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Don’t Make Gods Into Demons | Reflections

April 6th

#37 Don’t make gods into demons.
Pema: Don’t use these teachings and practices to strengthen your self-absorption.

When we take what we can most benefit from and idolize it, our ego can get in the way of our practice. In practice, we can get become preoccupied with every thought, sensation and feeling that emerges. This provides a temptation to give up the ship, so to speak.

Certainly in my own practice over the years I have had this occur. If I focus too much, then there is tension. Too little focus and the opposite is true. It is keeping the mind in balance is what I find works best.

Additionally, when we first start our practice, there is a sense of being nurtured with each breath, each repetition of a Metta phrase, or whatever we use as a meditation object in our practice. We feel proud of ourselves that we are making progress. Then, we hit a wall, and there is this overwhelming life challenge that blocks the way. In this opportunity for personal transformation, we become frightened of it and we feel tempted to back off.

As we may know, sitting with the discomfort eases the discomfort. I know this all too well. There have been times that I fought against sitting with my anger or deep sadness. But I did anyway, leading me to a deeper growth of spirit. I am the lotus blossoming.

What I have learned is to be compassionate toward myself. I can walk this path with gentleness and kindness, accepting and aware.


Pema Chödrön’s Compassion Cards – This practice is lojong (mind-training slogans) and they are powerful reminders on how to awaken our hearts. They are also found in “The Compassion Book.” You choose the cards at random, read the commentary, and then try to live by the meaning of the slogan throughout the day.

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Deb Phelps

Deb Phelps

Deb Phelps is a certified Mindfulness and Meditation Teacher, and Practitioner since 1980. She is also a Mindfulness Coach, Sound Energy Practitioner, and Yoga Specialist who uniquely assists her clients to overcome stress, anxiety, PTSD, grief, and other life situations so that they can once again live purposeful, joy-filled lives. Deb has overcome significant life challenges aided by a variety of mind-body-spirit practices. By diligently using these tools over many decades, she found a life of contentment and equanimity. Through extensive education and life experience, including living for one year in a spiritual community, she assists and inspires others to do the same. ~ Deb Phelps, C.MI, MMT, E-RYT200, RYT500, LVCYT, YACEP