Psychedelics Today

By Psychedelics Today

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A show discussing the important academic and other research in the field of Psychedelics. We discuss how psychedelics relate to human potential and healing.

Episode Date
PT Solidarity Fridays - Episode 31 (with Will Hall)
59:21

In today’s Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle switch things up and take a break from news stories. Instead, they interview therapist, host of the Madness Radio podcast, author of Outside Mental Health: Voices and Visions of Madness, and previous psychiatric patient diagnosed with schizophrenia, Will Hall.

Hall says a lot that will challenge your ideas about the power of psychedelics and the progress of psychedelic medicine. From the idea of either/or thinking creating a legal/illegal paradigm, to the basic limitations of science, to the the near religious worship of neuroscience, to William James' idea of "medical materialism" and reducing the complexities of the human mind to simple biology, he points out the various flaws in psychedelic medicine and how psychedelic crusaders have ignored placebo results and focused on the power of a drug or the numbers behind a study over the power of therapy, the benefits of community and the mystery of consciousness and its differentiation from science. 

Notable Quotes

“If you end war-on-drugs prohibition in a context of heavily corrupted science, pharmaceutical company corruption, people that don’t have access to basic healthcare, they don’t have the basic context to be able to make smart choices, and you combine that with the profit motive in neoliberalism, then you’re going to have to really be very careful about how you do it, or else you’re going to have some very negative consequences. And this is a problem with any legalization.”

“We haven’t really had enough of a nuanced conversation about the war on drugs issue, because again, there has been such a strong-- I want to call it zealotry- this is an incredibly dedicated group of people who have been doing this for 30, 40, 50 years to get psychedelics into the hands of as many people as possible because they took LSD, they saw God, it saved their marriage, it completely revolutionized their trauma history- they’re true believers. And they’ve been pushing and pushing and pushing, but unfortunately, that doesn’t make for good public policy or good science if you’re just on a crusade. And I think that’s the big part of the problem that we’re facing right now.”

“Consciousness is like gravity. Consciousness is actually intrinsic to reality. Everything has consciousness. The more complicated the part of reality is (like, the human brain is very complicated), the more rich and complex consciousness becomes, and you get this self-awareness kind of thing. But the idea that consciousness is somehow located in the physiology of the brain and therefore ‘we’re going to study the physiology of the brain to explain consciousness’ is completely a leap of logic that has driven neuroscience for the last 40, 50 years since the real takeoff, and it’s been driven by pharma profits.” 

“You can create all kinds of things just through suggestion, just through expectation, just through placebo, and yet in the psychedelic science research, all that’s kind of put aside and they’re playing the same neuroscience game of thinking that we are pursuing and understanding of the biology of consciousness, which we’re not. And of course, it’s a gold rush.”

“We’re trying to describe this incredibly rich mysterious thing- human consciousness. Nobody even knows how to define it. The people who have been studying it for decades can’t even settle on a definition. You settle on a definition of gravity. You can settle on a definition of chemical reactions, because that’s the nature of that kind of science, but this is a field of science- psychology, which is so mysterious and so complicated, they can’t even agree on what it is that they’re studying. And now we’ve gone from this model that’s basically a steam engine model- there’s chemicals that are going through and they’re connecting and they’re flowing in different places. And that’s sort of antiquated, so now we have a computer model, which is about circuitry, networks, connectivity, pathways, and it’s just another cartoonish metaphor for something that we fundamentally don’t understand.”

“The fact that the marvel and the awe of what human consciousness is, what the human experience is, what the mystery is, that is so awakened for many people when we have a psychedelic experience- your mind is blown by how incredible, awesome, beautiful the mystery is, and then to take that and then go into graduate school and cut up mice and have this cartoonish, mechanistic version of what that consciousness is, seems to me like a real betrayal of what I think is the best of the psychedelic experience. 

“Under capitalism, under for-profit healthcare system, under corporate-driven science, science has become a politicized and profit-driven racket. All of those researchers are playing a game of ‘How do we get press releases that get media hits and clicks that’s going to help our grant possibilities?” and it always comes with ‘Well, we have this promising new discovery- the default mode network is a promising new discovery. We need more research about this.’ And what we need to do is we need to really really rethink our entire orientation to science in a capitalist society.” 

“I think that once MDMA becomes available and more widespread, we’re going to see the efficacy go down. It’s not going to help everybody. It’s going to be another thing that some people try and some people, it helps them, but it didn’t really quite do it and then they have to kind of go back and they do more and then they lose the magic of the MDMA and then we’re back on the treadmill. We went from antidepressants to MDMA, and then what’s the next drug? There’s no drug solution to these problems, folks. We have to change our society. ...Until we actually look at social changes, we’re not ever really going to solve these so-called mental health problems. But that’s not the kind of thing you want to talk about at a MAPS-sponsored conference, because it’s a buzzkill. It just bums everybody out. People want to have their careers, they want to have their focus, their advocacy, their crusade, their excitement, and their community of other people who are excited.”

“I’m not sure that psychedelics should even be in the realm of medicine or science because of the way in which our society has so limited and made narrow those endeavors- the idea that medicine is separate from spirituality or that science is about reproducible results when the whole universe is based on uniqueness and novelty and the unexpected and synchronicity, I think that trying to squeeze them into those frameworks is not going to work.”

Links

Willhall.net

Madness Radio

Outsidementalhealth.com (info on his book, Outside Mental Health: Voices and Visions of Madness)

The Freedom Center

Mcgill.ca: The placebo effect and psychedelic drugs: tripping on nothing?


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Navigating Psychedelics

 

 

Oct 30, 2020
PT215 - Cultivating Connections - The Power of Rituals
51:43

In this episode, Joe interviews Ryan and Rory of Cultivating Connections, a Vermont-based nonprofit and podcast dedicated to fostering deeper connections between themselves and the members of their ritual, as well as promoting the idea of intentioned rituals, answering questions and giving advice on creating your own ritual, and eventually, hosting larger group rituals.

They talk about how Ryan's depression and Rory's heroin and crack addiction (and eventual overdose) and experience with ayahuasca led them to realize that their biggest problem was disconnection, and through sharing a joint in the woods and talking openly, they realized they could help each other by continuing to embrace that connection with each other. They discuss the weekly ritual that blossomed from that: the different things they've tried, the specific details of what they do, and the big moments that made them believe that what they were doing was helping them grow and change. 

While they admit that they wouldn't be where they are today without psychedelics, psychedelics or other drugs (they use cannabis) are not necessary: ultimately, it's the intention and dedicated practice that matters most. Being vulnerable, accepting yourself and others, opening up and sharing, remaining consistent and steadfast, trusting the process, and most importantly, embracing their fear is what has helped them the most. And the biggest thing they've learned is the power of staring into each member's eyes for as long as possible, which has given them deeper connections than they thought they could have.

Notable Quotes

“You can say, ‘I want to experience something in a psychedelic experience. I want to face my fears.’ But what you say is not what you get. If you create a structure that you come to every week, where everyone has this unwritten, unspoken bond- that you know the intention is to get deeper into your psyche- into your unconscious, and confront the shit that you need to deal with, then every week you go there, you can’t avoid it.” -Ryan

“I’d say the most intense experiences of my life have been these weekly sessions the past 22 weeks. And it’s also been the most transformative time of my life. So I think there’s a lot to be said about the intensity of what you’re feeling and how you can use that. If it’s not in the right setting, it can become traumatic. But if you’re in a setting where you’re supported and you can grow with it, then it becomes a transformative experience.” -Ryan

“For us, it’s really about doing these things with intention in our group setting and our community setting, with the intention of connecting and facing fear. Really, I think the big thing that we focus on is not looking at fear as a negative thing. Fear is not something that we should repress, it’s something that we should let in- we should accept, and we should find value in. But if you repress your fear, you end up manifesting it.” -Ryan

Links

Cultivatingconnectionsvt.com

Cultivating Connections Podcast

Facebook

Instagram

Collective-evolution.com: Eye Gazing: Science Reveals How It Affects Our Communication


About Ryan and Rory

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Navigating Psychedelics

 

Oct 27, 2020
PT Solidarity Fridays - Episode 30
01:22:36

In today’s Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle sit down and discuss some very scientific (read: hard to understand) articles. First, they talk about one on Salvinorin A and its interactions with a different receptor than other psychedelics (kappa opioid receptors) and what that could mean, and a related article from Wired- a first-hand account of taking salvia as part of a brain-imaging study at Johns Hopkins University. The biggest takeaway from these can be summed up in researcher Manoj Doss's closing quote: "Not only does this tell me how little we understand psychedelics, it also tells me how little we understand how to study them.”

They then review a recent double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study on LSD, which showed results we expect to see, but the full details haven't been released yet. This leads to a discussion about intergenerational trauma and researchers finding that children of Holocaust survivors often display more trauma-related behavior than their parents, commonality between people of Irish and German decent (due to shared traumatic histories), the idea of "group soul," how the lymphatic system works within the brain to remove toxins and how this and the blood-brain barrier can be affected by a concussion, and the effects caesarian sections have both on an individual person as well as in higher concentrations of people per country. Do countries with more C-sections produce more traumatized people?

Lastly, they talk about how psychedelics opening up people's brains and thought processes could possibly lead toward more conspiratorial thinking, which leads to discussion about QAnon, Alan Moore, a crazy story about 9/11 from Kyle, and the very idea of truth: what is your personal criteria for something being true? What do any of us really know?

And one last reminder- October 28th is the premiere of the new 15-week online course offering called An Introduction to Philosophy and Psychedelics with Lenny Gibson, so if you're considering taking it, now is the time to sign up!

Notable Quotes

“Do we always need to seek ego death to have profound healing in psychedelic experiences? Could it be more gentle at times?” -Kyle

“There seems to be this trend in the scientific world to say, ‘ok cool, our data suggests that this model of the world and how things are working is true, therefore this model is true’ and kind of sticking to your guns on that, and I think because we finally have our tools back where we can examine the psyche after decades of prohibition, that maybe let’s not rush- like, let’s keep them hypotheses, and perhaps we can be more fluid when new hypotheses come out about the world and the mind and the brain and these things. Perhaps that’ll help us not necessarily have to live in a certain paradigm for a super long time and we can be a little bit more paradigm-fluid maybe, or model-agnostic, and just kind of shift around as new data comes to light.” -Joe

“What’s truth and how do you know what is true? ….How can you validate that that is true? And what do you know to be true in your world? It’s a hard thing to really understand. When I think about it, I think the only true thing that I know is this present moment.” -Kyle

“It’s interesting. How do we know more? How does knowledge work? Epistemology, metaphysics-  these are massive questions, and as much as I appreciate science, I feel like science could benefit a lot from being philosophy-aware. Like, what are we really doing? What kind of metaphysics and epistemology underlies our go-forward here? Is there data to suggest that mind and brain aren’t the same thing? Yes, there is, including [from] top neurologists like Karl Pribram and others. Mind does not equal brain. And how do we transcend that and go forward? I know this is not what the establishment wants us to be saying, if we want to talk about conspiracies. Just look at scientism vs. philosophy and the humanist traditions- really, quite a battle that’s been going on for a long time, probably since the time of Newton or before.” -Joe 

Links

The Physicist and the Philosopher: Einstein, Bergson, and the Debate that Changed Our Understanding of Time, by Jimena Canales

Wired.com: This Is My Brain on Salvia

Nature.com: The Acute Effects of the Atypical Dissociative Hallucinogen Salvinorin A on Functional Connectivity in the Human Brain

Psychedelics Today: Does Salvia Divinorum Have Therapeutic Potential? By Michelle Janikian

Nature.com: Acute dose-dependent effects of lysergic acid diethylamide in a double-blind placebo-controlled study in healthy subjects

Psychedelicreview.com: Ketanserin info

Statista.com: Cesarean sections - Statistics & Facts

Different Doorway: Adventures of a Caesarean Born, by Jane B. English

The Concussion Repair Manual : A Practical Guide to Recovering from Traumatic Brain Injuries, by Dan Engle

Nih.gov: Brain cleaning system uses lymphatic vessels

Resonancescience.org (Resonance Science Foundation)

Nytimes.com: Cleve Backster: He talked to plants. And they talked back.


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Navigating Psychedelics

Oct 23, 2020
PT214 - Dr. Michael Sapiro - Engaged Spirituality: Bringing the Mystical Into the Ordinary
01:15:12

In this episode, Kyle interviews Doctor of Psychology, faculty member at Esalen Institute, Fellow at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, Dharma teacher, and former Buddhist monk, Dr. Michael Sapiro.

Sapiro talks about his recent travel pilgrimage to the northeast US, living in a camper with his dog and spending a lot of time in the woods working on himself and his connection with others. He talks about the "ways of knowing" that is taught at Esalen Institute, where people ask their cognitive brain about an important decision, then ask their body, their intuition, and even their ancestors and/or spirit guides, paying attention to their reaction to each interaction. He talks about methods to deal with body reactions, breathwork, the importance of self-talk, metaphors, cutting karma so you aren't perpetuating old ancestral wounds, the concept of post-traumatic growth, the difference between selfishness and self-focus, and knowing when to be passively working on yourself or actively engaging with and helping others. 

They discuss how to fuse your normal self with your mystical self and make the mystical ordinary- through action, being self-aware, staying calm, staying open-hearted, and always thinking of what can be done next to improve yourself and the health of others. This is a bit of a feel-good episode: in a hectic, stressful time, it's a reminder of the importance of checking in with yourself, taking care of yourself, and allowing yourself to just be. 

Notable Quotes

“One of the things nature and the mystery taught me in my retreat, was to slow down and feel the presence of the mystery in a strand of a spider web. And I’m not being hyperbolic- I would slow down on a walk and see this spider web and just be with it for a while. What can I learn? What can I soak in? How can I be with it? And then I would take that into conversations when I met people. So that’s one practical way of bringing the wisdom of the forest into our daily lives.”

“How beautiful that we have this access to deep knowledge of the universe through us, but we have to be quiet. We have to be quiet to hear the whispers of the heart. And when you become quiet, the whispers of the heart become louder and they start filling you in. Then you have to start believing it.”

“What I learned in the forest and when I was doing my own healing work, is that the mystical states are actually ordinary- profoundly ordinary states of greeting the world [presently]- through my eyes, through my being, through being quiet when I’m agitated. ...Making the mystical states ordinary is a verb. It’s turning mysticism into an action, and that comes out through our speech, eye-gazing, through the way we listen, [and] the way we show up for ourselves and other people.”

“Selfishness is doing a behavior that negatively impacts other people on purpose. ...Being self-focused is different. It’s ok that we have time being self-focused. ...You have to discern the difference. Because it’s not selfish to take care of the vessel that your consciousness is housed in. It’s important so you have good health to contribute to others’ health. It’s important because you’re precious and you matter. You don’t have to be selfish to take care of yourself, so let yourself off a little bit. Because a lot of people say ‘I feel selfish when I take care of myself.’ That’s not fair actually. That’s not fair. If you’re being selfish, call yourself out on it and change your behavior. If you’re just taking care of yourself out of self-love, because you know your health will positively impact other people’s (because we’re interdependent), then it’s really important you do take time to be self-focused.”

Links

Michaelsapiro.com

Instagram

Down, Play, or Walk Away: How my dog socialized me to be wiser and kinder during Covid-19, by Michael Sapiro, PsyD

The Self-Care Vow: Turning the Bodhisattva's Gaze Inward, by Michael Sapiro, PsyD

His last appearance on Psychedelics Today


About Dr. Michael Sapiro

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Navigating Psychedelics

 

Oct 20, 2020
PT Solidarity Fridays - Episode 29
50:39

In today’s Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle sit down and discuss a recent segment on CNN highlighting Brian Muraresku's book, The Immortality Key: The Secret History of the Religion with No Name, about the role psychedelics have likely played in the origin of religion and western civilization. They talk about psychedelics throughout history, like the Eleusinian Mysteries, soma use in Hindu scriptures, therianthropy and the idea of psychedelics leading towards these human-animal hybrid visions, and even the idea that Moses was huffing acacia or some other type of mind-altering plant available in that area at the time. Does it matter to the movement if all of this is historically accurate? And why do we romanticize ancient psychedelic use so much?

They then spend some time on a very important but unpleasant topic: accountability for misconduct in the psychedelic space. With no well-known Yelp-like website to review facilitators or retreat centers, and abuse (or at least unethical relationships) seeming to be very common in the therapeutic world, what's the best way to handle abuse and abusers? In the legal therapeutic world, there are at least licensing boards to contact or police to reach out to (since nothing illegal would be tied to the victim). Is the answer ex-communication? Restorative justice? Some sort of mediator? Filming everything for the protection of both sides? Whatever the ideas, the conversation needs to continue and louder voices need to be a part of it. 

They review some other news stories, Kyle lets us know that he's been taking ketamine-assisted psychotherapy training at Polaris Insights center and Alex Grey just followed him on Twitter, and Joe introduces a possible new Solidarity Fridays segment, "Joe's Paranoid Update." And reminder- An Introduction to Philosophy and Psychedelics with Lenny Gibson begins October 28th. Sign up now! 

Notable Quotes

“I didn’t really grow up very religious, so I’m curious- the people that did and may not understand this indigenous kind of perspective of using plants to alter consciousness and have some sort of relationship with the universe- I wonder how that came off to them, seeing this on CNN.” -Kyle

“What is it about that that is so intriguing to us at times? I know for myself, looking at a lot of Indigenous cultures or ancient traditions helped me kind of provide a framework for understanding some of these experiences that maybe western traditions kind of have but don’t really have. Maybe I found more comfort in these traditions, but to say they have all the answers because they were possibly doing some of this stuff, I think could get a little tricky at times. Like, why do we want to romanticize the past so much?” -Kyle

“I think Dimitri Mugianis mentioned this to us: what kind of movement is it that would cover up rape to achieve its ends, and serious sexual misconduct? And victims have been told: ‘If you out this rape, this is bad for the movement, so please don’t do it.’ Are you fucking kidding me? No. Absolutely not. If someone raped you, [that’s] not ok.” -Joe

“We’re not waiting on the FDA to get our ethics together. Ethics can happen right now.” -Joe

Links

Psychedelics Today: Veronika Gold – Methods of Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy

Forbes.com: Apple iOS 14: Brilliant New Security And Privacy Features You Can Use Now

Cnn.com: Did hallucinogens play role in origin of religion?

