Tag Archives: vipassana

A true spiritual path

Is it cheating to use psychedelics in the pursuit of personal and spiritual growth?

No.

Plant teachers and psychedelic medicines are part of an especially powerful spiritual path that only few can handle. They aren’t for everyone, just as tantra or vipassana meditation isn’t for everyone. It is a genuine path of healing and spiritual growth that has been around for longer than any religion we have today and that has at some point in time been part of the practice of all of them. They are at the very core of the mystical experience that once upon a time gave birth to religions, although those religions have since fundamentally perverted the insights given. Psychedelics are the tools of healers, shamans, witches, visionaries, psychonauts, spiritual explorers and messengers. They are tools of change and enlightenment, of love and transcendence. They are catalysts of evolution and reconnect people to the source.

Photo: DJ by Catrin Austin on Flickr

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The question that helps me learn from difficult situations

A number of years ago I became entangled in a tough workplace conflict. It wasn’t really about me, but suddenly my employment was in focus. I felt offended when I felt that the people that I previously had a good working relationship with treated me badly.

Right at the beginning of the conflict I went to a vipassanna meditation, which is basically ten days of deep meditation with a technique that brings clarity. The first day my head was full of chatter. I managed to keep my focus for 20 seconds and then I was off to visit the job conflict for ten minutes, before I managed to return my focus. That continued the entire first day, until I found a crucial insight regarding the conflict.

It was not about me.

I just happened to be the one who held the job that had become a bargaining chip, so even if I took it personally it was ultimately not about the person Daniel. It was actually not even about the employee Daniel. It was about the position that I held.

When I let go of my hurt feelings I was able find a question that I have used in several difficult situations since then:

What can I learn from this?

This is one of the most liberating questions I have found, because it shifts focus from how unpleasant we feel that the situation is, to what we can learn from it. All situations have something to teach us, but especially those difficult situations. A difficult situation is a situation that we find difficult to manage, which means that the lesson we can learn from it is so much greater. There is a potential to grow.

My work situation was no better when I came back from the meditation, but my focus had shifted. A very stressful time followed, but since the question “what can I learn from this?” repeated itself like a mantra in my head, I learned a lot about myself and others.

I hope I never have to experience any more conflicts like that one, but I am extremely grateful for all I learnt and have forgiven everyone that I held a grudge against.

Photo: 100721-A-4817Z-025 by Expert Infantry on Flickr

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Meeting God

Weary Pilgrim by Randen Pederson on Flickr
Weary Pilgrim by Randen Pederson on Flickr

– I really want to meet God.
– Really? How far are you willing to go to meet him?
– How do you mean?
– Well, can you see yourself embarking on a pilgrimage? Would you perhaps walk to Mecca?
– Nah, it’s really not my thing to walk that far. Just think how sore your feet would feel after that.

– Buddhists have their deep meditation where they often live in silence and meditate for several months.
– Oh no, I’d go crazy. It’s really no fun being quiet. I like having people and talk all around me.
– What about psychedelics? Can you imagine using mushrooms or LSD?
– Do you mean that I should take drugs to meet God?
– Some people do.
– Completely out of the question! That’s illegal!

– Dancing? Many dance themselves completely sweaty and ecstatic to achieve contact with the divine.
– Nah, I don’t like sweating a lot. It’s not for me. I hardly dance when I go out, because it gets so sticky.
– Perhaps tantric sex? You know the whole thing with the Indian Kama Sutra, and such. You could invite God with sex.
– Honestly, it would be nice to meet God and all, but I don’t want him in my bedroom when I’m having sex.

GOD IS BORED OF YOU by Tom Coates on Flickr
GOD IS BORED OF YOU by Tom Coates on Flickr

– So let me see if I understand you correctly. You can pretty much see yourself walking round the corner to the hot dog stand in comfortable shoes to meet God. Somewhere where there are people talking, but where the atmosphere is nice and sober. You could possibly discretely sing along to some song on the radio, but if you get lucky God doesn’t get to tag along.
– Well, now that you mention it.
– You don’t sound very dedicated to meeting God. Is there anything else you can see yourself doing to get in contact?
– Well, perhaps I can buy him a hot dog?

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