Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Ever been pressed by ghosts in sleep?

I am posting this because someone I know is suffering from similar predicament.

Many years ago, before I became a Tibetan Buddhist, occasionally I would experience being pressed by something when in bed, especially so during the lunar 7th month of Hungry Ghosts. Although I was not afraid, but the something was pressing on and paralysing my body so that I could not move. My room seemed misty in the dark. I saw the light coming from the ON/OFF switch of my hi-fi, was somehow moving dancing around. I thought I was dreaming. But I was awake and trying to get up but could not. I would chant some Buddhist mantras and continued struggling to "free" myself. After a while, I was able to move again. This happened 2-3 times before and during the 7th month. I was not afraid of ghosts (if they were the ones disturbing me), I just did not want them bothering me. Thus I am glad nowadays I do not encounter such problems anymore. I feel strongly this is due to regular pujas, prayers, and I have blessed stuff to protect me. Most importantly, the Buddha's presence.

I read from another blog dedicating to Ksitigartha Bodhisattava 地藏王菩萨, the author had translated the original article to English below. Although I know of other methods (buddhist and non-buddhist) which may cure this symptom, this method is through Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva 地藏王菩萨, which I hope will help the person. Here is what he wrote:

Have you ever experienced being pressed by ghosts in sleep?


1. You wake up in the middle of your sleep
2. You are stationary and however you struggle you cannot move
3. You may open your eyes, look around but can't turn your head/neck
4. You open your mouth to scream but no voice comes out

Scientists argue that this is caused by pressure/stress before sleep or probably pressure on your chest during sleep or unconscious state of mind being unstable. Paranormal or Medical? You decide!

I believe in 鬼压床 because I often experienced this many years ago, continuously for years. The last time it came, I saw its appearance. It was a lady in red with long hair that floats in an anti-gravity manner. Then it never came back. I supposed I had offended her in my previous life, maybe I took her life. Another Catholic friend of mine saw an old male spirit with skin likened to a tree bark during her sleep.

So, if you are often dreaming of
1. ferocious ghosts/spirits
2. spirits of deceased family members
3. resentful ghosts pressing one's body in sleep
4. touring/floating around with spirits.

For people who are suffering from the above symptoms, you should read the Ksitigarbha Sutra respectfully once, in front of a bodhisattva statue the next morning. Dedicate the sutra recitation to Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva will prove very useful. The following night will be peaceful, he/she will not dream of spirits.

Ksitigarbha Sutra is available here - Mandarin version , Pinyin version, English version. The 28 benefits of Ksitigarbha Sutra are found here.

I have also read from Ksitigarbha Sutra that upon dedication of merits to the deceased, the deceased can only receive 1/8 of the merit. 7/8 of the merit will be received by the family members who chants the sutra or does the good deeds. From here we can see that it is a very difficult and a tedious process to transfer merits to the deceased (kind of like bank interests, yes?).

So the morale of this post is - Accumulate merits when you are STILL ALIVE!


  1. Wow! I've never heard of these pressuring ghosts. I'm glad that you haven't been bothered by them recently. Thank you for sharing the link to the Ksitigarbha blog. This Bodhisattva practice is still very new over in my part of the world.

  2. Hi TMC, oh it is quite common the pressuring ghosts, if I'm not wrong. However I know they wont hurt so I was not afraid.

    Although Ksitigarbha is not really a focus in Tibetan Buddhism, He is highly respected and very popular among Chinese Mahayana Buddhists in Asia. It is said that He took the vow that "If the hell is not yet empty, I vow not to become Buddha." He is so-called the "stand-in" for Shakyamuni Buddha (as instructed by Shakyamuni) during this transition period before the coming of Buddha Maitreya.

  3. I have been experiencing this since I was teenager... until now... but I'm not worried coz i believe it is cuased by some stress or something... some said there is 'spirit'... but I'm not sure...

    Usually when i have it now days, i just fight it or let it win for a while... :D

    And i do see things but it just the shadow around my room... :D

    But for sure we never know wat exactly they are... :P if there is something out there, i just hope they are good... and hopefully helps me too... :D

  4. Yeah they usually don't hurt, I think, unless you have harmed them. ;P

  5. just my contribution:
    1. Recite refuge before going to sleep
    2. Recite OM MANI PADME HUNG HRI when it happens and before you sleep.
    3. Recite OM AH HUNG 108 times before sleep.

    Three possible ways. Can choose...

    btw, i thought it is 1/7th of the merit go to the deceased. not 1/8th. Please check with sutra... i'm quite sure but not 100%.


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