Author Topic: Dharma Tripping: Meditation and Psychedelics  (Read 9006 times)

DharmaBum

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Dharma Tripping: Meditation and Psychedelics
« on: April 12, 2016, 08:58:41 PM »
I am interested in hearing people's opinions on the combined use of meditation and psychedelic drugs like LSD, mushrooms and ayahuasca. We all know that LSD contributed largely to the popularity of meditation and yoga in the West in the years following the 1960s. However, typically the narrative goes that one takes psychedelics to have an initial awakening, and then one gives up psychedelics and moves on to meditation, yoga and the dharma as a means to achieve a permanent attainment of what the drugs gave one a brief glimpse of. Although most traditional spiritual paths oppose this idea, I wonder if the conscious, responsible use of psychedelics can be effectively combined with the dharma to help one advance more quickly on the path. I have found personally that my meditation practice has helped me have much more powerful spiritual insights during my psychedelic sessions, helping me remain fully present yet detached and equanimous during both the ecstatic and difficult experiences. I have also found that my meditations were often better after using psychedelics as well, my body and mind feeling very sharp and cleansed. Therefore, I believe that both psychedelics and the dharma can have a symbiotic relationship, and all that is missing is a proper framework/system for combining the two. With the recent awareness of ritual use of psychedelics by shamanic cultures, we now know that there does indeed exist developed systems utilizing these medicines for spiritual growth and healing. Only now are we in a time where the hard objective science of the West is being merged with the subjective spiritual science of the East and now also with the psychedelic shamanic science of the South. Do you think the knowledge of the East, West, and South effectively be combined to create a syncretic spiritual system to most effectively eliminate suffering for all beings?


Middleway

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Re: Dharma Tripping: Meditation and Psychedelics
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2016, 10:51:03 PM »
Sam Harris and Alan Watts admitted to taking psychedelic drugs and talked about their experiences. Hindus during the Vedic period allegedly used a plant based drug called "soma". There is not a lot of research out there regarding this topic (meditation and psychedelics) and the risk is that the drugs likely will be misused and abused. There may be craving to experience those moments of "clear awareness". This goes against the path of letting go. I would not recommend it.
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Attachless

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Re: Dharma Tripping: Meditation and Psychedelics
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2016, 04:30:55 PM »
There may be craving to experience those moments of "clear awareness". This goes against the path of letting go. I would not recommend it.

The same could be said about any pleasant experience, such as orgasm, sexual union or other more welcomed experiences one can have despite the usage of psychedelics. So the possibility of craving, for me, is not enough reason to dismiss experiences entirely, as -everything- can be clung to. Beside, it`s definitely not only "clear awareness", but will mostly come with other things, namely, "clear awareness" can be kind of rude as well. Which means, that, I personally, when I`m stuck in life, with direction, sense, purpose or anything in that regard, am using LSD as a tool, then "clear awareness" - which on the first look implies something smooth - can be quite unpleasant. Because, it makes your awareness clear - and what enters into that clear awareness? May be depression, may be fear, may be anxiety. "Clear" does not equate harmonious, peaceful or quietness. Sometimes, it`s the opposite. But because it gives you "clear awareness", which means that it opens your awareness to everything being present, whether you like it or not, it is a helpful tool in facing your current issues, denies etc., because, for the duration, if you don`t distract yourself (and sometimes, even if), you'll have to face them.

In that sense, for me, it is a powerful tool to "get back on the path", but it is no substitute for the path, nor does it directly help the path (for many "the path" may imply much different things than for me, for me it implies continuous insight practice for the sake of itself, in this very life, to life a most happy and peaceful life) - and the path being, living a most luminous, harmonious life, in the sense that you take things as they come, make the best out of it and try to be the best possible person you can be. And when you fall into a pit, substances can help you get out of the pit, but they can`t help you to live life beyond the pit. That`s my take on in regards to psychedelics. They show you the way (out), sometimes tell you how to walk (and clearness), and then you have to walk. But walk by yourself.

Despite this, meditation helps me, as you said, enormously to stay attentive and equanimous during the experience, as, although your content of experience is altered, your "awareness" per se is not; which means, you are still being aware of what is happening, so you can still be attentive, and you can still be equanimous; so a trip, for me, is a means for a long meditation, because, most of the time, that`s all I`m left to do; despite helping me facing the difficult, or not clinging to the more beautiful. And it more than not shows me, how beautiful equanimity is, because the contrasts of highs and lows are much more prevalent during the period of the trip, and so is the means for equanimity much more prevalent. Meditation centers me during this experience, even in the most difficult ones. So, the practice is most beneficial for the usage of psychedelics IMO. And bear in mind, that psychedelics have been successful for you, if you don`t need them anymore. :-) In that sense, they always lead me back to meditation, and in best cases, I don`t crave for the usage for long time, have clear sense of direction and purpose in my life, and with that also my practice strengthened again. But that`s because psychedelics are most practical for me. I hardly enjoy them recreational, unless for special occasions (I love dancing), because they disturb my natural meditation, or capacity to meditate. I feel at least so.

I`m not seeking enlightenment or nibbana or end of rebirths through psychedelics/meditation though, so again, for me it`s most practical in the sense of a most enlightened and happy life; as matthew said once, to live "in truthfulness" with every moment; and, especially LSD, provides you that, if you seek it. Which can be harsh, but necassery at times. Wouldn`t recommend it anyone though, because I can`t hold responsibility for anyone but myself.

Cheers
« Last Edit: April 13, 2016, 04:34:57 PM by Attachless »
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Middleway

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Re: Dharma Tripping: Meditation and Psychedelics
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2016, 12:13:49 AM »
There may be craving to experience those moments of "clear awareness". This goes against the path of letting go. I would not recommend it.

The same could be said about any pleasant experience, such as orgasm, sexual union or other more welcomed experiences one can have despite the usage of psychedelics. So the possibility of craving, for me, is not enough reason to dismiss experiences entirely, as -everything- can be clung to. Beside, it`s definitely not only "clear awareness", but will mostly come with other things, namely, "clear awareness" can be kind of rude as well. Which means, that, I personally, when I`m stuck in life, with direction, sense, purpose or anything in that regard, am using LSD as a tool, then "clear awareness" - which on the first look implies something smooth - can be quite unpleasant. Because, it makes your awareness clear - and what enters into that clear awareness? May be depression, may be fear, may be anxiety. "Clear" does not equate harmonious, peaceful or quietness. Sometimes, it`s the opposite. But because it gives you "clear awareness", which means that it opens your awareness to everything being present, whether you like it or not, it is a helpful tool in facing your current issues, denies etc., because, for the duration, if you don`t distract yourself (and sometimes, even if), you'll have to face them.

