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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:23 pm 
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Zealot wrote:
I don't think the Buddha Dharma is the only belief system that says because we want, we will suffer.


No, the Buddha Dharma isn't the only system that says that.
What I am talking about goes further than that.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:27 pm 
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gregkavarnos wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Cannabis tends to give one a different experience of the same 'reality', and usually with pleasant side-effects.
I disagree. What we call reality is merely our interpretation of experiences. There is no independently existing reality beyond what one experiences. The only thing being stoned does is give you an experience of being stoned. It gives you a stoned reality. And like you say, this "reality" (stoned experience) may be pleasant. It also may be dominated by fear and paranoia. Given that it has this mutable capacity places it firmly within the realm of samsaric experience. Jhana experiences (for example) are not open to a variety of interpretation, that is why they lead us beyond samsara.
:namaste:


I didn't mean to imply an empirical "reality".
What I meant was, for example, ordinarily a person sees some nice wallpaper and might notice the design on it.
A stoned person sees that wallpaper and maybe sees it as a fantastic display of images,
but either way it's the same wallpaper.
As you say,"...given that it has this mutable capacity places it firmly within the realm of samsaric experience".
no disagreement here.
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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:33 pm 
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Zealot wrote:
Buddha constantly says that the Dharma is not real, it is just a un-truth with a much higher propensity to leading us to the truth.

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Where does he constantly say this? For that matter, where does he ever say it?

Zealot wrote:
Im currently reading A Treasury of Mahayana Sutras, selections from Maharatnakuta Sutra, in conversations between Buddha and his followers talks about the truth of non-grasping of the Dharma in which the Dharma itself is not the highest truth, but the non-grasping which should be sought to be attained.


"Buddha constantly says that the Dharma is not real,
it is just a un-truth with a much higher propensity to leading us to the truth"

is different from
"the Dharma itself is not the highest truth,
but the non-grasping which should be sought to be attained".


Can you cite the passages or reference them?
Thank you.
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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:55 pm 
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Zealot wrote:
Im currently reading A Treasury of Mahayana Sutras, selections from Maharatnakuta Sutra, in conversations between Buddha and his followers talks about the truth of non-grasping of the Dharma in which the Dharma itself is not the highest truth, but the non-grasping which should be sought to be attained.


I am going to make a wild guess that this teaching you refer to is not about abandoning precepts, or of interpreting the teachings to fit one's liking, but a suggestion that clinging to the teachings in a way that merely reinforces one's attachment to the concept of enlightenment is not the same as direct experience.

"Don't mistake the finger pointing to the moon for the moon itself".
--as the old saying goes.

Don't cling to the teachings is not the same as don't follow the teachings.
In short, it's a warning not to become attached to one's experiences.
That probably includes all the insight one gets from smoking pot!!

This doesn't mean that the teachings should not be followed,
otherwise, why would you follow the advice of this teaching?

anyway, please cite and quote the sutra itself. that would be really helpful.
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Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:33 pm 
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Seishen, it is only going around in circle because of you. Did I not just prove that your argument for cannabis as an intoxicant was logically flawed and did you completely ignore my analysis? Thank you for providing me a good link that covers medicine and the fifth precept, however.

CrawfordHollow, yes I am seriously considering taking the fifth precept, however I do not have a master. I do not plan to continue to smoke weed recreationally, however, I am still having problems with viewing it as an intoxicant unless my intention was to become intoxicated. I promise you I do not take this lightly, however it may seem. I have no agenda; I do not plan to be the enlightened pot smoking american hippie. I am simply seeking answers in sangha.

GregKavarnos, you continually add more to views and I thank you for your mostly unbiased information. Yes, I accept that any 'profound' experience I have had while high, if I view being high as the cause of this experience will only lead me to be stuck in samsara. The negative views on cannabis do concern me, however. It seems like based on your views, all my pot smoking friends are going to end up crippled, retarded, or worse. Also, devoid of a good reason not to smoke pot and pleasant sensation it provide was about the only reason I stand on this 'crutch' as you call it. However, today I am cannabis free because I have found a good reason to discontinue the cycle :twothumbsup: .

