Lighten Up: The Practice of Meditation and Marijuana

Health and Wellness
// February 4, 2017
A Guy Meditating Sideways in the Park

Meditation is an important tool to balance out the ensuing stresses of the daily grind. Meditation comes in many forms, all of which have the same general goals: to improve mental health, find relaxation, and tap into higher levels of consciousness. Because of it’s calming effect it can help us feel at peace, receptive, and alert. On a less mystical scale, there’s strong scientific proof that the on-going practice of meditation is a concrete means of alleviating effects of anxiety, depression, and stress. Not only that but it’s proven to increase creativity, elevate mood, and aid in objectively regulating emotion.

Meditation can be used as a rapid treatment to diminish bouts of stress and worry. In these instances it works by soothing the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for feelings of anxiety, tension, exhaustion, and depressive states. Although a short, momentary meditation is of great benefit for those suffering from anxiety, it’s best received as a long-term preventative practice that anyone can and should partake in as regularly as possible.

The combined use of marijuana and meditation can offer an extremely potent experience. Because meditation has similar effects as marijuana (relaxing, stress-reducing, calms nervous system, mood-elevating), it can be the perfect booster to any meditation practice. Some skeptics may argue that medicating voids the true purpose of meditation by clouding the mind; however, it’s widely popular amongst a vast variety of cultures to use plants in conjunction with spiritual practices to reach elevated states. Ultimately, this is a personal journey and the choice is up to the person practicing. It’s believed that plants are great teachers and spiritual aids, but we encourage you to try it for yourself.

Here are three meditation techniques to get you started:

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation is commonly practiced amongst buddhists. It’s the practice of dismissing thoughts of the past and future by continually bringing your attention back onto your breath. To start, find a tall seat or lay comfortably on your back. Give the spine space to grow long and feel as though there’s a string lifting you from the top of your head. You may chose to place a hand on the belly or chest as you watch your breath come in through the nose and spread across the body. Close your eyes and start to grow your breath, making it longer, as it fills up your body in it’s entirety. Note the quality of your breathing. Isthe breath warm? How many seconds do you take to fully inhale? How many seconds do you take to fully exhale? Does the breath get stuck in the chest or throat? How does it feel to hold your breath? When thoughts start to arise simply dismiss them and bring your focus back onto the breathing. You’ll begin to notice how scattered our minds are, and how much unregulated thought happens. This is a practice of stilling the mind. Although thoughts are unavoidable, if we choose to disassociate from them in our meditation practice, we will be better equipped to decipher what thoughts are quality and which are space-stealers in real life. This meditation can be done for as little as 5 minutes or as long as long as you’d like!

Object-Focused Meditation

This is another form of mindfulness meditation and it’s great if you find it hard to focus with the eyes closed. Bring the thinking mind to stillness by placing all your attention onto an object of choice. It can be something solid, or something moving/malleable like a hot cup of tea. This exercise can work with any object and is commonly done with kitchen items, such as a spoon or a mug. Notice every detail of the object in hand. How does it feel? What temperature is it? Focus in on its micro details. What colour is it? Shape? What parts of the object contrast, and which parts fit well together? It’s a practice of tuning out everything around you and cultivating extreme focus on the present moment. Another idea? Try object-focused meditation with a nug of weed! Become intimate with the plant before indulging. What size is the nug? Is it hairy? Purple? How does it smell? How does it feel between your fingertips? Zoom in to all the little crystals, notice if it’s covered or just sprinkled. Is it dense? Fluffly? Really analyze the bud. As you do this lengthen your inhales and exhales as you breath, focusing on calming the body and making it easier for the mind to focus on the given object. You can analyze the object for as little or as long as you’d like, the more you focus during this practice, the easier it will be to cultivate the same agility in real life.

Eating: A Mindfulness Practice

There’s no bond stronger than that of delicious food and cannabis. Before starting this meditation, make sure you have something tasty prepared or purchased. If you’re busy this is a great meditation to do throughout the day, since eating is something you do anyways. Before you delve into your dish, admire your food. Notice its colours, lay out, texture, temperature, etc. Tune out the outer world and be really present with the dish. As you take your first bites notice how the food feels in your mouth. How many times do you chew? What are the different textures of the food? Is it spicy? Acidic? Dry? Do you chew on the right or left? Just pay attention to how everything tastes and feels in the mouth. Bring it to the next level and try cultivating sincere gratitude for the food as you eat it. Keep the breath slow and intentional as you experience food with extreme presence. It might feel boring at first, many of us are used to eating on the go or browsing through our newsfeeds as we eat, but over time this meditation can create great joy for the art of eating. This practice is the perfect way to slow down, calm the mind, and dial in to what’s happening right before you.

The Verdict

Simply put, meditation is exercise for the mind. It helps us gain perspective on reality by disassociating with our automatic thoughts and tuning in to the frequencies of the present moment. Like with any exercise, the more you do it, the more quickly you see results!

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