Wisdom Magazine's Monthly Webzine Skip Navigation Links
Wisdom Magazine, a bi-monthly compendium of information and resources related to holistic health, spirituality and metaphysics, is the largest free holistic publication serving New England with 50,000 copies printed and distributed to over 2,000 locations throughout Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Connecticut.
Home  About  This Month's Articles  Calendar of Events  Classified Listings  Holistic Resource Directory
 Educational Programs  Sacred Journeys & Retreats  Reiki Healing
 Article Archives  What's New in Books, CD's & DVD's  Wisdom Marketplace
 Where to Find Wisdom Near You  Subscriptions  Web Partner Links
 Advertising Information  Contact Us
Denali Institute of Northern Traditions
Ellie Pechet
Margaret Ann Lembo
Wisdom Magazine
Bach Flower Education
Wisdom Magazine
Circles of Wisdom
Light Healing
Wisdom Magazine
Alternatives For Healing

Excerpt from "Cannabis in Spiritual Practice"

Embracing Nature: Gazing and the Dance of Touch

by Will Johnson

The practices of Shiva reconnect you with the felt pulse of the world of nature--the rhythmic flow and throb you feel coursing through the veins, tissues, and energetic pathways of your body. The awakened feeling presence of the body is the conduit through which you can access and enter into the vortex, the deep and all-pervasive ground dimension of life and consciousness that underlies the world of appearances but is invisible to the eye. It’s always there, always present, but is out of reach, out of sight, and literally out of touch, to the somatophobic dimension of consciousness (a consciousness based on linear thought, which is uncomfortable with, even fearful of, the soma, or feeling presence of the body, and the quality of consciousness it supports).

The primary reason you’re unable to see and feel into this deeper dimension is the culturally appropriated embodiment of somatophobia: tensions in the body, restrictions to the breath, the blanketing over of sensations. Release the tensions and restrictions, welcome back the felt presence of sensations, and you can begin to kinesthetically see the ground dimension of consciousness, this alternative place in which everything feels and looks to be more of a single piece.

It’s one thing to open to the awareness of the higher embodied consciousness that Shiva’s practices so potently promote. It’s another then to share the awakening of that awareness with another--a friend or lover. Through that sharing the awakened state of Shiva can be directly communicated and deepened.

Cannabis as a spiritual sacrament works extremely well for practices and meditations that have a deeply body-oriented focus, and the practice of looking into someone’s eyes and holding his or her gaze stimulates the sensations and presence of the body so strongly that it can almost be thought of as touch at a distance. The primary reason that many people find gazing into another’s eyes so challenging and daunting an act is that it rapidly activates and accentuates feeling presence, and such a rapid activation will be experienced as unwelcome and uncomfortable for anyone under the complete spell of somatophobia.

But for those of us who have had the good fortune of starting to come out from under the spell and who have begun to witness and have glimpses of the extraordinary alternate universe and the quality of consciousness that it supports will find the practice of gazing into a friend’s eyes, while she or he is gazing back at yours, almost magical, a healing balm for the soul. As

Rumi says:

in the valley of your friend’s face

there is a well.

Go to that valley

and fall into that well.


if you want to know God,

then turn your face to the friend you love

and don’t look away.

The practice couldn’t be simpler:

Merging Back into the One through Gazing at Your Great Friend

Bom, Shiva!


Sit down across from your dear friend

and begin to look

into each other’s eyes.


Just look,


and surrender

to the journey of sensation and sight

that starts to unfold.


Sensations intensify.

Let them.

Let them be exactly as they are

until they start naturally changing

on their own,

which they almost immediately will.

Surrender to the current

of the changing flow of sensations.


Layer by layer different aspects of your being

may emerge and pass away.

A strong warrior,

a frightened child,

an angel,

an idler,

absolutely anything.

Let them all come,

even if,

especially if,

you’ve been holding these parts of yourself



so no one can see.


Just let whatever wants to happen


You may cry,

you may laugh,

you may become ecstatic,

you may not be able to breathe.


The visual field may become hallucinatory.

You may see lights or colors

surrounding your friend’s face.

The outlines of his or her face

may start to soften and melt.

Suddenly the face in front of you

may morph into a totally different face,

someone you may know,

someone you may have never seen before.

Your friend’s face may even momentarily disappear.


Let the parade of visual appearances

emerge and disappear,

not resisting any appearance

nor holding onto any vision,

just as you allow the current of the life force,

without any resistance or clinging,

to keep building and subsiding,

passing through the conduit of your body,

a stream of sensations.


The longer you gaze,

the deeper you go.

The more you relax and let go,

the more the barriers between you and your friend

start melting away.


Layers of persona

keep you eternally separate.

Peel away the layers

until there’s nothing left

to separate you.


your shared gaze

will usher you both

into an inner sanctum of union.

No longer you and your friend,

just the awareness

of the great common ground of consciousness

that binds us together as one.

Exploring this practice exposes you to a whole new level of the meaning of friendship. Together, eye in eye, you go on a journey of revelation and unfolding in which layer upon layer of holding and tension—and the aspects of your personality dependent on them for their expression—come to the surface and then evaporate, revealing whatever’s been kept hidden underneath. Some of the emergences may thrill you. Others may frighten you. What transpires doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you be with whatever it is that comes to the surface and surrender to the current that causes it to morph and change into something else.

You do not need to inhale Shiva’s sacrament to explore this practice, but for those of you for whom cannabis has become a part of your life, this practice will take you into birthright depths of consciousness that you may not even know exist. All you need to do is welcome the feeling presence that the practice so strongly stimulates, let go, and trust in the wisdom of the current.

Will Johnson is the director of the Institute for Embodiment Training, a teaching school in Costa Rica that views the body as the doorway, not the obstacle, to real spiritual growth and transformation. The author of several books, including Breathing through the Whole Body, The Spiritual Practices of Rumi, and Eyes Wide Open, he teaches a deeply body-oriented approach to sitting meditation at Buddhist centers around the world.

Cannabis in Spiritual Practice by Will Johnson © 2018 Inner Traditions. Printed with permission from the publisher Inner Traditions International. www.InnerTraditions.com

Availability: Usually ships within 1-2 business days. Price: $16.99. To purchase this book visit B&N.com, Amazon.com, InnerTraditions.com, FindhornPress.com, or your local bookstore.

Add Comment

Article Archives  This Month's Articles  Click Here for more articles by Will Johnson
Bach Flower Education
Wisdom Magazine
Light Healing
Circles of Wisdom
Wisdom Magazine
Alternatives For Healing
Wisdom Magazine
Ellie Pechet
Denali Institute
Margaret Ann Lembo

Call Us Toll Free: 888-577-8091 or  |  Email Us  | About Us  | Privacy Policy  | Site Map  | © 2021 Wisdom Magazine