We’re right in the midst of Hungry Ghost Month and in fact tonight, August 17 is the night of the full moon- it’ also “Ghost Day”. If you live in Malaysia as I do, or in other Asian countries, you will find many Chinese temples putting on feasts and opera shows today with plenty of music, incense and paper offering to spirit ancestors.
I think you all understand what happens in this period, right? During this time it is said that the yin overpowers the yang – meaning that when yin chi dominates the house it begins to attract ghosts and wandering spirits who love yin chi. If your house is too dark or heaven forbid, if it is built over a gravesite then wandering ghosts will find it very attractive. Remember, hungry ghosts have been temporarily released from the hell realms to roam anywhere this month.
So please be extra vigilant this month, okay? And to appease any such visitors, light plenty of incense, offer prayer and the rituals for prosperity for dead relatives to enjoy like paper money, houses, etc. This brings them relief and some material comfort when they have to return to the hell realms.
One more very important thing to remember: hungry ghosts can cause harm to you if your chi energy is low or depleted. To counter this, you must wear amulets and ensure that there is an excess of yang energy and wear lots of bright colours.
Finally, don’t go swimming or travel, stay indoors after nightfall (especially children), don’t move house or start a new business or get married during Hungry Ghost Period!
Much love and please continue to be watchful and take care this month,
Important Hungry Ghost Reminders
This year the Hungry Ghost period started on August 03 and ends on August 31 2016 in the 7th month of the Lunar Calendar. It is during this month that yin overpowers yang, and as such when yin chi dominates your space, wandering ghosts and spirits are attracted since they thrive in such an environment.
We Chinese believe that it’s important to take extra care during this month, especially at nighttime and to wear additional amulets for protection and they provide more yang energy.
Here are a few things I want to remind you about this month:
- Avoid swimming – it’s believed that evil spirits that previously drowned are looking for souls to claim in exchange for a safe passage to rebirth.
- Children, teenagers, young adults should not venture out alone at night. Children are particularly susceptible to spirit possession.
- It’s advisable to wear amulets of protection containing the seed syllables of HUM or HRIH.
- No moving houses, or opening new businesses this month and avoid getting married at all costs!
- Avoid campsites; hiking and jungle ventures…ghosts love to inhabit these spots and chances of injury and spirit possession are very high.
- Drive with caution, no speeding and avoid accidents. Take your time.
- Keep your forehead clean and free of head cover and avoid placing your hands on your shoulders. It is said that everyone has three flames on the body; one on each shoulder and one on the forehead. Touching them is said to put out the flame and weaken your internal energies thus increasing the chances of spirit possession.
The best thing you can do is to appease with offerings of prayer and incense…so read on!
Use Incense Rituals To Appease the Hungry Ghosts
“Hungry Ghosts” are called “hungry” because by their nature they are unable to eat or drink through ordinary means. They can only be “fed” through the smell of smoke of incense and the aroma of food…so they become really happy when incense of other special food aromas are offered them. Just a single stick of incense goes a long way towards pacifying millions of hungry souls.
Generate an attitude of compassion…think how desperate these poor souls must be – trapped in Bardo…trapped between the realms and constantly suffering from extreme deprivation. The karma that causes one to be reborn in this state is the attitude of selfishness, miserliness and stinginess practices in their previous lives.
Although most are too weak to do much mischief – the little they can do can cause tremendous harm in our world and they will take advantage of those of us whose chi energy levels are low and life force is weak.
As an act of kindness please offer incense to them daily during this month.
Incense Offering Ritual
When you begin your incense ritual, first offer it to all the enlightened cosmic beings such as Shakyamuni Buddha and Avalokiteshvara, as well dakinis, spiritual protectors like the Four Heavenly Kings. This is vital as it invokes their presence to keep you protected personally and it blesses your incense offering.
Did you know that when you make offerings to the cosmic enlightened beings that they will appear in your space instantly and bring with them an entire entourage of powerful protectors who will indeed guard you against any harmful mal-intentioned spirits?
To those of you who know how, it is excellent to read the Heart Sutra or recite the mantra of Avalokiteshvara Om Mani Padme Hum 108 times after offering the incense.
In temples you will notice that they are burning incense all the time – to satisfy the ghosts that are always hungry. You can also offer incense regularly to the local spirits and not just during Hungry Ghost Month. If you want to launch a product, if you have an important meeting or need to go to a court case or if you are moving into a new house or apartment then you can make an incense offering.
To do this light up some sweet smelling incense (like Kemenyen or Sandalwood) and chant the following special incense offering mantra as you walk clockwise around the rooms inside your home and also outside your house while holding the incense burner. You can also do this around your office as well.
Namah Sarva Tathagatha Avalokite
Om Sambhara Sambhara Hung
Remember to dedicate all the incense and offerings to the holy beings, angels, spiritual protectors, local landlords and wandering spirits around you and ask them to protect you. Let the incense burn out completely.
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The buildings and other homes around your house radiate energy, very like a force field that interacts with the energy of your home. Develop an understanding of these force fields so that you know if they bring you good or harmful chi. Usually the chi is good if the buildings that are bigger and taller are behind your home (giving you support and protection) rather than facing your home and blocking your luck and opportunities!
The Buddhists texts reveal that the chances of being born a human are more remote than finding a turtle with a rubber ring around its neck in the middle of the ocean! The next time you feel depressed, think about how precious your life is as a human is, as opposed to being an animal or a hungry ghost living in the demi-world between hell and human existence!
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