Author Topic: LSD as a Gateway Drug to Buddhism  (Read 13763 times)

Ensapa

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4124
    • Email
Re: LSD as a Gateway Drug to Buddhism
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2012, 12:10:37 PM »
Imagine some mental people are sent to psychiatric ward even though it was caused by spirits which are crazy makers and therefore unable to seek proper treatment or spiritual help.

It is not surprising as there are many cases of people who are afflicted with spirits but are sent off to mental institutions and written off as epilepsy because modern medicine only treats and cures based on the symptoms. Also, there is no way to scientifically prove the existence of spirits and thus, it is not accepted by science. I do find the explanation that drugs do mess up with the chakras, because drugs do change the cells in the brain in a physical kind of way.

Rocket

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Re: LSD as a Gateway Drug to Buddhism
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2013, 02:50:04 PM »
This is an interesting take on the effect of psychedelic drug use on spirituality. Sounds very Chogyam Trungpa to me!....


Dear Kate et al,
Its very well known many westerners including American  buddhist "teachers" and others who are interested in Buddhism had this interest  sparked by psychedelic experiences.  My not extensive experience is there is a lot of "fake it til you make it" going on among American buddhist teachers,   and little actual making it.     Also western religious scholars write whole books ("Do Drugs have Religious Import" was one ... by the venerable Huston Smith) imply the answer can be an emphatic "yes they can."  ONe well known Zen Roshi,  Joan Halifax,  refers to psychedelics as "gateway drugs".  She also writes she knows of no one with a mature meditative practice uses pschedelics as a primary practice.  You best check with her for accuracy on her views,  that is from memory.

From my experience I agree they Roshi Joan Halifax,  can be an important gateway to buddhism,  even life changing  .... with a very big caveat that seems mostly lost in the discussion.

Alan Wallace,  a western Tibetan monk and lifelong  teacher was contacted by the Dalai Lama, summoned to Dharmsala by him,   the DL  requested to become his teacher.  Can you imagine?   The DL taught Alan Shamatha practice and asked him to teach it in the USA.  Alan hates any drug for any reason but is a brilliant scholar (of not just Tibetan Buddhism)   says psychedelics can provide a temporary coarse approximation of a meditative state.  I agree,  from my experiene with both psychedelics and samadhi.   That is the caveat ....  its a coarse approximation only.

Big Uncle

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1995
Re: LSD as a Gateway Drug to Buddhism
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2013, 09:58:53 AM »
I did hear that drugs could bring us to higher states of consciousness but most of the time, we are not prepared and can invite unnecessary attention from denizens of other realms. Therefore, it would not be good especially if they are malevolent spirits wishing to harm because they themselves are angry and tormented. I think that the best gateway to Buddhism is always through our own practice. Our Lamas and Gurus already had given us plenty of meditational tools in which we can work with to develop inner qualities. On top of that, the drug-state in which LSD and other drugs induce does not allow us any control whatsoever and instead of gaining some sort of mastery over our mind like other Buddhist practice, drug use only lessen our control and in fact, make us addicts to the drug. That's not a Buddhist practice.                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
« Last Edit: March 01, 2013, 08:40:57 AM by Big Uncle »

Q

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 557
Re: LSD as a Gateway Drug to Buddhism
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2013, 11:58:20 AM »
Hmm.. interesting, ok it's not really something foreign though.

It is already well known that even during the ancient times, many tribes' religious men takes a form of intoxication/drugs in order to astral travel. By using these techniques, these tribal people managed to astral travel to get 'advice' on conducting rituals to make it rain etc.

In Buddhism, astral travel is also possible. However, it is done not through taking external substances like LSD, but on single pointed meditation. In that way, this practice within Buddhism is not dangerous physically, and also safe for the practitioner's mind, as they are in control, unlike LSD takers, whom are not in control of the state of mind. Well, the article actually shocked me that they mentioned some Buddhist monks actually take LSD to experience that state, whether that is true or not is still in question though.

So the safety of the practitioner is very important. When we astral travel, there are many beings from different dimensions that can come and take our mind away. Causing us to be lost and unable to return to our physical body. This is a case with LSD takers... sometimes they get lost, and even when they return, their mind is not quite right. There are many scary things that one can see in these different dimensions, and although in modern science they simply classify it as 'hallucination'... we know it is not entirely true.

For Buddhist practitioners, only very advanced practitioner would attempt something like this. With the protection of their Yidam and Dharma Protector, astral travelling will be safe for them. Why? Well, if you're Yamantaka, I highly doubt strange being from a different dimension would want to try to take you away haha...

