Breathing through the skin

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
Sajeevvk
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:39 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1006

Breathing through the skin

Postby Sajeevvk » Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:55 pm

My father is suffering from Idiopathic Pulmonary fibrosis (this is a form of irreversable lung disease where the capacity of breathing diminishes and the patient needs be on oxygen support. And there is no medical cure). I recently read about 'breathing through the skin' meditation; however I could not find much information on google. I have a hunch that this might help him.
I would appreciate if someone could give me answers to the following questions:
1. Is it possible to practice 'breathing through the skin" as a meditation (my father has no experience with any form of meditation, so reaching this state spontaneously is ruled out)? Are there some other serious implications?
2. If he practices it regularly, will it help him compensate for the shortage of pulmonary breathing?
3. Are there any other techniques that could help him maintain the oxygen levels in such a condition?

Namaste!

User avatar
Cittasanto
Posts: 5876
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1
Location: Ellan Vannin
Contact:

Re: Breathing through the skin

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:05 pm

Sajeevvk wrote:My father is suffering from Idiopathic Pulmonary fibrosis (this is a form of irreversable lung disease where the capacity of breathing diminishes and the patient needs be on oxygen support. And there is no medical cure). I recently read about 'breathing through the skin' meditation; however I could not find much information on google. I have a hunch that this might help him.
I would appreciate if someone could give me answers to the following questions:
1. Is it possible to practice 'breathing through the skin" as a meditation (my father has no experience with any form of meditation, so reaching this state spontaneously is ruled out)? Are there some other serious implications?
2. If he practices it regularly, will it help him compensate for the shortage of pulmonary breathing?
3. Are there any other techniques that could help him maintain the oxygen levels in such a condition?

Namaste!

Hi Sajeevvk,
I feel for your situation but I believe this is a Tibetan or Hindu technique, not a Theravadin practice, although speak to his Health Care Providers and your Father regarding Meditation techniques which are available through such programs as MBSR and similar which may help in one form or another.
Meditation ideally requires a face to face experianced teacher + student relationship for proper guidance and the student needs to be willing to train so I would suggest it be your father who makes the decision on whether to practice at the level he is at rather than trying to get to the more advanced practices first.

Best Wishes
Cittasanto
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 14815
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Breathing through the skin

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:28 am

Greetings,

Whilst there is a kind of frog that can breathe through its skin, I don't believe it's something that humans profitably do.

I suspect references to "breathing through the skin" in classical Indian literature, may be referring to an experiential absence of discernment of the breath through the nose/mouth/lungs, rather than the actual physical absence of such breath. In terms of how that experience feels during meditation, it may be apt to translate the phenomenology of the sensation as "breathing through the skin", even if that's not what it literally is.

Either way, all the best to your father.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)

User avatar
piotr
Posts: 371
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:33 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1
Location: Khettadesa

Re: Breathing through the skin

Postby piotr » Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:52 am

Hi,

You might want to try Bhikkhu Ṭhānissaro's guided meditations which are available at www.dhammatalks.org
Bhagavaṃmūlakā no, bhante, dhammā...

User avatar
Goofaholix
Posts: 2039
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:49 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: New Zealand

Re: Breathing through the skin

Postby Goofaholix » Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:12 am

The body naturally exchanges gases and liquids through the pores of the skin, you need not expend any effort to do so.

When the mind is aware of subtle sensation in the body it is aware of subtle tingling on the surface of the skin which is caused by this process, and other things. When the mind observes the body as a fluid changing process rather than a fixed sold thing it's more able to observe these processes and the breath can be felt as subtle vibration throughout the body.

This is what I understand is meant by breathing through the skin in meditation.

Maybe there is some technique out there that is more to it than that but I doubt it will be any supplement to breathing through the lungs, it's about the mind more than about the body, the best you could expect is if your father learns through meditation to relax into his discomfort his natural breathing will become less constrained.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah

User avatar
DarwidHalim
Posts: 537
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:49 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1006
Location: Neither Samsara nor Nirvana

Re: Breathing through the skin

Postby DarwidHalim » Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:36 am

Meditation indeed decrease the consumption of oxygen during the meditation itself. This is experienced by the practitioner.

Science has shown this by doing this oxygen consumption research on the practitioner.

phpBB [video]


As you can see there, the deeper you are, the less oxygen you intake.

At a very high level, the breathing actually stops.

This is shown by the life experience of Xuyun in this link (Thanks to Nana, very interesting paper)
http://www.chibs.edu.tw/ch_html/chbj/22/0619huimin.pdf

On page (60):
"...Testing his breathing with a straw to his nose and seeing no movement, the attendants thought the Master has passed away. However, since his body was still warm and his complexion pleasing, the two attendants kept serving him.

Not until the morning of the eleventh day of the month (April 16th), hearing the Master groan slightly, did the attendants help him up. They told him how long he had been in samadhi in his bed, and the Master slowly told his attendants that while in samadhi he travelled to Tusita Heaven to hear the Dharma...."


Another example is the life of Ajahn Chah. This is told by Ajahn Brahm in his book Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond

"...Moreover, in deep jhana, we can experience the breath disappearing altogether (in the fourth jhana) with no danger to life.

During my teacher Ajahn Chah's long sickness, he would often stop breathing. On one such occasion the new nurse on duty became alarmed. He knew that Ajahn Chah must die one day, but he didn't want it to happen on his shift! The attendant monks on duty that night reassured him that Ajahn Chah had done the same many times before and that it was just a sign of deep meditation. The nurse was still worried and so took blood samples every few minutes during the hours without breathing to ensure that the blood was still well oxygenated. After all, as long as there is enough oxygen available in the blood there will be no harm to the body. The nurse discovered that even though Ajahn Chah was not breathing for a long time, the oxygen level in the blood remained constant. In Jhana, the metabolism is so slowed down that you are using almost zero energy. You don't need to breathe...."


Whether your breathing stop or you consume less oxygen, this one comes from the serenity or calmness you do in meditation.

Any samantha meditation (calm abiding) will do.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!

Sajeevvk
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:39 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1006

Re: Breathing through the skin

Postby Sajeevvk » Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:36 am

Thanks to everyone for your response (inspite of my post being a little out of place here). Thanks for the good references.
In fact I find some articles (Tao based) that claim that oxygen exchange can take place through the pores of the skin. But I still need to get more details and check with people which first hand experience.
From Some of the posts on this site, I see that this can also happen in a state of deep meditation. But I have a hunch that these two are two different phenomena.
Thnaks again.


Return to “Theravada Meditation”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine