as an alcoholic who has been sober since '91 and a serious meditator for most of that time, thats a load of crap. seriously wrongheaded thinking. alcohol or any drug for that matter, is not going to give you anything you didnt have before you got the buzz, it just harms the clarity. either that guy is in denial about an alcohol problem or just enamored with it as an avoidance mechanism. if you are going to drink, dont make it spiritually romantic, at least be honest with yourself.
I would say that your point about the author's rationalization and it's a good one. But could you also have such a negative reaction to someone treating meditation practice this way since alcohol had such an obviously damaging effect on your life? I can admit that while I have had my own drinking issues, some people are certainly more touched by it than others (likely due to certain genetic factors; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/disp ... ?id=103780
I wouldn't call what the author has an alcohol problem. Having a beer to relax is hardly a problem. Having a case of beer to relax is. The author outlines that, yes, overindulgence is a problem and that arises from a lack of mindfulness. I don't get the sense that he's using it as an avoidance mechanism either. Is he romanticizing it? Maybe a little. If you could drink your way to enlightenment, I'd be a Buddha by now.
oh btw your distinction between alcohol and other drugs is completely false. alcohol is just another drug and a very harmful one at that.
I never said that alcohol wasn't a drug. Any chemical substance ingested for its physiological or perception-altering properties is a drug. That includes everything from caffeine to heroin. I, however, have done enough "party" drugs to feel that there are certainly distinctions that should be considered. To lump them all together would be intellectual dishonest.
also just wanted to add that i have use the whole tantric getting in touch excuse for drinking and other drug use and you are fooling yourself if you think you are doing yourself any good. but its likely that you already know that or you wouldnt be asking for a second opinion.
My excuse to drink is generally that I really like beer. I avoid drinking when I'm depressed as that just tends to turn into binging and wallowing. Overall, I just wanted to see what the take would be on it. All of the Buddhists I know engage in light social drinking and occasionally smoke cannabis. Some others engage in hard drug use, but that is generally frowned upon. I wanted to hear other opinions.
Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:
IMHO alcohol is actually one of the worst drugs out there. Avoid at all costs.
Alcohol is definately quite a harmful drug, but there's a whole universe of stuff that's way
worse out there. Any opiate, crack, meth, PCP, and now ketamine are vastly more addictive with worse long term consequences than alcohol. Ever been to a methadone clinic? Worse than a lot of alcoholics, and most of them can never get straight.
"Avoid at all costs" seems a bit extreme.
The first five precepts include avoiding intoxicants. The Buddha gave us this advice because it's not conducive to awakening. So I do my best to uphold all five lay precepts, including avoiding intoxicants.
Good luck with your papers and your meditation practice. You mentioned that you're a little new with all of it, so you might find as you go that the alcohol has a more lasting affect on your mind, body, and practice than you notice right now.
Thanks for the reply, Laura. I may as I go; I've certainly noticed that periods of intense practice make me lower my alcohol consumption. But I've been cutting back since the summer, anyways. I'm a student and it's rather hard on the wallet.
Anyways, back to the grind.