This is a fun article. What’s funny is that it’s hard to say that I “meditate” on psychedelics per se, but I have now used them in a purely ritualistic context on multiple occasions. These experiences have been beyond insightful to put it mildly. I was actually just talking about this on the podcast a few weeks back, but for some reason I see way more on psychedelics when my eyes are open than when they’re closed.
Which means that my official position on meditating on psychedelics is resoundingly: I love meditating on weed. This position is conveniently not covered in this article, but it’s still fun (from the Buddhist Geeks Medium page):
“In the Meditating on Psychedelics podcast series my intention is to gain a deeper understanding of the relative merits and dangers of the mixing Buddhist contemplative practice and ritualized psychedelic use. In order to do this, I’ve found it necessary to first get clear on the scope of this exploration. In other words, what does this exploration include and what does it exclude?
To even begin to answer this question, it required that I have a way of thinking about the basic topography of this territory. As I looked around, I started to formulate a simple orienting framework to describe how people already tend to relate to this potential coming together.
What Camp Are You In?
Now, this model isn’t meant to be exhaustive, complete, or academic in its thoroughness. Rather, it’s meant to serve as a simple way to orient the exploration so that it can move forward.
These are the 5 camps I identified and their typical response to the question of whether or not one should consider using psychedelics alongside Buddhist practice:
The Anti-Psychedelic Puritans: “Absolutely Not”
The Anti-psychedelic Puritan camp holds that psychedelic usage is dumb, harmful, and should be avoided always and at all costs. Folks in this camp may express the opinion that psychedelic usage has nothing whatsoever to do with Buddhist practice, is a distraction, or worse yet will seriously fuck you up.
This camp is also, consequently, the current law of the land virtually everywhere. In the United States there are 48 psychedelic substances (including Marijuana, LSD, DMT, Psilocybin, Peyote, & MDMA) which are classified as Schedule 1 drugs. The criterion for these substances are described as such:
The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.
The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.
The Anti-Psychedelic Puritans are currently the ones in charge.”