Psychedelics

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Re: Psychedelics

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:52 pm

Vasana wrote:To your average person, it's just another psychedelic...
I'll take it this means you believe you are an above-average person? So I guess the "no-self realization" didn't manifest for you huh? :tongue:
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Re: Psychedelics

Postby Vasana » Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:57 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Vasana wrote:To your average person, it's just another psychedelic...
I'll take it this means you believe you are an above-average person? So I guess the "no-self realization" didn't manifest for you huh? :tongue:


Of course not :) Apologies if i wasn't clear with what i meant. I did not mean average in a derogatory context, more so that psychedelics have a certain stigma asscoiated with them and that 'most' people assume they are nothing more than the chemical affects of the brain and that they can only ever be catalysts for more obscurations.

I was mostly just referring to the whole skeptic vs advocate loop and was not placing myself or any person above or below on some kind of below-middle-or above average scale.

Any thoughts on the other points i raised?
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Re: Psychedelics

Postby smcj » Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:03 pm

"Psychedelics are to psychology what the telescope is to astronomy"

Psychologists are famous for flipping out when they take psychedelics, Leary, Alpert, etc.

Generally speaking your psychology is your samsara. It is what you seek freedom from, your delusional sense of self. The same is true whether your psychology is psychedelicized or not. Psychedelic delusions are no more valuable than sober delusions.
Last edited by smcj on Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Psychedelics

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:04 pm

Man I just love this stuff where apparently Buddhism is all light shows and astral projection...I guess people just don't bother with "the basics" some times?

It's not so much that there's contradictory ideas, as it is that everyone i've seen coming from the "psychedelic" angle on DW seems to pretty much ignore Hinayana or Mahayana teachings and just jump straight to this weird idea of a connection between Shamanism and Tantra - the more of this stuff I see the more I really understand why Tantra is secretive, and why they are so insistent on having a solid base in sutra teachings - people are attracted for the wrong reasons.

I know there is some small precedent historically..i'm sure there are authentic uses of psychedelics..I just doubt any of the posters on here advocating it are qualified to do so. Seriously, if you are that interested in Buddhism your interest should carry without psychedelics being involved. It's like you want to jump straight to these big, breathtaking (not to mention basically just pleasurable - which should be a clue as to the motivations behind this kind of seeking) experiences without the more difficult work that comes with actual honest Dharma practice..it ain't supposed to just be easy, fun, and make you feel one with everything.

It just sounds like people want to have cool, fun, interesting experiences - I actually have no reason to moralize over that, and i've done similar myself..but to confuse it with an earnest attempt at spirituality is where it starts to get pretty thin IMO.
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Re: Psychedelics

Postby Vasana » Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:08 pm

smcj wrote:
"Psychedelics are to psychology what the telescope is to astronomy"

Psychologists are famous for flipping out when they take psychedelics.

Generally your psychology is your samsara. It is what you seek freedom from. The same is true whether your psychology is psychedelicized or not. Psychedelic delusions are no more valuable than sober delusions.


i Agree that psychedelic delusions are no more valuable than sober delusions, but i still put it across that psychedelics along with the correct awareness and intention behind them, can actually help a person cut away from delusions and illusions, even if only temporarily. Of course what a person experiences on psychdelics will be a reflection of their own karma and mental tendencies anyway , but turned inwardly they can be tools for what ever you are applying them for, and as such are not necessarily always hindrances along the path.

And Johnny Dangerous, Everyone has their own karma. For me personally, the path of Chod has presented it's self through astral occurrences. I don't think any of these paths have to be conflictive with the right understanding.

For me personally, Budhism is providing me with the groundwork and ensuring that i keep the intent to practice and learn compassion with the shamanic and astral side of things 'merely' being catalysts to naviagte between the realms of samsara to help spread dharma, if not compassion and healing to the beings encountered there. It's the shamanism and astral occurences that bought me here so something must be dependent behind the scenes :lol:
Last edited by Vasana on Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Psychedelics

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:10 pm

Vasana wrote:Any thoughts on the other points i raised?
My opinion is that Ayahuasca is as sentient, sacred, or as special as any other plant. That's what I think.
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Re: Psychedelics

Postby M.G. » Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:12 pm

I've talked to people who have told me they took psychedelics and had fun, or had visions, or felt threatened, or gained some sort of insight. I've never had anyone tell me "I took psychedelics and since then I've been less self-grasping."
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Re: Psychedelics

Postby Vasana » Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:22 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Vasana wrote:Any thoughts on the other points i raised?
My opinion is that Ayahuasca is as sentient, sacred, or as special as any other plant. That's what I think.



I do believe all plants are sentient, but i also believe some possess more awareness than others. As with humans of course. If some humans are 'asleep', some awake and some awakening, i would imagine that the spirit/sentience of Ayawaska is awake, if not awakening. Not all gurus and teachers have to be human.

I won't go on too much anyway. It's one of those things that may be fruitless debating as it all boils down to personal experience and enquiry and for many people, it's irrelevant either way.

