Conscious Cannabis”. Two of my favourite words, so beautifully put together. As a medical marijuana patient, cannabis coach, and educator, I thank cannabis daily for the many healing modalities that she provides me, the collective, and to those I love so deeply. Before I received my prescription, I enjoyed recreational cannabis for years. I am one of the lucky ones that grew up in an environment where those around me enjoyed cannabis recreationally and medically. I was aware and felt the stigmas from other environments but knew that was just “one way” of viewing the plant.
As a Reiki master and yoga and mindfulness teacher, consciousness is in my vocabulary daily.
Consciousness is being aware. Being aware that there is so much more to you and to what surrounds us. It is, the “Knowing”. The Knowing, we forget so easily. Yoga, meditation, and cannabis are ways to remember that knowing when we simply forget.
Two years ago, I was smoking cannabis while meditating and doing yoga. I had heard about ganja yoga, and cannabis and spirituality just felt so right together. I was teaching yoga and meditation weekly to a group of veterans here in Oromocto, New Brunswick and on occasion in PEI, who are all medical marijuana patients. They would medicate before they came to meditate and do yin yoga and yoga nidra with me. If you haven’t tried this yet – medicating before meditating – it is the true definition of bliss!
This past summer my partner and I led our first retreat together for 16 veterans, all experienced medical marijuana patients. They arrived on a Friday morning at 9 am and we closed the space at 1 pm on a Sunday. We discussed intention and gratitude throughout the weekend. On the last evening together we combined these two powerful forces in a conscious cannabis ceremony.
My life partner and I had everything set up downstairs to prepare the set and setting. These are two very important ceremony components. Stephan Gray explains these two terms greatly in his book “Cannabis and Spirituality”. The set is everything you bring to the encounter: your history, personality, psycho-spiritual design, your intention and any preparation and explanations taken before taking the medicine. The setting is the actual environment and conditions in which you meet the plant. How is your intention reflected in the setting? How is your environment? Is it comfortable? Are there mats and blankets or cushions to sit on? Are you respecting the environment and are there any rituals?
For our set and setting, each person was asked to bring an item to be placed on the altar. They could leave it there or take it back home with them after we closed the space on Sunday afternoon. We had placed candles, soft music, incense, a blanket on the wall behind the altar table, crystals, stones, a Buddha head, and a wooden owl carving. The lights were turned down low. My life partner and I asked everyone to come downstairs one at a time after we asked the first person to come down, showing respect to the space and to each other by being as silent as possible while each person had their experience.
Before anyone came downstairs, we set our own intentions. I went first. I sat down on a yoga cushion facing the altar and placed my item on the altar. It was a rose quartz crystal shaped like a heart. I set my intention. As one of the facilitators of the weekend, my intention was to hold space for each person and to keep the space held as a container for love. He placed the cannabis into a wood and leather sacred pipe we had bought on our travels. He said the Santa Maria prayer which he wrote himself for the group, in repeat after me style.
“Blessings on this plant.
Peace be on the Earth.
This is our time to heal.
She gave us our rebirth”.
Before inhaling, I said a silent “thank you” to the plant as I inhaled. Breathing in my intention and gratitude, breathing out onto the altar my intention and gratitude. I smiled and thanked him as well for holding the space for me. He took his turn and did the same. We asked for one person to come down at a time and saged each person into the room before sage cleansing the room itself.
For the rest of the weekend, we asked everyone to set the intention that before they smoked, vaped or ate an edible, to silently say thank you before doing so. Those two words before connecting with cannabis is enough to ignite conscious awareness and connection to yourself, cannabis, your surroundings and the “knowing”. My life partner and I have a joke between us where we will say “we know” through a smile or owl emoji. “We know” is the “knowing” of the universe.
Our clients at the retreat are experienced with medical marijuana. If someone was a new user, after the first inhale and exhale we would tell them to wait at least 20 minutes. If they want more, they can come back down, sit on the cushion and inhale and exhale their intention and gratitude again. This can be repeated periodically, with the same wait time in between, until they feel they are in a good space with the plant or we feel that it’s time to take a break. It’s all about being aware and using your feelings and heart.
Our intention is to be able to hold retreats and small circles with new patients once marijuana is legalized this summer in Canada, and to hold space for conscious cannabis with new medical patients or new recreational users. This has the potential to significantly change someone’s first time experience. As a cannabis coach myself and my partner being the founder of 11 doctor-patient medical marijuana clinics across Canada, the most common thing we experience is new patients saying they don’t know where to start. Some have had a bad experience with smoking or consuming too much or not the right genetic family for the time of day to suit their individual needs, resulting in an unwanted experience that has now made them timid to experience cannabis again. We want to hold a space for education, advocacy, and consciousness.
I created LadyNowe to be a space for feminine energy to come together, to hold space for each other and for those that connect to the community and space there. It’s a platform for cannabis basics education, so everyone feels empowered and Santa Maria can receive the respect and acknowledgment she deserves. In return, she can work her magic by providing her gifts to each of us.
I hope in reading this, as someone who is curious about marijuana education or a patient or a recreational cannabis lover yourself, that every now and then, you will say a silent thank you before your first inhale, or feel inspired to set up space for your own set and setting with cannabis. She knows.
***I wrote this as a guest blog for jane-dope.com.***