Rocket

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Re: LSD as a Gateway Drug to Buddhism
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2013, 02:27:44 PM »
I did hear that drugs could bring us to higher states of consciousness but most of the time, we are not prepared and can invite unnecessary attention from denizens of other realms. Therefore, it would not be good especially if they are malevolent spirits wishing to harm because they themselves are angry and tormented. I think that the best gateway to Buddhism is always through our own practice. Our Lamas and Gurus already had given us plenty of meditational tools in which we can work with to develop inner qualities. On top of that, the drug-state in which LSD and other drugs induce does not allow us any control whatsoever and instead of gaining some sort of mastery over our mind like other Buddhist practice, drug use only lessen our control and in fact, make us addicts to the drug. That's not a Buddhist practice.                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

True enough, that would  not be buddhist practice. Ive heard something about the Bon religion but don't have first hand knowledge.

My experience is they are two different developmental stages.  Meditation practice requires total focus,  dedication,  total freedom from all substances,  top notch physiological "full power" from great health,  the best possible sleep quality,  life organized around the practice without distraction to marshall every inner resource you can muster. It does require that.  Thus the precepts.  Psychedelics and other things can help to remove obstacles.

Few westerners, since we are so saturated with mental agitation and instability we live with from day one,  are capable of deeper meditative states without some way to rid ourselves of those chronic obstacles,  preliminary practices western style you might say.  My observation is westeners can and do sit on that cushion until blue in the face and go nowhere,  at all,  even with truly qualified instruction and guidance,  which by itself is also not at all common. In my experience great training is rare.  Even native Tibetans do not understand from experiecne the unique obstacles faced by westerners,  ie virulent mental instability,  and solutions to those problems. The meditative practices were designed for people in a totally different epoch and culture.   

LSD like substances and other methods (holotropic breathwork,  psychotherapy, etc)  can assist with  that problem, helping to at times rapidly, clear such obstacles.   I've had considerable experience with both.  I know a psychiatrist and former researcher with experience guiding about 5000 people in LSD sessions,  some of whom were seriously mentally ill to begin with who became well, who never once saw such negative reaction when the "tripper" was appropriately supported.  In fact poorly supervised meditation practice can induce such mental illness too in some people.  It's not really so cut and dried:  meditation = always good,    drugs = always bad.

Shamatha practice is taught to Tibetan monks also but has nothing to do with the religion.  It is mental training strait up.   If you can manage it,  Shamatha takes you directly into Samadhi,   that total quietude and focussed mind.  Quite amazing.   

I spent much of my adult life quieting down these very western style mental states which keep us agitatied and unstable,  ie  that virulent "monkey mind" that will not be still. Then the first weekend I got top notch (there is a big distinction vs poor quality) meditation training I went into Samadhi immediately.  Two years later it was 24/7 and included vipassana and substrate and permanent release from most mental afflictions. 

« Last Edit: March 01, 2013, 08:41:13 AM by Big Uncle »

Big Uncle

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1995
Re: LSD as a Gateway Drug to Buddhism
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2013, 08:47:06 AM »
Hi Rocket,

Haven't see you around before. Thank you for joining us. What you talked about reminds me of the documentary of the experiment the Indian jails did to instill Vipassana meditation upon the inmates. It was met with great success and although this documentary does make it seem to be deceptively easy but I think with perseverance, a lot could be achieved with simple meditational techniques. The Buddha cannot be wrong, it is just how we apply his teachings that can go wrong. Anyway, it is called Doing Time, Doing Vipassana and here's the documentary:-

Doing Time, Doing Vipassana Full Small | Large



Manjushri

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 442
Re: LSD as a Gateway Drug to Buddhism
« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2013, 11:43:44 AM »
hehe what a way to come into spirituality! I don't have an experience with this or anything, but if LSD opens one's door to Buddhism, then take away! No, I'm kidding. I don't particularly object or reject this, but I do find it amusing that 99% of the monks interviewed became ordained because they took LSD. Which monastery would this be at? I view ordination as something holy, sacred and pure, and doubt that becoming ordained would be influenced by a drug. If that was it, then the basis of becoming ordained would be wrong. The drug-induced state would blur our control of our mind, when what it teaches you in Buddhism is to have total control over your mind.

WisdomBeing

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2096
    • Add me to your facebook!
Re: LSD as a Gateway Drug to Buddhism
« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2013, 11:50:51 AM »
Hi Rocket! Thanks for sharing your insightful posts! Welcome to the forum and hope to see more of you :)

Quote
My observation is westeners can and do sit on that cushion until blue in the face and go nowhere,  at all,  even with truly qualified instruction and guidance,  which by itself is also not at all common. In my experience great training is rare.

