On meditation and drugs

Image retrieved on DrugLibrary.com on September 23rd, 2013.

Now it is interesting that people who begin to move in a spiritual direction in connection with drug experimentation sooner or later look for other methods of maintaining their experiences. One sees many long-time drug users give up drugs for meditation, for example, but one does not see any long-time meditators give up meditation to become acid heads. This observation supports the contention that the high obtainable by means of meditation are better than the highs obtainable through drugs - a contention phrased not in moral terms but simply in practical ones.

It is also interesting that every major religion and system of mind development that stresses the value of direct experience urges the avoidance of chemical highs. Yoga and Buddhism are both very clear on this point, for example, even though both recognize that drugs are effective means of altering consciousness. In his ancient aphorisms on yoga, Patanjali wrote: "The psychic powers may be obtained either by birth (that is, as a result of actions in past lives), or by means of drugs, or by the practice of austerities, or by concentration." yet all yoga texts demand abstinence from drugs. The ancient Hindus certainly had available to them alcohol and marihuana; in addition, recent work by Gordon Wasson suggests that soma, the "divine intoxicant" of the Vedas, was a hallucinogenic mushroom.

Excerpt from page 68 from The Natural Mind by Andrew Weil.

The natural mind, yoga, meditation, soma, hallucinogens, acid