Can Buddhists...?

Discussion in 'Buddhism' started by Angel_Headed_Hipster, May 22, 2004.

  1. Angel_Headed_Hipster

    Angel_Headed_Hipster Senior Member

    I love meditating, and i love the ideals of buddhism, but i smoke pot. Would i not be able to become a buddhist because i smoke pot?

    Peace and Love,
  2. Peace

    Peace In complete harmony.

    You know the answer.
  3. NightOwl1331

    NightOwl1331 Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

    What makes you think you have to conform to the rules of one religion? Just follow your beliefs, follow what feels right in your heart. If you believe some things that Buddhists believe then that's fine, keep believing them. If you disagree with some of their beliefs that's fine too. Don't worry about calling yourself a 'Buddhist' or anything else. Religion is a personal journey.
  4. Sebbi

    Sebbi Senior Member

    The 5 Precepts:

    1. Do not take life (this is why most Buddhists are veggie)
    2. Do not take that which isn't given
    3. Do not indulge in sexual misconduct/do not over indulge in the senses.
    4. Do not pertain to falsehood.
    5. Do not take any substances that cloud the mind.

    This can be translated as (and this is how I interpret it) as do not take any substance that prevents you from controlling your mind, so if you have one glass of wine you will probably still have full control over your mind (take note of the doctrine of the middle way here) any more is probably going to break the precept. Because of this interpretation, I consider tabacco to be breaking the precept as well.

    I think that pot would almost certainly cloud the mind sufficiantly for it to break the precept. I'm not sure what the doctrines on harming your body are but I'm sure these exist. From my interpretations of Buddhism I will try to piece something together for you.

    1. Karma - (Direct Karma) Direct Karma is when you do something and it actually affects you directly so for example you change as a person when you hit someone. You also change as a person if you enrich someones life. This is direct Karma. This springs to mind because I was discussing Karma with my aunt and teacher ask I asked "If for example someone is violent but does realise are they responsible for their Karma' She replied "Well that is like someone smoking and not knowing it is bad for them.

    2, Selflessness - It is taught that the 3 causes of suffering are aversion, ignorance and selflishness. The 3 things that cause the cessation of suffering are compassion, understanding and selflessness.

    If you treat yourself differently to how you would treat someone else you are being selfish. Would you just take any random person and send smog down their windpipe. Ok I'm thinking you are going to say "Only if they wanted it." but ponder this. Would you advise someone else to do so?

    Darrel and Ericf- I would like to hear your responses to this.


  5. ericf

    ericf Member

    Okay, it would be easier to say it was fine if Buddha hadn't said that selling alcohol and drugs was wrong livelyhood. But I am going to take a rather liberal view. I expect that many people will disagree with me. That is fine. Each person is responsible for their walk and it may be longer or shorter than others. It is possible that they see a quicker road than I do. :D Or that they see more fences to avoid than I do. But that is up to you to decide. Do not take what I am going to say as correct. Read the analysis of the teachings from other people.

    I do not believe that pot itself is physically harmful to the body. The act of smoking it is harmful but the substance itself is extremely non-toxic. You could avoid the whole problem of physical harm by eating or vaporizing the pot. But physical harm is not really what is in question. Does pot cloud or dull your mind?

    In the modern view of society this is undeniable. We, who live in America, must participate in the anti-drug religion. We know that all sins are equal because one leads to another deeper depravity. Our god... abstinence... warns that the worshippers of pot will soon be sacrificing on the altar of heroin. Lucky we have the angels of prozac and over the counter medications to help us. ;) My whole spiel here is just to point out that we must believe pot is harmful because of our cultural religion. But the Buddha was raised in a different cultural religion. He was raised in the Hindu culture and its ideas on drugs. Most Hindus recognize that alcohol is a drug, most recognize that opium is a drug, but most of them did not consider pot equal to them. In fact, Sahdu followers of Shiva were expected to smoke hash or pot each day (they still do). The Buddha was an astetic and likely could have been seeking release through Shiva. In that case, pot would not be considered a mind clouding or harmful thing. :D

    Okay, the point is very weak. But it is likely that Buddha saw a difference between pot and the real mind numbing drugs. The difference was built into his culture. Any person who has smoked knows there are points where the mind is anything but clouded. But if you have drank, you recognize that as soon as you feel the affects the mind has already been clouded. Obviously, the middle road here would also be important. If you choose to smoke, getting bombed every single day would be horrible. It would be mind clouding and an escape.

