Some experiences on drugs some time ago.

N A, modified 10 Years ago at 7/12/11 5:48 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/12/11 5:48 PM

Some experiences on drugs some time ago.

Posts: 157 Join Date: 7/10/11 Recent Posts
Hello there, I have just discovered MCTB and DhO a few days ago and I'm pretty excited about this. I want to share what happened to me with a hope that someone could tell me where I am.

I'm a guy, 26 years old, a programmer. I have practically no experience in spiritual practice, but I have done some drugs that had a lasting impact on my perception of the world. Specifically, there were two episodes that changed my understanding of things:


About a year and a half ago, I took LSD and had what was unmistakably an A&P experience. Among other things, I experienced the following:
* The knowledge of the unity of everything in the universe;
* The arising and passing of each conscious moment, and in some sense the unity of all these moments;
* The workings of the deep, normally unconscious layers of the mind. I gained appreciation for how complex my mind really is, compared to the relatively simple fa├žade that everyday experience presents to the awareness.

I was very high on all that for a few days, then it died down and I was back to normal (although LSD did also help me with a bunch of everyday life stuff I had been neurotic about). I was unable to perceive again anything I perceived then, even though intuitively I knew that that was how the mind worked all the time. I haven't taken LSD since.


About half a year afterwards, something happened while I was high on weed. I used to smoke weed a lot, but over time its effect gradually changed from a pleasant high with heightened awareness to full-blown panic attacks. I would shake, sweat, feel dread, and occasionally black out and faint. I have even called the ambulance a couple times thinking I was having a heart attack. For a while I still continued to smoke weed, trying to keep the dose low enough to avoid this; ultimately I had to stop completely (so whoever claims weed is harmless - well, not for everyone!).

Anyway, there were a few points during the panic attacks when I seriously believed I might be dying. It could be that these near-death experiences were responsible for the insight more than the actual weed.

The effect of the insight was sudden, powerful, and significantly improved my overall well-being. My life also changed a lot - on the level of seconds rather than days - to accommodate it. I understood that everything that exists is what exists right now, that there isn't anything else, that in a sense all I have is my moment-to-moment awareness and that it's worthwhile to relax and concentrate on being mindful of the experience in a detached impassionate way. This sounds like philosophizing but it definitely felt more like a mind shift. I thought I became enlightened (not in MCTB terminology, of which I wasn't aware). For about a month I was the most relaxed and peaceful that I have ever been. I started walking much slower than I used to, concentrating on the experience of walking instead of hurrying to be somewhere I'm not. Since it seemed to me that the ideal of existence was a state of constant detached awareness of everything, I took a meditation course. It was advertised as vipassana but actually was all anapanasati and metta, and the instructor, who had spent a year in Thailand as a monk, claimed to have never attained the jhanas. He also believed in literal angels. None of that was what I wanted, so I got discouraged and didn't continue meditation practice. I wish I discovered MCTB then. Instead of meditation, I tried yoga and tai chi. Tai chi is good for full body awareness and I still practice it fairly regularly. I also got some books on mindfulness, Buddhism and Daoism. Anyway, after a while the effect wore off, I lost interest in spiritual stuff and now I'm quite back to my old boring self, although a bit more relaxed than I had ever been previously.

Was this event a Progress of Insight stage? Or just a relatively trivial realization of mortality and associated urgency in experiencing life? It did not feel trivial and it definitely wasn't an "intellectual" realization. On the other hand the description doesn't really fit any insight stage from MCTB.

All of that happened a while ago and I no longer feel much impact from either event, other than knowledge and memory of them having occurred. Having read MCTB, I'm thinking of starting proper daily vipassana practice - in terms of insight stages, where would I be now? Should I expect to be back to pre-Mind-and-Body despite clearly having been through A&P?