Even without the connection to our favorite herb, Cannabis & Meditation: An Explorer’s Guide is a wonderful book about meditation and mindfulness. It doesn’t get overly bogged down in spiritual dogma or Buddhist concepts, and it isn’t too “new-age” or offbeat for the casual reader. Now, forgetting for a moment the connection to meditation, this is also a book for any cannabis user who wants a greater understanding of how they can maximize their cannabis experience, improve their “high”, and reduce the effects of tolerance. Mr. Jackson’s book is written in a straight-forward fashion, so it’s fairly easy to digest. As mentioned it doesn’t come across as overly spiritual in nature, however, some of the spiritual concepts themselves are discussed and addressed, but in a manner that doesn’t try to force it’s message or beliefs on the reader.
The book addresses many ways to improve a cannabis experience through things like understanding your blood sugar, and how to avoid “overlapping” your highs to negative effect. Attention is given to the method of inhalation or ingestion, as well as how to minimize throat discomfort and congestion. There are tips on foods to eat that will create a better cannabis experience, and what to do if you or a friend have a level 4 (negative) high. Suffice to say, there are many great tips for simply improving your cannabis experience in here, and ideas to help minimize anxiety that can sometimes come with cannabis use.
Cannabis & Meditation strives to then connect an ideal cannabis experience with the practice of meditation. Because cannabis can be a highly useful tool (pun intended) for reaching states of increased awareness, the marriage with meditation can be a very beneficial experience indeed. One of the key attributes to Cannabis & Meditation is the skillful and logical way Mr. Jackson has laid out the book. You are taught first how to properly relax by understanding the body’s chakras and an ‘ascending relaxation’ routine. Later in the book, more advanced concepts are addressed as far as reaching bliss-states and the experience of enlightenment. From the standpoint of meditation, the reader can refer back to instructions for simple relaxation, or explore more advanced techniques offered later in the book. Perhaps my one complaint, is the section discussing blood-sugar levels contains a note explaining that some of his concepts have since been thought of as outdated by the medical community, but were suffice within the context of what he was explaining. While the author provides links to further reading on the subject, it felt a little awkward and I would have preferred to see it re-written in light of more recent medical information. Having said that, it’s a minor quibble in an otherwise exceptional book that has improved both my relationship to cannabis and the quality of my meditation.
If you are a cannabis user and want to explore meditation, this is definitely the book for you. Well-written and conceptualized, there is a little something for almost everyone here. At a minimum, this is a book that will help you enjoy cannabis more, improve relaxation, and reduce anxiety. However, Cannabis & Meditation has a lot more to offer to those who are either into meditation or wish to explore it further. Having read other books on meditation and mindfulness, I can also say this is a phenomenal guide to exploring meditation on those merits alone, with or without cannabis. Few books address these concepts more succinctly, and none that I am aware of incorporate tips on the use of cannabis while meditating.
A final tip: I found it helpful to read the book start to finish, then refer back to it as I practiced some of the concepts. A lot of ground is covered here, and often the reader is introduced to concepts early that aren’t fully explained until later. I found that a cover-to-cover reading gave me better understanding of the material and ideas, which helped as I later re-read some of the specifics and explored exercises that I wanted to incorporate myself.
Author: Simon Jackson
Book Review by: XLR8 – 420 Magazine Staff Writer
Publisher: Headstuff Books