Meditation in essence means quieting our thoughts, and purposefully focusing our attention in spiritually-rewarding directions that help us connect with our higher self and whatever interpretation of spiritual awakening we ascribe to. When we add cannabis to this meditation equation, we can often augment the meditation experience in unique insightful directions - but hold on - it's also very easy when high to just zone out and lose any meditative focus whatsoever.
Mindfulness for me offers the solution to not zoning out when high - but instead tuning in. Staying mindful means 'staying present' ... aware of your breathing and wholebody sensory experience ... alert to your inner balance and outer involvement.
Mindfulness means staying aware of your wholeness, your integrity, your deep inner center of being. In this attentive/aware mindset, whatever you might do, you'll do it in a clear insightful compassionate way. Buddha taught this - and it remains equally true in our high-tech world as it did way back then.
It's observationally true that getting high, in and of itself, tends to make people less mindful. But combining marijuana with mindfulness can reverse that tendency, enabling you to wake up the best of both worlds - being mindfully high!
Psychedelic Lite: Marijuana is usually considered the ‘light’ cousin of psychedelics on the psychotropic scale. Pot these days is quite strong, and it can definitely carry a person right into a deep mystic experience … but it doesn’t force itself on the user like LSD and mescaline and mushrooms do.
Compared with psychedelic dynamite, cannabis is local fireworks. But fireworks it often is, especially with high THC pot and a mindful intent.
Research Note: I learned first-hand about all this at the Bureau of Research in Neurology and Psychiatry when I was just 20 and the year 1966. Through Humphry Osmond MD, our National Institutes of Health had authorized the training of a small group of psychologists as psychedelic guides to properly perform federally-funded LSD research.
I was working for Dr. Osmond's research team at the time, and went through that training with him - and came out the other end knowing that proper guidance and pre-established user-intent can help people high on psychedelics focus their attention in desired directions.
I did formal psychedelic research for only a few years, and then shifted into meditation-focused studies and practice. But I'm thankful for what I learned, because I came to understand the basic process through which a compassionate voice is employed to guide people in pre-chosen directions when they’re high.
My main aim and intention in writing the Cannabis For Couples and Mindfully High texts, and helping create the supporting High Together app, has been to offer this 'mindful-while-high' guidance to whoever is seeking this support.
Role Of The Guide: I've been blessed over the years with my own excellent meditation guides who gently and professionally led me into expanded mindsets of great value, both with and without cannabis. I've developed the Mindfully High program to deliver the same type of professional guidance to everyone wanting it.
The guided programs on the High Together app will regularly refocus your attention, as you get high, toward tuning into your breathing and wholebody presence. Then, with that established bodily grounding, you're offered a steady flow of suggestions, reminders, uplifts and experiences.
However, as Humphry Osmond taught so adamantly, my role as your guide on the app is ultimately to quickly get entirely out of your way, so that you're free to take off into whatever new experience comes to you.
The beauty and power of cannabis united with mindfulness is that the THC frees up your seemingly-infinite associative flow, so that you explore new ideas and visions, re-experience lost memories of importance for emotional healing, and experience heart-felt connections that deepen as you open to the new.
Being mindful isn't an ideal, it's a dedicated lifestyle. Learning to stay mindfully high isn't an abstract intention, it's a 'here and now' challenge and opportunity. It's a personal responsibility that, when embraced wholeheartedly, leads to heightened fun, growth, health and insight.
In essence, being mindful means being fully here, responsive and creative, balanced and resonant with the life force itself. Using cannabis to augment your mindful meditative experience is, from my understanding, one of the best ways to advance rapidly along your unique spiritual path. The path is there - the challenge is to walk it gracefully and regularly.