The Psychedelic Roots of Buddhism with Mike Crowley
The history of drugs & religion is important – and often fraught with controversy. In the history of Hinduism, tens of thousands of pages have been written speculating about the identity of the legendary soma – a psychoactive substance that was also a god. But Hinduism & Buddhism have a long & complicated history, as you’ll hear today from our guest Mike Crowley. And in Buddhism, if you look at the art or read the ancient texts or even participate in modern ceremonies, you’ll see constant references to amrita – which might be called the soma of Buddhism. And while many scholars have worked on the identification of Soma, Mike Crowley’s book breaks new ground on identifying the important & mysterious amrita of Tibetan Buddhism. Drawing on his knowledge of ancient languages – most especially Sanskrit, a gigantic language with a keen delight in wordplay – he believes that the secret to amrita is laying right there, hidden in plain sight.
And this isn’t just esoteric contemplations on past mysteries. As you’ll hear from Mike, the religious experiences of Buddhism still resonate today & the ancient tantric practices are still changing lives around the world.
The name of the book is ‘SECRET DRUGS OF BUDDHISM - Psychedelic Sacraments and the Origins of the Vajrayāna’ and the author is someone I feel lucky that we get to hear from. He’s not just a scholar who knows the languages and knows the texts, he’s a fully ordained lama in the Tibetan Kagyud school and since 1989, he is in charge of his teacher’s 100+ plus students in North America. So he speaks from inside the tradition, but he’s still a curious lad from Wales and a Seeker whose lived experiences help to illuminate his work & spice up his talks.
So come with me to snowy Northern California & dive deep into our shared psychedelic history.