Ask A Monk: Contemplating Drugs

“If a person succumbs to a craving for a drug e.g. cannabis, perhaps because they are only beginning to understand how and why to control all addictions through meditation, is it “right” to continue meditating in that altered mind state?”

Please send concerns to my YouTube Channel:.

and subscribe for updates here:.


2010-08-1101: 29: 041281490144


  1. eu dis er on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    @squamish4244 what was the dose? Actually I developed drug induced psychosis/schizophrenia from pot.

  2. eu dis er on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    @squamish4244 took ten yrs to fix and spirituality also became a major part of my life. Unfortunately a lot of things can leave your life when you have schizophrenia like girls and friends and social life.

  3. eu dis er on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    @0EvilDemon I haven't found any easy way lol but definately it's ok to take drugs. See 'mad monk'

  4. TheYesYEsShow on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Of course some of us (more informed and experienced with psychedelics) are skeptical because what you're describing is your first and only experience which led you to have to be hospitalized for honestly, just cannabis. Sure a lot of marijuana can cause some very psychedelic experiences but still is very ineffably different compared to other substances.
    Also, anyone with sense respects each psychedelic experience and doesn't abuse them.

  5. TheYesYEsShow on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Not to belittle your experience, it's great you've come closer to your sense of self. Just don't generalize these substances or the people who use them. Your experience honestly sounds like someone uninformed and unprepared for what to experience and (trying to say this nicer) overreacted if you actually had to be hospitalized for simply marijuana. Some cannabis highs can be very introspective and personal, but your mindset can control it all. To be hospitalized leans more towards psyche issues.

  6. valar on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Cannabis is the #1 chemical trigger of depersonalization, which happened to me. Now that causes a MASSIVE shift in your sense of self, if you know anything about it. It's horrifying and does tend to lead one to 'overreact'.

  7. TheYesYEsShow on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    I'm very familiar with depersonalization. I've experienced it first hand both in a sober state and as ego-death during a trip. It can be horrifying to some people but I lean more towards seeing it as that ultimate sense of self, unity consciousness, pure experience, simple awareness. But again, considering it was your first time and it was just cannabis (compared to much more shifting experiences on other psychedelics) it is still an overreaction nonetheless. 

  8. valar on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Try telling anyone with chronic depersonalization that lasts for years – or decades – that it is not a tremendously shifting experience. As for 'just cannabis' : one healer with experience in native American practices told me in response to the same question by myself that it is a powerful plant however you want to look at it. But you probably know more than her :)

  9. valar on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    However, if you want to attach your ego to having had "much more shifting experiences on other psychedelics", then nothing I can say will have any effect, and more power to you.

  10. CosmicEvolution on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    I agree with you. I think depersonalization is caused by (from blunt honest personal experience) not knowing yourself, and not being connected to the universe. to really have a firm grip on reality and who you are, maybe you have to lose it first?
    may not be the answer for everyone, but it was for me. I had that happen, and over time I got to know myself a lot better, and I stopped viewing myself critically from other peoples perspectives.

  11. fntime on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    The same thing with bull shit. Try sometime withdrawing from it.
    It might make your life more enjoyable.
    And it won't kill you. Just your delusions.

  12. fntime on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Insulting? You are being silly.
    You don't know what you're talking about,
    even if you think you do.
    Being a 'Lay Buddhist' is a meaningless title.
    Don't take comments so seriously and
    don't take yourself so seriously.
    It will help you to be a better 'lay buddhist'.

  13. fntime on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Matty you are funny!
    And that makes you cool.
    But of course you don't have an idea of what your talking about.
    I'd love to buy you a beer. :)~ 

  14. ITSbigwillystyle on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Marijuana shouldn't do that to you. And i don't recommend using it anymore unless you have some medical condition that would allow it to benefit you. What good is entering these states of insight if they only exist whilst under the influence of a drug? 