The Immortality Key: The Secret History of the Religion with No Name, by Brian C. Muraresku

DMT & the Soul of Prophecy A New Science of Spiritual Revelation in the Hebrew Bible, by Rick Strassman

Ancient-origins.net: The Dogon’s Extraordinary Knowledge of the Cosmos and the Cult of Nommo

The Science of the Dogon: Decoding the African Mystery Tradition, by Laird Scranton

Wayne State University: Poison Center warns of effects after Ann Arbor decriminalizes psychedelic substances

Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town, by Jon Krakauer

MAPS’ statement on Richard Yensen

Horizons’ statement on Neal M. Goldsmith

Now open: Bipolar and Magic Mushrooms Study

Bipolar and Psychedelics: An Investigation into the Potential and Risks, by Michelle Janikian


Support the show

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Oct 16, 2020
PT213 - Dr. Matt Brown - Osteopathy and Exploring Energy
01:10:35

In this episode, Joe speaks with Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Psychiatrist (specializing in the treatment of OCD), and Psychedelics Today Advisory Board member, Dr. Matt Brown.

Brown talks about osteopathic medicine and his thoughts on energy: how the principle of osteopathic medicine is that "mind, body, spirit" and the things we interact with contribute to what makes up a person, and by shifting things within each body system (neurological or respiratory, for example), change can be made, just like the way small postural shifts can lead to a decrease in pain or anxiety and how smiling can fool your brain into feeling happier. With bodywork emerging as such a powerful tool and breathwork facilitators learning interventions to help clients work through stuck energy, there is clearly a huge connection between the different energies in our bodies and how they affect us, but how much do we really perceive these shifts, and how do we measure these energies and create usable data out of it all?  

They also discuss other new methods of psychedelic healing, like the Integratron, light machines like the Lucia Lucia N°03, and Soren Peterson's sound table, and what it might look like if people used these and other non-drug methods in addition to a small amount of psychedelics- could that take away a lot of people's fear? And they talk about Stan Grof, Dr. Christopher M. Bache's LSD and the Mind of the Universe, Elon Musk's Neuraslink, and why people should watch and read more sci-fi.

Notable Quotes

“We’re talking about the study of consciousness, which I am fully confident we are not going to find out way past my death. But that’s ok, and actually, I find that somewhat exciting, because this is a really hard problem that humanity has been working on forever, and if we can even push the ripple of the movement in a slightly different direction for a positive change, that’s an amazing feat when you think about the totality of the universe and how huge it is and how small we are.”

“I think that what we might do, is, over time, try to figure out ways of having very, very specific, reliably repeatable experiences mediated through the combination of [a] psychedelic and some sort of a technology, that neither the drug by itself would cause, nor the technology by itself would cause, but if you combined the two, you could have something. What that would be, I don’t know, but it kind of feels a little bit like Total Recall. And then on the opposite side of that, with more the natural medicines, there’s this constant exploration of like, ‘ok, well, what is this broader universe all about and how is nature interconnected with everything else?’ And so, they’d be used for different purposes. So then when you think about it, when you’re talking about the ‘medicines coming from the earth’ so to speak, vs. like, the synthesized version, it’s like, ‘Do you want the blue pill or the red pill?’”

“He [Dr. Christopher M. Bache] does have that eye about him, of people that have gone really, really deep. ...There’s just a thing- I don’t know how to explain it- it’s like a different twinkle in the eye, that you can just see in folks that have seen more than, I don’t know, what we’re supposed to see.”

“This is very much a global psychedelic experience going on right now. We are on the biggest trip that we’ve ever had, ever. And this is not going to be fast. ...I’m not sure if we’ve gotten to the point where all the other traumas that we get to be able to be introduced to have all been shown to us yet. I think we’ve gotten some glimpses with that, with the whole George Floyd situation, but I’m not sure what’s still on the horizon before this whole thing ends. And hopefully, just like a psychedelic experience, there’s going to be a dramatic healing and growth that comes out of this. We’ll all find out together, whenever that happens.”

Links

Website: Drmattbrown.com

Meetup.com: Psychedelics and the Future of Psychiatry

His past appearance on Psychedelics Today

LSD and the Mind of the Universe, by Christopher M. Mache

The Integratron

Lucia Light Experience

Lowpromedia.com (Soren Peterson's sound table)

The Way of the Psychonaut Volumes 1 and 2, by Stanislav Grof


About Dr. Matt Brown

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Oct 14, 2020
PTSF 28
59:08

In today’s Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle sit down and discuss several items in the news, including Mark Zuckerberg donating $500,000 towards Oregon's Measure 110, national psychiatric associations coming out as in opposition to Oregon's measure 109 due to concerns over medical treatment being determined via a ballot iniative, voters in Mississippi being able to vote on medical cannabis and voters in Arizona, Montana, South Dakota and New Jersey being able to vote on legalization measures (with polling data showing 65% of New Jersey voters likely in favor), Denver's Kole Milner offially pleading guilty in his ongoing psilocybin investigation, a recent study looking into the effects of chronic THC exposure on the 5-HT2A receptors typically studied more with psychedelics and the question on if cannabis is psychedelic or not, the University of Toronto joining forces with Sansero Life Sciences to study the effects of microdosing and smaller doses of psilocybin, NYU Langone teaming up with MindMed to start a clinical training program focusing on psychedelics and psychedelic-assisted therapies (with the eventual goal of establishing a Center for Psychedelic Medicine at NYU Langone Health), and yet another psychedelic company going live on the stock market: Toronto-based Field Trip Health. 

They also issue a correction/update on statements made last week about Oregon's Measures 109 and 110, and talk about why the placebo effect isn't studied more, and how drugs establishing themselves in your personal life story can influence their efficacy. And they discuss some of the positive, community-encouraging COVID-related changes they've seen in their local cities and wonder how many of them can stay when we eventually return to some sort of normalcy. 

And they remind us that there is a new 15-week online course offering called An Introduction to Philosophy and Psychedelics with Lenny Gibson, which begins October 28th, as well as a new CEU and non-CEU Psychedelics in Psychiatry offering developed by "EntheoNurse" C.J. Spotswood. Imagination as Revelation, developed by Kyle and Johanna Hilla-Maria Sopanen, is also available, as well as Navigating Psychedelics and others.  

Notable Quotes

“As we see things decriminalized, it’s not necessarily the case that you’re safe. You can still go to prison, and it’s not a nice place. So, be careful. Please be careful. I’m lucky enough to be blessed with extreme paranoia. Consider what a healthy level of paranoia is for your situation and what you’re up to, and err on the side of caution. The special saying is, ‘Only break one law at a time.’” -Joe

“What I’m really excited about is that in the next year or two, we’re going to have a lot more clinical data on this. Doctors will be a lot more comfortable with it, and this story will keep progressing in really interesting ways that I don’t really think we’re understanding how this is going to look in a couple years yet. Just how much 2020 has changed the movement, it’s going to be really intense over the next couple years.” -Joe

“I think if one thing that comes out of this is, as you say, forced creativity- we’re forced to make some of these changes, and what works, what doesn’t work? If things feel like they’re working in a different way, how do you keep that? Just thinking about coming back to the integration aspect of experiences- if something feels like that is moving in a new direction, how do you continue to follow that without needing to just snap back to what has worked in the past? Food for thought. ...If things start to shift a little bit, could we continue that change, or do we keep feeding a system that feels broken or isn’t helpful in our own evolution?” -Kyle

“22 veteran suicides a day- can we cut that in half through decriminalization initiatives? I don’t think the answer is yes. So like, what are the alternatives? Pharma. Pharma at scale doing what capital does. It might not be pretty but it might be able to save a lot of lives. And the decrim people looking at that as an evil, it’s like, what’s more evil: that happening, or all those people killing themselves because of what your tax dollars had them do? ...Your ideology might feel really pure but there might be a lot of subtext there that you’re missing.” -Joe

Links

Thegreenfund.com: Mark Zuckerberg Makes Donation to Legalize Psilocybin

Marijuanamoment.net: Mark Zuckerberg Supports Drug Decriminalization With Half-Million Dollar Oregon Campaign Donation

Yachatsnews.com: Oregon and national psychiatric associations come out in opposition to Measure 109 on Nov. 3 ballot

Norml.org: New Jersey: Voter Support Solidly in Favor of Marijuana Legalization Ahead of Ballot Initiative Vote

Westword.com: Denver Mushroom Dealer Pleads Guilty in Federal Court

Psychedelicreview.com: THC and the 5-HT2A Receptor: What’s Going On?

Journal of Cannabis Research: Cannabis as entheogen: survey and interview data on the spiritual use of cannabis

Psychedelics Today: Psychedelic Cannabis: Using the Plant for Healing Trauma

Thegrowthop.com: University of Toronto and Sansero Life Sciences join forces to study psychedelic medications

New Advancements in Psychedelic Integration - Mapping the Mind 2020 panel (youtube video)

Fiercehealthcare.com: NYU Langone, MindMed team up to launch training program for psychedelic therapies

Forbes.com: Field Trip Health, Another Psychedelic Therapy Company, Goes Public


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Oct 09, 2020
PT212 - Zoe Helene - Colonization, Coevolution, and Cosmic Sisterhood
02:06:22

In this episode, Joe interviews environmental and cultural activist, founder of advocacy group Cosmic Sister, and purveyor of psychedelic feminism, Zoe Helene. 

In this very open and free-form conversation, Zoe discusses her past corporate life in a male-dominated high tech world leading to a major change in her life and the creation of Cosmic Sister, the concepts of othering people and ableism, the importance of Michael Pollan's concept of coevolution/coextinction, how psychedelics potentiate identity-fluidity (most seen in gender-fluidity), how people usually talk about ayahuasca retreats damaging communities but rarely talk about the ways they benefit Indigenous people, the way Americans have a very fleeting, media-controlled attention span on social issues, how living in a patriarchy affects everyone, and how most men don't think about the ways it affects them.

They spend a lot of time talking about ancestry and colonization: the Mycenean and Minoan civilizations and their use of plant medicines, the tribalism of Greek people, Greek civilizations using plant medicines much more than most people think (not just the rights of Eleusis), the effects of colonization and the roots of cultural appropriation, and 2 tombs recently dug up with Signet rings depicting medicine women likely in an artistic depiction of ergot. 

Notable Quotes

“Colonization goes back and then goes back again, and it goes back again- it’s very complicated. It’s not just decolonizing the United States of America- it’s decolonizing from all the colonizers. Colonizing forces have been on this planet since the beginning of time, in little ways, in medium ways, and in big ways, and it’s still going on.”

“When people want to talk about Venus, I get on their cases about it. Don’t call her Venus. Call her Aphrodite. Don’t call her Venus, because Venus is a terrible version- it’s the patriarchal version by another culture. It’s appropriation. It’s no different from other appropriation that people talk about all the time”

“The idea of ayahuasca centers and ayahuasca tourists quote/unquote ‘going down and taking advantage’- I know there was some of that because there are always going to be bad people and there are also really crass, stupid tourists. There are. But, most people go there as a pilgrimage, and if anything, are guilty of kind of romanticizing the Indigenous people, in this way that they’re very ignorant- a lot of ignorance, where it’s like, ‘Oh, they all want to run around in grass skirts.’ No, they want a cell phone.”

“I hope people hold onto this change. ...It’s not a trend. Anti-racism should not be looked at as another damn trend. It needs to be something we keep working on. We can’t quit. Environment is the same- all the big things. This is, I think, a flaw in our culture that we have this idea- it’s a trait of our specifically American culture, where we are really fickle with news items. ...Remember when the Amazon was burning? It’s still burning, but everybody was devastated by that, as if that was the first time we’d ever seen the destruction of the great Amazon. ...I think, to American culture, and I’ve seen this- is that somewhere in the back of their head, they think it’s done. It’s fixed. ‘That got solved.’ It didn’t. And that’s the same with sexism, it’s the same with racism- all of these big social and environmental issues should not be considered trends.”

Links

Cosmicsister.com

Cosmic Sister Instagram

Smithsonianmag.com: Gold Rings Found in Warrior’s Tomb Connect Two Ancient Greek Cultures

Imdb.com: The Nightingale

Her past appearance on Psychedelics Today


About Zoe Helene

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Navigating Psychedelics

 

Oct 06, 2020
Solidarity Fridays 27
59:30

In today’s Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle sit down and dissect 3 recent items in the news.

First, they discuss a 2-year study on 18 older long-term AIDS survivors (OLTAS) with a high degree of demoralization and trauma, in which participants underwent 3 hours of individual psychotherapy, one 8 hour psilocybin session, and 12-15 hours of group therapy. While the study predictably showed improvement in demoralization after a 3-month follow-up, the bigger takeaway is the effectiveness of group therapy and the ability to replace hours of individual therapy, (in this case) cutting therapist time almost in half. With many people struggling to connect with facilitators but finding connection in groups, could group therapy work better to help with healing while also cutting costs? This brings up the concept of AI therapy and what improvements we could see by adding technology to this fairly established clinical model, both in cost and effectiveness.

They next talk about Decriminalize Nature Oregon groups urging voters to vote "no" on the upcoming Oregon Psilocybin Service Measure 109 due to them finding the measure to be highly restrictive and essentially putting these plant medicines behind a paywall, making it even more difficult for those with race and income-based trauma to gain access. They wonder why DN is so opposed to what they see as progress- why not come at the problem from all angles and embrace legality alongside other initiatives, especially in a time when we are likely to see huge spikes in pandemic-related PTSD?

This leads to a discussion of David Bronner of Dr. Bronner pulling funding from DN at a national level (but still supporting local initiatives) and the in-fighting that's seeming to happen everywhere with this battle. And that leads to money and the very common feeling that large donations usually come with ulterior motives. And how do you make sure they don't? Does taking money from someone to further your cause automatically make you a sell out? Or is there only a conflict if you have the contingency of the donor needing some sort of return on investment that affects the end goal?

Notable Quotes

“Let’s just keep experimenting and understanding what we lose when we get a little bit more technical, and perhaps also what we might gain. What would happen if you had your clients wearing a wearable, so you could review how their week actually was in data terms vs. self-reporting? That would be an interesting adjunct. And what happens when you do a full system thing with apps and the wearable being tied to that, to say, 'Alright, hey, you should go meditate for a little bit, [and] right now, because you are spiking' or 'Go do this bio-feedback thing for 5-10 and re-regulate and then go back to your day'?” -Joe

“I think a lot of people that are just starting off, that are looking for some sort of mental health treatment- they’re probably going to want this medical model. Going to a group setting scares the shit out of them. They might not want to go to ayahuasca ceremonies or these spiritually-oriented, self-development groups with people. They might want that one-on-one, individual session, maybe to start off with, until they can build up a little bit of expertise and understand their own inner psyche, where they say, ‘Huh, maybe I can explore different models and different uses of context now.’ But I think that is something that is important to try to explore too- what do the people want that are outside of these inner circles that are more seasoned psychonauts- people that are trying to push for some of these changes and trying to say, ‘Hey, this is the model that we want’? Well, does everyone want that? Is that going to work for everybody?” -Kyle

“There’s no real reason to think that laws stay forever. Laws are flexible. Laws are a pain in the butt. Laws are also amazing sometimes. So consider flexibility when thinking about laws and that citizens can change things. Perhaps we don’t get it right [on the] first try, but let’s get it right iteratively. This is the direction of right, in my mind- what OPS [Oregon Psilocybin Society] is doing.” -Joe

Links

Thelancet.com: Psilocybin-assisted group therapy for demoralized older long-term AIDS survivor men: An open-label safety and feasibility pilot study

Decriminalize Nature's facebook post/press release on Oregon Psilocybin Service Measure 109

Ballotpedia.org: More info on Measure 109

Drbronner.com: Clarifying Our Support of the Decriminalize Nature Movement and Challenges With Its National Leadership


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Navigating Psychedelics

 

Oct 02, 2020
Del Jolly - Psilocybin, Concussions and Unlimited Sciences' Mission
01:08:43

In this episode, Joe interviews Del Jolly: co-founder and Director of psychedelic research nonprofit Unlimited Sciences, previous Business Development Manager at Charlotte's Web, previous Outreach Director for Decriminalize Denver, and member of the Board of Advisors for cannabis nonprofit, The Realm of Caring.

Jolly talks about his path to Unlimited Sciences and its purpose: to collect as much data as possible through an observational research study through Johns Hopkins University, where participants are asked to provide as many details as possible about their psilocybin use. Like "Cannabis moms" Heather Jackson and Paige Figy collecting years of data from cannabis users through The Realm of Caring, Unlimited Sciences aims to do the same with psilocybin. They want data from recreational users as well, and they want to know where these users are, since location often establishes comfort levels (think about how much more relaxed someone would be in a decriminalized area like Denver vs. a country where you could be killed for doing these types of drugs). The goal is to use this data to find trends in all aspects of psilocybin use and figure out where to go next, both in terms of suggested use and legality.

Jolly talks about some athlete friends who are doing a lot, from UFC fighter Rashad Evans speaking on panels, to Blackhawks player Daniel Carcillo and his work with his organization Chapter 5, to Brandi Chastain pledging her brain to the Concussion Foundation. And he talks a lot about concussions and traumatic brain injuries- how female soccer players seem to get the most concussions (and women are more prone in general), how smaller, repetitive hits to the head often cause more damage than being knocked out, and how Marcus Capone of Veterans Exploring Treatment Solutions (VETS) believes it's not PTSD that's leading 22 veterans to commit suicide a day, but more likely post-concussive syndrome. And he talks about his hope for psilocybin to emerge as something that can help these people (and all people) legally. 

Notable Quotes

“If we never stopped studying psilocybin, we’d have about 50 years of research under our belt. Maybe there’s a slight possibility we’d be able to- and I’m not even kidding, help people walk again after being paralyzed.”

“If we want to slap on some dumbass bumper sticker that says ‘Support our troops,’ but then we really don’t, because we don’t want to look at psychedelics as an option or cannabis as an option, that doesn’t seem like supporting the troops. Supporting the troops, to me, means providing as many options as we can to these humans who have sacrificed everything to provide us the luxuries that we have. Can we please reciprocate to some degree and at least research this shit?” 

“Something has to be done to unify to some degree, because at the end of the day, the champions of this are these smaller nonprofits and the community. And the cold hard facts about these nonprofits and community and the veterans of this space- we don’t have the money that big pharma does. We don’t have the power that the political side does and if we don’t unify and have a pretty common goal, we will be crushed in a New York second. ...And realistically, if we just want to cannibalize ourselves by saying who’s ok and who’s not and all that jazz, it’s a waste of effort and it’s just going to speed up the opposition’s position.”

“This is a bipartisan subject in my opinion. Here’s how I see it- there’s not a single person who isn’t going to be affected or could not potentially benefit from the potential of something like psilocybin. Everybody, at least the last I checked, at some point, is going to suffer from depression or anxiety. ...If we would just open the floodgates on research, we’d be able to help these people. So, this is a human issue. This isn’t a red, blue, black, white- this is a humanity issue that we need to just get responsible and realistic about. And the time is now. We have the information. There’s no excuse anymore. There’s no excuse. There’s no excuse not to be exploring and understanding everything we can.”

