Ayahuasca and Buddhism

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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:30 pm

Good post
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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Sat Oct 15, 2011 2:08 am

Then again Alan Watts seems to have had increasing difficulties with alcohol in his later life which may have contributed to his death, if you believe the rumors. So maybe that tells you something right there about what he found and what he still felt he had yet to find.
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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:15 am

Acchantika wrote:People who think psychedelics merely blunt awareness and create delusion haven't taken them.
Maybe blunt is the wrong word, warp is much better and they definitely, 100%, create more delusions.

People who think psychedelics grant enlightenment and are the basis of spirituality have taken too many.
You mean there is a quantity of psychedelics that people should take? Like not too many, but just enough???

"All experienced things are disappointing." ~ the Buddha's last words
If you read further up the thread you will find that these were my first words.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby himalayanspirit » Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:25 am

If just by smoking pot one could attain the higher mental states, Jhanas, or even enlightenment, then law of Karma is wrong?

My intuition is that these drugs definitely do more harm to the taker than good and should be avoided.
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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby Acchantika » Sat Oct 15, 2011 10:06 am

Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:Then again Alan Watts seems to have had increasing difficulties with alcohol in his later life which may have contributed to his death, if you believe the rumors. So maybe that tells you something right there about what he found and what he still felt he had yet to find.


True. Nevertheless, what goes up...
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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby Acchantika » Sat Oct 15, 2011 10:15 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
Acchantika wrote:People who think psychedelics merely blunt awareness and create delusion haven't taken them.
Maybe blunt is the wrong word, warp is much better and they definitely, 100%, create more delusions.


I am glad you agree that psychedelics are incredibly useful in ascertaining the subjective nature of reality and highly malleable struture of mental projection.

People who think psychedelics grant enlightenment and are the basis of spirituality have taken too many.
You mean there is a quantity of psychedelics that people should take? Like not too many, but just enough???


That depends. Do you want to be larger or smaller?

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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:06 am

Acchantika wrote:I am glad you agree that psychedelics are incredibly useful in ascertaining the subjective nature of reality and highly malleable struture of mental projection.
Of course they can be. But highly focused and intense one pointed meditation is a much better and safer way to realise this without all the negative side effects of psychedelics and psychoactive plants (psychosis, poisoning, genetic damage, addiction, overdoses, cost, illegality, contact with shady individuals, purity of substance, etc... and ad nauseum)

That depends. Do you want to be larger or smaller?
You are being peurile. I believe that as a Buddhist one should reccomend meditation to all people and that one should never reccomend taking psychedelics/psychoactives to anybody. Meditation can only benefit, psychedelics/psychoactives can (also) harm and thus should be avoided.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby xylem » Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:14 pm

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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby Acchantika » Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:11 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
That depends. Do you want to be larger or smaller?
You are being peurile. I believe that as a Buddhist one should reccomend meditation to all people and that one should never reccomend taking psychedelics/psychoactives to anybody. Meditation can only benefit, psychedelics/psychoactives can (also) harm and thus should be avoided.
:namaste:


I was responding light-heartedly to a rhetorical question.

I don't recommend psychedelics to anyone.

As I have already said or implied, they are impermanent, temporary and ultimately empty experiences that will likely breed attachment.
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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:48 am

Acchantika wrote:I was responding light-heartedly to a rhetorical question.

I don't recommend psychedelics to anyone.

As I have already said or implied, they are impermanent, temporary and ultimately empty experiences that will likely breed attachment.
Sorry for the misinterpretation! :emb:
PS The question was not rhetorical.
Last edited by Sherab Dorje on Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Sun Oct 16, 2011 2:18 pm

Liberty and LSD

John Perry Barlow

John Perry Barlow is co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and has also been a cattle rancher in Wyoming.

Over the last 25 years, I've watched a lot of Deadheads, Buddhists, and other free-thinkers do acid. I've taken it myself. I still do occasionally, in a ritual sort of way. On the basis of their experience and my own, I know that the public terror of LSD is based more on media-propagated superstition than familiarity with its effects on the real world.

I know this, and, like most others who know it, I have kept quiet about it.

Shortly after the Bill of Rights was drafted, the English philosopher John Stuart Mill said, "Liberty resides in the rights of that person whose views you find most odious." The Buddha was wise to point out that people must be free to work out for themselves what is true from actual experience and express it without censure.

I will go further and say that liberty resides in its exercise. It is preserved in the actual spouting of those odious views. It is maintained, and always has been, by brave and lonely cranks.

Lately it seems that our necessary cranks have been falling silent, struck dumb by a general assault on libery in America. This is no right-wing plot from the top. Like most totalitarian impulses, it has arisen among the people themselves. Terrified of virtual bogeymen we know only from the evening news, we have asked the government for shorter chains and smaller cages. And, market-driven as ever, it has been obliging us.

