A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment

Feeding the Ghosts

The third practice of developing our bodhichitta nature is to feed the ghosts. This is a way of dealing with our stubborn and unreasonable nature. Have you ever woken up in a foul mood, or mad at the world, or perhaps your spouse or co-worker says something mildly critical and you are instantly in a rage? The traditional way of dealing with this is to make a little cake, and offer it to the ghosts. There is a small ceremony you can do, but it is not absolutely necessary. By making the cake and offering it, you are accepting this negative aspect of yourself, allowing it to fully develop without causing harm, then getting rid of it in the form of the cake. After a while we find these occurring happening less and less often, till while we are awake and mindful, they do not happen, they will strike when we are asleep, just as we awake. We are not telling the ghosts to go away, they may stay or go as they choose and we invite them to come back if they wish. This way we are not attached to the feeling or the act of letting go, we are neutral.

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