Could you share more about this? Where are you from? I'm based in London and haven't yet found a teacher though I am still looking and willing to travel. i do agree with the "mental agitation and instability" you mention though. I find it incredibly difficult to meditate, but have always thought that when I find a teacher, he will help me to meditate properly :)

How long have you been practising Buddhism? And are you a Dorje Shugden practitioner?

Look forward to hearing from you.. if you're on facebook, do add me https://www.facebook.com/wisdombeing
Kate Walker - a wannabe wisdom Being

dsiluvu

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1272
Re: LSD as a Gateway Drug to Buddhism
« Reply #23 on: March 01, 2013, 07:06:58 PM »
Interesting conversations here... LSD and psychedelic experiences... hmmm... I have had a few experiences with LSD... before I met the Dharma and I must admit it is something you do not want to dabble with if you are not with a guide. LSD is a chemical and a man made substance...  it is not anything natural or plant derived like how native American uses Peyote plant for spiritual reasons.

Quote
Under the auspices of what came to be known as the Native American Church, in the 19th century, American Indians in more widespread regions to the north began to use peyote in religious practices, as part of a revival of native spirituality. Its members refer to peyote as "the sacred medicine", and use it to combat spiritual, physical, and other social ills. Concerned about the drug's psychoactive effects, between the 1880s and 1930s, U.S. authorities attempted to ban Native American religious rituals involving peyote, including the Ghost Dance. Today the Native American Church is one among several religious organizations to use peyote as part of its religious practice. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peyote



Yes it can be pretty psychedelic but I do agree with what Big Uncle say that it "force" opens up your chakras to the subconscious state of mind. Definitely for those who are untrained and do not know how to "protect" themselves, doing it for wrong reasons is not gonna get anywhere except for maybe an invitation to do more drugs and sometimes spiral in to a different zone or you could also be opening up doors inviting the wrong types of beings in to your world. 

I did hear that drugs could bring us to higher states of consciousness but most of the time, we are not prepared and can invite unnecessary attention from denizens of other realms. Therefore, it would not be good especially if they are malevolent spirits wishing to harm because they themselves are angry and tormented. I think that the best gateway to Buddhism is always through our own practice. Our Lamas and Gurus already had given us plenty of meditational tools in which we can work with to develop inner qualities. On top of that, the drug-state in which LSD and other drugs induce does not allow us any control whatsoever and instead of gaining some sort of mastery over our mind like other Buddhist practice, drug use only lessen our control and in fact, make us addicts to the drug. That's not a Buddhist practice.                                                                                                                                                         


I think the "drug" in itself is not negative or positive but it is rather the person who is taking it... for what reasons are they taking it and what do they wish to achieve from it? If you have a proper meditational guide, like a spiritual guide, your Lama, giving you proper practices and blessings to achieve attainments without the need to rely on any drug... then why bother using drugs in the first place? Buddha gain full Enlightenment without any need for drugs. I would discourage it because it is not really necessary unless prescribe by Doctors for health reasons and not to twist it around to use it as a reason to take more drugs... so at the end of the day what is the "motivation" behind taking the "drug" and what's the objective? 

Rocket

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Re: LSD as a Gateway Drug to Buddhism
« Reply #24 on: March 01, 2013, 09:04:48 PM »
Could you share more about this? Where are you from? I'm based in London and haven't yet found a teacher though I am still looking and willing to travel. i do agree with the "mental agitation and instability" you mention though. I find it incredibly difficult to meditate, but have always thought that when I find a teacher, he will help me to meditate properly :)

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/eeqqa2sk10h084i/h0iL3P9VPH

At this link are mp3 files of a weekend retreat "Lucid Dreaming and Tibetan dream yoga."   Alan Wallace is the teacher.   Sprinkled in among the lucid  dreaming part are the entry level Shamatha practice instruction.  I was present.  Before the end of this weekend I had the most profound single experience of my life ....   a deep trance like level of samadhi.  Two years later,  seven week long retreats with Alan I was in it 24/7,  they call it stream entry. 

There is a caveat ....  this culminated 35 years of work I did getting my mind and psychological emotional turbulance quieted down.  By this time the mental agitation had subsided for me   I   used the technique precisely as explained here.   I never had to ask Alan one question in the 2 to 3 years I followed his instruction and it totally delivered everything,  total fulfillment of everything I ever hoped for and far far more. 

That preparation enabled me to go into it immediately.

