My teeth clench as I meditate. What to do?


When I concentrate on the breath, little by little, my jaw closes and my upper and lower teeth tighten more and more. I have the feeling that my jaw is quite contracted. This feeling scares me because I have the impression that it is dangerous for my teeth and that they could be damaged.

Because of this fear, I leave the meditation. I could not follow this fear and continue meditating even with this feeling, but for the moment I am worried about the health of my teeth, so I leave meditation.

I have done some tests and I have the impression that when I concentrate, my teeth end up automatically tightening.

What should I do? Am I afraid for nothing?

Thanks in advance

May all beings free themselves from suffering.

You can learn walking meditation instead. Meditation isn’t necessarily be in sitting posture.

I think you are being stress. You can try relax your body by eating moderate, get good quality sleep, listening to Dhamma recitation, or can do chanting (recite Suttas or Gathas) and then dedicate the merits to all beings, accompanied by recitation of Metta Bhavana.

I think it is important to do preparation before meditation. For example, recite Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammasambuddhassa three times to pay homage to the Blessed One, then recite Buddham saraṇaṁ gacchami… take refuge in the Triple Gems, then recite the Acceptance of Five Precepts (panatipata veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami…), followed by the recitation of Buddhaguna, Dhammaguna and Sanghaguna. Only then proceed to meditate.

It has benefits:

(1) it fosters good will and acceptance of the Triple Gems as your Teacher and Refuge. The Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha is here to guide you, protect you and lead you towards happiness and peace.

(2) it generates merits. When one has confidence towards the Triple Gems, one generates great merits for himself or herself. The merits will be the source of your success and happiness. As Buddha said, having faith in Buddha Dhamma Sangha is a stream of merits. And taking Five Precepts is important factor to be able to meditate. Reciting those verses can remind yourself of those virtues.

(3) it prepares the mind to be softer and malleable. It helps to calm down the mind that is used to daily tasks and busy with worldly possessions/matters.

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Thank you very much for your help!

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