Meditation is associated with a lot of health benefits and is scientifically proven to help reduce stress and anxiety. It’s often seen as a way of calming someone down and relaxing them.
If you are curious about what alcohol can do to your meditation practice, then this blog is for you. This blog explores the effects of meditation when done while intoxicated.
A few days ago I received a message on Facebook asking me to help someone with a personal issue. Specifically, she wanted to know if one can meditate after drinking, or even if they are drunk.
So, is it possible to be drunk and still meditate? Does alcohol help or hinder our meditation practice? Does it help reach the meditative state? Or is it the case that
the two are incompatible?
What is Drunk Meditation
Do alcohol and meditation at the same time sound like a paradox?
Well, it seems that some sort of trend has developed around meditation and drinking in recent years, especially since meditation is becoming more popular
in western countries. Drunk meditation usually refers to a practice that combines drinking with meditation to achieve a deeper level of mindfulness and relaxation.
Is Drunk Meditation Acceptable from a Religious Perspective?
Someone in a state approaching drunkenness may feel confident and enabled, artificially so. However meditation is about facing reality, looking inside oneself to find an inner truth whereas alcohol is often used as an escape from reality.
Consumption of alcohol in Buddhist meditation is totally unsuitable since the fifth precept forbids the use of intoxicants, although to the community at large this is seen as similar to the Catholic edict of eating only fish on a Friday – a practice observed more in the exception than the rule.
As an example the population of Cambodia, where I lived for a while, is technically 90% Buddhist but the use of artificial stimulants, alcohol et al, would probably be about the same percentage of population.
Can Drunken Meditation Be Justified from a Spiritual Perspective?
Whatever the question, alcohol is never the answer.
This is a complete truth when it comes to meditation. While alcohol may relax our inhibitions and engender a state of openness, it also gives the illusion of calmness and peace of mind – but nevertheless, this is an illusion.
When we drink we can lose touch with reality – we may feel physically stronger, smarter, even happier to an extent – but these feelings are rarely justified by our true being, and maybe we feel we are able to meditate and see clearly into our thoughts just like some believe they are better vehicle drivers after a few drinks.
In actuality our concentration is affected, we become unfocused, our thoughts become unsound and our judgement becomes faulty. None of this is beneficial to the clear, sharp insight we need when we want to ground ourselves in the present moment.
In fact, since meditation can effectively relieve stress and boost emotional well-being it should even be considered as an alternative to alcohol.
The health and wellness industry has a wide and varied selection of tools for people to use for personal growth. One such tool is meditation.
The meditative state in itself can bring feelings of physical and mental relaxation – combined with alcohol the subject may simply
drop off to sleep!
Drinking makes the mind numb. As a result, many people use alcohol as a way to relax and forget about their problems.
However, the effect that alcohol has on one’s behavior can be quite drastic. It is more of an escape from reality rather than a way of identifying with one.
Having a few drinks with friends is generally considered a good way to relax and have a good time. Do you really benefit that much from it? Can an evening of drinking lead to better health and a deeper sense of meditative state? Most likely not!