An article has caused much commotion online so I added my 2 cents when it surfaced on a discussion thread. (Article: The New Wave of Psychedelics in Buddhist Practice - Lion's Roar)

I wrote:

Psychedelics can induce mystical experience and some spiritual realizations. Most people who do them at low doses will not have such experiences, and the higher doses naturally come with more risks. As Alan Watts said, even his initial experiences with LSD were of a "visual" or "aesthetic" kind -- pretty interesting but not anything profound, and he could not grasp any spiritual significance to psychedelics. Later on however, he did successfully experience classical mystical experiences (deeper experiential insights into anatta/total exertion) and realizations through the use of LSD once he figured out how it could be used, even though he already realized anatta even before psychedelic use. (A good article by him: Tommy McNally also deepened his insights into anatta through the use of LSD ( Otherwise, a high dose can also easily result in a kind of life changing transformation moment or spiritual Self-realization.

For example, Ram Dass and many others
had described the I AM realization as being induced through the use of psilocybin or magic mushrooms. Leo from realized the I AM/God/Infinite Consciousness in a 5-MeO-DMT trip. I AM realization is a direct realization of Pure Presence as a pure sense of Existence which is then reified into the Eternal Witness or an eternal Self or Atman-Brahman prior to deepening insights into non-dual and anatta. A direct realization and taste of luminous Presence does not necessarily eliminate ignorance, the reification of luminous Presence into an ultimate Self. It is simply a glimpse of the luminous clarity aspect of our buddha-nature, but not its empty nature.

The experience of radiance presence, with its intensity, be it through psychedelics or meditation, can in fact be the cause of the formation of proliferation. This itself will not liberate you from samsara. Therefore having right view and meditating on right view is more important than all those mystical experiences attained through psychedelics, samatha and jhanic practices. However that does not mean presence is not important, it is and always is, but that is not the cause of liberation. It can be extremely blissful, clean, radiance, because consciousness expands... Or altered state. But that is different from wisdom.

So, I must say that psychedelics by themselves does not necessarily enhance "Buddhist practice". It can give you a glimpse of something profound, although not always. It can lead to certain breakthroughs but in terms of the Buddhist path of eliminating all emotional and cognitive obscurations, the only way is through the practice of insight and tranquility in tandem.

I am personally not against the use of psychedelics but its limitations and dangers should also be understood.

Does repeated ayahuasca use help accelerate understanding along with practice of self inquiry?

Me: It really depends on individuals. Most people who've done psychedelics don't have any major profound or permanent breakthroughs apart from fleeting peak experiences. And if people do it low dose, it's probably just another cool visual effect sort of experience. David Carse (author of Perfect Brilliant Stillness) seems to have a profound non-dual breakthrough (comments: One Mind level of realization) from ayahuasca in an experience he later called "The Jungle". Also, Ram Dass had his moment of Self-Realization through magic mushrooms, and Alan Watts wrote about how he had deepened experiential insights through the use of LSD, and many others.

Some people are strictly against psychedelics, some people are pro-psychedelics. I think I'm in the middle. There are pros and cons, benefits and dangers. You have to gauge your own condition for yourself and be aware of the laws, only some countries in the world legalises psychedelics.

Are psychedelics necessary? No. I attained my core insights not through psychedelics but by my own contemplation. I do not advise or promote psychedelics as a contemplative tool, but many people will do it anyway (except in Singapore where I live, it is a 'police state' that works -- it is basically the most crime free nation in the world, and the borders are heavily controlled, so most Singaporeans don't do drugs here). But roughly 80 to 90% of spiritual aspirants I talk online, the western ones, have tried psychedelics some time in their life, so I feel it is appropriate that I discuss this matter.

Psychedelics can sometimes enhance one's contemplative process, and deepen some of the insights one already has, or even provide some fresh insights and realizations, and release certain karmic conditioning/traumas/etc (this is why the medical/psychiatric field is finding it a promising treatment for depression, PTSD, etc). But it should not be the sole and only tool one uses and one should thread carefully.

“Psychedelic experience is only a glimpse of genuine mystical insight, but a glimpse which can be matured and deepened by the various ways of meditation in which drugs are no longer necessary or useful. When you get the message, hang up the phone. For psychedelic drugs are simply instruments, like microscopes, telescopes, and telephones. The biologist does not sit with eye permanently glued to the microscope; he goes away and works on what he has seen.”

- Alan Watts


p.s. an interesting article from Sam Harris, author of "Waking Up": Drugs and the Meaning of Life
 New video: Daniel Ingram: Psychedelics, Meditation & Enlightenment


