11 Signs You’ve Reached A Deeper Level Of Meditation

You’ve been meditating for a while. 

It’s going well — or, at least, you think it is.

But in truth, you’re unsure. 

You do not see visions, hear voices, or feel divine sensations, which has you wondering: Am I doing it right? What does meditation feel like when done “correctly”?

Have you reached a deeper level of meditation yet?

How does one know when they do?

Today, we’re breaking it all down and explaining how life feels after incorporating an effective meditation practice into your routine.  

11 Signs of Deep Meditation 

What happens when you meditate? How will you know when meditation has become an integral, profound, and transformative part of your life? 

We’ve outlined 11 common signs below. Note that we’re focusing on the practical end of the spectrum instead of the more ethereal aspects. 

1. Time Dissolves

Do you frequently lose track of time when meditating? Do space and time seem to meld into an indistinguishable blur?

If you’re lucky enough to reach this state of transformative detachment, rest assured your meditation practice is coming along well. However, people who never feel this phenomenon shouldn’t be discouraged. 

Sensory distortion isn’t something everyone experiences, and that’s fine. You needn’t see colors, images, and shapes to meditate correctly.

In some ways, the focus on aesthetics is a new age addition divorced from traditional practice or modern, pro-meditation science. 

2. Your Breathing Becomes More Shallow

As you meditate, you may notice a change in your breathing as you become increasingly relaxed. At first, you may focus on your breathing as an anchor to keep your mind from wandering. 

woman meditating with candles signs of deep meditation

As you notice your breaths, they may naturally move from deep and cleansing to shorter, more equal inhales and exhales. You may find you’re breathing slows until you hardly notice it. 

Don’t worry if you don’t breathe shallowly during meditation. It doesn’t mean you can’t move to a deeper meditative experience. Always breathe in a way that feels comfortable and natural for you.

3. Your Mind Becomes Calmer

One of the main goals for beginning meditators is learning to calm the “monkey mind.” It’s normal for thoughts to deluge your mind during meditation like wild monkeys. However, you don’t want to be distracted by the thoughts and follow them down a rabbit hole. 

As you focus on your breathing, mantra, or any other anchor you use to sharpen attention, your mind will become increasingly clear and calm.

You’ll notice your thoughts as though you’re watching them from a distance as they float by like clouds. You’ll have an open awareness that is like a cloudless sky.

4. Your Sense of Self Falls Away

The longer you practice meditation, you may encounter a sense of “no self” in which you recognize the nonduality between the experience and the awareness of experience.

This nondual awareness often occurs spontaneously during a deep meditative state and is described as a blissful experience of openness and unity. Those who have had a glimpse of this state of pure awareness find it profoundly transformative.

Some people have dropped their sense of self during normal activities or times of extreme suffering, but this isn’t common. However, many meditation techniques help uncover nonduality.

You can experience something similar during the “flow” state in which you’re so engaged in an activity that time disappears. You feel peaceful and even joyful as you are one with what you are doing. 

5. The Relaxation Response Kicks In

The relaxation response is a term coined by Harvard physician Dr. Herbert Benson, who wrote a book by the same name. His research led to the understanding that meditation produces significant positive changes for the practitioner.

Benson says, “The relaxation response [from meditation] helps decrease metabolism, lowers blood pressure, and improves heart rate, breathing, and brain waves.”

Slower Theta brain waves are active during deep relaxation, and areas of the brain responsible for memory, compassion, and empathy light up.

You also experience an enhanced sense of well-being and inner calm. The deeper the meditative experience, the more you encounter these positive feelings.

6. Physical Pain and Emotional Stress Are Suspended

As you go deeper into meditation, uncomfortable physical sensations and even pain disappear. Or at least, you don’t notice them.

The normal discomforts of sitting for an extended period during meditation are no longer bothersome. If you begin a session with a specific physical pain, you don’t notice it.

Emotional stress and suffering that have been part of your daily state of mind are no longer at the forefront of your thoughts.

You may not have any sense of these unpleasant thoughts and feelings, and your freedom from them may last well after your meditation ends.

