Meditation and Marijuana
Meditation has a long history and reputation as a healthy and liberating practice for the mind, body, and soul. Recommended by health professionals and spiritual practitioners alike, it is effective in reducing stress and anxiety and in improving mental health. Many people know of meditation but fail to truly understand what it is or its purpose. The practice of meditation is to clear the restless mind and to bring it to a mode of consciousness that is aware and alert, yet still and free of thought. Cannabis, when consumed in an appropriate dosage, can also achieve similar effects in muscle and mental relaxation, and an altered state of consciousness. When the two are combined, the effects are amplified and have profound benefits.
Today yoga and meditation combined with marijuana is growing in popularity, especially in places with legalization like Colorado. However, this combination has been around for thousands of years in spiritual and healing rituals among many religious groups including Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism, Sufism, Taoism, and many others. Many ancient and spiritual texts included cannabis as an aide for meditation and spiritual practice. Even modern day Himalayan and Northern Indian Tantric Buddhists use marijuana in their practices to achieve deep meditation and awareness.
Meditation starts with focus on breath, paying attention to every inhale and exhale of air, and feeling your lungs and diaphragm fill itself with the life force. The purpose of this is to calm the restless mind and to clear thoughts to live in the present moment, before eventually slipping in to a heightened state of tranquility and awareness. For many, especially beginners, this isn’t easy. Not many spend time in the present; the human mind is cluttered with worries of the past and future. This is where marijuana comes in to help.
Anyone who’s ever consumed marijuana is familiar with its effects on short term memory and perception of time. THC disrupts short term memory, making it more difficult for short-term memory to develop in to long term memory, thus causing the consumer to not spend too long on a single thought. Marijuana frees the mind from the plaguing thoughts of the past and future, allowing you to live in the present moment. On top of that, cannabis skews the perception of time, while providing muscle relaxation. These effects of marijuana can help a beginner in meditation to easily relax, slip in to meditation and spend more time in the combined altered state of mind.
It is worth noting that those who are interested in combining meditation with marijuana should be aware of dosage, method of consumption, and strain choice. It is not recommended to get too high that one becomes too sleepy or dysfunctional for meditation. The method of consumption is also important, depending on when one plans to meditate. Eating an edible may not be ideal because it needs time to take effect. Lastly, strain is crucial when combining with meditation. Because sativas provide more euphoric head highs, it may not be helpful in clearing thoughts and achieving stillness. Indicas and hybrid strains however, are recommended. Indicas allow the user to relax effortlessly, and hybrids do the same while allowing the user to feel a mild euphoria.
A smart combination of marijuana and meditation can effectively activate the feelings of weightless relaxation, awareness on the present moment, and closeness to the soul. As stated in Rastafari philosophy, “the herb is the key to new understanding of the self, the universe, and God. It is the vehicle to cosmic consciousness.”
Top image credit: Highlyzen