Sacramental Use of Ganja for Meditation Among Rastas
For many outside the Rastafarian faith, there’s a perception that Rastas smoke ganja simply to get high. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Unfortunately, this has been a common misconception years. In fact, the use of ganja is deeply rooted within the Rasta faith – and Jamaica – for many reasons. Read on to learn more about the sacramental use of ganja for meditation among Rastas and our top cannabis picks to enhance your next meditation experience.
Cannabis and the Rastafari
Depending on who you talk to, ganja was growing on the island of Jamaica many centuries ago and was used medicinally by the indigenous Arawak or Taíno people, who would have introduced the sacred herb to African Jamaicans for its healing properties. Others however say ganja was introduced by indentured Indian servants – Hindus who brought the herb to the island from their home country of India, and bringing with it their own religious customs and language. (Ever wonder why we call it ganja?)
Rastafari religion as a movement came to Jamaica in the 1930s, and “Rastalogy” is the Rastafari interpretation of the bible. There are many passages in the bible that can be interpreted as prescribing marijuana to its readers and adherents. This can be traced back to biblical verses such as Psalm 104:14, where it is written “He causeth the grass for the cattle, and herb for the service of man” and Genesis 3:18 “…thou shalt eat the herb of the field.”
Finally, ganja is a key component in Rastafari Reasoning Sessions; meetings intended for spirituality and worship. These meetings can occur in followers’ homes or community centers and include group chant, prayer, singing and group meditation. In fact it’s the very properties inherent within ganja that help followers enter a trance-like state during this spiritual group meditation, allowing for feelings of interconnectedness and an increase in consciousness. It’s these meditative qualities that we want to focus on for this blog post.
How to Use Ganja to Maximize your Meditation
Ganja has too many medicinal properties to list here, but it’s the plant’s ability to give us focus, bring consciousness expansion and relaxation that facilitate and heighten meditation so well. As most seasoned smokers know, sativa and sativa-dominant hybrid strains can be energizing and lead to increased focus, which can be meditative for some. However for others, this alertness may lead to a difficulty in truly losing themselves into meditation, and for them an indica or indica-dominant hybrid may help to both slow down the body and the mind. It’s important then to experiment with different strains, starting with hybrids, and find the correct balance that allows you to drop into a deep relaxing meditation. After all, meditation is about listening to your body, right?
When you’ve found the strain that works for you, we’ve got a few tips to help you maximize your meditation. First, inhaling ganja versus ingesting edibles is best, due to the speed at which inhaled marijuana hits you and the ability to closely monitor the effects by slowly spacing it out. Second, focus on your breathing. The constant rhythmic qualities of your breath will help slow you down, focus your attention and help you enter the right frame of mind. Make sure you have nowhere to be for at least a couple hours, and make yourself physically comfortable, which will allow for mental comfort as well. Finally you may want to play some relaxing music, as music helps us enter meditation – and everyone knows how well music and ganja go together.
Top Ganja Strains for Meditation
Looking for some good strains? We recommend checking out this great article written by Estrohaze on the Top Five Cannabis Strains for Meditation. Here’s our top picks, which you can buy here at Headz:
Headband is an Indica-dominant hybrid strain, and is known for its calming properties. This strain can help lower anxiety – a must for those practicing mindfulness and looking to meditate. Prepare to calm down, and lower your stress with this hybrid.
Green Crack Sativa
For a different type of meditative experience try Green Crack, a Sativa which is known for its ability to increase focus, mental imagery and motivation. This sweet smelling citrus strain will enhance your visualization. Try focusing on objectives, ideal outcomes and what you’re looking to achieve.
We hope this post has provided some insight on the Rastafari faith and its use of ganja, and has dispelled the myth that Rastas are just smoking to get high. Ganja is known for its many medicinal properties, and its ability to calm, focus and expand the consciousness of us all make it an ideal partner for meditation. Check out our recommendations for Headband and Green Crack for enhancing meditation, or drop by the Headz shop to start your meditative journey. Remember to try multiple strains to find one that suits you best.