In that sense, for me, it is a powerful tool to "get back on the path", but it is no substitute for the path, nor does it directly help the path (for many "the path" may imply much different things than for me, for me it implies continuous insight practice for the sake of itself, in this very life, to life a most happy and peaceful life) - and the path being, living a most luminous, harmonious life, in the sense that you take things as they come, make the best out of it and try to be the best possible person you can be. And when you fall into a pit, substances can help you get out of the pit, but they can`t help you to live life beyond the pit. That`s my take on in regards to psychedelics. They show you the way (out), sometimes tell you how to walk (and clearness), and then you have to walk. But walk by yourself.

So, you are saying that taking LSDs will provide you "clear awareness" to face up to your fears, anxieties, denials etc. By facing them head on you are able to get past them (overcome them) rather than suppressing them deep into your subconscious. Your fears, anxieties, and denials etc., do they come back when the drug wears off? Or are they permanently gone? Or once you get the much needed respite from the "pit" by using LSDs, will you get back on meditation to overcome them permanently? So drugs provide you with clarity to see things (fears, anxieties etc.) as they really are (albeit temporarily) and provide you with insight and wisdom. This temporary "experience" will then validate the path by removing doubt which is a hindrance to the path.

But I may not be strong enough to say no to continued use of drugs. I may get addicted to them. This will become another clinging in the long list of things I currently cling to.

I cannot see how you can live a peaceful and harmonious life and take things as they come, without letting go of clinging and aversion. Clinging to pleasure and aversion to pain is the main reason for suffering. We have clinging/aversions because we do not clearly see the three marks of existence (anicca, dukkha, and anatta). Drugs will not help us get there.

   



« Last Edit: April 14, 2016, 12:16:54 AM by Middleway »
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MassOfBubbles

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Re: Dharma Tripping: Meditation and Psychedelics
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2016, 06:30:44 PM »
People suffer from PTSD. After a trauma, a new sanghara/reaction is made and this furthers the distance between the subject and reality. I don't think psychedelics will "quicken" your process on your dhamma path, because the path is life long and constant, right? There's never a time when you can rest back on your laurels and expect Awareness to continue vigilant at the same time. Every moment Awareness. Nama Rupa, Rupa Nama. I enjoy psychedelics and stillness together, every once and a while. Or microdosing for a week and observing how it affects my practice.

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Attachless

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Re: Dharma Tripping: Meditation and Psychedelics
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2016, 11:37:08 AM »
@Middleway

See what you are saying sounds like from a dharma book and very theoretical. I do not accept anything because it is written somewhere or because someone has said so, and I don't take that over my own experience and insight. I`m hence only offering my own personal wisdom that I have accumulated through my own experience, even if it goes against theoretical dharma intellectualizing. But I will try to provide as good as answer as I can:

So, you are saying that taking LSDs will provide you "clear awareness" to face up to your fears, anxieties, denials etc. By facing them head on you are able to get past them (overcome them) rather than suppressing them deep into your subconscious. Your fears, anxieties, and denials etc., do they come back when the drug wears off? Or are they permanently gone?

See, it is less about "getting them permanently gone". It`s more about integrating them, feeling them, seeing them, not denying them, coming to terms with them, and understanding them as part of us. And then, fully aware of it, moving forward. It`s called "integrating your shadow", right? Not "overcoming it". Because fear etc. will always be part of you. We have to understand fear, not overcome it, get rid of it etc. That`s a sign of aversion, right? Psychedelics can provide that - and the key during a psychedelics experience is ironically to not cling, to not have aversion, but to accept - but I`m not saying that psychedelics provide that when you take them. People take them for centuries without any such "results", so to speak. It is - just as meditation is - a tool. People can meditate, without insight into themselves, full of denial, escaping their shadows while hunting bliss, for centuries, as well. That`s not meditation - but well, many people would say otherwise. Some people say they meditate for years on end, and I`m all excited to talk about someone with experience, only to find out he was hunting bliss and transcendental experiences and says "that`s not for me" when I talk about vipassana, about awareness and equanimity. U know what I`m sayin? And I say also, "that" is not psychedelics, and many people wouldn`t understand me anyway. Just as meditation has potential, so have psychedelics - whether that potential is realized or not.. u know what I mean.

I also think "permanently gone" in regards to unpermanent and changing emotional and mental states is the wrong approach anyway. Wanting them permanently gone is not the way of the Buddha, but accepting it totally, sitting with it as it is, is. And it`s not any different in LSD (or any other psychedelic experience). If you deny it, you will suffer, and you will come to understand that also, eventually.

In regards to "insight gone when the drug wears off" gives a wrong picture of the "drug experience". Also, after the experience, it is about living that insight, putting the gained wisdom and self-knowledge into action. Reflect upon the experience. Act accordingly. The "drug wearing off" is like a wave - it comes slowly, and it goes slowly. The transmission is fluent. It`s not alcohol. It doesn't dull your mind. It opens your mind. Much is to be gained from that, if one desires to. It`s not cocaine. We can just ignorantly throw them all into a pot and call them "drugs", and also be ignorant about one part of their side, while only seeing the other, dark side. Psychedelics - their history of responsible use, as tools for self-knowledge, self-reflection, insight - although not permanent, but practical and impactful, as well as their healing capacity etc. in schamanic traditions (and also recently here in the west-LSD therapy etc.) is far longer than their history of abuse, which is a product of modern society.

But I may not be strong enough to say no to continued use of drugs. I may get addicted to them. This will become another clinging in the long list of things I currently cling to.