Links

Unlimitedsciences.org

Unlimited Sciences' Study

Instagram

Realm of Caring

The Nowak Society's PSA

Chapter 5 Foundation

Game Brain: Bennet Omalu, Concussions, and the NFL: How One Doctor Changed Football Forever

VETS: Veterans Exploring Treatment Solutions

Concussion Legacy Foundation

The Beautiful Brain- Audible podcast info

Charlotte's Web


About Del Jolly

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Navigating Psychedelics

 

Sep 29, 2020
Solidarity Fridays - Week 26
57:32

In today’s Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle sit down and discuss recent items in the news.

They first discuss an update to last week's Michigan story: that this week, the Ann Arbor city council unanimously voted to decriminalize entheogenic plants. While this is great progress, remember that these substances are still illegal- just decriminalized, and as the saying goes: don't be the low-hanging fruit. This brings up the concept of likening the ability to get these substances to earning (and keeping) a driver's license, and the idea of temporary autonomous zones. 

Next, they talk about the formation of a global group called the Psychedelic Medicine Association (PMA), formed to bridge the gap between the medical establishment, patients, and the industry in general. While there are already organizations doing this to an extent (like the very website you're on right now), most doctors don't have the time needed to really dive in, and shorter sound bites or articles vetted by those in the know could be very beneficial towards their growth in this new (to them) field. 

They also report on a new study pinpointing exactly how psychedelics bind to 5-Ht2a serotonin receptors, which sets the stage for new kinds of antidepressants and antianxiety drugs, could help with cluster headaches, could even help explain HPPD (hallucinogen persisting perception disorder), and leads to a discussion of natural vs. synthetic drugs and the ethics of thinking someone needs to go through the psychedelic experience in order to heal.

Lastly, they discuss Compass Pathways going live on the stock market, starting at $17 a share and hitting $38 within a week, which leads to a discussion on how larger companies sue each other over valuable information but regularly take information from Indigenous people and people who've been working in the underground for years. In order to pay proper respect to plant medicine lineages, should we "take" MDMA, LSD, ketamine, and other synthetic substances as part of a western lineage and categorize them differently?

Notable Quotes

“That’s the vision that I would like to see. More expanded access, less legal presence. Less Empire interfering with the rebels.” -Joe

“Is it the case that people need psychedelic experience? No. I would prefer that more people have psychedelic experience, but I don’t think it’s an ethical obligation for more people to have it, or that ‘oh, in order to deserve healing, you need to go through that potentially tortuous or difficult experience [idea]'. Or joyous experience- it doesn’t have to be bad. There’s a lot there, and just thinking that people have an obligation to have the experience is a little whack to me.” -Joe

“The hard problem of consciousness is still there. What is mind? Where is mind? What is consciousness? Where is consciousness? Really big questions. We know mind appears real. We know consciousness appears real, but what is that? There’s a lot of questions left. Philosophy of mind and neuroscience are not really communicating too regularly. I saw headlines: ‘Oh look! LSD finally solved! We know how it works now!’ Like, yea, kind of, but not really, because we don’t even know what mind or consciousness is. ...Most people are willing to say ‘mind equals brain,’ and use interchangeably. I think that’s pretty common parlance, but I suggest people check it out. Dig in a little bit to philosophy of mind and limitations of neuroscience and mind. I’m not trying to say we shouldn’t do neuroscience- we absolutely should. But, making conclusive statements like, ‘Oh cool, since neuroscience said this, then God isn’t real' [is] kind of a goofy argument.” -Joe

“What it does it look like from a capitalistic point of view? X company develops a patent and then X other company goes over and wants to use that- what usually happens? There’s usually a lawsuit that entails, right? But if X company goes to an indigenous and underground community and extracts information and then they go use that to profit, what really happens there? Not much. The bigger company that has all the money usually will just dominate.” -Kyle

Links

Marijuanamoment.net: City Council Unanimously Votes To Decriminalize Psychedelics In Ann Arbor, Michigan

Wikipedia.org: Temporary Autonomous Zone info

Healtheuropa.eu: Psychedelics Association to Bridge Medical Establishment and Industry Gap

Plantmedicine.org (Dr. Lynn Marie Morski's podcast)

Psychologytoday.com: This Is Your Brain’s 5-HT2A Receptors on LSD or Psilocybin

Narrative Medicine: The Use of  History and Story in the Healing Process by, Lewis Mehl-Madrona

Genengnews.com: Scientists Solve High-Resolution Structure of Psychedelic Drugs Bound to Serotonin Receptors

Realmoney.thestreet.com: Compass Pathways Takes Investors on a Trip to Higher Prices


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Navigating Psychedelics

 

Sep 25, 2020
Vanessa LeMaistre - Embracing a Path to Spiritual Discovery
01:10:38

In this episode, Joe interviews shaman, motivational speaker, author, minister, and healer, Vanessa LeMaistre. 

LeMaistre talks about her path towards shamanism: from being told she was different as a child, to traveling to India at 25 and falling in love with yoga and meditating on the Ganges river, to a tarot card reading inspiring her to earn her Master's degree at Naropa University, to trying coca for the first time (without realizing ahead of time that that's what she'd be doing), to training with Michael Harner. Ultimately, what led her towards accepting her fate as a shaman was both healing from the devastating death of her infant son, Kamden, due to a very rare disease, and numerous ayahuasca ceremonies in Peru, where shamans told her that her ancestors were calling to her.

She talks about living with the odd uncertainty of feeling like she should become a shaman, tarot card readers, a neighbor at an ayahuasca ceremony's entity attachment and her interest in getting into entity extraction, her connection to Voodoo and interest in Haitian zombies, microdosing, homelessness and how some countries help each other compared to the U.S., the complications of being a shaman and trying to avoid narcissism, and what her travels have been like for her as a multi-raced woman in a world that is predominately full of white men.

LeMaistre offers spiritual coaching sessions, divination readings, sound bowl healing, motivational talks and spiritual coaching, facilitates healing talking circles (with a focus on diversity and inclusivity), and has started selling "Self-Love candles," which she prays over and sets with intentions. She also donates books and teaches children how to meditate through her non-profit, Kamden's Room, and has started a virtual "Soul Church," which people can attend through her website every Sunday at 1pm PST. 

Notable Quotes

“I’m finally coming to terms with accepting that, ‘You know what? Maybe there is no elder.’ I have been burned by so many people that are ‘spiritual leaders’ who are charlatans or frauds, and they’re posing as something and then they may get threatened by the power I bring, or they’re afraid that I’m going to catch them. I’ve just kind of taken it as: ‘let me learn as much as I can from what I don’t want to be, and accept that maybe there are no elders, and I’m on the verge of becoming an elder myself.’”

“It was the most spiritual experience of my entire life. I have never seen the veil so thin to where I was getting premonitions, prophecies… It was very enlightening in the sense that I had a big impairment- and I’ll just be transparent here- I had a big impairment on a personal level with accepting my physical experience, and I had a lot of complexities around understanding that I was beautiful. And this night- it showed me who I was, what I need to do, and really started this process of coming into accepting myself as I am.”

“In plant medicine circles too- most of them that I’ve sat in, I’ve always been the only black person, which has been interesting. And even being in the jungle, and having that experience with that person, I was the only female as well, so that was uncomfortable. ...I’ll see ads for “Shamanic drumming- Michael Harner,” but it’s always a person who looks a certain way, and I’ve never seen anyone that looks like me. Well, why not get someone like me? ...I think it’s important for people to see someone who’s multi-raced, who’s diverse, and who’s passionate and an advocate for psychedelics, especially considering, within our community, how many people don’t know what it is.”

Links

Website: vanessasoulxo.com

Instagram

Octavio Rettig and Gerry Sandoval open letter/info


About Vanessa LeMaistre

After going through childhood experiencing a plethora of sexual abuse and dealing with the absence of her father to protect her, she has overcome a tremendous amount of trauma. When she was 25 she was a lost soul who found her way through yoga and traveling to India for spiritual trainings. Later down her journey, she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy who passed away 9-months later. Since then, Vanessa has stepped into her path as a shaman and a holistic healer. She has created a virtual church called Soul Church where people can congregate in community through ritual and conversation.

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Navigating Psychedelics

 

Sep 22, 2020
Solidarity Fridays - Week 25
01:06:18

In today’s Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle discuss recent items in the news and dive into cannabis-assisted psychotherapy after Joe recently helped with his first session.

They discuss Compass Pathways' projection that their upcoming stock price could be $14-$16 a share, giving them a possible valuation of as much as $544 million and the problem of having Peter Thiel as one of their leading investors, as it has recently come to surface that he met with white nationalists in 2016 and had good things to say about them. This, in addition to his concerning data-mining company, Palantir Technologies, soon going public puts a lot of the wrong attention and bad press on Compass Pathways.

They talk about UC Berkeley launching a new center for psychedelic science and education with Michael Pollan as one of the co-founders, Decriminalize Nature Ann Arbor putting forth to the city council a resolution to decriminalize entheogenic substances on September 21st, and progress in Washington D.C. and Chicago's decriminalization efforts. They also talk about Dr. Bronner's new "Heal soul!" campaign, which includes new labeling about psychedelic-assisted therapy and a 10% donation of net October sales towards several familiar organizations including: MAPS, Heroic Hearts Project, The Indigenous Peyote Conservation Initiative (IPCI), and Veterans Exploring Treatment Solutions, Inc. (VETS).

Lastly, they talk about cannabis-assisted psychotherapy sessions and how similar they are to both psychedelic and breathwork sessions, how Kyle uses cannabis and somatic work together, and how established worldviews and paradigms can shift through narratives and critical analysis from both sober and psychedelic-assisted thinking.

And finally, the next round of Navigating Psychedelics (beginning September 17th) is now officially sold out, but dates for the next round will be announced soon if you missed your chance. Additionally, there is a new class offering which explores Jungian psychology called Imagination as Revelation, developed by Kyle and Johanna Hilla-Maria Sopanen, and a new class with Lenny Gibson coming in October about the history of western philosophy (info/sign up here). 

Notable Quotes

On cannabis use: “It’s always been very psychedelic to me. The way I work with it is somatically, being able to lie down, incorporate some of the breathing techniques, do movement, do yoga, do some bodywork, and to really work with whatever is coming up in my body that way, maybe play some music... I kind of started developing this naturally over 10+ years just from-- it was like listening to the plant saying ‘this is how I should be used’ in a sense. Like, ‘every time you go do something stupid with me, X might happen.’ So I started getting the message of: use this more consciously. This is a tool for inner exploration.” -Kyle

“It’s this cultural baggage around cannabis. We think ‘oh you smoke it at a Grateful Dead show’ or ‘you watch Cartoon Network late at night while you’re smoking pot.’ You don’t think: ‘Let me close my eyes with intention and journey with it.’ That’s not part of our cultural vision of the plant and our relationship to it. Though, why not? There’s no reason not to. If we can cure or help manage or treat a lot of these things happening in our psyche with cannabis, what kind of miracle is that?” -Joe

“Similar to Robert Anton Wilson’s kind of reality tunnels, you can flip on the Marxist lens, you can flip on the existentialist lens, or modern capitalist lenses just to allow you to get a better picture of what’s happening in front of you. You’re never going to see objective reality but you can get closer and closer and closer. And the more lenses you use, the better you’re going to get. Does a single telescope give you a great idea about a planet? No, but when you have 400, you’re going to have a lot better [idea]. What happens when you throw a satellite out there and you’re able to see from outside the atmosphere?” -Joe

“I guess I come back to narrative a lot. If you’re telling somebody that they are sick and broken, what are they going to think about that, that they’re never going to be able to heal? Is there power in narrative? If you have a more hopeful narrative, can people heal? I’m just thinking about even in breathwork experiences, where I’ve visited narratives that are so embedded in me and then going through a breathwork session, being like ‘holy shit, maybe I don’t actually need to subscribe to that narrative anymore. Maybe that’s something I’ve been holding onto for so long, and maybe I do have the internal power to change.' But most people just say, ‘no, that’s what it is. That’s going to be your lifelong sentence.’ Maybe not. How do we encourage people that they can change?” -Kyle

Links

Investors.com: The First Psychedelic Drug IPO Could Be Worth More Than Half A Billion Dollars

Buzzfeednews.com: Peter Thiel Met With The Racist Fringe As He Went All In On Drumpf

Vox.com: Everything you need to know about Palantir, the secretive company coming for all your data

News.berkeley.edu: UC Berkeley launches new center for psychedelic science and education

Metrotimes.com: Ann Arbor to consider decriminalizing psychoactive mushrooms, plants

Washingtonpost.com: D.C. residents to vote on decriminalization of ‘magic mushrooms’ on November ballot

Psychedelicreview.com: Chicago Follows Oakland, Introduces Resolution to Decriminalize Psychedelic Plants

Dr. Bronner: Support Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies to Heal the Soul!

Dr. Bronner's new "Heal Soul" label


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Navigating Psychedelics

 

Sep 18, 2020
Ash - CBD, Nootropics, and Micro1p
01:18:54

In this episode, Joe interviews Ash: Netherlands-based psychedelic entrepreneur with his hands in many psychedelic spaces- drug manufacturing company Synergy Trading, nootropics company Cerebra Nootropics, and podcast, Shifty Perspective.  

Ash talks about his path from trying San Pedro on a farm, to trying DMT and living on the road and in squats for years, to moving to Belgium from the UK, to finding his way into the world of CBD after a friend recommended it for his epileptic girlfriend at the time. When she went from 12 seizures a day to none within a month of starting regular CBD use, he started a CBD company to sell to consumers at much cheaper prices than had been established, as well as to provide CBD for researchers. He eventually moved to the Netherlands and started a nootropics company, which has started manufacturing Micro1p, the world's first legal lysergamide microdosing product, which uses LSD's active ingredient (available only through their website, and only to specified countries (the U.S. is not one of them)). 

Among other things, they also discuss U.S. state law vs. federal law and the differences between U.S. policy and the UK, big corporations' willingness to lock people up to ensure continued profits, the idea of DMT being used with VR, Daniel McQueen's DMTX extended state DMT-infusion pump, UK harm-reduction group The Loop, his new CBD drink called Galaxy, how much he loved and came to partially fund the recent Dosed documentary, and nootropics and the idea of having a "health-span" instead of a lifespan.

Notable Quotes

“I feel that I want to change the world, and I feel that psychedelics are one of the many great ways of changing humanity for the better, and I’m going to do whatever it takes.”

On corporations funding opposition to alternative medicines: “It’s pretty demoralizing when these billion-dollar industries are just totally stopping it because it’s taking away from their potential profit. ...They’re the biggest cartels in the world, really.”

"I think that the medical and spiritual things kind of actually intertwine. Things like anxiety and depression are crippling society. So many people have horrendous pressure on them from these high-stress lives. It’s exhausting just living- all the pressure from jobs and education. So there’s higher suicide rates [from] people suffering and being over medicated. I think with psychedelics, we can just reduce that massively. I’m not saying we can globally cure depression and anxiety and everyone’s going to be happy, but even if we reduced it by 5%- even by a percent, it would be a huge seismic change in people’s lives and their attitudes, and that kind of goes hand in hand with opening people up, which then brings people together. So by tackling those huge problems, it allows people to talk about their problems. ...And we can actually start to bring people together.”

Links

micro1p.com

Cerebra Nootropics

Synergy Trading (where Galaxy CBD drink will be released)

Shifty Perspective Podcast

The Loop (drug-testing/harm reduction nonprofit)

Psychedelics Today: Daniel McQueen's (DMTX) most recent visit

Psychedelics Today: Tyler Chandler, Nick Meyers and Adrianne: Dosed Movie


About Ash

As an innovative business man with a history working in the CBD industry, Ash likes to get his hands on as many projects that he can handle. He has a firm belief that the products offered by Synergy Trading can help better humanity.

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Navigating Psychedelics

 

Sep 12, 2020
Solidarity Fridays - Week 24
01:01:50

In today's Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle discuss several recent items in the news that further the advancement of psychedelics, including: Canadian company Havn Lifescience following Compass Pathways' lead and registering with the Canadian Securities Exchange under the symbol HAVN, Amsterdam-based psychedelic retreat company Synthesis announcing that leading Clinical Psychologist Dr. Rosalind Watts has joined their advisory board (which also includes Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris, who joined in November), European psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy company AWAKN Life Sciences Inc. announcing the launch of its Commercial Clinical Research Division with Professor David Nutt and (past Psychedelics Today guest) Dr. Ben Sessa at the helm, a recent study at the National Center for Biotechnology Information that further proved that psychedelics promote structural and functional neural plasticity, and a new app called "Trip" from Field Trip Psychedelics Inc., which was designed to help people through psychedelic trips, and brings up the very difficult balance of encouraging harm reduction and safety while also essentially promoting dangerous experiences. 

They also discuss a recent article in ScienceAlert, which focused on the similarities between psychedelic trips and religious experiences through 288 people filling out a Mystical Experience Questionnaire, the Good Friday experiments’ roots of this questionnaire, and the important point that not all good data needs to be scientific and collected through clinical trials.

They also talk about books by Louis Cozolino and Rick Strassman, Strassman's DMT-pineal gland hypothesis, whole-plant statistics vs. single-molecule statistics, the idea that LSD could promote life extension, the insensitivity and danger of playing music with historically bad roots during sessions (like playing anti-semitic composer Richard Wagner's works), and the possible similarities between COVID isolation and the concept of nuclear families. 

And they remind us that spots for the next round of Navigating Psychedelics (beginning September 17th) are going quickly- the early class is sold out, but spots remain for group 2, so sign up now! Additionally, there is a new class offering called Imagination as Revelation, developed by Kyle and Johanna Hilla-Maria Sopanen, which explores Jungian psychology.

