Energy Predation and Emotional Manipulation at a Tibetan Meditation Centre


I wrote this piece in 2011 and published it on my vanishingly obscure personal blog.  It describes events which took place in probably 1996. I’ve never heard much in the intervening years about any similar circumstances until today when I was catching up with a college friend on the phone and I figured now was as good a time as any to publish this here. I, of course, would be very happy to hear any thoughts on these events or any personal experiences which may shed light on what follows.


This post outlines some experiences I had while living at a Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Centre in the mid 1990’s, and my hypotheses on what was going on ‘behind the scenes’ in terms of people’s motivations and some of the psychic techniques employed. In short, while individual psychic attacks can generate emotional energy to feed an ‘energy vampire’, I also believe that the aftereffects of these attacks can prevent normal, fulfilling human relationships in the victim’s life. This frustration of normal outlets generates ‘excess’ or ‘unused’ emotions to which the energy predator can help itself. I believe that this is a major part of certain energy predators’ strategy and the underlying motivation to their actions. I’m also of the opinion that these energy predators can be human or non-human.

Any comments, insights, similar personal experiences, or literary references are very welcome and deeply appreciated.

In my early thirties (in the mid 1990’s) I moved out of my fiancee’s grandmother’s house and into a Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Center in the SF Bay Area. The centre, ‘MC’, was located in an old, rambling house in a well to do suburban area. The resident Rinpoche, ‘LP’, was in his late sixties. His father had been a highup functionary in the Dalai Lama’s government in Tibet and Rinpoche was recognized as a reincarnated teacher as a very young child. He was separated from his family and raised by monks in a monastery of the Sakya tradition (but with many visits home to his family, with whom he remained close). ‘LP’ escaped Tibet in the early 1960’s and came to the United States, bringing the surviving members of his family over as he was able.

‘MC’, the meditation centre, comprised ‘LP’, who led Chenrezi meditation service every Sunday nite, and a number of rooms that various practitioners rented. Sunday night meditations usually had 12-20 attendees, and at most five people were living in the house at any time. A few times a year various Tibetan teachers would come and stay for a day or a couple of weeks, leading various initiations into various practices. During these times a hundred people or more would attend the activities. The mailing list had at most 250 names on it. Rinpoche was also invited to other organizations to lead his own talks, meditations, initiations, and at these times I was often left alone in the approximately 15 room house. It wasn’t a very active meditation centre for the year and a half that i lived there.

The main activity at the centre was Sunday nite Chenrezi meditation. Chenrezi meditation is a beautiful practice, focused on reducing suffering in all sentient beings. You can do it yourself and without any special initiation. But you can also do it in a group with an experienced teacher leading the meditation. As it was explained to me, the leader has a very particular purpose in these meditations. At a certain point, the ‘energy/emotion/intention’ of all the practitioners, accumulated through meditation and mantra, is released into the universe to do it’s work of reducing suffering. The leader’s purpose is to direct and focus this subtle energy (generated by other people) in order to make sure that it reaches those most in need. You can imagine the moral and ethical rectitude needed in this type of service. Once you are able to direct and or manipulate others’ excess energies (generated either consciously or unconsciously), there has got to be the temptation to ‘take a little’ for yourself. Thus, the traditional emphasis on compassion and moral/ethical training in Tibetan Buddhist practice. At any rate, I was told that this ‘subtle energy direction’ is specifically part of the training involved at the higher levels of this form of spiritual practice.

The Rinpoche, ‘LP’, was a monk and so supposedly led a celibate life. But it was pretty obvious early on he had a long-term girlfriend living in the house (plus a considerate fellow practitioner thought I looked like ‘fresh meat’ – so he took pity on me and filled me in on all the history). This woman, ‘Tara’, was kind, thoughtful, sincere, very knowledgeable about Tibetan Buddhist practice and theory, gracious, and a welcoming hostess to every visitor.  I found out later that she had been a student of ‘LP’s when he began to put the moves on her. She didn’t really feel comfortable with the relationship, but he was her teacher so she felt pressure there. Plus, ‘Tara’ truly cared for ‘LP’ and wanted to help him in his spiritual duties – ‘Tara’ saw this as an opportunity to help more people with their spiritual lives. Later, she discussed her situation with ‘LP’s higher ups (well, he’s pretty high up so he only really has two or three people above him in the hierarchy), and they encouraged her to stay with him and help him as part of her spiritual practice. But ‘Tara’ could never expect any public, formal recognition of her long relationship with ‘LP’ and the many ways in which she helped him and the meditation centre. ‘Tara’ was put in a really nasty position – give this other person all this spiritual, material, and emotional support in all of their very public duties -but you will never be acknowledged for it publicly yourself.

