11.5.2020 | Loving the Rituals

Welcome back to the Red Bench – today I’m thinking about all my rituals involved with smoking the herb…

My Days

We live in the hi-desert of Southern California, near Joshua Tree National Park. Our cabin is on the edge of a hill overlooking the valley below, where miles away the highway snakes across the desert floor. While I’m writing at my computer I often take breaks and stare out across the beautiful expanse.

Besides working on our Red Bench Reviews project I am a book designer, and we have a small publishing company called Traveling Shoes Press.  I’m a writer as well, and my fourth novel came out earlier this year. Much time is spent at my computer for all these activities, so many of my rituals revolve around managing my computer time.

This includes rituals to wake up and get the day going. The coffee rituals. The bong cleaning ritual. The first smoke of the day ritual. Rituals for taking computer breaks. The 420 ritual. I think you get the idea! 😉

I start every day with two cups of coffee. I go pretty quickly through the first cup, and settle in with the second cup. If it’s a day like today where I’ve been hammered by depression from the minute I woke up, then I want to get some herb medicine in my body right away…  so when my second cup of coffee is ready to go, I’m ready to have my first smoke of the day.

The Bong Cleaning Ritual

But I can’t start the day with a dirty bong, no way! So as that first cup of coffee is ending I jump into the Bong Cleaning ritual. I empty the old water into the sink and pour in a little bong cleaning mixture – I prefer Randy’s Black Label – and start shaking my bong for a minute or so. When all the accumulated gunk from yesterday is removed I dump out the mixture in the sink and rinse the bong with hot water and a little dish soap. When I’m done, I’ve got a bong that’s as fresh as the day I bought it. Then I rinse the sink with baking soda to get rid of the bong water smell.

I consider the bong cleaning ritual one of my most important every day. Never start your day with a dirty bong was the promise I made to myself when I got this beautiful smoking machine back in June. It’s a solid promise and that promise has hardened into a ritual. I wouldn’t drink water from a dirty glass, or have coffee in a dirty mug… my herb deserves at least that much respect.

The Step Away From The Computer Ritual

Another ritual is the Step Away From The Computer ritual. It’s so easy to just load up a bowl and smoke while I’m working, casually taking hits from a pipe, without paying much attention. It’s almost like smoking a cigarette while you work. I’ve done this many times in the past and I’m taking a different route these days. I am focused on the mindfulness of smoking, and that makes me take a computer break and head over to the red bench to smoke.

This, of course, takes me to the Packing A Bowl ritual. This has been perfected over many years of smoking, and has mutated many times according to circumstances. Nowadays it’s become a simplified ritual. I used to use grinders, but years ago I switched to using scissors to cut up the herb because I can feel the cure of the herb better using the trimming scissors…

When I’m at the red bench I use a nice bamboo tray to cut up my nugs. Over the years I’ve developed an intuitive feeling about how much herb will fit in my bowl, and usually cut up just enough for that bowl. We have very dry air up here in the hi-desert, about 10-15% humidity, so anything that sits out on the tray is going to dry up pretty quick.

I like to sit at the red bench while I take a good ten minute or longer break, slowly smoking through a bowl. The bowl on my bong holds a quarter gram and that’s enough for about four hits. All the projects I work on require long periods of thinking, so my seshes at the bench often flood me with new ideas and approaches to the project I’m working on – and that’s very helpful!

Do you have smoking rituals? Share them in the comments below!

Until tomorrow, best of health.

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Rocky Harris
November 5, 2020 3:44 pm

I don’t know where we would be without our rituals. They tend to keep us secure and grounded, especially when they are pleasurable like smoking a bowl. With 2 acres of forest surrounding our house, I like to sit on either the front or back porch at least twice per day with my Grav pipe and a cup of coffee. It’s always the little things in life that add up to the most satisfaction over time.
I didn’t know you are a writer Jon. I’ll definitely check out some of your work. ??
-Rocky