Overly frequent use of psychedelics can be harmful to one's energy/prana/rlung/vayu/wind. It would be advisable to do energy practices instead:
Dantien Breathing and Energy Practices
John TanTuesday, March 10, 2015 at 3:27pm UTC+08
Talk tonight or tmr. Too many stuff and will b busy for next few days. Anyway the zen yoga is good but only as a general guide. U just learn about how to breathe in deeply, long to the abdomen first, follow what as described first. As for lungs and abdomen breathing relating to opening of energy centers, will tell u my interpretations when u r back. In summary u must learn long and deep breathing exercises and know how to comfortably "store" the air like a balloon but flow of the air movement in and out is like a snake.
John TanMonday, March 16, 2015 at 9:45pm UTC+08
If u know how to make use of ur body and diet and know their DO with the mind states, then the progress is tremendous. Just like using psychedelics but in this case it is 损 (Soh: damaging), using proper diets and knowing ur body conditions is 捕 (Soh: supplementary) and 益 (Soh: beneficial). In the long run ur body will be tender and fills with vital energy if u go with breathing exercise. Unfortunately diet only come as a late realization as well as my business does not allow me to go very far in integrating this.
John TanMonday, March 16, 2015 at 9:48pm UTC+08
In asanas and breathing techniques, u really need a master to guide u further. One can go for 15-20 yrs and ended up with all sort of injuries without knowing the essence. So it is important for someone that have gone the phases and willing to teach and share with u. Going for basic yoga class is good and learn step by step. Our mind states r far beyond what u can imagine now.
John TanMonday, March 16, 2015 at 10:24pm UTC+08
Many like to rush in energy practice and conjure up lots of mind states. Let's say deep breathing exercise from abdomen...what u need to build the energy from there, store the air and energy from there...ur legs and toes, ur waist will b tender yet full of energy...ur mind settles and rest stably there and regulate...rushing and conjuring up mental states do not mean u r there or ur energy gates r developed. For example, r u able to do a simple lifting of both ur legs up toes pointing upwards with ease like I showed u the other time?
John TanMonday, March 16, 2015 at 10:24pm UTC+08
U cannot rush into it...
Soh Wei YuMonday, March 16, 2015 at 10:46pm UTC+08
oic.. on storing air and energy from there.. is just like the zenyoga dantien breathing right?
John TanMonday, March 16, 2015 at 11:00pm UTC+08
Yes but although he taught the opposite of lung breathing, it is not necessary...what is important is long and deep breathe into it...later u will understand y when u r back. This is because of the various poses. When u raise ur hand to the finger tips, ur breathing will not b deep and natural ... But just do it...later I will tell u why. Then u do it again and c the difference. Practice regularly until ur lungs and cage as ur abdomen and ur finger tips can feel the strength. The storing of air in ur lung cage may seem easy but it will b smooth and tiring in the beginning but later when u practice the correct way, u will b able to store energy in ur middle and lower Dan tian. Keep doing and u will b able to activate and regulate these energy centers. Do not rush into it and confuse urself with all those A&P descriptions. It must be healthy, tender, energetic and u will know...if u keep practicing the right way, u will know the benefits. My mistake is when I integrate into yoga, I injured myself due to various asanas as the stretches that open the gates can be quite tempting...
John TanMonday, March 16, 2015 at 11:01pm UTC+08
Will not be smooth I mean
Zen Yoga site:
Who Are You?
by Reverend Ryugen Watanabe, Osho
Each one of us inhabits three bodies: a physical body (material), an astral body (emotions) and a causal body (wisdom).
The astral body is considered to be higher (more evolved) than the physical body and the mental body higher than the astral.
"You" use your physical body to exist on the physical plane, but at the same time you also exist in an astral body on the astral plane and in a mental plane.
Most people are only aware of the material body and the material plane which is also the lowest, the crudest and most complicated level of existence. The material body that "you" have, is just "your" body, but it would be a mistake to think that it is "you".
The same thing is true for the astral body and the mental body - they are not "you", but merely "yours". Many yoga and meditation practitioners have experienced how their astral body leaves the physical body and they have become aware of how their astral body acts and exists on the astral plane. They are in the same danger as people who believe that they are their physical body, when they start to think that they are their astral body.
Since the three bodies are merely bodies which "you" have, there must be a "you" somewhere. Who are "you"? All religions which exist on the planet basically teach who "you" are. Some religions call "you": "soul", Buddhists: "Buddha nature", and Christians: "the God within".
These religions, in some way or other, teach that you are God. They all talk about the same thing even though they use different words and language. People who get too attached to words and language make a mistake, because their attachment leads to disharmony and conflict. People kill and harm each other because of misunderstandings based on language.
The question can be asked whose fault this is. I was once asked by a student who the people are who end up in hell. My answer was: it is the priests who go to hell. It is important to understand this because many people today in America feel drawn to religion and yet they still want to fight within religion.
Zen Yoga
by Reverend Ryugen Watanabe, Osho
Surely there are people who have doubts about the benefits of yoga - can you really heal from disease through yoga, really attain Siddhis (special psychic powers) or attain enlightenment through yoga? People often ask these questions. Many people who practice yoga have recovered from sickness when medical doctors and medication were unable to cure them. By practicing yoga many have changed in fundamental ways, their bodies were transformed. They were rejuvenated, not merely in body, but their personality and lifestyle changed in positive ways as well. Because of yoga practice, holy men in history have attained sainthood.
Shakyamuni Buddha himself became Buddha because of the benefit of yoga practice - just moments before he attained enlightenment, Buddhism did not yet exist, there was only yoga. It is meaningless for me to practice and teach yoga in my life if it cannot heal the body, cure sickness of the mind, benefit the world and help to attain enlightenment. If yoga worked only for a small number of people, I would not feel called upon to devote my life to spreading the teachings of Zen Yoga. One reason for calling this practice Zen Yoga is that it is yoga practiced by a Zen monk - yoga practiced with the mind of Zen, a practice without expectation.
The practice of yoga with no mind, empty mind: Zen mind. It is practice for the sake of practice. Zen Yoga does not make use of asanas for the sake of health or flexibility. Zen Yoga does not practice pranayama, mudra or bandha for awakening chakras of raising the Kundalini Shakti. Zen Yoga practices asanas simply for the sake of doing asanas.
Likewise, Zen Yoga practices pranayama, bandha and mudras simply for the sake of doing pranayama, bandha and mudras. Of course Zen Yoga is not practiced to gain Siddhis. When you totally forget all the expectations and results, you will immediately receive them all. When you detach from seeking benefits, you attain them, e.g., mudra is practiced for mudra, nothing but mudra. There is no separation between you and mudra, instead you are the mudra. Because it is mudra, Siddhis will occur naturally. Zen Yoga is not a way of attaining enlightenment. You are already enlightened! How can you attain enlightenment if you are already enlightened? Zen Yoga is a way to realize that you are already enlightened.
Spiritual Healing
by Reverend Ryugen Watanabe, Osho
In many ways, Western and Oriental medicine are totally opposite, in both theory and practice. Their basic philosophies are very different. This is not intended as criticism! All I want is to make the world happy and contribute to the evolution of the consciousness of the universe.
