Why Am I Still Hungry?

I sat cross-legged in meditation for several hours in pain.

And I liked it.

I was staying at a forest monastery and wanted to better understand how I perceived and reacted to pain in the body, so I decided to spend my entire afternoon sitting through whatever aching arose.

In the process, a strange feeling appeared.

It was pleasure.

As the pain gradually grew more intense over time, the pleasure also increased.

I thought I had made a dramatic psychic breakthrough in my practice by transforming pain into pleasure, and I wanted to ratchet up the pain level even more.

But before I decided to go further, I consulted with the abbot of the monastery.

I told him what I experienced and how I planned to see whether I could turn greater pain into even greater pleasure.

With a bemused look on his face, he said: “You can only trick yourself so much.”

It was then that I realized the futility of my experiment.

Pain wasn’t the problem.

The problem was that I was feeding on the pain.

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