Chod (literally "cutting") is also a Tibetan Buddhist ritual practice.

The traditional Lineage transmission begins with Machig Labdronma who learned its practice in the charnel grounds of India.

Essentially, it consists of sitting amongst the decaying corpses and packs of jackals late at night scaring the bejeeezus out of yourself.

Visualizing everyone that you have ever harmed in any way in any lifetime, you summon them as demons through chanting and twirling a large drum called a damaru that has two strikers attached by strings.


As the demons approach (and bear in mind that you are a medieval Tibetan peasant and you believe in demons) you visualize your own body as a corpse. You visualize chopping up your own body and offering it to the demons to appease their anger and assuage their hunger and thirst with your skin, meat, bones, marrow, organs, and bodily fluids.

Satisfied, the demons go away. Visualizing that you are now bodiliess, you contemplate emptiness or sunyata.

Of course, this is a fundamental misunderstanding of sunyata as the mere absence or removal of things rather than an understanding of the no-"thing"ness of experiences.

But then most Buddhists misunderstand almost everything about Buddhism.

Chod is one of the practices practiced today by those following Tibetan Buddhism as well as Bon. It originates back to an Indian pandit Padampa Sangye, and was taught in Tibet by Machig Labdron (XI century). The chod lineage survived in Tibet only.

The teaching itself is very elaborate and centered around techings on wisdom of emptiness. As for the practice, there are numerous methods and ways of practicing, from very simple meditations to very complicated, requiring travelling to distant places, not staying in one place for too long, etc. The aim of the practice is to eliminate egotism, as clinging to ego is considered to be the cause of all problems in samsara.

Among different practices chod consists of, the offering to one's own emotions and neuroses personified in the form of demons is very important. One makes oneself aware of different problems one has, and instead hidding one's head in sand, one faces them without fear.

The practice of offering regards not only one's personified problems, but also real beings, such as parents, friends, enemies, animals - one does offering for them all without discerning, praying for their happiness and wishing they actually receive all good things offered.

The chod is a practice which combines most important elements of Buddhist sutra, such as teaching on sunyata and compassion, as well as tantra, with elements such as visualisations etc. Nowadays very few people practice it seriously.

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