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    Thread: Meditation vrs everything else to gain wisdom/clarity of mind

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      Meditation vrs everything else to gain wisdom/clarity of mind

      Currently i believe that meditation and listening to other experienced teachers is by far the most effective way to gain progress/insights if compared to psychedelics, lucid dreaming, studying western "more mainstream" psychology or (only) using your rationality and some kind of philosophy. + anything else there is

      Psychedelics/DMT, tho i admittingly have had no experiences myself and so im theorizing, seem to usually be just great distractions (according to my interpretations of videos on youtube/peoples descriptions of the experience). Many experienced meditation practioners also have this view and many have experienced both. During a trip people seem to get so much information thrown at them in the form of visuals and thoughts that they end up just becoming confused, but at the same time they become so awestruck at the complexity and thus (understandably) become very emotional -> less rational and then they end up feeling like they got something from the experience?? They dont seem to get "concrete" results from them, like a specific realization of themselves and if they do come up with something, they often state something "general" like I should show more love towards others or everything is interconnected. On the other hand, maybe the value of these realizations is not that much in themselves, but in how deeply they understand them and how well they now incorperate them into their daily lives.. But i still think it shouldnt require such extreme measures to come to the same conclusions. The drugs probably do have value as a "kickstart" for people who are narrow minded and want to quickly become open, motivated & interested in meditation or other practices/experimentations concerning the mind, but they can definately also be great distractions, as mentioned. I also think there are barriers to what you can learn, so that their only useful for a few times. So many people do DMT, but for the sole/main reason of becoming entertained and even if they do try to gain insights, the seemingly enormous amounts of sensory input can so easily distract you.

      So, what are your thoughts on whats the best alternative(s), all of them probably have their uses and some kind of mixture of of them would be ideal. ^_^

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      This video can be interesting to watch.

      In my own experience, i had tried cannabis and at first it made me overcome some barriers i didn't know there were there. So as a "kickstart" i recognize it was helpful, but then i became more interested in it, sooner the experiences became more dull the more i consumed it. But having experienced reality as an altered state, and not being satisfied with the ignorance i had been living with, i found out i needed more wisdom, but it became evident that with cannabis instead of making progress, it hindered the progress. Therefore i started investigating about the practice of meditation and teachings about the nature of reality, which i found out that they are the teachings of Buddhism. The only part i understood the first time i read about Buddhism was Dukkha-Dukkha, it made sense since i was always stressed (or aware of the feelings) even "when i wasn't stressed". But for the other part, other types of Dukkha, or the other noble truths, the links of dependent origination, and lets not talk about skandhas, were only superficially clear, meaning with this that i only memorized the teachings but nothing else, with no true understanding. I tried to rationalize but it didn't take me far, it made me more confused i suppose. However i've been practicing meditation for 6 months now, at least 4 hours a day, and now most of the teachings are clear to my understanding. I attained wisdom which has been of great help for understanding the nature of situations in daily life. Also i noticed that peace and loving-kindness although some may generally speak about it, once you start developing it in meditation you realize it is crucial to apply it to moment to moment experience.
      One more thing i can say about cannabis, is that i tried it again during the period of meditation. When i tried it again after some months of abstaining it was releasing and it appeared to save me some hours of progress of meditation. It seemed that i had a boost. But as soon as some doubts arised during the experience i wasn't able to overcome them and it was something that hindered progress. Having overcome that, still with cannabis experience of reality there seems to be a top limit of what you can experience, unless you take something stronger in THC, but that's the nature of craving, and that's what we should try to overcome, not seek after. Eventually you will find out that is not the right path, and if you discover meditation you will realize that is indeed the right path.

      I hope that was useful.

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      Here's a video to counter the above video:



      I think many of these states can probably be used beneficially by people who are familiar enough with what they are doing, and who also are taking the substances with the right intention (as a sacrament, as Wilber mentions). If used as an object of craving, of course any spiritual benefit will be thrown away. In some ways, I consider this as similar to lucid dreaming. In lucid dreaming, we have a very powerful vehicle for self-realization/psycho-spiritual evolution. Most of use don't use it this way. We are much more interested in how much dream food we can eat, how much sex we can have, how many fun things we can do, etc. It really is no wonder that the Tibetan yogis wanted to keep lucid dreaming a secret. From a Buddhist perspective, many people will use lucid dreaming to reinforce their kleshas and dig themselves a deeper karmic ditch. That doesn't mean lucid dreaming is useless. Rather, the degree to which a tool can transform you for the worse can be an indication of its power to transform you for the better. I also think this is one of the reasons why the masters say that while Tantra is very effective, it is also very dangerous.

