Author Topic: Tensing when concentrating  (Read 3135 times)


  • Guest
Tensing when concentrating
« on: May 08, 2018, 06:33:31 PM »
Hi ,

I was wondering what you all think about having a slight tension in the forehead when concentrating during meditation. Is this okay or should one train oneself to totally forgo any slight contraction of 'concentration muscles' when learning to meditate properly?

I have the habit to tense my forehead and eye muscles when I am concentrating on a task, whether it is directive meditation or doing another cognitively demanding task. When I do non-directive meditations I usually don't have any tension when at base level, but as what sometimes happens during non-directive meditations, it sometimes pulls you into a meditative expression where you concentrate on an object and in my case it is always paired with this tightening of particular muscles in my head. In fact this muscular expression seems to be baked in so much that I find it very difficult, almost impossible to concentrate on a task without slightly tensing the muscles around the forehead. I have tried this often during studying or meditation. I seem to able to get some concentration in when relaxing, but the thing I am concentrating on presents itself in a very dreamy manner. When it is a subject I am studying everything goes very slow, and it very difficult to generate the cognitive power to stay on a task and learn something and when I am concentrating on an object it becomes very vague, distant and just plainly gets drowned by all the other activities in my consciousness.

Is there any merit in learning to concentrate without tension or am I fine and is tension just very normal?
« Last Edit: May 08, 2018, 06:37:24 PM by BabaFella »


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 611
    • View Profile
Re: Tensing when concentrating
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2018, 08:01:47 PM »
I answered this as a part of reply to your comment here:

But it went into the moderation queue due to 2 links I posted. Anyway, here it is:

I was largely talking in reference to this:
"‘maybe you should have just a couple of drinks of smoke a bit from that joint and then everything will be really perfect’™
More times than not I give in to these feelings, and I want to grow out of it already lol"

 If your self-image(which depends on your beliefs, acquired or innate) does not go well with these things, it's easier to shun them. If friends urge me for this, I would say No to having such friends who cannot respect my decision.  If they don't urge me but indulge in it themselves(not true in my case) then I would avoid such events or areas where it's happening if I know I am a hatchling at self control.

Another part of self control is how integral is your aspiration for it. Does only a part of you want it. ? If yes, then the parts that do not want it will rebel and it will create too much inner conflict.

I choose to soulfully aspire(as a theist would pray) to have the state of being I want to attain/thing I want to do/not do, such that my mental opinion, vital emotion and the very bodily instict align with it.  So imagine an archetypal figure(I love grandiosity) or a real life extraordinary person who is miles away from the concept of drugs/alcohol. And aspire, gently, from your heart area, to be like him.  Aspire such that your very body tingles with the feeling. Don't bring in any strain. It should be like a fire smouldering in the depths of your heart that slowly grows to consume every level of your being.

This is also my answer to your question about strain in concentration. I faced the exact same issue. It means you are not whole heartedly into the task. A part of your mind deems it important, so it is pulling the rest of your being forcefully. I tend to aspire before studies: I am going to go into the core of what the author had in mind. I would learn things from the text, that no dry reading can disclose. I would remember whatever I read perfectly. This would be the expression of the godhead within.

You can never match a person whose entire being is into a task by mere mental concentration. Helpful things will serendipitiously occur in his mind, his very muscles will become naturally coordinated. As a general practice, if you keep such sincere aspiration for perfection the entire day, the minutest of things you do, like opening a door, would be filled with beauty and grace. In such "Truth Consciousness" the "hard" material pleasures would look extremely crude and distasteful.

This thread gives some concept of such integrality in demon prince Meghnaad, also known as Indrajit(One who defeated Indra/Zeus):

Contd here:

This is a small extract based on Hindu epic: Ramayan.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2018, 08:14:00 PM by Arpan »


  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1285
    • View Profile
Re: Tensing when concentrating
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2018, 09:19:05 PM »
BabaFella: If you re-translated samatha as "absorption meditation", do you think you would experience the head tension?

I have never liked the translation "concentration" for the very reason you have described: beginners think it is the same type of concentration as "studying". So, staring at books, or a whiteboard. It is not.

So, spend a week absorbing into the breath rather than "concentrating" on it. I believe a new world will open up for you.


  • Guest
Re: Tensing when concentrating
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2018, 04:00:29 PM »
I appreciate what you guys have written, It has helped me.