From Wikipedia for those who do not know the term: Hungry ghost is a concept in Chinese Buddhism and Chinese traditional religion representing beings who are driven by intense emotional needs in an animalistic way. (NOTE: when I saw this I thought that hungry ghosts originated in Tibetan Buddhism but figured I was wrong. A friend on twitter just said the same thing, so Wikipedia may not be accurate)
Another source says this: The realm of the petas, the Hungry Ghosts, constitutes one of the unhappy worlds. The ghosts are beings who suffer severely from unfulfilled desires.
**So, hungry ghosts are our demons. Our out of control desires that we, here in the west, label addictions etc.
Hungry ghosts are the result of the mistreated human animal. Hungry ghosts scream bloody murder about what they need but we don’t listen.
We instead try to shut hungry ghosts up with all manner of things they do *not* need. (addictions, distractions etc)
There are few safe havens for hungry ghosts and the process of befriending them so that they might get what they actually need and be at peace. Let us come to awareness so that we might change that.
Gabor Maté’s brilliant book about addiction is also entitled: In the realm of the hungry ghosts. It’s a truly excellent book and his work is critical for those who still need to understand how childhood and epigenetic trauma impacts us. For more on Gabor Maté’s work see also this post: Mental illness, addiction & most chronic illness is linked to childhood loss & trauma
- Befriending fear
- Befriending our bodies: accepting our minds/bodies as they are
- “Befriend the emotional storms” — alternative to psychiatry
- The anger and rage collection: what we don’t engage we cannot transform
- On compulsive behaviors (addictions, etc)
- Addiction: what is it?
- Addiction: it ain’t what you think
- Addiction is not an Illness
- Ask, not why the addiction, but why the pain?
More on TRAUMA here
For a multitude of ideas about how to create a life filled with safe alternatives to psychiatric drugs visit the drop-down menus at the top of this page.