Re: Drugs- Sergio - Tim

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Posted by Sergio ( on September 14, 2000 at 11:45:06:

In Reply to: Re: Drugs- Sergio - Tim posted by Kevin Lord on September 14, 2000 at 07:49:01:

Michel and Kevin:

I read your posts with interest, but I disagree with you both in some aspects. I think you guys posted personal opinions, not the Buddhist opinion, and that is not clear. Your personal opinions deserve a great respect, but I’d like to clear some things about the Buddhist point of view.
1. I understood that the use of drugs by Susan is specifically MEDICAL, not as a hobby or addiction. In that sense, medicines are perfectly allowed for Buddhism. Buddhism is a kind of medicine itself. Personally, I didn’t like that Susan died.
2. The use of drugs in seeking for new experiences, addictions or to “open your mind” are very different things, and due to your comments are in that sense, I’ll reply some aspects.
2.1 Kevin, you said “HOWEVER, so what? To use or not use the drugs is not the important thing, IMHO... I would say that whether or not you use drugs, the endeavor of primary importance is that of awareness... It is quite possible to be on a mind-altering drug, and to still at the same time maintain perfect awareness... Quite easy, in fact, because the awareness/consciousness does not stem from the mind, but rather from something else.”

Well, this is exactly what Buddhism DOESN’T SAY. Buddhism says that awareness and consciousness DO STEM from the mind. Otherwise, where they come from?. And with a mind-altering drug, you could maintain a perfect awareness only if you have trained in the shamatha practice of concentration. But the use of altering drugs, destroy any effort gained with the Vipassana meditations, which are the Buddhist meditations. Vispassana meditations make the mind to see things as they are, based in the 4 nobles truths and in the destruction of the illusory existence of our perception of phenomena as permanent, self-existance and no dependent (the samsaric mind). So if we are not able to see things are they are without drugs, then with drugs it will be even more difficult, specially with the mind-altering drugs!. This is logic!

You said: “There are masters who have said that the drugs can be useful once or twice (albeit, they don't recommend them for regular usage) simply because they too can be 'fingers pointing at the moon'... Marijuana, LSD, Psilocyben... none of these things have any inherent worth, good or bad. It is simply the quality of awareness that you bring to their usage”

I don’t know which kind of master could have said that, but definitively he was not Buddhist. For example, Lama Ole Nydhal used to take drugs when young, but since he became Buddhist, he has liberated people from drugs since several decades ago, especially in Europe and US.

2.2 Michel, you said “ A Buddhist who uses a drug when with a Lama... and for spiritual reasons may be safe so long as they are aware of possible problems and that the Lama their self is acting for real advancement and not excussing their action, ie The Tantric sexual yoga I've heard of.”

I don’t know of any Buddhist who uses drug for spiritual reasons because he wouldn’t be a Buddhist. Someone who says that he is a Lama and initiates you in drug, then he is not your spiritual master, he is your enemy. ANY lama would NOT use drugs with his disciples or something like that. And this has NO similarities with the sexual tantra yoga, which is a very different aspect. I can tell you about the sexual tantra if you want, but it is a very different issue.

The Buddhist point of view about drugs is the following: Drugs should be avoided in any case except for medical prescription, because they are intoxicants of your body and mind (specially the last one). Any Buddhist has 5 basic precepts:

1. Not taking other’s beings life
2. Not to lie
3. Not to have illicit sexual activity
4. Not taking intoxicants
5. Not stilling

Of course that alcohol is included as intoxicant.

So please guys be careful about your comments, because there are people here who is trying to find a spiritual path and they could lose that chance with Buddhism due to that comments. Besides, a lot of drug-addicts look in oriental traditions for new masturbatory activities, and they think they can find them in Buddhism. But this is WRONG.

Kevin: I respect your personal opinions, even if they are against Buddhism, but please do not advice wrong things involving Buddhism.

Thank you.


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