Notable Quotes

“These competitive forces are going to continue to drop prices, and I think that is optimistic for accessibility, long-term. But, you know, realistically, this comes back to the same question- are psychedelics exclusively in the domain of psychiatry, or do they belong elsewhere? Is peer to peer use ok? I think yes, but how do we, as a culture, kind of land on that? That’s the big question. I think a lot of psychiatrists probably agree that people should just be able to use mushrooms when they want to, or LSD when they want to. Others would be vehemently opposed, but there are people in that field that are on our side of liberation and cognitive liberty and whatnot. So it’s there. It’s coming, I think, and competition plays a part.” - Joe

“If we’re in isolation, we’re probably going to see brain atrophy. If we’re in community, we’re going to see heightened neural activity. And perhaps the brain will come back alive with the heightened neural activity. I remember hearing somebody recently talk about a visit to the actor/singer Jamie Foxx’s house. You know, super rich, right? But he’s got at least 20 people in the house at all times, and perhaps that’s how some high performers do so well- is that they’re just always around folks. ...I’m wondering, are nuclear families toxic? Is the concept of a nuclear family one of the major factors at play here?” -Joe

“You can have a mystical experience. DMT doesn’t necessarily need to be involved at all. Does that take away from the value for you? If so, why? Are you fetishizing DMT? There are a lot of other drugs out there that do amazing things. Your brain is an amazing thing. The human psyche is an amazing thing. Why not fetishize the highest thing, which is psyche and its relation to the universe?” -Joe

Links

Digitaljournal.com: Havn Life Sciences Announces Filing of Final Prospectus and Conditional Approval for Listing on CSE

Synthesis press release: Synthesis Welcomes Leading Clinical Psychologist Dr. Rosalind Watts To The Advisory Board

Yahoo Finance: AWAKN Life Sciences Launches Clinical Research Division with Prof. David Nutt & Dr. Ben Sessa Identifying Suitable Studies Across Europe & North America

Psychedelics Today: Ben Sessa's appearance

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov: Psychedelics Promote Structural and Functional Neural Plasticity

Book recommendation: The Neuroscience of Human Relationships: Attachment And the Developing Social Brain, by Louis Cozolino

GreenEntrepreneur: New App Helps Guide Your Psychedelic Trip

Wavepaths.com

ScienceAlert: Psychedelic 'Trips' Really Are Similar to Religious Experiences in Many Ways

Trippingly.net: The Mystical Experience Questionnaire (MEQ30)

Book recommendation: DMT and the Soul of Prophecy: A New Science of Spiritual Revelation in the Hebrew Bible, by Rick Strassman

Youtube: David Nichols- DMT And The Pineal Gland: Facts vs Fantasy

DailyMail: Meet the scandal-hit son Drumpf is hoping will cost Joe Biden the Presidency


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Sep 10, 2020
Wade Davis - Ayahuasca and a New Hope for Colombia
01:23:55

In this episode, Joe interviews Wade Davis: Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, explorer, ethnobotanist, star of the recent documentary, "El Sendero de la Anaconda," and author of several books, including  bestseller The Serpent and the Rainbow, which was optioned for a movie, starring Bill Pullman and released by Universal Pictures in 1988. His new book, Magdalena: River of Dreams: A Story of Colombia, comes out on September 15th. 

Wade discusses his history with Richard Evans Schultes, the strange phenomenon behind the growth of ayahuasca compared to other more benign plants, how set and setting can shift expectations across generations, how Indigenous people treat plant medicines in comparison to the western world, the difference between ayahuasca and yagé, Haitian zombies, Voodoo, and the mystery of how Indigenous people have been able to identify plants and learn of their combined effects through the plants speaking to them.

He also speaks about his hatred of cocaine and the damage it has caused Colombia and its people from US drug laws and global consumption leading to violence and deforestation for generations. He's working to decouple cocaine from the coca plant (hopefully through some sort of future coca nutraceutical like a chewing gum or tea), encourage people to stop supporting the illicit cocaine market, and to think of Colombia differently than its unfair reputation encourages. Through his new book, which has been called a love letter to Colombia, he hopes to show people that everything they think they know about Colombia is wrong.

Notable Quotes

“This sort of quest for individual health and healing, for individual enlightenment, individual growth- which, at some level, is completely understandable, but it is also a reflection, in good measure, of our own culture of self- the ongoing center of narcissism, the idea that one’s purpose in life is to advance one’s own spiritual path or one’s own destiny... that is, in my experience, very much not what is going on in the traditional reaches of the northwest Amazon, where the plant (the medicine) both originated, but also, where today, it’s taken very much as a collective experience, such that the ritual itself becomes a prayer for the continuity and the wellbeing of the people themselves- where you’d never even think of this in terms of self or i.”

“All of these cultures are fundamentally driven by this idea that they, themselves, are the stewards of the forest- that plants and animals are just people in another dimension of reality, that there’s a transactional relationship between human beings and the natural world so that the hunter is both hunted and the hunter; where you don’t simply go to get meat, you must seek permission to get that meat; where the shaman is less a healer than a nuclear engineer who periodically goes to the very heart of the reactor to reprogram the world.”

“I still am incredibly loyal to that passage in my life, and I find that I’m very proud and happy to say that I wouldn’t write the way I write, I wouldn’t think the way I think, I wouldn’t treat gay people the way I treat gay people, I wouldn’t treat women the way I treat women, I wouldn’t understand the power and resonance of biology- of nature itself, if I hadn’t taken psychedelics.”

“Everybody who uses illicit cocaine, I’m sorry to tell you, has the blood of Colombian people [and] the near destruction of a nation on [their] hands.”

“Everything you’ve ever heard about Colombia is wrong, and this dark cliche that has persisted is completely inaccurate, and an injustice to a people whose miseries have largely been caused by our actions- our prohibition of drugs and our propagating of this war on drugs, and of course our consumption of this horrible drug.”

Links

Website: daviswade.com

Pre-order his new book, Magdalena: River of Dreams (out 9/15)

"El Sendero de la Anaconda" documentary: trailer and info

Recent Rolling Stone article: "The Unraveling of America"


About Wade Davis

Wade Davis is an Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society. Named by the NGS as one of the Explorers for the Millennium, he has been described as “a rare combination of scientist, scholar, poet and passionate defender of all of life’s diversity.” In recent years his work has taken him to East Africa, Borneo, Nepal, Peru, Polynesia, Tibet, Mali, Benin, Togo, New Guinea, Australia, Colombia, Vanuatu, Mongolia and the high Arctic of Nunuvut and Greenland. An ethnographer, writer, photographer, and filmmaker, Davis holds degrees in anthropology and biology and received his Ph.D. in ethnobotany, all from Harvard University. Mostly through the Harvard Botanical Museum, he spent over three years in the Amazon and Andes as a plant explorer, living among fifteen indigenous groups in eight Latin American nations while making some 6000 botanical collections. His work later took him to Haiti to investigate folk preparations implicated in the creation of zombies, an assignment that led to his writing Passage of Darkness (1988) and The Serpent and the Rainbow (1986), an international best seller later released by Universal as a motion picture.

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Sep 08, 2020
Solidarity Fridays - Week 23
53:29

In today's Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle discuss recent items in the news.

They cover a new LSD microdose trial to study the effects of 5, 10, or 20 µg on acute pain, seeing how long participants could hold their hands in 37.4° F water. Led by researchers from Maastricht University with help from the Beckley Foundation, this is the first study of its kind since Eric Kast first studied the effects of LSD on acute pain in the 1960s, and could help lead to LSD being prescribed for acute pain over the more standard and very addictive and dangerous opioids. This leads towards the topic of pain in general and our relationship with it- can we figure out how to have pain not affect us the same way by not giving it the same attention we're used to giving it?

They talk about Compass Pathways filing an application with the SEC for a NASDAQ listing, as well as already raising over $80 million towards funding clinical trials for psilocybin-based therapy for treatment-resistant depression, and the ways corporations being tradeable in such a public view is good for everyone: improved market sentiment and opinion towards psychedelic companies, increases in mergers and acquisitions, and a trickle-down monetary effect for other companies in the same sphere. 

And they talk about Mind Medicine Australia applying to reschedule both psilocybin and MDMA from their Schedule 9 category (dealing with prohibited substances) to Schedule 8 (which deals with controlled medicines). If they're successful, they'll be the first country in the world to successfully de-schedule these substances. This leads to a discussion of drug policy work and the drug war, why it's ok for some parties to only focus on one part of the psychedelic renaissance, giving thanks to the people who fought for years to get us to where we are today, and recognizing privilege when trying to keep psychedelics within specific clinical containers to afford job security. 

They also discuss Papadosio's new album, "Microdosio," and remind us that spots for September 17th's early Navigating Psychedelics class are sold out, but spots remain for group 2, so sign up now! Additionally, there is a new class offering called Imagination as Revelation, developed by Kyle and Johanna Hilla-Maria Sopanen.

Notable Quotes

“Why are we concerned about prescribing LSD in this way if somebody can get a huge bottle of benzos or opiates and easily die from those? You can’t really easily die from LSD. You might have a weird time and get in trouble, but you’re not going to die, and you’re not going to get addicted.” -Joe

“It seems, as a culture, we kind of are more ok with the stupors and the depressants- alcohol and opioids and benzos and stuff like that. And some of these other substances that maybe help us perceive things a little bit differently, in another way, are stigmatized. I don’t know, maybe that’s just our relationship with consciousness- that there needs to be a 'right' way of seeing the world.” -Kyle

“If it’s just going to stay within the clinical paradigm, what about the people that can’t get access to it, that are still going to be arrested for these substances? If we’re really thinking about people’s overall wellness and health and life, do we want potential clients- people that are already suffering- then in jail or having part of their rights taken away from them because maybe they were trying to heal? I think it is important for us in the professional world to also speak up about drug policy. And I know it’s scary because it does feel like professional suicide at times, because you want to keep it within that clinical scope so you can feel professional and remain professional, but I don’t know, I just think about people who are trying to heal.” -Kyle

“What do we have in the world for young people to help them with meaning-making? Next to nothing. We’ve got like, angry memes, 4chan, horrifying bullying online, and that’s just a place-holder because there’s no meaning- there’s no context for where you fit into society that makes sense. For an entity as amazing as humans, that’s a big deal. Humans are amazing, and that’s probably something we agree on- a human being is a fascinating, interesting, infinitely powerful thing. Endlessly interesting. So to just say ‘ok, all you’ve got is video games and being an asshole on youtube,’ like, really? Is that what life is? What if you were able to give these people deep, ritualistic initiations into adulthood with 3-5 grams of mushrooms, given they were screened appropriately? What a send-off into adulthood.” -Joe

Links

Newatlas.com: LSD microdose trial for acute pain relief reports “remarkable” results

Beckleyfoundation.org: Can LSD microdosing reduce pain perception?

Liveforlivemusic: Papadosio Releases Eighth Studio Album, ‘Microdosio’

Theseedinvestor.com: Compass Pathways Files For NASDAQ Listing: Psychedelics Game-Changer

Press release: Mind Medicine Australia Submits Australian-First Application for the
Rescheduling of Psilocybin and MDMA

Psychedelics Today Shop


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Sep 04, 2020
Sara Reed - Ketamine Therapy Through a Culturally Responsible Lens
01:06:12

In this episode, Joe and Kyle interview Sara Reed, MS, LMFT, creator of Mind's Eye Health Solutions, and Director of Psychedelic Services at the Behavioral Wellness Clinic in Connecticut.

Reed talks about her path to psychedelics- from graduating with a masters in emerging family therapy and wanting to do research specifically with black Americans, to working with Dr. Monica Williams and eventually MAPS, to being selected as one of the therapists for a phase 3 MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trial (which focused on people of color), to making the transition from practicing with MDMA to ketamine based mostly on one woman with racial trauma and her amazing transformation through ketamine-assisted therapy. 

They talk about her process and practice, from the screening process to building relationships and rapport, trying to determine if ketamine is the right path, what dosing she prefers, and setting expectations; to the post-session check-ins and integration, how she practices everything through a cultural lens and personalizes treatment based on her level of connection, how important it is to know when to intervene and when to be a silent partner, stories of purging and the meaning behind it, the significance of dreams clients have around sessions, and her concerns surrounding emerging online ketamine therapy.  

Sara Reed will be giving a presentation on chacruna.net on September 3rd concerning culturally responsible care with ketamine therapy.

Notable Quotes

“Just as much as we want to emphasize how transformative ketamine can be used as an adjunct to psychotherapy, I think it’s equally as important to emphasize the integration. Because you can have these insights all day long in psychedelic-assisted sessions, but it’s really integrating those experiences and those insights into real practice where I see a lot of the therapeutic work coming in, and the importance of the therapeutic work is to really integrate those insights into practice.” 

“Isn’t that so interesting how, even as therapists, we’re still, in these moments, trying to control the outcome of what happens? I think these moments definitely remind me that I’ve got the skills, and I’ve got the training, and that I also must surrender to the process and check myself about my own process as a therapist.”

“This idea that we have around the healing process- that healing has to be this painful, ‘no pain, no gain’ kind of healing that you have to go through (which, I think in some aspects- absolutely, healing can be painful. It can be challenging). But, joy can also be an important process of healing. And experiencing love can be an important process of healing, or experiencing relief.”

“I’m not trying to be the spokesperson for people of color- for black people, around what diversity, equity and inclusion looks like in this work. And I’m even trying to be mindful about how many talks I do accept, and I’m always trying to refer other folks who have equally valuable perspectives and input around this work within this field to elevate other voices too, because I also think it’s important to value other perspectives. We can’t just be the only folks talking about it, because we’ve got our blind spots too.”

Links

Behavioral Wellness Clinic

mindseyehealth.com

chacruna.net

MAPS' Public Benefit Corporation

MAPS' Facebook

MAPS' Instagram


About Sara Reed, MS, LMFT

Sara received her undergraduate degree in Bioethics and Philosophy from the University of Louisville in Kentucky, and her M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Valdosta State University in Georgia. Prior to her move to Connecticut, she worked as a licensed marriage and family therapist associate at the Behavioral Wellness Clinic in Louisville. Sara Reed is a Marriage and Family Therapist at Behavioral Wellness Clinic in Tolland, CT. She is also a Study Therapist on the Psilocybin-Assisted Therapy research study for Major Depression at Yale University. As a socially-minded therapist, Sara works to advance health equity and upward social mobility for Black Americans.

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Sep 01, 2020
Solidarity Fridays - Week 22
01:14:46

In today's Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle have, in Joe's words, "a wildly rambling show." They cover topics in the news, including MAPS' recent completion of their Capstone Campaign, a non-profit fundraising effort to fund the final research required to seek FDA approval of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy (through which they raised $30 million from several high-profile names), MindMed's new LSD-MDMA "candy flipping" phase 1 trial set to commence later this year, Representative Earl Blumenauer's (D-OR) fundraising efforts for legal psilocybin and Oregon's ballot initiative becoming a measure that people can vote on in November, and the Usona Institute resuming their previously COVID-halted psilocybin studies.

They then talk about a lot of different things: how to achieve psychedelic states without plants or drugs, Grof's conclusions from 5000 sessions with clients, the dangers of Jim Jones-esque hero worship within communities, the seldom talked about global sacredness of tobacco, how big money coming into psychedelics both hurts and immensely helps the community, the Venus Project and the idea of restarting lives during the COVID life based on what really makes us happy, the impending doom of climate change and the changes we could all be making to help save ourselves, and the western tragedy of always working to become something and never just being. It's largely a conversation about lineage, and making sure to give thanks and respect to the people and history that led to where we are today- not just in the psychedelic sphere, but in all things.

They also remind us that spots for September's Navigating Psychedelics class are going fast, and there's a new class available called Imagination as Revelation, developed by Kyle and Johanna Hilla-Maria Sopanen.

Notable Quotes

“My girlfriend, for some reason, had the Republican National Convention on TV last night, and Ivanka Trump was talking, and talked a lot about addiction and how big of a situation opioid addiction is, which is totally true, but like, with her saying that, to me, what that means is that there’s going to be an increase in funding to the DEA and the drug war, not an increase in funding for treatment. Because typically speaking, that party doesn’t necessarily want to fund treatment; they want to fund prevention, which they see as the drug war. They’ve not noticed yet that their drug war isn’t effective. I’d like to congratulate drugs for winning the war on drugs.” -Joe

“Let’s just cut the shit with the drug war. It’s racist, it’s horrible, it’s killing a lot of people still, there’s tons of political prisoners, still, in jail for cannabis, which in many states is being sold and people are making a killing on. It’s just insane to me that people are going to jail for not hurting anybody.” -Joe

“When we say the ‘psychedelic community,’ what is that? There’s so many different subsets and so many different people with different agendas. You have the folks who might classify themselves as being part of the psychedelic community that go to festivals and raves and they’re really submerged in that art scene, you have the psychedelic community of therapists and psychiatrists and people in the medical model wanting to do that thing, you have the Decrim Nature folks, you have the shamanic lineages. You have all these different little subcategories within a larger generalization of an interest, and everybody’s approaching it differently. People want to see different things happen. How can we come together? ...How do we try to appreciate all different use cases and really respect where people are coming from and that we don’t need to fit it within these ‘this is the only way, this is the only model, and my way is better’ [paradigms]?” -Kyle 

“Whenever I think about the archetype of America and the west, I usually think of the hero. Can we stop playing the hero role and could we start to look back at other archetypes and really appreciate other archetypes? Like, why does everybody have to go out and slay the dragon?” -Kyle

“Are you just getting really expansive and manic and you want that same yacht Usher has? Or do you want a garden and a small home and some sort of a community around you? Both have a certain kind of appeal, but what’s more sustainable? What helps you connect with your family more and the planet more? It’s probably the garden.” -Joe

Links

James "Kiwi" Oroc Fundraiser

Psychedelic Research Fundraising Campaign Attracts $30 Million in Donations in 6 Months, Prepares MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for FDA Approval

Landmark clinical trial exploring LSD-MDMA combo to begin late 2020

Congressman Raising Money To Legalize Psychedelic Mushroom Therapy

Madison nonprofit furthers research on psychedelic drug and depression

Elon Musk's Neuraslink update: How to watch, start time, 'working' device demo


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Aug 28, 2020
Dr. LaMisha Hill - The Fight for Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity
01:15:38

In this episode, Joe interviews Dr. LaMisha Hill, licensed Counseling Psychologist, board member of the Alameda County Psychological Association, and Director of Multicultural Affairs for the Office of Diversity and Outreach at the University of California, San Francisco.

Hill talks about how race and gender of underrepresented people come into play in the psychedelic sphere- in studies, professions, and even in people's consideration of psychedelics as a possible healer for them: how most psychology follows the same well-worn, Euro-centric, fairly western, mostly-for-well-off-college-students paradigm, how even when culture and history are added later on, it's never the center of it, how ignorance (or flat out erasing) of history leads to entire groups of people feeling that they're not welcome in this world, how classicism is a much bigger problem than people make it out to be, and how to most people, there is a certain image that comes to mind when PTSD and trauma are discussed, and it rarely includes historical trauma, human trafficking, sexual violence against women of color and people across the gender spectrum, etc.- it is usually of a white soldier or white victim of sexual violence.

She talks about how we can all improve- having discussions and supporting groups that are doing the right thing, including more people from underrepresented cultures in studies (or even centering the studies around them), living the indigenous culture ideas of "spirit first" and honoring and respecting the magic (and doing so with energy), and most importantly, being an ally: educating yourself about people outside your normal social identities, centering the people you choose to be in alignment with, identifying where you have power and/or a voice, and using your resources for the betterment of the community.

Notable Quotes

“Race is not real. We have been set apart from one another for the purpose of capitalism, colonialism, exploitation and subjugation of a particular community that has roots in colorism and anti-black racism and slavery in our western American culture, and we continue to adopt in other people in the world based on the categories and classifications that we label onto people. So racism has huge effects, but race, in and of itself, is not real. So the opportunity that we have in the landscape of psychedelics, I really think, is towards unity.”

