Are Psychedelics Useful in the Practice of Buddhism?

In the fall of 1996 issue of the Buddhist magazine Tricycle, various teachers of Buddhist meditation practice commented on the value of psychedelic experiences, with opinions of them ranging from helpful to harmful. Here, the author hopes to explain these conflicting viewpoints by describing important aspects of employing psychedelics that must be taken into account for effective results. These embrace proper methodology, which includes set and setting, dose levels, appropriate substances, appropriate intervals, and proper integration of each experience. The author has found the informed use of psychedelics to be a valuable tool in accelerating proficiency and deepening meditative practice and offers recommendations for successful use. The adverse comments of several recognized teachers are evaluated to shed further light on fruitful application of psychedelic substances.


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