I was taking a stroll with a new acquaintance.
In a field of trust and a toke or two under our belts, she shared with me something dark and troubling to her. I asked deep questions; she reluctantly but candidly answered, a little hesitant because she held it as such a secret.
Later, in a “straight” frame of mind that evening and the following day, in-person and through text, she apologized for “tunneling inward” as she put it, saying “Now you see why I usually get high alone!”.
Actually, this revealing is one of the many things I love about cannabis’ gifts and why I offer cannabis plant medicine in my elevation ceremonies and healing sessions. In conducive settings, the plant helps us reveal our shadow side by prying back the mental metal curtain of our armored self.
It happens in not so conducive settings as well … I hear from people frequently who share with me something like, “I was with a group and got high and I was overcome by a wave of sadness (or fear or self-doubt or shame). I left to be by myself as I couldn’t hold back my emotions.”
In my world, this unfettered letting go is a hint of getting closer to one’s real Self – getting closer to emotions that are loudly speaking to you so you can respond and heal.
There comes a time when your Higher Self won’t let you play games anymore, won’t let you stay tightly wrapped in your armor – whatever that might be: “I’m pretending to be the coolest in the room.” Or sexiest. Or hippest. Or funniest. Or smartest.
Or conversely, “I’m deeply defective and I have to pretend to be something other than I am.”
God, is that exhausting. I know. That was me up to a few years ago when I learned how to systematically peel off the armor, which allowed me to reveal my deepest fears to myself and release them. Personally, small amounts of particular strains of cannabis have been and continue to be key to my inner work.
In my world, life is about “tunneling inward” as that’s how we get to our core and discover our authentic self (where true joy and clarity reside). Everything else is simply mental masturbation to maintain a false identity that we feel is necessary to avoid rejection and attract acceptance.
How to “Tunnel Inward”
Cannabis, as a spiritual ally and emotional healing support, can attune our bodies to higher frequencies. This plant medicine is at its best when paired with an approach that can anchor the work of going deeper.
Sure, you can get high and take a hike, walk through a park or whatever to be close to nature. That’s a good thing but in a totally different context – as your awareness is focused on the surroundings around you, not the feelings present in your body.
To get the biggest benefits from cannabis as a spiritual ally, I recommend immersing yourself in an approach where the singular focus is on you.
Here are a few approaches that I appreciate (I also invite you to share with me other practitioners you’d add to this list):
Kundalini: I prefer (and teach) active meditative approaches that include kundalini and pranayama breath work designed to lift and release negative thought patterns.
Circular Breathing: There are a few facilitators who work within this genera of breathe work who are dialed in to pairing it with cannabis for emotional release and relief. Medicinal Mindfulness, based in Boulder, CO, led by their intrepid CEO, Daniel McQueen, is an adventurer in this territory.
Mindfulness Practice: if you’re good with quiet sitting practices this framework of staying attentive to the present moment can work for you. I’m not aware of any group gatherings combining mindfulness meditation with cannabis. But you could always create a Meetup account yourself and start your own!
Note: Personally, over the years I had tried to sit and be present with what was coming up, but simply could not quiet my mind within that framework. I needed a more active approach that moves energy. My hybrid kundalini practices work well in breaking through the onslaught of thoughts and dissociation.
Trusted Guide: A trusted guide (coach or therapist) who is familiar with cannabis in relation to psycho-spiritual work, can offer the anchoring for you to tunnel inward. I do this so be sure to look at my private sessions page and if you’re intrigued connect with me for a 20-minute complimentary chat (right there on the same page).
Regardless of the modality you try, the idea is that you’re finding ways to explore your mind to discover where and how emotional upset is affecting you so that you can then release and reset your mental state. Tunneling inward.