Am I sinning?

I’m a Roman Catholic. However, I tend to “borrow” certain “practices” from 2 other religions. A brief list would be:
*]Zen Meditation(from Buddism)
*]Use of marijuana to help meditation(from Rastafari)

Is this a sin? Doing both of these things have helped me to become a much more peaceful person. My Roman Catholic faith has never faltered by these practices.

Yes and yes. You cannot be both Catholic and non-Catholic and any non-medical use of marijuana constitutes drug abuse.

Hi Abonin9000 and welcome to the forums. Making use of ideas from other religions in and of itself is not a sin, I think it depends on how they are used. In answer to your two questions: It depends, and yes.
If the goal of the Zen meditation is to focus on your prayer life or scripture or to deepen your awareness of God in your life, then no. If the goal of the meditation is toward the traditional attainment of Zen “awakening” then your are really practicing another religion, so the answer is yes. This, btw, is also true for certain types of “centering” prayer.

As to the pot, look, just because some other “religion” (and I did mean to use the quotes) makes use of something illegal does not give you an out to stamp it “Catholic” and use it as well. It would be just as wrong as me saying: "Is it a sin if I eat human hearts to help my prayer life? (from Aztec).

When we say in the Creed, “I believe in the Holy Catholic [or One, Holy, Catholic and Apotstolic] Church,” it means that we believe the Church is complete, and we don’t have to go poking around outside of her for spiritual goodies.

The “peace” you are experiencing is not the peace Christ gives, but the feverlessness of a corpse. All you are doing is deadening your conscience.

If you just empty your mind and head for the Void, that isn’t prayer yet. If you use Buddhist techniques in order to still the busy-ness of your mind, to free yourself from distraction in order that you might wait for God to give you the gift of His Presence, OTOH, that is Catholic. I don’t know that you had to go outside Church tradition to learn that, but it would be OK to try to still your mind entirely, as long as it is openness to God, and not mere stillness, that is the point of the spiritual exercise. If you don’t think there is a difference, you’re not on Catholic ground yet.

Contemplation is the highest form of prayer, it is certainly open to the laity, and it is no sin to desire it. We should desire it. Having said that, there is much to be said for using prayer time to recite vocal prayers, or to meditate on something in particular rather than nothing in particular, while waiting for God’s gift of contemplation. The “lower” forms of prayer are good and are part of what we should desire in our spiritual life, too. So it would be better not to make the “Buddhist” technique the only prayer you do. Praise, gratitude, and supplication are necessary parts of the spiritual life, too.

If you feel a need for alcohol or drugs to self-medicate yourself against stress or distraction, that is a problem. Try to bring your whole self into prayer, as you are, rather than getting into the habit of anethetizing the parts of your mind that you don’t have self-control over. God does not change those parts of you that you withhold from Him in prayer. If your soul lacks peace, bring the lack of peace to your prayer, which is to say to God, rather than trying to compensate for your shortcomings artificially.


??? Sorry but I don’t understand.

Non-medical use of marijuana is illegal. Don’t you think it is a sin to break the law? Has this drug dulled your conscience as well as your senses? Think about it.

The law of salvation is a higher law than the whimsical rules set up in different times and places which currently makes marijuana use for religious purposes a misdemeanor, like jaywalking. Our faith gives us precedence for disobeying the laws of the state. If marijuana helps us to save our souls, as this person implies, the state cannot prohibit its use.

I would argue that it is of doubtful utility for a Catholic to use marijuana as a help in prayer. But it seems like it is a sincere question. If the person thinks that he is saving his soul through marijuana use, he is almost certainly deceived in my opinion. But not every misdemeanor is necessarily sinful, especially if there is a question of salvation.

At one time I was into Transcendental Meditation which I later found out was a form of Hinduism and similar in purpose I think to the Zen meditation.

I have found that saying the Rosary offers many of the same benefits of emptying the mind and allowing contemplation.

Doesn’t this thread belong in the moral theology forum?

Both Zen and marijuana open you up to evil spirits. If you don’t believe me try praying the rosary in place of Zen and abstaining from pot to witness their protests.

I’m 99.9% sure that OP is a troll (someone who makes inflammatory posts posing as sincere to stir up trouble). The game is that people try to “spot” the trolls, and if a troll manages to fool people the troll “wins”. One way to “call out” a troll is to respond with a rating out of 10 as to the quality of the troll-post.

For example, if I saw a post on a PETA forum saying “I love to eat meat haha you guys are stoopid hippies” I’d get it a 0/10 because it’s very obvious. OP’s troll isn’t half-bad, but religious forums are easy targets anyway, so I have it a 6/10.

Hi John and thanks. I never knew about the “Troll Game”. You may be right. And here I thought it was just another stoner trying to justify getting high.:smiley:

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