I'm near San Francisco.  Alan is currently in retreat,  but he is easilly googlable and will come out and teach all over the world.  He has a retreat center on the island of Phuket,  Thailand.

There is a zenny in Switzerland, Vanja Palmers,   I think he's Austrian.  He has permission from the Swiss gov't to give psylocybin to meditators as a research project.  Hes at a zendo named Felsentor in Switzerland.   If you are too agitated and unstable that might be an interesting experiment.

Psychotherapy,  psychedelic psychotherapy, psychedelics alone if your are the intrepid kind,   holotropic breathwork,  these are all good ways to dig into your psyche,  resolve the disruptive stuff so you can then get deeper with good instruction.  I'm sure there could be other methods too.

My route was to focus on the psychological emotional stuff first,  then meditate after your are able .... in the usual way of total utter focus.      In my opinion being on a psychedelic would lock you out of samadhi if you were not already in it.   It takes total focus on mastering your mind to get it to a deeper deeper space and psychedelics are somewhat destabilizing but they do facilitate dredging up the rotting corpses that cause the agitation.   Then after you are in samadhi you can trip and it will be all the more fun and deep.

Shamatha and samadhi are secular.  Have nothing to do with Buddhism the religion.  Its mental training,  100% pure mental training.  They do teach Tibetan lamas because everything about life goes better with Samadhi.


apprenticehealer

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 77
Re: LSD as a Gateway Drug to Buddhism
« Reply #25 on: March 02, 2013, 05:10:57 AM »
This is a most unusual way of seeking Enlightenment !
However i would not try it or recommend it to anyone in search of a spiritual experience . LSD may give a kick start but how long can one maintain this 'high' feeling , without taking further drugs and without being eventually addicted to it.
One of the 5 precepts in Buddhism is NOT to take intoxicating substances, and to start the journey to Buddhism , one is already contravening one of the main precepts - seems most ironic !!
There is so much danger involved in taking these psychedelic drugs, besides harming and endangering one's physical body, it can also cause harm to one's emotional and mental state. Not to mention that when one is 'high', our channels open and spirits can easily 'enter' and possess the person.
I have heard that there are shamans who goes into trances using various methods like ; the continuous sounds of chanting, drumming, singing and also taking some form of drugs to heighten their consciousness,
but i do wonder what sort of entities are they channeling.

Rocket

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Re: LSD as a Gateway Drug to Buddhism
« Reply #26 on: March 02, 2013, 01:23:32 PM »
This is a most unusual way of seeking Enlightenment !
However i would not try it or recommend it to anyone in search of a spiritual experience . LSD may give a kick start but how long can one maintain this 'high' feeling , without taking further drugs and without being eventually addicted to it.
One of the 5 precepts in Buddhism is NOT to take intoxicating substances, and to start the journey to Buddhism , one is already contravening one of the main precepts - seems most ironic !!
There is so much danger involved in taking these psychedelic drugs, besides harming and endangering one's physical body, it can also cause harm to one's emotional and mental state. Not to mention that when one is 'high', our channels open and spirits can easily 'enter' and possess the person.
I have heard that there are shamans who goes into trances using various methods like ; the continuous sounds of chanting, drumming, singing and also taking some form of drugs to heighten their consciousness,
but i do wonder what sort of entities are they channeling.

You are misinformed in a rather dramatic way.  I suggest doing some sincere research on the things you are commenting about.

Rocket

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Re: LSD as a Gateway Drug to Buddhism
« Reply #27 on: March 02, 2013, 01:44:37 PM »
hehe what a way to come into spirituality! I don't have an experience with this or anything, but if LSD opens one's door to Buddhism, then take away! No, I'm kidding. I don't particularly object or reject this, but I do find it amusing that 99% of the monks interviewed became ordained because they took LSD. Which monastery would this be at? I view ordination as something holy, sacred and pure, and doubt that becoming ordained would be influenced by a drug. If that was it, then the basis of becoming ordained would be wrong. The drug-induced state would blur our control of our mind, when what it teaches you in Buddhism is to have total control over your mind.

Hi
For a better understanding of this topic I suggest reading my post carefully and if you have questions you can get back to me.  I have explained much in my post,  its based on my first hand experience and medical and professional training.  Some of what you have written here is erroneous.

Rocket

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Re: LSD as a Gateway Drug to Buddhism
« Reply #28 on: March 02, 2013, 01:47:37 PM »
Interesting conversations here... LSD and psychedelic experiences... hmmm...

No offense but you are not well informed.  The comment for manjushri would be applicable for you too.