Do you have any, or sufficient experience with psychedelics? If you are afraid of getting "addicted" to psychedelics, you seem to lack personal experience. And addiction has other causes than the substance itself (in any case) - the substance is just catalyzing, the problem usually lies outside the drug itself. We give pe
rsonal power to the substance, and only by reclaiming personal power and will, do we get "free of the addiction", which is essentially an illusion. To get there, is a different topic of course. But that`s a different topic anyway. Meditation is essentially also a path of reclaiming personal power, which is, responsibility.

I cannot see how you can live a peaceful and harmonious life and take things as they come, without letting go of clinging and aversion. Clinging to pleasure and aversion to pain is the main reason for suffering. We have clinging/aversions because we do not clearly see the three marks of existence (anicca, dukkha, and anatta). Drugs will not help us get there.

Dharma book. Well, there are many spiritual traditions that cultivate the use of psychedelics as a part of the path. Others only provide usage at the beginning, and then turning your back to them, using them only as a transition, because they, if used too much, will destroy your natural capacity for observation, which would lead you to insight. There is no one path to insight, there are so many. Buddha advises clinging to nothing but the path, which may result to aversion to other paths, but I`m not clinging to any one path - may be to my disadvantage, and I don`t call myself a Buddhist either, or follow any particular tradition with my heart. I meditate and follow meditation, as Matthew says, it`s a DIY project. I for myself take buddhas - as well as others - words into consideration - but I don`t take them over my own personal experience. So, saying "drugs will not help you get there" is as far from reality as it can be. Some of the most insightful people and inspirational humans I have met are using psychedelics on a constant basis (because well, they/he is a shaman) or have a history of psychedelic usage, before dropping them, without dismissing their importance in their journey.

I have also met people using psychedelics who are not very insightful people. What does that tell me about "drugs", or, psychedelics? Or better asked - what does it tell you about people? Right?

Right use or abuse. I`m not even sure if there`s something permanent, even insight.. I mean, if you want something permanent, you are searching for death. And that`s basically what Buddhists are craving for - nothingness, no-form, etc. Psychedelics can help you come to terms with change, and that is wisdom as well.

There are many more pros and cons but I think I`ve already stretched the topic too much anyway. It`s too interesting though :-)

EDIT: I un-nested the quotes - I believe the above is how the post was intended ... Matthew
« Last Edit: May 26, 2016, 05:48:55 PM by Matthew »
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Middleway

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Re: Dharma Tripping: Meditation and Psychedelics
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2016, 12:18:02 AM »
@Attachless, I appreciate the very detailed response. I did quote directly from a Dharma book but it is based on my experience of clinging and aversion cycles I have gone through over several decades. I have become desperate and thoroughly dissatisfied of the deluded life I was living that I decided to take up Buddhist meditation practice to break that cycle of samsara. I am glad I took this path which already helped me break that vicious cycle. This led me to believe (yes belief) with conviction that this is the right path for me. When someone tells me directions and I follow those directions, and see for myself the first few directions given turned out to be right (for me), then I believe that they may be right for the rest. So, I follow the directions with more conviction than when I started. For example, if I see a city sanctioned sign that says "dead end - no exit", then I will not waste my time to find out if indeed that is the case. Buddha pointed the way and I follow his directions with conviction. I may have interpreted his directions differently than you have and it is okay since we are not the same. I do intellectually understand and believe that all fears, anxieties, etc. will be permanently gone when one attains nibbana. I have firm conviction that it is the case. Do I have experience of that? no I don't.

I am not familiar with psychedelics as I never used them before. I am not even sure if they cause addiction or not. I do have experience on how my mind gets attached or cling to a number of things including drugs. I can see how using a certain drug to get some sort of spiritual experience will help remove doubt which is a hindrance.  But I already have conviction and therefore do not need any drugs to "see" or gain insight that way.  Maybe, I should say drugs are not for me but may be helpful for some who have doubts about that path. But their usage may come with certain risks as all things in life.
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Attachless

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Re: Dharma Tripping: Meditation and Psychedelics
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2016, 06:44:16 AM »
@Attachless, I appreciate the very detailed response. I did quote directly from a Dharma book but it is based on my experience of clinging and aversion cycles I have gone through over several decades. I have become desperate and thoroughly dissatisfied of the deluded life I was living that I decided to take up Buddhist meditation practice to break that cycle of samsara. I am glad I took this path which already helped me break that vicious cycle. This led me to believe (yes belief) with conviction that this is the right path for me. When someone tells me directions and I follow those directions, and see for myself the first few directions given turned out to be right (for me), then I believe that they may be right for the rest. So, I follow the directions with more conviction than when I started. For example, if I see a city sanctioned sign that says "dead end - no exit", then I will not waste my time to find out if indeed that is the case. Buddha pointed the way and I follow his directions with conviction. I may have interpreted his directions differently than you have and it is okay since we are not the same. I do intellectually understand and believe that all fears, anxieties, etc. will be permanently gone when one attains nibbana. I have firm conviction that it is the case. Do I have experience of that? no I don't.

I do understand that, and I do understand the path of the Buddha - at least I think so. And in that sense, our goals for meditation may differentiate from one another, as my goal is living a most peaceful life, full of acceptance of what is, without craving for something which isn't and aversing something that is, not adding the goal of ending life, which is the ultimate goal of Buddhism, since life is suffering, ending rebirth etc. I think Buddha also said that this is not the goal of everyone, and cannot, will not be attained by everyone. I asked a meditation teacher a few months back this very question, because it seemed so pessimistic to me - why want to end all life, all form of life, all life of form? And he gave me the answer of Buddha - Buddha took his finger, whipped some dust from the floor and said to the student asking that this dust on his finger is equivalent to the life forms that go back to nothingness and attain liberation from life circles, in relation to all the dust found around the world. And the dust is equivalent to all life forms in the universe. My goal then, is to find appreciation of life through awareness and equanimity, non-clinging and others goal is to end life as it means to end suffering. I wish them all the best in attaining nibbana, as it may be their path, not mine though :-)

In that regards, psychedelics can help one on that path of finding liberation of life as well, by providing a glimpse, and thereof helping leaving samsara behind, or getting one on the path (as it has done for many). It`s not helpful for everyone though. And if you're on the path already, you won't necasserily get something out of them, other than being more attached to the path by said glimpsing, by furthering understanding and thereof furthering commitment. In my case, those glimpses made me understand the path more clearly, and -not- want it, atleast to that extent that the Buddha walked it; as one has said, enlightmenment is only an option, a decision one makes. You can also only walk so far, and live a detached, accepting, peaceful life within the forms, as a path. That path may change for me as I grow older, too, though, we`ll see, but I`m happy to have found meditation and (the part of the path that I accept and indeed want for myself) in my young ages, as it has probably saved me from countless suffering already in present and in future.