When you have a terrible headache and go to a western doctor, he usually gives you "medicine" which is really only a pain killer made out of chemicals. You take the "medicine" and after a while the headache is gone. How wonderful - now you can enjoy your day again! You can appreciate the chemicals of modern science and western medicine, and you are thankful to your doctor.
But let us examine this closer. Pain killers only stop the pain by deadening the nerves so that you cannot feel pain. This does not mean you are healed. Your headache is still there, you just no longer feel it. You are numbed by chemicals so that you do not feel the headache and so you think you have recovered from it, but the cause of the headache remains untreated.
Unfortunately, if you get a more serious condition like cancer, the approach of Western medicine will be no different from "curing" the headache. They apply chemical poisons to the human body to try to kill the cancer cells. At the same time this poison kills other parts of your body. When the chemical doesn't work, they try to apply radiation to your body. Finally, they cut your body with a knife and try to remove the cancer from your body. Once again, they ignore the cause.
Everything has cause and effect. If there is no cause there will be no effect; this is the law of the universe. In order to receive a good effect your behavior must be good. This is your karma. So there must be a cause for the headache and cancer, too. Headache and cancer are effects. There is something causing these symptoms of illness. The approach of Western medicine is to deal with the symptoms (effects) by trying to simply eliminate the headache or the cancer. Unfortunately, if you don't stop the cause the effect will keep coming back again. It works something like this: if you have a lung problem caused by smoking, then no matter what you do (i.e., take pills, have an operation, receive treatments of radiation or massage, chant a mantra, etc.) your lung problem will never be cured. However, if you simply stop smoking you can allow your body to heal.
The approach of oriental medicine is to deal with the cause rather than the symptoms (effect). In addition, there are many techniques of oriental wisdom, such as herbs, that do deal with the symptoms, without injuring or numbing the body.
When I examine a patient with a terrible headache I often find that his neck and shoulders are very stiff. This indicates poor circulation. When the neck and shoulders are tight, the blood does not circulate to the head and may cause a headache. The tightness may be the result of fear, stress, bad posture, etc. For emergency treatment, Shiatsu (accupressure) or Hari (accupuncture) may be applied to eliminate the cause of the headache. These techniques are both safer and less expensive than western drug therapy.
One day, one of my yoga students brought her friend from work to have a healing session with me. She claimed that her fingertips were cold and numb. She had had this problem for several months and had been to various western doctors, but nobody seemed able to solve the problem. In oriental medicine, it is considered common sense that numbness or cold on the fingertips are caused by poor circulation around the neck, shoulders and arms. Beginning oriental medical students and even children know this simple fact.
When she first cam to see me, she came with a bandage around her hand, which had been applied by a doctor. It was kind of shocking to me that any doctor would do such a thing. Now we are talking about circulation - and a bandage cuts the circulation even more. On top of that, he had scheduled her for an operation on her right palm at a local hospital. Perhaps he thought that something was growing in her palm, but the explanation was not very clear.
"The hospital called me yesterday to confirm the appointment," she said with a worried face.
"How are your neck and shoulders?" I asked her.
"Very tight", she said.
When I touched her neck and shoulders they felt extremely tight, but I began to smile because I felt quite confident that I could help her to feel better without a painful and costly operation. I thought it would take a few treatments and some yoga exercises to cure her, but after giving her less than an hour of massage and accupressure treatment, her numbness was completely gone!
Causes of Disease
The best way to cure a disease is to treat the cause. The best way to be healthy is to prevent the causes of disease from entering our lives in the first place. Where does disease come from? Most diseases including serious ones like cancer are caused by the same three things:
1. Chemicals (poisons)
2. Diet
3. Attitude
There are poisons everywhere. We have poisons in our tap water, poisons in our so-called "medicine", poisons on vegetables and fruit and almost everything we eat. It is impossible to obtain pure food in our society. Take an apple for example: it is grown in a chemical soil with chemical treated water, chemical fertilizer, and finally sprayed with poisonous chemicals to kill bugs.
I have heard that there is not one living thing in the grape fields of California except grape plants and humans. All other living things such as bugs and insects are killed by chemicals, and these poisoned grapes are going into your body. We may eat this fruit, full of poison and say, "I don't feel anything bad", and you may not. However, slowly but surely you will feel the effects.
Although it is impossible to eliminate all the poisons from our daily lives when we find them even in the air we breathe, there are a few simple ways to help reduce the amount of them that we ask our bodies to deal with.
To totally correct these evil matters on the planet we may need to reconsider the whole system of our society, and perhaps our understanding towards life. Be a spiritual being rather than a material being.
Cancer and many other illnesses are caused by the food we eat. Almost everyone is familiar with the dangerous chemicals contained in many foods, but most people are not aware of the danger in eating animal products. And it is actually rather difficult to get foods free from animal products in our society.
It is scientifically proven that many animal products will create disease and sickness. The human body is not designed to eat dead animals. By eating meat, you invite disease into your body and create the karma of killing. Nobody has the right to kill anything. Ideally, we should all be vegetarians, or at least more aware and careful of what we eat. Animals are not aware of what they eat and commercial food-animals are filled with chemicals and hormones given to them by greedy growers. Many are given mega doses of antibiotics, to which the bacteria in their bodies become completely resistant. Then these super bacteria are eaten by humans, who will take more antibiotics to get rid of them.
Even without these added chemicals, the meat itself is difficult to digest and may remain in the intestines for weeks, months or years, rotting. By eating vegetables, nuts, grains, rice, etc. (a vegetarian, non-killing diet) you can never fall into deadly illness. By eating non-vegetarian food (meat, killed animals) people generally get sick. This is not just a moral judgment - Western science agrees that meat is very hard on the human body.
You must not eat in the morning. It is considered "common sense" in our society that everyone should eat breakfast, and eat three times a day. This understanding is totally wrong! I'm sorry, doctors, but it is wrong. Morning is not a time for digestion, it is a time for cleansing. Therefore, it is not appropriate to eat in the morning. Yogis who devote their lives to body health will eat only once or twice a day at the most.
There are many people bothered by stomach and intestinal problems for years who have become completely healthy and able to enjoy life after changing their diet to eating twice a day from three times a day. Western medicine fails to recognize this simple point and is therefore unable to help these people. In fact, it is still recommending that they eat breakfast. From my own experience, I feel much better since I stopped breakfast.