  15. valar on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    I will certainly never do it again. But the role of psychedelics/psychoactives on the spiritual path is a controversial one – the book Zig Zag Zen covers a range of informed opinions but is overall generally supportive. Motivation on the spiritual path is difficult for many people in part because they don't believe that refined states of consciousness exist, and even glimpsing such a possibility is often the doorway into a practice to pursue that vision in everyday life.

  16. valar on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    That guy is an idiot. Physical dependence is something that traditional Buddhism doesn't understand. Years of meditation did nothing for my hideous benzo addiction and in fact clouded the issue of what my real problem was. Proper medical care resulted in a painless withdrawal in a matter of weeks. It has certainly changed my view of what constitutes skillful means in Buddhism, essentially anything that modern science has to offer should be brought onto the path.

  17. valar on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    As a former addict myself, you are wrong. People can die from alcohol withdrawal. I saw a recovering alcoholic so sick she was confined to her bedroom for several days.

  18. fntime on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Matt, you know you are talking 'shit'. Otherwise why are you
    getting yourself all 'amped up'. If someone disagrees with you,
    they are rejecting your statement not you.
    You are right about one thing, you'll never understand my
    thought process. You are predictable and self righteous.
    If that's your 'path', good luck!

  19. Kate Taylor on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    I really liked your video. It was engaging and left me with questions. I seek out specific meditations (nothing very spiritual) to help me cope with difficult anxiety and I use cannibis for the same reason. There's some dependency there, but I want to know from your perspective: is there any inherent reason why mind-altering drugs are bad if they dont seem to be affecting you negatively in your life?

  20. Mac Teague on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    what about meditating on a something like cactus or what you talked about in another video in south america?

  21. Bart Nelis on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Alcohol is addictive, it is even classified as a hard drug (together with heroin, cocaine, etc). The hangover is a withdrawal symptom (though there is also a dehydration component to that). When seriously addicted to alcohol, (sudden) withdrawal can even cause death ( as opposed to withdrawing from eg heroin). This is a very informative documentary on all the devastating effects of alcohol: /watch?v=_dJ97Vwoup4

  22. mr simplicity on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    cannabis does help spiritually, don't underestimate its power it is extremely authentic and eases you into deeper states when meditate yet it only gives the experience that training wheels on a bicycle gives..if you want to be a true master sober is the most authentic way
    many people cannot get into these states without drugs …it is sad and i admit to it
    being high on life can be just as good though :)

  23. LosEdgesBikeCo on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    it is clear, drugs is not needed..all you need are food and water…full stop

  24. NOVIAURAH on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm


  25. kevin lyons on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    I completely respect what has just been said. I think I would add though that cannabis isn't just one thing. It's a classification of hundreds of types of plants (like flowers) ranging in a vast spectrum of effects. Some effects don't get you the stereotypical stoned, but decrease anxiety and allow an introspective state that I find relaxing to be in a state of letting go. In my experiences, cannabis is like a vitamin that you can live a long time without, but that still has benefits to having

  26. John Smith on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    thank you. I love your explanations on buddhism 🙂 Mindfulness has taught me to accept my negative strong attachments and I feel as if curtains have opened me to reality. No judging or fighting against myself for having these addictions has made me realize that the addictions themselves are non-beneficial and only operate through conditioning. A feeling state in which I feel like Pavlov's dog :P. Thank you for waking me up! 🙂 ps: can u answer this please: "mind body and soul what it means?"

  27. Charles coleman-mends on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Easy q…. try both…se what works for you.

  28. Christian Velez on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    What if you're not addicted to marijuana, and have peace of mind on it and off it? 

  29. Merle Langlois on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Why does this guy talk in this weird and retarded manner?

  30. Beyond Nature on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Drugs make meditation impossible. And the most commonly consumed drug is the caffeine in Coke, Red Bull and Pepsi. Such isolated compounds destroy the mind little by little.