Once again though, i'm genuinely looking forward to seeing what bridges are emerging from the Amazon towards India + Tibet.
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Re: Psychedelics

Postby smcj » Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:52 pm

i Agree that psychedelic delusions are no more valuable than sober delusions, but i still put it across that psychedelics along with the correct awareness and intention behind them, can actually help a person cut away from delusions and illusions, even if only temporarily. Of course what a person experiences on psychdelics will be a reflection of their own karma and mental tendencies anyway , but turned inwardly they can be tools for what ever you are applying them for, and as such are not necessarily always hindrances along the path.

The people that I know who have benefited from psychedelics are generally people that have taken it the least. Repeated psychedelic use lends itself to egomania more easily than egolessness.

In my opinion the valid point that can be taken from the experience is a visceral knowledge that the mundane way of experiencing life is not the only way possible. The problem comes with the idea that the the psychedelic version is somehow better, or more interesting, or whatever. Seeing it as merely an alternative perspective provokes the search for actual authentic life, minus the "adventitious defilements". Since your Buddha Nature is immutable, it is what isn't changed by the experience; the clarity, luminosity and emptiness of your own mind. That is just as unseen while high as while sober. The work to be done is in the here and now.

There can also be a temporary "waking up" where you reflect on your life and see the insanity of your normal day to day living. That can have value too.

Sorry for the :soapbox:
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Re: Psychedelics

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:01 pm

Look, if I eat a fistful of jalapeno peppers I am sure that it will cause me to have an experience of altered (or alternative) awareness. Does that mean I should consider chilli peppers sentient, sacred and special? One can also induce hallucinations through hyperventilation, does that mean hyperventilation is sacred? Let's get real here for a second and stop kidding ourselves.
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Re: Psychedelics

Postby Vasana » Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:12 pm

With respect, i think you may be over simplifying/denouncing something that is more tangible than you may think.

Again, i do not have the ability to prove the sentience and awarenss of Ayawaska, but at least look into it a bit more before coming to a final conclusion ( only if it is relevant to your practice or curiosity )

I learnt valuable dharma lessons in a state free of language yet overflowing with it via Ayawaska. That is my experience, something i cannot prove. The real value of my experiences with ayawaska and the astral? Interest and attraction to dharma and compassion.

Was "I" responsible for my interest or was the Plant? Who can say, more to the point, it doesn't really matter.
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Re: Psychedelics

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:19 pm

Vasana wrote:With respect, i think you may be over simplifying/denouncing something that is more tangible than you may think.

Again, i do not have the ability to prove the sentience and awarenss of Ayawaska, but at least look into it a bit more before coming to a final conclusion ( only if it is relevant to your practice or curiosity )

I learnt valuable dharma lessons in a state free of language yet overflowing with it via Ayawaska. That is my experience, something i cannot prove. The real value of my experiences with ayawaska and the astral? Interest and attraction to dharma and compassion.

Was "I" responsible for my interest or was the Plant? Who can say, more to the point, it doesn't really matter.


With all due respect, I have a hard time trying to see how what you are doing is entirely motivated by "attraction to dharma and compassion", since there is a foundation in those things that requires Ayahuasca not at all, and rather it seems like you are doing a psychedelics/shamanism thing, and grafting some Buddhism in there. Why? Well, does this supposed draw to Buddhism interest you in going out, finding a Sangha, a teacher, and learning more about practice, reading Sutra, look at ethics or anything ..or does it just make you want to keep doing your psychedelic/shamanism thing with a few Buddhist concepts thrown in?

There's nothing wrong with doing that, everyone is free to do what they want, but you can't expect other people to count that as a valid interest in Buddhism as you are using it in this conversation I don't think.
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Re: Psychedelics

Postby Vasana » Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:28 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Vasana wrote:With respect, i think you may be over simplifying/denouncing something that is more tangible than you may think.

Again, i do not have the ability to prove the sentience and awarenss of Ayawaska, but at least look into it a bit more before coming to a final conclusion ( only if it is relevant to your practice or curiosity )

I learnt valuable dharma lessons in a state free of language yet overflowing with it via Ayawaska. That is my experience, something i cannot prove. The real value of my experiences with ayawaska and the astral? Interest and attraction to dharma and compassion.

Was "I" responsible for my interest or was the Plant? Who can say, more to the point, it doesn't really matter.


With all due respect, I think many here will not see what you are doing as entirely motivated by "attraction to dharma and compassion", since there is a foundation in those things that requires Ayahuasca not at all, and rather most will come to the conclusion that you are doing a psychedelics/shamanism thing, and grafting some Buddhism in there. Why? Well, does this supposed draw to Buddhism interest you in going out, finding a Sangha, a teacher, and learning more about practice, reading Sutra or anything ..or does it just make you want to keep doing your psychedelic/shamanism thing with a few Buddhist concepts thrown in?

There's nothing wrong with doing that, everyone is free to do what they want, but you can't expect other people to count that as a valid interest in Buddhism as you are using it in this conversation I don't think.


I am motivated by compassion, but i will be the first to admit that my quick replies,both online and in person may not always emnate that. It's the goal i'm working towards and i'm aware i may not embody it just yet.