PadmaVonSamba, I did take a look in the book I am reading and could not find the passage exactly I was referring to, but when I do, I will quote it directly for you. Thank you for your insights, as well. I do plan to follow the eightfold path, and I plan to try not to cling to it however often I must reference back to it in order to to be compassionate in all of my actions :) .

Sorry if I missed replying to anyone. I do feel like I have a very firm grasp on the fifth precept now, and mostly I am continuing the experience because I feel it would be selfish to leave this topic solely because I have what I want. So I shall continue until all are satisfied.

:namaste:

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:59 pm 
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Zealot wrote:
Seishen, it is only going around in circle because of you. Did I not just prove that your argument for cannabis as an intoxicant was logically flawed and did you completely ignore my analysis? Thank you for providing me a good link that covers medicine and the fifth precept, however.


The only argument you've given is that you don't agree that intention changes anything, (correct me if I'm wrong). This does not make what I wrote logically flawed, it means you disagree. I did not ignore your analysis, I disagreed.

Please understand something, I do not have any negative feelings towards you. I am trying to help a beginner. I hope you do not feel that I am somehow attacking you, or that I am somekind of sutra-thumbing-anticannabis-facist. What I have wrote is along the lines of what other people have wrote, but you have constantly been argumentative with what I've said yet thanked other people. I don't understand this, which is why I do not want to take part in this thread anymore. I hope you find the answers you are look for and I hope the Dharma continues to serve you.

Gassho,
Seishin.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:17 pm 
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And yet you continue to post. I did just thank you in my last post, also. If you disagreed with my logic, you didn't state as such. Yes, you stated that an intoxicant causes heedlessness. I accept that. But the jump from that to cannabis is an intoxicant :shrug: ? No logic there.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:36 pm 
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That's not much of a jump, really. A pretty standard Buddhist definition of an intoxicant would be "that which causes heedlessness".

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:44 pm 
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But WHY does cannabis cause heedlessness? Other than "it gets you high". I know alcohol limits our ability to make rational choices by shutting down portions of the brain. What does cannabis do?

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:08 am 
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Zealot wrote:
But WHY does cannabis cause heedlessness? Other than "it gets you high". I know alcohol limits our ability to make rational choices by shutting down portions of the brain. What does cannabis do?


This reminds me of a story a Thai monk told me. I asked him why he was not allowed to make physical contact with women (his order is very strict) and he told me that in Shakyamuni Buddha's time, one of his followers, a monk, trailed along behind a man and a woman as they entered a temple. The monk gave a squeeze to the woman's rear end or something like that, and this caused quite an uproar, and brought a lot of accusations down upon the sangha and so forth, tarnishing their image.
So, the Buddha took the expedient approach and said, "okay, from, now on, monks are not allowed to touch women (and there are more vinaya rules along these lines). Perhaps one might say this was a bit harsh, or that he'd gone too far, but from his perspective (If i may), what was that monk's reason for signing up? At some point, these 'all or nothing' situations arise. I can imagine him saying to that monk, "look, if you want perfect realization, great, but don't just show up and start goofing off!"

Of course, certainly not everyone -buddhist monk or not- is going to start groping females every time they get near one! But the Buddha laid down the rule for ordained monks. he had to come up with a solution and that was it.
Nobody is required to become a monk, and generally speaking, nobody is required to take precepts (there probably are some teachers who do require it from their students at some point) but it's not like pork is forbidden or you have to keep your head covered or eat fish on Friday. It's not like "sin" in religion. Buddhist precepts are practical guidelines that apply beneficially to a vast majority of people.