“If you didn’t think about your neighbor, if you showed up from a place of i- that you didn’t come from a place of we, try again. It’s not too late. If you showed up and your website or your narrative around whatever you’re doing in the landscapes of psychedelics doesn’t include honor and recognition for indigenous communities around the world, rewrite it. If you have the ability and the power to actually say ‘hey, we’re engaging in these studies and we did it in the way that studies are always done, and maybe we can actually reframe who we’re centering in this work,’ try again. If you give a talk or a TED talk or go on the next podcast and you’re talking about your particular jam that you love and that’s the thing that you do, but you didn’t give honor and recognition, try again. That’s all. Because in doing so, other people are going to be able to hear themselves- it’s like a drum, it’s like a call- because you have to thump it and let them know that they are invited. They are welcomed.”

“The invitation to practice inclusion- let’s pause and look at the ways that we’re perpetuating structural oppression and non-belonging, and pivot towards strategies and principles of equity. Because when equity becomes structural, it’s not contingent on people doing the right thing. People are always going to need to catch up, examine themselves, learn more, grow. ...Hearts and minds have to grow, but while they’re growing, we can actually pivot policies and practices that are going to bring about equity.”

Links

Twitter

Naming It podcast, with Dr. Bedford Palmer II and Dr. LaMisha Hill


About Dr. LaMisha Hill

LaMisha Hill (pronouns: she, her, hers) is the Director of the MRC. Originally from the Chicago-Land Area, Dr. Hill moved to the west coast to complete a Doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology at the University of Oregon. Dr. Hill holds over 6 years of experience in higher education, and has supported students at two UC campuses. Most recently, she completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Psychology at UC Berkeley’s Counseling and Psychological Services. Prior to moving to the Bay Area, Dr. Hill completed a Pre-Doctoral Internship at the Counseling Center, UC Riverside.
Dr. Hill’s professional experiences include providing direct clinical services to graduate and undergraduate students, engaging in outreach with campus partners, group facilitation, and program development/evaluation. She holds expertise in college student mental health, multicultural counseling, and assessment. Dr. Hill was the recipient of a 2014 UC Berkeley Spot Award, for herservice with The Mentoring Center (an Oakland based non-profit that supports youth of color).
Dr. Hill is passionate about advocacy, education, equity, and mentorship and strives to support students with navigating the complexities of a University system. Professionally, she is dedicated to multiculturalism, diversity, and supporting underrepresented communities. Dr. Hill is honored to join the Office of Diversity and Outreach under the leadership of Dr. Renée Navarro.

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Aug 25, 2020
Solidarity Fridays - Week 21
01:01:28

In today's Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle sit down and discuss recent items in the news, including the passing of Tav Sparks; author, therapist, co-director of Grof Transpersonal Training, and creator of "Movie Yoga," and scientist Jordi Riba; one of the early pioneers of ayahuasca research and one of the first ever to bring it into the lab. 

They discuss the ayahuasca episode of the new Netflix docuseries "Unwell," and 2 articles from Marijuana Moment: psychedelic activists in Oakland creating a guideline for plant medicine healing ceremonies and the new initiative to allow for legal use in controlled settings, and 4 state attorney generals and 50 current and former law enforcement officials sending a letter to Congress endorsing a federal marijuana legalization bill after a recent poll showed that 62% of likely voters support it. As Joe says, "It's about time... 20 years ago."

And lastly, they discuss Bright Minds Biosciences' recent tweet claiming that the future is in what they're working on: modifying molecules in psilocybin to reduce trip times from 4-6 hours to 60-90 minutes. While this could be huge for people who can't safely partake in longer trips, and more specifically for sufferers of cluster headaches, they wonder about intention: is this for the betterment of mankind or just for profit and headlines? Isn't sitting with the trip part of the healing? Isn't integration afterward even more important? Is this a new tool/solution, or a band-aid? Is it all of the above? 

This leads to Kyle sharing that a friend of his recently committed suicide, and the reminder that we all need to practice self-care- it's never been more important than it is now in our current disconnected, online, fearful, COVID lives- even the smallest effects of what's going on can take a big psychological toll. Remember to take care of yourselves, folks. 

Notable Quotes

“We just need more and more drugs, but we have to be able to see through this marketing junk so we know how to appropriately contextualize it, and not just fall prey to ‘Oh cool, this is the right drug. This is the best drug, it has the most research behind it.’ Subtext: this just had the most pharma dollars behind it.” -Joe

“Do we really need these fast solutions? I think, on one hand, yes, because some people are definitely going to kill themselves tomorrow. At least 22+ veterans are going to kill themselves tomorrow, which is horrible- and today, and yesterday and every day until we have some sort of good intervention, or the numbers go [down]. It’s really tough. But also, no. Are we just slapping a band-aid on and saying, ‘cool, go get sick again’?” -Joe

“When I think about these quick, band-aid-like substances, like, ‘Oh yes, you can just do your healing.’ Well, this is where the integration comes in. Do you have that support network? Are you living a life that feels like it’s in balance with how you want to live? Are you surrounded by good people? Are you surrounded by that community? Are you taking care of yourself?” -Kyle

“Scary shit, but as a species, we’ll get through it. Individual tragedies don’t usually slow down the machine of human progress. And we’re going to see a continually exciting series of events, I think, for the next 70 years. So I don’t think, you and I, in our lifetime, Kyle, are going to get bored. We might be horrified at times, we might be amazed at times, but we’re going to see slow progress.” -Joe

Links

Tav Sparks' bio and obituary

Jordi Riba's obituary

60 Minutes: Researchers experimenting with psychedelics to treat addiction, depression and anxiety

The dark side of wellness: behind a Netflix series on a murky industry

Daniel Moler's Mothervine

Advocates Unveil Guide For Psychedelic Healing Ceremonies They Hope To Legalize In Oakland

Top State Cops Tell Congress To Legalize Marijuana As New Poll Shows Strong Voter Support

Bright Minds Biosciences's tweet

brightmindsbio.com


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Aug 21, 2020
Jerry and Julie Brown - Healing Through Mystical Experience
01:06:12

In this episode, Joe interviews Julie and Jerry Brown. Jerry (Ph.D.) is an author and activist, who served as professor of anthropology at Florida International University in Miami for 42 years. Julie (M.A.) is an author and integrative psychotherapist, working with cancer patients with a focus on guided imagery. Together, they are co-authors of The Psychedelic Gospels: The Secret History of Hallucinogens in Christianity.

They talk about their blogpost on Psychedelics Today and inspiring recent studies: Walter Pahnke's psilocybin study at NYU and  Roland Griffiths' studies at Johns Hopkins and the amazing results at each, Robin Carhart-harris' MRI analysis, and some of Julie's recent successes using guided imagery to heal 3 clients of cancer without any conventional cancer treatment.

They talk about guided imagery and the body's ability to heal itself, how mystical states actually help heal people, how disease starts in the mind, Greece's Rights of Eleusis, and their own personal life-changing psychedelic experiences related to Johns Hopkins' 5 common elements of mystical experience.

And they talk about their most popular book, The Psychedelic Gospels: The Secret History of Hallucinogens in Christianity, which highlights images of mushrooms and psychedelic art found throughout Christian history (all the way back to Gnostic Gospels), and their possible relationship to the birth of Christianity and the story of Jesus. 

Notable Quotes

“The questions are: Can psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy be used not only to alleviate the psychological anxiety (as we saw at Johns Hopkins) and the depression, but can it also be used to facilitate the physiological healing in cancer patients, as Julie has done through facilitating mystical experiences? That’s a big question. The second one is: in time, are we going to see what today, is long-term costly, clinical psychotherapy of a variety of different modalities, eventually be enhanced by short-term, much more affordable psychedelic psychotherapy?” -Jerry Brown

“In astrophysics, dark matter, which they say makes up most of the universe- it can not be directly detected or seen. It can only be implied through the gravitational effects that it causes. So, in psychology, mystical experience cannot be easily accessed, but it can be reliably created both through psychedelics, and as Julie’s work has shown, through guided imagery. In other words, hidden from ordinary consciousness, mystical experience manifests from the dark matter of the mind to facilitate healing.” -Jerry Brown 

“F. Scott Fitzgerald, the author, said there’s no second acts in American lives, but fortunately, psychedelics is having its second act, and I think if we do it right this time, we can really integrate it into our culture, both in a therapeutic setting, and [also in settings] modeled after the Greek Eleusinian mysteries, where healthy people can go to explore psychedelics for personal growth and for spirituality and creativity.” -Jerry Brown

Links

Psychedelics Today blog: Mystical Experience and Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy: Insights from Guided-Imagery Therapy with Cancer Patients

Website: psychedelicgospels.com

Psychedelic Gospels Facebook

The Psychedelic Gospels: Evidence of Entheogens in Christian Art presentation on Youtube

Email


About Jerry and Julie Brown

Jerry B. Brown, Ph.D., is an anthropologist, author, and activist. From 1972 to 2014 he served as founding professor of anthropology at Florida International University in Miami, where he taught a course on “Hallucinogens and Culture.”

Julie M. Brown, M.A., LMHC, is an integrative psychotherapist, who conducts research on the role of sacred plants in religion.

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Navigating Psychedelics

Aug 18, 2020
Solidarity Fridays - Week 20
57:55

In today's Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle talk about recent items in the news and dive deep into Stan Grof's work, different types of therapy, and the way touch comes into play in the therapeutic world. 

They first discuss Wisconsin-based non-profit medical research institution, The Usona Institute, and their recently published new method for synthesizing psilocybin, and how great this is for the community. There is a danger to locking away ideas, and new methods of synthesis could lead to monopolization of the market, but publishing their findings means this can be available to all. 

They then talk about re-reading Grof and the concept of the body's inner radar bringing forth what the inner healer needs to work on, and the idea that hyperventilation could be the body trying to heal itself. This leads to discussion of Kyle's time at a Soteria-inspired house in Burlington and their method of simply sitting with people and being there through difficult times. They then discuss different types of therapy, from how traditional talk therapy seems to be more of an art form rather than a measurable methodology, to Grof's Fusion Therapy (which is a type of therapy involving touch that may be over the line by today's standards), to new sex therapies that are starting to make headway. The main threads through this discussion are touch: when can touch be used safely, the dangers of touch being perceived as sexual, and the importance of communication and boundary-setting before sessions, and distraction vs. work: when is a participant wanting to talk about things during a session part of the work and important to respect, and when is it simply a distraction and a way to avoid the work?

Lastly, they remind us that seats are still on sale for the 2 new rounds of (now CE-approved) Navigating Psychedelics (beginning on September 17th), "Psychedelics and the Shadow: The Shadow Side of Psychedelia" is on sale, and there is a new class developed with Johanna Hilla-Maria Sopanen called "Imagination as Revelation," focusing on Jungian psychology and how it can be applied to understanding psychedelic experience.

Notable quotes

“A corporation finding a new synthesis and being able to patent that and then kind of locking it away and saying ‘It stays within our corporation and we’re the only ones that can produce this in this way’ doesn’t mean that other people can’t find other ways.” -Kyle

“In holotropic breathwork, Stan [Grof] talks about how if someone doesn’t land by the end of the workshop and get somewhat settled and resolved, a traditional psychiatrist might say ‘ok yes, this is a psychotic break.' And what do we do? You do your normal interventions. So, optimal for the breathwork and psychedelic world would be to have a place where folks could go and be for days to months to settle and kind of reorganize. That’s the model of spiritual emergence, I think, that Stan talks about. You have to have really careful discussions and criteria for: psychotic break? Or possible spiritual emergence? Or, what’s the real difference?” -Joe 

“I definitely saw some magic, by just being with people, not trying to really change their experience.” -Kyle

“I think delaying is really undervalued. You want to do just the right thing at just the right time. Well, what if you do the wrong thing? Why not wait, so you don’t do the wrong thing?” -Joe

Links

Usona Institute Publishes Breakthrough Development in Scalable Psilocybin Synthesis

Direct Phosphorylation of Psilocin Enables Optimized cGMP Kilogram-Scale Manufacture of Psilocybin (scientific breakdown)

Psychedelics Today: "Spiritual Emergence or Psychosis" Webinar

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Navigating Psychedelics

Aug 14, 2020
Court Wing - Pain and Its Relationship to the Mind
01:30:01

In this episode, Joe interviews Court Wing: early adopter of kettlebell training, earner of a 3rd degree black belt in Ki-Aikido, first certified CrossFit instructor for the NYC Metro area, first certified Z-Health instructor in New York, and former co-founder of CrossFit NYC; one of the world's largest CrossFit gyms. 

Wing was a recent participant of a psilocybin trial in NYC, studying the effects of psilocybin on (mostly treatment-resistant) major depressive disorder. He talks about his struggles with depression and how reading studies about changes in neuroplasticity and neurogenesis made him wonder if his depression could be alleviated, the measures taken and process surrounding the trials, the concerns over receiving a placebo or the psilocybin not working, and post-trial; the amazing transformation he's gone through and the power of his experience, psilocybin, and intention-setting. 

They talk a lot about pain and the ways pain is related to the mind: the concept that depression may be a nociceptive pain, how common back pain may often be somatosensory pain based on emotional trauma creating a neurological slink (similar to Grof's COEX system), and the Ki-Aikido phrase: "Your mind is the body made subtle. The body is unrefined mind." How much of pain is emotional, and how much is the body trying to communicate to the mind that a change needs to be made?

Notable Quotes

“I can see, going in now, the difference that intention makes in what you’re seeking from the session. It’s just astonishing that it’s responsive to intent. ...It’s so mindblowing because you’re not just taking this passively.”

“The contrast from before to after made me want to go back and upgrade my scores in those depression assessments because I had no idea how bad it was until it was gone. And it was in less than 8 hours. ...We did a little intention-setting ceremony, and I did a little Shinto type of prayer thing- [an] incantation that I’ve always done since I left Aikido, and they gave it to me and put in this chalice, and I looked down at it, and honestly, I was praying to God or my higher power or the universe (however you want to phrase it). I looked at it and said, ‘I really hope that’s you.’ And it was.”

“I had been in recovery from a profound drinking problem for over 17 years, so there’d been significant hesitation on my part to do this, because there’s a lot of cautioning within that framework- you know: ‘there’s no such thing as a chemical solution to a spiritual problem.’ But, what do you do when the chemistry brings you a spiritual experience?”

“A false picture has been painted of what’s possible here. And when it’s only seen in a recreational context where they use some slightly marginalized, perverse catchphrase like ‘hippies’ or ‘dirty hippies’ or something like that, and use that as a way to blame and shame people for seeking relief, and even worse- to claim that the results they’re bringing back are invalid, I think that’s a crime. I honestly do. If I can bring any of my previous experience and reputation to weigh on the scale of the good that can be caused from this, I’m happy to do it.”

Links

courtwing.com


About Court Wing

Court Wing has been a professional in the performance and rehab space for the last 30 years. Coming from a performing arts background, Court served as a live-in apprentice to the US Chief Instructor for Ki-Aikido for five years, going on to win the gold medal for the International Competitors Division in Japan in 2000 and achieving the rank of 3rd degree black belt.
After a 14 year career in martial arts, he returned to Acting, getting his BFA from the Conservatory of Theatre Arts & Film at Purchase College. At the same time, he was simultaneously pursuing three leading-edge performance certifications. First as an RKC/Strong First kettlebell instructor, eventually going on to be ranked a "Top 10 Instructor" and assisting a closed-course certification of SEAL Team 6 at Virginia Beach. Next he became the first certified CrossFit trainer in NYC, becoming the former co-founder of CrossFit NYC in '04, New York's largest and oldest CF gym. His final certification was as a Z-Health Master Trainer, using the latest interventions in applied neuro-physiology for remarkable improvements in pain, performance, and rehabilitation.

He has also served as the principal designer for the UN's Close Protection fitness assessment and preparation program, and has been featured in the New York Time’s Sunday Routine, Men's Fitness, and USA Today.

Please visit him online at https://courtwing.com

Support the show

Navigating Psychedelics

Aug 11, 2020
Court Wing - Pain and Its Relationship to the Mind

In this episode, Joe interviews Court Wing: early adopter of kettlebell training, earner of a 3rd degree black belt in Ki-Aikido, first certified CrossFit instructor for the NYC Metro area, first certified Z-Health instructor in New York, and Former co-founder of CrossFit NYC; one of the world's largest CrossFit gyms. 

Wing was a recent participant of a psilocybin trial in NYC, studying the effects of psilocybin on (mostly treatment-resistant) major depressive disorder. He talks about his struggles with depression and how reading studies about changes in neuroplasticity and neurogenesis made him wonder if his depression could be alleviated, the measures taken and process surrounding the trials, the concerns over receiving a placebo or the psilocybin not working, and post-trial; the amazing transformation he's gone through and the power of his experience, psilocybin, and intention-setting. 

They talk a lot about pain and the ways pain is related to the mind: the concept that depression may be a nociceptive pain, how common back pain may often be somatosensory pain based on emotional trauma creating a neurological slink (similar to Grof's COEX system), and the Ki-Aikido phrase: "Your mind is the body made subtle. The body is unrefined mind." How much of pain is emotional, and how much is the body trying to communicate to the mind that a change needs to be made?

Notable Quotes

“I can see, going in now, the difference that intention makes in what you’re seeking from the session. It’s just astonishing that it’s responsive to intent. ...It’s so mindblowing because you’re not just taking this passively.”

“The contrast from before to after made me want to go back and upgrade my scores in those depression assessments because I had no idea how bad it was until it was gone. And it was in less than 8 hours. ...We did a little intention-setting ceremony, and I did a little Shinto type of prayer thing- [an] incantation that I’ve always done since I left Aikido, and they gave it to me and put in this chalice, and I looked down at it, and honestly, I was praying to God or my higher power or the universe (however you want to phrase it). I looked at it and said, ‘I really hope that’s you.’ And it was.”

“I had been in recovery from a profound drinking problem for over 17 years, so there’d been significant hesitation on my part to do this, because there’s a lot of cautioning within that framework- you know: ‘there’s no such thing as a chemical solution to a spiritual problem.’ But, what do you do when the chemistry brings you a spiritual experience?”

“A false picture has been painted of what’s possible here. And when it’s only seen in a recreational context where they use some slightly marginalized, perverse catchphrase like ‘hippies’ or ‘dirty hippies’ or something like that, and use that as a way to blame and shame people for seeking relief, and even worse- to claim that the results they’re bringing back are invalid, I think that’s a crime. I honestly do. If I can bring any of my previous experience and reputation to weigh on the scale of the good that can be caused from this, I’m happy to do it.”

