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Spiritual Alchemy

The following post was first published as an article in March/April 2006 Metta Center Newsletter.

Let me tell you one of the stories of Milarepa. He is one of the most widely known Tibetan Saints.

Milarepa had been meditating for years in a cave. The hairs on his body had grown green because all he ate was nettles that he found around his cave. One day, several demons came into his cave, growling fearsomely. They were frothy at their mouths and had red menacing eyes. Enthusiastically, Milarepa invite them to sit with him and offered them his meager sustenance of nettles and water. He treated them as his most honorable guests. Milarepa sang to the monsters he found in his cave, "It is wonderful you demons came today. You must come again tomorrow. From time to time, we should converse."

I love this story because it inspires me to work with the “demons” in my mind. They are the negative voices that created the tensions in my body or beliefs that limit me in some other ways. This story encourages me to be present and open to whatever arises from within and without me with curiosity, instead of with resistance (fear).

Everyone’s “demons” are different and yet serve the same purpose: to show what is negative inside so the Light of your consciousness can transmute the negativity into Light again. This is the art of spiritual alchemy: transforming base metal to gold, transforming the dark recesses of our psyche into well-lit spaces.

We can learn to invite our “demons” in just like Milarepa did, embrace them and get to intimately know them. We can learn a lot about ourselves and understand more the nature of our own mind. We can develop the compassion, grace and wisdom in dealing with the challenges arise in life.

I now have learned to see my “demons” as messengers with important and valuable messages for me that help me grow and develop the life and spiritial qualities I desire.

I have learned that through the challenges and problems where I did not respond the way I wanted to, I have been given a gift of knowledge. I can use this opportunity to see what wounds within me still call for healing. I know now that the people that “push my button” are doing me a favor. Spiritually, they are telling me: “Christine, you still have this button. Do you want to keep that?” What a gift of information! Because of that, I can make conscious choices: yes, keep the button, or no, I rather shift or release it using my energy healing tools or other practices. When I make a choice that is in alignment with my highest good, the “demon” leaves for good, and the same situation doesn't bother me any more.

The next time a different “demon” comes to visit me, I know I am being presented with a new potential for growth and healing. A reason to celebrate because that means the light of my consciousness is growing!

When you decide to invite your “demons” in for a chat, please remember to be gentle with yourself. I found that it is important to cultivate the attitude of self-compassion, relaxation and lightness when you do this important inner work.

May you be in peace and experience lightness of being as you embrace all parts of you!


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