Author Topic: marijuana, meditation and awareness  (Read 17822 times)

Dharmic Tui

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Re: marijuana, meditation and awareness
« Reply #25 on: May 28, 2013, 06:55:36 PM »
  I was just talking about how our society repeats the "just say no" policy without questioning or investigating or knowing anything about the subject and demonizes these plants, and then these plants end up in the hands of criminal organizations.
That's a different subject entirely from trying to introduce drugs into insight meditation.
Shamans have known about meditation for thousands of years.
Shamans also sacrificed humans. Just because something is ancient doesn't necessarily make it "good".

Dharmic Tui

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Re: marijuana, meditation and awareness
« Reply #26 on: May 28, 2013, 07:00:45 PM »
I think the trick is to not think too hard on the subject, and go with what works for you.
The canon specifically talks against taking anything that alters your mind for a reason. You might be able to go places by taking drugs and sitting down (which I can attest to from anecdote), but that's not Vipassana, it's just taking drugs.
And I agree that the drugs topic is so skewed by propaganda and misinformation that it is hard for anyone to have an objective discussion about it.
That depends entirely on what aspect of drugs you're wanting to discuss.
War on drugs a failure? Check.
Marijuana isn't the worst drug for you, and less harmful than alcohol? Check.
It's a good idea to test the boundaries of Vipassana with drugs? It doesn't appear so.

Mpgkona

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Re: marijuana, meditation and awareness
« Reply #27 on: May 28, 2013, 10:20:18 PM »
There is nothing positive that can come out of meditating high, getting high after meditation, or getting high during meditation. In fact, doesnt the mere act of getting high imply that without it youre low? Drugs may be fun but that fun is fleeting until you need it again. Wouldnt it be better, and much cheaper and healthier to achieve lasting harmony without a drug? I dont know what meditation techniques are out there that where pot is a component, but with Vipassana it really has no place. Imho
When you change the way you look at things the things you look at change.

Dharmic Tui

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Re: marijuana, meditation and awareness
« Reply #28 on: May 28, 2013, 10:59:45 PM »
Intoxicants are a feature of many cultures and belief systems, but yes I would agree with you. I’ve consumed my fair share of drugs in my time, and through sober practice I’ve managed to reach states of mind and sensations which are more powerful and blissful than my drug experiences, are cheaper, and able to be improved upon over time – conversely with drugs, they have a diminishing effect over time.

I’m not in any way poo-pooing anyone’s choice to take drugs, merely pointing out the incompatibility with insight meditation and lasting mental evolution.

Mpgkona

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Re: marijuana, meditation and awareness
« Reply #29 on: May 28, 2013, 11:15:01 PM »
Im not poo-pooing it either. The best induced state i've ever been in while intoxicated was with mushrooms, along with years of weed abuse. I loved the couple handfulls of times i took shrooms. I felt perfect and at one with everything. But like you say Dharmic Tui, they are not compatible with meditation. I mastered in Cultural Anthropology and know all too well about how drugs have and do play an important part of many societies. But I dont romanticize it like other anthropologists do. For me, just because societies do it doesnt mean its beneficial to individuals. It may be one of many webs that holds the society together; however, those rituals have been around for probably centuries, and have been unaltered due their religious nature. Just because its ritual doesnt mean its good, healthy, or beneficial to individual happiness.
When you change the way you look at things the things you look at change.

lokariototal

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Re: marijuana, meditation and awareness
« Reply #30 on: May 29, 2013, 03:26:23 AM »
Im not poo-pooing it either. The best induced state i've ever been in while intoxicated was with mushrooms, along with years of weed abuse. I loved the couple handfulls of times i took shrooms. I felt perfect and at one with everything. But like you say Dharmic Tui, they are not compatible with meditation. I mastered in Cultural Anthropology and know all too well about how drugs have and do play an important part of many societies. But I dont romanticize it like other anthropologists do. For me, just because societies do it doesnt mean its beneficial to individuals. It may be one of many webs that holds the society together; however, those rituals have been around for probably centuries, and have been unaltered due their religious nature. Just because its ritual doesnt mean its good, healthy, or beneficial to individual happiness.

