breathe sparingly

“Silently, Siddhartha exposed himself to burning rays of the sun directly
above, glowing with pain, glowing with thirst, and stood there, until he
neither felt any pain nor thirst any more.  Silently, he stood there in
the rainy season, from his hair the water was dripping over freezing
shoulders, over freezing hips and legs, and the penitent stood there,
until he could not feel the cold in his shoulders and legs any more,
until they were silent, until they were quiet.  Silently, he cowered in
the thorny bushes, blood dripped from the burning skin, from festering
wounds dripped pus, and Siddhartha stayed rigidly, stayed motionless,
until no blood flowed any more, until nothing stung any more, until
nothing burned any more.

Siddhartha sat upright and learned to breathe sparingly, learned to
get along with only few breaths, learned to stop breathing.  He
learned, beginning with the breath, to calm the beat of his heart,
leaned to reduce the beats of his heart, until they were only a few and
almost none.”

 – from Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

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