Marihuana and meditation

Discuss your personal experience with the Dharma here. How has it enriched your life? What challenges does it present?

Re: Marihuana and meditation

Postby flavio81 » Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:16 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:It's all just bullshit distractions, addiction to experiences and merely (reduces mindfulness and) clouds your mind. And it's really expensive.


But... but... It's cheaper than therapy!!

TaTa wrote: Hey i have been smoking marihuana since im 15 and now im 22. I have started meditating about 7 months ago and everything is going fine but i have reached a point where i had realized that i really need to stop smoking weed or at least drasticly slow down the consumption rate in order to improve better and faster. The mindfullness has drasticly reduce the "wanting" part of the addiction but still i cant seem to not smoke when someone lights one up around me.

Any advice from people who have passed trough this situation?. This is not a big deal since i know that in time i will end up givint up ( as a natural result from the path that i have taken ) but i want the short and quick version.


Short and quick version:

In general you shouldn't be doing any kind of meditation when being high. Simply as that. So please, don't.

Besides that, i don't see a problem in smoking weed (unless you're in certain tibetan buddhist traditions where adding smoke in a room is belived to provoke some beings which in turn can create obstacles for your living). Weed is OK, weed is good. It's just that marijuana is a bit overrated!! And being sober with a peaceful mind is even better.

The real thing that worries me is that you're unable to willfully reject marihuana when people are smoking around you. Since marihuana is not really physically addictive, i'd say you perhaps are just being a bit self-indulgent. Discipline, my friend!!
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Re: Marihuana and meditation

Postby M.G. » Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:34 am

When I first started studying Dharma I smoked plenty of ganja with my practice. I told myself it was helping me get in touch with my subtle body, which was actually true, but there was plenty of self-indulgence mixed in with that justification, and ultimately I was training myself to practice for the short term bliss of the drug more than for the fruits of meditation. There's also a subtle, lingering loss of clarity and, for lack of a better word, dampening of the channels. I don't think marihuana is totally bad, definitely has some value, but I'd recommend very sparing use and limiting mixing with practice.

In terms of practical advice, I've never found it hard not to indulge in alcohol or ganja even around friends getting blitzed. Test and see if the social pressures are really as strong as you believe. If they are, then be more persuasive re: your point of view, and if that doesn't work, start finding different social circles.

That's my 2 cents, anyway.
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Re: Marihuana and meditation

Postby TaTa » Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:19 am

UPDATE:
I have almost completely gave up marijuana since last September or something. I do smoke occasionally one or two puffs (i dont know if this is the word, in spanish "pitada" or "seca") once or twice a month but i know even that little harms my practices. Although i know its not enough i consider it a succes compared to smoking 3 times a day XD. It just doesnt work for me, i realized that being focused is much better and when you see that the practice is all day long there is no such thing as smoking before or after meditation.
This last week was what i would call a "samsaric week", i didnt practice much, was kind of depresed and smoke weed a couple of times so i decided to make an extra effort and avoid marijuana for a couple of months. Besides, breaking the precepts really sucks =(. To bad its harvesting season here in argentina XD.
Thank you all for your advice
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Re: Marihuana and meditation

Postby flavio81 » Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:46 pm

TaTa wrote:UPDATE:
I have almost completely gave up marijuana since last September or something. I do smoke occasionally one or two puffs (i dont know if this is the word, in spanish "pitada" or "seca")


Yes, "pitada" = puff

TaTa wrote: once or twice a month but i know even that little harms my practices. Although i know its not enough i consider it a succes compared to smoking 3 times a day XD. It just doesnt work for me, i realized that being focused is much better and when you see that the practice is all day long there is no such thing as smoking before or after meditation.


That counts as a "success story" for me!

TaTa wrote:This last week was what i would call a "samsaric week", i didnt practice much, was kind of depresed and smoke weed a couple of times so i decided to make an extra effort and avoid marijuana for a couple of months. Besides, breaking the precepts really sucks =(. To bad its harvesting season here in argentina XD.
Thank you all for your advice


Suffering the samsara a little bit makes you appreciate the liberation brought by following the Dharma. Or, in other words, sometimes being sick make you appreciate health even more.

Harvesting season in argentina? I'm off to the airport! :tongue:
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Re: Marihuana and meditation

Postby vixian » Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:11 am

Extremely interesting thread of discussion.

I spent many years indulging in intoxicants of various stripes.

The effect in themselves was purely recreational and entertaining though at the outset I did validate as a tool for enlightenment citing pseudo spirituality in my reasoning.
But like I say the truth is that I enjoyed getting baked - as a diversion and for fun.

I still smoke herb but I know that not using any stimulants and finding joy and contentment without indulging is the (excuse the pun) acid test.

In my heart I know that when I am stoned I am less able to see clearly or hold on to any insights as it jumbles my thoughts up.

In fact I am approaching a view that I actually don't really enjoy (or dislike) the use ... I am habituated and all the excuses under the sun that I use for continuing are spurious.

