What happens in the brain during meditation, e.g., what happens as the mind goes into deeper levels, and when people see colors and then have more vivid hallucinations, et cetera?
Before you read the answer, I want you to know that the purpose of meditation is to achieve a state of consciousness without thoughts. (known as Samadhi, Satori).
There is nothing like deep meditation. Either you are in meditative state or your head is messed up in thoughts. Meditation is a total relaxation of body and mind.
The colors are a byproduct of tension in the eyelid. Close the eyes and start pressing your eyes, you will see various colors. Some people doesn't know how to manage relaxing their stress caused by eyelids during meditation.
Hallucinations are nothing but imagination fed by thoughts. This happens because the meditator is not diverting his awareness away from the thoughts rather he is carried away by the thought and it is the nature of the thought to create a continuous chain of thoughts and hence hallucinations arise.
This is what happens in the brain during meditation.
- Prior to practicing meditation, Brain is in a constant state of tension with the thoughts running in the head. Physically the brain muscles contract and expand rapidly proportional to the density of thoughts.
- This rapid contraction and expansion causes irregular free flow of blood to the brain.
- When the blood flow is irregular any part of the body feels uneasiness giving a sense of stress because the cells are losing the nutrients and are moving towards their death. Just like the body feels weak when it lacks food, brain feels stress because of this irregular flow.
- Every thought creates a chain of other thoughts creating more stress.
- During meditation, we divert the brain from thoughts to an activity that doesn't produce thoughts example the breath, or awareness watching awareness.
- Now with the thoughts reduced the contraction and expansion of brain muscles is reduced. Blood flows freely in all the veins of the brain and is absorbed by every cell.
- Meditator feels immense bliss from rejuvenated cells of the brain resulting from free blood flow. Now the breathing process becomes very slow and rhythmic. Body becomes still. You experience yourself as only Awareness/Consciousness
- With the thoughts gone. Consciousness is immensely clear.
- When an experience give you bliss. Our brain is addicted to it just like smoke and drug addicts. The bright side is we don't have to spend a single Rupee to obtain this bliss.