A Guest Post by Lou Catarino: Zen and Marijuana
January 23, 2012 Leave a Comment
Zen and Marijuana
By: Lou Catarino
You can read Lou’s blog @ https://talesfromthelou.wordpress.com/
I came into Zen in my late teens after being raised a catholic.
The dogma of the church just did not do it for me.
So I ex-communicated myself and went on a quest for truth. I came across the antics of the Beat writers of which Jack Kerouac became my favorite.
Say what you will about those pre-hippies but they were the closest thing to genuine creativity in the US in the late fifties.
The Beatniks opened my mind to Alan Watts (Alan Wilson Watts /January 1915 – 16 November 1973) who turned me into Zen. At the time he was instrumental in making Zen understandable in the West.
I also discovered marijuana during that time.
Now, before I go any further, I must admit that writing this post torqued my brain around.
Zen is pure Buddhism.
It is a natural consequence and part of Buddhism. Siddhartha, in all his wisdom came up with five guiding rules for us to follow in order to reach enlightenment: to abstain from harming living beings, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying and intoxication.
Here it is. Intoxication. What is intoxication? Ingesting poisons that will harm you physically and mentally.
You cannot get intoxicated from cannabis.
If you intake too much marijuana you are just wasting your time, money, and weed.
Once you are in the zone there is no more higher “stoned” level.
Cannabis focuses your mind by freeing it from the daily mundane. It gives you a measure of peace and calm that recharges your energy and allows you to become disciplined.
Zen and Zazen both require discipline.
It is one of the most difficult spiritual practices to get involved with, but the rewards are out of this world.
Zen changed my existence.
It has given me: Empathy, compassion, discipline, patience, an open mind, the desire not to hurt sentient beings by not eating them which in turn gave me incredible health and stamina, an understanding of life that is intertwined with death, and much more.
Zen changed my life and I arrived at Zen through off-beat counter culture readings and cannabis.
I am not advocating for everyone to get stoned like the song says.
Life should be experienced fully and soberly.
But you must admit that modern life is beyond stressful. It has become so complicated that most of us depend on legal and illegal drugs in order to cope with the insanity of it all. Roughly half the North American population is ingesting legal antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs.
Personally, I won’t consume cannabis until the necessary daily rituals have been performed: Exercise, zazen, work, chores, etc..
At the end of the day cannabis becomes the holy grail of ceremonial and spiritual ceremonies.
It makes it all make sense.
Visit my website if you are interested in reading more!