Invite your demons to tea

Demon Tea PartyThis wonderful exercise is from the Buddhist tradition.  Imagine this, if you will: You head to the special gourmet market, high-end bakery and flower shop.  You purchase the most sumptuous of delicacies and the most extravagant arrangement of early spring flowers.  Once home, you unearth your finest table linens, which you wash and iron to perfection.  You polish your silver until it gleams.  You reach into the recesses of your cabinets and carefully withdraw your most delicate porcelains.  You carefully wash them in hot, soapy water and dry them mindfully with a hand towel.  You set your table with all of your finery, creating a beautiful and inviting tableau.

You shower and dress, specially preparing yourself for this very important occasion, an occasion that requires the very best of everything you have to offer.  With one final look in the mirror, you know you are completely ready.

You walk to the very back of your home, where there is a large wooden door with a small grated opening.  As you approach the door, you can already smell the putrid, offensive odors and hear the snarling, banging, spitting and other off-putting noises.  You are quite nervous.  You take a very deep breath.  You open a series of locks, swing open the heavy door and invite your demons to follow you into the dining room for a tea party.

You are expecting your table to be trashed.  However, you are surprised.   Your oversized demons sit carefully on your small-to-them chairs and place napkins in their laps.  They are delighted to be included.  You have actual conversations; you feed them sweets.  You meet some of your deepest fears in these hairiest, most foul-smelling creatures.  Who knew?  You begin to feel some compassion; there’s an inkling of comprehension.  With some understanding, they really aren’t so slimy, awful and loathsome after all.

This month, will you invite your demons for tea?

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6 Responses to Invite your demons to tea

  1. Adele Ryan McDowell August 19, 2015 at 4:56 pm #

    Thanks, Adrienne!

  2. Adele Ryan McDowell August 19, 2015 at 4:56 pm #

    I would have never guessed that you held the crown in the first place. You have negotiated brilliantly!

  3. adrienne pollock August 19, 2015 at 2:29 am #


  4. Meredith August 18, 2015 at 11:01 am #

    Being the past-queen of anxiety — I gave the title up to a younger woman some time ago — I would say YES! to all of the above. I had to make peace with my anxiety. It was allowed to kick in going on as escalator, but only if there wasn’t a fast alternative to get to the next floor. It was NEVER allowed to bother me on an airplane. Negotiation worked! (Most of the time.)

  5. Adele Ryan McDowell August 18, 2015 at 12:55 am #

    Are demons must be the best of friends :)))).

  6. Mary Swain Landreth August 17, 2015 at 8:22 pm #

    My demons love champagne and dark chocolate so once I get over their smell we can really relate. Thanks for the reminder. I have learned and re-learned that facing the beast is never as bad as I imagined