Nondual Zen Article:

Thwarting Demons

nondual title

Thwarting Demons
by Kathleen Sutherland

When "demons" (dismal, despairing, frightening or angry thoughts) arise, threatening to pull you out of peaceful equanimity, these three principals can be helpful:

1) Know that they are demons. In other words, they are not you. They are separate from you. They are forces that oppose abidance in the transcendental state. Reminding yourself of this sets you at great advantage. If you say aloud, "I know what you're up to, I see you, etc.," they are greatly discouraged right from their initial poise to assault. Their greatest strength lies in disguising themselves as your own thoughts.

2) Remind yourself that nothing they say is the truth. They are master sophists, using your intellect to persuade you that something is terribly wrong. Don't listen to them. Without your attention and interest, they lose much of their power, and begin to visit less frequently.

3) Remember that they and their world are not real. Not only are all their statements false, they themselves are made of dream. And the world they show you - this material world - and all the problems they point out in it, are equally illusory. You are abiding in truth. Don't allow prodding from illusory dark forces, telling of troubles in an illusory word, to draw you away from truth, from the knowledge that you are eternal. You are the unbound, unborn and untouched.

It takes some work to keep these things in mind, as demons, petty and great, will continually strive to pull you back into the story, and we are in the habit of giving them an audience. But adopt these reminders as a daily practice, and you’ll find that troublesome thoughts and painful feelings arise less and less often. It will become easier to abide in peace.

The Upanishads characterize enlightenment as the state of being “steady in wisdom.” It is not about reaching the blissful state of samadhi, or having profound excursions into transcendent realms. These experiences are only helpful insofar as the insights they afford help us to abide in peace. Be steady in wisdom, rejecting the illusory reality and lies of dark thoughts, dark forces, mischievous “demons.”

Be steady in wisdom, and abide in the ever brightening dawning light.