A reader asked if cannabis supports spiritual awakening. It felt to me a sincere inquiry. The comments of the discussion group were not very helpful.
About a year ago, I started smoking cannabis to alleviate pain in the upper cervical and lower lumbar. I'd gone first to a medical doctor, then to 20+ sessions with a physical therapist. The next step in traditional medicine would have been surgery or injections.
An unexpected result was that after smoking, when I inverted, my deep breathing was greatly enhanced.
It was as though the cannabis relaxed restrictions in my body/mind which had prevented me from breathing deep and slow.
Over the year, I tried several different strains of cannabis from a dispensary and found they had very different effects on me. I began growing my own and realized that having a relationship with the plant from seed also makes a difference.
Over my lifetime, I applied myself to scores of practices for spiritual awakening and found many partially but none fully effective.
Then in a discussion group I raised the question, 'What practices support greater awareness?' and designed a practice from the pieces gleaned from 50 years of exploration and discovery.
The question of whether cannabis can be used for spiritual awakening does not have a simple answer because it depends on many factors such as:
What are the motives? A desire to be in an altered state, something different than what is, is a red flag. Better to face the inner demons or darkness without a crutch as that will nurture your growth. An urge or intuitive feeling to help the body/mind relax so body wisdom can guide, or to slow the thoughts for a time to feel yourself can be positive motives.
What is the person's mental-emotional state at the time of smoking? If the thought is, 'I really need a smoke,' than it is better not to. If the state is grounded and peaceful, smoking can be an enhancement, a cooperation with the plant spirit of cannabis. Don't expect smoking to do something for you.
What is the person's overall stage of spiritual development? A person who has a strong base of self awareness and self responsibility and caring has a much better chance to be out of the danger zone with cannabis than someone who is already inclined to be lazy and insensitive.
What are the individual body responses to cannabis? People have very different physical reactions to the same chemicals. It is good to be very aware of how your body is taking the chemicals released by smoking, on an individual basis. What is medicine to one can be poison to another.
What are the strain and source of the cannabis? There is a wide difference between strains of cannabis, as they are now grown for specific results. If you are sensitive to subtle energies, you may also pick up the energies of the grower. Know the strain and source before you smoke.
What is the dosage at a time? Self responsible smoking means also to be mindful of how much is smoked at a time and how often one smokes. A general rule of thumb is to take two good tokes, no more, at a time. If the smoking becomes every day, take a day off once in a while and notice how you feel. Monitor yourself closely and honestly.
A great deal of information on smoking cannabis for spiritual awakening is available on the internet. A Google search on 'cannabis spiritual awakening' brought up 380,000 results. Research it well and listen to your heart to come to your own sense of what is best for you.