Chöd is an ancient and powerful spiritual practice performed by monks and nuns, laymen and laywomen, and is common to both Tibetan Bön and Buddhist schools. Chöd is known as a very powerful practice used to develop generosity towards others and to achieve liberation from self-grasping. The word chöd translated literally means “to cut through”. Chöd is generally recognized to be a Tantric practice and in the Bön tradition is rooted in the Ma Gyü (Mother Tantra) teachings.
The chöd practitioner visualizes the giving or sacrifice of his/her own body to the gods and demons as a way to cut the attachment to the ego and to ordinary reality. The underlying purpose of chöd practice is to transform one’s fear into the path of liberation, so the chöd practitioner actively seeks out fearful experiences in order to transform himself/herself by overcoming the fearful experience through surrender of the ego. Chöd practice is used to develop and to connect to one’s inner wisdom while cutting away the four fears or demons that are at the root of samsara (the causes of suffering) which are:
grasping or clinging by the ego
attachment to the physical body and to the five aggregates (form, feelings, perceptions, mental thoughts, and consciousness)
negative emotions and habits…….