Chöd is an advanced Tantric practice in which an adept offers his whole body to gods, demons and other spirits to feast upon as a means to cut through attachments.
It is truly one of the most advanced and challenging practices in my experience and yet, if correctly performed, it bestows unsurpassed awakening.
There are initial preparations which are withheld here, but let me share with you the juicy part:
“Imagine the corpse immediately after the breathing stops, before the warmth dissipates. It is young and plump, with smooth, soft skin and rosy, radiant flesh.
It is big and brilliant, fat and oily. Think of it as pervading the whole world. Just by catching sight of it, the hostile gods and demons are mentally satisfied.
Coming into contact with it, their evil minds are all pacified, and deep feelings of happiness and joy arise. Imagine the gods and demons all coming together uncontrollably like a swarm of bees in a flower grove.
Then, when it’s time to give over the flesh and blood, make it still warm with the steam all wafting up and the oil of grease and fat all slithering off, possessing a hundred excellent flavors, such as that of sea salt.
The potency of its excellent trace aroma is like the smell of camphor or sandalwood, a very fine fragrance that pervades the whole world, or all the appearances of the lands surrounding the place where you are.”
Zongtrul Losang Tsöndru, ‘Chöd in the Ganden Tradition: The Oral Instructions of Kyabje Zong Rinpoche’:
“When we are meditating in a haunted graveyard, or even in our rooms, frightening external and internal appearances may arise during Chöd practice. If this happens, check the two ‘superstitions’—the external, frightening appearance, and the internal appearance of the inherently existent ‘I’ that is frightened. Do they exist from their own sides? With determination, check for the ‘I’ that experiences fear, whether of
Recalling that our purpose is to compassionately sacrifice ourselves to the spirits, and remembering emptiness of the three spheres of giving, we mix our minds with space and visualize the spirits consuming our bodies as well as our sense of an inherently existent self.
After the spirits have eaten the body, again investigate the two superstitions. It is by checking for the independent ‘I’ that we come to realize emptiness.”
Do not try this without proper guidance and empowerment!