Discussion Forum Discussion Forum

Toggle
Demons
Answer
12/29/15 7:05 AM
It seems that there is a strong consensus between the magick traditions that demons are more or less real or real enough to "fuck you up" as Alan Chapman put it in his book Advance Magick. What I can't seem to figure out is the why and how. 

I'm planning on doing a 5 day fire kasina home retreat once I hit my review phase which should be any day now. So I'm preparing for everything as I work best when I am confident in my practice and confident in my ability to handle anything that comes up.

I am not confident yet when it comes to demons or mean spiritted spirits and to honest a bit fearful. 

Growing up in a fundamentalist Christian cult, demons where a large part of teachings to scare the shit out of us from leaving the cult as they were the ONLY ones who could protect you from them. I was taught that demons can both physically and mentally damage you pernamentally. I find it ironic, weird and laughable that after 7 years of being a pretty hardcore atheist im here talking about demons. 

1. Can demons hurt you physically or is it 100% mentally?

2. Does having lower attainements of awakening (Like Stream Entry & 2nd path) prevent (fully or to some extent) a demon from really screwing with you?

3. What do you do if you are confronted with one? Observe it? Immediately get rid of it? Talk to it?

4. How do you get rid of a demon?

I do know of banishing rituals and spells but I have no confidence in my ability to perform them. Don't take these words the wrong way as I understand the basic principle of magick (intention and concentration) but I have tried magick a handful of times before with lots of intention, confidence but no luck. So while I am confident that it can be done I am not confident in my skills just yet to actually do it. 

I feel like I lack the basic knowledge or principals in this area and would love to get this cleared up so that I am prepared. Would love to hear any experiences and opinions on this matter.

RE: Demons
Answer
12/29/15 10:56 AM as a reply to Westthings.
I am not religious so I will define "demons" as strongly malevolent entities.  My personal opinion is I do think they exist, there within the spectrum of all kinds of both good and bad leaning consciousnesses, not a ton of them but a few times I encountered them, yes I think that there are some that wish to screw with anyone they can screw with.  THe thing is, if they truly had such great power, then I think we'd see a lot more signs of it.  What I think and it has been my experience is they have the powers similar to a very sneaky used car salesman.  They try to get your attention, appeal to your dark side, convince you of their power, etc.  You will notice they always start with the attempt at convincing you of their power and trying to cajole you into listening.  If they really had power, they would not need to wast time convincing you of it, they could just use it.  But I don't think they have any real power other than skills at convincing and manipulating.  If you don't listen, if you don't fall for the lies, if you don't let them manipulate you through fear, then they have no power over you.  Their power and skill is to try to manipulate others, and then what happens after that is actually all your doing, you may think it's the "demon" but it's just your power being used against you.  That's why they always have to get their clutches into someone slowly bit by bit via gradually increased convincing, they do not have the power to take anything by force, they can only try to convince.  I've seen a few nasties in my astral travels and some seemed very powerful, but I was always able to just sort of mentally have an attitude of 'tell it to the hand' and went about my way unscathed. And one time I just left the area.  The malevolent force will likely just go on looking till it finds a victim that will listen.  

All the spells and all that, IMO they serve only to boost your feelings of protection and confidence but  you can boost your feelings of protection and confidence without the spells and it will have the same effect.  The spells and rituals and this and that are just crutches for your mind to focus more but it's better if you can just have the confidence without the crutches.  IMO, the tricky thing about "demons" is they can only hurt you if you really think they can hurt you, if you let them convince you they can hurt you.  So they always start out with trying to convince you they can hurt you.  But once you know they can't, then they can't, the stronger your conviction they can't, the quicker they are deflected.  Fear is a weakness that can sometimes but used against you, especially if you let it go to far.  You see a lot of that in every day life as well, politicians, advertisers, etc, trying to use fear to convince you to take actions that they want from you.  Fear is the mind killer, not the "demon."  ;-P 

