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Drug addicts are frequently people who are suffering some form of mental pain, like post-traumatic stress flashbacks, or childhood abuse. The drugs have the momentary effect of freezing cognitive process, stopping thought. The phrase:”Wow! That really blew my mind!” is literally true. They experience brief moments in which their minds become still.

Skydivers are using an extreme sport for the same purpose. You can’t be worried about your bills, your marriage, your job, your past, when you’re free falling from 10,000 feet.

Buddhist monks are pursuing the same goal using Spiritual practices like mindfulness and meditation. The difference between the first two and the third is that Buddhists are aware of their actual purpose and are using inner practices to accomplish their aim, while addicts and skydivers are using an external substance or activity and are not necessarily aware of its true purpose. So they think it is the substance or activity they’re after. They’re not aware it is the internal state of no-thought, or Presence they actually want.

We all seek Presence, not knowing it is what we seek, not accurately identifying it. Every experience that produces intense memory has Presence as a major element. In fact, the only experiences we truly remember are those in which we were totally, intensely, Present. We don’t need drugs and extreme sports to get there. We need the inner disciplines that make Consciousness dominant and mind passive.