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Offlinekeepontruckin
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Understanding Buddhism
    #3025316 - 08/19/04 09:26 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Hey guys, let me just give you a little background before I go ahead asking my question. I was raised in a Catholic environment and as such I was baptized a Catholic. Recently I've fallen away from Catholicism as I felt it was not my calling to be a Catholic. I certainly respect the religion still and believe in what Jesus had to say as far as moral right and wrong goes, I just don't believe he was the son of God, etc.

In the past three or four months, I've been reading a lot on The Teaching of Buddha and have been extremely interested in the ideals of the religion. So much even that in the next week I am visiting a local Buddhist temple for the first time to attend a meditation session.

However, like Catholicism, one thing confuses me. Buddha taught in order to be "Enlightened" one must give up things such as drugs and alcohol. Now, maybe you can see where I'm going with this.

We all know that mushrooms are powerful, powerful sources to expand our spirituality. My question to you is, do you think psychedlics such as mushrooms fall into the category with the drugs that the Buddha say we abstain from in order to acheive enlightenment? Or do you think mushrooms have a place in Buddhism as a means of gaining deeper spiritual understanding?

Please feel free to share your comments and answers, and if there are any practicing Buddhist or people who believe in the teaching of Buddha that would like to respond, please by all means do so. I'd greatly appreciate it.


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OfflineTwirling
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Re: Understanding Buddhism [Re: keepontruckin]
    #3025468 - 08/19/04 09:53 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

It's tough to interpert exactly what any religous text says because of context, and in the case of Catholism, manipulation.

Buddhism, like many other religions, has different sects and belief structures. A lot of Buddhists first got interested in Buddhism because of their experience with psychedelic drugs. Some texts even suggest that he used & ate nothing but cannabis & it's seeds for 6 years "before discovering his truth" (http://www.theflow.nl/cannagod.htm). How true this is, I don't know.

The bigger question is finding what works for you. I find that some drugs, mixed with meditation create some very intense states of mind which can be recreated while sober. I really feel that drugs can help with meditation and make it progress much faster than without it. But you have to find what works for you.

Mushrooms & some other drugs defintely have place in exploring spirituality, but it always depends on the person who's taking them to explore the experience itself.


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OfflinePedM
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Re: Understanding Buddhism [Re: keepontruckin]
    #3025645 - 08/19/04 10:22 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

In Tibet, the story of Buddha is that after many years of depriving himself of food, eating only bark and seeds (maybe Cannabis seeds, who knows), he was offered a bowl of rice by passing boaters. It was upon eating the rice that he realized his years of fasting were extreme behaviour. After that, he ate like a regular person. Instead of attempting to deny his cravings for delicious food, he recognized his attachments for what they were and maintained a patient, accepting attitude toward them along his quest for enlightenment.

The suggestion that followers of Buddha's teachings should abstain from alcohol and drug use came from Buddha's mouth directly. Like all his teachings, though, I don't think he meant it as a universal ethic. Buddha taught a complete set of instructions detailing how any individual is to train his or her mind to see past it's bewilderment and uncover the bliss of full enlightenment. It has never been implied in any of Buddha's teachings that he was the final authority on subject.

That being said, I think it's safe to say that when a Buddhist practitioner becomes serious about his commitment to Buddha's teachings it might be time to consider following Buddha's advice about drugs and alcohol. Buddha taught a means of training the mind -- it is not different from atheletic training. Just as an athlete would not consume fatty, salty foods because it would impact the development of his muscles, so a Buddhist in practice would not ingest substances that would impact the training of his or her mind. Beacuse athletes abstain from certain foods does not mean that those foods are wrong. In the same way, because Buddha suggested that Buddhists abstain from certain substances does not mean that those substances are wrong.

Do mushrooms have a place in Buddhist life? That's ultimately up to the practitioner, I suppose. The great Buddhist master Shantideva is very often depicted in Buddhist art with mushrooms at his feet. The same is true on some occasions in art depicting the Wisdom Buddha Je Tsongkhapa. Whether or not this means either Shantideva or Je Tsongkhapa used psychedelic mushrooms is uncertain; there is a great amount of symbolism involved in Buddhist art. For all I know, the mushrooms at Shantideva's feet might symbolize something along the lines of his victory over the "rotten fungus" of his delusions and the resulting mistaken awareness. Such dramatic examples are very common in Buddhist art and literature.