I also suspect in the Magick community, there are some humans that try to use the same methods, trying to make you fearful, then making themselves out as the only ones that can save you, thus if it works then you give some of your power over to them and they have more followers.  You see the power of this method in the hypnosis community, the power of convincing is amazing, you can do all kinds of amazing feats if someone can convince you deep inside that you can.  But the hypnotist does not give anyone the power to be stretched across 2 chairs or channel Opra Winfrey, it was always the power of the doer, the hypnotist only is able in some people to convince them they can by suspending the usual doubts. Hence IMo the power to convince is maybe the ultimate power but also something you as an individual can always deflect if you keep your mind sharp.    
-Eva

(edited for syntax)

RE: Demons
Answer
12/29/15 12:58 PM as a reply to Westthings.
I did a fire kasina home retreat with varying degrees of strictness (I'd go out for walks, kung fu class and use the internet for a few hours a day) in late October and early November. I also generally did a two hour qigong set on most days. Staring at the candle for 4 to 8 hours a day was great for my concentration. I'd recommend it to anyone.

Nothing spirit-related happened. No demons, and no angels. My practice doesn't involve any sort of spirit evocation or invocation (I did spent a few minutes a day chanting the 21 praises of Tara to create auspicious circumstances and to cool down from the candle staring, but let's say that it doesn't really count as ceremonial magic). I do believe in spirit stuff from having done Tibetan Buddhist practice years ago, but my current practice has nothing to do with it. If you're not a ceremonial magician of some sort, and I gather from the description that you're not, I don't think there's much to be worried about.

Are you bringing up the subject because of the magical stuff that's mentioned on the recordings on firekasina.org?

Also, if you're going to be worried about something, it should be your lungs and your eyes. I suggest that you get a really good candle that doesn't put out smoke when burning. It's unavoidable to get tiny amounts of smoke from the wick, it's definitely avoidable to get it from the wax if you get a 100% beeswax candle.

Also, make sure not to strain your eyes and regularly close them to stare at the closed-eye imagery (I didn't get a lot of it and mostly had eyes open) to rest your eyes.

RE: Demons
Answer
12/30/15 11:32 PM as a reply to Eva Nie.
Thanks for that Eva. 

I have been in mind states before that were nothing short of absolute hell and I have wondered if the fears and negative attached mind states is something they would use against you. This is why I was thinking that if you have some attainment of awakening and have a stable calm mind then it would be harder to use you against yourself.

I haven't been to the astral plane and have no concept of what that is like. Any tips for when I get there?

RE: Demons
Answer
12/29/15 1:43 PM as a reply to Jigme Sengye.
Jigme Sengye:

Are you bringing up the subject because of the magical stuff that's mentioned on the recordings on firekasina.org?



I have listened to all the information from Daniels experiment. That didn't worry me specifically. I just know that if you are hanging out in the formless realms that sooner or later you will run into these entities and I just want to be prepared.

Thank you for the tips!

RE: Demons
Answer
12/29/15 8:47 PM as a reply to Westthings.
Darrek:
Thanks for that Eva. 

I have been in mind states before that were nothing short of absolute hell and I have wondered if the fears and negative attached mind states is something they would use against you. This is why I was thinking that if you have some attainment of awakening and have a stable calem mind then it would be harder to use you against yourself.
Sounds right to me.  I don't claim to be an expert, just talking about what I've seen and observe around me and what has worked for me.  Yes, in the astral, IME, things are amplified, your fears, your joys, etc.  It's like being a little kid, can be harder to focus cause you are easily distracted.  And fear can spiral faster than normal is seems so I think a lot of it is learning to keep your cool. 

