Demons – There are two types of ‘demons’ discussed in this book. These ‘demons’ are not at all external beings in any way, and in fact there never are external demons with any inherent existence, but only ever Aspects of ones own Mind. In particular the word 'demon' is really used to refer to anything that is an obstacle to ones awareness.
The first describes the ‘demon Aspect of Self’ which hails from the Hell Realm, one of the Six Realms depicted on the Wheel of Conditioned Existence. This is discussed under Six Realms. See Six Realms and Wheel of Conditioned Existence.
The second type is described for example as the ‘Demon of Doubt’, ‘Demon of Despair’ etc. The word ‘demon’ really means “obstacle to Awareness” and can indicate both pleasant and unpleasant sense experiences, emotions and thoughts that obscure ones ability to perceive the truth.
Machig Labdron, the founder of Tibetan Chod explicitly states that ‘demons’ can come in the guise of ‘gods’ to describe for example the ‘Demon of Exaltation’, a particular stumbling block for practitioners who like to congratulate themselves for achieving a certain ‘state of mind’. This experience is in fact an obstacle to true Awareness, because from a Non-Dual perspective, ‘pride in practice’ reinforces the idea that there is anything at all to achieve, which is a direct violation of Dzogchen.
The way to deal with both types, the ‘Demon of Anger/Hatred’ from the Hell Realm and the ‘Demon Obstacles of Awareness’ is of course Knowledge of the Nature of the Mind. However there are three specific secondary practices used by the Buddha Brats to ensure overcoming these.
First of all in the case of the ‘demons’ of the Hell Realm which represents Anger and Hatred is to reintegrate these Aspects of oneself INTO oneself.
The second method is Tibetan Chod, cutting delusion at the root by destroying the ‘Demon of the Illusion of Self’. See Chod.
The third method particularly useful to kill Doubt and Despair, is to quite simply “shoot it on sight” or “bludgeon it to death with a half-brick” whenever it rears its ugly head. These Demons of Guilt, Doubt, Despair and even Seriousness are never useful in any way, and to be automatically destroyed.