Do not eat too much! We can live up to 125 years easily by eating proper food and not eating too much. Physical problems caused by eating too much lead to problems in society. Many diseases (including deadly ones) have been cured by fasting (not eating for many days). Many people have experienced the technique of fasting and have received almost unbelievable benefits from it. The wisdom of fasting has existed on this planet for thousands of years. Both religious leaders and practitioners have used this technique over the years, including Buddha and Jesus. Look at dogs and cats: when they are sick they do not eat. They lie around all day and rest, because their natural instinct tells them not to eat while they are sick. Nurses tell patients in the hospital, "You must eat this!" but patients do not want to eat. They have no appetite. Natural instinct tells them not to eat.
Do not be brainwashed by the so-called authorities in our society. Our instincts are very accurate, but modern science kills our instinct by telling us not to trust our natural body intelligence. They want us to deaden our bodies with pain killers and too much heavy food instead of changing our habits and lifestyles. Now people do not know what to eat, what to do, what is right or wrong. Never go to the hospital, especially if you are sick. The hospital is full of sick people and sick "ki" (prana). There is sick energy all around, plus the vibrations of worry and fear of the patients. You must be with healthy people, especially when you are sick. Healthy people give off healthy "ki" and healing energy from their bodies and minds.
A positive attitude towards life is the first step towards being healthy. Without a positve attitude, there is no cure for disease.With complete positivity, your body is immune to all illness. Of course, if your attitude towards life is negative, you will attract various negative forces into your life and body, such as cancer and breakdown of the immune system. The effects of the mind and body on health cannot be separated.
Simple is best.Our life in society becomes more and more complicated and we receive too much information. Therefore we fall into very complicated ills and problems. Remember every phenomenon we perceive is based on cause and effect. Therefore, oriental techniques are based on cause and effect. Healing techniques of Oriental Medicine are very simple - almost too simple and therefore inexpensive.
Healers who try to make big business out of these sacred techniques are increasing - so watch out!
Few people in the West believe in these simple techniques, and even many Orientals no longer practice them. This is a laughing matter for Oriental people because this wisdom has existed in our culture for thousands of years, but because of lack of respect for the wisdom of our ancestors, we have forgotten these basic truths.
The cure is not only simple, it is simplicity. Remove complexity and you remove anxiety - the main cause of bad attitude and disease.
Spiritual Life
What is spiritual? The opposite of spiritual is material. The spiritual life involves leaving the material life for a simple life. Many people try to find happiness in material things ...Happiness is not in having a so called good job; happiness if not in being good-looking or having an expensive car, a house with a swimming pool, or looking for a rich and good looking mate. These are material values and will only bring you a momentary happiness. This is known as illusion.
I know a lot of people who have everything materially but are still not happy. They even seem to suffer from what they own. People are not content with what is "here" but always seem to want what is "there". When they actually get "there" it becomes "here" and no longer satisfies them, because now they want what is "there". Human nature is never satisfied and keeps wanting more. (see "Spiritual 1")
Real happiness is within, and you can only find happiness in the non-material dimension. Non-material means things that you cannot see, things that you cannot buy or put a price on.
Modern science has invented a lot of wonderful(?), comfortable(?) material things. The automobile for example. Such a great invention - we have received a lot of benefit! At least this is what we think, but instead we end up walking less and less. So the body becomes very weak and more prone to disease. Large amounts of driving also creates pollution which becomes a danger to the whole planet.
"What is the name of your best friend?" I asked a little child and he answered, "Color Television!" Certainly television will not give you happiness, but watching TV will give you the following results:
It wastes your time and keeps you from doing anything of value.
It damages your eyes and other parts of your body with harmful radiation and poor posture.
It fills your mind with unnecessary information and causes it to be very busy instead of at peace.
It creates unnecessary desires.
You will become brainwashed.
Watching TV is a bad habit which you should try to stop immediately. After a while, you may find your life has become more creative and realize that many ills come from watching television.
So please try to maintain a positive attitude and avoid all things which work against your efforts.
CURES FOR DISEASE (Healing Yourself)
From the health point of view people are torturing themselves. Most of you would agree with me on the causes of disease I have just described, but many of these things are hard to control.
At the moment, I'm living at the Kanzeonji Buddhist Temple in Lost Angeles, but it is very difficult to obtain pure food. There are chemicals in vegetables, chemicals in rice, chemicals everywhere. Even with a lot of effort, it is very difficult to get everything organic. The system of our society does not allow us to eat pure food. In other words, living in this society is like living in the hell of poisons. Because we cannot avoid all these poisons it is important to know techniques for healing. (This article was written in the 1980's)
Blood Circulation and Healing
All the impurities from bad environment, bad diet and bad attitude.
All of the impurities from bad environment, bad diet and bad attitude end up in the blood. It is a simple fact that if you eat good food you create good blood.
Pure food = pure blood
Junk food = junk blood = get sick
Every single problem in the body will show up as impurities in the blood. If you had perfectly pure blood, you would never get sick! So, if you are sick, improve your blood quality and you will be healed. If you do not, the blood will circulate your problem to all parts of your body.
Poor Blood Ciruculation
You cannot expect clean water if the river is not flowing well. It is the same with blood. Poor circulation creates poor blood quality.
Poor Breathing Technique
A perfect nutritional diet is useless if you do not breathe properly. It is like an automobile: you put the best quality gasoline (perfect food) in your car but if it does not get enough oxygen the fuel does not burn completely. In order to create good quality blood (not too rich, not too thin - fuel mixture) the food has to burn completely. Therefore breathing technique is one of the most important techniques for good blood quality.
What Does Blood Do?
Blood carries energy (nutrition and oxygen) to the billions and billions of cells in your body. Those cells which do not receive enough energy will starve and become dead cells. Therefore poor blood circulation creates dead cells. On top of that, blood cannot wash out and carry away those dead cells if the circulation is poor. This is the reality of every sickness. If you have absolutely no dead cells in your body, you could drink a glass full of cancer viruses or even AIDS virus and you would never get sick from it; it would all eventually wash out.
If you have no internal bleeding in your intestines, disease, bacteria, and viruses can never harm you! People should not be afraid of disease at all. Internal wounds are the most scary things in the human body because they allow disease to enter. Zen Yoga healing methods starts by correcting blood circulation and good blood quality.
So all diseases can be washed out of your body by the blood circulation system. This method does not contain any violence at all even towards deadly viruses. Western drug therapy is based on killing (violence). Doctors try to kill disease with medicine (poison). This is no different from dropping bombs! Diseases also want to live and they do not want to get killed. So they fight back. Sooner or later, they will get stronger so you have to apply stronger poison to kill them. In this process you are poisoning other parts of your body and creating more internal wounds at the same time, as well as creating more and more impure blood quality.This method reflects the attitude of our society (or is it the other way around?) We try to gain peace (money) by violence (war).