I haven't been to the astral plane and have no concept of what that is like. Any tips for when I get there?
Astral travel is a lot like dreaming except you realize you are in the dream.  Lucid dreaming is a good place to practice.  I think most astral travelers early on will  have a time when they experience their own fears kind of manifested, like maybe sleep paralysis terrors, some kind of old hag phenomenon, etc.  It's something you'll just have to a handle on, the unknown can generate fear and that fear will have to be dealt with.  But when you astral travel kind of further away from self, instead of just regular dreams, IMO it seems what you see is not so much created/influence by yourself.  You didn't invent all you see anymore.  But some of it or a lot of it is very very hard to interpret and understand with the regular conscious mind and some of it you will still find yourself creating or comparing to human based stuff to try to find a common ground of understanding.  But some of it, it's like if there is a reality that is not based on vision or on sound or on any of my usual senses, then it's very hard to understand.  Also consider your own perceptions may diverge from standard Earth habits, you don't need to stay in human from, you can be a ghostly blob or just a point of awareness.  Vision is no longer constrained by the sides of your face so you can see a wider range of angles or even 360 degrees at once (which I find very confusing and hard to process when it gets that wide).  Your vision can be MUCH better than 20-20, color perception way better, etc.  Only your imagination and ability to comprehend limits perceptive ability.

A lot of that stuff, I don't really fathom much of it really, it's just too weird.  Most consciousnesses I find are neither angels nor devils types, a lot are in the middle with both good and bad mental habits like many humans are.  Except, at least for myself, I find it very easy to know all they are thinking and what they are like immediately for many of them, like there are less secrets, much of the chitchat is more like telepathic style (obviously you don't have a mouth or air out there anyway!).  Some of them do seem to have a stealth mode though where they are able to sort of not be noticed by me much, they kind of watch only it seems.  Not sure if those are guides keeping an eye on me or what really, just sometimes I realize someone was watching me the whole time but yet I didn't really take note of it at the time.   Once I did manage to notice one and ask some stuff but did not get much info out of them.  One time one of them even said he was not allowed to tell me!  Seems like one can really easily get a sense if something is of good intentions, bad intentions, or more neutral though, so you generally have a good sense of what you are dealing with generally.  

Astral travel can be a lot like watching a really weird tv show where very little of it makes sense, the plot is all garbled, the guy writing it was high on drugs, the characters constantly change, and your hearing suddenly turns bad.  Plus it's like you are also on drugs, normal Earth brain function does not work wel and  you are kind of running in right brain mode instead of left brain. A lot of it, I don't really understand.  For that which I do understand, there can be a lot that does not match up at all with Earth morals, for example if you had a chitchat with an amoeba type thing, it's probably not going to understand a sermon on vegetarianism and you might find its lifecycle rather shocking.  The more Earth assumptions you carry around, the more that's probably going to limit you in many ways.  Strong emotion seems to often end an experience rather quickly.   

I also think it's all very related to dreams.  Humans like to think dreams have no meaning or are just stupid things and then that astral travel is some special amazing thing elevated on a pedestal  (which IMO is a wrong attitude).  But IME, astral travel is in our nature and we all do it just as we all dream and the line between them is fuzzy.  The trick is to get your conscious mind to be open and in control enough to allow it to happen and allow yourself to remember.  Astral travel is natural to us.  What  is not natural and blocks it is our own fears, assumptions, etc.  So those have to let go, once you do that, astral travel happens naturally.   But you could just as easily write it all off as some super freaky garbled weird dreams and/or hallucinations.  A lot depends on your world view of what is possible in this world.  Freaky dreams and hallucinations or astral travel, how do you know the difference?
-Eva      

RE: Demons
Answer
12/30/15 3:12 AM as a reply to Westthings.
Demons: it is a very strange topic. Your belief system is about as important as anything when dealing with them, so modifying it to a paradigm in which you are ok and your practice will be ok is a good initial defense. Dedicating your practice to the benefit and awakening of all beings formally at the beginning of each practice period will serve as solid defense against many bad things.

Point A: it is unlikely you will run into entities in 5 days.

However, if you do, try the following:

1) Metta Practice: this was traditionally recommended by the Buddha and first taught by him when some demons were harrassing some monks who were meditating in a forest. Start with metta practice for yourself, then turn it to the demon. It will very likely either go away or transform into something benevolent. When dreaming and I encounter malevolent entities, I am sometimes able to remember to do this, and they cannot touch me, sliding through me like ghosts, as the metta energy and their anti-metta energy are on different spiritual planes, it seems.