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7. You Have More Compassion and Grace

A person’s approach to compassion and grace is not a black-and-white issue. Instead, they’re inextricably tied to life experiences and situational context. 

However, people who’ve reached an elevated state thanks to deep meditation tend to be gentler with themselves and others.

They don’t assume the worst possible motivations behind people’s missteps or wonky behavior, nor do they beat themselves up over bad days.

If you were a tad more closed and accusatory before starting a meditation practice, and you’ve blossomed in this way, take it as a sign that your mindfulness sessions are compelling a positive change in your outlook.

8. You’re Less Judgmental

Have you lost the energy to nip-pick other peoples’ choices, situations, and mistakes? Conversely, are you less likely to interpret other people’s comments as biting or aggressive?

man in group meditation signs of deep meditation

Hug yourself. You’ve reached the next level. You can stand back and observe yourself and others from the perspective of a neutral witness.

Individuals who put in the mindfulness work eventually stumble upon the undeniable realization that all experiences are neutral and only our thinking gives them meaning, either good or bad. 

9. You’re Enjoying More Emotional Peace and Contentment

Do you feel a sense of emotional peace on the mat and off? It’s a surefire sign you’re doing something right.

You needn’t be a serene angel at all times. Even the Dalai Lama has cranky, crappy days. But if you’ve eased out of a perpetual state of stress and anxiety, that’s something to celebrate — and it’s a sign that you’re meditating on a deeper level.  

10. Your Inner Critic Is Less Mouthy

Do you, like 99.5% of humans, have an inner critic? Is it always mouthing off about this lack and that fault? 

The negative internal narrators of meditatively calm people are much less active, both during and after their practice. 

Sure, the little devils pop up now and again for everyone, but they’re nowhere near as pervasive (or loud) as they are for people without a quiver full of effective mental health arrows.

11. You Enjoy Better Non-Meditative Concentration

Focus is a powerful skill. Practically speaking, researchers insist it separates success from failure; plus, the ability to concentrate contributes to better mental health because your mind isn’t spinning its wheels ruminating and catastrophizing. Instead, it’s focused on the productive tasks at hand.

When your ability to hone in on tasks improves, take it as a sign that your meditation work is going well.

More Questions Answered About Deep Meditation 

We’ve reviewed 11 practical signs of deep meditative practice. Now, let’s look at a few more common questions related to intense contemplative exercise.

What does a deep meditation feel like?

It’s a common question, but it’s also tricky to answer in universal terms. Deep meditation can feel like you’re floating in a blissful cloud of oneness. It can feel peaceful, joyful, and liberating.

However, some people report unprocessed negative emotions that arise and even cry. These, too, are natural responses.

Generally speaking, people who’ve incorporated meditation into their daily lives tend to be calmer, more patient, kinder, and even smarter. 

Physically, individuals who sit in quiet contemplation regularly feel less beset with strife and worry. Plus, they’re better able to bounce back after life knocks them down. 

What do you see during deep meditation?

Some people see things when they meditate; others don’t. Neither is better or worse. It simply depends on how your brain is wired, the type of meditation, your state of mind, and the setting. 

meditating position of hands signs of deep meditation

People who visualize during contemplation sessions usually see colors and shapes. Sometimes, during meditation, an entire scene may play out in someone’s head.

However, it’s an exceptionally rare occurrence, and it usually takes years of practice to have such an experience.

What happens to your body during deep meditation?

In the moment of deep meditation, your body slips into an intense state of relaxation. Your muscles relax. Your brain waves slow down, and tension leaves your body.

Resultantly, your blood pressure lowers, which leads to improved cardiovascular health and a boosted immune system.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re spiritual or secular, young or old, meditation is a wonderful addition to any life. Studies prove that it supports a healthy lifestyle and that sustained mindfulness practice can make you a better, more intelligent, happier person.

Start slow. Just three minutes a day. Once you make it a habit, keep increasing your minutes until you reach 20 minutes a day, the proverbial sweet spot.

Then keep going. Keep sitting. And within a few months, you’ll understand the miraculous magic of a consistent meditation practice. Your patience will pay off.

Where are you in your meditation practice? Know if you are on the deeper level of meditation in this post about signs of deep meditation.

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