When a friend invited me to read this book, I was immediately turned off by the term demon. The association I made was that with the devil, and why the heck would I want to feed the devil?!
After she explained it was written by a female Buddhist leader, I became more curious and interested. I started to listen to the audiobook when I learned the actual definition of the ancient Greek word daimōn as a "guiding spirit". This immediately changed my whole perspective on this word and the concept of feeding it.
In her website link below, she provides powerful examples of what this looks like in just 5 simple steps. I have included the steps below, and would highly recommend checking out the website and even reading the book. Let me know how it works out for you!
The following is from the Tara Mandala International Buddhist Community website.
An Abbreviated Version of the Five Steps of the Feeding Your Demons® Process
Nine Relaxation BreathsTake nine deep relaxation breaths with long exhalations: for the first three breaths, breathe in and bring the breath to any tension in the body releasing it with the exhalation. For the second three breaths, inhale into any emotional tension, feel where you hold it in your body and release it with the exhalation. And lastly, breathe into any mental tension. Feel where you hold nervousness, worries or mental blockages in your body and release them with the exhalation
Motivation: Generate a heartfelt motivation to practice for the benefit of one’s self and all beings.
THE 5 STEPS:
Step 1. Find the Demon
Decide which demon, god or god-demon you are going to work with. (i.e. demon of addiction, perfectionism, self-doubt, self-loathing, etc.)
Locate where you hold it most strongly in your body.
Become aware of the qualities of the sensations in your body including:
Step 2. Personify the Demon and Find Out What It Needs
Personify this sensation as a figure with arms legs, and eyes and see it facing you. If an inanimate object appears imagine what it would look like if it were personified as some kind of being.
Ask the demon what it wants. What is it that you want from me?
Ask the demon what it needs. What need to you have that is behind what you want?
Ask the demon how it would feel if it gets what it needs. If you get what you need how will you feel?
Having asked the questions, immediately change places with the demon.
Step 3. Become the Demon
Face the chair or cushion you were seated on and become the demon, allowing yourself a little time to “sit in its shoes.”
Notice how your normal self looks from the demon’s point of view.
Now answer these three questions:
What I want from you is…
What I need from you is…
What I would feel if I got what I need is…
Step 4. Feed the Demon and Meet the Ally
Feed the Demon
Come back to your original position. Take a moment to settle in and see the demon in front of you.
Dissolve your body into nectar that has the quality of the feeling that the demon would have if its need was satisfied (this is the answer to the third question in step 3)
Feed the demon to its complete satisfaction, imagining the nectar entering the demon any way you wish. Keep feeding until complete satisfaction is reached (if the demon seems to be insatiable, then imagine how it would look if it were completely satisfied).
At this point you can go directly to step 5 or meet your ally.
Meet the Ally
If there is a being present in place of the demon when you end the fourth step, ask this being if it is the ally. If it is not, invite an ally to appear. If the demon has dissolved completely then simply invite an ally to appear.
Notice all the details of the ally: its color, its size, and the look in its eyes.
Ask it one or all of these questions:
How will you help me?
How will you protect me?
What pledge do you make to me?
Change places, becoming the ally, and answer the question(s) above.
Return to your original position, then take a moment and feel the help and protection coming from the ally to you and then imagine the ally is dissolving into you. You and the ally dissolve into emptiness, which naturally takes you to the fifth step.
Step 5. Rest
Rest in the state that is present when the ally dissolves into you and you dissolve into emptiness. Let your mind relax without creating any particular experience. Rest as long as you like without filling the space, trying not to make anything happen or rushing to finish.
Would love to hear if you have applied this and how it went! To follow up with other excited events and resources, follow us on Instagram!
This is a phenomenal book that is relevant to practically all forms of leadership, including in relationships.
I come back to these commitments consistently as a reminder of how I want to show up in my life. The following was taken from: https://conscious.is/15-commitments
The red print are examples of when I am "below" the line, and the black is when I am "above" the line. I appreciate the reminder that being above or below is neither right or wrong, it is just important to have the awareness of where I am.
According to Kaley Warner Klemp, "Conscious commitment begins the process of positive change and relational and organizational resolution. We define commitment using its Latin origin, committere, which means to gather one's energy and move it in a chosen direction. Using this definition, we view commitment as an energetic experience and not a moral issue. We invite you to embrace these 15 commitments as your entry-gate into "By Me," a life free of victimhood. Following each commitment is the "To Me" commitment; the way people show up when they are living and leading (either consciously or unconsciously) from the belief that life is happening to them."
BY ME: I commit to taking full responsibility for the circumstances of my life, and my physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing. I commit to support others to take full responsibility for their lives.
