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Hungry Ghost

The hungry ghost is a metaphor used in addiction recovery, borrowed from Asian spiritual traditions. The image is a being with a large empty belly and a tiny, skinny neck. This being is eternally hungry, because no nourishment can get inside. For emotional eaters, the metaphor describes the desire to eat, even though there is no physical hunger. The hunger is vague, a tension in the body that may not even feel emotional. And while the tension is persistent, it's hard to connect with a specific feeling or event.

In this guided visualization, you will connect to your hungry ghost, gently offering opening and spaciousness to the tight or tense places. This makes room for the emotion to come so that it can be expressed and then dissipate, as all feelings do.

If you can listen to this podcast when you are having the empty ghost feeling, you may find it effective at relieving the desire to eat. You may also find it easier to understand what the tension in your body is really trying to tell you.