2) A simple, universally-recognized, potent, well-established, certified, magickal banishing ritual that anyone can perform and many have already practiced to a level of competence: Give them the finger. Tell them to fuck off. Go back to your practice. Establishing reasonable boundaries with entities is considered healthy in this business, and this establishes reasonable boundaries in unambiguous terms that demons will understand.

3) Blast them to pieces with extremely rapid-fire investigation and noting. A story in the Udana tells of a mighty monk who was whomped hard on the head by a passing demon, but, as the monk was a potent practitioner, he felt only a slight headache, and the demon felt his hand burning horribly. This is called protection through good practice. So, practice well: strong concentration is a torch that can bring light or cut: once your concentration is strong, keep it on track, and it will protect you.

4) Ignore them and tune to something else.

Point B: Demons can be viewed through "sacred vision", in which you view them as enlightened wisdom forms trying to show you something about the true nature of mind and your own defilements. In this way: if the demon is angry, threatening, frightening, coercive, assume this is an aspect of wisdom teachings trying to show you something skillful about yourself, thus giving you an opportunity to recognize something true and useful.

Point C: If you really start getting into whacky demonic stuff, and somehow those above things are not working and you are starting to get nervous or worse, immediately stop practicing, hang out around sane people, and let a more advanced practitioner who knows this territory well know what is going on. This is not "We are the ONLY ones who can save you", this is just getting sensible help from friends who can help. It is very unlikely that you will have to use this advice, but it is worth mentioning anyway, for, as the occasional emails testify, people can get into weird territory that benefits from the advice of sane friends and occasionaly mental health workers skilled in crisis stabilization.

RE: Demons
Answer
12/30/15 4:04 AM as a reply to Westthings.
What do you mean by "demons"? Do you see them as actual entities existing independently of yourself,  as manifestations of your own subconscious, or what?

I don't want to engage you in an ontological / theological / philosophical discussion on what they actually are, but your beliefs about it are crucial in determining how to deal with them.

Given your religious history, it might be useful to try and see them as a way to deal with your past conflicts and how your upbringing carries on in your mental and spiritual life despite your choices and current beliefs. If this sounds meaningful to you, approaching the thing also from a psychological point of view, instead of purely meditative / spiritual, might help.

Or, to put it differently, they might just be *your* demons. Own them as a part of yourself.

RE: Demons
Answer
12/30/15 8:27 PM as a reply to neko.
From my experience, both can happen, either you can experience malevolent entities or you can experience your own fears and insecurities projected.  The cure for both for me has been learning to get my fear under control.  It's kind of like you note the fear as an object and analyze it, just as you are taught in meditation.  It's just another formation, you can let it be a learning experience, just another formation. You don't actually need to be afraid of fear.  ;-P  Once your fear diminished and under control, then IME projections of scary stuff that were your own 'demons' will be seen as the hollow things they always were.  Once early on I felt much fear and saw these scary wolf type shapes, then I was able to get the fear under control and the wolves turned into just translucent shadows and I very much realized they had only been thought forms, forms created by my own fearful thoughts and mostly without substance.  So IMO the best is to control fear and IME those 'thought form' type of encounters are something one gets better at, once you kind of understand that lesson, then you typically don't have that prob much anymore and can quickly just see through to the truth.  Also, IME and i don't know if it is just me, but my own insecurites had initially been a lot more scary than any malevolent entities I later encountered, once i had kind of conquered to a decen extent that fear that was in me, the rest seemed easier.  So IME, it was my own demons that were the worst by far!  Anyway, any of these techniques like Daniel has said should also work, notice they all serve to make you feel more empowered and keep your emotions on even keel.  You are the captain of your ship always, whatever method you use to develop that attitude will work. 
[quote=
neko]What do you mean by "demons"? Do you see them as actual entities existing independently of yourself,  as manifestations of your own subconscious, or what?

I don't want to engage you in an ontological / theological / philosophical discussion on what they actually are, but your beliefs about it are crucial in determining how to deal with them.

Given your religious history, it might be useful to try and see them as a way to deal with your past conflicts and how your upbringing carries on in your mental and spiritual life despite your choices and current beliefs. If this sounds meaningful to you, approaching the thing also from a psychological point of view, instead of purely meditative / spiritual, might help.

