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Use of cannabis in Zen Buddhism?

 
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Ichijo
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 1:37 pm    Post subject: Use of cannabis in Zen Buddhism? Reply with quote
Hello ,I am a student of Japanese lenguage and culture to university ,I read on this site :http://www.cannabisculture.com/articles/101.html Zen, the meditative, Taoist influenced branch of Buddhism, was also influenced by cannabis, in the forms of marijuana and hemp. Samurai and scholars who followed Zen's subtle tenets express cannabis' inspiration in arts like Haiku (short poems).

In the following Haikus, the feeling of cannabis is clear. The wandering Zen poet Issa Kobayashi writes:

The cannabis around my hut
also has suffered
From summer thinness.
Just when I hear
The sundown bell,
The flower of this weed.

Basho the Haiku Master writes:

The cannabis- How wonderful it is!
The summer drawing room.
Trees and stones, just as they are.
Ah, how glorious!
The young leaves, the green leaves,
Glittering in the sunshine!

And one more, author unknown:

When all things are hushed,
suddenly a bird's song
arouses a deep sense of stillness.
When all the flowers are departed,
suddenly a single flower is seen,
and we feel the infinity of life.

also read:http://www.encyclo.co.uk/define/Kiseru

Kiseru is an old style Japanese smoking pipe. Kiseru were used for smoking a wide variety of substances, including tobacco, cannabis, and opium.

I do not know how reliable this article since there are not academic references.And the authors of these articles are of part.

Zen practitioners and samurai absolutely did not smoke cannabis right ?
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lordameth
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
What a fine time to ask this question! I have been thinking a fair bit the last week or two about looking into the history of the kiseru and smoking habits in Edo period Japan, though I have yet to find the time to do so.

So, first of all, though I have not yet done extensive research on this, I get the impression that opium was not widely smoked in Edo period Japan, only tobacco.

From a thorough and detailed website on the kiseru: "Because of the small bowl the kiseru is often mistaken for an opium pipe but in fact opium never took hold in Japan and the kiseru was exclusively used to smoke kizami-tabako."

Further, from Casal, U.A. Japanese art lacquers. 1961. p119: "The Japanese knew neither the cigar nor (contrary to the Chinese) snuff tobacco, and were never addicted to opium smoking."

On the subject of cannabis, this was actually discussed quite recently on a scholarly mailing list I subscribe to. The consensus was essentially, as phrased by Japanologist Kai Nieminen, "Nothing indicates that the zen monks of classical period in China used hemp for any other purposes than getting fibres for clothing, perhaps ropemaking & practical purposes."
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Ichijo
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thank you lordameth,Internet is full of inaccuracies have to be careful.

The Bodhisattva precepts:http://www.happinessonline.org/MoralDrift/p19.htm
5. Fifth Major Precept

On Selling Alcoholic Beverages

A disciple of the Buddha must not trade in alcoholic beverages or encourage others to do so. He should not create the causes, conditions, methods, or karma of selling any intoxicant whatsoever, for intoxicants are the causes and conditions of all kinds of offenses.

As a Buddha's disciple, he ought to help all sentient beings achieve clear wisdom. If instead, he causes them to have upside-down, topsy-turvy thinking, he commits a Parajika offense
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Ichijo
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I solved it, I asked a Japanese professor known expert on Zen Buddhism, he said that the samurai and Zen practitioners absolutely did not smoke cannabis.
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lordameth
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Glad you've found a definitive answer.

Quote:
Internet is full of inaccuracies have to be careful.


This is absolutely true. Which is why I remain a little skeptical on both sides - I'd like to believe they never smoked opium (much), but I think it'll take a bit more research to figure out which side to believe.
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Ichijo
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
opium was not smoked ,only tobacco, the fact kiseru began when the Portuguese introduced tobacco and pipe.
http://nippon-kichi.jp/article_list.do?kwd=165&ml_lang=en
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