Ayahuasca and Buddhism

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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue May 14, 2013 11:38 am

yegyal wrote:I know a very prominent Rinpoche, whose name I shall not mention, that is very interested in ayahuasca, and I assure it's somebody you have lots of respect for. But you won't find any youtube clip about it because these things are done secretly and he seems to have a bit of a thing for secrecy. In fact, it's a pretty open secret, so I'm surprised that you wouldn't have heard about it. I'm sure others on here know who I'm alluding to, but are likewise not interested in naming names.
Well, you have me convinced!

And what, in Buddhas name, is an "open secret"? Either something is secret, or it is open.
And Alex Grey is a long time student of Namkhai Norbu, who put together a book called Zig Zag Zen, so if you really are interested, which I kind of doubt, you can find lots of Buddhist teachers discussing psychadelics in that book.
There are lots of deluded morons out there (including me) that are students of Namkhai Norbu (or any other Buddhist teachers), so this does not say all that much to me. Anyway, it is one thing to discuss psychedelics and another thing to endorse them.

The fact that the book has a foreword written by Stephen Batchelor, is published by Tricycle and is basically a vehicle to advertise Alex Greys artwork says a lot about what one is to expect. As for the other "expert" that wrote the preface (Huston Smith) well, his spiritual biography speaks for itself:
During his career, Smith not only studied, but practiced Vedanta (studying under Swami Satprakashananda, founder of the St. Louis Vedanta Center), Zen Buddhism (studying under Goto Zuigan), and Sufi Islam for more than ten years each.
As a young man, he suddenly turned from traditional Methodist Christianity to mysticism, influenced by the writings of Gerald Heard and Aldous Huxley. In 1947, before moving from Denver to St. Louis, Smith set out to meet with then-famous author Gerald Heard. Heard responded to Smith's letter, inviting him to his Trabuco College (later donated as the Ramakrishna Monastery) in Southern California. Heard made arrangements to have Smith meet the legendary author Aldous Huxley. Smith was told to look up Swami Satprakashananda of the Vedanta Society once he settled in St. Louis. So began Smith's experimentation with meditation and association with the Vedanta Society of the Ramakrishna order.
Smith developed an interest in the Traditionalist School formulated by René Guénon and Ananda Coomaraswamy. This interest has become a continuing thread in all his writings.
Thanks to his connection with Heard and Huxley, Smith went on to meet Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert (Ram Dass), and others at the Center for Personality Research, where Leary was Research Professor. The group began experimenting with psychedelics and what Smith later called "empirical metaphysics."[6] The experience and history of the group are described in Smith's book Cleansing the Doors of Perception. During this period, Smith was also part of the Harvard Project, an attempt to raise spiritual awareness through entheogenic plants.
During his tenure at Syracuse University, he was informed by leaders of the Onondaga Tribe about the Native American religious traditions and practices, which resulted in an additional chapter in his book on the world's religions.
In 1990 the Supreme Court ruled that the use of Peyote as a religious sacrament by Native Americans was not protected under the US Constitution. Smith took up the cause, as a noted religion scholar and, with his help in 1994, Congress passed the American Indian Religious Freedom Act Amendment, basically overturning the Supreme Court's decision.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huston_Smith

Not really much there to tie him into Buddhism really, is there?
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby yegyal » Tue May 14, 2013 12:37 pm

Simon E. wrote:Name him yegyal..put up or shut up.


I already said I wouldn't mention his name and that's out of respect for his privacy. Personally, I don't care that neither of you believe me that there is a Tibetan lama that doesn't share your hard line attitude towards these things. As for somebody I can mention, the late great Tulku Urgyen said that these things would be useful tools in the hands of good practitioners, but otherwise are best avoided, which pretty much disqualifies all of us.
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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby Simon E. » Tue May 14, 2013 1:00 pm

A shotgun, a surgeons scalpel, five pounds of nitro-glycerine, and X-rays are examples of tools which are useful in the hands of skilled practitioners. And which should otherwise be avoided.

Some toxic plant that hobbles normal neurological responses and the use of which breaches the Fifth Precept may not qualify.
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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby oushi » Tue May 14, 2013 1:06 pm

Simon E. wrote:A shotgun, a surgeons scalpel, five pounds of nitro-glycerine, and X-rays are examples of tools which are useful in the hands of skilled practitioners. And which should otherwise be avoided.

Some toxic plant that hobbles normal neurological responses and the use of which breaches the Fith Precept may not qualify.

Tell us more how skilled practitioner makes a good use of a shotgun....
:guns:
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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby Simon E. » Tue May 14, 2013 1:14 pm

Clay pigeon shooting, which harms no sentient being, is an Olympic sport.
It also provides an outlet for those who once shot game to maintain their skills even when they lose the desire to kill things...very useful I would say.
I know several people who have done just that.. they have transfered their skills to an ahimsa activity.
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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby oushi » Tue May 14, 2013 1:22 pm

I have to conclude, that our definition of good use/usefulness differs greatly. I cannot find destroying clay pigeons useful in any way. Maintaining ones skill in killing is also of no use for me...
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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby yegyal » Tue May 14, 2013 1:34 pm

I tend to agree with Oushi. On one hand you have a "medicine" used by shamans to gain knowledge and heal for thousands of years which you seem to think has no beneficial use whatsoever. And on the other, you have skeet shooting.
Then again, your story is no more or less convincing than all of the other people on this thread claiming that they've benefited from psychadelic experiences.
Who am I to claim they weren't benefited or that such a thing isn't possible based on my little to no understanding of their circumstances?
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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby Simon E. » Tue May 14, 2013 1:40 pm

oushi wrote:I have to conclude, that our definition of good use/usefulness differs greatly. I cannot find destroying clay pigeons useful in any way. Maintaining ones skill in killing is also of no use for me...

