Tonight, my special guest is author Will Johnson who's here to tell you how cannabis can help you get closer to the Divine.
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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
• Includes access to 9 audio meditations
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.
The Cannabis plant has a history of medicinal use dating back thousands of years across many cultures. The Yanghai Tombs, a vast ancient cemetery (54 000 m2) situated in the Turfan district of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in northwest China, have revealed the 2700-year-old grave of a shaman. He is thought to have belonged to the Jushi culturerecorded in the area centuries later in the Hanshu, Chap 96B. Near the head and foot of the shaman was a large leather basket and wooden bowl filled with 789g of cannabis, superbly preserved by climatic and burial conditions. An international team demonstrated that this material contained THC. The cannabis was presumably employed by this culture as a medicinal or psychoactive agent, or an aid to divination. This is the oldest documentation of cannabis as a pharmacologically active agent. The earliest evidence of cannabis smoking has been found in the 2,500-year-old tombs of Jirzankal Cemetery in the Pamir Mountains in Western China, where cannabis residue were found in burners with charred pebbles possibly used during funeral rituals.
Settlements which date from c. 2200–1700 BCE in the Bactria and Margiana contained elaborate ritual structures with rooms containing everything needed for making drinks containing extracts from poppy (opium), hemp (cannabis), and ephedra (which contains ephedrine).: 262 Although there is no evidence of ephedra being used by steppe tribes, they engaged in cultic use of hemp. Cultic use ranged from Romania to the Yenisei River and had begun by 3rd millennium BC Smoking hemp has been found at Pazyryk.: 306
Cannabis is first referred to in Hindu Vedas between 2000 and 1400 BCE, in the Atharvaveda. By the 10th century CE, it has been suggested that it was referred to by some in India as "food of the gods". Cannabis use eventually became a ritual part of the Hindu festival of Holi. One of the earliest to use this plant in medical purposes was Korakkar, one of the 18 Siddhas.[self-published source?] The plant is called Korakkar Mooli in the Tamil language, meaning Korakkar's herb.
In Buddhism, cannabis is generally regarded as an intoxicant and may be a hindrance to development of meditation and clear awareness. In ancient Germanic culture, Cannabis was associated with the Norse love goddess, Freya. An anointing oil mentioned in Exodus is, by some translators, said to contain Cannabis. Sufis have used Cannabis in a spiritual context since the 13th century CE.
In modern times, the Rastafari movement has embraced Cannabis as a sacrament. Elders of the Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church, a religious movement founded in the U.S. in 1975 with no ties to either Ethiopia or the Coptic Church, consider Cannabis to be the Eucharist, claiming it as an oral tradition from Ethiopia dating back to the time of Christ. Like the Rastafari, some modern Gnostic Christian sects have asserted that Cannabis is the Tree of Life. Other organized religions founded in the 20th century that treat Cannabis as a sacrament are the THC Ministry, Cantheism, the Cannabis Assembly and the Church of Cognizance.
Cannabis is frequently used among Sufis – the mystical interpretation of Islam that exerts strong influence over local Muslim practices in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Turkey, and Pakistan. Cannabis preparations are frequently used at Sufi festivals in those countries. Pakistan's Shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sindh province is particularly renowned for the widespread use of cannabis at the shrine's celebrations, especially its annual Urs festival and Thursday evening dhamaal sessions – or meditative dancing sessions.
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