This is what is now taking place in our conduct of the War on Some Drugs. In this futile jihad, Americans have largely suspended habeas corpus, have allowed government to permanently confiscate our goods without indictment or trial, have flat-out discarded the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, and voluntarily crippling the First, at least insofar as any expression might relate to drugs.

In my gloomier moments, I wonder if the elimination of freedom in America is not what the War on Some Drugs was actually designed to accomplish.

Certainly we haven't engaged this campaign because the psychoactive substances we are so determined to eliminate are inherently more dangerous than those we keep in plentiful and legal supply. Indeed, the most dangerous, antisocial, and addictive drugs I've ever taken--the ones I'm afraid to touch in any quantity today--are all legal.

Alcohol, nicotine, and prescription sedatives do more American damage every day than LSD has done since it was derived in 1942. Each year, alcohol kills hundreds of thousands of Americans, many of them violently. Alcohol is a factor in most murders and suicides in America. It is a rare case of domestic violence or abuse where alcohol plays no role.

Yet I don't hear people calling for its prohibition, nor would I support such an effort. I know it won't work.

It's not working for LSD either, and it's even less likely to. Lysergic acid diethylamide-25 is active in doses so small you can't see them. It's colorless, odorless, and it doesn't show up in drug tests. And you have to be pretty high on acid before anyone's going to notice you being anything but extremely alert.

Does this mean I think LSD is safe or that I am recommending its use? Hardly. I consider LSD to be a serious medicine, strong enough to make some people see God or the dharma. That's serious medicine. There are two points that need making: First, by diminishing the hazards inherent in our cultural drugs of choice and demonizing psychedelics, we head our children straight down the most dangerous path their youthful adventurism can take. Second, LSD is dangerous but not in the ways generally portrayed. By dressing it up in a Halloween costume of fictitious dangers, we encourage our kids to think we were also lying about its real ones. And LSD is dangerous.

It is dangerous because it promotes the idea that reality is something to be manipulated rather than accepted. This notion can seriously cripple one's coping abilities, although I would still argue that both alcohol and TV advertising do that more persuasively than LSD. And of course, if you're lightly sprung, it can leave you nuts.

But LSD is not illegal because it endangers your sanity. LSD is illegal because it endangers Control. Worse, it makes authority seem funny. But laugh at authority in America and you will know risk. LSD is illegal primarily because it threatens dominant American culture, the culture of Control.

This is not a sound use of law. Just laws arise to support the ethics of a whole society and not as a means for one of its cultural factions to impose power on another.

There are probably 25 million Americans who have taken LSD, and who would, if hard pressed in private, also tell you that it profoundly changed their lives, and not necessarily for the worse.

I will readily grant that some of these are hopeless crystal worshipers or psychedelic derelicts creeping around Oregon woods. But far more of them are successul members of society, CEOs, politicians, Buddhist meditation teachers, ministers, and community leaders.

This is true. Whether we want it to be or not.

But the fact that so few among these millions dare utter this truth is, in a supposedly free country, a symptom of collective mental illness.

I neither expect nor ask any young person to regard me as a role model. There are easier routes through this world thatn the one I've taken. But I do like to think of myself as someone who defends his convictions. And I hope to reaise my three daughters to bebrave enough to own their beliefs, no matter how unorthodox, and to own them in public, no matter how risky. I dream of a day when anyone's daughters will feel free to do that.

The most I can do toward a world in which their liberty is assured is to exercise mine in this one.

http://parvati.tripod.com/liberty.html
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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Sun Oct 16, 2011 2:23 pm

Are psychedelics useful in the practice of Buddhism?

by Myron J, Stolaroff

Journal of Humanistic Psychology

Vol. 39 No. 1 Winter 1999

Pp. 60-80

Copyright by Journal of Humanistic Psychology

Summary

In the fall of 1996 issue of the Buddhist magazine Tricycle, various
teachers of Buddhist meditation practice commented on the value of
psychedelic experiences, with opinions of them ranging from helpful to
harmful. Here, the author hopes to explain these conflicting viewpoints by
describing important aspects of employing psychedelics that must be taken
into account for effective results. These embrace proper methodology, which
includes set and setting, dose levels, appropriate substances, appropriate
intervals, and proper integration of each experience. The author has found
the informed use of psychedelics to be a valuable tool in accelerating
proficiency and deepening meditative practice and offers recommendations
for successful use. The adverse comments of several recognized teachers are
evaluated to shed further light on fruitful application of psychedelic
substances.

