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Breathing Through The Skin Pores

Julian Aureliano, modified 5 Years ago.

Breathing Through The Skin Pores

Posts: 69 Join Date: 9/23/13 Recent Posts
Hello,

Does anyone here had success reaching the first and 2nd Jhana by the technique of imaging breath going in and out of the skin pores?

Can anyone in detail tell me how that is done? does one imagine energy or a white light going in the body on an inhale and out of the body on an exhale? and do you need to visualize it that away on a body as a whole? or do you actually imagine on an inhale breath/energy going in from the head and then moving attention to the chest then legs... etc etc?

Thanks...
neko, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: Breathing Through The Skin Pores

Posts: 756 Join Date: 11/26/14 Recent Posts
I have tried it a couple of times in the context of Mahamudra-style shamatha, from a cd by Reggie Ray, so the end result was not expected to be any of the rupajhanas, as far as I understand.
Can anyone in detail tell me how that is done?
In my experience and from what I have learnt from other meditators, there is always a big degree of personal taste and inclination in how one applies a certain technique to reach the jhanas. If you already have some mastery of the jhanas, you can usually apply another person's favourite technique and get there all the same, but for the first few times, it is mostly a matter of finding out what works for yourself. All the examples you make seem like excellent potential candidates for entering jhana to me.

In the following I will assume that you do not have some degree of mastery of the rupajhanas already. Apologies in advance if this sounds too simplistic.
Imagining energy or a white light?
Sure, it can work, but it is not necessary. It might be a tree, a flower with a fragrant smell, a big exciting ocean wave, a small refreshing ans soothing caribbean or mediterranean wave, nothing at all...

 In and out of the body synchronised with the breath?
Seems like a nice mental image to work on.

Do you need to visualize it that way on a body as a whole?
If you like, yes, absolutely. But, depending on your inclination, you might have better success picturing it on your hands, on your feet in your heart region, on the top of your head, in the third eye region...

Or do you actually imagine on an inhale breath/energy going in from the head and then moving attention to the chest then legs?

It can work. I usually go the other way around:
inhale = up from the base of the spine and/or from my skin up through the back of the chest, spine and neck all the way to the top of my head,
exhale = down through the chest in the arms and legs.
Entering first/second jhana is a feeling of "accumulating pleasure/energy" at the crown of my head and/or in the third eye region. Other good friends of mine do radically different stuff with pretty similar results.

To put it in other terms: Whatever works. Find a combination of images and/or feelings that capture your attention and your imagination (that should get you vitakka & vicāra naturally) and that you find pleasurable, soothing, exciting, rapturous, blissful (leading as easily as possible to pīti and sukha). Start a feedback loop on whatever seems to work for you. Feel free to pay around with whatever inspiration gives you.
Julian Aureliano, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: Breathing Through The Skin Pores

Posts: 69 Join Date: 9/23/13 Recent Posts
neko:
I have tried it a couple of times in the context of Mahamudra-style shamatha, from a cd by Reggie Ray, so the end result was not expected to be any of the rupajhanas, as far as I understand.
Can anyone in detail tell me how that is done?
In my experience and from what I have learnt from other meditators, there is always a big degree of personal taste and inclination in how one applies a certain technique to reach the jhanas. If you already have some mastery of the jhanas, you can usually apply another person's favourite technique and get there all the same, but for the first few times, it is mostly a matter of finding out what works for yourself. All the examples you make seem like excellent potential candidates for entering jhana to me.

In the following I will assume that you do not have some degree of mastery of the rupajhanas already. Apologies in advance if this sounds too simplistic.
Imagining energy or a white light?
Sure, it can work, but it is not necessary. It might be a tree, a flower with a fragrant smell, a big exciting ocean wave, a small refreshing ans soothing caribbean or mediterranean wave, nothing at all...

 In and out of the body synchronised with the breath?
Seems like a nice mental image to work on.

Do you need to visualize it that way on a body as a whole?
If you like, yes, absolutely. But, depending on your inclination, you might have better success picturing it on your hands, on your feet in your heart region, on the top of your head, in the third eye region...

Or do you actually imagine on an inhale breath/energy going in from the head and then moving attention to the chest then legs?

It can work. I usually go the other way around:
inhale = up from the base of the spine and/or from my skin up through the back of the chest, spine and neck all the way to the top of my head,
exhale = down through the chest in the arms and legs.
Entering first/second jhana is a feeling of "accumulating pleasure/energy" at the crown of my head and/or in the third eye region. Other good friends of mine do radically different stuff with pretty similar results.

To put it in other terms: Whatever works. Find a combination of images and/or feelings that capture your attention and your imagination (that should get you vitakka & vicāra naturally) and that you find pleasurable, soothing, exciting, rapturous, blissful (leading as easily as possible to pīti and sukha). Start a feedback loop on whatever seems to work for you. Feel free to pay around with whatever inspiration gives you.

Thanks alot Neko! very informative!

Luckily I had many time success to enjoy the blissful ride of the 2nd Jhana by putting attention on the breath sensation inside the nostrils as narrowly as possible if I can find such a spot inside there... couple of minutes on the breath and boom the pleasurable feelings would hit me so strongly that just a slight shift of my attention to the bliss would get me into 2nd Jhana and be covered entirely by it very strongly...

