Demons in the Night

August 7, 2012 § 31 Comments

The transition from sleep to awareness feels instantaneous.  My mind has leapt into full alert- heightened in its capacity to catalog and elaborate on tonight’s list of difficulties and failings.  Down each rabbit hole my mind plunges until I hit bottom- always a conclusion stunning in its simplicity and harrowing in its implications.  Hopeless.

When I try to think my way out, I only get more entangled.  Maybe it will work out for the best because of this or that, I say.  But my ferocious mind pounces on that consolation, ripping it to pieces.  Turning my pathetic efforts to climb out of the hole into further reason for my self-loathing.  My nighttime mind can be horrifically brilliant in this way.

Night or day, trying to outthink your busy, ferocious mind is always a mistake.  It will tear you to bits every time.  Resistance only feeds the busyness.

The demons are always right outside the door.  So when they knock, don’t try to bar the door or throw them out.  Be the imperfect host.  Welcome them in- and then pay them no mind.   Soon the demons will retreat.  Soon peace will come upon you.

They’ll be back.  That’s for sure.  But you’ll be ready.

Tagged: , , , , ,

§ 31 Responses to Demons in the Night

  • gigiwanders says:

    the demons are just your ego
    the false you
    like this, tom

  • Miss Rosen says:

    oo draaag. dealing with demons, thas my card. i agree, pour em a beer, give em a hug. they’re not at all what they appear to be.

    tho. i must say. i’m on to somethinn new. i dont know how it works but it goes like this ::

    hushh ~

    it’s not repression or denial, nothinn like that. it’s just standinn at the lookinn glass sayinn i ain’t goinn that way.

    i did it once before, at a very important point in my life and today, when the demons came in a la david bowie on some let’s dance, i was like, nahh boys not today.

    i literally reminded myself that i didn’t go thru the lookinn glass and havinn not done it once, i could not do it twice ~*~

    • Thomas Ross says:

      Internal imagery is so powerful. Standing before the looking glass- shall I step through or not? Not today, boys- you’ll have to amuse yourselves. I love the image.

      Thanks for coming by, Miss Rosen.


  • […] is a fairly new blogger who writes brilliantly about his Zen path, his terrifying struggles with negative thinking, and the bliss he also experiences … you might like to read […]

    • Thomas Ross says:

      Christine, thank you for sharing with your readers my work on my “Zen path.” You continue to be such a generous and thoughtful reader and supporter of my efforts as well as the work of other writers.

      Thank you.


  • DIRNDL SKIRT says:

    One of my favorites of yours that I’ve read–both in what it addresses and in its visceral and succinct writing. These unwelcomed “guests” will most likely raid my refrigerator then curl up on the sofa while I am paying them no mind…but hopefully, as you say, I’ll be ready.

  • Tom, your writing style is always so relatable…You are undeterred by all the goings on in these ‘rabbit holes’….And your ability and willingness to share the raw ‘nitty gritty’ of all these very human feelings and emotions…is a remarkable talent.

    Your honesty offers the reader such insight and reassurance, as we all learn to become fierce in the everyday/night struggles we each face, in our own ‘rabbit hole adventures’.

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful talent!

    • Thomas Ross says:

      There’s so much generosity in this response.

      In trying to live this way as much as I can, I am drawing much strength from your support for, and attention to, my work.

      Thank you, Kirsten.

  • Sandra C. says:

    it is my first stop here, and this post brings me some answers…when the dark side is here it’s really hard to welcome it !!! but i understand today, that each second something new happen …and i feel that the light comes back…don’t feed the demons that is o good advice 🙂 thank you

  • The perfect way to relate with demons > invite them in! Compassion can also be powerful.

  • jungianpilgrim says:

    Yes, they will be back, Thomas. And, you will be ready for them. One can never run away so one must be the brave warrior, the brave imperfect warrior accepting imperfection and turning that imperfection into the gold of dawning enlightenment.

  • Chris Mabon says:

    This is a great one, Tom. I love the idea of “welcoming them in and then paying them no mind”. There is no point to resisting, as it will surely strenghten the demons. Best to let them get bored by inattention and simply move on. Thank you for this important reminder.

    • Thomas Ross says:


      Thanks again for taking the time to read and to leave this kind response. We’re each struggling- but your support of my work helps.

      Thank you.


  • Susan Cooper/ says:

    You must have seen my dream. I dream profusely every night and this looks and sounds just like one a had just recently.

    All kidding aside, I get the implication and the logic. If only I could follow it more often.

    • Thomas Ross says:


      If only I could follow it more often. A struggle for me too. But reading these thoughtful responses from other writers to my work- like your response- strengthens me in doing the work.

      Thank you so much.


  • Anne says:

    Tom, you share these ‘thoughts’ so willingly, you drop your mask, and allow your truth to shine through.
    These thoughts are but of our own making, when we are mindful of our thoughts, and learn to discern what is useful and what is not, when we acknowledge the thought and work through and understand where they come from, only then can we dismiss them, and move forward. Thoughts create our reality, real or not. You say so much with so few words, I wish you well on your journey of enlightenment. In the Tao living in the moment, and attaining enlightenment is not an easy path to travel. Big mind small mind, waves- not sure if I will ever understand the workings of Zazen, but I find it all very interesting reading about it! Be blessed Tom


    • Thomas Ross says:


      Dropping the mask has been hard for me. But putting myself more into my writing has felt right. Thanks for understanding this and for your thoughtful response to my work.

      All blessings.


  • Another wonderful post, Tom. I love the encouragement to be the “imperfect host” to the demons that do come, and that also re-visit more than we’d probably like. Your posts continue to bolster my soul through this time of transition and healing – and for that, I thank you!

    • Thomas Ross says:


      You are so thoughtful, so kind. I’m really unable to express how much it means to me when you say that my writing “bolsters my soul.” The kindest and most inspiring comment you could have given to me.

      Thank you.


  • smithdavid says:

    yes, i can relate to that tom. observation and acceptance are the only salvation. keep up the good work. dave.

  • Dear Tom,

    Wow. A very intense post But so true. I have been there countless times in the middle of the night — a fear spiral. I’ve also been there in daylight, when I’ve made a mistake and instead of just sitting with it and forgiving these inevitable moments, I get angry at myself– making everything ten times worse. This post arrived at a perfect time. I reacted to a situation this weekend and am now, again, recommitting to a more mindful approach . . .I guess that is why they call it a practice. Thank you for this wonderful reminder! Sincerely, Elizabeth

    • Thomas Ross says:


      You are so kind to share these comments with me.

      We are each struggling. Your kind attention to my writing- and the thought that I might have helped you- gives me strength.

      Thank you.


  • This one certainly packs a punch. Not resisting is key. Welcome the dark and it loses its power. Thanks Tom.

    • Thomas Ross says:


      Thanks for the read and thoughtful comment.

      It was an honest description of my experience. I really believe that the only way through is acceptance.


  • artyelf says:

    This is soo good, thankyou!
    I think I’ll give being an imperfect host a try. ♡

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading Demons in the Night at only here only now.


%d bloggers like this: