Is the Hungry Ghost Haunting Your Life?

By |2020-05-19T01:05:23+00:00May 19th, 2020|Books/Resources, Coaching, Life & Wellness, Mindfulness|

Have you been haunted by a peculiar presence in your life lately? Perhaps you’ve felt and heard the rantings of the hungry ghost…

The hungry ghost is a concept in Chinese Buddhism, Chinese traditional religion, Vietnamese Buddhism, and Vietnamese traditional religion representing beings who are driven by intense emotional needs in an animalistic way. Wikipedia

The following is an excerpt from Dr. Mate’s book, In the Realm of the Hungry Ghost,

“The inhabitants of the Hungry Ghost Realm are depicted as creatures with scrawny necks, small mouths, emaciated limbs and large, bloated, empty bellies. This is the domain of addiction, where we constantly seek something outside ourselves to curb an insatiable yearning for relief or fulfillment. The aching emptiness is perpetual because the substances, objects or pursuits we hope will soothe it are not what we really need. We don’t know what we need, and so long as we stay in the hungry ghost mode, we’ll never know. We haunt our lives without being fully present.”


Living with The Hungry Ghost

Sometimes we invite it and surrender to the effects of the hungry ghost. As that inner voice whispers in your ear, you’re going to fail, you give in to the fear of scarcity and lack, and fall in the hungry ghost’s trap.

This haunting is accompanied by fear our hopes and dreams will never come true. We compare ourselves to others, envious, and always falling short. And we judge ourselves for never achieving, acquiring, or being enough.

Many of us turn to obsessive eating, drinking, gambling, shopping, or working to distract…

These worries are food for the hungry ghost, and they perpetuate its presence. Giving in to these substitutes strengthens neural pathways in our brain, and they become habitual.


Ghost Buster Remedy

Whatever we practice regularly is strengthened. However, when met with compassion, the hungry ghost begins to lose its power.

We can begin to watch, listen, learn, and understand what triggers these feelings. As we do, we become conscious of them and can make different, empowering choices.

In the noticing, choose to press the pause button and instead, give real love, kindness, and tenderness to the parts of us that feel inadequate, ashamed, and empty. We can forgive ourselves deeply and completely. We can invite a quality of grace and tenderness that will support us.

Just know that there will never be enough for the hungry ghosts that challenge you. It’s not your job to feed them.

Practicing mindfulness and self-compassion can free our hearts from the suffering and shame of the hungry ghost.


Be well, do good and spread joy! Wishing you overflowing success,


Patricia Eslava Vessey, CHt, PCC.
NLP Master, author, trainer, hypnotherapist, coach
(206) 459-2898,


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