, and in the dark equally as in the light.

When this is the case, the meditation period should be reduced from fifteen minutes to five, or meditation should be practiced on alternate days, until such time as the brain cells have adjusted themselves to the new rhythm and the increased stimulation. There is no need for anxiety, if wise judgment is used, and obedience to the advice of the teacher is present, but should the student at this time begin to push his meditation, or to increase the time period, he may lay up for himself a good deal of trouble. Again common sense comes into play, and with the reduction of the time, and with the practice of a little meditation every day, it should soon be possible to bring the work back again to normal. We have had students who have suffered this way, but who, by obedience to suggested rules, and the use of common sense, are now doing their thirty minutes' or an hour's meditation daily.

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