In that regards, cheers :-)
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Middleway

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Re: Dharma Tripping: Meditation and Psychedelics
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2016, 05:48:00 PM »
I do understand that, and I do understand the path of the Buddha - at least I think so. And in that sense, our goals for meditation may differentiate from one another, as my goal is living a most peaceful life, full of acceptance of what is, without craving for something which isn't and aversing something that is, not adding the goal of ending life, which is the ultimate goal of Buddhism, since life is suffering, ending rebirth etc. I think Buddha also said that this is not the goal of everyone, and cannot, will not be attained by everyone. I asked a meditation teacher a few months back this very question, because it seemed so pessimistic to me - why want to end all life, all form of life, all life of form? And he gave me the answer of Buddha - Buddha took his finger, whipped some dust from the floor and said to the student asking that this dust on his finger is equivalent to the life forms that go back to nothingness and attain liberation from life circles, in relation to all the dust found around the world. And the dust is equivalent to all life forms in the universe. My goal then, is to find appreciation of life through awareness and equanimity, non-clinging and others goal is to end life as it means to end suffering. I wish them all the best in attaining nibbana, as it may be their path, not mine though :-)

Your goal is to have a peaceful life - how do you do that? by fully accepting what is.
Full acceptance of what is - how do you do that? without craving for something which isn't and aversing something that is.
without craving for something which isn't and aversing something that is - how do you do that? how do you get your mind to do that? through practicing the path.

Now let me look at the above from a slightly different perspective.

The goal is to have peaceful life i.e without suffering. So, I know through experience that there is suffering.
Through experience I know what causes the suffering. Clinging and aversion causes suffering.
I also know (believe) that I can live without suffering or cessation to suffering. how?  without craving for something which isn't and aversing something that is.
Buddha taught a way (path) to end suffering and I follow the path provided by him.

Nibbana is awakening. Awakening can happen instantly or it can happen gradually. By following the path, I am more awakened now than I was two and half years ago. I am having a more peaceful life now than compared to two and half years ago. I keep practicing and I will get progressively awakened. So, my life will become progressively more peaceful compared to the previous moments as I follow the path.

I do not see any pessimism at all in the four noble truths. Buddha did not teach to end life to end suffering.
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

DharmaBum

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Re: Dharma Tripping: Meditation and Psychedelics
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2016, 07:05:51 AM »
@Attachless I really appreciate and agree with your posts. @MiddleWay I appreciate and respect your counter opinion as well. I think constructive disagreement is good, and of course the idea of using substances to further your dharma is controversial, but nearly everyone I have spoken with who has used psychedelics in intentional spiritual settings seems to agree that they can be powerful tools on the path.

@Attachless I really like what you said about how if psychedelics are successful, then you don't need them anymore as long as you remain on the path, until you fall off and they can be that magical boost to get you back on the path. I also am not advocating their use for anyone who feels fully satisfied with the dharma on its own and confident in their practice and the path they are on. But for those who need that extra boost, they can be such amazing help.

There is a great book I read recently called Zig Zag Zen that recently released a new edition and contains a collection of writings about the intersection of Buddhism and psychedelics.

If psychedelics ever become legal, I wonder if a legitimate Dharma path could ever exist that openly advocates their use for those who could benefit from it. I think it would help so much if there were actually a framework for integrating the two practices.

Attachless

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Re: Dharma Tripping: Meditation and Psychedelics
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2016, 09:49:01 AM »
There are frameworks, some more controversial than others, but overall there are. Or at-least road-maps, or "to-be-understood`s" kind-of that help with .. understanding. The dharma is also just that, proper understanding so one can walk, know the pitfalls, what to eventually be expected and aimed at, what to do, take care of etc.. In general for psychedelics that would be (although there are many different kinds of course) schamanism, as it is said that it is the oldest spiritual path available, even before Buddhism. But don`t nail me on that anyway, despite the many definitions one could attach to "spiritual path". Example being the Ayahuasceros, Cuanderos, etc.

I`ve read and studied to some extent "on the Toltec path" from Ken Eagle Feather, which is basically a summarized road-map put into its own scheme of the Castaneda series and is therefor Don Juan`s spiritual teachings, which advocate the usage of psychedelics in the beginning only, but then naturally, through proper effort and intention and consistency, train your natural capabilities for spiritual growth, insight and so on. Since the aim is total freedom, it is even advised that the "system" provided should be seen as a stepping stone and is to be left behind at some point. Same goes for any system that provides context etc. It deals strongly with how perception works, and not so much about what we perceive - in the sense that it is said that we usually tend to see through white, yellow or green glasses, but the thing is that instead of looking through them, we should look at the glasses themselves. In that sense, it deals about perception, which, is not very different from e.g. vipassana - just different context, different words, different context. It`s useful, on it`s own, and for general widening of ones understanding and hence ones perception, but again, every path is to be walked on it`s own of course.

Also there`s a framework - not so much about integrating these two practices per se - but for the psychedelic experience per se, it`s integration, use as a therapy-tool, to face traumas, fears, integrate shadows, grasp certain things in general etc., as has been used for such in therapy in I don`t know maybe 1950-1960 in thousands of therapies that have been documented in both the preparation, the actual sittings and the aftermaths, integration, impact on people etc. Mental illnesses have been healed. Depression, trauma, and many harmful tendencies and so on as far as I know, as the often very hidden causes could be located, dealt with and faced - sooner or later - because one is in a heightened sense of perception, everything opens so it is impossible to hide, showing the blind spots that we usually avoid (even in meditation - and here it can become a helpful tool for unhiding avoidance that we aren`t even aware of) etc. It became illegal to use in therapy after commercial abuse led to criminalizing it and putting the "no medical use whatsoever - hard drug" stamp on it. Which is far from reality; which is more appropriate for alcohol in it`s orally digested form, or tabacco, but whatever right. It`s a fallacy. The psychotherapeut was called Stanislaf Grov and he has written and documented many books about it. There he gives detailed roadmaps of the psychedelic experience, like, very detailed, every possible experience included, up to the experience of nibbana, although it is not called as such. Many people turn spiritual after such experiences, believe there is "more" or that they have a "purpose" now, leading them to become e.g. Buddhists. It led me to meditation because it has given me a grasp of, for simplicity, let`s call it second Jhana, the joy of being, and I have pursuit to find "this" until I found meditation, although I had no idea what I had grasped on, because I couldn`t hold it, or see it, etc. Very subtle thing.

