Date: Mon, 7 Nov 94 00:44:10 -0800
From: Robert Jesse <>
Subject: monk, MDMA, rave, spiritual practice

* the following letter to rick dobin from a monk who lives in europe
* will be published in the next MAPS Newsletter

Dear Rick,

Thanks for sending the latest issue of MAPS and congratulations on the breakthroughs in the research. "Perseverance furthers" - I Ching.

Well, I not only had a ball in England at the rave, but got an education and personal liberation. I had not been to a dance since I became a monk yet I used to love to dance and was part of the scene in the 60's.

What blew my mind was the fact that I'll be 70 this year (in late November and will be in Bangkok on that day at a Buddhist conference). I was so taken by the MDMA and the music that I danced from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. It had a very strong impact on me, since I could totally give myself to the rhythm and was in sort of trance, which reminded me very much of the Native American dances which I witnessed in New Mexico. It also occurred to me that the DJ was a kind of shaman. Having gotten over the initial 'shock' of the rave, I have had time to muse over the whole experience. I've come to the conclusion that rave dancing could be a very important aspect of the spiritual path. It is not only fun and relaxing but is also creative, that is, liberating. The other night I went to a night club to dance with three visiting monks from Mt. Baldy!

As to the use of MDMA, of course, I'm all in favor IF it is done in the proper way under the right circumstances- whatever that it. I would have to give it much more thought and experimenting to have the answer to that.

The effect MDMA has on me is like a magnifying glass. I use it only once or twice a year (my supply is very limited) for meditation. I can focus more sharply and the content becomes more magnified and I see more with my mind's eye. The only thing I don't like is that I become rather intent with a strong feeling of urgency. I gave a talk about a year ago while under the influence of MDMA and that didn't go over too well, saying things that were beyond the listeners grasp.

            Hope you are happy and well,