Meditation Forum

Vipassana Meditation Forum => Under The Banyan Tree => Topic started by: Patterns on March 14, 2017, 03:11:27 PM

Title: Segueing Microdosing into Meditation Practice?
Post by: Patterns on March 14, 2017, 03:11:27 PM
Hello everyone! Long time listener, first time caller.

I'm writing this with the intention of seeking additional methods for integrating a consistent meditation practice into my daily life. I'm 25, and began exploring meditation when I was 15. I had my first psychedelic experience when I was 19. It was during my first 10 day Vipassana meditation retreat 3 years ago that I experienced a deep peace and awareness similar to my experiences with LSD and Psilocybin, however after returning home my practice wavered. Some months I'd meditate an hour a day, many more I'd simply think about meditating. I decided to attend a second 10 day retreat to help rekindle momentum for my practice, and yet again after returning home last week again I am finding it difficult to integrate it back into my daily life.

I am taking general advice for this (creating a designated area/time, tying it to other routines, eating healthier, etc.) but want to also keep an open mind to other unorthodox means of supporting this journey. I understand this may be controversial, so I seek your wisdom.

As some have put, I see psychedelic trips as brief helicopter visits up to the top of the mountain, whereas meditation is the perpetual journey walking up to the top. From my current limited understanding and experience, the long term benefits from meditation are gained through integrated long term practice in daily life. If intensive retreats serve to give periodic boosts of insight, how similar are they to the helicopter rides of psychedelic trips? At this point, I feel like I have "gotten the message", and have no interest in a full-dose trip.

However, perhaps due to my past experience with microdosing (only a handful of occasions), I still have a lingering curiosity for its utility. My question is, could regular microdosing on a psychedelic (James Fadiman protocol with LSD) aid the establishment and initial growth for a dedicated meditation practice, or is this just an illusion? If accepting the helicopter analogy for trips, would microdoses effectively be like taking regular "lookouts" several steps ahead on the path? Or would even microdosing past a certain point be a distraction? In most testimonials I've read, those introduced to meditation through psychedelics eventually move on to meditation and leave psychedelics for good. Would microdosing help a smoother transition?

I don't want to hastily jump into anything without consulting people who have already experienced this and are farther along the path. My other thought is, should I be less concerned about the destination and more concerned about the embracing the difficulty of this stage in the journey. Is my seeking ways to "jump start" my practice my own craving towards a desired goal? Alternatively, I'm considering serving at a retreat soon, or even becoming a full-time server for a few months... Thank you for reading this with an open mind and forgive my ignorance if it is obvious. Any insight you can is share is much appreciated :)
Title: Re: Segueing Microdosing into Meditation Practice?
Post by: Vivek on March 14, 2017, 03:20:34 PM
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My question is, could regular microdosing on a psychedelic (James Fadiman protocol with LSD) aid the establishment and initial growth for a dedicated meditation practice, or is this just an illusion?
From a strictly Buddhist practice perspective, no. If your objective of meditative practice is alleviation of suffering through the clear comprehension of anicca, dukkha and anatta, then such things will not be of any help.
Title: Re: Segueing Microdosing into Meditation Practice?
Post by: Jsker on March 15, 2017, 02:21:18 AM
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My other thought is, should I be less concerned about the destination and more concerned about the embracing the difficulty of this stage in the journey. Is my seeking ways to "jump start" my practice my own craving towards a desired goal?

Hi Patterns, I reckon you've summed it up in the above statement.

That said, I appreciate the potential benefits of psychedelics, having had very positive (and a few negative) experience's in my youth, all of which were fundamental in the expansion of my world view (social, political, spiritual). For me psychoactive substances helped put me on the dhamma train, though I suspect continued use might keep me coming back to the same old station. I still smoke a bit of pot and drink alcohol and i know these hold me back!  8) ::)

Peace
Title: Re: Segueing Microdosing into Meditation Practice?
Post by: stillpointdancer on March 15, 2017, 11:09:54 AM
I met a number of people at the Buddhist center who got started in meditation because they took drugs. There's also the possibility of shamanistic-type activities using natural psychoactive plants, as in the shamanic tourist industry that has recently started up. My own experience is that I trained to teach Biology, so I'm not inclined to do down that route. I also found that I couldn't drink more than one or two drinks any more, as it meant I couldn't meditate properly for the next few days.

Eventually I developed meditations that gave me all the dopamine I could ever need, but of course that wasn't the answer either. Nothing beats sitting on the mat with a clear head, in a routine of practice that is designed to move you on.