Or, to put it differently, they might just be *your* demons. Own them as a part of yourself.

RE: Demons
Answer
12/30/15 11:39 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:


Point A: it is unlikely you will run into entities in 5 days.


Bummer!

Thanks for the solid tips Daniel. I'm sure I'll get there sooner or later. Maybe when you start up annual fire kasina retreats emoticon

RE: Demons
Answer
12/30/15 11:46 PM as a reply to neko.
neko:
What do you mean by "demons"? Do you see them as actual entities existing independently of yourself,  as manifestations of your own subconscious, or what?

I don't want to engage you in an ontological / theological / philosophical discussion on what they actually are, but your beliefs about it are crucial in determining how to deal with them.

Given your religious history, it might be useful to try and see them as a way to deal with your past conflicts and how your upbringing carries on in your mental and spiritual life despite your choices and current beliefs. If this sounds meaningful to you, approaching the thing also from a psychological point of view, instead of purely meditative / spiritual, might help.

Or, to put it differently, they might just be *your* demons. Own them as a part of yourself.
When I say demons I mean any formless being in any realm that means you harm. If I understand that a manifestation is just my personal fears then I am not fearful as I have been to hell and back already. After I hit Stream Entry all of my nasty stuff comepletly went away and never returned. "Tramatic" life events have come up since then and I blew through them like they were nothing. Its as if its impossible for me to suffer anyomre in the western sense of the word but I still have dukkha.

I have had many years of seperation from my upbrining and spent all of it on the complete opposite side of how I was raised being a "rational atheist". This plus the dharma has severed the link with my past beliefs. I bring up my old religion beause im in a place where I can actually ackowledge that they may have only gotten one thing right and that is demons exist. Everything else was bullshit.

RE: Demons
Answer
12/31/15 12:03 AM as a reply to Westthings.
[quote=
]
Even after you are able to have an insight into this fear of harmful entities, demons can come about. If they are really mean, the seriousness of the situation is nothing less of a situation when you meet a very aggressive person in the street who aims to stab you  and kill you. It can be very serious. All that "protect yourself with white light" and that soft stuff won't do then. In such situation you must stand your ground, not fight with them, not involve in the aggression, but defend yourself with a strong/unmovable mind, just like the mind of martial artist. In my exp, physical body is very handy in this. You know, just display and imitate the mind and body of a fighter but without the aggression. You can do some shouts like they do in many trads like zen, budo, chöd, dzogchen and so on. I recently watched a video of the maoris doing haka ritual. They display this same warrior spirit that is not destructive. It is just a demonstration of your awareness, selfless power and fearlessness, that you have balls and won't be screwed with.
So yeah, to see images of demons or something like that is one thing but to come across one and get attacked by one is a completely other situation. with the intention of those Zen masters.

This was helpful, thanks! I go watch those videos...

I like RPG games and that shouting reminded me of the game Skyrim where Dragonborne humans have these "shouts" that command certain powers. Maybe Ill just shout "Fus Ro Dah" with the intention of those Zen masters.-source:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2lrT7kb5wo

RE: Demons
Answer
12/30/15 11:55 PM as a reply to Eva Nie.
Eva M Nie:
From my experience, both can happen, either you can experience malevolent entities or you can experience your own fears and insecurities projected.  The cure for both for me has been learning to get my fear under control.  It's kind of like you note the fear as an object and analyze it, just as you are taught in meditation.  It's just another formation, you can let it be a learning experience, just another formation. You don't actually need to be afraid of fear.  ;-P  Once your fear diminished and under control, then IME projections of scary stuff that were your own 'demons' will be seen as the hollow things they always were.  Once early on I felt much fear and saw these scary wolf type shapes, then I was able to get the fear under control and the wolves turned into just translucent shadows and I very much realized they had only been thought forms, forms created by my own fearful thoughts and mostly without substance.  So IMO the best is to control fear and IME those 'thought form' type of encounters are something one gets better at, once you kind of understand that lesson, then you typically don't have that prob much anymore and can quickly just see through to the truth.  Also, IME and i don't know if it is just me, but my own insecurites had initially been a lot more scary than any malevolent entities I later encountered, once i had kind of conquered to a decen extent that fear that was in me, the rest seemed easier.  So IME, it was my own demons that were the worst by far!  Anyway, any of these techniques like Daniel has said should also work, notice they all serve to make you feel more empowered and keep your emotions on even keel.  You are the captain of your ship always, whatever method you use to develop that attitude will work. 
[quote=
neko]What do you mean by "demons"? Do you see them as actual entities existing independently of yourself,  as manifestations of your own subconscious, or what?

