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Thread: Why so hot?

  1. #1

    Why so hot?

    Hello all,

    I find that I tend to feel very warm during zazen - not uncomfortably so, but enough that I still open up the window (and we've had snow here already! :cry: ). Then, as soon as I stand up from zazen, I feel cold instead, and start to shiver.

    I've asked a couple of teachers about this over the years, and was told it was very common, and not to worry about it. Which is good news, but I'm still a bit curious about why?

    Is it something to do with the autonomic nervous system?

  2. #2
    Yes. It used to be prevailent in my sitting before. Now it has pretty much gone.

    Keizan Zengi said it was from the breath being out of sinc, but I think it definitely has to do more with something else, possibly the autonomic nervous system. I have also had other things in my practice such as a runny nose (not from a cold). All this pretty much goes away once you find some balance in your sitting and also when some of the tension in your sitting relaxes. Just my experience.

    Gassho Will

  3. #3
    Hi Paige,

    The physiological effects of Zazen, and related practices such as Yoga, are complex and have subtle effects on many parts of the body simultaneously. I am not a doctor (I only play one on TV), but I believe that it could be changes in blood pressure, blood flow and capillary size, slowing down and speeding up of general metabolism, not to mention greater mental awareness of the sensations on the skin.

    Here is an article (in 3 parts) that lists many many of the studies that have been done, and the various results.

    http://www.noetic.org/research/medbiblio/ch2_1.htm

    By the way, I think you probably know about the following rather interesting form of Tibetan meditation. This has been confirmed by scientifically controlled studies done by Harvard.

    HARVARD GAZETTE ARCHIVES

    Meditation changes temperatures:
    Mind controls body in extreme experiments
    By William J. Cromie
    Gazette Staff

    In a monastery in northern India, thinly clad Tibetan monks sat quietly in a room where the temperature was a chilly 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a yoga technique known as g Tum-mo, they entered a state of deep meditation. Other monks soaked 3-by-6-foot sheets in cold water (49 degrees) and placed them over the meditators' shoulders. For untrained people, such frigid wrappings would produce uncontrolled shivering.

    If body temperatures continue to drop under these conditions, death can result. But it was not long before steam began rising from the sheets. As a result of body heat produced by the monks during meditation, the sheets dried in about an hour.

    Attendants removed the sheets, then covered the meditators with a second chilled, wet wrapping. Each monk was required to dry three sheets over a period of several hours.

    Why would anyone do this? Herbert Benson, who has been studying g Tum-mo for 20 years, answers that "Buddhists feel the reality we live in is not the ultimate one. There's another reality we can tap into that's unaffected by our emotions, by our everyday world. Buddhists believe this state of mind can be achieved by doing good for others and by meditation. The heat they generate during the process is just a by-product of g Tum-mo meditation."

    http://www.hno.harvard.edu/gazette/2002 ... tummo.html
    Hot & Cold Gassho, Jundo

  4. #4

    why so hot

    Hello Paige:

    You know what we buddhists say--'When you're hot, just be hot, when you're not, just be not.'

    gassho
    keishin

  5. #5
    I remember reading an article on a Tum-mo study that failed because the young monk they were testing could not reach the proper mental state due to the intrusiveness of the rectal thermometer being used to measure his core body temperature.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Rev R
    I remember reading an article on a Tum-mo study that failed because the young monk they were testing could not reach the proper mental state due to the intrusiveness of the rectal thermometer being used to measure his core body temperature.
    :shock:

  7. #7

    Re: Why so hot?

    Quote Originally Posted by paige
    Hello all,

    I find that I tend to feel very warm during zazen
    thanks Paige!

    I feel hot too!

  8. #8
    I have always felt vulnerable during Zazen. I found this the other day and believe it will help. http://www.stopabductions.com/

    Jim

  9. #9

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by spd901
    Sometimes I have a dry sense of humor.
    I thought it was hilarious. I ordered one, to send back to my home planet.

    Gassho, Jundo from the Delta Quadrant

  11. #11
    drat! another wild weekend of crop circles, cattle mutilations, and anal probes foiled by the cunning use of early 20th century aviation helmets.

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