The Buddhist magazine Tricycle devoted its fall of 1996 issue to the topic
of psychedelics and Buddhism. The viewpoints of the authors regarding the
efficacy of psychedelics on Buddhist practice ranged from a high degree of
support to outright opposition. Those who are interested in the possible
application of psychedelics to meditative practice might well be puzzled by
such a diversity of viewpoints. Yet, the answer is simple. Psychedelics can
be used in a great variety of ways for an enormous array of purposes. The
results depend greatly on the experience, knowledge, skill, and level of
development of the practitioner. Thus, the person presenting his and/or her
own particular point of view may or may not be aware of numerous other
considerations involved. Widespread unfavorable public bias toward
psychedelics has been created by very selective reporting by the media, as
observed by Walsh (1982). As Walsh reports, this bias is so unfavorable
that a reputable journal refused to accept an article that indicated some
beneficial outcomes from the use of psychedelics unless the reference to
positive effects was removed. I hope to shed some light on the diversity of
viewpoints by first laying out what I consider to be important factors to
take into account in effectively employing psychedelics. From this
perspective, we can examine some of the more relevant comments that have
been expressed. .cont/... http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-ADM/stolar.htm]

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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:31 pm

Pseudo-scientific pseudo-spitritual new age (well not so new: tune in, turn on...) hogwash.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:48 pm

Feel free to argue the points if you like.
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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:00 pm

There is an extraordinarily profound difference between a hallucination (as a consequence of taking a psychedelic/psychoactive/hallucinogenic substance) and a spiritual experience "gained" through one pointed meditative practice. An incredibly, extraordinarily profound difference. A difference that can be "shown empirically" with great difficulty since it is obvious, or directly perceivable, only by those having the experience and almost impossible to describe.

I sincerely wish that you too reach the point where you have a direct realisation of this difference. Needless to say you will have to stay off the hallucinogens and dedicate a considerable amount of time and effort to your meditative practice. Hmmmm.... not such a bad price to pay for realisation!
:namaste:

PS It occured to me (while practicing, funnily enough) that the main difference is that after you have had a hallucinogenic experience you know that it was not real, but just a consequence of the substance you consumed (ie a hallucination) whereas after having a "visionary" meditative experience you know that it was not a hallucination, even though it was a consequence of the practice..
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby xylem » Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:12 pm

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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:18 pm

One time I was talking to an acquaintance of mine that practiced Buddhism and (Sth American) Shamanic practices at the same time. I (diplomatically) said to her: "Look, I'm not trying to say that one system is better than the other, or that one is corect and the other wrong. But it's kindda like driving a car. The accelerator and the brake are both extraordinarily useful and necessary, but if you press both at the same time, well... So what do you want to do? Press the brakes or put the pedal to the metal?"
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby Acchantika » Sun Oct 16, 2011 6:25 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:There is an extraordinarily profound difference between a hallucination (as a consequence of taking a psychedelic/psychoactive/hallucinogenic substance) and a spiritual experience "gained" through one pointed meditative practice. An incredibly, extraordinarily profound difference. A difference that can be "shown empirically" with great difficulty since it is obvious, or directly perceivable, only by those having the experience and almost impossible to describe.


I agree with your conclusion, but I think you are misrepresenting what psychedelics do.

Yogic practices have effects on the nervous system, which can produce experiences. Psychedelics have effects on the nervous system, which can produce experiences. Some of these experiences are the same. It is as simple as that. When we look at what these substances actually do, it is easy to see why.

Nobody who is making comparisons between spiritual experiences and drug-induced experiences is comparing the hallucinations. By definition, a hallucination is not real.

Nevertheless, the experiences only last as long as the psychedelic, everytime, and are dependent on it.

That is the problem, and why they are antithetical to Buddhism. No other reason, in my opinion.
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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Oct 16, 2011 6:52 pm

Acchantika wrote:Yogic practices have effects on the nervous system, which can produce experiences. Psychedelics have effects on the nervous system, which can produce experiences. Some of these experiences are the same. It is as simple as that. When we look at what these substances actually do, it is easy to see why.
Yogic practices are not designed (solely) with the nervous system in mind, they work on other subtler forms of energy that exist in the body-mind complex. Yogic systems consider the brain as responsible for physical action, which is, of course dependent on mind, but mind is not dependent on physical form (hence the formless realms, gods, preta, hell beings, etc...). That's probably why you can feed hallucinogens to advanced meditative practitioners and they don't even bat an eyelid (although the substance is obviously acting upon their nervous system since they have ingested it).

Nobody who is making comparisons between spiritual experiences and drug-induced experiences is comparing the hallucinations. By definition, a hallucination is not real.
My point was that meditative experiences are quite clearly NOT hallucinations, quite the opposite really. A hallucination is real as long as you are hallucinating, a meditatitive experience is "real" even during post or non-meditative states.

Nevertheless, the experiences only last as long as the psychedelic, everytime, and are dependent on it.

That is the problem, and why they are antithetical to Buddhism. No other reason, in my opinion.
Well, I agree that it's definitely ONE of the problems associated with hallucinogens that makes them antithetical to Buddhist practice.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Ayahuasca and Buddhism

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:14 pm

Is there anything in experience that is not a hallucination?

I'm not much of a fan of Batchelor but he had one metaphor that I thought was good - practice is like climbing the mountain, psychedelics are like being helicoptered to the summit. Certainly for the long term it doesn't seem like a good idea to rely on the helicopter. But it may give some boost to faith.
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