Approaching Cannabis as a Spiritual Medicine and Ally with Stephen Gray

With Canada’s recent decision on the legalization of cannabis, more people will have access to balanced and open conversations about it within our culture. Stephen Gray, author of Cannabis and Spirituality: An Explorer’s Guide to an Ancient Plant Spirit Ally, believes that cannabis is not a drug; it’s an invitation to reality.

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Cannabis as a Spiritual Ally

As an “unspecific amplifier,” cannabis provides a temporary boost of physical, emotional, and psychic (pertaining to the psyche) energies. It’s an advanced spiritual medicine, but it’s a tricky plant. Finding your relationship to the plant can be difficult, because it’s easy to fall into daily use with cannabis, whereas that is not so much the case with other psychedelics.

Cannabis has many benefits, one of them being that it’s a homeostatic balancer, meaning some people function well with daily use. There’s no negative light on that kind of use, but when the goal is to go deeper, there are usually diminishing returns with frequent use.

Psychological addiction (not physical), is possible simply due to human nature, and dependence is more likely with daily use, which is why Stephen believes in educating youth at an early age about responsible approaches to experiencing this plant medicine.

Calm the Mind

Learning to calm and silence the mind is the best way to learn to live well in this life. People build their whole lives on a narrative that involves almost constant thinking, but if you can be more present in life, moment by moment, second by second, you can experience a place of peace and groundedness.

Instead of constantly looking forward or back while you speed around, slow down and let some space happen. This doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy an active life. You don’t always have to be sitting down to meditate. You can meditate anytime. Tune in to the moment, to your breath, and focus on grounding yourself.

Cannabis can be useful in this process by opening up your heart, calming you down, and allowing you to develop a deeper, advanced spiritual practice. The purpose of Stephen’s book is to help people to treat cannabis in this way.

“Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come”

When there’s no self left and you’re absorbed into the universal mind, you recognize that all is driven by love. You know who you are and you become an authentic presence, because you’re not afraid of being yourself. You have the confidence to be who you are, but also to have your heart open and let that love flow through you.

If there are more people that are experiencing this and living this way, it’s possible to create a kind of network that can effectively diminish aggression, anger, suffering and pain, and cannabis can accelerate this process.

Some people have considered cannabis as a kind of universal sacrament for the non-denominational religion of the future. Victor Hugo wrote, “Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come.” A vocal minority can help bring about change needed and remove damaging negative stigmas.

We Have Hit a Karmic Wall on the Planet

Retired religious studies professor Christopher Bache meets the definition of a true mystic. Inspired by the work of Stan Grof, who legally worked with LSD in Czechoslovakia, Christopher undertook a 20 year journey that encompassed 73 high-dose LSD sessions.

His book, Diamonds from Heaven, gives a detailed account of his experiences, that he described as being more real than this reality. What he discovered was that the self is an illusion, and we are not disconnected, but we have built walls around us to give us that illusion make us feel safe.

When we dissolve those walls, we see that we really are all connected, and there is an internal creative intelligence with love at the core. The job of the mystic is to have these experiences that we might not all have access to, and his book is a message from the universe that a shift is occurring.

We’re self-destructing, and we’ve reached a karmic dead end on this planet, but rather than being a dark message, this is one that should inspire energy to participate in creating change that is possible and happening already.

Together with the universe, we are about to birth a new human, and it will be quite different. It will be a human that understands that we are not separate-- that we have compassionate loving hearts and a limitless ability to create.

Practical Ways to Join the Movement

There are many different paths to this new way of being, but it starts with your own healing work. The simple act of sitting meditation--sitting quietly, watching thoughts come and go without judgement--is a good way to lay a foundation. Also begin exploring different spiritual disciplines and traditions such as chanting and yoga.

Plant medicines are the most direct conduit to opening up to reality, if used mindfully, and that is the purpose of the Spirit Plant Medicine Conference: to teach ways of using plant medicines in conjunction with integrating practices.

As far as the next steps, it’s a matter of knowing yourself, tuning in and asking, “What are my natural talents?” You may choose to become an activist or promote awareness with your art and creative ventures, or maybe you’re a person who becomes an example for other people without any agenda. It’s as simple as making someone’s day a little better.

8th Annual Spirit Plant Medicine Conference

The Spirit Plant Medicine conference will take place on November 2-4, 2018 at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, BC, Canada. It is an place to learn about sacred plant medicines and join the psychedelic renaissance.

Humanity is in urgent need of a consciousness revolution. Attending the conference is an excellent way to build community and connect to the empowering energy for this mission.

Saturday night at the conference is an opportunity to experience this energy first-hand through a spiritual cannabis ceremony. For those unable to join the conference, or those wishing to learn from past conference talks and topics, a membership will be available to access videos of every conference session. Early bird tickets are still available. Visit for more details.

Key takeaways

  • This year’s Spirit Plant Medicine Conference will host an incredible lineup of guest speakers

  • Cannabis as a spiritual ally isn’t a drug-- it’s an invitation to reality

  • The way to learn the most about how to live well in this life is to calm and silence your mind

  • Humans have reached a karmic dead-end, but the use of cannabis and other plant medicines create an opportunity for a cultural shift

  • Experience a spiritual cannabis-friendly ceremony on Saturday night of the Spirit Plant Medicine Conference


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