To be a Taoist means many things to many people. To be a practitioner of Contemporary Taoism simply means to have realised that we are all minute parts of an indescribably large Whole (the Tao), and to choose therefore to 'Flow Like Water' and live in a spontaneous, natural manner. This blog is about: Personal Growth / Spiritual Development as guided by the principles of Eastern Philosophy, particularly modern philosophical Taoism; Developing constructive habits and achieving success with minimal effort; Meditation - Taoist, Zen or otherwise. See 'What In Lao Tzu's Name is a Contemporary Taoist?'

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Crouching Drunkard, Hidden Pothead

So to return to the main thrust of this blog: Personal Growth advised by the principals of Taoism.

For you to understand this post I need to provide a snippet of background information about myself. I am a 32 year old rock n’ roller from way-back. As rockers are often inclined, I have spent so many nights completely ‘off my guts’ that I don’t care to try and count. I have had alcohol and pot addiction issues, used to be addicted to cigarettes, and also took my fair share of hard drugs back in the day. I no longer smoke or take hard drugs, but have still been finding it difficult to find a balance between my (thankfully less-frequent) ‘urges’ to smoke pot and drink booze, and my need to look after myself in order to enjoy this wonderful opportunity we call Life.

So I am beyond emergency status – but nevertheless, no puritan. Not yet anyway!

Aware that I was not yet ‘getting it right’ – that I needed to find a greater balance in my habits - I have been experimenting on myself. First I took five weeks off from any drinking or smoking of pot whatsoever. Not that I was smoking very much, but often enough, and, to be honest, I was probably drinking a little too much.

The break greatly increased my feelings of well-being in two ways: firstly by clearing my system; secondly via the side effect of feeling far more motivated to practice beneficial health practices (meditation, exercise, chi gung) more regularly and with greater discipline. At the end of the five weeks my clarity and ‘evenness’ of well-being were highly apparent. My mood was very consistently up, and my effectiveness in general was enhanced yet effortless.

Then I allowed myself (on three separate occasions): a couple of drinks; a few puffs of a joint only; a couple of drinks and a few puffs.

My conclusions from this experiment are:

To have a couple (not a lot!) of drinks had only minor negative effects on my general sense of well-being the next day. I stopped at three beers and drank lots of water before bed, I woke up feeling slightly crusty but nothing a stretch, a jog and a coffee didn't sort out. I got the feeling that most of the crustiness was in fact a side effect of the passive cigarette smoke that others subjected me to, but I am not sure. Importantly, I enjoyed the time spent savouring the taste of the beer, the relaxing feelings that came over me, and the company I was with.

Conversely, I felt slightly paranoid (only a little) when I got stoned, and although I felt some euphoria, it was muddy and not particularly outstanding. For the next two – three days I could still feel the side-effects: less happy, less motivated, less clearheaded, slightly irritable.

Then (glutton for punishment) I tried the three beers/some pot combo. This time the pot itself was natural outdoor ‘bush bud’ as opposed to chemically enhanced indoor ‘hydro’ so the high was much cleaner and the side effects the next day far lessened. But still I felt crap for two days after with much the same side effects as above. I could not write much, even though I had a precious day off set aside to work on my novels – major problem right there.

Conclusion? I now agree with my TCM practitioner, and with Jost Sauer that our bodies are actually better equipped to deal with a little bit of alcohol (not a lot!) than with marijuana. I reckon my pot smoking days are over.

Of course there will be temptation, but I have in my possession some very powerful techniques with which to disempower the temptation urge. I will explain this in a later post, for now I have to go to the LivingNow Expo and work for to pay ze bloody bills!

Flow Like Water...


Blogger Gadadhar said...

Great job, Seamus!
Sounds like you are right on track.

10:59 pm

Blogger "James" said...

Interesting situation as I am in a similar spot. I have been a heavy weed smoker for awhile now and have decided to finally quit (going on a week now clean! Yey!!!)and even though it has been hard I have found it to be very helpful in my spiritual practice.

keep up the good work!!!

6:15 am


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