The "I-breath" phone app! A monk's pathetic fantasy!

Cheers all,

So I will just toss this in here, instead of dumping it on the stack of my private fantasies -(yeah, the following makes for a good representation of the pathetic nature of the fantasies of a renunciate!)- perhaps someone will one day get around to actually doing it.

It should be fairly easy and simple to code (I presume). The app, which for the time being I have called “I-breath”, functions very much like an alarm, the timings of which the user should be able to adjust, either in certain specific times in the day (just like an alarm), or -which is the more beneficial- it goes off automatically after a certain amount of time of continual use of the phone (which means that it is capable of recognising the onset of general phone activity and calculating its duration). So for example, the user gets to adjust it as follows: After 2 hours of continual use (which means after each 2 such hours), the I-breath goes off!

Now I have not yet described what it actually does, keeping you on your toes I suppose (another pathetic fantasy! lol). Well, instead of ringing, the app will override all other apps or activities going on on the phone (this could be optional), and then it leads the user into a breathing exercise. This is how it works:

It makes a gentle sound signaling the beginning of inhalation, and then another for the onset of exhalation. And then it repeats for a certain time, the length of which I will explain below. The gentle sounds should be different, as the user is likely to sit closing his/her eyes and needs to rely on sound to know when to do what.

Now before that, the app should offer an easy brief manual, including practical training, about what we mean by “breathing” here. You know: inhale with self-awareness and gentle-firmness (oxymoron!), fill the stomach first, see the chest rising – then exhale naturally and slowly, neither holding the breath back nor pushing it out, keep the mouth shut, etc. etc. The user will train in this method of breathing first, and the app should offer that training guide. Then …

The user then progresses into the practice by going through successive “levels” of depth of breathing, determined predominantly by the duration of exhalation (longer and longer, supposing s/he is able to fill the stomach properly), but also by the length of the entire exercise (longer and longer). This is natural because the longer a single inhale-exhale process takes, the more time one takes to do it! The gradual increase in levels and durations of exhalation can be quite easily calculated, but should not be left as optional since an inexperienced user will not know how to tweak it correctly and gradually. This should be designed. All the user does is click “ready” for the following level, and so on.

That’s it! There’s nothing more to it really!

But the picture I have in mind is the beneficial effect of this on people (many many many! & growing! [scary]) who really spend most of their day on their devices, especially those who are unconsciously exposed to the various negative sensorial sights, sounds, events, and thoughts, which are pouring onto these media ceaselessly. Or those who are actually doing their job on it, and are subject to frequent or constant stress and anxiety. Etc. Well I don’t really have to explain it so much further here, I mean people either know the benefit of conscious and regulated breathing, or they don’t. But it’s great to breath in this way. And western science has shown the beneficial physiological ramifications of such deep breathing, which in turn conditions and influences the various mental states. And it is not just a coincidence that we have so much emphasis on anapanasati in our Buddhist texts. And indeed there is so much more to deep breathing that what Western science knows about it; it’s a whole world and a whole cosmos! It even goes beyond the physical entirely. It’s really magical and such a readily accessible bliss, constantly under our disposal. May you breath!!




1 Like