He also wrote many examples of how such a therapy unfolds to cure or help to face certain issues (especially with mental ill patients, childhood traumas, sexual abuse etc.) and it`s very interesting. He also said that often, what happens in Freud-therapies is, that the therapist tries to put the patients experience/point of view into his or her scheme of understanding (the Freudian scheme), instead of making his or her scheme fitting to what the patient says, showing a general given openness. And this more often than not interferes with 1. building a trusting relationship because the patient feels as if he is put into a box (which he in essence is be put into), and because the possibility of the Freudian model not to explain everything and therefor being insufficient is not only given but often times proven with examples, e.g. a difficult patient in closed psychiatry with no significant results after months of therapy was given to Stanislaf to work with LSD and was cured within a short time, not only because he met a framework that was open to his individual case instead of putting his individual case in a closed framework interfering with -what is- and more trying to put what is into -how it should be-, but also because of the substances potential itself to bring unconscious stuff into consciousness for one to face it, integrate it, unknot it, etc.



@Middleway

From my understanding, what buddhas ultimate conclusion is is the end of rebirth, hence the cessation of ones individual life, back into non-existence if one so will. He even gave, when asked if this wasn`t quite pessimistic in regards to appreciating life, an answer in which he whipped dust from the ground with one of his fingers and said that those who get there are as much as this dust on his finger - the rest, the dust of the world compared to the life available in all the universe, will remain in a constant flow and fluctuation, which is life, right.

I`m not here to judge that, but from my conclusion, who follows the path of the Buddha (to it`s end), is exactly trying to achieve this. Atleast that`s what I came to conclude, taken from Buddhism, after asking meditation teachers personally, and after my stay in a monastery and listening to dharma talks. For me, then, there is a separation between "meditation" and "the way of the Buddha", for the way of the Buddha's means for meditation is awakening and in it`s finality the end of life circles / ones "individual" life and hence suffering, and meditation as a means for a most peaceful life with least suffering for anyone - although this is indeed also included in the "way of the Buddha", that part of the buddhas way that includes back into nothingness/end of rebirths is not part of atleast my meditation path, and as such .. simply a different decision in regards to priorities. If I were to meditate for enlightenments sake, I`d leave all the world behind and become a monk. Although it`s of course possible as a householder.. in that sense I for myself pursure a middleway (how ironic :-D) of the buddhas way, in the sense provided above.

I don`t know if Dharma in itself implies this as the end goal (it certainly does from my understanding and investigation), and therefor I have deemed it to some extent dogmatic, therefor only picking out what I deem important for my own personal journey in this very life, searching refuge in my own investigation, my own effort.. and not the Buddha per se. Ironically, the Buddha didn`t do it any other way, so following Buddha imo is a hindrance itself - ALTHOUGH maybe only dropped in later stages. It has to, at some point. I don`t know that, but it only makes sense. Even Buddha says so, ironically. Between trust and doubt there is investigation which will free you, I guess. :-)

But any way either, I can`t tell if psychedelics are helpful for the way of the Buddha in the most ultimate sense that I explained it my way here out of my understanding, for I don`t even know anything about that ultimate goal as I havn`t been there nor is it on my to do list nor is it my intention. :-) But for the Dharma way, in the sense of a most peaceful life, in this very life, it can be helpful on that path, which is this very life and not beyond, and also not the result of this very life (as said by Buddhists and many meditation teachers), although the immediate benefits in this very life are -of course- highlighted, and are certainly obvious of course, as well.

People also report that since they follow this or that spiritual tradition, that they have become more peaceful, less suffering humans, more loving etc. That doesn't mean they are going to heaven and avoiding hell (because they walk on that road for so long with the expected benefits, meaning that all the road is as laid out) is basically what I`m saying. But I didn`t want to start a "is final liberation worthwhile" - thread :-P Up to priorities I guess, and that`s alright, right.

Gonna sit now, have a good day all :-)
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Middleway

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Re: Dharma Tripping: Meditation and Psychedelics
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2016, 07:46:08 PM »
Buddha was speaking as a matter of fact. What are we? We are food rearranged. What is food? it is a bit of dust, water and sun rearranged. That's all. Buddha taught us not to cling to existence or non existence, not cling to happiness or unhappiness, not cling to pessimism or optimism, not cling to any polarities that exist in this world. Buddha taught us the middle way. Middle way alone sets us free of suffering.
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Attachless

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Re: Dharma Tripping: Meditation and Psychedelics
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2016, 11:04:34 PM »
Buddha was speaking as a matter of fact. What are we? We are food rearranged. What is food? it is a bit of dust, water and sun rearranged. That's all. Buddha taught us not to cling to existence or non existence, not cling to happiness or unhappiness, not cling to pessimism or optimism, not cling to any polarities that exist in this world. Buddha taught us the middle way. Middle way alone sets us free of suffering.

In the dhamma talks in the Buddhist monastery I was they said Buddha said there is a single noble clinging, a single noble attachment, and that is to the path, and the path - because it is a path, and paths lead somewhere right - leads to non-existence, and that´s the goal. I know that non-clinging and total acceptance is the way to live, but Buddha`s goal was to end suffering which in (matter of fact) conclusion was to end life-cycles, rebirths. He left wife and kid, he didn`t do anything beside being a non-attached, non-clinging meditator, begging food and being a silent monk, teaching others how to be the same with non-existence as the final goal, right? Because that`s also the teaching - life is suffering. Birth is suffering, disease, old age etc.. and end of suffering is of course attained by the middle way, by non-clinging to either duality. But do we deny here that - or am I misunderstanding - that the final end of suffering is the end of life (as this rearranged food) and hence ending rearranging of food after this mortal death - and that indeed is the teaching of the Buddha, as far as I understood. Because not attaining this will eventually end in us landing, after death, a lower or higher plain, with either too much pleasure or too much pain to practice the middle way properly to attain final freedom through enlightenment which Is the end of life as "rearranged food" and the consciousness of it or something along these lines and hence the end of suffering. The end of life being the end of suffering because life is suffering. And that`s not pessimistic because you can end life through the way of the Buddha - I think I got that right though.