Links

courtwing.com


About Court Wing

Court Wing has been a professional in the performance and rehab space for the last 30 years. Coming from a performing arts background, Court served as a live-in apprentice to the US Chief Instructor for Ki-Aikido for five years, going on to win the gold medal for the International Competitors Division in Japan in 2000 and achieving the rank of 3rd degree black belt.
After a 14 year career in martial arts, he returned to Acting, getting his BFA from the Conservatory of Theatre Arts & Film at Purchase College. At the same time, he was simultaneously pursuing three leading-edge performance certifications. First as an RKC/Strong First kettlebell instructor, eventually going on to be ranked a "Top 10 Instructor" and assisting a closed-course certification of SEAL Team 6 at Virginia Beach. Next he became the first certified CrossFit trainer in NYC, becoming the former co-founder of CrossFit NYC in '04, New York's largest and oldest CF gym. His final certification was as a Z-Health Master Trainer, using the latest interventions in applied neuro-physiology for remarkable improvements in pain, performance, and rehabilitation.

He has also served as the principal designer for the UN's Close Protection fitness assessment and preparation program, and has been featured in the New York Time’s Sunday Routine, Men's Fitness, and USA Today.

Please visit him online at https://courtwing.com

Support the show

Navigating Psychedelics

Aug 11, 2020
Court Wing - Pain and Its Relationship to the Mind

In this episode, Joe interviews Court Wing: early adopter of kettlebell training, earner of a 3rd degree black belt in Ki-Aikido, first certified CrossFit instructor for the NYC Metro area, first certified Z-Health instructor in New York, and co-founder & co-owner of CrossFit NYC; one of the world's largest CrossFit gyms. 

Wing was a recent participant of a psilocybin trial in NYC, studying the effects of psilocybin on (mostly treatment-resistant) major depressive disorder. He talks about his struggles with depression and how reading studies about changes in neuroplasticity and neurogenesis made him wonder if his depression could be alleviated, the measures taken and process surrounding the trials, the concerns over receiving a placebo or the psilocybin not working, and post-trial; the amazing transformation he's gone through and the power of his experience, psilocybin, and intention-setting. 

They talk a lot about pain and the ways pain is related to the mind: the concept that depression may be a nociceptive pain, how common back pain may often be somatosensory pain based on emotional trauma creating a neurological slink (similar to Grof's COEX system), and the Ki-Aikido phrase: "Your mind is the body made subtle. The body is unrefined mind." How much of pain is emotional, and how much is the body trying to communicate to the mind that a change needs to be made?

Notable Quotes

“I can see, going in now, the difference that intention makes in what you’re seeking from the session. It’s just astonishing that it’s responsive to intent. ...It’s so mindblowing because you’re not just taking this passively.”

“The contrast from before to after made me want to go back and upgrade my scores in those depression assessments because I had no idea how bad it was until it was gone. And it was in less than 8 hours. ...We did a little intention-setting ceremony, and I did a little Shinto type of prayer thing- [an] incantation that I’ve always done since I left Aikido, and they gave it to me and put in this chalice, and I looked down at it, and honestly, I was praying to God or my higher power or the universe (however you want to phrase it). I looked at it and said, ‘I really hope that’s you.’ And it was.”

“I had been in recovery from a profound drinking problem for over 17 years, so there’d been significant hesitation on my part to do this, because there’s a lot of cautioning within that framework- you know: ‘there’s no such thing as a chemical solution to a spiritual problem.’ But, what do you do when the chemistry brings you a spiritual experience?”

“A false picture has been painted of what’s possible here. And when it’s only seen in a recreational context where they use some slightly marginalized, perverse catchphrase like ‘hippies’ or ‘dirty hippies’ or something like that, and use that as a way to blame and shame people for seeking relief, and even worse- to claim that the results they’re bringing back are invalid, I think that’s a crime. I honestly do. If I can bring any of my previous experience and reputation to weigh on the scale of the good that can be caused from this, I’m happy to do it.”

Links

courtwing.com


About Court Wing

Court Wing has been a professional in the performance and rehab space for the last 30 years. Coming from a performing arts background, Court served as a live-in apprentice to the US Chief Instructor for Ki-Aikido for five years, going on to win the gold medal for the International Competitors Division in Japan in 2000 and achieving the rank of 3rd degree black belt.
After a 14 year career in martial arts, he returned to Acting, getting his BFA from the Conservatory of Theatre Arts & Film at Purchase College. At the same time, he was simultaneously pursuing three leading-edge performance certifications. First as an RKC/Strong First kettlebell instructor, eventually going on to be ranked a "Top 10 Instructor" and assisting a closed-course certification of SEAL Team 6 at Virginia Beach. Next he became the first certified CrossFit trainer in NYC, becoming the former co-founder of CrossFit NYC in '04, New York's largest and oldest CF gym. His final certification was as a Z-Health Master Trainer, using the latest interventions in applied neuro-physiology for remarkable improvements in pain, performance, and rehabilitation.

He has also served as the principal designer for the UN's Close Protection fitness assessment and preparation program, and has been featured in the New York Time’s Sunday Routine, Men's Fitness, and USA Today.

Please visit him online at https://courtwing.com

Support the show

Navigating Psychedelics

Aug 11, 2020
Court Wing - Pain and Its Relationship to the Mind

In this episode, Joe interviews Court Wing: early adopter of kettlebell training, earner of a 3rd degree black belt in Ki-Aikido, first certified CrossFit instructor for the NYC Metro area, first certified Z-Health instructor in New York, and co-founder & co-owner of CrossFit NYC; one of the world's largest CrossFit gyms. 

Wing was a recent participant of a psilocybin trial in NYC, studying the effects of psilocybin on (mostly treatment-resistant) major depressive disorder. He talks about his struggles with depression and how reading studies about changes in neuroplasticity and neurogenesis made him wonder if his depression could be alleviated, the measures taken and process surrounding the trials, the concerns over receiving a placebo or the psilocybin not working, and post-trial; the amazing transformation he's gone through and the power of his experience, psilocybin, and intention-setting. 

They talk a lot about pain and the ways pain is related to the mind: the concept that depression may be a nociceptive pain, how common back pain may often be somatosensory pain based on emotional trauma creating a neurological slink (similar to Grof's COEX system), and the Ki-Aikido phrase: "Your mind is the body made subtle. The body is unrefined mind." How much of pain is emotional, and how much is the body trying to communicate to the mind that a change needs to be made?

Notable Quotes

“I can see, going in now, the difference that intention makes in what you’re seeking from the session. It’s just astonishing that it’s responsive to intent. ...It’s so mindblowing because you’re not just taking this passively.”

“The contrast from before to after made me want to go back and upgrade my scores in those depression assessments because I had no idea how bad it was until it was gone. And it was in less than 8 hours. ...We did a little intention-setting ceremony, and I did a little Shinto type of prayer thing- [an] incantation that I’ve always done since I left Aikido, and they gave it to me and put in this chalice, and I looked down at it, and honestly, I was praying to God or my higher power or the universe (however you want to phrase it). I looked at it and said, ‘I really hope that’s you.’ And it was.”

“I had been in recovery from a profound drinking problem for over 17 years, so there’d been significant hesitation on my part to do this, because there’s a lot of cautioning within that framework- you know: ‘there’s no such thing as a chemical solution to a spiritual problem.’ But, what do you do when the chemistry brings you a spiritual experience?”

“A false picture has been painted of what’s possible here. And when it’s only seen in a recreational context where they use some slightly marginalized, perverse catchphrase like ‘hippies’ or ‘dirty hippies’ or something like that, and use that as a way to blame and shame people for seeking relief, and even worse- to claim that the results they’re bringing back are invalid, I think that’s a crime. I honestly do. If I can bring any of my previous experience and reputation to weigh on the scale of the good that can be caused from this, I’m happy to do it.”

Links

courtwing.com


About Court Wing

Court Wing has been training clients and students in fitness and the martial arts for 30 years.  He began his CrossFit training with Nick Nibbler & Dave Werner of CrossFit North in Seattle, the world's first CrossFit affiliate, in late Winter '03 while on a break from the renowned Acting Conservatory at Purchase College in New York, one of the top three Acting Programs in the US. He returned to train with them that summer and earned his CrossFit Level 1 trainer certificate in July '04 (first certification outside of CFHQ), becoming the NYC Metro area's first certified CrossFit instructor. He began doing workouts in the Central Park that Fall and is the Co-Founder & Co-Owner of CrossFit NYC, the world's largest affiliate, as well as New York's oldest & largest.

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Navigating Psychedelics

 

Aug 11, 2020
Solidarity Fridays - Week 19
01:04:47

In today's Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle sit down and talk about recent items in the news, and dive deep into analyzing 2 articles that are very critical of MAPS' involvement with the police, military, and government. 

They first discuss Canada-based nonprofit TheraPsil's recent win of four people with incurable cancer being granted the ability to use psilocybin for end-of-life therapy, and how this framework could be copied and used in the US through the Right-to-try act, signed into law in 2018.  

They then discuss Dimitri Mugianis's recent article in Salon, which highlighted the long history of psychedelics being used in negative ways, from Vikings presumably using some sort of mushroom to get to a pillaging, "Berserker warrior" mindstate, to the 11th century Nizari Isma'ili State, which reportedly used hashish as a tool for motivation and control, to MKUltra and experiments on Whitey Bulger, to the most recent death of Elijah McLain from a large forced injection of ketamine. And they discuss David Nickles's article in Psymposia, which poses that since MAPS is working to provide treatment to police and soldiers with PTSD, they are essentially in bed with the enemy, and only promoting organizations that create more violence, division, trauma, and PTSD, while treating the perpetrators instead of the victims. 

Both articles are critical of MAPS but neglect to see the importance of diplomacy and working to see eye to eye with people in disagreement for the greater good- that yes, these tools can be used against people, but can also be used by people, with immense benefits. Joe reads a comment sent in by listener Danny McCraken, pointing out that "as the saying goes, ‘only Siths deal in absolutes.’" This leads to more discussion: when and how should ketamine be used for submission? Why do healthy, trained cops need to even get to that point? How much of this is just governments trying to make the costs of war cheaper? Why don't more people see things from all sides?

Lastly, they remind us that on September 17th, 2 new rounds of (now CE-approved) Navigating Psychedelics will be starting up, and there is a new class for sale developed with Johanna Hilla-Maria Sopanen called "Imagination as Revelation," which focuses on Jungian psychology and how it can be applied to understanding psychedelic experience.

 

Notable quotes

“I remember when we chatted with Dr. Katherine MacLean way, way back when we first got it rolling. Something that she said- ‘it’s almost like a birthright for us to try to prepare for death. And do we have to wait to have some sort of end-of-life illness, or can we start trying to prepare a little bit earlier?’ Just really awesome to see that these 4 patients will be able to have an experience and maybe discover things about themselves during their last time here. So congrats TheraPsil for making that work for these folks.” -Kyle

“From the anarchist perspective, this just helps governments, which are typically organizations that have monopolies on power (what anarchists are against, primarily). So any kind of government that’s using tools against people is bad, and these are tools that are being used against people. They’re also being used for people. It’s this weird dichotomy of: these things have such huge healing benefit for so many different types of people, and they can also be used to support things that are against people, like any tool. Like a knife or a gun- it can be used to save a life or take a life.” -Joe 

“Is this what we want? Last episode, we talked a lot about decriminalization vs. legalization, and we didn’t really talk about how that contrasts with medicalization. Do we really want these powerful people in groups telling you when you can and cannot take these things? I think the answer is no. We don’t want that. We want autonomy. We want cognitive liberty. We want to not go to jail for this stuff. We want safe access.” -Joe

“Essentially, the critique is that MAPS is supporting cops (PTSD) and soldiers (PTSD), and as a result, MAPS is supporting violent organizations that are causing more PTSD, and treating the perpetrators vs. treating the victims. I understand why they would write this article, but I think it’s not done in good taste. I think it’s not necessarily aware of the broader implications of these things coming to market and being prescribable and healing a lot of people. But it is helpful in that it says, ‘Look, cops are doing bad stuff. Military has done bad stuff. Should we be supporting it?’ ...How do we balance those two things? ...I think MAPS is almost at the finish line, so I’m going to cheerlead for MAPS to finish [and] cross the line with MDMA, even though they’re kind of pandering to the militarized people who have a monopoly on violence, both inside and outside of the country.” -Joe

Links

4 Palliative Canadians approved for end of life psilocybin therapy

BP will slash oil production by 40% and pour billions into green energy

Salon: How psychedelic drugs are used as a tool of state violence

Psymposia: We Need to Talk About MAPS Supporting The Police, The Military, and Violent White Supremacism

Psychedelics Today- Imagination as Revelation: The Psychedelic Experience in the Light of Jungian Psychology

 

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Navigating Psychedelics

Aug 07, 2020
John Selby - Professional Guidance Integrating Cannabis and Mindfulness
01:08:33

In today's episode, Joe speaks with spiritual coach, author, and creator of the upcoming High Together app, John Selby. Selby's most recent book is titled Cannabis for Couples: Enhance Intimacy and Elevate Your Relationship.

Selby talks about how he got to where he is today, from signing up for a hypnosis research center at Princeton that turned out to be a secret government NIH psychedelic research center studying if psychedelic states could be induced through hypnosis, to working on the first quantitative EG study of heavy LSD users to determine if it caused permanent damage (that was marred with corrupted data and later found out to have been an MKUltra mind manipulation project), to becoming excommunicated by the Presbyterian church for teaching his youth group yoga and Buddhist meditation, to becoming a therapist, spiritual counselor and author, to his time at Microsoft and Plantronics leading to him wanting to create an app for improving cannabis use.

His High Together app (which should be available soon) works in conjunction with his latest book to help cannabis users focus their attention, augment consciousness, and in the case of couples, improve their relationships. Through short guided sessions, statements of intent, and a strong emphasis on breathwork, his goal is to help regular users aim their attention towards more rewarding ventures, and help new users get through their first cannabis experiences safely and enjoyably (some estimate that 10 million boomer couples will try cannabis for the first time within the next 2-3 years).

Notable Quotes

On leaving Plantronics: “Right when it was time to do the funding and to launch this as their first software product in your headphones, two people on the board- these two old guys- Presbyterian guys- they decided that I was some sort of subterfuge revolutionary trying to undermine American capitalism. And I had to say, ‘I think you’ve got that just about right.’” 

On his High Together App: “It’s everything that I’ve found, as a therapist and spiritual guide, that’s really, really effective for helping people to focus their attention in directions that augment higher consciousness. We can either get stoned, or we can get high, and people don’t realize that really, they have the choice.”

“Most of the people, they really need help in the basics. It’s very scary for most people. If you’re 60 years old and you’ve never basically let go of control of your ego, it’s like ‘WHOA!’ I’m there to help people make it safely and enjoyably through that first 10 minutes, when you actually have the muse of marijuana come in and say ‘Okay, here we go! Let go- there’s nothing you can do about this, so enjoy the ride.’”

“There’s a pretty sober sense of responsibility that we really have a world civilization that can really self destruct if we don’t wake up and act. I think that cannabis and psychedelics are powerful medicines to help us in that direction.”

Links

Website: mindfullyhigh.com

Cannabis for Couples: Enhance Intimacy and Elevate Your Relationship


About John Selby

John is both a fiction and non-fiction author with over thirty published self-help/meditation books plus eleven feature screenplays and half a dozen novels and 40 published folk-jazz songs. John's most recent book is titled Cannabis for Couples: Enhance Intimacy and Elevate Your Relationship. Over the years he has been a cognitive therapist and spiritual counselor, and conducted NIH brain-research studies examining the inner mechanics of mindfulness meditation. John has taught creative writing and publishing strategies, coached authors in book-project development, and ghostwritten over a dozen books for aspiring authors on a wide variety of themes and genres. He now continues with this satisfying work, while also developing a new app-driven approach to mindfulness training and personality growth.

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Navigating Psychedelics

Aug 04, 2020
Solidarity Fridays - Week 18
01:00:19

In today's Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle sit down to discuss recent topics in the news and analyze the ongoing debate of decriminalization vs. legalization. 

They first discuss the story of LSD chemist William Leonard Pickard, who was released from prison on July 27th due mostly to his age, health status and risk for contracting Covid-19, and while it's great that he's out, how it changes nothing about the conspiracy surrounding his arrest ("Halperngate") and the very questionable DEA claims of LSD availability decreasing by 95% after his imprisonment. 

They then talk about Denver mushroom grower Kole Milner, who is facing up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine, and all the complications surrounding state or city legality vs. federal legality, and how anyone in this space should be extremely careful about what personal information they share publicly, regardless of any perceived legal safety. 

This leads to a long discussion about decriminalization vs. legalization: the need for more conversation, what the model might look like for the US, what we can learn from Portugal, how Covid-related economic issues might influence things, the "my drug is better than your drug" issue with advertising, the problem with D.A.R.E.'s "scare you straight" model and the need for truth instead of manipulation, and how advertising and corporate profit incentives may come into play- does legality mean that companies will try to convince more people to use these powerful medicines irresponsibly?

Notable quotes

“It’s a false dichotomy to just say ‘decriminalization vs. legalization.’ As we say, decriminalization doesn’t necessarily mean anything. It can mean something for a municipality or a county or a state but it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the case for the feds. And as soon as you’re crossing state lines, that’s when they can be really into it. But realistically, the DEA seems to have plenty of power to do whatever they want.” -Joe

“I remember a few years ago, I started making this comment: ‘Oh cool, so you want it to stay illegal so you can have your heady, farm-to-table LSD. Cute, but that’s not really how it works and there’s plenty of people getting hurt as a result of not having these controls in place.’ ...It just takes a couple high schoolers whipping up a shitty lab, or non-safety-oriented people just trying to make a quick buck to get a few people hurt. I want to be a libertarian, but I don’t necessarily trust people’s motives enough to fully be a libertarian. I feel like there needs to be incentive structures in place and regulation in place for a lot of things.” -Joe

“I remember them threatening us: ‘If you do this, we will come and arrest you.’ Like, whoa... What if you had somebody that was like, “Hey, psilocybin mushrooms- these were originally used in ceremonial contexts, they had these kinds of safety mechanisms built in place, and this is what’s going on, here are the risks and dangers, this is why you would want to do it in a situation like this, people are using it to find spiritual growth…” And I don’t know, is that more enticing to people? Like, “Oh. I’m really curious!” But at least when they would practice, hopefully, they’d be like, “Oh yea, remember, they told us to do it in this context” instead of being like “This is an illegal thing, we’re going to get arrested so let’s hide and do it in secrecy and not tell anybody about it because the police chief is going to kick down my door and arrest me and tell me I’m a bad person.” -Kyle

“Let’s just be fact-based. Like, ‘Ok, here are the laws, here’s where it comes from, here’s the history, here are the pluses and minuses, and here are the legal consequences at this point in time.’ I would just like the facts, you know? I don’t need to be manipulated. Because that’s all I felt it was- a manipulation of the truth and a manipulation of us. This is not science-based policy, and I think a lot of us now want science-based policy.” -Joe

Links

Breaking: LSD Chemist William Leonard Pickard to be Released From Prison

Lucid News: LSD Chemist And Psychedelic Icon William Leonard Pickard To Be Released From Prison

Erowid character vault on William Leonard Pickard

Erowid's article on Halperngate

LSD Use Up 56% Since 2015, According To Study by University of Cincinnati

Man Accused of Selling Mushrooms Faces Up to Twenty Years

Al Jazeera youtube stream: Are magic mushrooms going mainstream?