The cause of sickness is not in disease - the cause of sickness is in your poor health. Scientists say that viruses are everywhere in the air. If the cause of sickness were disease, then everybody would be sick. The cause of sickness is in your dead cells and internal wounds - not in disease. It is better not to kills anything including viruses.
Here is a simple but very effective method to create blood circulation:
Asanas (yoga posture/exercise)
Hot Water Bath
Sun Bath
Air Bath (remember we are breathing from our skin too)
Shiatsu (accupressure/massage)
Hari (accupuncture)
Natural Herbs (for very sick people and emergency use)
Never use so called "medicine" chemicals
Air Bath and Blood Circulation
When you take a look at the human body from the health point of view, it is not really designed to wear clothes. In fact the skin gets weaker and weaker when you wear clothing all the time. The body is always breathing from the skin. Even when you consciously stop brething, your skin is breathing. And our skin functions like a kidney and a liver. The function of the kidneys and the liver is to excrete poisons from the body. So when the kidneys and liver get weak, the blood becomes impure. This is one of the most important reasons to avoid using chemicals. Taking chemicals damages your kidneys and liver. When the kidneys and liver get weak, your skin starts to function like a kidney and liver trying to excrete toxins from the body. 99% of the time any skin problems or skin diseases, including pimples and dirty skin, are a sign of weakness of the liver and/or the kidneys.
Doctors give a skin cream made out of chemicals to patients who have skin problems. But this only covers the problem and prevents healing. Ladies apply chemical skin creams all over their beautiful bodies to try to make their skin look beautiful, but instead it keeps the skin from breathing. It makes me cry every time I see these things. So if you want to have beautiful healthy skin, simply clean out your kidneys and liver. An air bath with no clothes on is one of the most simple but effective healing techniques.
Clothes and Blood Circulation
I'm not trying to be anti-social. The intention of this discussion is to contribute health and happiness to our world, but our society requires us to wear some very unhealthy clothing. Neckties for example. Now we are talking about blood circulation. Most men are required to wear neckties in order to keep their jobs. Everybody is choking themselves by wearing neckties which do not allow the neck area to breathe. The neck is the most important part for blood circulation. Remember the body and the mind are totally related to each other. If everyone stopped wearing neckties, I think that there would be a tremendous decrease in automobile accidents and divorce in our society.
If you want to kill somebody, simply choke his neck with rope or something for a few minutes. He will easily die. It seems to me that many people are committing suicide a little bit everyday by hanging themselves with ties.
Do not wear tight clothes. Modern clothes use a lot of elastic for convenience: stockings, shirts, socks, shoes, underwear, etc, and people do not know what is "too tight". I consider clothes that leave a mark on the skin too tight, because they cut off blood circulation. I see the deep elastic marks on my patient's after taking off socks, underpants, wrist watch, bra. (I recommend not wearing a bra.) No wonder they are sick.....
Another thing that I have observed through my healing work is that most westerners have abnormally shaped feet because their feet are in hard shoes for so much of the time. The foot tends to become shaped like the shoes. It would be better if the shoes were the shape of the foot, rather than the foot shaped like the shoe. A foot should be shaped like a foot! Especially the little toe. Check your little toe. Is this a little toe? Oh yes, it is a little toe! It is amazing how the shape of the body changes by applying force over a period of time. By applying braces to your teeth for a few years, your teeth get straight. By having bad posture for many years your back will become bent. In other words, you can change your body any way you like. This is the teaching of yoga. In every part of your body there are reflexive zones and meridians that refer to other areas of your body and the internal organs. Therefore, an abnormally shaped foot will create problems in other parts of your body. Let your feet breathe, too.
High heels - You can imagine the harm of high heels! The human body is not designed to walk that way.
Make-Up - Another word for make-up is "fake-up" (excuse me!), painting your beautiful face with poisons (chemicals).Your face should breathe! From the simple, natural and spiritual point of view, make-up is not recommended. This is not just a matter of personal taste. It is quite unhealthy for both body and mind.
One student asked me "Why is make-up not natural?" I explained that she was trying to make a shadow on her face, but the sun is shining from the other side.....
Standards of beauty are different in each person, so absolute beauty does not really exist. Real beauty comes from the inside. When you start to use make-up regularly, your face will adjust to make-up, and you begin to look funny without it. When you stop using make-up, your face will adjust to being without it, and you stat to look funny with it on. Without make-up, the face can more easily express your inner beauty.
Abdominal Breathing (Tanden Breathing)
In a sense, most of us breathe incorrectly. Even when someone tells you to take a deep breath, you probably only inhale into the upper part of your lungs. This does not allow your body to get the maximum amount of oxygen into your lungs. The basic breathing technique comes from abdominal breathing. Abdominal breathing is called "Tanden breathing" in Zen Yoga. The Tanden is a psychic center of the body and central to the secret techniques for all Oriental martial arts. When you develop your Tanden, you tap into a source of great power.
Remember that your mind and your breathing are always directly related to each other. Usually when you are calm and relaxed, your breathing is very deep and slow. When you are confused, "freaked out", or upset, your breath is shallow and fast.
Everyone actually breathes properly at certain times:
In deep sleep you are unconsciously doing deep abdominal breathing
In meditation and yoga we learn to breathe properly
Directions for Tanden breathing:
When you inhale, your stomach/abdomen goes out
When you exhale, your stomach/abdomen goes in
(This is the complete opposite of lung breathing, where you stomach has a tendency to go in when you breathe in)
Always try to make the exhale longer than the inhale for best results.
Abdominal breathing is easy to master and is the fundamental technique for all forms of meditation, yoga, martial arts, and spiritual practices. So everyone should make an effort to master this type of breathing.
By correcting your breath (making it deep and slow), you can make your mind steady and relaxed. You can practice this wherever you are, at any time except right after eating or in heavily polluted air. Just as blood removes impurities from the body, proper deep breathing removes impurities from the blood, mind and spirit. Regulating our breath balances our entire lives.
Proper circulation and breathing can cleanse impurities from the body, but we must also have a pure mind to be truly healthy. Everybody knows and talks about the happiness and peace within us. "God is within you." But where? Saying God is within us is the same as saying that a disease is within us - and it is a mistake. You are the disease, you are the God. It all depends on what the mind believes.
The actual location of the "God" (the real you: the body is only your body, the body is not you, you are the God) is realized through meditation on the ANAHATA CHAKRA (heart chakra). The "God" within is known as ATMAN by the Hindus, or the Buddha Nature by Buddhists.
Once you realize the eternal self ("God") within, you will realize that everything besides the ATMAN is merely illusion (momentary). Meditation on the God within is the most powerful healing technique because it is the ultimate spiritual goal of every human being, beyond the reach of illness in the material body.