Or I misunderstood Buddhism totally; which seems possible, but not likely :-P
« Last Edit: April 27, 2016, 11:08:08 PM by Attachless »
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Middleway

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Re: Dharma Tripping: Meditation and Psychedelics
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2016, 12:54:55 AM »
In the dhamma talks in the Buddhist monastery I was they said Buddha said there is a single noble clinging, a single noble attachment, and that is to the path, and the path - because it is a path, and paths lead somewhere right - leads to non-existence, and that´s the goal. I know that non-clinging and total acceptance is the way to live, but Buddha`s goal was to end suffering which in (matter of fact) conclusion was to end life-cycles, rebirths. He left wife and kid, he didn`t do anything beside being a non-attached, non-clinging meditator, begging food and being a silent monk, teaching others how to be the same with non-existence as the final goal, right? Because that`s also the teaching - life is suffering. Birth is suffering, disease, old age etc.. and end of suffering is of course attained by the middle way, by non-clinging to either duality. But do we deny here that - or am I misunderstanding - that the final end of suffering is the end of life (as this rearranged food) and hence ending rearranging of food after this mortal death - and that indeed is the teaching of the Buddha, as far as I understood. Because not attaining this will eventually end in us landing, after death, a lower or higher plain, with either too much pleasure or too much pain to practice the middle way properly to attain final freedom through enlightenment which Is the end of life as "rearranged food" and the consciousness of it or something along these lines and hence the end of suffering. The end of life being the end of suffering because life is suffering. And that`s not pessimistic because you can end life through the way of the Buddha - I think I got that right though.

Or I misunderstood Buddhism totally; which seems possible, but not likely :-P

I cannot speak for various Buddhist traditions on what they believe and not believe. I do not judge them for their beliefs because  I know that it will only cause me to suffer. I follow key teachings of the Buddha which include four noble truths, three marks of existence, dependent origination, and the middle way. When I put these together, it seems to me they all apply to me here and now. Therefore, I apply these teachings to my existence here and now. The goal of my practice and the final destination of my path is to keep my mind in the present moment to moment.

In the Dhamma,

Middleway
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DarkNightOfNoSoul

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Re: Dharma Tripping: Meditation and Psychedelics
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2016, 05:39:35 AM »
Interesting topic, seems to come up quite often.

When I was younger I tried most things - marijuana, LSD, mushrooms, ecstasy, speed, and cocaine. The only remotely "religious" experience I had was with LSD, years before I got involved with Buddhist meditation. Specifically, during one session I lost all sense of self and had to painstakingly put it all back together. (This sort of experience has been addressed by recent neuroscience research, by the way.) Also, I always had what seemed like an ironic feeling that when I was tripping I was experiencing the world as it really was, and everyone else was deluded (including myself when the drug eventually wore off).

But I don't really see how this could be helpful for spiritual advancement when there's very little control of where the trip takes you (and you're at the mercy of your supplier with regard to the dose and any impurities present). I can see how it could rather be an impediment, as drug experiences seem to be an order of magnitude more intense than the average meditative state - in my limited non-jhana experience anyway.

Anyway, surely the Buddha had good reasons for the fifth precept?

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Re: Dharma Tripping: Meditation and Psychedelics
« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2016, 10:52:49 AM »
In the dhamma talks in the Buddhist monastery I was they said Buddha said there is a single noble clinging, a single noble attachment, and that is to the path, and the path - because it is a path, and paths lead somewhere right - leads to non-existence, and that´s the goal. I know that non-clinging and total acceptance is the way to live, but Buddha`s goal was to end suffering which in (matter of fact) conclusion was to end life-cycles, rebirths. He left wife and kid, he didn`t do anything beside being a non-attached, non-clinging meditator, begging food and being a silent monk, teaching others how to be the same with non-existence as the final goal, right? Because that`s also the teaching - life is suffering. Birth is suffering, disease, old age etc.. and end of suffering is of course attained by the middle way, by non-clinging to either duality. But do we deny here that - or am I misunderstanding - that the final end of suffering is the end of life (as this rearranged food) and hence ending rearranging of food after this mortal death - and that indeed is the teaching of the Buddha, as far as I understood. Because not attaining this will eventually end in us landing, after death, a lower or higher plain, with either too much pleasure or too much pain to practice the middle way properly to attain final freedom through enlightenment which Is the end of life as "rearranged food" and the consciousness of it or something along these lines and hence the end of suffering. The end of life being the end of suffering because life is suffering. And that`s not pessimistic because you can end life through the way of the Buddha - I think I got that right though.

Or I misunderstood Buddhism totally; which seems possible, but not likely :-P

I cannot speak for various Buddhist traditions on what they believe and not believe. I do not judge them for their beliefs because  I know that it will only cause me to suffer. I follow key teachings of the Buddha which include four noble truths, three marks of existence, dependent origination, and the middle way. When I put these together, it seems to me they all apply to me here and now. Therefore, I apply these teachings to my existence here and now. The goal of my practice and the final destination of my path is to keep my mind in the present moment to moment.

In the Dhamma,

Middleway

That`s the way of living. :-)
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Middleway

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Re: Dharma Tripping: Meditation and Psychedelics
« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2016, 11:42:36 AM »
When I train that way, insights arise. These insights and wisdom allow me to let go. Letting go results in reduction of suffering. So, this reduction of suffering is the result of the practice and not the destination. Also, as with everything in life, the results are not guaranteed.
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Attachless

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Re: Dharma Tripping: Meditation and Psychedelics
« Reply #17 on: April 28, 2016, 09:20:35 PM »
I know the dharma book; still, it is also said the the final goal to cessation of suffering is cessation of life. Not only Buddhists told me that, also meditation teacher from "non-religious/sectarian" traditions.

