Weedpassana doesn't give you Nirvana, only Marijnirvana: Why we should not go after sensory expe


There have been a lot of usage of Buddhist terms in Western society. We have heard of Zen Spa, which lets you enjoy spa and calm your body and mind. We have seen the Zenbook that ASUS produces, which was brought about by the simplicity of its design. And it’s no surprise that terms like "Buddha Barn", "Green Zen", "Channabis", "Marijnirvana", “Mettha" or "Weedpassana" are also derived from Buddhism (credits to Prateek for his creativity on these terms). However, these terms are related to drug use. While they say that drugs bring you experience similar to what they called "Nirvana" or "bliss", these are not the experiences we should go after.

Weedpassana doesn't give you Nirvana, only Marijnirvana. Drugs, when taken, change the chemicals in the brain, hence inducing altered state of consciousness. While it gives you "bliss", it is sensory pleasure at its very best. You wouldn't have any control of it yourself. If you are moved by external states, you have not found the Way. "What if I take and not be affected by it?" No, that is ignorance on your part, because you do not have the meditative concentration like high monks who have reached a certain level of attainment. It is just like saying "I won't be affected by just one puff of smoke. I can control myself." In the end, you become addicted to smoking. Weed is a sensory stimulant, it is not the same as the doing meditation and reaching samadhi (三摩地).

To meditate and reach concentration is like growing a flower with the right nutrients. If we decided to add chemicals to the plant to make it grow faster, the plant won't grow as well as it should naturally. Even if it does, the fragrance of the flower and the fruits won't be as good as the natural flower. Why are there organic flowers, foods and plants? Because of harmful chemicals that farmers use to make their plants to grow faster than usual. It is the same for our mental health. If we want to be happy, and not feel miserable from our difficulties, challenges, or obstacles we face, we have to take the right measures. We should understand that taking shortcuts to feel happy will not solve the problem. Sometimes it backfires. Drugs like weed do that to us. It is an external stimulant, which does not solve internal problems for us. If we want to solve the problems of our mind, we should understand the mind first. Recognize the mind, recognize your problems, recognize what it does to you, and what you do to it.

While taking drugs is discouraged, some may want to listen to music to get the same effects as drugs. Is it acceptable? It is harmless to you after all, since it is not chemically induced. While a person may want to listen to music to feel better, in the long run, it is still an external stimulant. It replaces the drug for a short while. We are still moved by our senses. Instead of sitting at the mind where our problems are, we sit at our sight, sounds, smell, taste, or touch. At least it is still better than taking drugs. In the end, to solve our problems, we should not go after sensory experiences.

What should we do then, if we want to solve our problems? We should understand the root of the problem. We should not take shortcuts to solve our problems. Understanding right effort is important. Do not doubt yourself of your capabilities to overcome your problems. With the right resolve you can overcome your obstacles. You must have the right view and right resolve so that you can have right effort. With just the right view, but not giving rise to right resolve, it is only in debate, and knowledge, not practicing it. Like academics who can tell you everything to know about farming, but yet have no farming experience, cannot be called a farmer. Therefore to have right view, is to have right resolve. Then we will naturally work towards our goal, with the right effort.

#drugs #mindfulness

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San Bao Temple

1750 Van Ness Ave

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