 

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Jul 31, 2020
Lauren Taus - Wellness through Yoga, Meditation and Psychotherapy
01:23:25

In today's episode, Kyle interviews Lauren Taus: yoga instructor with 20 years of experience, host of the Inbodied Life podcast, and psychotherapist specializing in ketamine-assisted psychotherapy. 

Taus talks about growing tired of more traditional therapy and cognitive loops so many people find themselves in through cognitive behavioral therapy leading to her taking a break from therapy altogether, trying psychedelics with her brother, learning of psychedelics being used therapeutically, and coming out of the psychedelic closet to her father (who now works with her).  She speaks about her practice, and the process and importance of building up therapeutic relationships first before introducing any psychedelics.  

She discusses how Covid-19, cannabis legalization and the way our culture is set up are all exacerbating mental health issues and the challenges of fighting through that while trying to better partner with disadvantaged communities, the frustrations around the illegality of certain medicines, the power of ketamine, the concept of spiritual bypassing, what she's doing differently during this disconnected time, harm reduction around psychedelics without a therapist nearby, mindfulness, and the importance of touch and dancing.

Notable Quotes

“Healing happens in relationship, and it happens in relationship with self too. I believe that so many people (and I certainly have been one of them) are walking warzones. The violence that happens inside of an individual heart and mind is far more outrageous than what you’d read in the news, and what you read in the news is a lot. ...With my work, I want to know you, I want to feel you, I want you to feel safe, I want you to feel love, I want you to feel unconditional regard and care. And that doesn’t happen overnight, and that doesn’t happen when you take a pill.”

“When I think about what’s happening with cannabis now, there’s essentially white cartels, and there’s cannabis stores on every block of Venice Beach, and people making lots and lots of money on weed. And then there’s so many black and brown people in prison for smoking a joint. And so the inequity there- what kind of reparations can we do? I like to say you can’t bypass the 'fuck you' on your way to forgiveness. And love is big enough to hold the anger and the rage, and there’s appropriate righteous anger that’s due.”

“People are struggling to be with what is- to welcome the wildlife that courses through their veins, to sit still with their fear and their sadness, and even their joy. I have so many people who try to crush their joy and celebration because they’re afraid of losing it. And they will- it’s going to shift. But can we be in the big wideness of what it is to be human? And in our inability to do so, we create all these different unique and not-so-unique misguided defense mechanisms. All these mechanisms for evasion- flight strategies. They can look like work, they can look like sex and food and drugs and alcohol and running or even meditation. The intention is what informs it a lot- what are you doing? Are you looking to go in, or are you looking to leave?”

“Do your work and remember to play along the way. Joy is an act of resistance.”

Links

Inbodiedlife.com

Instagram

Inbodied Life podcast, featuring Kyle


About Lauren Taus

Lauren Taus graduated summa cum laude from Barnard College at Columbia University in 2004 with a BA in Religion before continuing on to NYU for her Masters in Social Work. Lauren is licensed as a clinical therapist in both New York and California with a specialty in addiction and trauma treatment.
As a clinician, Lauren integrates alternative modalities of treatment into her work. She trained with David Emerson under the supervision of Bessel van der Kolk at The Trauma Institute in Boston in trauma sensitive yoga, and she’s trained by the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) for MDMA assisted psychotherapy for complex PTSD.

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Jul 28, 2020
Solidarity Fridays - Week 17
01:03:19

In today's Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle sit down and discuss two news stories emerging from Portland, Oregon- first, paramilitary-like federal agents showing up in unmarked cars and arresting protestors, and second, the beating and pepper-spraying of one of those protestors, Christopher David. 

They look at these events from multiple perspectives- what fears are driving the opinions of people who are against these protests? Why does there always seem to be money when it comes to military expenses, but never any money when it comes to the wellbeing of people? How many police officers fully stand behind what they're doing, and how many are simply following orders or deeming certain evils necessary solely to earn their federal pension? 

They analyze systems and better ways forward, like considering a bottom-up approach vs. the standard top-down approach or Ken Wilbur's framework of transcending an old system while including all the lessons from it. They also discuss decriminalization vs. legalization and the importance of regulation, and the massive scale of concepts and systems, like how MKUltra needs to be included when discussing the history of psychology.

They also discuss telehealth and ketamine-assisted psychotherapy and the complications surrounding it right now, from both therapists and clients not wanting to be in an office to the concerns of self-administration at home, to the benefits of self-exploration for those who do feel comfortable and safe engaging on their own. And lastly, they talk about their upcoming Navigating Psychedelics class, which is selling fast and will never be cheaper than it is now.

Notable quotes

“This is illegal, and people seem to forget that it’s illegal. Even if it’s decriminalized in a locality, doesn’t mean the feds can’t come in and shut you down. And that’s why they call me the party pooper.” -Joe

“How many people get into higher systems and institutions with really good intentions [of] wanting to make change, and thinking... “I’m going to change it from the top down.” ...What would a ‘bottom-up’ approach be, and how could we give power back to communities to start to create their own change, instead of thinking that we need to change it from these hierarchical systems? I always come back to Bucky Fuller’s quote about just creating a different system- you don’t change a system by trying to change it, you make a new system that’s obsolete to that old way of being. ...I’m thinking also too, from the somatic lens in therapy- approaching it more cognitively, intellectually- this whole top-down brain approach vs. a body-oriented approach and working with the trauma, working with the body and thinking about, ok, what’s the body? It’s people, it’s communities. How do we start to work that way?” -Kyle

“I just prefer to see government funds spent on stuff like the green new deal to save us from climate change. Or health care for all- those kinds of things. Why spend to put people in jail, when we could have, just like with cannabis, taxable revenue. I don’t want to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Just because it’s not equitable, I don’t think that totally excludes the thing. I’d just like to see less people going to jail, less people being harmed by black market drugs, and more clean appropriate drugs available to the people who want them.” -Joe

“How do we have the money to send these paramilitary agents in but you didn’t have the money to produce personal protection equipment for hospitals? What’s going on here?” -Kyle

Links

U.S. Homeland Security confirms three units sent paramilitary officers to Portland

Navy veteran beaten and pepper-sprayed by federal agents at protest in Portland

 

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Jul 24, 2020
Dr. Malin Vedøy Uthaug - Ayahuasca and 5-MeO-DMT Research
01:20:14

In this episode, Kyle speaks with Imperial College London research assistant and past guest, Dr. Malin Vedøy Uthaug, who just earned her doctorate and published her dissertation on Ayahuasca and 5-MeO-DMT research.

Uthaug discusses how she started working in this field, why Prague is a good place for research, what past research has led to today, how certain factors could predict whether someone would have a more challenging or more mystical experience, how these experiences can treat people with PTSD differently, what dissociation actually means, the differences between vaporized 5-MeO-DMT and intramuscular 5-MeO-DMT injections and how injections typically lead towards better trauma resolution over the "too much too soon" effects of vaporization. They also talk about reactivation (re-experiencing parts of the 5-MeO-DMT experience at a later time) and why it might happen, how it is different from LSD flashbacks, and how expectations, the experience, and the facilitator all come into play. 

They discuss her research and dissertation, which consisted of 2 studies on ayahuasca and 3 on 5-MeO-DMT, focusing on if participants saw improvement in convergent thinking and mental health variables (depression, anxiety and stress), and how her placebo-controlled study revealed that those who received the placebo still saw a marked improvement. This leads to a conclusion that often, context may play a larger role than the medicine- feeling safe and being heard in a ceremonial, community-based setting may be the biggest factor towards healing. 

Notable Quotes

“Once you make the unconscious conscious, then you can learn from it, and [it’s not] so much about resisting anymore. Carl Jung says, ‘what you resist persists,’ and what I think is happening, especially with PTSD, is that you’re kind of just holding this ball underwater and it’s not allowed to float to the surface.”

“You need to feel safe, you need to experience being heard and seen. Psychedelics do help us remember things that we have repressed, but obviously, [they] also make us very vulnerable and things might come up. And having somebody witness that and validate those feelings that are expressed and shown can be incredibly healing for people.”

“What we can learn is to learn to sit with difficult emotions and to not push them aside. ...I learned that there is comfort in the discomfort. I learned that you can basically figure out so many things about yourself if you just sit with yourself for a moment and you stay in that uncomfortable silence.”

Links

The Exploration of Naturalistically used Ayahuasca and 5-MeO-DMT: by Malin Vedøy Uthaug (dissertation)

Imperial College London- Centre for Psychedelic Research

Her past Psychedelics Today appearance, 3/21/2018

Save a Toad, Exploit a Chemist t-shirt


About Dr. Malin Vedøy Uthaug

Malin Vedøy Uthaug has a background in psychologywho just earned her doctorate and published her dissertation on Ayahuasca and 5-MeO-DMT research at the department of Neuropsychology and Psychopharmacology (FPN) at Maastricht University. Her doctoral research, supervised by Dr. Jan Ramaekers and Dr. Jordi Riba, centres around the investigation of the effects of Ayahuasca ingested in a naturalistic setting on affect and cognition, in addition to pioneer work on the effects of 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT) in humans. Outside of her thesis work, Malin is also conducting research on mescaline and holotropic breathwork, is interested in trauma resolution and non-ordinary state psychotherapy (NOSP), and finally, she is also one of the co-founders of the Norwegian Association for Psychedelic Studies.

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The Exploration of Naturalistically used Ayahuasca and 5-MeO-DMT: by Malin Vedøy Uthaug (dissertation)

Jul 21, 2020
Solidarity Fridays- Week 16
01:06:11

In today’s Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle sit down and talk about various topics in the news and dive deep into somatic psychology. 

They first discuss Canadian mushroom life sciences company Cybin Corp's recent collaboration with drug delivery company IntelGenx to create an orally dissolvable film to administer psilocybin in controlled doses. This feels to them like the early days in the expansion of cannabis offerings, and how, for people with difficulty swallowing or pill-phobia, this may be the best option for psilocybin. 

Next, they talk about a recent study of 65 U.S. Special Operations Forces veterans who took Ibogaine on day 1 and 5-MeO-DMT on day 3 (with surrounding processing and integration time) and the amazing results, including most participants rating their psychedelic experiences as one of the top five most personally meaningful and spiritually significant experiences of their lives. Joe brings up a seldom-asked question on whether non-combat veterans should be differentiated from combat veterans in these studies and therapies. 

The last article they look at highlights a study where physicians used a new selective‐dose cannabis inhaler to administer microdoses of THC (either .5mg or 1mg) to patients with great results in decreasing pain without affecting cognitive performance. They talk about their experiences with low dose edibles and how they've seen great benefits from tiny amounts. 

They then discuss many aspects of Kyle's area of expertise (and often not mentioned in-depth on this podcast), Somatic psychology. They talk about how breathwork and a session with a physical therapist led Kyle to this practice, the concept of character armoring, William Reich's idea of neurosis being represented throughout the entire organism, how the western mind focuses on the material body, trying to fix things, and technique, how the smallest muscle quivering during a breathwork session can show where work needs to be done, and the difficulty people have in discussing the body- how it's almost a secret language only learned through experience or their therapist's suggestive questions on whether they're feeling a certain emotion or even seeing a color.

Notable quotes

“Thinking about my early years exploring psychedelics, I was so focused on the mind- the experience was outside of me, the knowledge and the wisdom was in the numinous. And that’s where I was going to find all the answers. ...It wasn’t until I had my first breathwork experience, where it was such a somatic experience- where I was feeling the experience in my body vs. externalizing my experience outside of my body and viewing it more as this thing of novelty- of something I’ve never experienced before. Actually having that experience and feeling it within myself, [I realized] I have felt this before, and it’s inside of me.” -Kyle

“[Bodywork] just reveals how much is not immediately available in the day-to-day consciousness. There’s so much happening- so much stored in our body that we just don’t even really have a handle on it. ...My favorite line (which, I’m starting to feel like I’m cheating) is: “Mind is, at the very least, diffused throughout the body.” -Joe

“As a culture, we’re so body-oriented at times, right? We think about diet, exercise, yoga has turned more into more of an exercise than a lifestyle or practice. ...We’re so focused more on the physical, material body than the emotional body, and that’s something that’s really hard to tap into.” -Kyle

“Try not to set out with some of these goals that ‘we need to change this.’ What does it feel like to just maybe feel some of these things?” -Kyle

Links

Psychedelics For Seniors: A New Sublingual Option

Psychedelic Treatment for Trauma-Related Psychological and Cognitive Impairment Among US Special Operations Forces Veterans

The pharmacokinetics, efficacy, and safety of a novel selective‐dose cannabis inhaler in patients with chronic pain: A randomized, double‐blinded, placebo‐controlled trial

 

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Jul 17, 2020
Mike Crowley - Secret Drugs of Buddhism
01:15:32

In today’s episode, Joe interviews Author Mike Crowley to talk about his book, Secret Drugs of Buddhism.


Links


About Mike Crowley

Michael Crowley was born February 26th, 1948 in Cardiff, Wales. He began studying Buddhism with a Tibetan lama in 1966, becoming an upasaka of the Kagyud lineage in 1970. In order to augment his Buddhist studies, he acquainted himself with Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Mandarin Chinese. Mike has lectured at the Museum of Asia and the Pacific, Warsaw, the Jagiellonian University, Cracow, the California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, and at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His work has been published in Fortean Times, Time and Mind: The Journal of Archaeology, Consciousness, and Culture, Psychedelic American, and Psychedelic Press UK. In January 2016, Mike received the R. Gordon Wasson Award for outstanding contributions to the field of entheobotany. He currently serves on the advisory board of the Psychedelic Sangha, a group of psychedelically-inclined Buddhists, based in New York and he teaches at the Dharma Collective in San Francisco.

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Jul 14, 2020
Solidarity Fridays - Week 15
01:05:36

In today’s Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle sit down and talk about various topics in the news.

They first discuss Rise Wellness (a company focused on teaching people how to microdose psilocybin)'s recent merger with CannaGlobal and Sansero Life Sciences to become CannaGlobal Wellness, and why many smaller companies are merging, and why Canada may be a hot new destination point for these companies. Joe suggests a new idea of helping people microdose through the use of a transdermal patch. 

They talk about psychology today and the idea of no theory being complete without including all perspectives (including psychedelic perspectives), the concept of re-phrasing “what’s wrong with you?” to “what has happened to you?”, a recent student’s theory that schizophrenia may actually be a protection mechanism, Amsterdam-based psilocybin-retreat company Synthesis’ recent $2.75 million funding towards developing an end-to-end professional wellness & therapy platform, and what that means to the community- are these companies focusing on the drug as the crux, or the full therapy picture?

Lastly, they talk about the death of Elijah McClain from a 500-milligram injection of ketamine, using thoughts from past guest and regular administrator of ketamine to patients, Dr. Alex Belser. They talk about how ketamine can be necessary, but how it has unfortunately been used as a weapon for chemical restraint against people of color, which brings about larger questions on whether people should be allowed to hurt themselves or not- what role do physicians, therapists and police officers ultimately have in people’s freedom to do what they want with their bodies? 

And just as a reminder, Psychedelics Today is currently offering a course developed by Kyle and Dr. Ido Cohen called Psychedelics and The Shadow: The Shadow Side of Psychedelia. And the next round of Navigating Psychedelics for Clinicians and Therapists will be starting in September, with a new self-paced option. 

Notable Quotes

On William James: “As soon as he found out about other states of consciousness other than the normal waking state, he’s saying that no theory for how the world works is complete unless we include all perspectives. So, like, what is the American constitution when you’re on nitrous or on LCD? What is appropriate political idealogy, given all of these things? Essentially, he’s saying that we’re going to keep developing new tools to understand the universe, and every time we have one of these new tools, it kind of expands the scope of what we need in our theories for how the world works. ...Psychedelic states, shamanic states- how do we include that into our worldview to have a complete scientific framework? I think it’s just a never-ending process, and a fun one.” -Joe

“Even the people that I’ve worked with [who] are really really struggling, and I’ve seen medication work really well for them at times, I always come back to: ‘what has this person been through? Do they actually have this thing that science and probably psychiatry would label as a disease?’ ...Some of the trauma stuff that’s coming out, the neuroscience, some of the somatics- it’s all kind of merging. And with the help of psychedelics, I’m feeling more optimistic that maybe the field will go into more of a growth, healing-oriented route vs. this pathology [of] ‘sick.’” -Kyle

“With these clinics that are popping up- are you exclusively focusing on the psychedelic experience, or are you trying to focus on the therapeutic relationship, the report, the container, the trust that’s developed over time, and really developing that relationship with the client? There’s tons of research that suggests that a therapeutic relationship is the one factor in getting better in therapy. So, as money is coming into this space and more of these clinics are popping up, are you creating a center around therapy, and really thinking about how to bring wellness and work with people in this space, or are just focusing it exclusively on the substance, thinking that’s the change?” -Kyle

Links

CannaGlobal, Sansero Life Sciences and Rise Wellness Merge

Synthesis Raises US$2.75M to Develop End-to-End Professional Platform for Psychedelic Wellness & Therapy

Alex Belser's thoughts on ketamine as a chemical restraint

Is Ketamine the new police weapon against black lives?

Psychedelics and The Shadow: The Shadow Side of Psychedelia

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Navigating Psychedelics

Jul 10, 2020
Jesse Gould and Keith Abraham - Heroic Hearts Project: Connecting Veterans to Psychedelic Treatment
48:56

In today's episode, Joe interviews Jesse Gould, founder and president of the Heroic Hearts Project, a nonprofit organization that connects military veterans to ayahuasca retreats, and Keith Abraham, head of the newly created Heroic Hearts UK branch.

They discuss the similarities of their military pasts and post-combat struggles, and how they both took part in ayahuasca ceremonies at Peru's La Medicina, where they eventually met. They note the need to create the UK branch came from the realization that UK vets simply weren't getting as much attention as those in the US.

They talk about the unlikely allyship of Crispin Blunt, member of Parliament and co-chair of the All Party Parliamentory Group for Drug Policy Reform, the consideration of using psilocybin in future work as a less intense ayahuasca alternative, current microbiome studies and the excitement around new data vs. the "death by survey" complications when working with people in need, and how helpful a military mindset can be in these situations.