      I think the same can be said for DMT/psilocybin and even meditation. If used from a position of craving, seeking, or similar, then these exercises are probably useless and maybe even detrimental. They (drugs) are not part of my path, but I would not doubt their ability to open the path for someone else.
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      Thanks 4 the videos, i had already watched tens of ask a monks videos before, but i missed this one.. He`s a great teacher indeed, what other meditation teachers do u recommend on youtube (this is a question to threecat too) and have u noticed many differences in their beliefs/contradictions? Both of u check out sadhguru, osho and ajahn brahm. These all seem to be great teachers and have nice personalities. One difference ive realized, especially between ask a monk and osho, is that osho seems to defend the importance of sexual relations and from the buddhist view, this is unimportant and can even cause great distraction/suffering.. From ask a monks view sexual desire is something u should learn to let go of.

      threecat: what do u think about the above video by lichi? It states that meditation is the more safe and usually more effective way, that dmt-like drugs deny u the ability to be fully present and clear of mind.. If u could meditate as efficiently as when sober while being in a dmt trip, then i could see that dmt might have more benefits than bad (in the long run), but in the above its said that u cant.. If u could then drugs could be seen as a more challenging state to be mindful in, and this would be great practice, but should only be attempted if u are already good at meditation while sober..

      I`ll comment later on other points uve made & thnx 4 ure thoughtful thoughts! ^_^

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      I'm not a psychedelic user, but I'm interested in their use.

      My opinion is indeed that they are the primal enlightment source for human beings. I indeed think that meditation appeared exactly because mankind lost his contact with them. And don't misunderstand me, meditation is awesome also for this precise fact: with true devotion one can really reach the higher states (I suppose). This show us that the power is already in the human mind. But I don't think anyone can reach these levels only with meditation.

      You know it's told that Buddha had to reborn many times before becoming Buddha? I think that this concept is rooted in Buddhism because there's the awerness that in a human life can really happen events which will (almost) permanently change our minds so deep that we can't reverse the process, and so we can't achieve enlightment.

      On the other side psychedelics seems far way more powerful. They are faster, and so they are more efficient in brain rewiring.

      Of course one should not use them just for fun, or he would not probably get very deep.
      I believe so that psychedelics, used in a meditative way, are the best approach.

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      Hi pelko:

      The above series of videos ("Ask a Monk") are very helpful, but his stance is that of Theravada monasticism, which is generally seen as being more conservative in their views on what is acceptable practice. I certainly don't want to cause any offense, but I am not surprised that psychedelics are not considered useful substances here. He also has a video on OBEs, where he essentially says the phenomenon is "kind of cool" but not really helpful in any way. I think his argument on both makes sense for many people: Chogyam Trungpa had his students throw their marijuana on a fire while saying, "We are burning self delusion." These altered states are an easy way to become deluded, and to cultivate spiritual materialism. But I think the possibilities of psychedelics are quite expansive, and many might not get a taste of non dual awareness without them. I think they are also probably a dangerous path, with many potholes of self delusion along the way. Mindfulness meditation is much safer, but will not give you certain experiences that might greatly benefit one's path--at least not at first. Plant medicine is an interesting thing.
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      Threecat:

      Why would i take offence? Its natural that people have different opinions, or where you implying that theravada monasticism forces their beliefs on their members? The way i see it is that they dont do that, as people can freely choose to which monastary they go to learn.. 0_0 So its just a gathering of like-minded people. A question on your quote by chogyam trungpa, shouldnt everyone try undertaking a spiritual path (i guess they already do, even without meditating/knowingly meditating, but i guess this means in a more vigorous manner?), as in my mind its always better than nothing.. What harm could it do if you undertook the spiritual path, but didnt get far with it? On the contrary, i think every little helps and even with only 15min a day for a few weeks can yield great results. Your quote seems to imply that you shouldnt even try if your not going to commit to it with everything you have and leaves a impression of "O, its going to take so much time and effort to get any results so i shouldnt even try". But i do agree that people should commit to the process more until u can be 24 hours/day fully aware.. Now that would be cool to achieve..