Likewise, not everyone who smokes pot, either medicinally or recreationally,is going to zone out.
I have known a lot of very devoted, mindful and compassionate buddhists who also used intoxicants.
I knew guys who were dealers and gave half of their money as dharma offerings.
Samsara is one crazy town!!!
But let's be honest...pot plays with your head and oatmeal doesn't.

In some traditions, if you take precept vows like this, and you take them for life (as opposed to, for example, a short period of observance), then you really are supposed to commit to that. It's sort of like getting married. There is nothing wrong for a single person to go through a string of relationships, but if you get married and you make a promise to that person to be 'faithful' then, you know, now you are playing by a new set of rules, and it is important to keep that promise or else things are very likely to get really, seriously messed up. And you don't really want that.

Reading your posts, it sounds to me like there is a conflict, like you want to be a good buddhist but you also want to have the experience that cannabis offers, and the precepts are sort of getting in the way of that. If that's the case, then you probably shouldn't take that precept, just as a guy who likes to date a lot of women probably shouldn't rush into marriage.
There is really no problem, but there is also no point in trying to redefine the meaning of "intoxicant". 8-)
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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:32 am 
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Very good post here by PadmaVonSamba. It can be argued that pot does or does not cause heedlessness, but that really is besides the point. Pot is a mind altering substance, it "gets you high" in your own words, and therefore is an intoxicant. I am not attaching any value judgements to this statement, I am just stating a fact. When I made the comment about changing the precepts to fit your own agenda, I was not trying to be offensive. As PadmaVonSamba pointed out, you are trying to redefine intoxicant or trying to place pot in some special category. I am sorry, but as far as the vows goes this just doesn't work. I know. I have taken the vows and have spoken at length about them with many different spiritual masters. I have also done my fair share of drugs as well, and I agree that although pot may be the most harmless and potentially benefitial substance out there, it is still a major obstacle to practice. For instance there is no way that you can do serious Vajrayana practices while high. As a newcomer, I would strongly suggest that you take things slowly and put aside the whole business of taking vows at this point. Have you even taken refuge? Please don't think that you know all there is to know about these things because of some books that you have read or some things that you have gleamed off of an internet forum. When the Dharma really starts manifesting in your life it will change you in ways that can't even imagine. There is a process and you have to let it happen naturally. Taking vows before your ready and thinking that you know all that you need to know will cause you serious problems. I hope that you find a teacher/lineage that you can connect with. If you really want to take the 5th precept, I would suggest staying off all drugs for a good solid year before you take the vow. I won't get into it here but I took my vows way too early in the game and it became a huge setback for me. I have to add that Seishen provided you with a lot of sound advice. Forgive me for saying this but your replies to him come off as pretty stubborn and shows that you have a lot of attachment to your views. You are talking to experienced practitioners here, maybe it would be worth thinking about what they have told you. We all wish you the best.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:45 pm 
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Okay, I suppose it's time to open up a little more to you guys. You have all given me great advice and I appreciate it greatly. I am still very new to Buddhism, and my approach is quite ad-hoc such as memorizing most of what I know of Buddhism off of wikipedia. Truthfully, I am no longer at odds with the fifth precept, it is the right livelihood that is giving me thoughts. If you can't guess what I sell, I'm not going to specifically say it. However, if I wish to view my product as medicine, then that mean my customers who are clearly enjoying the substance as an intoxicant must go or change their views or something must change. I do fully believe that it is good medicine, and I also want to continue to help those who truly need it (I don't).

I am trying to integrate Buddhism into my life as fully as possible, and I thank everyone for all they have provided. I apologize to everyone who may have felt spurned by my argumentative side as I know I was not using compassion in my words.

I am a lay person and I like to think of myself as a lay-practitioner, however, like I have said, I have no master, and this is the only sangha I know to take refuge in. Yes, I do take refuge in the three jewels, and I think I have a sound understanding of them. Also, at this point in my life, I believe that computers and TV have a greater propensity for leading me to be intoxicated than cannabis does. Everything of the samsaric realm, if not realized and let go, can do the same.

