Meditation has been part of human civilization for thousands of years, yet in our modern day it seems reserved for those who eat kale and buy ten dollar coffees. However, meditation is good for the mind, body and soul, and according to various health professionals, it should be regularly practiced to reduce stress and improve overall health. And according to history, it should also be practiced alongside a more familiar companion—marijuana.
On their own, both mediation and marijuana have similar effects. Together, however, meditation is amplified. This has been evident in South Asia, where several religious groups including Buddhists, Naths and Shaivites have introduced it into their meditation practices. Many believe it helps to slow the mind and enter a state of “profound stillness” with heightened awareness. Turns out they’re right: combining meditation with marijuana has profound benefits—and it’s pretty easy to do.
Cannabis affects everyone differently and attempting to meditate while under the influence may reveal how it truly affects you. For some, an overactive brain might surge with creative thought, which counteracts the goal of meditation: quieting your mind. If approached correctly, cannabis can be used to help with this. Consuming an indica strain that will sedate you (much more than sativa) can slow synapses, reducing mental distractions and facilitating concentration. Ideally, consume your cannabis in the same position as your practice so you can slip into meditation as the marijuana effects onset. Smoking, vaping — choose any method you like, just ensure it enables a restful repose.
Focus on your breath—this can be challenging if you are just starting a meditation routine, as you will discover how active your mind is running in the background. To combat distractions, make mental notes of each inhale and exhale in your mind (by repeating the words “inhale” and “exhale” in your mind as they occur). If the distractions feel impossible to overcome, it’s okay according to Chade-Meng Tan, one of Google’s first engineers and the author of “Search Inside Yourself,” as the process of bringing your mind back to a focused state creates positive mental habits. Allow these thoughts to come and go with a simple acknowledgment. Continue to focus on your breathing for several minutes, or however long is comfortable.
It is best to meditate every day with a goal in mind, whether that be to feel lighter, calmer or to develop razor-sharp focus and mental resilience. The more you practice the easier it becomes and the more benefits you gain.
Cannabis has been used in ancient civilizations and religions for meditation and yoga purposes for many years. In tantric Buddhism, cannabis still plays a significant role in meditative rituals to facilitate deep meditation and heightened awareness. And who can forget about the Rastafari movement that has also utilized marijuana and meditation for worship. According to the Rastafari philosophy, “the herb is the key to the new understanding of the self, universe, and God. It is the vehicle to cosmic consciousness.” Well, that’s something we can get under—looks like it’s time to light a joint and take some deep breaths.
Featured image The Spirit Science