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How to Feed Your Demons (Part 1)

Update: 13/01/2017
 

How to Feed Your Demons (Part 1)

 

Feeding our\r\ndemons rather than fighting them contradicts the conventional approach of\r\nfighting against whatever assails us. But it turns out to be a remarkably\r\neffective path to inner integration.

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Demons (marasin Sanskrit) are not bloodthirsty\r\nghouls waiting for us in dark corners. Demons are within us. They are energies\r\nwe experience every day, such as fear, illness, depression, anxiety, trauma,\r\nrelationship difficulties, and addiction.

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Anything\r\nthat drains our energy and blocks us from being completely awake is a demon.\r\nThe approach of giving form to these inner forces and feeding them, rather than\r\nstruggling against them, was originally articulated by an eleventh-century\r\nfemale Tibetan Buddhist teacher named Machig Labdrön (1055–1145). The spiritual\r\npractice she developed was calledChöd,\r\nand it generated such amazing results that it became very popular, spreading\r\nwidely throughout Tibet and beyond.

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In today’s\r\nworld, we suffer from record levels of inner and outer struggle. We find\r\nourselves ever more polarized, inwardly and outwardly. We need a new paradigm,\r\na fresh approach to conflict. Machig’s strategy of nurturing rather than\r\nbattling our inner and outer enemies offers a revolutionary path to resolve\r\nconflict and leads to psychological integration and inner peace.

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The method\r\nthat I have developed, called Feeding Your Demons™, is based on the principles\r\nof Chöd adapted for the Western world. Here is an abbreviated version of the\r\npractice, in five steps.

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Step 1: Find the Demon in\r\nYour Body

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After\r\ngenerating a heartfelt motivation to practice for the benefit of yourself and\r\nall beings, decide which demon you want to work with. Choose something that\r\nfeels like it is draining your energy right now. If it’s a relationship issue,\r\nwork with the feeling that is arising in you in the relationship as the demon,\r\nrather than the other person.

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Thinking\r\nabout the demon you have chosen to work with, perhaps remembering a particular\r\nincident when it came up strongly, scan your body and ask yourself:Where is the demon held in my body\r\nmost strongly? What is its shape? What is its color? What is its texture? What\r\nis its temperature?

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Now\r\nintensify this sensation.

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Step 2: Personify the\r\nDemon

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Allow this\r\nsensation, with its color, texture, and temperature, to move out of your body\r\nand become personified in front of you as a being with limbs, a face, eyes, and\r\nso on.

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Notice the\r\nfollowing about the demon:size,\r\ncolor, surface of its body, density, gender, if it has one, its character, its\r\nemotional state, the look in its eyes, something about the demon you did not\r\nsee before.

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Now ask the\r\ndemon the following questions:What\r\ndo you want? What do you really need? How will you feel when you get what you\r\nreally need?

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Step 3: Become the Demon

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Switch\r\nplaces, keeping your eyes closed as much as possible. Take a moment to settle\r\ninto the demon’s body. Feel what it’s like to be the demon. Notice how your\r\nnormal self looks from the demon’s point of view. Answer these questions,\r\nspeaking as the demon:What I\r\nwant is…. What I really need is…. When I get what I really need, I will feel…(Take particular note of this answer.)

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Step 4: Feed the Demon and\r\n…

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Lama Tsultrim Allione – Lion’s Roar

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