  31. Sykkelfrelst on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    i can still meditate if I'm using cannabis, but i have a clear mind while meditating and smoke once a day or less because the music becomes intense when I'm high and I'm enjoying that ^^ but i have a question about something totally different, i have seen in quantum physics that when we meditate we raise our frequency, and i was wondering if it was possible to focus that frequency into ur body while doing hand standing exercises to gain more power and hold in the practice?

  32. sanzen koan on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    i like this! :D

  33. Tushar Sheel on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    whatever u induce or take up-on as drugs and meditate derails or deflects you in the first instance from the path of liberation which is the removal of all desires ,, the nirvanic state of mind is free from all bonds all earthly pleasures which is enlightened with knowledge in its purest form ,, no thoughts no anlogies nothing but pure mind and pure body …

  34. Tushar Sheel on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    anything ,any thought ,any drug ,any thing that deflects ,alters the state of our five senses from their original natural state deflects us from the path towards liberation ..

  35. Tushar Sheel on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    A lot of western people have this thought because they have never had Any real source of the true knowledge of meditation …. And largely due to the false publicity of lord Shiva using marijuana which is completely wrong through generations people even here in India have been wrongly abusing drugs in the name of spirituality and meditation which is the most deceiving thing that can be ….the body has to be pure for the mind to be pure and only then we can practice mindfulness….

  36. Pat M on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    **with all due respect
    There is nothing wrong with meditating on drugs. 

    There is something wrong with hurting people while on drugs.

    It is the intention that matters.

    Consider a knife. Alone, a knife is harmless.
    You can use a knife to cook food for the homeless. or you could use it to kill homeless people.

  37. Pat M on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    I am actually open to conversation with my below comment, please don't think I'm being combative with my harsh opinion. You're an insightful person,

    Peace and Love everyone ✌

  38. Isaackumo mbeng on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    hi i had here there top.quality heroine
    available need to hoop up u

  39. Dawnatilla the Hun on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    +JoostSchenk you don't have a limited grasp on things AT ALL.
    Look dude, being a monk isn't about's a state of BEING.

  40. Sail To The Moon on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    I think theres a lot of truth in what u say, im on day 19 of no weed an no tobacco, iv smoked it near enough every day for 16 years, im 30 nxt month. But it is very very addictive for sure, more mentally addictive. Iv done the hardest part of my cold turkey i can sleep as soon as i go to bed now, instead of being up to till 2/3 in mornin smokin my brains out thinkin im relaxing. Im slowly getting into buddhism but cant agree with the "mind is not part of brain" aspect or the reincarnation beleifs but il take from it what i can to b a better person. 

  41. Agood eyedeer on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    amazing answer

  42. chickenstripsrox on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    what about meditating while on mental medicine?

  43. Still n cold Water on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    you look so innocent. I don't know about you at all. I randomly chose to see the video. but I must say… as per me.. you don't have any ego and you are not stubborn… you are so nice…

  44. arc1342 on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    its bullshit man…you are not addicted to weed…its you that is the problem! not the weed

  45. Daan De Stigter on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    this may seem like a weird question or maybe one that seems sarcastic, but why do you blink so much? is there a reason?

  46. Daan De Stigter on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    and i have another urgent question. once a wise woman asked me what do you see as bad and what do you see as good. i thought i had the perfect answer and said: bad is hate, greed and ignorance. good is love, knowledge and unselfishness.
    she looked at me for a while and then said: what about the greed for knowdlegde? is that good or bad. i was stunned and amazed and didn't know what to say. so "is greed for knowledge a good or a bad thing?"

  47. Arthur Yapp on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    With the greatest of respect – Marijuana is a very addictive drug. So is alcohol. Thank you for your videos and hard work Bhante.

  48. Robin Esposito on September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    For those who might like to help support Venerable Yuttadhammo's new monastery and meditation centre, please see the volunteers' campaign at for details. May all be happy & well. ♥

Leave a Comment