I`m all for the unguaranteed lessening-of-suffering-results though, obviously :angel:
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Middleway

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Re: Dharma Tripping: Meditation and Psychedelics
« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2016, 11:05:28 PM »
I know the dharma book; still, it is also said the the final goal to cessation of suffering is cessation of life. Not only Buddhists told me that, also meditation teacher from "non-religious/sectarian" traditions.

I`m all for the unguaranteed lessening-of-suffering-results though, obviously :angel:

Sorry, I cannot speak for either Buddhists or the meditation teacher from "non-religious/sectarian" traditions. However, I can speak for myself.

Buddha taught roughly 2500 years ago. He was a great teacher and adapted/modified his teachings based on the capacity of understanding of his disciples, and other lay people who came to him. He was famously known to contradict himself by telling one person that there is no god, and hours later telling another person there is god, and was silent when another fellow asked him the same question. He explained that he did not want anyone to hang on to his words as "truth" and accept them blindly.  He wanted them to investigate for themselves. His disciples gathered together long after he passed away and memorialized his teachings into scriptures. Again, they have done this based on their memory and their understanding. Some others simply attributed their beliefs as Buddhas teachings. So, there is a significant intentional/unintentional distortion on what he said and meant through his teachings.

This I think gives me a great opportunity to pick from Buddha's teachings that make sense to me. I do not have to blindly believe all Suttas either said by him or attributed to him in the scriptures. So I picked a few that makes sense to me. Buddhas discourses on rebirth, different planes of existence etc. do not make sense to me and therefore I take the middle way on those teachings. If there is another life after I die, I will live it then. If there isn't one, then there is not much I can do about it now anyways. This insight allowed me to let go of my strong views about those traditions (Hindus and Tibetan Buddhists for example) who believe in rebirth or reincarnation. So, for me trying to attain nirvana in this life so as to not have to be born again does not arise at all.

These key teachings (as I listed previously) reveal their deeper meaning to me as I keep returning to them and as I continue my practice. This is what I have found in the last two and half years. My capacity to understand increased as I let go of my dogmatic views and blind beliefs and judging of those who believe in rebirth or other planes of existence etc.

I would appreciate if you can point me to a dharma book that discusses what I am saying in this post. It would help validate my experience in the past two and half years.

In the Dhamma,

Middleway
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smritiyoga

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Re: Dharma Tripping: Meditation and Psychedelics
« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2016, 10:48:12 AM »
Interesting Topic. This kind of questioning goes far beyond words and concepts and leaves nothing untouched.

Attachless

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Re: Dharma Tripping: Meditation and Psychedelics
« Reply #20 on: April 30, 2016, 12:32:42 PM »
These key teachings (as I listed previously) reveal their deeper meaning to me as I keep returning to them and as I continue my practice. This is what I have found in the last two and half years. My capacity to understand increased as I let go of my dogmatic views and blind beliefs and judging of those who believe in rebirth or other planes of existence etc.

I would appreciate if you can point me to a dharma book that discusses what I am saying in this post. It would help validate my experience in the past two and half years.

In the Dhamma,

Middleway

I can`t quite point you to a book, but to own common sense, which you seem to apply anyway  the only validation I can give you for your experience is my experience, as I`ve come to experience the same, let go of what doesn`t make sense to me and work with what makes sense to me, and that actually works well so far and keeps on progressively working for me as well.

In that sense, seems like the right path for both of us :-) no need to blindly believe anything, and also, maybe a book called "the goal is the path" might be something like that, but I havn`t read it myself, just heard it sometime in the forum. May be smth like that.
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maybeimeditate

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Re: Dharma Tripping: Meditation and Psychedelics
« Reply #21 on: May 19, 2016, 03:45:53 PM »
There are unlimited paths toward the ending of suffering.

Some paths take many rebirths to traverse, some take a few, some take one. Some take a very long lifetime, some take a shorter one, some take an instant.

Any action, be it wholesome/unwholesome/neutral, if conditions are right, can produce the end of suffering in this lifetime.

Maybe for you taking drugs is the path to liberation and you'll succeed in this very lifetime.

For most it is not.

Unpredictable are the experiences caused by drugs. Even if experiences of great bliss or even ego death occur, they could be mistaken for the truth. From this, wrong views can arise. From these views, rebirth in blissful domains can arise. And is birth in the blissful domains the end of suffering? No. And is it easy to realize the truth in the blissful domains? No.

Thus, the wise refrain from taking any intoxicants to study the truth.

Attachless

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Re: Dharma Tripping: Meditation and Psychedelics
« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2016, 10:07:34 AM »
Hey I thought I might share an experience I had this weekend. I`ve been invited to a mushroom ceremony with one shaman who was doing preparations and guiding through the experience. I didn`t need to do it, nor did I feel the need to do it, neither intellectually think I would need it, as I`m on my path. But then again, I was curious, so curiousity got me there. And well, we were 3 in total, and we ended up having so much fun, laughing so much from our souls it was relieving and making funny jokes, so good, and also talking about stuff, for example I got a funny perspective on depression. Like, when one feels depressed, one is like, he can`t stand up, he feels so depressed etc. But hey, just stand up! Do stuff! It`s like, you CAN just stand up lol. It`s a call for attention. And we soak ourselves in it. Which is fun, because might not be apply-able to everyone, but just for me, whenever I`d feel like that, I`d notice the feeling, the drawing-down-experience that it usually is, remember it as a call for attention (maybe even only my attention: how are you living your life? are you meditating, are you present? What are you eating`? Are you moving your body, are you exercising? What about nature, what about rest? What about social.. what about friends? And I would laugh about what he said, feel my depressedness, and stand the frik up. Not taking "how I feel now" as a foundation for how I will feel later, right? Go meditate, go take a walk, eat a salad, call up a friend, make some changes in your life you`re not happy with right now leading you to feel that way - do whatever. So it was kinda fun giving me this perspective on depression and responsibility (yes, you call it) - and kinda laughter therapy. It felt so relieving to laugh big time, it even freed my .. tensions there, maybe, because I can laugh more freely now, with more of my belly.