TO ME: I commit to blaming others and myself for what is wrong in the world. I commit to being a victim, villain, or a hero and taking more or less than 100% responsibility.
BY ME: I commit to growing in self-awareness. I commit to regarding every interaction as an opportunity to learn. I commit to curiosity as a path to rapid learning.
TO ME: I commit to being right and to seeing this situation as something that is happening to me. I commit to being defensive especially when I am certain that I am RIGHT.
BY ME: I commit to feeling my feelings all the way through to completion. They come, and I locate them in my body then move, breathe and vocalize them so they release all the way through.
TO ME: I commit to resisting, judging and apologizing for my feelings. I repress, avoid, and withhold them.
BY ME: I commit to saying what is true for me. I commit to being a person to whom others can express themselves with candor.
TO ME: I commit to withholding my truth (facts, feelings, things I imagine) and speaking in a way that allows me to try to manipulate an outcome. I commit to not listening to the other person.
BY ME: I commit to ending gossip, talking directly to people with whom I have an issue or concern, and encouraging others to talk directly to people with whom they have an issue or concern.
TO ME: I commit to saying things about people that I have not or will not say to them. I commit to talking about people in ways I wouldn’t if they were there. I commit to listening to others when they gossip.
BY ME: I commit to the masterful practice of integrity, including acknowledging all authentic feelings, expressing the unarguable truth and keeping my agreements.
TO ME: I commit to living in incompletion by withholding my truth, denying my feelings, not keeping my agreements, and not taking 100% responsibility.
BY ME: I commit to living in appreciation, fully opening to both receiving and giving appreciation.
TO ME: I commit to feeling entitled to “what’s mine,” resenting when it’s not acknowledged in the way I want.
BY ME: I commit to expressing my full magnificence, and to supporting and inspiring others to fully express their creativity and live in their zone of genius.
TO ME: I commit to holding myself back and not realizing my full potential by living in areas of incompetence, competence and excellence.
BY ME: I commit to creating a life of play, improvisation, and laughter. I commit to seeing all of life unfold easefully and effortlessly. I commit to maximizing my energy by honoring rest, renewal and rhythm.
TO ME: I commit to seeing my life as serious; it requires hard work, effort and struggle. I see play and rest as distractions from effectiveness and efficiency.
10.Opposite of my Story
BY ME: I commit to seeing that the opposite of my story is as true or truer than my original story. I recognize that I interpret the world around me and give my stories meaning.
TO ME: I commit to believing my stories and the meaning I give them as the truth.
BY ME: I commit to being the source of my security, control and approval.
TO ME: I commit to living from the belief that my approval, control and security come from the outside; people, circumstances and conditions.
BY ME: I commit to experiencing that I have enough of everything... including time, money, love, energy, space, resources, etc.
TO ME: I commit to a scarcity mentality choosing to see that there is “not enough” for me and others in the world and therefore I have to be conscious of making sure I get and preserve what is “mine.”
BY ME: I commit to seeing all people and circumstances as allies that are perfectly suited to help me learn the most important things for my growth.
TO ME: I commit to seeing other people and circumstances as obstacles and impediments to getting what I most want.
14.Win for All
BY ME: I commit to creating win for all solutions (win for me, win for the other person, win for the organization, and win for the whole) for whatever issues, problems, concerns, or opportunities life gives me.
TO ME: I commit to seeing life as a zero-sum game, creating win/lose solutions for whatever issues, problems, concerns, or opportunities life gives me.
15.Being the Resolution
BY ME: I commit to being the resolution or solution that is needed: seeing what is missing in the world as an invitation to become that which is required.
TO ME: I commit to responding to the needs of the world with apathy or resentment and doing nothing or assigning blame to others.
Develop your relationship skills with yourself and others with a Self-Love Ceremony which is a Ganja Yoga-like experience which includes a sauna and massage. This experience is designed to meet your personal needs and shift your energy to step into your highest self!
A dear friend recommended this book after she used the meditations to help her get rid of her echzema. It came up a few times during our Halloween Ganja Yoga, especially with our incredible guest healer that night, Arden Leigh. This is where I decided to move forward with the inspiration for a Ganja Yoga Book Club. I find books to be a crucial part of my growth and apply it regular to my Ganja Yoga Wednesday night rituals.
I've been listening to the audiobook and now have decided to buy the actual book so that I can highlight. I am looking forward to having a deeper discussion on a weekly Monday lunch time Zoom call. If you'd like to join in on this free discussion, join our Facebook Group #GanjaYogaBookClub for more info!
Get info on books we are reading for the Ganja Yoga Book Club, info on guest healers, and more!