The Tibetan Buddhist tradition contains a panoply of demonic images that project anger and force. Wrathful Buddhas sit wreathed in flame, indifferent to the changing conditions of the world. Beings with tusks and other bestial traits reject attachment to beauty. In the Tantric framing the awakened mind has been freed from the distractions of attachment and desire. When focused the awakened mind focuses completely, embraces emotions indiscriminately, and channels force precisely. Wreathes of flame represent ever-changing phenomena and the awakened mind’s detachment from it while remaining within it.

Meditation focused on mandalas and other intricate images feature in all Tibetan Buddhist lineages. Vivid images invite close inspection and the long gaze required to cultivate mindfulness. Demonic images may be jarring at first but found soothing or comforting after long exposure and a different perspective. Working with the images and the Buddhist concepts they represent serve as powerful teaching tools.