Nowdays I don't get that, but after a few minutes of following the breath sensations and if I don't get any boom till the end of the session, I simply put my attention and try to scan for a pleasurable feeling, if I don't I try to manipulate piti to arise, usually it does, sometimes strongly in some parts of the body, sometimes it spread here and there, being covered by hot energy as well, sometimes strong sometimes less strong... I can manipulate piti this way for hours if I want, if it's gone I can make it arise again, but I feel that I can't manipulate it to the point of actually entering 2nd Jhana and to be completely abosrbed by the bliss and enjoy the so called ride...

Just few minutes ago I tried the whole body awareness thing, I tried to visualize the breath going in and out of the pores, not nessecerly at one spot, sometimes I went from the legs to the chest, then to the forehead... etc etc, sometimes the whole body as one, sometimes the visualiztion changes according to what I feel, or I just try to go by feeling with the in and out breath on the body and whatever sensations I feel acompied by that...

Seeing it doesn't take me anywhere, I just called it quit and put my attention on the body and tried to manipulate piti to arise, I did manage to do that, actually I tried to recall happy memories and my chest became very hot with pleasant feelings associated with it, the more I recalled happy memories the more I made it more intense... also some other body parts were affected, but no where near to actually reach 2nd Jhana I am afraid...

Now usually after such a session when going to eat, watch tv, on the computer I feel still pleseant sensations roaming inside my system, it's like a pleasant urge kind of feeling, it's nice, but you feel you want it to "explode" and be blissed out by it.


Still I feel the failure to get into 2nd Jhana is dissapointing as from the very first time I praciced anapanasati I already managed to get into 2nd Jhana, and my practice isn't any different then before, nor is my concentration.
neko, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: Breathing Through The Skin Pores

Posts: 756 Join Date: 11/26/14 Recent Posts
Julian Aureliano:

Luckily I had many time success to enjoy the blissful ride of the 2nd Jhana by putting attention on the breath sensation inside the nostrils as narrowly as possible if I can find such a spot inside there... couple of minutes on the breath and boom the pleasurable feelings would hit me so strongly that just a slight shift of my attention to the bliss would get me into 2nd Jhana and be covered entirely by it very strongly...

Nowdays I don't get that, but after a few minutes of following the breath sensations and if I don't get any boom till the end of the session, I simply put my attention and try to scan for a pleasurable feeling, if I don't I try to manipulate piti to arise, usually it does, sometimes strongly in some parts of the body, sometimes it spread here and there, being covered by hot energy as well, sometimes strong sometimes less strong... I can manipulate piti this way for hours if I want, if it's gone I can make it arise again, but I feel that I can't manipulate it to the point of actually entering 2nd Jhana and to be completely abosrbed by the bliss and enjoy the so called ride...
Hey Julian,

You seem to be setting very high standards for yourself. What you describe does sound like second jhana to me. There are of course different degrees of hardness of the jhanas. What you are describing has all the necessary qualities of first / second jhana: you have good focus, you can even hold on to it for a long time, and you experience piti. That is perfectly legitimate soft jhana, at least by the standards used in MCTB and on this forum (of course it isn't by the Kamalashila criteria, but that is another matter). So, in the language of this forum, what you are looking for is not just second jhana, but a very hard kick-ass second jhana.

Personally I can get that less frequently than once a month. When I do, it is very spectacular and it comes with all kinds of side effects (extreme joy for one day or two, unwanted kundalini stuff, and so on). So it might be that you are already more advanced than I am in this regard, and that I am not really qualified to give you advice. Nevertheless, I suspect that you may be wrong from one point of view: The idea that making your jhana harder is a matter of finding the right technique. It might not be. You may have better success with a lot of experience and momentum, or better yet on a retreat, than by trying out many different techniques.

Another, related comment / question: why do you want to get hard jhana in the first place? Is it a goal in itself (because it feels great), or is it something that you believe is necessary to obtain something else? Does rephrasing your experience these days as legitimate (although soft) jhana get you what you think you need from your samatha practice?
Julian Aureliano, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: Breathing Through The Skin Pores

Posts: 69 Join Date: 9/23/13 Recent Posts
neko:

Another, related comment / question: why do you want to get hard jhana in the first place? Is it a goal in itself (because it feels great), or is it something that you believe is necessary to obtain something else? Does rephrasing your experience these days as legitimate (although soft) jhana get you what you think you need from your samatha practice?
I think it's more related to that I know that I have reached a deep meditation state order for those Jhana to arise in the first place
Scott Kinney, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: Breathing Through The Skin Pores

Posts: 110 Join Date: 4/7/15 Recent Posts
Is your question more around how to develop the feeling of breathing through the pores? Or is it more specifically about the jhanas?
Julian Aureliano, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: Breathing Through The Skin Pores

Posts: 69 Join Date: 9/23/13 Recent Posts
Scott Kinney:
Is your question more around how to develop the feeling of breathing through the pores? Or is it more specifically about the jhanas?

About developing the right concentration or way by visualization or feeling breathing through the pores the correct way in order to to attain the first and 2nd Jhana... usually people will say that you need to stay on an stable object on 1 spot the entire session to get into Jhana, but since the whole body breathing awareness is more open and youre not exactly on 1 spot the entire time... it's different...

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