A new software solution

Submitted by a software engineer

As a software engineer, I spend my working hours developing formal technical solutions to meet business needs. The processes involved in doing so vary, but as a general rule, all require concentration, focus and attention to detail. A lot of my time at work is actually spent sitting still with my eyes either staring ahead or closed, thinking hard about the systems I am trying to build.

The sacred use of teacher plants

Submitted by a successful spiritual teacher

I grew up in a very conservative East Indian household with old fashioned values where any form of illegal drug was so taboo. I took on that belief system and led most of my life absolutely clean ,not even drinking any form of alcohol. My first introduction to any form of psychedelic was in my early thirties where I was on a trip to Ireland and was initiated into the sacred use of such substances my a local wisdom keeper. As I had many years of personal development and meditative experiences behind me,and was very reluctant and not trusting of what I was getting into.

A year of drugs

Submitted by a web-site manager

Many years ago, in 1970, I spent a year trying every drug I could lay my hands on. I felt I needed to break out of my tight, claustrophobic existence. My future seemed to be laid out in front of me with alarming certainty. I had my university degree, my parents had chosen the “right” man for me and I had a good job with an old, established company. What more could I want? Much more, it seemed. I kept thinking things like: “Is this all there is?” “What does all this mean?” Yet none of my friends ever questioned anything so I definitely felt like the odd one out.

Problem solving

Submitted by a sixth form college teacher

I have been smoking marijuana for over 20 years, starting as a teenager. Whilst I have taken other drugs on and off marijuana has been something of a constant. I now smoke once or twice a month on average and more often than not I do this on my own. Having experienced marijuana for half my life, I have an awareness of the effects and the amount that I can handle and so ensure that I smoke just enough to relax me. I am writing this specifically to express something of my current relationship with the drug and some of the benefits I believe I get from it.

Helping the Aged

Submitted by a retired professional married woman

My husband and I were invited to contribute to the “Drugs Positively” project, I suspect, because we were quite often seen at parties where recreational drugs were being used. We are both in our late sixties and the young people (actually not that young, probably average age of 40) at these parties would often comment on how inspiring they found our relationship and how we are with each other. We have been together for more than 30 years and have consistently “worked at” our relationship.

The Bodhisattva Vow

Submitted by a meditation teacher

I teach a version of Zen meditation that is suited to people from the west; it is not part of any Zen lineage. However I have had my own experiences and the practice that I teach authenticated by a Zen master who is part of a lineage. For some time I knew that I had a relationship to a Buddhist vow known as the Bodhisattva vow. I do not know exactly how this arises within a strict Buddhist tradition, but for me it was a statement of service to others.

Do you think I am brilliant?

Submitted by a University Professor

My wife and I were on a holiday in Turkey. We loved walking in the Turkish countryside and then spending the next day flaked out on a remote beach somewhere. Our walks were never very long, partly because we always took a joint (rolled with home grown cannabis) with us. We would walk until lunch time and then have a smoke, eat, have a long stoned conversation and often have sex and a sleep before setting out back to our villa or car. We both had very busy lives and this was our time for just having fun and enjoying ourselves.

What had I learned?

Submitted by the MD of a software company

I started the business twelve years earlier after writing a computer program that I thought would be useful to architects. For the first few years the company was not much more than a hobby, but slowly the number of users of the software increased and there was a steady flow of requests for new functions and associated training courses. As I started to employ people I decided that I wanted the business to be a person centred organisation and to make use of the ideas associated with ‘learning organisations’.

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