Why drugs are bad for meditators?

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
Inedible
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Re: Why drugs are bad for meditators?

Post by Inedible »

If a person is determined to take drugs as part of a spiritual practice, it is best to connect with a group from a tradition which has been using a drug for a very long time. As a side effect of the popularity it has had, going to Peru to take Ayahuasca has become dangerous and unreliable. I haven't heard anything bad about finding groups who use mescaline in the form of the cactus buttons, but you can't just show up with money and expect to make a long weekend of it. It takes time and effort to be accepted and to show that the interest is beyond recreational.

Learning to have a wake induced lucid dream seems much easier and more practical than drugs to me. The strategy is to keep your mind alert as you fall asleep and watch for hypnagogia. Then when it stabilizes some, focus on something and be drawn into a dream.
Soma999
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Re: Why drugs are bad for meditators?

Post by Soma999 »

Psychoactive substance are many, there are some who are dangerous on all level and bring only trouble, sometime big trouble, i call them drugs (cocaine...).

But there are psychoactive plants which are used by native tribes for different purpose (healing, initiations...).

There is a « technology » that surrounds the use of those plants, like using specific sounds colour, preparation, time to take or harvest...

Sacred plants have tremendous possibilities in the hand of a genuine healer. It can hurt you if used in a negative way (in an ignorant way). It is like going into a car without knowing how to handle it.

More and more scientists study and are interested in those sacred plants.

There are even thesis made about their use.

My advise :
- use those medicine only if you really need it.
- if you do, do it with elders who master their ways and have integrity.

Don’t do it alone, and don’t make it a substitute for meditation.

True ceremony can be very challenging, both physically and psychically.
Giovanni
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Re: Why drugs are bad for meditators?

Post by Giovanni »

How is this compatible with the fifth precept?
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tkp67
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Re: Why drugs are bad for meditators?

Post by tkp67 »

I always got the vibe that BOEL was a bit of an American Buddhist "movement" that appeared as counter cultural.
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Nemo
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Re: Why drugs are bad for meditators?

Post by Nemo »

Habitual use or rarely as a leisure activity?

As a leisure activity it's not a bad way to test your realization.

If you are using habitually clearly you have little to no realization and are trapped in a cycle of drug abuse.

Personally when I am getting surgery I like all the drugs please. Being awake on the operating table is much worse in my experience.
shanyin
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Re: Why drugs are bad for meditators?

Post by shanyin »

Everything but a needle here. I can talk from experience. I think the only thing I can say is that it may prevent her from even doing the meditation.

Myself breaking the 5th precept, mainly cigarettes, beer/booze, marijuana, is that it has probably caused my health to decline and added to dullness of experience.

It's funny, it seems talking about drugs doesn't seem to lead me to want to do drugs, so I'm don't think anyone here is really being irresponsible. But for someone who has never tried them maybe that is different.
humble.student
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Re: Why drugs are bad for meditators?

Post by humble.student »

Nemo wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 1:18 pm Habitual use or rarely as a leisure activity?

As a leisure activity it's not a bad way to test your realization.

If you are using habitually clearly you have little to no realization and are trapped in a cycle of drug abuse.

Personally when I am getting surgery I like all the drugs please. Being awake on the operating table is much worse in my experience.
Consumption of alcohol found in medicinal products for medical purposes is not breaking the precept, if memory serves, and that logic presumably extends to various other narcotics too.
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Minobu
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Re: Why drugs are bad for meditators?

Post by Minobu »

i find sniffing glue on regular daily basis helps me understand...it's one of those things completely underestimated...It's a government plot to tell you it is bad for you....


Just kidding...i recall His holiness worrying if the Chinese government would put the panchen lama on drugs to make Him totally useless...

another time when talking about a daily practice He said sarcastically...Well why not just use drugs...

I've met people who make like Buddha was a pot head....
Inedible
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Re: Why drugs are bad for meditators?

Post by Inedible »

Sometimes I wonder if I should get my hands on some psychedelic or another. It seemed to work for Carlos Castaneda. I started reading from different branches of Buddhism in 1989 after a more general approach beginning in 1985. I have been given Refuge officially and received blessings from several teachers. The books ranged from Theravada to Dzogchen and Zen. Suttas and Sutras. The information is all there in my head, but I can't make it work. I'm alone and my fear of constant failure in the future is increasing.
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Budai
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Re: Why drugs are bad for meditators?

Post by Budai »

All I can tell you, is that if you value for what we are working for in Buddhism here, I urge you not to take anything mind altering unless directed by your Guru or Teacher such as for Vajrayana purposes, or for someone you trust deeply such as another Buddhist practitioner. I’m not telling you you can’t jump off a cliff, I’m telling you that if you want to, put a parachute on first. :smile:

Aum.
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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Why drugs are bad for meditators?

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

Inedible wrote: Sun Jun 20, 2021 5:19 am Sometimes I wonder if I should get my hands on some psychedelic or another. It seemed to work for Carlos Castaneda. I started reading from different branches of Buddhism in 1989 after a more general approach beginning in 1985. I have been given Refuge officially and received blessings from several teachers. The books ranged from Theravada to Dzogchen and Zen. Suttas and Sutras. The information is all there in my head, but I can't make it work. I'm alone and my fear of constant failure in the future is increasing.
That won't "make it work", it'll just make you think all of your experiences are more special than they are, that's what tends to happen when people use drugs "spiritually". Carlos Castaneda was sketchy.

