Cannabis in Spiritual Practice

The Ecstasy of Shiva, the Calm of Buddha

Cannabis in Spiritual Practice

An exploration of the use of cannabis as a sacrament in spiritual practice

• Provides instructions for using marijuana for the spiritual practices of spontaneous movement, ecstatic dance, sitting meditation, and gazing meditation, allowing you to open the body’s energies more fully and get closer to the Divine or your higher self

• Includes a new translation of the Five Moral Precepts of Buddhism, adapted to include energetic practices and the judicious use of entheogenic substances as a legitimate support for spiritual growth

With the end of marijuana prohibition on the horizon, people are now openly seeking a spiritual path that embraces the benefits of cannabis. Drawing upon his decades of experience as a teacher of Buddhism, breathing, yoga, and embodied spirituality, Will Johnson examines Eastern spiritual perspectives on marijuana and offers specific guidelines and exercises for integrating cannabis into spiritual practice.

The author explains how the great Hindu god Shiva enjoyed consuming bhang, a marijuana mixture that would cause his body to make spontaneous movements. From these cannabis-inspired movements, Shiva brought the body-focused practices of dance and yoga to the world. Examining the spiritual path of Shiva, including the Sadhu tradition, Johnson provides specific instructions and protocols for using marijuana as a sacrament as Shiva did. He explores how to embrace cannabis for the practices of spontaneous movement, ecstatic dance, sitting meditation, and gazing meditation. He reveals how the ecstatic surrender to the feeling energies of the body in these practices is enhanced through the ingestion of Shiva’s herb, allowing you to open the body’s energies more fully and get closer to the Divine or your higher self.

Exploring the Buddhist practices of calming the mind and grounding yourself in sensory awareness, Johnson shows that, while traditional Buddhist teachings forbid the use of intoxicating substances, Buddhists who use cannabis are not committing a cardinal sin--in following our dharma, we must embrace what best supports our spiritual practice. He concludes with a new translation of the Five Moral Precepts of Buddhism--what he calls the Five Precepts of Embodied Responsibility--adapted to include energetic practices using breath, interaction with the energies of nature, sacred sex, and the judicious use of entheogenic substances, such as cannabis, as legitimate support for spiritual growth.
  • Inner Traditions | 
  • 144 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781620556856 | 
  • July 2018
List Price $16.99 (price may vary by retailer)
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Read an Excerpt

More Books from this Author

Eyes Wide Open
Breathing through the Whole Body
Rumi’s Four Essential Practices
The Spiritual Practices of Rumi

About the Author

Will Johnson

Will Johnson is the founder and director of the Institute for Embodiment Training, which combines Western somatic psychotherapy with Eastern meditation practices. He is the author of several books, including Breathing through the Whole Body, The Posture of Meditation, and The Spiritual Practices of Rumi. He lives in British Columbia.

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