I don't want to engage you in an ontological / theological / philosophical discussion on what they actually are, but your beliefs about it are crucial in determining how to deal with them.

Given your religious history, it might be useful to try and see them as a way to deal with your past conflicts and how your upbringing carries on in your mental and spiritual life despite your choices and current beliefs. If this sounds meaningful to you, approaching the thing also from a psychological point of view, instead of purely meditative / spiritual, might help.

Or, to put it differently, they might just be *your* demons. Own them as a part of yourself.


I think I am slighty confused (or maybe not). It seems like there are a few types of demons. I understand that in some realms fear manifests itsself but as you say its just like fear when meditating and that there isn't anything to it really. I am not that concenrened with this and more concered with actualy entities that are nt made up of fear but are there and "real" reguardless if you are afraid or not.

RE: Demons
Answer
12/31/15 5:08 AM as a reply to Westthings.
Darrek:

I think I am slighty confused (or maybe not). It seems like there are a few types of demons. I understand that in some realms fear manifests itsself but as you say its just like fear when meditating and that there isn't anything to it really. I am not that concenrened with this and more concered with actualy entities that are nt made up of fear but are there and "real" reguardless if you are afraid or not.
I think you kind of got it, the thing is that 'in some realms' what happens is not exactly like in meditation style fear.  When meditating, the fear tends to feel like it's you are coming at you, maybe you recognize it as 'not you' but you do immediately recognize it as something of manufacture related to you and your body.  What sometimes happens in OBEs is that your emotions can get projected into something that has a kind of the appearance of physical form and appearance such that you are looking at it and can get fooled into thinking it is an outside entity or object.  In OBE lingo, they call those 'thought forms' because they are formed of your own thoughts and emotions.  If you are able to keep calm, you can soon learn to identify these fairly quickly. 

WHat I notice is that first, I will have always had a thought or emotion first, and then the thing will have shown up.  Like one time, I felt a considerable amount of fear, and then I saw some nasty scary looking wolves.  It was easy to at first thing I felt fear because of the wolves, but the truth is the wolves were just thought forms caused by my fear and once I had my fear under control, the wolves were easily seen as the empty shadows they aways were, they had very little substance, they were like a projection on a screen projected by my own emotion, once my emotion was under control, I could see through to their fakeness easily. 

Any kind of strong emotion, thought, or desire can manifest as a thought form.  Over time, I've gotten fairly good at recognizing them though, but at first that was not so much the case.  To me personally, they look real at first for a sec or two but then as I start to see through the facade they take on a very fake plastic look as if they are blow up dolls.  They have no ability to speak much or contribute anything and they have no sense of presence as a separate entity.  Generally they feel very  boring and lifeless, as first they may appear as something of interest but then on inspection, I realize they are just fake and empty.  It's kinda like if someone sneakily put a card board cut out of a burgler in my window, I might be scared to heck at first, then see that it's not moving in a normal fashion, does not appear quite real, etc. Or maybe they put a cardboard cut out of a beautiful bird in my window and it looks pretty for a second or two, but on inspection, it's much less interesting or beautiful than a real bird and does not have the depth and feel of a real thing.  Or I've heard that men may often see a thought form of a pretty female for instance, due to desires for the same.  Any thoughts and emotions can turn into thought forms, but fear is the one that causes a lot of angst for obvious reasons.   IMO, sleep paralysis fears and old hag phenomenon are typically a kind of fear induced thought form problem.   From what I've heard and experienced, the thought form fear issues are often something that comes up fairly early in one's astral projection ventures and are fairly common, but not every single person will have that problem either.  So when I say 'your own demons' I mean these kind of thought forms don't really exist outside of what we typically call 'you,' they are just a projections of your thoughts and emotions, commonly referred to as 'thought forms' in the OBE lingo.  Seeing these seems to be very common for OBEers and is IMO the more likely cause of most OBEers experience of something that was scary.  .   

