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Insight Practices, Kundalini, and Psychedelics Safety

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Is it more unsafe for people who practice insight techniques to use psychedelic drugs such as pot and LSD than for people who do not meditate?  

The reason I ask is that I used to read posts from a moderator at the r/kundalini subreddit quite frequently out of curiosity about kundalini.  Over there they have a strict no drugs policy stating that it's incredibly irresponsible and dangerous to raise the power of kundalini if you are not of sober mind.  Recently I read MCTB and the descrition of the A&P sounded very similar to users "first tastes" of kundalini over on the subreddit.  Is the A&P event the same phenomena that a kundalini activation is describing or are they separate paths which hold similarities at that point?

I'm aware that using these drugs can be counteractive to the development of steady mindfulness, and that they have inherent risks of their own, but do you guys think that insight practices could increase the likelihood of something going horribly awry while smoking weed or while on a trip?  

Also just to clarify, I'm not talking about meditating while under the effects of the drugs but about using these drugs while maintaining a daily practice progressing along the stages of insight.

RE: Insight Practices, Kundalini, and Psychedelics Safety
Answer
2/14/17 11:43 PM as a reply to rik.
rik:
Is it more unsafe for people who practice insight techniques to use psychedelic drugs such as pot and LSD than for people who do not meditate? 

I'm aware that using these drugs can be counteractive to the development of steady mindfulness, and that they have inherent risks of their own, but do you guys think that insight practices could increase the likelihood of something going horribly awry while smoking weed or while on a trip?  

Also just to clarify, I'm not talking about meditating while under the effects of the drugs but about using these drugs while maintaining a daily practice progressing along the stages of insight.
More Unsafe? Well Lets not lump these substances together first of all. Then lets talk about the Dark night stages
LSD - So lets say you took several hits of acid and you're on a one way trip for the next 10 hours with no way to get off the ride without a hospital trip.
Are there any of the above progress of insite stages you would like to experience in hallucinatory technicolor for an extended amount of time? This is the realm of the bad trip. I do not recommend it. Though if the dose is small enough it may be manageable to some extent. Your mileage may very greatly from the next person.

Weed - This has a much shorted life, is not as "strong" and is usually done in doses that allows some ability to back off and not overdo it. So your high as heck and the Dark night stages start to unfold.....Paranoia kicks in hard....oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, Time to bail home and eat my cupboard bare then turn on the music and hide in my bed till I pass out.....
Not fun but usually not too damaging..again your mileage may vary.

So be wary. That said I know many who use weed while meditating and recreationally and they mostly seem fine so far. Though dullness can be a problem and slow down your progress...
Good luck,
~D



rik:
The reason I ask is that I used to read posts from a moderator at the r/kundalini subreddit quite frequently out of curiosity about kundalini.  Over there they have a strict no drugs policy stating that it's incredibly irresponsible and dangerous to raise the power of kundalini if you are not of sober mind.  Recently I read MCTB and the descrition of the A&P sounded very similar to users "first tastes" of kundalini over on the subreddit.  Is the A&P event the same phenomena that a kundalini activation is describing or are they separate paths which hold similarities at that point?
I have not read that subreddit thread so I cant speak to anything there.

RE: Insight Practices, Kundalini, and Psychedelics Safety
Answer
2/15/17 12:35 AM as a reply to rik.
Meditation made my trips much more intense in both good and bad ways. My LSD experiments induced psychosis. For me, LSD is too "cliniacal". It once felt like a razor made out of light that was operating on my brain, not cool. Mushrooms on the other hand are much more "friendly" plus you can't "script" them - there's no way to control the trip, which is a good thing IMO. So from my experience I'd not recommend doing too much acid, mushrooms are ok by far - there're no noticeable side effects. YMMV though.

RE: Insight Practices, Kundalini, and Psychedelics Safety
Answer
2/15/17 1:34 AM as a reply to rik.
I smoked a lot of weed on and off working through the paths. At times it triggered fruitions when I hadn't had one for a while and seemed to sometimes get me to meditate again. It can help with self-observation, as I would see things in a new way and gain some perspective and understanding.