Arcaya Malcolm Smith:


Post by Malcolm »

kirtu wrote: Obviously. But Americans and other westerners in particular seem to have a false narative that drugs "will save them". In part this may be from Huxley or he may only have been documenting the tendency.
It cannot be denied that taking psychedelics have radically changed the course of people's lives, mostly for the better. There were studies being conducted on the whether or not LSD, etc., increased empathy or not. Unfortunately, those studies were shuttered. The fact is that I have known hundreds of people who have taken these kinds of drugs, many Buddhists in fact, and none of them reported any long term ill effects, and often they report long standing confirmations of their insights gained through use of psychedelics with their subsequent Buddhist practice. Virtually everyone I know in my generation who is a Buddhist began their spiritual journey through the Psychedelic movement. Also that is where I started. LSD, rock and roll, etc. I first dropped acid when I was 13. Never regretted it.
It's his error but it can be a problem for the Dharma transmission to the west (he is not well known, BTW).
I doubt it. As far as I know, there is no LSD tantra.

That said, there have been people using psychedelics for spiritual purposes in all kinds of cultures all over the world for thousands of years. Is it Dharma? No. Is it spiritually invalid? No.
When administered in a safe, controlled environment, there is nothing to fear....
Now you switch this to therapeutically controlled usage.
I mentioned this at the outset.
Nonetheless as seeker242 above noted there is really no point for spiritual insight (the person I referred to above advocating LSD usage insists in fact that LSD usage promotes insight
There can be advantages for some people in terms of spiritual insight with use of psychedelics. For example, Garab Dorje mentions that for those who have a stubborn attachment to the nonplasticity of their mental continuums, it can be very useful to take psychedelic substances in order to break their attachment to the mind being something fixed and permanent.


Post by Malcolm »

MiphamFan wrote:I never tried LSD, but after trying pharmahuasca, honestly I was rather underwhelmed.

While on it I just had disorientated motor control and had some slight visual phenomena, but it's nothing mind-blowing, nothing that changed my universe or life or whatever.

It doesn't compare to meditation at all.

I think the youth of today have more than enough distractions leading them in different directions (games, internet, youtube videos, blogs, etc) that the risk of "a stubborn attachment to the nonplasticity of their mental continuum" is fairly minimal. There is a greater danger in being too distracted.
As I said, not recommending anyone take entheogens, just saying it should not be demonized.


Post by Malcolm »

I will simply restate what I have stated before, in terms of Dharma practice, hallucinogens have only one purpose, and that is for people who stubbornly cling to the idea that their minds are fixed substances, hallucinogens will undermine their stubborn clinging to this idea, that's it.

