In my 20s I did a lot of Buddhist meditation. When I went to the dentist I never took anaesthetic, I used it as a meditation practice.
Today was not a great day, I got wet in the rain on my way to the dentist amongst other things, but it was a good day to have a filling done.
I told the nice relaxed Chinese dentist that I didn’t want anaesthetic. He said I could have it any time if I changed my mind. He took an x-ray and the drill went straight in. It was pain, but it was manageable pain. The pain got worse the deeper he went but I focused on my stomach going right out and right back in again.
I didn’t use anything to numb the pain as a test, to see how much I could tolerate it compared to ten or more years ago. Being a mother I believe I’m much stronger, more patient and more understanding, but it’s hard to test yourself and your tolerance levels. I used to be so good at practising meditation, which is not about sitting on a cushion and breathing, it’s about mindfulness in everyday life, to be able to withstand whatever pain we are feeling and to enjoy the best in every moment.
Go back to the breath, focus completely on the breath in and out of the diaphragm.
I’ve always found that in our most painful times, in the difficult times in life, there are benefits. Something good comes out of something bad. We become more humble, we are more at one with those having a hard time and we turn inwards to find the strength to get through it.
The dentist showed me the inside of my rotten tooth on a TV screen in front of me, which he didn’t have to do, it was kind of him. Then he got going with all his suction, air, clamp and other implements.
I passed the test. What has tested your pain threshold?