Q&A: Do psychedelics play any role in the path?
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Culadasa: Okay, but not in the actual path, but I think they can be, I think they have been helpful to a lot of people to take them outside of a rigid framework of their conceptions and their conditioning and should realize potential for what there is. It would be gay. And I know that in some traditions plant derived, psychedelics are used as a part of the path.
So maybe I should say, I don't see it as being any part of the path where we're. The as opposed to all paths refers to the Buddhist pack because the Buddhist path is very much one of training your mind and training your mind in such a way that you have a control over cognitive processes and mental states on.
The effect of psychedelic drugs is pretty much the antithesis of this, the way that allows people to experience a different modes of perception, different different levels of consciousness and so forth is it's externally imposed chemically alters the function of. S various neural circuits three Dan produces the mental experience as a result.
So there's the path, but I think have the lead path is that you're training your mind changing your brain in such a way that
Only those sorts of perceptual shifts, but much more than that can be accomplished and independence from external factors. And that's been a really important part of it. The idea that you are independent, the main thing that the Buddha offered in terms of The goal of the path and meditation is a freedom from suffering and a happiness.
It was independent of external factors. And throughout every aspect of the Buddhist training is the Lewisham desire to no longer be Objection in terms of your experience to be subject in the same way to the contingents, the this ever changing world that we find ourselves in. So the reason I had asked her is that I've done.
I've done a psilocybin a few times, not recently. And it wasn't for the the perceptual shift th that wasn't so important for me, but that coming down was this process of magnification and clarification that I could see. Thank just a small part of my own mind. But much more clearly than I could.
Normally, and for being here for 24 hours has been pretty much the same experience of seeing a small part, much more clear. Yes. Yeah. I agree. It wasn't by, I've done a lot of different kinds of things like that in the past too. And I know what you mean. I would pretty much include that in perceptual shift using a broader definition of perception, but.
What do you want to approach it a different way? If in meditation and practice, a person can occasionally have a really profound experience, an altered state of Constance, and that can be accompanied by some insight thing themselves experiencing their mind in a different way than they normally do. And undoubtedly that experience In addition to being, oh amazing.
Isn't this wonderful. Can give them some degree of insight, at least in the sense of opening up, opening themselves up to different possibilities of ways of being. But if somebody has this and this happens quite frequently, is it somebody in meditation and a tree or even in an ordinary weekly meditation class will tell me I had this really incredible experience, and they're they use all kinds of stuff for relatives of describing it. And it's obviously in a very. And the fundamental question from the point of view of the path is, do you know how you got there? And can you repeat that? Can you do that again? And can you not only go back to that place, but go further with it and if the answer is no, then it's still at the level of a psychedelic experience reduced by drugs and the meditator still has to go back and continue following the power was the systematic training.
Because we're where you want it to get to is where you can do this with consistency. Not necessarily, absolutely every time you said now, but you can consistently given the right conditions that you can bring your mind to such a state, explore it. And as I say, even move beyond it. And it's because those states do have value when they occur spontaneously and meditation. I don't deny that they have value because they have a very real value. On the one hand they're highly motivating. On the other hand, they are a liberal. And so I wouldn't either psychedelics. I think, I feel I have exactly the same kind of effect.
All of these, I don't know how many tens of thousands of north Americans after using psychedelics went to Thailand and Burma and Sri Lanka and everything. And they were motive. And they suddenly realized that no there's man and the same thing is true of me. I had that kind of experience as well.
So it has its value, but it's limited in that sense.