I'll offer some perspective now. Toward the end of the Buddhist path, there are a great many highly in-depth trainings that address the deepest recesses of the mind. Many of the end-path practices are kept secret because they open up a power that would be dangerous to those with uncontrolled minds. Some High Lamas have experimented with LSD. After undergoing a high-dose experience, Lama Jangchub reported LSD to be "nothing new" to him. On one occasion, he compared it to a children's game played in Tibetan schools. What I'm saying here is that if you should decide to follow the Buddhist path, your question might one day answer itself.


--------------------


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Understanding Buddhism [Re: keepontruckin]
    #3025688 - 08/19/04 10:32 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

I think it depends on how you define "drugs." Buddha was all about mind-expansion, so I don't think it really contradicts Buddhism to use psychedelics for that purpose. I've actually heard about some Buddhist monks who use small doses of MDMA to assist in meditation.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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Offlinegnrm23
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Re: Understanding Buddhism [Re: keepontruckin]
    #3027374 - 08/20/04 08:01 AM (12 years, 3 months ago)

ummmmm...
(been mentioned before here)
the fall 1996 edition of the buddhist magazine tricycle www.tricycle.com was focused on buddhism & psychedelics...
worth checking out...


--------------------
old enough to know better
not old enough to care


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OfflineTheChiaPetFarmer
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Re: Understanding Buddhism [Re: keepontruckin]
    #3027483 - 08/20/04 09:06 AM (12 years, 3 months ago)

KeepOnTruckin:

I can totally relate to you. I too was raised as a catholic and after minoring in philosophy, I've come to question my religion and the idea of religion itself.

This search led me to the doorstop of zen buddhism. I like zen buddhism because it outlines a set of very fundamental, and sometimes vague, beliefs and then leaves it up to the person to look inward and find the answers for themselves. With a lot of searching, you'll end up with a set of beliefs that you can truly call your own - and you'll treasure those beliefs that much more because it took so much effort seeing and searching for these truths.

I don't have a definite answer to you question, but like Ped said, it's ultimately up to the practitioner. However, in one of my art history classes (indian art) I clearly remember a slide of a stone tool with mushroom decorations that was used to mash mushrooms with milk to make a *magic* concction.

Some Googling led to this:

" Soma would then have been juiced, or "milked" as the RgVeda often puts it; the mushrooms pressed with stones and the resultant liquor filtered through lambswool. It was then mixed with milk or curds and drunk: IX ii5-6 "Cleanse the Soma, pressed out by the hand-worked stones; dilute the sweet one in the sweetness. Approach with reverence; mix him with curds, put the Soma juice into Indra.". It may have been drunk again, in its second form, perhaps by less-experienced Brahmans, or by the laity."

(Quoted from: http://peyote.com/jonstef/flyagaric.htm)


Hope that helps!


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Offlinekeepontruckin
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Registered: 08/11/04
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Re: Understanding Buddhism [Re: TheChiaPetFarmer]
    #3028656 - 08/20/04 03:32 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Thanks for the great responses, glad to see theres so much knowledge floating around here.

If anybodies interested, I found a fairly interesting site: http://www.beezone.com/RickFields/high_history_of_buddhism.html

I guess in conclusion, like mentioned, it's up to the individual. Personally now I believe that it wouldn't be against the teaching of Buddha. Buddha told people to abstain from alcohol after the drunkard interupted him, and rightfully so. However, psychedelics are a whole different ball game so to speak. Psychedelics are not limiting drugs that make one stumble and fall and babble incoherently for the sake of entertainment. Psychedelics open the doors of the mind, not close them.

In that regard, I would assume Buddha didn't mean to say that mushrooms were a drug, but more of an extremely powerful tool that wouldn't be classified under what he laid out to be against his teaching.