Really, my respect for the people pulling this stunt on ‘Tara’ sank like a stone the more I saw what was going on. But the question remains – why not just let ‘LP’ modify his vows and marry? Other Tibetan Buddhist teachers marry and have families, such as His Holiness The Sakya Trizin. It’s hard to believe that the US public (the great bulk of ‘LP’s students) is all that fascinated with celibacy – in fact, anyone who visits any Tibetan style Buddhist school will be subject to any number of ribald jokes and stories about randy monks. However, the longer I lived at the meditation centre and took in what was going on, I developed a ‘hypothesis’ about one way to look at this relationship.  If you have a woman who is being tantalized with the lure of a fulfilling romantic, emotional, spiritual, or marital relationship but who is constantly frustrated from actually attaining that relationship – chances are that that person will be giving off a large amount of emotional energy with no focus. Anyone with the training or inclination will be able to take that energy for themselves. And a person with lots of spiritual training, an exalted position, followers, etc. may very well feel that they will make better use of this energy than the frustrated person would. Besides, it’s excess steam to the frustrated party, right?

When I’d lived at the centre for getting towards a year, ‘Tara’ moved out and started her three-year meditation retreat (the foundation of a serious Tibetan Buddhist practice, which her support of ‘LP’ had prevented her from performing for over a decade). When I moved in, ‘LP’ had made some romantic type overtures towards me – getting me a birthday cake with ‘Happy Birthday XXXXX’ written in Tibetan on it, for example. (Luckily it was carrot cake, which I don’t care for – if it was chocolate, I’d have been in trouble!) Fortunately, I’d learned of his reputation with women and his relationship with Tara, who I really loved and respected. Also, I’ve been ‘popular’ with a number of people since I was pretty young, so I have a lot of experience in being very nice while blowing off romantic moves. So I was able to avoid any scenes.

A turning point in my relationship with ‘LP’ came in the strangest way. I’d heard vague stories from different students about ‘LP’ showing up in ‘non-material’ ways. A couple of women talked about ‘LP’ appearing in their dreams, offering some sort of ‘deal’ to them, but they didn’t get specific about this and I didn’t pry. But one night, I don’t remember when but a few months into my living at the centre, I had a dream. I was dreaming and I was in a room, just a boring room with a door. The door opened, and ‘LP’ walked in. I woke myself with a start, and sat straight up in bed. I heard a ‘click’, like the sound of a door lock (these clicks are also associated with sudden changes of consciousness). The room reverberated somehow, as after the end of a very loud symphony which suddenly ceases. I knew I’d had my first ‘shaman’s battle’, that I’d saved my skin in really the only way i could. ‘LP’ obviously had much more experience than I in ‘astral battles’, if I had to face him down in the dreamworld I’d be seriously disadvantaged. But if he couldn’t get me to stay there….There was a sense of fear, but also a sense that I was a different person than i had been before that dream. I don’t know how to explain the effect this experience had on me, but it was very profound.

After my outwardly incredibly boring dream, ‘LP’s attitude towards me changed. It was like, ‘Okay, I won’t try to pull that b.s. on you anymore…but maybe you can help out with some of this stuff…’ ‘LP’s public persona had always been very charming, kind of happy and ding-y (my mom and my step-mom both thought he had some type of mental disability). Always smiling and laughing and easygoing, never involved in any heavy mental lifting. Afterwards, he seemed much more  –  normal is the only word. He had ups and downs and some things were kind of a pain but had to get done for mundane purposes. He came across as a lot smarter and more observant. He also started to show me a lot more respect, and would ask me to help in making ceremonial objects for use in initiations, for example, when six or so more senior students were there in the room just itching to help.

His change in attitude towards me reinforced my initial conviction that my behaviour in that dream had been very important. My sense was that he’d wanted to get me on the astral with him so he could co-opt me in some way; but how I didn’t know. I did realize that he had a helluva lot more experience in astral battles and deals than i did, plus he had some pretty powerful spiritual allies, so my only recourse was to stay in the mundane. As Dion Fortune puts it in Psychic Self Defense, psychic attacks take a lot of energy and if the attacker can’t keep your attention, they’ll just run out of energy. Writing in the early part of the twentieth century, she points out that if you’re busting your gut at Charlie Chaplin’s antics in the local theatre, your attacker doesn’t have a chance at keeping your attention involved in dreamworld battles and relationships. But when it came down to the specifics of ‘the deal’ ‘LP’ had in mind, I had no clue.

