Author Topic: The art of Mindful Smoking  (Read 6962 times)

Flipasso

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The art of Mindful Smoking
« on: June 25, 2009, 12:07:22 AM »
Quote
The first step towards quitting smoking is to learn how to enjoy smoking, and in order to learn how to derive supreme enjoyment from smoking one must first know the art of smoking. Seems absurd – a paradox – isn’t it?

 

I stopped smoking four years now and I know I shall never smoke again. Let me tell you how I quit smoking. Maybe someone out there may benefit from my experience.

 

I got my clue from an apocryphal teaching story I read somewhere. I reflected upon it, carrying it my mind for a long time, until I fathomed the story’s inner depth and meaning.

 

A seeker asks the master, “Can I smoke while meditating?”

 

“No,” scolds the master angrily.

 

Another seeker then asks, “Can I meditate while smoking?”

 

“Yes,” says the master knowingly realizing that this seeker is on the path to enlightenment.

 

This is the key, the first step – if you really want to stop smoking. First learn to meditate while smoking. Here’s how I did it.

 

One evening, I take one cigarette, just one, and walk down to Marine Drive and sit down on the parapet, at the southern tip near Nariman Point, in the cool sea breeze watching the sun being swallowed up by the Arabian Sea, crimson-yellow petals being thrown high up in the distant sky gradually devoured by the enveloping twilight. Soon it is dark, quiet and tranquil, and I feel calm and relaxed.

 

I take out the cigarette from my pocket and hold it in front of me, look at it lovingly and close my eyes. You must close your eyes – it accentuates your other senses, makes you more conscious of what’s going on inside you.

 

I hold the cigarette near my nose and breathe in the rich aroma of the tobacco, gently moving the cigarette as I take deep breaths, savoring the sweet fragrance of the tobacco tinged with the fresh scent of the paper and filter, until my olfactory system is truly and fully satiated.

 

I then put the filter between my lips, taste it and suck in air deeply through the unlighted cigarette. It feels good. I then open my eyes, light the cigarette, close my eyes, get ready and take a deep drag, focusing on my breath as I inhale, allowing the smoke to permeate deep within me, infusing a sensation I cannot describe, and watching carefully with my inner eye as I exhale – slow, long and relaxing.

 

Is my system being energized or depleted – I do not know – but I continue my unhurried meditative smoking, eyes gently closed, my inner senses fully conscious, aware, observing attentively, till the cigarette is over. I open my eyes, come out of my trance and instinctively I gulp in a huge amount of the fresh sea breeze and rinse my lungs and system.

 

As I walk back I decide that this is how I shall smoke each and every cigarette from now on – meditative mindful smoking – the only way I shall smoke.

 

Most of us “smokers” haven’t learnt how to enjoy a smoke. We keep puffing away every waking moment of their lives without even noticing it. You grab a quick smoke in a hurry, you smoke when you are bored, you smoke while talking, while working, while doing something - smoking and multitasking: You smoke unconsciously, cigarette after cigarette, without even realizing it. Is it worth it? Why smoke if you don’t enjoy it?

 

I decide. Whenever I feel like smoking I shall stop everything and prepare myself for a meditative smoke. Go to some quiet place where I can sit undisturbed, alone. Yes I must be alone. Meditative smoking is a solitary activity. And when I do smoke, I shall only smoke – no multitasking. No more smoking with friends, with tea or coffee, no more smoking in the office feeling a guilt conscience that non-smokers don’t like it or at home with my wife nagging me, no more hurried puffs, no more mindless unconscious smoking. Only meditative, mindful, conscious smoking in glorious solitude, maintaining inner calm and tranquility, and total awareness.

 

I follow this religiously, and soon I discover that the number of cigarettes required to satisfy me have drastically reduced and soon I am smoking only one cigarette a day – every evening, at sunset, just as I described it. For me smoking is a special occasion requiring solitude and a congenial ambience, and if I cannot create the right atmosphere, both internally and externally, I shall not smoke.

 

When you have mastered something it’s time to let go and move on. One day I feel I have mastered the art of smoking, derived all the enjoyment I wanted to from this activity, and reached a state of contentment and satiety. It’s time to let go. At sunset I go to my favourite place on Marine Drive, enjoy my final meditative smoke and toss the cigarette butt into the sea.

 

It’s been more than four years now and I haven’t had a smoke since nor have I ever felt the urge or craving to smoke. I know I will never smoke again – I have quit smoking forever.

 

Quitting is easy. You must ensure you don’t start smoking again. You have to break the habit forever. For this it’s best to use a technique like Force Field Analysis which I have described in my article on How to Quit Drinking.

 

 

VIKRAM KARVE

vikramkarve@sify.com

 

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com

This is something I will try, since I feel smoking diminishes my overall life quality.

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: The art of Mindful Smoking
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2009, 09:16:18 PM »
If you watch a small child on their birthday having a party many times they will get all these toys given to them and then be told by their parent to "be a good child" and "share them".

The kid usually reacts by having a stroppy fit of some kind or crying.

The kid has not owned these toys - how can he share them?

In a similar way I think we all have to own every aspect of ourselves before we can let go of them. By not owning or owning up to who we are we are, through deep self honesty, we deny ourselves the chance to be real.

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

spdr

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Re: The art of Mindful Smoking
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2009, 12:57:08 PM »
and, did it work?

if you like this meditation check out the orange book by bhagwan shree rajneesh, it describes this meditation in more detail and lots of others
ah here it is: http://www.sannyas.org/wiki/index.php?title=Osho_Bibliography_-_The_Orange_Book

or try with vipassana (if done correctly) you will automagically give up all vices and get much more in return.

KarateDOug

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Re: The art of Mindful Smoking
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2009, 03:50:15 AM »
Interesting. Ive never thought of this concept. I will see how it works for me.


Flipasso

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Re: The art of Mindful Smoking
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2009, 02:16:16 PM »
After my night sitting session, around midnight, I smoked my first cigarret that day!
The urge to smoke was very intense, so the cigarrette was smoked in a flash.
I tried to notice all the feelings, that the cigarret aroused in me, but most of the experience was in vain because of the rush with which I smoked the ciggaret.
I noticed how heavier and duller I felt; how tired my breath became, because of the smoke; and oddly enough, I noticed how I somehow could pay more attention more easily to my inner landscape. I also noticed a kind of euphoria, something like positive thinking "i'm gonna do this, I'm gonna do that, everything is gonna turn out fine". - All these events peaked at about the end of the ciggaret, and gradually faded in about 10mins.
I smoked a ciggaret latter in the night, and it was quite different. I didn't have the same rush to smoke it...
So I smoked it slowlier and this time, I felt more the physical effects of the smoke. It tasted like an ordinary ciggaret in the middle of the day to which you usually don't pay much attention. - Not that good. - This time, I didn't notice any psychologicall effects at all... It was just an ordinary ciggaret...

Last night I was planning for 1 mindful smoke in the end of the night, but the craving was very intense and I ended up smoking after-dinner. It put my mood down, so I decided to stop.
It was not a gradual thing as I expected, I didn't find out how stupid and useless a cigarret is, or any other spiritual revelation for that matter, but I decided that the cravings were spoiling my day and night and so I stopped.
It doesn't mean I won't relapse, but at least I'm trying...  They say you'll only learn how to quit, by quitting...

I may even smoke a mindful cigarret in sometime, but I hope I won't fall into that old "smoking 20 cigs a day" stuff again...

Anyhow, for smokers out there, try this...
At least it is interesting!

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: The art of Mindful Smoking
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2009, 09:38:46 AM »
FlipAsso,

How is it going with the smoking?

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~