Hunger, tiredness, physical pain


From an earlier post:

Basic physical experiences such as hunger, tiredness and pain are very interesting to explore in this way, and I notice I prefer to do it while the sensations are quite subtle and then move on to the stronger ones if or when they visit.

With hunger and tiredness, I find that certain beliefs tends to trigger and/or fuel the experience of hunger or tiredness. For instance, the thought that I’ll have food soon tends to trigger hunger. And thoughts such as I need to be rested, I won’t get enough rest tends to trigger an experience of tiredness.

Not surprisingly, resistant thoughts to the hunger, tiredness or pain tends to make the experience unpleasant. These may include I need food, I can’t function without food, I need sleep, I won’t function without more rest, I need to be rested, and pain is terrible, I can’t function with this pain, this pain is all-encompassing, pain means something is wrong, pain means something terrible will happen.

Labeling the sensations, and taking these thoughts as true, also has a role. Believing labels – even simple ones such as hunger, tiredness and pain – does a couple of things. It solidifies the experience of hunger, tiredness or pain, making it seem more real and substantial, more like a thing. And it triggers additional thoughts and stories about what it means.

So it can be quite interesting and helpful to investigate each of these types of beliefs. They each help to find what’s really there, in immediate experience, and not just what appears to be there when I believe certain thoughts about it.

Thoughts creating the experience of tiredness and hunger


I recently had a clearer experience of how thoughts create the experience of hunger and tiredness.

I went without food a few days, and the two times I thought I would eat soon I got very hungry. The rest of the time, not knowing when I would eat again, I felt fine. There were certain sensations in the body and stomach area, but it was not hunger.

At another time, I had the thoughts “I won’t get enough sleep” and “I need to be alert & rested”, and felt fatigued and tired. As soon as those thoughts went away, I felt fine.

With tiredness, I can see that the mind is a faithful servant to beliefs. There is the belief that I need to be rested, and may not get enough sleep, so I feel tired – which is how the mind supports me in finding rest and sleep.