How do drugs affect the mind?

Lama Ole’s answer:

With the exception of LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, and a few similar drugs from the Amazon, drugs have the opposite effect of meditation. Drugs show you the experiences in mind; meditation shows you mind itself. Drugs scatter mind; meditation gathers it. Taking drugs and meditating are not compatible.

Alcohol—as stupid, unspiritual, and uninspired as it is—is indeed better because it doesn’t make you slippery. You act stupidly, but you’re aware of it and excuse yourself later—people understand and then it’s over.

But hash is different. It makes you slippery like an eel. Your twist things to please yourself. You get older but not wiser. I myself smoked a lot—almost every day for about nine years of my life. In the sixties, we believed that it could be useful. We really thought that. We had Leary, Alpert, Huxley—all of the best brains with us who said that.

But my experience with drug users is that I become restless when I’m with them. I don’t feel that what I’m doing is catching on. If I am with people who drink, I try to tell them something. But with people who smoke hash, I would rather read the newspaper because I have the feeling that whatever I say won’t be understood.

I would advise people who want to meditate to stop smoking hash. It is cheaper to learn to meditate! And after a while, it is at least as pleasant. But it is more difficult. You have to build it up with your own strength. On the other hand, what you have built yourself you can stand on firmly!