One thing has been though. I mean, yeah, these things above were cool too, but then I had some dark moment. Pity moment. Losing a loved one, a girl I was super connected with, last month, because life took two different directions for both of us, living in different places, I was not fully able to accept all these things at once (me loving her for real, beyond just sexual, emotional affection - not being able to share life with this person - letting her go - feeling the pain and ADMITTING the sadness).. and I had that moment where I was aware of it being so, it being a real loss for me, and feeling that loss, feeling so .. how it feels, hard to describe.. and, and that`s important - NOT WISHING IT TO BE DIFFERENTLY and just letting it be. Not wishing it to change or be any other way. And this shit really freed me. I couldn`t accept it totally before, even in meditation, I was a little away from that - I have tried! I have felt the emotions deeply associated with that love and loss! But Accepting it so deeply that I can let myself fall into this pit of emotion without wishing it to be any different I was not able.. and the relief of this acceptance also never came to it`s fullest - until now. I can now fully admit I`m in love, I can fully admit it hurts me deeply, I can be sad in it`s totality, and this in itself is a wonderful feeling. The deniance was the burden! Things are as they are -there is lack, sadness, loss.. that's how it is! And there was not-letting be, wish-to-be-otherwise inbetween admitting it.. and even if it was just a trace, I couldn`t fully accept, which means, I didn`t live in truthfulness to the extent to free me. What you resist persists, right? Because it can`t pass through. The emotion can`t pass through. During the ceremony, the emotion -could- pass through, without hindrance from my part.

And even now, you would ask, does it have lasting effect to have a psychedelic experience? "Does it turn into normal life and practice and is hence of use?"  Let`s give some other perspective: Life is the ultimative psychedelic experience. When this makes click, one may change attitude not only to psychedelics, but also to life, because both is to be created with utter care, acceptance, and mindfulness, and respect, and fear at times - because fear sometimes is a sign of respect. E.g., I feared the experience for whatever reason, but I felt that fear, and treated it with care and respect.. as always. I`m glad it has brought me more freedom in my emotional expressiveness and acceptance. The thing to learn now, is, accepting emotions in their totality - which seems hard, because, in the moment of it`s expression, it renders everything in that emotion, and one feels as if it would last forever. Why would one accept this in it`s totality, and assume that it would free oneself? Emotions are impermanent also, and they are truth of this moment. So better be them.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Another note: A friend of mine has depression, and he met a woman during donating blood who has  had depression for 10 years, and they got to chat a bit and she told him that, after nothing worked for her, she started treating herself with microdoses (quantities so small they would not bring any psychedelic effects) of truffles, so she gave him a bit to try himself. It didn`t work for him, the quantities were also too small I told him. I`ve been reading a bit about that too, and I`ll be getting some next month for him, pre-test the proper amounts (I would take a "regular" dose and take 1/5th), and it should usually give a subtle boost of life energy (the urge to live, to say it simply) which is equivalent to being very present in the moment and this kinda driving your actions; giving you better connections to your emotions, more control/awareness over your thoughts (which then helps you to change them, act upon newer thoughts, get out of old patterns etc.), and in general, it has an expansive effect in all areas, helping you to get out of your dark little pit. Since I`m meditating everyday and kind of sensible to these changes, I will pretest for him, give him advices on what to expect and how to "apply" it onto your life, as I`ll try for myself. E.g., the effects may help you in this way: Take an example: You want to establish a daily routine of exercising. You still need to intent it, plan it, and just friking do it, microdosing will not do that for you; what it will do is narrow the effects of your little thoughts and impulses to "do things the old way", to "act upon your emotions that tell you to not do this" etc., create more of a gap between the present moment and your feelings/thoughts/whatever is going on - and in case of depression, this created this gap in which you will be more likely to CHOOSE for the right things to do. And, over a period of time, you choose over and over again and again for the "right, healthy" things, which in turn change you, your attitude, your feeling about life in general, your habits, your decisions and decisionmaking etc.. it`s, at best, a tool to help you improve your life at hand, actively. More ideas may pop up, be more inspired, may take more risk, more challenge, more enthusiastic. This in turn changes how you will feel about life and eventually about yourself in general, turning the depression into expression in best case.

This will be done maybe in 1-2 months depending on when I get the substance (will be LSD), and I`d probably start with microdosing every 3rd day (I had to reread in a studies that I have the documents saved somewhere for what is recommended after it has been tested, and that would bring about the best results, because it "boosts" every 3rd day, your conscious efforts stay consistent every day though, and over time it feels natural to "stand up and do the things that make you happy", creating a vicious circle, "defeating" depression and strengthening your ability to overcome it by yourself).

I can report if it has any effects on mindfulness and anything in regards to meditation, and how it translates into everything else if one is interested. Not sure if it fits the theme here in general, it fits the topic here though so I thought I may share.

Cheers
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mdr

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Re: Dharma Tripping: Meditation and Psychedelics
« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2016, 05:27:22 PM »
Unpredictable are the experiences caused by drugs. Even if experiences of great bliss or even ego death occur, they could be mistaken for the truth. From this, wrong views can arise. From these views, rebirth in blissful domains can arise. And is birth in the blissful domains the end of suffering? No. And is it easy to realize the truth in the blissful domains? No.

Thus, the wise refrain from taking any intoxicants to study the truth.

This.

Attachless, i don't want to nag, but i really think doing drugs is NOT a good idea, especially if you are meditating. (Even if "micro", even if only occasionally.)

Most probably it will make the depression much worse in the long run. Besides what maybeimeditate writes, it can and often does trigger psychosis. More mystically, when you are "open" in that way, various malicious entities can enter into your energetic field. I am not sure what is it called in Buddhist tradition, in Judaism it's dibbuk.
There is a reason that according to  Noble Eightfold Path intoxication is a no-no.

rogp99

  • Member
    • Theravada
Re: Dharma Tripping: Meditation and Psychedelics
« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2016, 09:56:22 PM »
More mystically, when you are "open" in that way, various malicious entities can enter into your energetic field. I am not sure what is it called in Buddhist tradition, in Judaism it's dibbuk.
There is a reason that according to  Noble Eightfold Path intoxication is a no-no.
Depends on who your teacher is, in my place we're warned about strong Asuras (or yakkhas?) from occultists or temples.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2016, 09:59:05 PM by rogp99 »

 

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