Tobacco, addiction and healing

I never quit smoking and I don’t smoke anymore. What I did was start mindfully smoking. I started to feel every bit of the smoking process — both the deliciousness and the toxicity of the smoke as it entered my mouth,  into my lungs tingle in all my cells. I smoked every cigarette like it was my last one until I no longer smoked. I didn’t smoke for 11 years and then I experienced tobacco in a ceremony. Tobacco came to me in spirit and filled my heart. After that I have smoked tiny bits ceremonially off of cigarettes. I am no longer addicted. So I didn’t quit smoking — I healed my relationship with Mother tobacco. She is a sacred plant. 

I find that through harm-reduction, rather than via hard-core abstinence I’ve been able to bring healing to all my addictions. I’ve not talked explicitly about harm-reduction as a healing modality, but the truth is my  path in general could be considered one of harm-reduction. When I worked in social services I worked for organizations that used harm-reduction models. Influenced me and my healing journey. It’s a highly respectful way of being with oneself as we heal from the attachments (sometimes addictions) of the modern world.

Tobacco is a beautiful plant. When I first moved to Appalachia 17 years ago their were hundreds  of tobacco fields on small farms and rolling hills. Really beautiful. They made me feel happy. Small tobacco farms you could watch the whole harvest year happening complete with barns with hanging plants.

All so lovely and all gone now with the shifting trends around cigarette use. I get that tobacco is flagrantly misused (and exploited by capitalis), but the loss of those beautiful fields and a few hundred years of tradition still felt like a loss to this yankee girl who moved to the south …

more posts on mindfulness

more posts on addiction

tobacco field and barn...
tobacco field and barn…
tobacco barn with drying tobacco


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One thought on “Tobacco, addiction and healing

  1. Yes, definitely I agree with you, Monica.

    Tobacco has been used for millenias and is still being used for its healing properties.

    It is unfortunate that the Western man has got a hold of it and really abused it.

    It was never meant to be chain smoked at all. Just something that you use seldomly and given its moderate use will have the opposite effect than its abuse. That of real healing and beneficial to the user.

    I stopped smoking filtered cigarettes and started vaping, it really messed up my lungs I quit vaping about 4-5 days ago. Still feeling its negative effects.

    I was smoking a pack and a half of cigarettes a day before this but had realised I have become very abusive to myself by doing that and had to stop.

    I do like your way of doing things, of course, which is using mother Tobacco in ceremonies and such.


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