I think you are rather missing the point.. :roll: It was simply an analogy. Not a statement of literal fact.
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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby Simon E. » Tue May 14, 2013 1:47 pm

yegyal wrote:I tend to agree with Oushi. On one hand you have a "medicine" used by shamans to gain knowledge and heal for thousands of years which you seem to think has no beneficial use whatsoever. And on the other, you have skeet shooting.
Then again, your story is no more or less convincing than all of the other people on this thread claiming that they've benefited from psychadelic experiences.
Who am I to claim they weren't benefited or that such a thing isn't possible based on my little to no understanding of their circumstances?

I frankly dont give a fig whether you find my pov 'convincing' or not.
The onus is on you to demonstrate that any reputable Buddhist teacher has condoned the use of substances that beyond any reasonable debate breach the Fifth precept.
The onus is not for me to demonstrate why it is bad idea..2500 years of Buddhadharma have made that case much more eloquently than I can.
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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby Tron010101 » Tue May 14, 2013 1:49 pm

@Simon E.

Ayahuasca is a medicine. It physically cures people. Addictions, long term illnesses, parasites, ect. I have experienced this first hand. It's well recorded.
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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby Simon E. » Tue May 14, 2013 1:54 pm

Can you show me the peer reviewed clinical trials that corroborate your claims ?

I am afraid that personal anecdotes don't cut it, given the very human propensity to kid ourselves.
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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby Simon E. » Tue May 14, 2013 2:00 pm

You can bung as many vids by dopers who have gone native onto the thread as you want..
What I asked for was peer reviewed clinical trials. Sigh.



But I have fallen into the trap of inadvertantly helping to keeping this misplaced thread alive by replying to it.


:namaste: I am out.
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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby Tron010101 » Tue May 14, 2013 2:51 pm

@Simon E.

Don't leave. The best is yet to come. I promise.
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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby Tron010101 » Tue May 14, 2013 2:55 pm

David Coyete on "THE INTERTWINING OF BUDDHISM & AYAHUASCA."

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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby Jikan » Tue May 14, 2013 3:16 pm

In that video (I haven't finished it), David Coyote is introduced as a Buddhist practitioner and teacher. I can't tell if this means he is a Buddhist teacher or a teacher and a Buddhist (the syntax is ambiguous). Does Coyote claim to teach Buddhism?

EDIT: It appears that Mr Coyote teaches Buddhist meditation in the context of ayahuasca retreats.
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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby Jikan » Tue May 14, 2013 3:25 pm

From the moderator:

I have removed some irrelevant video links from view. Please keep the conversation in the scope of our terms of service:

This is not a "comparative religion site", it is a site to learn and discuss the Buddha's teachings without animosity.
- In support of this:

* Badmouthing of other spiritual paths is not allowed.
* Proselyting / evangelizing other paths, which includes, for example, arguing that some other path is superior to the Buddhist path is not allowed.
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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby Tron010101 » Tue May 14, 2013 3:59 pm

Zen Monk Dokusho Villalba on Zen Meditation and Ayahuasca

Translation:
“From my point of view, all that works… as a tool…. to dissolve ignorance is a tool for awakening. And an another note……..It’s not the substances that provokes the visions…….its not the substances……it’s THE MIND. The substances are cathalytics. ”


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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue May 14, 2013 4:02 pm

Tron010101 wrote:David Coyote on "THE INTERTWINING OF BUDDHISM & AYAHUASCA."...
More new age aloha amigo gibberish.

What a waste of bandwidth that was!
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue May 14, 2013 4:04 pm

Tron010101 wrote:Translation:
“From my point of view, all that works… as a tool…. to dissolve ignorance is a tool for awakening. And an another note……..It’s not the substances that provokes the visions…….its not the substances……it’s THE MIND. The substances are cathalytics. ”
HELLO! Earth calling Tron010101! That's all I have been saying from the very beginning! So all you have managed to do is support my point. Thanks!
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue May 14, 2013 4:07 pm

oushi wrote:Guessing will only create misunderstanding. ;)


I acknowledge that making assumptions about someones else's experience is always guessing, including what you are doing here.

At any rate, the point is that every one of the experiences he mentions can be experienced as as phenomena that happen as part of normal meditation practice, the difference is that with real meditation, those kind of experiences are not the goal, so you do not go "seeking" them as it appears most do with Ayahusca.

You can find any number of Buddhist teachers urging meditators not to go out and seek unusual experiences, not to cling to them..yet that is exactly what is being advocated here. It smacks of the "spirituality" I advocated at the age of 18, which coincidentally involved massive amounts of weed, lots of sex, lots of booze. I guess it was really Buddhism, because the few times I smoked stuff that was cut with something I had some crazy experiences, damn who knew enlightenment just involved seeking out fun and unusual experiences, it's easy!
Last edited by Johnny Dangerous on Tue May 14, 2013 4:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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