Psychedelic Buddhism: A User's Guide to Traditions, Symbols, and Ceremonies (Paperback)
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A guide to psychedelics and Buddhist practice
• Presents guidance and techniques for Buddhists who wish to incorporate psychedelics into their practice as well as for psychonauts who are interested in the maps of inner space provided by Buddhism
• Explores the use of psychedelics in Buddhist practice, sharing the kind of spiritual experiences that can be gained with each
• Describes meditation techniques, with special attention being given to the generation of the Four Positive Attitudes
In this user’s guide to psychedelic Buddhism, Lama Mike Crowley presents techniques for Buddhists who wish to incorporate psychedelics into their practice as well as for psychonauts who are interested in the maps of inner space provided by Buddhism. The author details how psychedelics have led to spontaneous awakening experiences, such as “Indra’s net” and universal voidness, that were once thought to be available only to advanced meditators. He explores the use of psychedelics, such as LSD and psilocybin mushrooms, in a Buddhist context, sharing the kind of spiritual experiences and benefits that can be gained with each. The author also looks at the use of psychedelics encoded in Vedic and Buddhist scriptures, particularly in the Vajrayāna tradition, from the Middle Ages until the present day.
Presenting an informed summary of Buddhism for psychonauts, the author explores the key beliefs of Buddhism, the life of the Buddha, and the practices followed in various yānas, or paths. He describes meditation techniques, with special attention being given to the generation of the Four Positive Attitudes: loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity, each being taken from their personal to their universal forms. He looks at Buddhist symbols, ceremonies, deities, and initiations, as well as psychic powers in Buddhist tradition, and how these ideas and practices can be used in the exploration of the inner realms of consciousness.
Providing a complete guide to integrating psychedelics into Buddhist practice, this book reveals how the ancient Buddhist teachers discovered their universal maps of consciousness and how you can use their wisdom to guide your journey.
About the Author
Lama Mike Crowley met a Tibetan lama, Lama Radha Chime Rinpoche, in London when he was 18 years old. He became Lama Chime’s first student and has continued to study with him to the present day. He took “refuge” and the five Pansil vows on May 1, 1970, and, after much study and meditation, was ordained as a lama on January 1, 1988. He is the founder of Amrita Dzong, an American extension of his teacher’s group, and a member of the advisory board of the national Psychedelic Sangha. The author of Secret Drugs of Buddhism, he lives in northern California.
“When it comes to the intersection of psychedelics and Buddhism, Lama Mike Crowley is like a living encyclopedia, ever-ready with mythological interweavings and historical facts that serve to ground the wisdom he has to share. Adorned with awe-inspiring visionary art, Psychedelic Buddhism lays out an ethical path for the modern Buddhist curious about the integration of psychedelic substances as tools to enhance and deepen spiritual practice.”
— Jasmine Virdi, M.Sc., writer, educator, poet, and activist
“Lama Mike Crowley comes fully out of the psychedelic Buddhist closet with Psychedelic Buddhism. This book shows how psychedelic experience can be applied to Buddhist practice for those who already practice Buddhism and how psychedelic users who are interested in Buddhism can familiarize themselves with a wealth of Buddhist traditions, symbols, and ceremonies such as meditation, chanting, visualizations, and even dream yoga. Though a Lama in the Vajrayana Buddhist tradition, Mike provides his readers with a solid Buddhist education by making ample references to all the various permutations of Buddhism from the early, ‘basic’ Buddhism of Hinayana to the later developments of Mahayana and ultimately to Vajrayana Buddhism. Mike skillfully covers a wide range of Buddhist topics and practices, and as such, the book serves as a well-informed introduction to Buddhism from an insider’s perspective. Additionally, Mike discusses various psychedelics and how they could experientially contribute to Buddhist practice, and he offers guidance and suggestions for creating opportunities for the practicing of psychedelic Buddhism from meditation to picnicking with friends, including how to avoid unnecessary intrusion by curious onlookers. Pour yourself a nice cup of amr. ita, get your bottom properly positioned on that meditation cushion, and let Lama Mike Crowley show you a very different side of Buddhism and Buddhist practice that harkens back to the days when amr. ita and soma were much more than colored and flavored water. Let your bodhicitta flower like a visionary lotus of a thousand psychedelic petals. You just might discover that you’ve always been just what you’ve been looking for in the vast nondual emptiness of the dharmakaya.”
— Martin W. Ball, Ph.D., author, visionary artist, and host of The Entheogenic Evolution podcast