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The Same Old Zen

by Sensei Alex Kakuyo

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Marijuana and Meditation- A Buddhist Perspective

Case in point, I was talking with some friends about it the other day, and one of them replied, “You should just smoke weed instead.” That really pissed me off.

How can we study the mind if we constantly change it with substances?

But somewhere around the two-hour mark he learned to be okay with it. The physical torment didn’t change, but his mind did.

There’s no way I could have learned those lessons by just getting high.

But what if I was high at the same time that I was meditating? Yes, the boredom that came with staring at a wall would’ve been easier. And the pain in my legs would’ve been less. But that’s not the point. I don’t want to be numb to my pain. I want to learn from it. Marijuana won’t help me with that.

Marijuana and Meditation- A Buddhist Perspective

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Comments

There’s a lot of frustration outside the Buddhist environment isn’t there ?

I don’t understand. You say being high interferes with your meditation. What about cold showers? What about loud music? Seems to me that people should not do things that interfere with their meditation. 🙂

4 hours of straight sitting meditation does not seem compassionate to oneself and would seem to create a lot of suffering

Using intoxicants into heedlessness is different than having a glass of wine or hitting a joint, although ‘heedlessness’ is subjective. I personally prefer to do Zazen without marijuana, but not before my morning coffee. Each practitioner knows in their ❤ whether they are upholding the precepts as they relate to their individual circumstances, and circumstances can always change.

I used to equate meditation with intoxication when I was younger. I also took psychedelics my first several times looking for insight rather than just pleasure.

I’ve abstained from drugs and alcohol for 8 years now and I do feel that a mind clouded by substances is problematic in meditation. Diet, rest and ethical conduct also have a major effect on my meditation and the effect meditation has on my mind.

In some ways I can see that the reasons people get intoxicated are the same reasons people meditate: to relieve suffering, sustain happiness, go beyond mundane experience, have a more profound experience of mundane existence.

However meditation has a healing and revealing effect on the mind. Whereas intoxicants in the long run cause damage to the mind and the way we conduct our lives. Of course this article is about pot, which has minimal consequences in contrast to other intoxicants. But many people have a difficult time being okay without that as a crutch. And that amounts to a lack of true freedom. And the degree of alteration to the mind can be as profound as other drugs.

I think it takes a level of openmindedness, maturity, and often a good sensible teaching for people to choose to let go of use. I think that extended periods of sobriety, meditation and reflection will reveal the benefits of continued abstinence as part of the practice.

Sometimes knowing that it is part of the precepts is enough to convince people who want to follow the original traditions of Buddhist life. But often that doesn’t cut it.

As a personal recommendation, I would strongly suggest that people really look into the benefits of sobriety and costs of use. In the end one of the major points of Buddhism is to let go of superficial, temporary, and destructive ways of seeking relief from pain and a deep experience of wellbeing.

The Same Old Zen by Sensei Alex Kakuyo Search This Blog Marijuana and Meditation- A Buddhist Perspective Case in point, I was talking with some friends about it the other day, and one