Anyone find any use for it on your path? If so, what is your experience with it? Has it ever aided in advancing your understanding or getting you unstuck?
I was on the fence for a long time, but I believe I see value in it. I think, once one gets used to the challenges it presents to continuity of attention, it can actually shift things into hyper focus. I really dislike smoking, but I find it to deliver the most useful effect. I don’t find frequent use to be beneficial, but maybe once or twice a month seems about right to me.
My practice has been to smoke on a weekend night when everything else is out of the way. What I experience, I would say, is basically an hour and a half to two hour period of intense mind/self exploration. On a good night, it seems to me, to be pure mindfulness, with a laser focus. So, it’s not meditation in which the mind becomes quiet and still. At least I have not taken it in this direction. But there are times when I sit utterly dumbfounded at mind’s display. There are also deep insights into the nature of existence that I believe I have experienced.
I have one major experience with mushrooms and a couple at micro doses. The major experience is now too far back in time for me to compare it, although I am interested in doing mushrooms again.
For a long time there was a voice in the back of my head saying this is not the right path, just a seeking for mental amusements. I think I am beyond this uncertainty at this point now though. I believe such substances do not factor into the primary Buddhists traditions, but I think that with the growing mingling of these traditions with the modern western sciences, western science is and will be taking up the question, and it is going to be pursued exhaustively, to say the least.
I would appreciate hearing other’s opinions and experience.
Yes I know what you are talking about. It can be mildly psychedelic and give one lots of creative insights. It can be helpful to journal about the flow of insights and ideas that can come. Then read it later in a sober state of mind and decide which of these ideas is useful. But yes to only occasional use. For some people it can be addictive and too much use also interferes with dreaming. The Buddhist path discourages the use of intoxicants, but “Ganja” is used by some Shaivite Yogis and some Sufi sects.
This is a question I have wondered about. I’ve seen it mentioned plenty of times. But I have also seen a distinction made for intoxicants that make the mind heedless. There is, I think, an enormous difference in terms of the possible intent with which individuals use psychedelics, whether the minor or major hallucinogens. I think heedless is the polar opposite of what I experience.
My assumption is that the farther along one goes on the path, the less interest in such substances one will have. But, even Ponlop Rinpoche said psychedelics can ‘give a taste’ of liberation. I agree that weed interferes with dreaming though, even a little in my experience, which is why I am laying off for a while.
In my state it’s legal and I have a Medical Marijuana card, enabling me to buy at a discount and avoid state and city taxes. I don’t smoke so I usually buy CBD and CBD/THC tinctures and salves which are great for alleviating pains, but usually offer little or no psychedelic effects, though very relaxing. Some edibles and drinks seem to be great for alleviating pain as well. However, sometimes, one product or another can produce a mild journey effect, which is not unpleasant, but not something that I regularly experience. I can see gaps and some separation as the world slows down, but they have little or no effect on lucid dreaming. However, occasionally, I will see an uptick in liminal dreamscapes, which is also pleasant, but not really something I plan for.
I still am not sure how to see the use of it. On the one hand is perhaps, a delusional westerner not able or willing to commit to more intensive practice, maybe seeking short cuts. On the other, I don’t think anyone advocates against expedience, but is it such? Am I missing the point by seeking mind experience, when the path is to see through the mind experience and realize the nature of mind? I think I do seek the mind experience initially, but then I move on to a deeper view.
The story I tell is that I am not in a position to travel to Tibet and sit in a cave and not even to have the luxury of a week long retreat. Am I just making excuses and resisting more commitment? Alan Wallace talks about states achieved after thousands of hours of meditation. Here I am doing an hour a day at soon to be 59.
I dunno. There’s lots I dunno. Oh well. I think part of the confusion stems from the stigma of drugs in general and how they are most commonly used and abused. Where drugs are concerned, I can say with complete honesty, I haven’t a trace of compulsion or addictive tendencies. If anything, I have to overcome a basic aversion every time. I do feel the motivation is 100% the same seeking that is the motivation for meditation and the rest of the path and practice. I suppose the bottom line is that I will not trouble over it. In any case, I believe I will generally find myself doing what seems to lie in the direction of wisdom, understanding and truth.
Alcohol is definitely a drug that makes the mind heedless. Yes some of the Zen Masters like their saki, and Chogrum Trumgkpa’s use of alcohol is well known. I met him briefly in the 80’s when I was involved with the Shambhala program and he showed up as drunk as a skunk! Yet me make a big deal about his early hippie followers getting off the weed. Doesn’t seem that consistent.
I experimented later with it than most of my firends and peers, whomwere dabbling in high school and middle school.
Absolutely! Though there are many major cons, one of the biggest pros of it was helping my mind get ‘unstuck’ or liberated from the conditioned patterns of mind I had accumulated.
A semi poor anology would be unplugging your computer when it is freezing up. You may lose some important files and documents that were not saved to the hard drive though…
between the 2, THC or shrooms, my personal preference is for the later. Shrooms offer a little more euphoria and less paranoia, but formsome people they can upset their stomach. Also I think they may stimulate dreams, but I cant tell you that for sure. I have only microdosed 3 times, never anything major.
The one thing hate about smoking at night is it will keep me awake and mess with my sleep.
Love to do yoga with it. I feel like it can help you focus on areas in the body where there is pain and tension, but have been buried over or clouded over by the mind. The enhancement of internal physical awareness is one of its greatest strengths in my opinion.
I think it can be a double edged sword for meditation, but I have not practiced with the 2 together very often. On the one hand it really helps you slip into a relaxed state very quickly. However, on the other, if you start thinking about food or sex, it can disrupt or even end the meditation pretty quickly…
The creativity that arises is very beneficial. I also like how it affects the imagination.
Its best to avoid if you are in a negative state of mind, or if you have an addictive personality. I feel that most abused drugs can have a nasty side effect of amplifying the users state of mind (on all the conscious, subconscious, and unconscious levels).
Meditating on cannabis can be a challenge as it can make the mind very active. On the other hand, if you can just stay in the Witness mode and watch the mind then it can be illuminating. Also the mind can get very creative and sometimes useful and interesting insights can arise. Sometimes I just have to grab my journal and write down the downloads, but that can also be distracting if you’re trying to stay focused on the meditation. It’s kind of like mental training with weights on! LOL
I think that is the smartest way to do it, smoking it brings some nasty consequences (tar on the lungs, bronchitis, lung cancer, throat cancer, bad coughing, etc). Nothing is more counter productive than wanting to relax and destress, only to puff a hit, and have a 1-2min coughing spell that throws your system out of wack. No bueno.
That is a good point about the witness mode. I have been trying to work on this in meditation. Something as simple as just “witnessing the breath” and not consciously telling the body to breath is not easy for me. Got to keep practicing.