When I was in second grade we had a special assembly. There was a fireman on the stage in the auditorium and I imagine he was giving us safety tips. But, the only thing I remember is his story about the mixer.
A girl came home after school and decided to surprise her mother, who was at work, by making a cake. The girl didn’t know that the cake mixer was damaged and when she plugged it in and started to beat the batter she was electrocuted and died. As a kid I wasn’t sure what the lesson was. Never make a cake without asking your mother first? If you use an electric mixer you can die? Don’t make a cake for your mother? What ever the lesson, what I took from it, was that every time I’ve used a mixer I would think of that story. At first the fear of death was great, but after baking hundreds of cakes and cookies over my life time and not dying, the fear became less powerful. So that eventually, even though I still thought of the story, I no longer believed I would die from using a cake mixer.
This weekend, Jon and I went on a two day silent meditation. I used to imaging a silent meditation as being enveloped in peace for 2 days, but it’s not like that. It’s more like dredging the Hudson River down stream from General Electric. All those demons that have been hiding out since childhood start showing up.
The question is what to do with them when they arrive. I tried several different techniques. First I treated them like ghosts and asked them what they wanted. They didn’t have an answer, the demons were actually confused by the question and left me alone for the rest of that sitting. When they came back at the next sitting I had a vision, of a person sized bird throwing stars to my demons and floating them up to space expanding the universe. The last time they came, I welcomed them in for tea, then blessed them and let them go.
I don’t know if the demons every really go away, but like my fear of the mixer, they do seem to have less power the more I acknowledge them and let them go on their way. And even if they hang around, they’re not all that’s there. After all, every time I faced my fear of the mixer, I got a cake out of it.