Abstract : Anthony (40) is a computer engineer from Europe. Here he describes how his addiction to marijuana of seven years disappeared when he started the spiritual practice of chanting.
Anthony is not his real name and we have used an alias for privacy purposes.
1. The addiction to smoking pot (marijuana)
I started smoking marijuana when I was 29 years old, and the reason was curiosity.
After that, little by little smoking ‘pot’ (marijuana) became a regular weekly habit as it brought short-term relief at the mind level. When I smoked, the intensity of the thoughts was less. In a way, it was my rebellion against life itself. I was a sensitive person and had the problem of being in control of my emotions. Smoking pot (marijuana) gave me an illusion that I was less emotional and more in observer stance, so this improved my communicability and creativity. Gradually I settled to smoking pot about 4 times a week. On these days, I would smoke on an average 2 joints up to a maximum of 7 a day.
After some time, the ‘positive’ aspects of pot subsided, but I continued smoking as it was popular with the social group of people I was hanging around with at the time. Generally after smoking it, I would have to use all my energy and concentration to minimize the negative side effects like tiredness, being sleepy, unenthusiastic, inertia etc. I tried to stop doing it several times, but after progressively shorter periods of time and inner battles would end up smoking pot (marijuana) again. As the habit was developing, I felt as if something pushed me towards doing it.
2. Quitting smoking pot (marijuana) after starting spiritual practice
This situation lasted till I was 36, when I was introduced to the Spiritual Science Research Foundation (SSRF). In the year 2000, I began the spiritual practice of chanting regularly. In the beginning, I used to chant the Name of God according to the religion of birth i.e. Lord Jesus as I was a Christian. Along with this I also chanted the spiritual protection chant of ‘Shrī Gurudev Datta’ to take care of any ancestral problems for 3-4 hrs a day. I would do 9 malas (9 X 108 = 972 times) of the protection chant ‘Shri Gurudev Datta’ and the rest of the time I would chant ‘Lord Jesus’.
The quality of my chanting was good from the begining. I used to travel to another city to attend the weekly spiritual meetings. With the commencement of the different aspects of spiritual practice advised by SSRF like chanting, attending satsangs (company of the Absolute Truth), service unto the Absolute Truth (satsēvā), etc. my negative and emotional outlook towards life started to change for the positive. The intensity of negative thoughts started to subside and the period of abstinence between smoking marijuana became longer and longer. I noticed that the urge to smoke started declining exponentially. After 1 month it dropped by 50%. After 6 months, it dropped by 80% and after one year it went away entirely. I realised that it went away very fast. One year after starting spiritual practice, I tried to smoke pot (marijuana) for the last time and instantly had a severe headache along with a vision that some strange string of grey energy was squeezing my head and trying to come inside my head.
After this last incident, I never even had a thought of smoking marijuana again, as if the centre for smoking marijuana was totally erased from my sub-conscious mind. It has been more than 5 years now since I quit the rotten habit.
I would like to emphasise that in this process, I was not forcing myself in any way to quit smoking pot (marijuana). It happened naturally without any effort on my part. The desire for doing it just became weaker and weaker and finally disappeared with the increase of spiritual practice and the passage of time.