    I do not think it is opposed to Buddhism. Many practices in Buddhism are for you to become aware of your breathing and body... pot can give you this awareness. If you cannot be aware of this without pot you have a problem though. I think occasionally using pot will not harm you or your walk down the path. If you use it incorrectly though it can be a problem. And you must listen to yourself. Eventually you may start smoking less often and stop entirely. In all probability you won't have a second thought about it because you will find it is something that has stopped helping and become a hinderance.

    My questions: How much and how often do you currently smoke? Do you smoke until you feel a buzz or until you are completely unable to move? If you smoke till you can barely move... what percentage of times (that you smoke) do you do that? Do you feel anxious when you haven't smoked? Do you feel that you would be unable to stop if your walk required it -- even temporarily? Do you smoke mostly with friends or by yourself? Do you feel that pot has produced positive effects on your life into the times when you are sober?

    There are many different types of people who use pot... what kind are you?
  6. nephthys

    nephthys Member


    "I do not believe that pot itself is physically harmful to the body. The act of smoking it is harmful but the substance itself is extremely non-toxic. You could avoid the whole problem of physical harm by eating or vaporizing the pot. But physical harm is not really what is in question."

    It is not a matter of belief; some people like to think of all kinds of romantic idea of pot but it is the scientific studies that we must look at. Very boring and definitely unromantic, but it is the best method all of us have for verifying such things.

    Your argument does not make sense, I'm afraid. In Indian culture there was some people who used drugs (especially soma, but also hashish and mairijuana) for religious purposes. This does not mean the Buddha agreed with this.

    "The Buddha was an astetic and likely could have been seeking release through Shiva."

    The Buddha was temporarily an ascetic in the period of his life where he was confused about his spirituality. Nothing came out of this except physical and mental suffering and this is why we have the Middle Way in Buddhism. The Buddha understood that being overly indulgent in material items or being an ascetic, both serve no purpose.

    People seem to want to adapt the religion to make their actions correct. However, especially in a religion like Buddhism, where the inner-light is so important, it is much wiser to act how feel is right and if it does not agree with Buddhism, then it is too bad. This is the point NightOwl was trying to make, I believe.
  7. ericf

    ericf Member

    Yes, exactly... it is all the scientific studies that you must look at. Hmm... seems like they all support the idea that pot is harmless. Well, if you make a monkey smoke 30lbs in an hour they die... from suffocation. And if you inject a monkey with cocaine and pot then the monkey will demonstrate signs of addiction. So I guess those are the scientific reports you are referring to. Everything you believe about pot being harmful is part of the American cultural religion. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of reports demonstrating how harmless it is. And it is well known and documented that there has never been a single reported death from pot... ever.

    My argument is merely that pot was not necessarily viewed as a "drug" by the Indian culture at the time. And I do agree with nightowl, you have to define your religion for yourself regardless of the label.:D
  8. gnrm23

    gnrm23 Senior Member

    tricycle magazine had an issue focused on "buddhism & psychedelics" back in fall of 1996...
  9. Peace

    Peace In complete harmony.

    I was actually thinking the same thing today, and I totally forgot about thsi thread. I asked gibson (--love-- from the old forums) this question and he answered like this:

    "yeah sure you can, although Buddha said not to take intoxicants. He said this because if you take intoxicants your judgement will be imparied and you may end up breaking some of the other moral rules. Can i tell a story about it?"

    Which makes perfect sense.
  10. Chodpa

    Chodpa -=Chop_Chop=-

    I'm a Buddhist. I took refuge with Ontul Rinpoche. I have taken Kalachakra. And other high Vajrayana empowerments. I still smoke weed. It's not good, or right from a Buddhist standpoint but it's a lesser evil, and I do aspire and take time to clear out fairly frequently and go on retreats. Don't be too hard on yourself. Make the aspiration for bodhicitta and keep making that aspiration. This is what will overcome your samsaric tendencies eventually. Not just form fitting into a sanitary mold which isn't really you. Then when someday, you really get on the program you'll have slowly dug in some deep roots based in your own unique personality and you can grow tall in the Dharma as your own person.
  11. sag aloo

    sag aloo Member

    lots of buddhists cum 2 buddhism from drugs esp psychedelics & ther is some arguement for ther structured spiritual use. Cannabis can hav this effect but regular smoking is a refuge from reality & a craving. U can certainly cum 2 buddhism as a stoner & I no lots of stoner buddhists - u r not required to stop anything. cannabis, shopping tv whatever r not 'bad' or banned but they r all things that involve u mor in the wheel of 'suffering' ie only hurt u in the sence that it is 1 of the things keeping u from nirvana so eventually u'd probably wanna look at giving up but 1 has 2 giv thingz up at 1s own pace.
  12. Sebbi

    Sebbi Senior Member

    What on earth did you just say?

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