They may have other uses, but none Dharmic.
Last edited by Malcolm on Sun Feb 28, 2016 3:30 am, edited 1 time in total.


Session Start: Friday, 9 February, 2007

(11:40 AM) AEN:    hi.. wats that book about? anyway that guy took LSD and became enlightened? lol
(11:41 AM) Thusness:    he is pro-LSD. :)
(11:41 AM) Thusness:    but anywhere mentioned he took LSD?
(11:41 AM) Thusness:    it is an interesting topic though.
(11:41 AM) AEN:
(11:41 AM) Thusness:    maybe a lil on that aspect.
(11:41 AM) AEN:    huh
(11:44 AM) Thusness:    i mean maybe i will discuss about a bit on that aspect.  I did a lil study on LSD when Ram Dass someone I respected a lot was dismissed from Havard. :)
(11:44 AM) AEN:    oo icic..
(11:47 AM) Thusness:    did u summarized what i told u to do yesterday?
(11:47 AM) AEN:    lol still remember this guy came to #buddhism last time and said something like hemp helps in enlightenment? lol
(11:47 AM) AEN:    some hinduistic guy
(11:47 AM) AEN:    oh haven yet :P
(11:47 AM) Thusness:    go do it. :)
(11:47 AM) AEN:    ok
(11:48 AM) Thusness:    and relate global warming with the first para in the booklet. :)
(11:48 AM) Thusness:    what do u think?
(11:48 AM) Thusness:    be critical and state ur own view.
(11:48 AM) AEN:    first para?
(11:48 AM) AEN:    oh ok i go read
(11:48 AM) AEN:    first para as in chapter one's first para ?
(11:48 AM) AEN:    ok

Session Start: Friday, 9 February, 2007

(1:16 PM) AEN:    oops haven quoted the website... lol later

Session Start: Saturday, 10 February, 2007

(11:44 PM) AEN:    oh yes u said u wanted to share something about LSD 
(12:00 AM) AEN:    btw ask u ah... u said shamatha can lead to samadhi (subject object fuse into one) rite? but what is the relationship between samadhi and jhana? can u enter into jhana without samadhi, or enter into samadhi without jhana?

Session Start: Sunday, 11 February, 2007

(1:08 PM) Thusness:    hmm...don't think i want to write about LSD in a forum.
(1:09 PM) AEN:    o haha how come
(1:09 PM) Thusness:    the reason is that it might mislead one into seeking altered state of consciousness by taking psychoactive drugs.
(1:09 PM) AEN:    oic..
(1:10 PM) Thusness:    even if I said we shouldn't, but some might not be able to resist the temptation and opt for a try.
(1:10 PM) Thusness:    this is dangerous.
(1:10 PM) AEN:    icic..
(1:11 PM) Thusness:    jhana is a form of samadhi.
(1:11 PM) AEN:    but actually these kind of psychedelics can lead to a state of witnessing?
(1:11 PM) AEN:    oic
(1:11 PM) Thusness:    yes.
(1:11 PM) Thusness:    it is an altered state of consciousness
(1:11 PM) Thusness:    i would say similar to astral plane
(1:12 PM) Thusness:    not so much enlightenment.
(1:12 PM) Thusness:    but very similar form of experience.
(1:12 PM) AEN:    oic..
(1:12 PM) Thusness:    as in the phase of "I AMness".
(1:12 PM) Thusness:    the insight is restricted to that level.
(1:12 PM) AEN:    icic..
(1:12 PM) Thusness:    not the form of buddhist enlightenment
(1:12 PM) Thusness:    but very intense.
(1:13 PM) AEN:    hmm but alot of LSD users never realise 'I Amness' rite?
(1:13 PM) AEN:    loo
(1:13 PM) AEN:    *lol
(1:13 PM) AEN:    oic..
(1:13 PM) Thusness:    yeah...went high.
(1:13 PM) Thusness:    but there is a group of users that use LSD for spiritual purpose.
(1:14 PM) AEN:    icic..
(1:14 PM) Thusness:    and some use it to enter a state of trance.
(1:14 PM) AEN:    oic..
(1:14 PM) AEN:    yea heard of it
(1:14 PM) Thusness:    those tribes.
(1:14 PM) AEN:    like shamans also ?
(1:14 PM) AEN:    ya
(1:14 PM) Thusness:    even those sheng2 da3
(1:14 PM) AEN:    dharma dan also suggested its possible to use drugs
(1:14 PM) Thusness:    and medium
(1:15 PM) Thusness:    is it?
(1:15 PM) AEN:    but he warned must be under guidance of an experienced teacher
(1:15 PM) Thusness:    it is better not to mention.
(1:15 PM) AEN:    and not really recommend
(1:15 PM) AEN:    oic
(1:15 PM) Thusness:    i think ppl will just try.
(1:15 PM) AEN:    lol
(1:15 PM) Thusness:    i hv no problem if it is use for one to experience the reality of consciousness.
(1:16 PM) AEN:    oic
(1:16 PM) Thusness:    seriously.  I think it is okie in fact.
(1:16 PM) AEN:    lol
(1:16 PM) AEN:    icic
(1:16 PM) Thusness:    to have a glimpse of the deeper essence is worth.
(1:16 PM) AEN:    u try b4? :P
(1:16 PM) Thusness:    many do not understand.
(1:16 PM) AEN:    oic
(1:16 PM) Thusness:    of course not. :)
(1:16 PM) Thusness:    i don't need to. :)
(1:17 PM) AEN:    lol icic
(1:17 PM) Thusness:    many of the states that are described are being experienced by me.
(1:17 PM) AEN:    oic
(1:17 PM) AEN:    but anyway how can lsd help?
(1:17 PM) AEN:    and also u said many ppl went high? if went high then cannot enter witnessing?
(1:17 PM) Thusness:    just to allow one to understand the further dimension of consciousness.
(1:17 PM) AEN:    oic
(1:17 PM) Thusness:    they can.
(1:18 PM) Thusness:    if they have certain background and understanding, it can lead to illumination.
(1:18 PM) AEN:    icic
(1:18 PM) AEN:    but only to stage 1-2?
(1:18 PM) Thusness:    yeah
(1:18 PM) AEN:    icic
(1:19 PM) Thusness:    no way into stage 4 or 5.
(1:19 PM) Thusness:    it is unlikely.
(1:19 PM) AEN:    oic
(1:19 PM) Thusness:    that has to do with insight.
(1:19 PM) AEN:    icic
(1:19 PM) Thusness:    and seen the illusoriness of background.
(1:19 PM) Thusness:    without this, the pronounce state of clarity rest at the level of "I AM".
(1:20 PM) AEN:    oic
(1:20 PM) Thusness:    that is why non-dual is a very precious state.
(1:20 PM) Thusness:    and one should work hard to thoroughly experience clarity of non-dual.
(1:20 PM) AEN:    icic..
(1:20 PM) Thusness:    by second door and emptiness.
(1:20 PM) AEN:    oic


