Feeding Your Demons

A couple of times recently, I’ve run into references to Feeding you Demons, a process for coming to terms with your “obsessions and fears, feelings of insecurity, chronic illnesses, or common problems like depression, anxiety, and addiction.

In other words, our demons are our inner dramas, the consequences of “ego-clinging.” Of separation from wholeness.

While “feeding” your demons may sound contrary to using attention and allowing to let go as I suggest, you’ll see that the process is very much that. He talks of feeding in terms of resolving their needs rather than fighting them as enemies. Fighting, how we might normally handle it, is the hallmark of resistance.

Processes that allow us to let things be as they are can be a powerful way to resolve the apparent complaints. Our most persistent annoyances right through to our deepest fears. This helps us to integrate those aspects of ourselves we have separated or dissolve those things that are not real.

The developer of this process, Tsultrim Allione, derived the technique for helping westerners after teaching the Buddhist Chod practice for some time. It uses a role-playing visualization process described here.

What I do is more what he calls “Direct Liberation” on the third page. Including the popping he mentions. (laughs) For me, it’s what came through the gratitude and forgiveness process that arose. Sometimes, you can go deep enough to see the vasana (tendency) that is driving the issue and clear that too. Then the entire driver is gone, not just the instances.

But I appreciate that if you have a challenge that is deeply embedded, you could find it very useful to go through a process to unroot the struggle. Once the process is more conscious, then it may be easier to go direct.

The whole thing gets much easier after awakening when there is much less of that tendency to cling. As one is also now the silent space itself, there is no issue “going” there when something comes up. It just arises into that space in our daily life. And we can tackle much deeper things that may have seemed immovable before.

Tsultrim touches on why such processes are important:
The process of acknowledging our collective demons begins with our personal demons—universal fears, paranoia, prejudices, arrogance, and other weaknesses. Families, groups, nations, and even society as a whole can create demons that are the sum of unresolved individual demons. If we do not acknowledge these personal demons, our weaknesses and fears can join those of others to become something monstrous.

Through shifting our perspective away from attacking our enemies and defending our territory to feeding our demons, we can learn to stay in dialogue with the enemy and find peaceful solutions. In this way we begin a quiet revolution. Drawing on the inspiration of the teachings of an eleventh-century yogini, we can change our world.

A great read, all around.
Davidya

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