One day a Zen monk
began to feel an aching pain
in his tooth
. For many weeks he tried to keep the pain out of his mind--to meditate on a painless life. This continued for a number of weeks until finally it was just too much.
He said goodbye to his fellow monks and made his way down from the monestary to the city below. He had been there a few times in the life--but it had been a long time since the last.
Once he got to the city he looked in a phonebook and found a dentist nearby. He entered the office and registered. He was called in and he sat down in the chair. When asked why he was here he said that he had a horrible toothache. The dentist found the tooth and poked around it for a bit and after a few yelps of pain from the dentist decided that he had to put in a filing.
The monk consented and began meditating to prepare himself for the experience. When the dentist came back after getting his tools together with a syringe full of novacaine the monk protested. The dentist was insistent--it would hurt something horrible without it! Finally the monk told him why he did not want it:
"I am trying to transcend dental medication."