Higher Thought: The Cannabis Game is not only a noncompetitive conversation game for people who have gotten lightly high together; it’s also an experience of uncommon connection.
Here’s what you need to throw a great party with Higher Thought: The Cannabis Game.
The 3 most important factors in a successful Higher Thought: The Cannabis Game party.
#3. Setting and Accoutrements
To have an incredible Higher Thought: The Cannabis Game party, the game space should be comfortable and low-key, and players should face each other. Sitting in a circle is best. Game play doesn’t work well in an open public space dominated by loud talking or music, since this game is based on listening and responding.
A comfortable, safe space for the Higher Thought cannabis party is ideal, since players will often share unexpected intimacies, and feeling at ease helps everyone open up. Folks may appreciate pillows or throws to cover themselves with, and low lighting. Campfires, dining tables, living rooms, back porches, parks, vacation rentals…all these are wonderful settings for the game…and candles lend the perfect ambiance!
Have some drinks (water, juice, tea) on hand and some light snacks in case anyone gets the munchies. Game play can be magnetizing, and players sometimes forget to take a break! The Budtender (you’ll find out about that role next!) should choose occasions to allow for more pot smoking, a bathroom break, or a pause to rehydrate. Foods to have on hand might be vegetables and hummus, crackers and cheese, some finger foods or light sweets, but nothing too heavy or complicated to eat, since the main focus of a Higher Thought cannabis party is the conversation.
Hosts of the party may or may not provide legal cannabis as the essential warm-up to the game. No matter whose stash is used, tell players up front that getting baked isn’t a good idea, since being too high may make them incapable of processing or sharing their thoughts. Getting slightly lit is ideal, by a half a puff to two pulls off a vape pen, joint, pipe, or bong. If a player is getting high for the first time in a very long while, be sure to really take it easy and start with one light hit. Shed any competitive ideas about getting completely ripped; save that for another time (if you’re into that). Slow and easy are keys to enjoying The Higher Thought Game!
#2. Oversight and Guidance of an Empathic Budtender
The Budtender is the name we give a person at the party who is responsible for keeping part of their mind aware of the needs of the group as a whole, and it’s a very important role. Since players’ minds are lightly altered, and there is no traditional structure, this game functions best with one responsible person overseeing the rhythm of game play for the good of all. This host or elected person explains the game “rules,” but also exercises a native sense of timing and has an eye for players’ needs. Their mission is to keep the game flowing by allowing everyone to answer a question if they want to, while noticing when a question’s energy may have started to wane. If they see players becoming distracted, they can suggest pulling a new question card.
The Budtender also ensures that questions are left unknown and unexplored until a Higher Thought game is underway, when players’ attentions are focused on game action. Haphazardly riffling through the deck can erode the mystery and disrupt the gentle ritual of creating a fertile space for pot-enhanced thoughts to come to the surface. This game isn’t a race. Its nature is cooperative and allowing. With patience and full participation, it finds its ideal pace, and the gold in the game sparkles. Higher Thought: The Cannabis Game lends itself to a unique rhythm of relating and listening to each other. If players are in a rush, offering one-word answers to questions, or even trying too hard to be witty, they may be out of synch with that rhythm.
Also, Budtenders are there to get the game back on track in the following situations: If conversations split off into cross-talk for too long. If those on the periphery of conversation aren’t getting a chance to speak. If more folks wanted to answer the current question but the talk wandered way off track. If two people are getting heavily into conversation that doesn’t include anyone else, and other players are losing interest. If the passion for a question seems to have played out and it’s time to move on. In these moments, Budtenders can steer attention back to the topic, move the game forward, or suggest the game’s end.
Budtenders act as quiet arbiters of order, but they know that some of the best conversation arises when people break off from the main question to pursue tangents of imaginative thought. The Budtender also keeps one eye on the clock, and calls time for bathroom or snack breaks in between questions, because players might actually forget to do these things! Finally, the Budtender is also there to enjoy the party, and may be high enough so they can participate in the game, but not so high that they can’t keep sight of what the group needs.
#1. State of Mind
Getting into a reflective, receptive state of mind is the best preparation for a fun Higher Thought game, and yet it is the opposite of what we are usually called on to do in most social settings.
At work and in public, people tend to be in presentation mode: presenting our ideas, opinions, and stories to others with the goal of impressing them or getting our identity across so that we feel accepted. The competitive nature of such interactions has trained us to unknowingly manipulate others to get them to accept or see things the way we do. Rather than revealing ourselves to each other, we perform ourselves. This is simply how most of us have learned to survive and express ourselves in public forums. It’s a hard habit to unlearn, but Higher Thought: The Cannabis Game creates a space in which to practice the art of fully present conversation.
At a Higher Thought cannabis party, our minds, after partaking of pot, are processing differently and are primed to experience thinking outside this presentation mode, keen to think about things from unusual perspectives, and more open to hearing others’ thoughts. We’re able to slow down and be present with others while they share their ideas, instead of only half paying attention while we consider what we will say next. A player who is still in presentation mode may unconsciously try to dominate the conversation with an egoic performance, thus impinging on other players’ emotional space.
Cannabis is the substance that allows our minds to participate fully, and the game questions were specially designed to be interesting to folks who are a little high. For best success, the game depends on the initial willingness to get slightly high and allow one’s mind to work differently so that all can communicate and experience new perceptions in this altered state.
The game is continually fresh, because no matter how many times you or others may have played the game, a new answer will always be forthcoming from someone else, even if you’ve considered a question before.
There you have it: the three main ingredients for a successful Higher Thought Game: A relaxing setting with nearby refreshments and the light use of weed to prepare for game play, a wise Budtender capable of subtly leading a game by balancing group and individual needs, and players willing to alter their typical thought processes. May all your Higher Thought: The Cannabis Game parties deliciously blow your mind!