I also found it very addicting and destabilizing at times - there were times when I didn't practice as much because I was smoking all the time, and I think it made the anxiety and irritation of the DNs worse. So a mixed bag.

Nothing ever went "horribly awry" though - I'm skeptical that it could, and I react very strongly to weed.

RE: Insight Practices, Kundalini, and Psychedelics Safety
Answer
2/15/17 7:21 AM as a reply to rik.
I had to stop taking psychedelics after taking up concentration and insight practices. There's something about having these skills developed to any degree that makes it very difficult to stop your mind being drawn to them while under the influence of psychedelics. Something about the increased baseline of concentration and the kind of 'magical' attraction that substances like LSD produce in their experiences, you end up getting sucked down existential rabbit holes seemingly endlessly rather than being able to relax and enjoy the trip like you may have before, at least in my experience. 

That might sound useful - being able to induce such a state at will almost - and for a while it seemed that way, the problem seems to be that using 'half baked' meditation skills, this just ends up feeding your mind with a bunch of garbage that seems profound, but if really exposed to scrutiny with clear attention, actually isn't. This can lead to the classic 'acid burnout' stereotype, I'm sure. It's a path worth avoiding.

Perhaps this changes at certain levels - after stream entry, for example, perhaps one can responsibly use psychedelics, but it seems while the mind is in that transitional state between ignorance and wisdom, that inability to properly discern things clearly is only exacerbated by these substances.

RE: Insight Practices, Kundalini, and Psychedelics Safety
Answer
2/15/17 8:32 PM as a reply to Lewis James.
Lewis:
I had to stop taking psychedelics after taking up concentration and insight practices. There's something about having these skills developed to any degree that makes it very difficult to stop your mind being drawn to them while under the influence of psychedelics. Something about the increased baseline of concentration and the kind of 'magical' attraction that substances like LSD produce in their experiences, you end up getting sucked down existential rabbit holes seemingly endlessly rather than being able to relax and enjoy the trip like you may have before, at least in my experience. 

That might sound useful - being able to induce such a state at will almost - and for a while it seemed that way, the problem seems to be that using 'half baked' meditation skills, this just ends up feeding your mind with a bunch of garbage that seems profound, but if really exposed to scrutiny with clear attention, actually isn't. This can lead to the classic 'acid burnout' stereotype, I'm sure. It's a path worth avoiding.
This sounds similar to what I've experienced.  The trips I've taken since I've had a steadier practice have felt stronger in effect and I've noticed the rabbit holes you've mentioned as well.  There would be moments where it felt like I would get "stuck" in intense concentration in various topics. I was unsure about whether this was related to my practice or if I was just thinking these effects into existence because of what I had been reading.  I suppose I'll take it easy as I delve further into meditation practices since they provide me with significant concrete benefits in my day to day life.

RE: Insight Practices, Kundalini, and Psychedelics Safety
Answer
2/16/17 4:34 PM as a reply to rik.
I think the key metric is, are these supposed insights/spiritual experiences giving me relief, or just creating more stress? Because if you feel stressed and worried, it's not real insight, and you've come across some existential angst over some probably imponderable question you seemingly can't let go of. I have a strong suspicion that psychedelics + meditation = A&P almost every time, especially with repeated use, at least that's how it seemed in my experience - so inevitably the dark night follows.

RE: Insight Practices, Kundalini, and Psychedelics Safety
Answer
2/16/17 6:41 PM as a reply to rik.
Hello, I'm new to this site but I had to speak up about this subject. I used to know a few young men who combined intensive practice of Kundalini yoga, fasting, and psychotropic drugs and they ended up on thorazine for their own safety. None of them are what could be described as "normal" still, although of course that may be fine with them, normal not being many people's preference. 

In my experience with and study of KY, it is designed to evoke very specific states of mind/body. Usually it requires a practice over time to solidify these states. I personally wouldn't interfere with the process by adding any other psychotropic influences.