Feeding Your Demons: A Buddhist Practice for Self-Compassion, Clarity & Confidence
Are you struggling with anxiety, depression, self-loathing or shame? Do you find yourself avoiding, minimizing or denying your problems?
Perhaps you feel full of remorse and regret. Or maybe you wish you could quit beating yourself up and experience more self-compassion, clarity and confidence. Do you wish you could make friends with yourself and gain the self-assurance, insight and peace needed to live an empowered, fulfilling and productive life?
It can be a wearisome, painful and even seemingly helpless experience to feel stuck with negative thoughts or within unproductive patterns. You may have tried traditional talk therapy and feel frustrated by the lack of sustainable results. If you’re battling the “demons” of anxiety, depression, interpersonal relationship challenges, guilt, shame, addiction or self-worth issues, just to name a few, you are not alone. We all have demons that we carry with us. The good news is that there is a powerful way to shift out of pain and uncomfortable patterns and transform your relationship with your demons from being debilitating into something positive and powerful.
Understanding Your Demons
“Demons are not bloodthirsty ghouls waiting for us in dark places; they are within us, the forces that we find inside ourselves, the core of which causes us suffering, shame and self judgment. Demons are our obsessions and fears, feelings of insecurity, chronic illnesses, or common problems like depression, anxiety, and addiction. Feeding our demons rather than fighting them may seem to contradict the conventional approach of attacking and attempting to eliminate that which assails us, but it turns out to be a remarkable alternative and an effective path to liberation from all inner conflicting emotions.
Demons are ultimately generated by the mind and, as such, have no independent existence but are our own discursive and self generating thoughts. Nonetheless, we engage with them as though they were real, and we believe in their existence—ask anyone who has fought an addiction or anxiety attacks. Demons show up in our lives whether we provoke them or not, whether we want them or not… Unfortunately, the habit of fighting our demons only gives them strength. By feeding, not fighting, our demons, we are integrating these energies, rather than rejecting them and attempting to distance ourselves from disowned parts of ourselves, or projecting them onto others.”
-Tsultrim Allione, excerpt from Feeding Your Demons
Feed Your Demons And Live An Empowered Life
Inspired by the ancient Tibetan practice of Chöd, developed by the 11th century Buddhist yogini Machig Labdrön and modernized by Lama Tsultrim Allione, Feeding Your Demons is designed for Westerners to access the spiritual practice of befriending the demons that keep us stuck and in pain. Allione’s modernized approach to this ancient practice offers a profound path of self-transformation for today’s people. By feeding love and compassion to the shadow aspects of your consciousness, you can reverse the conventional paradigm of fighting your demons and allow your psyche to move from polarization toward integration.
The practice of feeding rather than fighting your demons allows you to delve inward, make friends with your pain and fears and undergo deep transformation. Whether you are angry, confused, traumatized, craving, longing, shameful or lost, this work can help you find liberation from your pain by nurturing your demons rather than fighting them.
In 2010, I began my studies with Tsultrim Allione. I discovered the Feeding Your Demons practice to be a useful introduction into the cultivation of self-awareness and transformation of the self. Lama Tsultrim requires hundreds of both solo and partner sessions, as well as testing of this work, before a practitioner is approved to become a facilitator. Being a Buddhist for 35 years and now a facilitator of Feeding Your Demons, I find this work to not only be an effective, healing and transformative experience, but also an excellent opportunity to introduce the Buddhist teachings to my clients. There are only three Feeding Your Demons facilitators in the Boulder area, and I am the only therapist who uses this work in professional practice. This practice can also be used in conjunction with energy healing work and somatic therapy.
Through this powerful work, you can shift your perspective and find insight into your suffering. I invite you to contact me for a free phone consultation. I’m happy to discuss your specific needs and answer any questions you have about Feeding Your Demons and my practice.