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Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  99 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Buddhism and psychedelic experimentation share a common concern: the liberation of the mind. Zig Zag Zen launches the first serious inquiry into the moral, ethical, doctrinal, and transcendental considerations created by the intersection of Buddhism and psychedelics. With a foreword by renowned Buddhist scholar Stephen Batchelor and a preface by historian of religion Husto ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published April 1st 2002 by Chronicle Books
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Jan 15, 2008 Malcolm rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Boomers, seekers,
Can psychedelic drugs, or entheogens as they are referred to nowadays, play an important role in spiritual awareness or are they merely a ticket to unsustainable peak experiences. These are the questions addressed in this wonderful coffee table book.

Many writers in this collection of essays are children of the 60’s who have moved on to Buddhist and other meditative practices. Some now eschew medicinal roads to Satori, while others view them as important components of awakening that opened the
Many of the leading American Buddhists became seekers of enlightenment, through meditation practice, as a result of taking hallucinogens in the psychedelic heyday of the 1960s. These essays explore the link between etheogens and awakening. I found the essays fascinating and varied, presenting both the advantages and dangers of this path into perception as it relates to spirituality and truth. Quite a few of my favorite Buddhist writers used psychedelics along the way. For example, having previou ...more
Nick Mather
There is no denying that the spread of Buddhism in the US is largely due to use of psychedelics in the 60s and 70s. Many of these psychonauts turned to Asian traditions, especially Buddhism, in order to better understand the manifestation of mind they experienced via psychedelic substances. This book examines that history, along with discussions of how Buddhists view psychedelics - only American Buddhists seem to think it is ok. The book is a collection of articles and interviews with people lik ...more
Grumpus McGrouchy
Good idea, but (in my opinion) poorly executed.
Too much Buddhist doctrine, too little mention of the onerous psychedelic ego-death and how that experience 'turned people on' to the cultures and spirituality and religions of the East to begin with. Then again, I read this book 5 years ago so I may be totally misrepresenting it. Hah ha.
Jonathan Burt
Excellent collection of essays regarding the use of chemicals as a tool in the search for theological answers.
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