I got this from Wikipedia, I'm not sure how true it is, but ill put it here to make the discussion more interesting

"A 2005 paper published in Biological Psychiatry found that "...compared to Navajos with minimal substance use, the peyote group showed no significant deficits on the Rand Mental Health Inventory[12] (RMHI) or any neuropsychological measures...", and that they scored significantly better than non-users on the "general positive affect" and "psychological well-being" measures of the RMHI, a standard instrument used to diagnose psychological problems and determine overall mental health. By contrast, alcohol abusers did significantly worse than the control group (non-users) in all measures of the RMHI."

I think these plants can open doors for us that cannot be opened by anything else and these doors might be very imporant to understanding ourselves, so part of the message that I can see is that in order to save ourselves and the planet, we must also save nature (and that includes all plants). We are connected with these things, perhaps because we've used them for probably hundreds of thousands of years. So much so, that it is possible that these plants might have helped in our evolution, at least according to some theorists like Terence McKenna. He has a theory about how psychedelics might have catalyzed our evolution and imagination...

Terence McKenna - Evolución Psicodélica


It is also important to remember the fact that we have DMT (Dimethyltryptamine) in our brains, and DMT is a psychedelic (google it!). In other words, we have a psychedelic in our brains! And these molecule is present in almost ALL plants, and also in animals. As I said, it seems that our neurochemistry is somehow connected with these plants. 

Again, I think that we still have a lot more scientific research to do and we have to understand more about the brain.... but you've got to admit that the subject is at least interesting! haha...

Just my two cents, again.

lokariototal

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Re: marijuana, meditation and awareness
« Reply #31 on: May 29, 2013, 03:43:03 AM »
Intoxicants are a feature of many cultures and belief systems, but yes I would agree with you. I’ve consumed my fair share of drugs in my time, and through sober practice I’ve managed to reach states of mind and sensations which are more powerful and blissful than my drug experiences, are cheaper, and able to be improved upon over time – conversely with drugs, they have a diminishing effect over time.

I’m not in any way poo-pooing anyone’s choice to take drugs, merely pointing out the incompatibility with insight meditation and lasting mental evolution.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and opinions. Great discussion!

Re: marijuana, meditation and awareness
« Reply #32 on: May 29, 2013, 05:03:22 AM »
So you believe all the propaganda about drugs is taken in the wrong direction?
Well then as soon as a positive article about drug is introduced in front of you, can you see your mind clinging to it? It can be a false statement similar to the wrong research data which banned them in the beginning.

But as soon as its positive and agrees with your logic that mind created to safe guard your ego you like it, as soon as its wrong you say its fabricated and wrong.

So i would suggest stop anymore time on this topic because if you could have unlocked states mixing vipassana and the drugs you would have by now. Haven't you and all of us and rest of the world tried them enough? where is the result?

Here is my view on the current world: Why do you think govt. is allowing this fight for legalization of weed after all these years? is it because more people are supporting it? no, there is no way the fight is anywhere near comparable to 60s. Govt. dont care about all that. It wants to legalize it now because it wants all of us to forget all world problems that are currently there and forget all the true knowledge about their actions that we acquire through internet and get high and remain in peace. If that's the definition of peace for you go ahead find your own peace when all others are suffering. We cant do that.  :D
« Last Edit: May 29, 2013, 08:44:37 AM by siddharthgode »

Dharmic Tui

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Re: marijuana, meditation and awareness
« Reply #33 on: May 29, 2013, 08:03:09 PM »
It is also important to remember the fact that we have DMT (Dimethyltryptamine) in our brains, and DMT is a psychedelic (google it!). In other words, we have a psychedelic in our brains! And these molecule is present in almost ALL plants, and also in animals. As I said, it seems that our neurochemistry is somehow connected with these plants.
We have receptors in our brains for literally hundreds of different substances, including alcohol, heroin, cannabis, etc etc. That doesn't really have to mean anything or imply you need to introduce any of those substances in order to obtain a greater understanding of anything - in fact introducing those substances creates an imbalance in the brain which can lead to a raft of psychological issues.