“I do not generally advise on psychedelic use (I do not tell people they should or should not do it - it must come from their own discernment of its pros and cons, risks and benefits, personal appetite for risk taking and adventurousness, legality issues pertaining to where the person lives, etc). But generally those who have gone through anatta and maturing of anatta report that psychedelic experiences pale in comparison. The experience of anatta luminosity and total exertion can be so intense that by focusing in a wrong way, one can end up with energy issues, so one must thread with care (imagine a 24/7 psychedelic trip that never ends although you weren't on any drugs, you can't sleep, headaches, etc - that happened to me for about a week until I resolved it).

Frank Yang is one of those who said his "4th path" trumps all his psychedelic experiences. I too have said similarly, and many others as well:

Robert Dominik:

"Completele lack of any artificialness - though the intensity of clarity and vividness dwarfed anything that I have ever experienced on psychedelics xD (though without HPPD or hallucinations) or with meditation before."

My own report:

AF Richard's report:

RICHARD: To illustrate what a life of total fulfilment and utter satisfaction looks like I will quote from a book by one of the three ‘positive psychologists’ you refer to:

• ‘One summer day, 40 years ago or so, I was walking along a residential street when an rich, earthy scent wafted my way and triggered, as smells are wont to do, a vivid recollection. Like Dorothy, stepping out of her front door into the Technicolor Land of Oz, I remembered another summer’s day when I was 4 years old, playing in a bank of warm, black dirt in the back yard of my home. I had a little red toy car for which I’d made a road slanting up the face of the dirt bank and, in my recollection, I was ‘driving’ the car up this mountain road while making motor noises. That’s all there was, no real action, yet the memory, in the few seconds before it faded away, was redolent with the smell and feel of the warm dirt, the bright colour of the toy, the hot sun – with simple but intensely pleasurable sensory experience. When I read Aldous Huxley’s account of his mescaline experience, of his feeling that the colours, shapes, and textures of his books on the shelves across the room were as intense an experience as he could bear and that he dared not look outside at the flowers in the garden, I thought of my brief revisitation of my childhood. Presumably this intensity of sensory experience does fade, when it’s work of facilitating perceptual learning is accomplished, because it would be maladaptive in adults. Those ancients who sat around all day entranced by colours, smells, and textures, would have never gotten the venison cooked nor the berries picked; they would have been easy meat for prowling tigers and unlikely to become ancestors’. (Chapter 1, ‘Happiness: The Nature and Nurture of Joy and Contentment’; David Lykken). (

In short: life here in this actual world *is* such an intense experience, each moment again, as the intense experience he describes (a PCE lasting a few seconds 40 years ago) yet despite his well-explained (referencing Mr. Aldous Huxley’s account) glimpse of the perfection of the purity of this actual world (as experienced when 4 years old) he opts instead for the ‘life satisfaction’ of positive psychology ... all the while presuming, with spurious justifications, that this life I am living is ‘maladaptive in adults’.
Yet I am neither in gaol nor a psychiatric institution; I can orient myself in space and time and get from point A to point B; I am not easy meat for prowlers; I feed, clothe and house myself, paying all my bills on time; I manage four net-worked computers, an internet domain, a web page, a mail server, and so on, without any prior experience or training; I write millions of words meaningfully strung together in sentences and paragraphs ... all the while ‘entranced by colours, smells, and textures’ to an extent much, much more than a PCE allows (as evidenced by Mr. Aldous Huxley not being able to bear it for example).
Need I say more about what the value of his ‘80% of Americans report ...’ survey is worth?
*” – Soh, 2021

"I was actually just thinking about this the other day. My current moment to moment experience has been of intense clarity, very much like when I have used psychedelics in the past. It is more ordered however. There was always a sort of non-natural feel to the psychedelic experiences. This feels totally natural. As for where it seems looking is coming from, that changes all the time. There is no specific center. Sometimes it feels like looking out the eyes for a moment, then it will change the next moment to being aware of the whole scene, then switch to being aware of some mental image overlaid on the whole scene universe. Sometimes it feels like existing in a more than 3-dimensional way. As I release more and more into the non-dual, dependently originated, lack of mind, total exertion view of reality, new experiences open up that I wouldn't have even dreamed were possible. These experiences are certainly not the point or at all a refuge like I used to want them to be. If I try to hold onto them at all I squash them. I mostly try to just study them gently and refine my view to release more into anatta/total exertion. If I had taken a drug that pushed my experience into what I have naturally today, I would have likely been overwhelmed. There was too much grasping then to really go with it." - Jayson MPaul, 2021


Hilarious interview with Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche


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