I still remember the time I cried during meditation for the first time.
It was a guided chakra meditation by Doreen Virtue.
In the middle of that meditation, something related to angels came up
and I found tears coming up into my eyes.
In no time, I began sobbing uncontrollably with my eyes still closed.
I had no idea what was happening as I had not expected this at all.
In fact, I had not cried in years as far as I could remember.
But this was different. It was not sadness but perhaps tears of joy during meditation.
The tears continued even after the meditation stopped. Once they stopped after few minutes that seemed like an eternity, I felt a strange sense of calm and peace.
It was as if a load has been lifted from my shoulders.
However, I still had no idea what just happened.
I had a similar experience when I went to a 10 day Vipassana meditation retreat and it was once again an unforgettable experience.
Anything that stirs your heart too much, anything that takes possession of you, … is too much, that you cannot contain and it starts overflowing – that brings tears.
Over the period of time, I have realized that crying after meditation can have a significant effect on your overall mental well-being.
So, if you too have found yourself shedding tears during meditation, don’t worry.
Here are 5 reasons why it is perfectly OKAY to let it all go and cry during meditation:
1. You experience a sense of peace and joy like never before
One thing that is common among all people reporting tears during meditation is that almost all of them feel better afterward.
Shedding tears is a sign of emotional cleansing that often precedes mental calm and peace after meditation.
These feelings of peace and joy indicate that there is nothing inherently wrong with crying after meditation.
So, if someone tells you it’s madness, consider it as just one of many meditation myths and continue your practice. It’s just the beginning!
2. You intuitively know you are divinely protected and guided
When you first begin a meditation practice, you begin to see your anxious mind going from one thought to another.
Once you get habitual in observing them in a non-attached and non-judgemental manner, you begin to tap into the inner reservoir of peace.
Sometimes during those moments when your thoughts get silent, you intuitively get aware of the presence. The presence that is aware- simply aware of your existence.
And at times, you get filled with gratitude and overwhelm when you first encounter this divine presence. You feel subtly protected and guided by this presence and that sometimes lead to tears of joy during meditation.
3. You get aware of your hidden and suppressed emotions
During meditation, old emotions often arise to the surface and trigger uncomfortable feelings. You may not remember the exact memory that triggers those feelings but you always remember how you feel.
So, be aware of any sensations during meditation or any feelings that come up. Let them exist and observe them as they are without getting attached or justifying their existence with stories.
Often in that state, you may begin to cry. And that is perfectly okay. In fact, you should let it all go instead of stopping your practice and suppressing your feelings again.
4. You let go & release feelings that no longer serve you
Shedding tears during meditation is simply an outlet of buried emotions. Think of it as an emotional release and cleansing of pent-up thoughts and feelings that you often suppress in your waking life.
These emotions may be a result of some memory of a significant event in your childhood that left a deep impression on you.
Or these may simply be emotions of fear, self-criticism, hopelessness, anxiety or any emotion which takes you away from joy.
No matter the source or type of feeling, don’t worry or think too much about these emotions. Don’t try to justify them or feel guilty of still having them.
Just observe them mindfully and if you feel like crying, simply let them go with tears.
5. You get in touch with your core inner being that is pure love
This might be a tricky point to consider especially if you are one of the skeptics or still a beginner to meditation practice.
However, crying after meditation is often a sign that you’ve got into touch with your inner being that is always present and whose basic nature is that of love and joy.
We are accustomed to thinking and believing that we are just this physical body which is separate from one another.
So, when we begin to have a glimpse of what lies beyond this body- an eternal consciousness that is ever present and ONE with all, there is a profound sense of joy and peace.
This often leads to crying and release of fear-based emotions with tears as you move towards love and peace.
Summing it up:
When you first experience intense crying after meditation, it may be uncomfortable. But hold on and experience it fully.
Let those tears flow and continue with your meditation practice. It doesn’t matter whether you’re doing mindfulness meditation or Vipassana meditation or any other type of meditation.
Such emotional release can occur with any meditation practice. However, keep in mind that you don’t get too attached with these sensations during meditation.
It’s not something to get worried about. And, it is not something to get excited about as well.
So, even if you have never experienced tears during meditation, that’s also perfectly alright.
Don’t worry that you’re doing something wrong. There is no right or wrong way to progress in meditation.
After all, in meditation, our ultimate aim is to learn that nothing is good or bad. It is what it is.
Have you ever cried after meditation? How was your experience? What did you feel? Share your experience in the comments below.
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It’s really sad that people feel they need permission to cry under any conditions. The sad ubiquity of the phrase “It’s OK to…” in Anglo-USian culture is a measure of how both repressed and conformist late capitalist society is. Let me settle the matter: it’s ok to do anything that doesn’t hurt anyone else.
I’ve been crying at the end of all my meditations of the past week. The reason is not mysterious. My dog is dying of cancer. When meditation takes me away from the usual distractions and forces me to focus on how I feel, I feel pure grief, and it really fucking hurts.