And while I am not in any way claiming to know the layout of the other realms in any clear way, this kind of thought form thing does seem to happen when I am something like what I call 'closer to myself.'  There is a lot in the literature about ideas of having multiple layers of 'astral bodies' and realms and what not and while I can't claim expertise on all that, from what I've seen there does seem to be something to the idea that there are multiple layers of realms that  you can visit, some seeming to get further way from the usual conscious waking state.  I suspect dreaming state might be something like the next one over and then after that you have increasing levels of awareness and strangeness IME.  OBEers often using dreaming state as a launch point.  If you can get awareness during dreaming such that you are in a lucid dream, that's typically a whole ton easier to get to an OBE from than from sitting meditation. Another common way is to try for it as you are falling asleep or sometime early morning as you are waking up.  There are a bunch of specific techniques to induce OBEs, most of which have to do with tweaking sleep habits.  I've never done it from meditation state but I am also a super lazy meditator so that probably does not help much.  I sometimes see visions of stuff when meditating but have never for instance felt myself peel out of my body and stroll around the room in my astral body when meditating.

Anyway so back to the subject of 'demons.'  I do also think there are also separate entities that have their own existence that are malevolent in that their presence feels quite icky and bad  when you encounter them and it seems they start off right away trying to get my attention, appeal to any dark emotions or fears, etc.  These ones are different than thought forms.  These ones have a definite presence that seems outside of myself, they contribute thoughts and ideas that do not seem to generate from myself.  They seem to have a separate identity that I do not control.  So these would be a more classic type of 'demon,' apparently not generated by my own emotions and thoughts.  After experiencing both types, both thought forms and these more classic 'demons,' they seem very different to me right away now, the only commonality being they could both be associated with fear.  But when first dealing with thought forms, I think it's very very common to mistake them for 'demons' since you can feel tons of fear and see scary stuff when dealing with thought forms.  The tendency is if you feel fear and see something scary, people tend ot assume it's a demon type thing.  Daniel brings up a good point, the real 'demons' guys don't seem to be encountered often though, I think off hand maybe I can think of 3 times when I encountered one of any substance.   Most of the times, I just ignored and refused to listen and that worked great, one time I did feel scared so I just left the area quickly.  Not sure what was different about that one time but I got the sudden urge to bail and so I did.  The malevolent ones, I think they just try to prey on insecurities and dark urges but as long as you don't listen to their bs, they have no way to control you.  Their only chance is if you listen to them or believe anything they say so just don't.  ;-P  One thing that is great about the astral though is that IME, its very easy to tell if something has bad intent or not so these bad guys are easy to identify quickly at least.  They really reek of ickiness when you encounter them from what I have seen.  
-Eva      

RE: Demons
Answer
2/9/18 7:30 AM as a reply to Westthings.
According to Tibetan Buddhist texts, Demons are said to appear in later stages of Shamatha concentration practice. When the concentration is at a refined stage its as if the mind has unleashed previously hidden places. The light has reached dark corners where creatures lurk.

The best protection from them is to maintain a firm foundation of sila at all times. It is only through your own greed, anger etc that they can get any hold on you at all. And to be actively working on quelling your greed and anger is good enough, as its almost impossible to be completely free from unwholesome mental factors.
Obviously avoid panicking if you notice new demonic forms appearing in public places and stuff. 

I see them as guardians of the higher realms rather than malevolent beings out to do harm. Its like their presence says "if you can't handle us, then you ain't ready for the higher/more evolved states".
As long as you have a healthy sense of morality and aren't out with evil intent, you needn't worry about demons. (In my opinion)