As it happened, however, just before I moved out I found out exactly what he had in mind. As I said earlier, ‘LP’ traveled all over the US giving teachings. He had a couple in the southeast who were well to do and very committed spiritual seekers, especially the wife ‘M’. ‘M’ and her husband decided to sell their house and move into the meditation centre with ‘LP’ and get the centre going great guns. As I didn’t show up to the Sunday nite meditaions and other events (for reasons I hope are obvious by now), ‘M’ decided that I was just mooching off ‘LP’ and taking advantage. ‘M’ saw that I wasn’t in line with her plans for the centre, and put pressure on me to get out – which was fine by me, I felt I’d learned about all I was going to at that point. I was more than happy to let her go to town whipping the centre into shape, and I left.

However, this took a month or two to play out. Before it did, a couple of weeks after ‘M’ and her husband moved into the centre, ‘M’ and I went clothes shopping together. It turned out that ‘M’ had had a dream involving ‘LP’ the night before and she wanted to ask me about it because she didn’t know what it meant. ‘M’ said, “‘LP’ came to me in my dream and he said that if I had sex with him, I would have all this spiritual advancement and powers and I would have a lot of public acclaim and status in the meditation community but I had to have sex with him and keep it secret. I just don’t know what this dream means.’ Dear reader, I have never been more flummoxed by humanity’s unlimited ability for willfull ignorance than during this conversation. However, I simply replied, ‘Well, it sounds like ‘LP’ is saying that if you have sex with him you’ll get power, spiritual advancement, and so on, as long as you keep it secret. It seems pretty straightforward to me.’ ‘M’ continued her position of being unable to understand the meaning of this dream (though she always accepted that ‘LP’ had actually been present in her dream, she never took the position that this had all been a projection of her own mind). I did ask her what she had responded to this proposal, and she said she hadn’t said either yes or no. ‘M’ was also flummoxed about the fact that she was married and ‘LP’ very obviously knew about this. The conversation on this subject kind of petered out, as she just couldn’t wrap her mind around what she herself said had happened.

Shortly afterward my relations with ‘M’ went downhill, I moved out, and i didn’t keep up with anyone from the centre. (‘Tara’ was on retreat, and she was the only person i was interested in keeping up with.) So I have no idea how things turned out with ‘M’, her husband, and ‘LP’. But I had found out enough to get a good idea of ‘LP’s game with women. Find a woman who you can manipulate into giving some kind of sub-rosa consent to a frustrating type of romantic/sexual relationship, then use that relationship to keep the woman frustrated and continually ‘worked-up’ (for want of a better term), and drink up all that ‘excess energy’ at your convenience.  But why the consent? I’m thinking that getting consent makes the woman more likely to continue the relationship and less likely to complain about it (to ‘LP’ or to others), since the woman had ‘agreed’. And I wonder if consent may make subtle energy more (or more easily) available to the ‘vampire’ or ‘energy predator’? Also, does this consent give the energy predator a ‘clean conscience’? And why get consent in a dream rather than in the mundane plane? I’m guessing that someone with experience on the astral plane will have the upper hand over a ‘novice’, thus making consent more likely. Plus, as I saw with ‘M’, the whole scenario sounds so outrageous and unbelievable to the average Western mind that the woman won’t even believe that it happened herself, much less be likely to tell anyone else about this or complain. Sounds like an effective way to knock over the traces. But these are just my own opinions, I don’t have any knowledge about this and would be very interested to hear anyone else’s own experiences or stories or readings on this matter.

To sum up, in my evaluation, this situation involved a human acting as an energy predator, using mundane and esoteric means to manipulate women into sexually/emotionally/socially frustrating relationships as a way to set up consistent, long-term sources of subtle energy for predation/consumption.  While sex plays a big role in ‘LP’s strategy for ‘farming’ victims, I can imagine a scenario where a person’s lust for political power, greed or their desire for powerful influence in the business world could be similarly manipulated in order to generate ‘ongoing excess subtle energy’ for an energy vampire. But I have never seen it done myself, or even read about it.  So it could be that emotions surrounding sex and romantic relations are particularly ‘tasty’ to predators, or easy to access/provoke. I don’t know.

I also am of the opinion that this strategy is not limited to humans in living bodies. I don’t see why non-human entities couldn’t learn and use these same techniques in order to ‘farm subtle energy’. I don’t have any personal experience with this, but any number of ‘alien’ or ‘demonic encounters’ could be viewed from this perspective. At the same time, attacks attributed to ‘aliens’ or ‘demons’ could be perpetrated by out of body humans, consciously or nonconsciously. Again, Dion Fortune’s “Psychic Self Defense” outlines a sensible, comprehensive plan for investigating these experiences and providing relief to the victim.

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