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Feeling Cold or Not During a CMR Session

by PruJoy
(Albury, Australia)

Hi. As I live in Australia it is deep Winter here right now with average daily temps btwn -1 to about 12 C - anyway I just observed during the last week or so that even tho' I might hesitate before entering a CMR session with the thought "oh maybe I should rug up a bit more" I usually just sit in my normal position in my chair or on my bed & the interesting thing is that I DON'T experience any feeling of becoming colder - just thought this was interesting to observe.

The Purpose Of Life Is The Expansion of Happiness

Gavin's Answer:

That's an interesting comment, Pru Joy. Personally, I think it is an individual thing, and I can really only speak for myself. Possibly the scientists could throw more light on the subject.

Whenever I have had a session of Conscious Mental Rest (which is every day) - and before that it would have been the meditation technique I used for many years - I have always made sure I am dressed warmly enough so that the session remains comfortable throughout the time I am in the session.

Usually I find that I need to add something before I start a session, even if it is just a light cotton cloth over my shoulders or a thin pullover. This is because at some stage during a session it seems that I am aware of feeling a little cooler than when I started, and I want to be comfortable enough so that my attention is not drawn to feeling a bit chilly.

I noticed in the past too that in group sessions of meditation with several other people, including teachers, almost everyone had some kind of extra cover over their shoulders, even in summer.

I think it depends, though, on one's body type and possibly one's level of fitness. Some body types feel the cold quicker than others. In the ayurvedic system (explained in the Self-Health Plan offered on this site) 'pitta' body types tend to feel the heat more than, say, kapha types, and so they may well find that their own internal body heat is sufficient to keep them warm during a session of physical quietness and a settling down of the mind-body system.

I have noticed too that when I occasionally lie down to take an afternoon nap, I always need to cover myself with something extra because my body does tend to feel a bit cooler when I nap. So I like to nap in comfort.

It is interesting that you have had this experience, and during winter too! Thanks for sharing.

It would also be interesting to hear what other CMR practitioners have experienced in this regard. Hopefully some will click on the Comments link below and tell us.

~ Gavin

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Comments for Feeling Cold or Not During a CMR Session

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Interesting ...
by: Prujoy

Well - normally I am feel the cold really acutely with particularly cold feet & hands - however, as you mention, I am more of a Pitta constitution so perhaps that is contributing something.

And, yes, when just sitting at my computer I chill down significantly & need to make sure I have something extra for warmth - so this is why I was intrigued by my "rest" session experience when you would naturally expect to chill down a bit with sitting still for 15 to 20 minutes, yet I do not.

Thank you for yr thoughts on this.

Research result ...
by: Prujoy

Hi again,

Was just reading thru some of David Orme Johnson's TM research results (on his website The Truth about TM www.truthabouttm.org)& found this which rings a bell for me as per my own enquiry about not feeling or noticing the cold whilst meditating:

"As breathing slows down, the carbon dioxide level in the body begins to rise. Usually, slight rises in carbon dioxide stimulate reflexive mechanisms in the brainstem to cause the ventilation rate to increase. But during Transcendental Meditation, the adsorption in bliss appears to override these reflexive mechanisms. This is not harmful to the body, because the amount of carbon dioxide retained is actually very small.25 It appears to be similar to one not noticing some discomfort in the body while they are absorbed in deep meditation.

It is interesting to note that this reduced responsiveness to carbon dioxide levels during deep meditation may be an indication of increased "equanimity", traditionally said to be a quality that develops with regular practice of the Transcendental Meditation program. The traditional literature on meditation says that as one grows in enlightenment, one gains "equanimity in pleasure and pain, victory and defeat". In enlightenment, one is said to spontaneously perform at a very high level, but to be even minded with regard to the results of action. In a recent neuroimaging study, we found that over a period of four months, Transcendental Meditation practice reduced the brain's reactivity to pain, although the subjects continue to perceive pain just as acutely as before. 28 Several other studies relating to this quality of equanimity are discussed in the section on enlightenment."

Nice - "increased equanimity".

Increased Equanimity From Meditation
by: Gavin, Unlock Your Happiness.com

Thanks Prujoy! That is very interesting. (I was intending to ask you whether your temperature tolerance experience had continued.)

Now that I think about it, perhaps the habit of covering oneself before starting a session of Conscious Mental Rest (or deep meditation) is in fact just that: a habit from earlier experiences before we became enlightened. :-)

When doing CMR on a mattress, I sometimes have my legs stretched out in front of me, and sometimes I'm cross-legged (which gives me a better spinal posture). Sometimes the cross-legged position (not lotus) can get a bit uncomfortable at the knees, for me. Yet it seems that the discomfort (which starts only once I have been in the session for a while) pales into insignificance during my CMR and does not disturb me until I end off my session and need to stretch my legs again.

So that would seem to be a variation of the 'equanimity' experience regarding body temperature. And it obviously indicates that we are both enlightened already. LOL

And yes, that expression ' increased equanimity' is a good one for describing how regular transcending of thought results in a spontaneous experience of evenness in varying conditions and experiences through life. I like it, and may borrow it when I want to describe that aspect of the benefits of a transcending kind of meditation.

Thank you for digging out that info from David Orme-Johnson's website. It explains a lot.

~ Gavin

Equanimity - Bhagavad Gita quote ...
by: Prujoy

This was the next verse in my reading of the Bhagavad Gita this morning:

Ch.2, v.38

"Having gained equanimity in pleasure & pain, in gain & loss, in victory & defeat, then come out to fight. Thus you will incur no sin."

Ha ha ~ nice synchrony as well!

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