Before you get scared, don’t. Instead, continue to think about your breathing. Inhale deeply. Exhale slowly.
Good. You’ve entered a meditation-induced enlightenment otherwise known as “Manual Breathing Mode.” If you don’t consciously breathe from here on out, you’ll asphyxiate. Congratulations.
Now that you’ve transcended to a higher plane of existence, you might be asking yourself, Am I ready for this? Won’t I at some point forget to breathe simply because I’m a flawed human being with a natural tendency towards taking for granted things that are constantly there? The answer is no. Well, the answer to the first question is yes. But the answer to the second question is no.
Now that you are thinking about your breath every second of every day, inhaling and exhaling only in accordance with your will, you will be in an unbroken meditative state, as if your entire life from here on out is just one long yoga class. In this sense, you cannot be a flawed human being, because meditation is the only thing proven in this world to make you justifiably superior to other people.
Congratulations: with your life hanging on the precarious balance of your ability to both measure and control your own breathing, you are indisputably better than everyone else, for whom fears and anxieties rule with an iron fist.
In case you didn’t know because you weren’t previously a being of greater power and worth than 99% of the population, our emotions are inextricably linked to our breathing. Should you meditate before you go to bed? Do you remember what it felt like to have your emotions get the better of you? Do you? Do you remember you need to inhale now?
Good. Be careful about remembering things because it’s easy to forget to inhale/exhale.
In the past, you might’ve gotten worked up because of something your boss or your loved one said to you, but that will no longer be a problem. For example, being fired—which at this point is quite inevitable considering you will be spending so much of your time focused on making sure you don’t suffocate—isn’t going to affect you one bit. You’re going to simply breathe through it.
You may come home that same day to find your loved one in bed with someone else. She/he didn’t expect you home so early. As you’re stuffing the chopped bits of their bodies into one of those heavy duty trash bags, you won’t feel any remorse or guilt whatsoever. It will just be a thing you did. And you will continue to breathe, inhaling first, exhaling second, and so on and so forth ad infinitum.
You might find yourself wondering, how am I supposed to sleep? If I sleep, I will become unconscious, and if I’m unconscious, I can’t will myself to breathe. Welcome to the best day of your life: you no longer have to sleep. You’re meditating, which is, for all intents and purposes, the same as sleeping. That’s an extra six to eight hours a day that you can focus the entirety of your attention on your exceptionally delicate mortality.
Many who have come before you have not made it. And by that, of course, I mean they’re dead now. One of the main causes of death amongst the enlightened is playing around with depriving the brain of oxygen. Yes, I know, it feels good. Hell, it feels great. It’s one of the few pleasures in life we have left to us. But it’s a slippery slope. And you know what they say about slippery slopes: “It doesn’t matter if it’s slippery or if it’s even a slope; just keep breathing, because at this point that is literally all that matters.”
If you ever start to feel alone, like there’s not enough people out there like you with whom you can share your enlightened thoughts and experiences, fear not. All you have to do is show them this guide. By the time they finish reading the title, they will have become conscious of their breath, and will have subsequently entered Manual Breathing Mode. Make sure you take care of the person for the first couple of days. It can be a difficult adjustment.
And remember: inhale deeply, exhale slowly. Are you thinking about your breath?