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OfflineZoso_UK
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Re: Understanding Buddhism [Re: gnrm23]
    #3028683 - 08/20/04 03:41 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

here's some of the articles in html format:

link  :mushroom2:

Good thread btw, I've wondered this myself.


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OfflineSeussA
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Re: Understanding Buddhism [Re: keepontruckin]
    #3028913 - 08/20/04 04:50 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

> Buddha taught in order to be "Enlightened" one must give up things such as drugs and alcohol.

The translation that I have read speaks towards 'intoxication'... basically saying that you should not consume things that cause you to loose mindfulness.  Alcohol is an excellent example; I cannot meditate after I have had even a little drink... my mind will not still... give me 30mg of MDMA and the opposite happens... I can sit for six hours in the blink of an eye.

> next week I am visiting a local Buddhist temple for the first time to attend a meditation session

I still remember when I was in your shoes.  To me, the peace of the temple is amazing.  Enjoy!  :heart:


--------------------
Just another spore in the wind.


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Understanding Buddhism [Re: keepontruckin]
    #3029138 - 08/20/04 05:48 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

buddhism
as a religion requires structures that must be impeccable.
no drugs or alcohol on the premises.
the premises includes territory that you share physically but also with words and action.
buddhism
as a philosophy provides so much of the necessary framework for understanding the cheshire cat and the rest of what happens in the mind (with or without entheogen) that you really might wonder whether or not enthogen has ever been part of an inner circle practice.
buddhism
does not require entheogen to be understood.
society
would crush buddhism if entheogen were part of it.


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Offlinepsikooz
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Re: Understanding Buddhism [Re: redgreenvines]
    #3029358 - 08/20/04 06:46 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Buddha wanted you to figure out what you need to do.

Buddha means that you should not use something that is causing you to suffer!

That is what buddhism is, it teaches the end of suffering, and to understand the causes of your suffering.

If alchohol is a problem for you, then it is the cause of your suffering, and an end to your suffering is to stop drinking.

psychedelics can help you on your path to enlightment. I wouldnt say that just by simply eating mushrooms you are enlightened, but if you continue on your true path and use the musrhooms as a guide, you might reach enlightment one day.

And im pretty sure buddha didnt want people to right down his teachings and go by them as rules, im pretty sure he just wanted people to understand that that if they are unhappy, there is a true way to happines, and that is removing the cause of your suffering.

it worked for me. :mushroom2: :thumbup:


Edited by psikooz (08/20/04 06:52 PM)


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Offlinegnrm23
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Re: Understanding Buddhism [Re: psikooz]
    #3029796 - 08/20/04 08:38 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

aldous huxley's _island_ of pala incorporated psychedelics & mahayanist buddhism & shaivate worship & science & maithuna & other meditative & ecstatic techniques into their daily life...
~
more people move from psychedelic explorations into a spiritual disciple than vice-versa
(although a great many folks in the 60s & 70s & beyond began studying the body of wisdom to be found in "eastern" paths after they had experienced psychedelics)
~
poet gary snyder asserts that the buddha's last meal was all of the "sows ears" from a rice pilaf prepared for him & his disciples ("sows ears" being a common name for mushrooms in "the CBI theater", so we are informed)...
and could it htus be that the enlightened one checked out on a lethal dose of some (according to wasson & others, Amanita musacria)...
~
and of course there are quite a few folks who incorporate their drug use and a meditiaive practice with some success...
~
~
~
two monks were finally getting adjusted to the lifestile of the brotherhood, but still found themselves enjoying an occasional cigarette together when the opportunity presented itself...
they were concerned that such a habit might conflict with their monastic vows, and both decided to approach the abbot with their concerns...
that evening, after supper, one monk had lit up, while the other was fidgeting reslessly...
the second asked why the first was still smoking; hadn't he spoken to the master?
the first said that he had indeed...
the second said "when i asked the abbot if it would be alright to smoke while i meditated, he replied'absolutely not - smoking while meditating is not what the life of a monk is to be about!'"
the first brother replied "there's your problem; i asked the abbot if it would be all right if i were to meditiate while i smoked, and he said 'of course - performing all acts mindfully is the way of a true monk!'"
~
~


--------------------
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not old enough to care


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