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Old 07-04-2002, 12:57 PM   #21
jimvance
Dojo: Jiyushinkan
Location: Mesa, AZ
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 199
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This is a messy topic. Messy for so many reasons, one being that cannabis is illegal in most of the Western world, and admitting to usage effectively convicts you of committing a crime (which in the Western world still carries the stigma of "sin", or a breaking of a divine commandment). I greatly respected Ellis Amdur's autobiographical accounts of training with Terry Dobson, if for nothing else, the naive honesty conveyed within the story. I am also reminded of stories, like in the book "Crooked Cucumber" by David Chadwick, of (limited) drug use within Zen Buddhist circles in the 1960s and 1970s. The people interested in the usage coupled with "a practice" (if it is not just plain habit or addiction) are normally looking for greater spiritual insight, much akin to shamanistic practices. There is a social contract within budo, and to bring an unknown variable into the practice of budo does a dis-service to those you practice with. Whether or not you want to use cannabis or LSD is for you to decide, but if you want to train with someone while you are under its effects is irresponsible. Perhaps just telling them will be enough, perhaps abstaining only before class is not enough (they may refuse to train with you based on the information you give them). My own personal feelings on the matter are that if you want to use any substance, you should do it responsibly. Training in budo is an education (amongst other things) and being intoxicated lessens my capability for proper education. I also don't want to rely on external stimuli to break through internal barriers. These are recreational substances, unnecessary to everyday interaction and survival, and to me, budo is not playtime.

Jim Vance

Last edited by jimvance : 07-04-2002 at 01:02 PM.
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