Fear of failure, at what, Dharma? There's nowhere to go and nothing to do.
There's no hoarding what has vanished,
No piling up for the future;
Those who have been born are standing
Like a seed upon a needle.

-Guhatthaka-suttadinesso
Inedible
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Re: Why drugs are bad for meditators?

Post by Inedible »

Then why are all the people who have gone nowhere and done nothing not Enlightened? Why is it that the people who have never known about a goal are not the lucky ones? It just feels like giving up to me.

I know it is my own fault I'm stuck in a rut and I just keep digging myself in deeper. At times it looks like the right drug could break me out of my current pattern so I can at least dig in somewhere new.
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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Why drugs are bad for meditators?

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

Inedible wrote: Sun Jun 20, 2021 6:14 am Then why are all the people who have gone nowhere and done nothing not Enlightened? Why is it that the people who have never known about a goal are not the lucky ones? It just feels like giving up to me.
IDK but they seem to have about the same record as the people who strive too hard;)
I know it is my own fault I'm stuck in a rut and I just keep digging myself in deeper. At times it looks like the right drug could break me out of my current pattern so I can at least dig in somewhere new.
Maybe with a teacher's help or something, but drugs don't really do anything special by themselves, they just give you experiences. A good teacher might be able to use those experiences to point something vital out, but the experiences themselves are just that. With entheogens (or whatever the current word is) most people just get caught up in having more experiences and inventing profound meanings for them.

In a sense that's a pitfall of meditation too, but it carries less of the risks.
There's no hoarding what has vanished,
No piling up for the future;
Those who have been born are standing
Like a seed upon a needle.

-Guhatthaka-suttadinesso
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Tlalok
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Re: Why drugs are bad for meditators?

Post by Tlalok »

Personally, I found a big ol' J. was just the thing to kick me out of the usual thought patterns and let me comprehend what on earth this Nagarjuna guy was on about. That said, I did reappraise the MMK sober once I'd made that lil' cognitive leap.

Meditating while high / drunk is a dreadful experience. But meditating hungover is great for instilling the first noble truth in ya.
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Why drugs are bad for meditators?

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Tlalok wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 11:08 pm Personally, I found a big ol' J. was just the thing to kick me out of the usual thought patterns and let me comprehend what on earth this Nagarjuna guy was on about. That said, I did reappraise the MMK sober once I'd made that lil' cognitive leap.

Meditating while high / drunk is a dreadful experience. But meditating hungover is great for instilling the first noble truth in ya.
Hah! That’s the truth! I can remember many times going to the dharma center for an hour of group sitting meditation on Sunday mornings… after staying out late and having a little too much fun on Saturday night. Ouch!
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook develops outward insight.
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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Why drugs are bad for meditators?

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Tue Jun 22, 2021 11:51 am
Tlalok wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 11:08 pm Personally, I found a big ol' J. was just the thing to kick me out of the usual thought patterns and let me comprehend what on earth this Nagarjuna guy was on about. That said, I did reappraise the MMK sober once I'd made that lil' cognitive leap.

Meditating while high / drunk is a dreadful experience. But meditating hungover is great for instilling the first noble truth in ya.
Hah! That’s the truth! I can remember many times going to the dharma center for an hour of group sitting meditation on Sunday mornings… after staying out late and having a little too much fun on Saturday night. Ouch!
Back in my drinkin' days I swear I went to the Zendo hung over more often than not.
There's no hoarding what has vanished,
No piling up for the future;
Those who have been born are standing
Like a seed upon a needle.

-Guhatthaka-suttadinesso
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Paul2020
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Re: Why drugs are bad for meditators?

Post by Paul2020 »

I have to take quite a few prescription drugs for genuine therapeutic purposes, not leisure. How does this fit in with everyone's views?
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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Why drugs are bad for meditators?

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

Paul2020 wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:03 pm I have to take quite a few prescription drugs for genuine therapeutic purposes, not leisure. How does this fit in with everyone's views?
If ya need em ya need em. That’s pretty much it, we could debate the evidence on various meds all over the place, but if you need them to function and maintain a normal baseline, there ya go.
There's no hoarding what has vanished,
No piling up for the future;
Those who have been born are standing
Like a seed upon a needle.

-Guhatthaka-suttadinesso
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Paul2020
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Re: Why drugs are bad for meditators?

Post by Paul2020 »

Thanks for that reassurance! That's been my personal position so far. You need a stable foundation to build anything upon.
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Hazel
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Re: Why drugs are bad for meditators?

Post by Hazel »

Paul2020 wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:03 pm I have to take quite a few prescription drugs for genuine therapeutic purposes, not leisure. How does this fit in with everyone's views?
One of my prescription meds that I take-as-needed can make me angry, so I have to be very careful with that one. If I was taking it recklessly, that would be bad, but taken skillfully I'm able to have a sturdier life and therefore practice. I have another med that is addictive and I have to be very careful how I use it, on the other hand it allows me to do things I would not otherwise be able to do. I fear med shortages and my impulse is to hoard them, but doing so would be lying to my doctor, which would again be bad.

The point in these ramblings is that it's a matter of how they effect you and how you engage with them that decides whether they interfere with practice or not. The meds are not inherently anything. The same can be said of recreational drugs, but a lot of us know from experience that the qualities people seek them out for are counter to practice.

Happy Pride month to my queer dharma siblings!
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