Living Without Addictions - Alcohol, Tobacco, etc.

It is Nasalam's desire to be a place where people can live in an environment especially suited to spiritual growth, like any other ashram or monastery. And as a tantric community it is not our desire to unreasonably limit the ways in which individuals pursue their spiritual path. But years of experience have demonstrated that spiritual work is greatly hindered when individuals are subject to addictive behavior. For this reason the community cannot be a home to people who are not serious about ending whatever addictions they might have - whether they are "socially acceptable" addictions like tobacco or addictions to other substances.

Nasalam strives to be a revolutionary spiritual community, encouraging members to explore the possibilities opened up by new approaches to spiritual unfoldment. And since tantric philosophy suggests that people should be accepted as they are while they strive to evolve spiritually,we are willing to help new members overcome their addictions so long as they are serious about ending their dependence. In order to provide ongoing support for those dealing with inner problems, including those that manifest as addiction, the community supports measures like 12-step programs for those who need them.

It is perhaps relevant to acknowledge that the use of entheogens - mind altering drugs - has played an important role in the spiritual life of many, perhaps most, tribal cultures for thousands of years. The evidence for this is incontrovertible. They can also be used to end addictive behavior. They have a definite role in a shamanistic spiritual community.

If all efforts fail, the continued abuse of addictive drugs must be considered grounds for asking an individual to leave.

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