About Spiritual CultivationBuddhism Your Questions Answered (171 FAQ)

Q&A 70. Foreign spirits occupying the body

11/04/2020 | About Spiritual Cultivation    
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Q: The well-respected Master Lu, now that we are reciting Buddhist sutras and mantras and cultivating our minds, we may have Buddha’s light within us. Would this easily attract foreign spirits to occupy our bodies?


  • It is easier for foreign spirits to occupy the body of a person who does not perform recitations. If we perform recitations and cultivate our minds, foreign spirits can only occupy our bodies under certain conditions.
  • It requires certain conditions and timing for foreign spirits to occupy our bodies.
    • These conditions are usually predestined from our past or present lives, or from events where we have shown disrespect to the spirits, or we have made inappropriate remarks and unintentionally offended the spirits (for example, saying something improper when we trip over).
    • When we perform recitations for our relatives and friends, it is possible for their foreign spirits to occupy our bodies. When we recite for other people, we often take on certain responsibilities, especially if we are reciting Little Houses for them. One way to prevent their spirits from occupying our bodies is to include the following prayer before we recite Little Houses, “May the Greatly Merciful and Greatly Compassionate Guan Yin Bodhisattva protect and bless me, <your full name>, I will recite <number of> Little Houses for <full name of your relative or friend>. May <Full name of your relative or friend>’s karmic creditor please ask <full name of your relative or friend> for the remaining Little Houses.”
    • When we try to convince relatives, friends, or non-believers to learn Buddhism or to perform recitations, if we handle the situation inappropriately, this may also cause spirits to occupy our bodies. Therefore, Master Lu teaches us to spiritually awaken ourselves and others. Help those who have an affinity with Buddha. It is best not to have prolonged conversations about Buddhism with people who clearly do not believe in Buddhism and tend to generate karma of speech. Generally, when we introduce Buddhism to someone or try to convince someone to perform recitations, it is best to keep the conversation to no more than one hour. If it takes more than one hour, then that person’s spirits may occupy our bodies.
  • People who perform recitations should avoid regular visits to cemeteries, funeral parlours and hospitals, or visiting severely ill patients. Cemeteries, funeral parlours and hospitals are places where spirits are active; severely ill patients generally have powerful foreign spirits occupying their bodies. Those who perform recitations have Buddha’s light within them; this can easily attract foreign spirits to occupy their bodies. This is similar to the scenario where a wealthy person encounters a group of beggars and is then surrounded by them asking for money. However, this is only temporary; it will not be long-lasting.
  • If you need to regularly visit cemeteries, funeral parlours and hospitals, or visit severely ill patients, then you should perform more recitations of the Great Compassion Mantra on a daily basis to enhance your spiritual power and accumulate more merits and virtues.
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