Matthew

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Re: marijuana, meditation and awareness
« Reply #34 on: May 30, 2013, 11:18:16 AM »
... We have receptors in our brains for literally hundreds of different substances. .... in fact introducing those substances creates an imbalance in the brain which can lead to a raft of psychological issues.

True, yet also works the other way round. Recent research shows chemical imbalances in the brain caused by psychological reactions to trauma. Additionally MDMA enhanced Psychotherapy for such patients is starting to be established as a beneficial treatment modality.

Now, in terms of the Buddhist approach: We are trying to clear our minds of habituated patterns of perceiving, processing, reacting and thinking - and this is much easier said than done. The regular use of mind altering substances will not much help gain clarity for most practitioners.

Yet perhaps there is a place for some people to benefit from "a taste of clarity" or "a taste of calm" or "a taste of insight" through use of certain substances - whilst not becoming habituated or dependent on their use, and knowing that the taste is just that: a taste and not the real thing.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Dharmic Tui

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Re: marijuana, meditation and awareness
« Reply #35 on: May 30, 2013, 02:41:06 PM »
I hear what you're saying, although overall im not sure what percentage of people taking a drug to get a taste will be able to reconcile that the mind is able to obtain similar states while sober. Anecdotally it was a slap in the face for me to realise I could manifest such sensations of bliss and letting go under my own steam. I guess you could argue that slap in the face is somehow pivotal in ones development, or that taking drugs in the past made my mind more pliable, but to me it's a tenuous position.

Vivek

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Re: marijuana, meditation and awareness
« Reply #36 on: June 02, 2013, 05:39:20 PM »
I am doubtful if taking drugs to get a taste is to be recommended. I think the usage of any drug should be recommended and supervised by a qualified  mental health practitioner and such usage should be for the relief or cure of any mental problems. I have heard of many teachers who consult therapists even after their awakening experience for assistance with dealing with specific mental problems. There is certainly humility and self-honesty in that but also informed caution.
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?

dimeo

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Re: marijuana, meditation and awareness
« Reply #37 on: June 19, 2013, 11:19:35 PM »
I recall one time someone asked the rinpoche a similar question.  A student asked if the effects of some drugs are similar to meditation and so on . Rinpoche made a great comment about how the effect was temporary illusion. It made perfect sense to me.

  What we're seeking through meditation is something powerful that transcends time and space.  The dharma practice is much deeper and more profound than just a few minutes of effect obtained from inhaling weed smoke.

 That being said there is certainly a long history of entheogens as part of religious or spiritual practices. But this is usually done with pure reverence and not for recreation or entertainment
« Last Edit: June 19, 2013, 11:24:38 PM by dimeo »

Matthew

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Re: marijuana, meditation and awareness
« Reply #38 on: June 20, 2013, 09:46:20 AM »
.... Anecdotally it was a slap in the face for me to realise I could manifest such sensations of bliss and letting go under my own steam. I guess you could argue that slap in the face is somehow pivotal in ones development, or that taking drugs in the past made my mind more pliable, but to me it's a tenuous position.

Slap - pivotal - agreed 100%
Usefulness of drugs - tenuous .. agreed 100%
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

jayjayshie

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Re: marijuana, meditation and awareness
« Reply #39 on: July 10, 2013, 07:26:25 AM »
Thank all of you for all the replies, this community of meditators has helped my practice so much. I just wanted to make a quick update to let all of you know my experience thus far since I last asked this question.

I went on a month long intoxicant break, meaning no marijuana or alcohol or any drugs to see what effect it would have on my practice. I was able to meditate for an hour a day every night. Once the month was over, I resumed smoking marijuana and definitely feel a decline in my awareness for the next few days. It was also a bit harder to keep the motivation to meditate at night since I would look forward to the marijuana session that followed.

 So in my humble experience, routine marijuana intoxication and Vipassana meditation do not mix. But these are only my personal experience, others may find different outcomes