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      Without psychodelics, maybe I am not here now. I am 40, and I speak about 10 experiences, when I was young. They helped to change my life from hard atheist, to somebody who likes metaphysical thinking (and "doing"), but is not attached to any fanatic and dogmatic side. I am even today shocked from the fact, that some people can take a heavy dose, and can say, that this is a hallucination of their brain. Wow. Maybee that was not a high dose. For me, the first big trip was elementar. It made me phylosophing for a month. It was in the moment the most important experience in my life. Kokaine or heroine or speed, there is never spiritual atmosphere around them. Psychodelic plants and spiritualism is naturaly connected. If you are brave enough, you can look with them on the "other side". Illegal move? Maybe, but I never become addict, and the peoples around me never become addict. Last year I was drinking a very hard ayahuasca drink in Amazonie. On my own, without the samanic stuff, that is many times just mambo-jambo. It was...I was seeing things...if I would just think, that this was just hallucination...it is like spitting in my own face. So, yes, I think that psychodelics can be good katalizators, giving a strong motivation for turning in the spiritual direction. For shure, it is not durable, just a (strong) experience. On the trip Im always 100% aware of my eternity.
      "There is only one knowledge, the remaining is only a patch: Earth is below you, sky is above you, and the ladder is in you."
      (Weöres Sándor)

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      Hi pelko, I'm glad you weren't offended.

      I think Trungpa Rinpoche is speaking to those who would take up the spiritual path as a kind of spiritual tourism, or even spiritual materialism. His point is that the spiritual path has no place for those endeavors at all. On the contrary, someone who believes themselves "very spiritual" to the extent of being proud of themselves, and thinking themselves more developed than others, is going to do themselves damage on the spiritual path: probably in the form of just wasting time, but there could be other ramifications as well, such as digging their habitual patterns deeper (and if you believe in this stuff, accumulating negative karma that will ripen in future lives). Also, any discussion of the spiritual path in relation to Trungpa is going to center on the Vajrayana, which has been considered a dangerous path for hundreds (thousands?) of years. I don't think Trungpa is saying to not try, or to not meditate. I think he just wants people to know what they are getting into. 15 minutes a day of meditation is fine. An hour is fine. That does not necessarily mean you are on the path. Just means you meditate for 15 minutes or one hour a day. The spiritual path involves a commitment that most are not ready to make. I think that is what Trungpa Rinpoche is saying.

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      Threecat-> Yep, this thinking can indeed be harmful: "thinking themselves more developed than others". I think of myself and others as just different, but that nobody`s better / "higher" / more valuable than another. On the other hand, you could think of yourself as more developed, but just in the narrow sense of being more present (the other can have so many other qualities). But this would just be a sujective view because it would be my personal opinion that being more present is better for you and more developed and i still wouldnt feel "higher" than the other.. So even if another was as unpresent as possible i would see the other as an equal. This might sound a bit confusing, not sure if im so good in explaining this..0_o

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      threecat -> yep, the quote makes more sense now. I remember hearing once that someone became enlightened after taking just 10steps.. So quality is as important / more important than quantity. How long have you been meditating for? Have you gone abroud on retreats? What kind of progress have you made?

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      I had my 1st experience of being totally at peace with the world the morning after I had taken some lsd. Initially I had an incredible high but walking home the next day I couldn't understand why everyone was so stressed out about things. I felt I needed nothing to be happy. I just was happy and at peace.

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      " I felt I needed nothing to be happy. I just was happy and at peace. " Best feeling in existence.^_^ I believe a feeling of peace is very different from the feeling of pleasure because you can be peaceful despite you feeling physically stressed. (and feeling pleasure requires physical feelings of well being). Peace would be better described as a complete acceptance of how things are and how you feel (like u said), so its not really a specific feeling that brings the peace.. Though there is a " stillness " that eventually comes as an after product of already being at peace for a while (if i meditate for long enough) and i would count that as a feeling. Though the " stillness " would be best described as complete absense of feeling, like floating in a void. But can a absence of feeling be counted as a feeling. D Maybe im rambling a bit.

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