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Cannabis the New Way

Welcome to a new approach to cannabis designed to permanently elevate your happiness level and improve your life, as it has done for me and many others.

This new approach differs from the Usual Way of consuming cannabis—recreationally—to relax, socialize, or enjoy media. The New Way involves no medical use of the substance. It is a third approach to cannabis. Intake occurs during a carefully structured Session (with a capital S), lasting from half an hour to several hours, either alone or with others. Sessions foster deeply mindful participation in emotionally elevating activities. Just a few such experiences reveal the powerful potential of using cannabis this way.

For example, your ability to listen to music becomes more refined. Your favorite artists never sounded this good before. The same is true for your taste perceptions; a piece of fruit that you might have previously eaten without much attention, now gushes pleasure in your mouth. Sex is even more mind-blowing than normal, and your erotic energy flows from deeper within your body. You can also access deep states of relaxation. You won’t need a tropical beach vacation to really unwind; just ten minutes on your living room floor will now do the trick. And your relationships shift. You tire of small talk and connect more intimately from the heart. Your spiritual side grows too, as your ego softens and you feel more bonded to the world. A Session promises many other delights, as I will describe throughout the book.

My discovery of this approach to cannabis capped a multi-decade investigation into the nature of happiness. A bout with cancer in my first year of college prompted that interest. I realized that if I could die at any moment then I should not waste time doing things I did not value. I should instead focus on finding joy in life and nothing else. I understood the wisdom in Aristotle’s famous saying, “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.”

My early existential crisis inspired an unconventional life, and I took the path less traveled in pursuit of emotional riches. I’ll spare you the details, except to say that in the bloom of middle age, I began an in-depth study of what science knows about happiness. I learned that researchers have determined that positive emotions flow from relatively few types of experiences which are surprisingly absent from the lifestyles of most folks today.

It struck me that many of the problems our world now faces, including global warming, war, inequality, and authoritarianism, are driven in part by mass unhappiness. When we live perpetually in emotional doldrums, we create harm. For example, we embrace materialism, thinking that shiny new objects will make us feel better. But the evidence is clear that they provide only a superficial, short-term lift. We chew up natural resources and heat up the planet, yet we get little happiness. I concluded that there is no more urgent task than helping people grow happier. Human survival could depend on it.

To that end, in 2015 I published Joyshift: the journey to primal happiness, a book describing the key findings of happiness science, and how people could apply those insights to bring more joy into their lives. I gave seminars and facilitated groups of folks who wanted to push their happiness level higher.

But I saw how difficult real change is for most people. Even when people understand that shopping, sitting, browsing social media, overworking, and under-sleeping all dissatisfy our emotional selves, rare is the person who can break free of such habits, and pursue happier behaviors. To joyshift, as I called it, turned out to be really challenging for most people. However, a few years later I discovered a solution. Through a series of events that I will serialize in these posts, I found that using cannabis strategically and mindfully in a Session, rather than casually and without any structure, could reliably and immediately boost one’s spirits. Such a reward helped motivate continuing commitment to break unhappy habits and find more joy.

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