I am not beating myself up ... this revelation is liberating and rather than getting in to mindf***ing myself about it I am simply resting in this knowledge and meditating about it.

I really do believe that, for me, there is no valid spiritual reason yet my ego likes to make excuses ...

It is also a challenge as in understanding this there is the temptation to be proud of the enlightenment on the subject ... this truth is here for me to progress in my journey but I really do believe that vying and contending is fraught with peril so I continue for the time being.

No pride, no smugness, no justification ... simply resting in this knowledge that is so new to me ...
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Re: Marihuana and meditation

Postby tucker1 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:36 pm

You don't need marijuana to meditate.
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Re: Marihuana and meditation

Postby flavio81 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:06 pm

vixian wrote: though at the outset I did validate as a tool for enlightenment citing pseudo spirituality in my reasoning.


I would say that this is the real danger of drugs, all of them. Not the recreational side of it, but the side that seduces the ego with promises of spiritual development.
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Re: Marihuana and meditation

Postby Namu Butsu » Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:47 pm

The most effective method is to give all of it to me. I'll make sure it disappears
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Re: Marihuana and meditation

Postby M.G. » Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:10 pm

flavio81 wrote:
vixian wrote: though at the outset I did validate as a tool for enlightenment citing pseudo spirituality in my reasoning.


I would say that this is the real danger of drugs, all of them. Not the recreational side of it, but the side that seduces the ego with promises of spiritual development.



Yes.

One of my first dharma teachers told me that for lay practitioners, the prohibition against intoxicants more meant to avoid drinking beyond the bounds of reason than to renounce drinking. That always made sense to me, and by extension, I don't necessarily think its an absolute necessity for practitioners to completely eschew ganja. That said, I've found that cannabis puts the mind in touch with the subtle body very strongly while impairing judgment, which tends to create delusions about one's own meditative accomplishment.
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Re: Marihuana and meditation

Postby seeker242 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:26 pm

flavio81 wrote:
Besides that, i don't see a problem in smoking weed (unless you're in certain tibetan buddhist traditions where adding smoke in a room is belived to provoke some beings which in turn can create obstacles for your living). Weed is OK, weed is good. It's just that marijuana is a bit overrated!! And being sober with a peaceful mind is even better.


I would not go so far as to say "weed is good"! :) If you smoke too much, you can easily spend most, if not all of your time, not doing any meditation or any kind of practicing but rather just sitting on the couch watching TV and playing video games and eating fritos! This is not good! "Sloth and torpor" come to mind. I personally found it to be a significant hindrance. Had to quit that stuff! :smile:
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Re: Marihuana and meditation

Postby flavio81 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:17 am

seeker242 wrote:
flavio81 wrote:
Besides that, i don't see a problem in smoking weed (unless you're in certain tibetan buddhist traditions where adding smoke in a room is belived to provoke some beings which in turn can create obstacles for your living). Weed is OK, weed is good. It's just that marijuana is a bit overrated!! And being sober with a peaceful mind is even better.


I would not go so far as to say "weed is good"! :) If you smoke too much, you can easily spend most, if not all of your time, not doing any meditation or any kind of practicing but rather just sitting on the couch watching TV and playing video games and eating fritos! This is not good! "Sloth and torpor" come to mind. I personally found it to be a significant hindrance. Had to quit that stuff! :smile:


Yes, I agree, but see the post above:

the prohibition against intoxicants more meant to avoid drinking beyond the bounds of reason than to renounce drinking

The thing is, if you don't have the capacity to control yourself, to know your limits and work within them, then you perhaps shouldn't touch any weed at all (or any drug for that matter). Clearly, you have found your limitation and now you are acting correcly.
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Re: Marihuana and meditation

Postby flavio81 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:20 am

Namu Butsu wrote:The most effective method is to give all of it to me. I'll make sure it disappears


Oh Master, i have finally found you. I bow down before you :buddha1:
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Re: Marihuana and meditation

Postby Namu Butsu » Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:23 am

I know the rest of the forum members here will disagree with me, but I think it depends on the person. I smoke cannabis quite regular. Yes sometimes my mind can be racy, but that is usually if I am already lost in thought and smoke. Other times I can smoke and my mind be very still. I am not saying one needs to smoke in order to have their mind still. I just think the bitterness against weed is pretty much from US propaganda. I think if we were never told lies about it, had it suppressed in its usage, and it were never made illegal people would be much more lax about it. Sadhus in India smoke cannabis and many of them are said to be able to have a clear mind. Ganesha Baba was said to be able to consume large amounts of cannabis and be fully functional. It all depends. But it does indeed seem that smoking cannabis has no connection to Buddhism.
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Re: Marihuana and meditation

Postby flavio81 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:41 am

M.G. wrote:That said, I've found that cannabis puts the mind in touch with the subtle body very strongly while impairing judgment, which tends to create delusions about one's own meditative accomplishment.