I'm not simply just doing the shamanism and psychedelics thing and then adding Buddhism, I'm specifically interested in Chod, which in it's self is a combination of shamanic and Buddhist views. I was told by a voice while asleep to practice Chod, which lead me to start looking into it very recently.

I'll admit i'm new to parts of it and familiar with others, but the previous experiences i have had have lead me here. Which i can only view as a positive thing. I do not premote attachment to psychedelics in any way. If used with the intent to learn, they can be just that.

I will be mindful and try to spot when my tone may not be beneficial but i will also attempt to point out misconceptions about psychedelics when they arise. Not because i have a point to prove, more that i think as with all things, it's not as black and white as many people believe it to be.
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Re: Psychedelics

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:32 pm

Vasana wrote:I'm not simply just doing the shamanism and psychedelics thing and then adding Buddhism, I'm specifically interested in Chod, which in it's self is a combination of shamanic and Buddhist views. I was told by a voice while asleep to practice Chod, which lead me to start looking into it very recently.
Chod is (mainly) a tantric practice based on the Mahayana Prajnaparamita Sutra.
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Re: Psychedelics

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:37 pm

I know (at least from what people here have explained) that Chod does not require empowerment...but I do imagine that some level of some understanding of Sutra teachings is a given to practice it.

I.e. it would be seen as unwise to have not previously been a Buddhist and then just BANG start doing Chod. Also it would be abnormal to try to "pick and choose" from Chod practice, discarding what you didn't like.. I could be wrong on these things, but that's my hunch.
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Re: Psychedelics

Postby Vasana » Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:40 pm

Yes. I'm currently reading Machig Labdron and the foundations of Chod as an entry level point while trying to overlay these perspectives and realizations with that of the nature of the Bardos and samsaric realms i believe have a lot in common with shamanic journeying and astral projection. My views are synrcretic and i believe it can be useful to spend time learning about intricate details as well as the emptiness it all sprung from.

Phowa/ Concious dying /" the transference of consciousness at the time of death" is something i feel has a lot in common with the routes Amazonian shamans take when part-taking in their journeys.

I am trying to learn more about both because i know they both have perceptual pieces and techniques to this samsaric puzzle we find ourselves in. I aim to use the compassionate insights of Chod to help alleviate the suffering of the 'hungry ghost' spirits i encounter astrally and to hopefully subjugate the malevolent beings i occasionally encounter.

Again, the recommendation to practice Chod came to me during sleep, so i can assure you i am being sincere in my quests. I also received what i think is a secret mantra which i aim to find translation of.The voice was Asian sounding, but of course that could mean anything , but i do feel a karmic connection to these teachings as first triggered when exploring the Tibetan Yogas of Dream and sleep by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche.

It's early days, but i feel i am on the right path and have arrived at the right online forum as an introductory digital taste of Sangha.
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Re: Psychedelics

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:47 pm

Most would likely recommend not trying the stuff you are doing without a teacher, and a grounding in Buddhist teachings.
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Re: Psychedelics

Postby Vasana » Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:51 pm

I agree.

Currently looking for a teacher, but i was thrown head first into this stuff spontaneously last october, so until i can find proper guidance, i will continue to learn what i can on my own.

I realize the importance of the preliminaries and Chod is not my first taste of Buddhism but rather something i have been guided to explore further. As i am reading and realizing, so long as bodhichitta is cultivated and genuinely present, the dharma practice will be fruitful no matter what shape or name it takes on.
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Re: Psychedelics

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:58 pm

Vasana wrote:...i believe have a lot in common with shamanic journeying and astral projection.
Well, if you actually go deeper into the practice of Chod you will find this is not the case at all.
Phowa/ Concious dying /" the transference of consciousness at the time of death" is something i feel has a lot in common with the routes Amazonian shamans take when part-taking in their journeys.
the phowa in Chod is not the same as the Phowa for transfering consciousness to the Pure realms. Find yourself a good teacher because you are just confusing yourself.
Again, the recommendation to practice Chod came to me during sleep, so i can assure you i am being sincere in my quests. I also received what i think is a secret mantra which i aim to find translation of...
How do you know it was not just your normal old delusive self giving you these "insights"? It is actually quite common for beginners to have dreams/portents/etc... that seem profound but are actually just normal old delusion. If you believe you have been given a "secret mantra" go get it checked by an accomplished and qualified teacher. Just to be on the safe side.

As for spiritual experiences:
Meditation does not mean producing any special state of mind, such as putting ourselves into a trance, a state of blissful contentment or any other artifical state. It does not entail evoking any special experiences, havin visions, seeing paticular forms and colours. Meditation means becoming aware of the fact that for an incoceivable length of time our mind has been the prisoner of its attachement to experiences. It means seeing that this condition produces suffering, imprisons the mind and sets artificial limits to it.
Gendun Rinpoche Heart Advice from a Mahamudra Master
Is any of this ringing any alarm bells yet?
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Re: Psychedelics

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:03 pm

Some of the best advice i've gotten is to not expect fun and interesting experiences from Buddhism, that it can't start from a place of motivation to collect experiences that are notable.
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