Is It Normal to Cry During Meditation?

December 15, 2020

Is It Normal To Cry During Meditation?

As someone who is easily moved, I can tell you crying is nothing to be ashamed of, especially during meditation. 

Crying can be a form of catharsis, and meditation may be the catalyst for that release of emotion. To heal your spirit, you might need to cry a lot, and that’s OK.

Think of pain, stress and trauma as tears that linger in little reservoirs in the mind and body.

When you cry, you’re draining these reservoirs. This process makes space for meditation to be more effective in reaching goals such as self-discovery and insight into creative projects.

Is it Normal to Cry During Meditation?

It is completely normal to cry during meditation. Crying should not be stigmatized.

What we do want to challenge is the word, “normal.” 

We wanted to meet you where you are by using that language, but “normal” has some connotations that don’t mesh with meditation.

Let’s examine the definition of normal: “conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern : characterized by that which is considered usual, typical, or routine.”

With meditation, there is no standard, type or regular pattern to conform to because the practice is personal and open-ended, the experience depends on the individual.

If you perceive meditation as some sort of spiritual workout routine that should be performed the way another person is doing it, you won’t be able to pursue a meaningful path.

The Personality Factor

Because I’m very sensitive, it doesn’t take much to make me cry. 

The other day I watched this cheesy ad for Google, and I teared up a bit. I didn’t feel like I did anything wrong, but I wished that my crying could be reserved for powerful moments of insight and self-reflection.

Conversely, there are people who cry rarely. 

Even intensely painful realizations are often not enough to break their armor. People with this personality type are able to derive more meaning from the moments when they tear up, but they also tend to be emotionally unavailable.

If you cry during meditation, take note of what you’re crying about. Remember that meditation is all about balance. People like me might benefit from crying less, while others could experience greater catharsis if they cried more.

Cry, Then Act

Crying is healthy if it is followed by action. I’m not saying you need to jump into action the moment you dry your tears, but there should be a plan on the horizon. What’s making you cry? Can you do something to address that problem?

The only time crying is unhealthy is when we don’t address the source of pain. Let’s not romanticize crying or become attached to episodes of wailing.

Why Do I Cry During Meditation?

There are many reasons why I cry during meditation:

  • I realize something important and moving about myself
  • I reflect on how poorly someone treated me, how much I put up with
  • I feel triumph in overcoming obstacles
  • I feel grateful for privileges
  • I think of something sad (as I mentioned before, not necessarily something meaningful)

Your reasons might be completely different than mine, and that’s OK. Analyze the cause of your reasons, but try not to judge the act of weeping.

What Does It Mean If You Cry While Meditating?

It doesn’t necessarily mean anything. If you assume all crying is meaningful, you could accidentally chase insights that don’t exist.

If the crying is a reaction to a deep insight or emotion, it has meaning. 

For those who often cry about the past, we recommend working with a therapist. 

If you aren’t sure what actions to take to solve the problems that are causing your pain, consider consulting a life coach whose practice is present and future-oriented. We also recommend finding mentors who have cried over similar issues. 

Crying doesn’t need to be solitary, although we understand that the stigma can be harder to cope with if people are around. 

If your meditation triggers a productive but painful growth process that causes you to cry frequently, surround yourself only with supportive peers and professionals who will help you heal and find meaning.

No matter the situation, crying is nothing to be worried about. If anything, it could be the beginning of a journey toward self-discovery and spiritual enlightenment.