Also, yes I am attached to the view of cannabis as medicine not a cut and dry intoxicant which is a view I believe many of you are attached to :) . I do a good job of playing devil's advocate, but I dislike making anyone sad with my driven mentality. So, once again, sorry Seishen, and sorry everyone else I may have offended!

:namaste:

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 3:03 pm 
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Zealot wrote:
However, if I wish to view my product as medicine, then that mean my customers who are clearly enjoying the substance as an intoxicant must go or change their views or something must change. I do fully believe that it is good medicine, and I also want to continue to help those who truly need it (I don't).
1. You are not a doctor nor are you a pharmacist so you cannot prescribe or sell even diarrhea medication, let alone your "product". 2. You can view it as the Queens mother too if you wish, but it is not the Queens mther, it is "the substance". Of course it can be medicine but cf 1. 3. Your customers do not need to change their views, even if they considered "the intoxicant" as the Queens mother you are still dealing in intoxicants. 4. What you are doing is illegal. Stop doing it before you wind up in a tonne of trouble and have to call your long-suffering legal guardian to bail you out.
Quote:
Everything of the samsaric realm, if not realized and let go, can do the same.
This is a piss poor excuse to continue destructive behaviour. You are not kidding us and it is quite obvious that you are not kidding yourself either. Be brave and just do it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xSFi-Tn2_g&feature=related
Quote:
Also, yes I am attached to the view of cannabis as medicine not a cut and dry intoxicant which is a view I believe many of you are attached to :).
It'll do you a mountain of good to detach yourself from this view.
:namaste:

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 3:04 pm 
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Zealot,
That's quite alright. In Buddhism we often say that those who rile us are our greatest teachers. :namaste:

Dhammapada (Twin Verses: 1.3-1.5)
” ‘She abused me, he beat me, she defeated me, he robbed me’:
In those who harbor such thoughts, hatred will never cease.

‘She abused me, he beat me, she defeated me, he robbed me’:
In those who do not harbor such thoughts, hatred will cease.

For never does hatred cease by hatred at any time. Hatred ceases by love. This is an eternal law. “

Gassho,
Seishin.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:34 pm 
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Thank you for the lively public exchange of ideas! :namaste:

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:45 pm 
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You certaintly didn't offend me or ruin my day in the least.
I am just trying to offer you a reality check and come to understand why someone with such little experience in Buddhism and with such resistance to changing their lifestyle would want to commit themselves to lifelong vows. I mean, are you going to tell the lama that you recive the vow from that he/she is attached to the view of weed as an intoxicant? So you sell weed-big deal, I used to bang a gram of heroin a day, but you know what, I grew up. You can defend and rationalize your lifestyle all you want but at some point if you want to be a practitioner you are going to have to stop hiding behind your concepts. Just because you view your drug of choice as a medicine doesn't mean that the rest of the world (including the Buddhist community) is wrong because they view it as a drug-which it is. If you ever want to be a serious practitioner you are going to have to give all that up- environment is stronger than will. I am sure that most of the people that you sell to and buy from probably don't give a damn about your enlightenment. I have known plenty of drug dealers, I dabbled in it myself, and its a dirty business. And I am not just talking about the hard stuff either, I knew plenty of pot growers that were armed to the teeth. These were ruthless, violent, people that were lost in greed. I am not saying that you or your friends fit into this category, but when you are doing illegal things you are going to have to deal with some pretty nasty people at times. Ever been ripped off or robbed? There is a major conflict between the life that you seem to be aspiring to and the life that you are actually living. You can rationilze it with your theories on emptiness/non-attachment or whatever as much as you like but the truth is is that you are not there yet. You haven't done the practice, you haven't put in the work to bring about those realizations; you have just read some stuff that sounds good to you. So what that means is that you are amassing a whole truck load of bad karma for yourself. You can't have it both ways. You can't have one foot in the Dharma and one foot in the drug world. Make a choice. And don't tell me that I am attached to my views because I have got way more years and experiece on you in both practice and probably drugs. Good luck.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:14 pm 
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PadmaVonSamba wrote:
I didn't mean to imply an empirical "reality".
What I meant was, for example, ordinarily a person sees some nice wallpaper and might notice the design on it.
A stoned person sees that wallpaper and maybe sees it as a fantastic display of images,
but either way it's the same wallpaper.
And another person sees it and considers it beautiful, and another sees it and considers it crass, and the cat sees it and doesn't give a damn and the dog sees it and raises its leg and pees on it and the fly sees it and considers it a landing strip, ad nauseum...