:good:

Well said, there is the problem. And if this problem happens or not, it will depend on the person. If that person has a vajra guru he/she should consult with the vajra guru.
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Re: Marihuana and meditation

Postby M.G. » Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:04 am

Namu Butsu wrote:I know the rest of the forum members here will disagree with me, but I think it depends on the person. I smoke cannabis quite regular. Yes sometimes my mind can be racy, but that is usually if I am already lost in thought and smoke. Other times I can smoke and my mind be very still. I am not saying one needs to smoke in order to have their mind still. I just think the bitterness against weed is pretty much from US propaganda. I think if we were never told lies about it, had it suppressed in its usage, and it were never made illegal people would be much more lax about it. Sadhus in India smoke cannabis and many of them are said to be able to have a clear mind. Ganesha Baba was said to be able to consume large amounts of cannabis and be fully functional. It all depends. But it does indeed seem that smoking cannabis has no connection to Buddhism.


I don't think one has to abstain from ganja completely as a lay Buddhist practitioner. If you feel you can smoke marijuana in a moderate way without impacting your clarity, then I wouldn't necessarily advocate quitting. I once attended a Buddhist retreat where fully a third of the participants were smoking every morning before practice and instruction, and I think that kind of use violates the spirit of even the liberal lay practitioner's version of the Buddhist rule against intoxicants.

I haven't met many sadhus, and I wouldn't dispute that many may have significant spiritual realization, but I'm told by more travelled friends that a lot of sadhus actually do come off as kind of spacy. :alien:
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Re: Marihuana and meditation

Postby seeker242 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:58 am

flavio81 wrote:
Yes, I agree, but see the post above:

the prohibition against intoxicants more meant to avoid drinking beyond the bounds of reason than to renounce drinking



I can't say I can agree with that interpretation but it's fine if someone else does. After all, layperson renunciation is completely voluntary. :smile:
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Re: Marihuana and meditation

Postby oushi » Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:28 am

seeker242 wrote:I would not go so far as to say "weed is good"! :) If you smoke too much, you can easily spend most, if not all of your time, not doing any meditation or any kind of practicing but rather just sitting on the couch watching TV and playing video games and eating fritos! This is not good! "Sloth and torpor" come to mind. I personally found it to be a significant hindrance. Had to quit that stuff! :smile:

If you smoke too much, you can easily spend most, if not all of your time, not doing any meditation or any kind of practicing but rather just sitting on the couch watching TV and playing video games and eating fritos! This is not good!
:smile:
It just uses the momentum of you being to exhibit parts that play the main role. If your everyday karma is to watch TV and play games, then it will exhibit this part.
If people complain about the negative mental effects of weed use, it works like magnifying glass revealing their karma. If you have good momentum of you practice, and you know where this potential should be directed, then it can be very beneficial.

Still, you do not give sharp katana to kids that want to play knights.
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Re: Marihuana and meditation

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:35 am

Namu Butsu wrote:I just think the bitterness against weed is pretty much from US propaganda.
I'm not from the US.
Sadhus in India smoke cannabis and many of them are said to be able to have a clear mind. Ganesha Baba was said to be able to consume large amounts of cannabis and be fully functional. It all depends. But it does indeed seem that smoking cannabis has no connection to Buddhism.
Doesn't it seem strange to you that all the examples that you give are from the Hindu milieu yet here you are on a Buddhist forum trying to justify your being a stoner as a Buddhist pass-time?
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One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Marihuana and meditation

Postby seeker242 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 1:32 pm

oushi wrote:If people complain about the negative mental effects of weed use, it works like magnifying glass revealing their karma. If you have good momentum of you practice, and you know where this potential should be directed, then it can be very beneficial.

Still, you do not give sharp katana to kids that want to play knights.


I found it to interfere with the gaining of that momentum to begin with. How can you have a good momentum in your practice if you do things that interfere with the gaining of that momentum to begin with? If you know where this potential can be directed, it can be very useful but only if you actually direct it that way. If you don't, the potential just sits there being unused, essentially remaining useless.

The question I have is: What is the intention behind smoking weed to begin with? Is it to feel good? Is it to relax? Is it to try to get some kind of wisdom? All of those things can be better accomplished with just a meditation practice.

Or, is it to distract yourself from things you just don't want to deal with, like reality? Is there really any skillful intent behind smoking weed? I can't find one. I think if you examine it carefully, you find the intent arises out of grasping and clinging and that's it.
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Re: Marihuana and meditation

Postby Namu Butsu » Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:40 pm

Doesn't it seem strange to you that all the examples that you give are from the Hindu milieu yet here you are on a Buddhist forum trying to justify your being a stoner as a Buddhist pass-time?

justify? Excuse me but you are no body (quite literally too). i do not have to justify myself to some self righteous buddhist on an internet forum. i enjoy ganja and will continue to enjoy it. i do not need your permission or anybody else. i was using sadhus as an example because quite a few of them can go deep into meditations and experience samadhis. hey if you hate it so much im sure im not going to change your mind. i dont mind either. i smoke it you dont. Doesnt hurt me that you dont.

Hari Hari Ganja!
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