Can you improve your meditation practice and overall life with one simple habit? Yes, but you won’t believe me when I tell you what it is. I’m serious – you’ll think I’m crazy. It goes against years of accepted wisdom and even the scientific community. The even crazier thing? It works.
So what is it? Cigarettes. That’s right, smoking and meditation are the perfect bedfellows. They compliment each other like mustard and ketchup, salt and pepper, or monks and self immolation. I always burn through a few menthols while meditating, and I recommend you do it too.
What exactly makes these two well suited for each other? Let’s count the ways.
The Perfect Feeling
As a drug, nicotine has the unique property of being both a depressant and stimulant, so it simultaneously energizes and relaxes you at the same time. This is the perfect state of mind to be in while you’re meditating. You want to be relaxed, but not too relaxed that you get sleepy. I’ve experimented with lots of other drugs, as well as many off the shelf cleaning products, and I can say for certain that nicotine is the way to go.
The research is pretty clear that smoking is addictive. By associating that sweet sweet high with meditating we have now addicted ourselves to meditating – which is the perfect outcome! Pretty soon you will be meditating several times a day, even taking breaks at work to do so. I’ve adapted my practice so that I can now meditate standing upright while talking to coworkers, or walking down the street while talking on a cell phone.
Incense – Just Like Real Monks!
Monks love to burn incense, and cigarette smoke is basically the same thing. In fact, I recommend not opening any windows or doors so that your practice room can absorb the odor of your incense. Much like a Tibetan temple nestled in high mountain peaks, this will give your small suburban hovel the character of a spiritual retreat.
Let’s be honest, smoking is cool, bad ass even. And let’s be honest about something else: meditation is lame. For the most part, only weirdos and loners spend hours on end in a tiny room thinking about nothing. Luckily, the coolness of lighting up a Marlboro far outweighs the social stigma of sitting by yourself in lotus position. By smoking, you no longer need to hide your spiritual side, and can even become cooler for it.
Closer to God
The whole point of meditating is to bring you closer to God, Buddha, Luke Skywalker, or whomever you worship. Cigarettes do the exact same thing by slowly killing you. No, I’m not going to tiptoe around the health risks. They exist, but that’s why cigarettes are such a good spiritual tool: they help bring you closer to your god and the afterlife, maybe even more effectively than the meditation itself.
So what are you waiting for? Jump start your meditation practice, and get a dose of cool while you’re at it!