The point is that no one of these views is more important, more valid, more insightful, more whatever, than the others. They are all just experiences. Nothing else.
:namaste:

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:38 am 
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gregkavarnos wrote:

The point is that no one of these views is more important, more valid, more insightful, more whatever, than the others. They are all just experiences. Nothing else.
:namaste:

I might have to disagree.
"just experiences" can count for quite a lot.
Sometimes a mere experience can be a real eye-opener.
.
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Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:46 am 
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I feel this thread has long run its course, but I would like to add one more thought in closing.

Its funny that on a Buddhist forum that Zealot insists on declaring pot medicine. And as a distributer of that medicine that would make him a doctor of sorts. What Zealot may not realize is that Buddhsim has long been considered a medicine, and as diseased individuals we need the Dharma to cure us. Treatments vary, of course, because we all have different conditions; what can be medicine to one could be another's poison. Thats why there are so many methods that the Buddha taught, and thats what makes our tradition so special. A qualified master is very much like a doctor. He/she can diagnose us and give us treatments that are appropriate to our own unique situation. If we are diligent and follow the doctors orders then we are sure to be cured. Now, compare this view with the idea of pot as medicine. Does Zealot really have the ability to judge if this substance is the right cure for everybody. I know for me, drugs caused a lot of problems in my life, and I have seen people's lives get ruined just from smoking weed. And even if weed were to cause some benefit does it really compare to what the Dharma can do for us. The Dharma is here to cure us, not to make life a little more comfortable or interesting. Zealot, I think if you really reflected and came to some realization about the sickness of samsara, you may find that the Dharma is the only medicine out there. This isn't something that you can come to by reading a little on the internet, you really have to meditate on it, and I would suggest doing so with a clear head. You can call pot whatever you want, but it is nothing compared to the Dharma, which is the one true medicine.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:56 pm 
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I have so far identified 7 intoxicating traits to cannabis and 4 healing/medicinal traits. They are as follows:

Inotoxicating:
Impairment - Grasping
Anxiety - Forgetfulness
Confusion - Loss of concentration
Sloth

Medicinal:
Relief of Tension
Reduction of Pain
Stimulating Appetite
Healing

Neutral but beneficial:
Concord

A little extrapolation: The impairment seems to come only at the beginning or the end in the form of temporary reduction of lung function (trouble breathing after a big hit) and tiredness during the come down. These two factors seem linked to the increase of grasping/attachment that comes during the time in which cannabis has still running strong. Anxiety and Forgetfulness seem similarly linked as one forgets their train of thought they become anxious. The link between confusion and concentration is also similar. Confusion seems to arise on it's own ('why am I doing this?' 'What's going to happen next?') perhaps because the whole ceremony involves giving yourself over to the substance which is also where to loss of concentration comes from. You're giving it away. All of these as a whole contribute to Sloth as you become tangled in this web of emotion and change, you become lethargic.

All of these factors, however, can be overcome with the proper mindfulness, acceptance, concentration, or moreover willpower.

If anyone would like, I can extrapolate/link/debate the medicinal properties, but for me, they seem self-explanatory.

I hope what I have come to find in my searches will be of some use to any one else.

:namaste:

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