They share some success stories but talk about how far we need to go in helping veterans come back to society, and how much we'd benefit from a more ceremonial acceptance of the passage from one way of life to another. The corporate 9-5 world can be tough for anyone, but ultimately, finding a purpose and connecting to a community is what's most important toward these veterans reintegrating back to their "pre-army" lives.

Notable Quotes

“Ayahuasca changed everything. I came out of that jungle a very different person. I wouldn’t say that I had a 400% healing experience, but I had that massive, massive, massive catalyst where I knew that my life had to change. And it has. And from there, in the year since, when I got myself together, I started realizing, ‘you know what? I’m in a good place. How can I introduce UK veterans to the experience that I’ve had, because I see that as vitally important?’ And then I was introduced to Jesse, and it turned out that the organization that I thought I wanted to create had already been created perfectly.” -Keith Abraham

“My sons actually in the same unit as I was (in the parachute regiment.) When I left the parachute regiment and went for my ayahuasca experience in Peru, I then came back, and my son was looking at me like, “wait, you’re a grizzly old war veteran, and now you’re talking about, like ‘everything is connected, and love and peace and harmony’ um... this is… strange.’’ He’s gotten really used to it now, but yea, it’s wonderful that these plant medicines can do these things for us. [We have] such strong minds and characters, and this ingrained training as well, but it can be overwhelmed in a good way.” -Keith Abraham

“One of the things we teach through Heroic Hearts, especially in the integration process, is: it’s fine to maintain your warrior- that warrior spirit, that warrior soul. But now you need to learn to use that energy and use that strength towards other means. You might be done with the fighting for now, but that doesn’t mean you’re set out to pasture and done with society. There’s a lot of different ways you can use that energy. ...How can you continue to be a warrior, just on a different trajectory?” -Jesse Gould

Links

Heroic Hearts Project Website

Heroic Hearts Project UK Website

Heroic Hearts Facebook group

Heroic Hearts Twitter

Heroic Hearts Instagram

La Medicina

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About Jesse Gould

Jesse Gould is Founder and President of the Heroic Hearts Project, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit pioneering psychedelic therapies for military veterans. After being deployed in Afghanistan three times, he founded the Heroic Hearts Project in 2017 to spearhead the acceptance and use of ayahuasca therapy as a means of addressing the current mental health crisis among veterans. The Heroic Hearts Project has raised over $150,000 in scholarships from donors including Dr. Bronner’s and partnered with the world’s leading ayahuasca treatment centers, as well as sponsoring psychiatric applications with the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Georgia. Jesse helps shape treatment programs and spreads awareness of plant medicine as a therapeutic method. He has spoken globally about psychedelics and mental health, and received accolades including being recognized as one of the Social Entrepreneurs To Watch For In 2020 by Cause Artist. Driven by a mission to help military veterans struggling with mental trauma, he is best known for his own inspiring battle with PTSD and his recovery through ayahuasca therapy. Jesse’s work can be seen and heard at NY Times, Breaking Convention, San Francisco Psychedelic Liberty Summit, People of Purchase, The Freq, Psychedelics Today Podcast, Kyle Kingsbury Podcast, Cause Artist, WAMU 88.5 and The GrowthOp.

About Keith Abraham

Keith Abraham served 9 years as a member of The Parachute Regiment, fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Throughout the latter years of his military service and during this time working for an investment bank, Keith began experiencing severe symptoms of anxiety and depression. After exhausting the majority of services and options offered by the NHS and military charities without much success, Keith realized a new approach was needed. His profound experiences with ayahuasca and psilocybin convinced him of the vital role plant medicines have to offer those suffering from PTSD, brain injuries and mental ill-health.

Jul 07, 2020
Solidarity Fridays - Week 14
01:22:35

In today’s Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle sit down and talk about various topics in the news.

They first discuss the duality of how Covid-19 affects different people, and how much of a privilege it is to be able to reconnect with family in new ways and use this time to grow spiritually while so many are out of work and struggling to get by. 

They discuss a recent tweet from @Shroomstreet concerning psychedelic stocks and the money being invested in this emerging market, and concerns that some of these unknown companies could be fake or following the “exit scam” model of holding onto investor money and then closing up shop. How many of these companies are in it for the right reasons, and what does this all mean on a grand scale?

They talk about recent reports of psychedelic retreats in excess of $10,000 and the various aspects surrounding these prices, from the cost of education and the need for physicians and therapists to make a living while helping others, to the idea of “pay what you can” and taking a hit financially if it means helping the local community or those really in need without the finances to be able to participate in these retreats. Is pastoral counseling or group therapy the best way to help the most people? 

And lastly, they talk about Oregon’s progress in getting legal psilocybin therapy on the ballot in November and the benefits of legality, most importantly towards the ability to report abusive sitters under a framework that would completely remove them from this field.

Notable quotes

“The Newtonian-Cartesian paradigm is just so focused on the how- on the mechanics of ‘how does a psychedelic work? Oh, ok, it can treat this. How does it treat this?’ vs. thinking about the idea of final cause and thinking about the why- why do these things exist? What is its purpose, and what is the potential implication here, on a bigger level, than just thinking about this how and thinking ‘this thing does this thing and that’s all we’re really worried about,’ not thinking about that overarching why- like, what is the purpose here?” -Kyle

“I think everybody really should be able to access healing eventually. I think people shouldn’t be starving to death either, but people are still starving to death. I remember Kwasi (Adusei, in Solidarity Fridays week 10) at one point was like, ‘should we bring psychedelics to minority communities for healing?’ Well, why not bring regular mental health services first? Let’s start with clean water, as opposed to ‘let’s give them a road that they didn’t want.’ What’s the cheapest, lowest-hanging fruit that’s going to give the best reward?” -Joe

“Education programs probably would be really helpful. And I think that’s how we fit in. It’s a philosophy thing that could be helpful for both recreationalists and people providing therapeutic experiences, and the experiencers themselves too. It helps to have some education before you go to see God.” -Joe

“I think states should be experimenting with different ways of going forward. Yes, I want everything to be decriminalized- I want everything to be legal, really- personally. I don’t think therapeutic use should be the only use-case. But it’s certainly a lot better than what we’ve got now.” -Joe

Links

Shroomstreet's tweet: Why do you think Psychedelic stocks continue to bleed?

Regulated psychedelic mushrooms are one step closer to being on the ballet in Oregon in November

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Navigating Psychedelics

Jul 03, 2020
Peter Hendricks Ph.D. - Psilocybin for Cocaine Use
01:18:49

In this episode, Joe speaks with Peter Hendricks, Ph.D. and Associate Professor at the University of Alabama, currently involved in researching the effects of psilocybin on people dealing with cocaine-related substance use disorder. 

He discusses the details of the pilot trial (following the Johns Hopkins model, with music created by Bill Richards), some early findings and speculations, what music might work best for these sessions, how excited he is to bring these findings to the criminal justice system, and how religion and tribalism come into play when looking at what people get out of these psychedelic experiences.

Hendricks points out that while psilocybin is currently being researched as a treatment for tobacco use (by Matthew Johnson at Johns Hopkins) and alcohol use (by Michael Bogenschutz at NYU), this is the first large study with cocaine and could lead to the first medication for major stimulants. And while there have been many studies on psilocybin in general, they’ve rarely been focused on the people he’s working with, who are often poorer, less educated, often out of work, and usually struggling more than those typically involved in these studies. They also talk about what research of the past has given us data-wise, and how inspirational it has been to the work being done today. 

Notable Quotes

“The participants in our trial- they haven’t read Michael Pollan’s book or others. They’re not in the know. I’ll have to explain to them what the drug is, and the common reaction is, ‘uhh, so you’re going to help me stop getting high by getting me high?’ and I’ll try to explain how the drug might differ from others, from more addictive drugs like cocaine. And as we know, it’s an ineffable experience- it’s a difficult experience to put to words…. I’m honored and I have admiration for our participants because they have the courage to dive into this study conducted at a University by people they’ve never met. It can be a very frightening experience and they say, ‘you know what, I’ve tried everything. At this point, I’m desperate, let’s give it a try.’ I probably couldn’t overstate how much courage it takes for them to do what they do. I don’t know that I could do it myself.” 

“I think for most of the world’s fates, the tenants are that we’re all in this together, and we’re bound by love. And that really might be the message that most people get from psychedelics, but similar to religion, sometimes that message is perverted a bit and what you take from it is, ‘my in-group is what’s most important and I’m going to act to preserve my own tribe, even if it means treating others in an awful, inhumane way…’ Sometimes experiences that are really meant to foster a connection with everybody can go haywire and we have to be aware of that”

“One criticism of some of the studies conducted so far has been, how do we know that psilocybin might have these effects on a sample that isn’t all college-educated or doctorates or who are Professors at Universities who make more than 100,000 dollars per year and live comfortably? How do we know that this experience would have any meaning to somebody who’s making less than 10,000 per year, who has a fifth-grade education, who’s unemployed and homeless? I think in large part, this study might answer that question. If we find an effect, then we can say it appears to also have an effect among those who look different and whose life circumstances are much different than some of the earlier participants.”

Links

Twitter

Heffter Research Institute

 

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About Peter Hendricks PhD

Dr. Hendricks received his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of South Florida and completed a post-doctoral Fellowship in Drug Abuse Treatment and Services Research at the University of California, San Francisco. His research centers on the development of novel and potentially more effective treatments for substance dependence, with specific areas of focus on tobacco, cocaine, and polysubstance dependence in vulnerable populations.

Jun 30, 2020
Solidarity Fridays - Week 13
01:14:19

In today’s Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle sit down and talk about topics in the news including Mindmed’s phase one research into DMT and the intricacies of intravenous or infusion-pump administration, attempting to shorten the DMT experience, and whether or not mainstream science is ready to handle the idea of entities, projections for the psychedelic drug market and the intentions of the companies entering this space, and a recent tweet from the Drug Policy Alliance discussing how the war on drugs is a tool of racial oppression. 

They dive deep into that, discussing how sentencing for crack-cocaine is much harsher than cocaine (while basically the same drug), how NYC’s “stop-and-frisk” program was essentially put in place to put people in jail for cannabis possession, and how Breonna Taylor never would have died if police weren’t looking for drugs. They discuss the tragedy of Elijah McClain and what purpose a lot of police activity really serves, while looking at the “protect ourselves first” fraternity mentality that a lot of these power organizations have and how difficult it can be for a good person to become a whistleblower in those situations. 

They also talk about revisiting philosophy through Lenny Gibson and how beneficial it has been to explore that world as more mature people and see connections to psychology, as well as learning the limitations of scientific explanations when dealing with deep, transpersonal experiences.

Lastly, they mention their excitement in participating in the re-scheduled Philosophy of Psychedelics conference coming up next year in England.

Notable quotes

“I stopped doing research on near-death experiences at some point, where I was just like, ‘I’m sick of reading about [how] these are just physiological reflexes and responses within the brain, maybe the lack of oxygen, or all the different neurochemistry that’s going on within the brain at the time of dying…’ There’s something so interesting about that experience, that no matter how much mechanistic information I have, there’s still something there that eats at me… kind of like this lore… the lore of beauty and life kind of unfolding. It’s oriented towards growth and beauty, and I guess that’s what some of these experiences have really taught me- and it is that lore to grow, evolve, and move towards something. And I think when I try to put some sort of biological explanation to it, it almost halts that and says ‘that experience doesn’t really mean that much.’” -Kyle

“Science has limited capacity to help people with meaning-making.” -Joe

“Do we have enough spiritual literacy? Do we have an inclusive enough cosmology to handle all of these cases? ...Are psychologists willing to call in an exorcist of some kind? Or some sort of priest [who] can handle this kind of thing? …I tend to think shareholders might be a little creeped out if publicly traded companies are talking about spirits and entities. Are we ready for that?” -Joe

“What does it mean that you have to put somebody in prison for 10 years for a non-violent offense, as a cop? Like, you pulled someone over, you found some drugs in their car, and now they go to prison. And their life is essentially ruined. And you made the decision to become a police officer and uphold laws. Like, can you sit with that and be ok with that, as an individual? Why do you think drugs are so bad that locking another person up in a cage for years and years and years is ok? …[They say], ’because they have meth or fentanyl, they are the most dangerous people out there!’ What about the rapists and murderers? What about drunk drivers that could kill 20 kids in one night? Why are you spending time on drug offenses when there are rapists out there? There are tons of untested rape kids at all these police departments across the country.”- Joe

Links

NeonMind Files Patent Application for Therapeutic Use of DMT

Philosophy of Psychedelics conference

MindMed investigating potential benefits of DMT in upcoming Phase 1 clinical trial collaboration

Psychedelic Drugs Market Projected to Reach $6.85 Billion by 2027

Drug Policy Alliance's tweet about the drug war

Aide says Nixon's war on drugs targeted blacks, hippies

Jon Krakauer's "Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town"

2 Million People Want Justice For Elijah McClain And His Story Is Gut-Wrenching

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Jun 26, 2020
Byron Metcalf - Making Music For Transpersonal Breathwork Experiences
01:21:16

In this episode, Joe speaks with award-winning musician, producer, transpersonal guide, shamanic practitioner, and certified graduate of Grof Transpersonal Training, Byron Metcalf. 

They discuss Metcalf’s path from being a Nashville-based studio musician (who played on Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler”) to a “midlife correction” of taking a class with Stan Grof and Jacquelyn Small leading to him discovering holotropic breathwork: a whole new world he had never seen before that perfectly suited his musical mind. 

They discuss how Metcalf works with music- from recording and producing to making mixes for sessions, how different types of music work better for different types of sessions, and how important it is to think about the flow of a mix and the transitions and mixing between songs in how it relates to the journey of the people listening- when does up-tempo music work best in comparison to more heart-centered, emotional music? When is more shamanic, percussion-based music more appropriate?

He also talks about the effect of people’s projections in these sessions and a funny story of when he thought he heard Christmas music during a session, using Spotify for session music, streaming vs. downloading, 320kbps vs. 24-bit recordings, creating music sober vs. under the influence, the effectiveness of binaural beats, and co-creating retreats with clients to fit their custom personal and musical needs.  

Notable Quotes

“It just… changed my life. I mean, literally, just like, ‘what is this? How is this even possible to just do some deep breathing and listen to this incredible music?’ ...What it reminded me of was a psychedelic experience. And so I immediately saw the potential in it… And of course… how that model uses music was kind of just a perfect fit for me.”

“You’re doing your own work. The best healers or the best facilitators, therapists, whatever- are the ones who really have done their own work, and in fact, I don’t trust anyone [who] hasn’t.”

“I was really fortunate that Stan would enlist me to do music sometimes at these bigger events- the Insight and Opening where Stan and Jack Cornfield would combine the holotropic breathwork with Vipassana meditation for a week. And it was groups of 200, and so you got 100 people breathing at one time and it’s [a] pretty fantastic energy field as you could imagine. And just seeing- observing what happens for people and to people and through people, still- when I think about it and start describing some of the things that I’ve witnessed and observed and experienced, it almost sounds like [I’m] making this stuff up… It’s like trying to explain a psychedelic experience to someone that’s never had it before… There’s no way you can really convey that. So it has to be experienced.” 

“There’s something higher, bigger- that’s at work here that we want to make contact with and surrender to. So that’s the goal. And sometimes if people are projecting on the music, not liking the music- sometimes changing it would be good. Other times, not. Because maybe it is bringing up a great piece for them. And [they say] “I don’t like this! I don’t like this!” Of course that’s projecting onto the music. What’s going on underneath that?”

Links

http://byronmetcalf.com/

http://holoshamanicstrategies.org/

http://byronmetcalf.bandcamp.com/


About X

Guest image headshot goes here.

Guest Bio Goes here

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Jun 23, 2020
Solidarity Fridays - Week 12
01:09:45

In today's Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle sit down and talk about topics in the news including what psychedelic companies owe to the community (both indigenous people and the underground psychedelic world), psilocybin-like drug alternatives for treating depression and the many reasons newer companies are trying to remove the psychedelic part of the medicine, and Dennis McKenna’s recent appointing to New Wave Holdings’ psychedelic research advisory board and what that says about the current climate of corporations moving into this space.

They discuss the dangers of “sponsored content”-like corporate messages, the malleability of laws and power of lobbyists and interest groups, and how manipulation is faster and quieter than ever before, while many big decisions are being made by people crippled from decades of unseen cultural baggage. And why are companies trying to remove the psychedelic side of medicine? Is it solely for profit, or could it be because there are so many in need that streamlining the process or using these medicines differently than we’re used to in this space would be beneficial to the most people?

Lastly, they talk about the importance of making the right connections and having the right arguments and really asking yourself what you’re trying to do when engaging with those who disagree with you- are you just trying to be right, or are you trying to make a change?

Additionally, Joe shares an important harm reduction story and tip, and gives the news that Psychedelics Today recently surpassed 1 million downloads. Thank you for the support!

Quotes

“Is the only box you can fit in, like ‘I want a career, a home and a family’? And everything else doesn’t matter? Is that it? I think it’s more complicated than that. We’re not just atomic units, like nuclear families. We’re far more interconnected than that, and it’s kind of irresponsible to ignore that.” -Joe

“Big businesses end up creating these systems that we all seem to rely on over time and to some extent, I think we appreciate the convenience. If that crumbled, what would our life look like? Could we tolerate living more locally, doing things on a much smaller scale? ...What would that look like in a world where the government didn’t give huge bailouts to these big companies? Our world would drastically change, and could we shift?” -Kyle

“Maybe a thing to just keep in the back of our minds when we’re hearing all this stuff about new pharma companies is that pharma is not guaranteed money for these people. Pharma is still a gamble. Unless they really nail it, they could go bankrupt in a couple years, or just have earnings way lower than they hoped for. So it’s big money, it’s big bets, and they’re betting on big returns, so they kind of have to go out on a limb and stay stuff like this. But the fact that Forbes put that out- that psilocybin could be toxic- seems irresponsible to me… To me, this kind of looks like sponsored content. Or it’s just like, ‘how do we get these corporations to talk to us and be comfortable, so we have to promise fluff.’ Or, is this organized propaganda?” -Joe

“Some of the people in this space are just getting so nasty that a lot of people are just saying, ‘nah, I’m out, later. I’ll go watch Seinfeld reruns for the next couple years while this shit plays out.’ Are you moving allies away, or are you bringing allies closer to you? Think about that. You want more allies. What’s the best tool? Sweetness. Anger, bitterness, spite- those are things that make people want to go away from you. How effective do you want to be, why do you want to be effective, and what tools are you willing to employ to be effective?” -Joe 

Links

What Do Psychedelic Medicine Companies Owe to the Community?

2nd Gen Psychedelic Drugs For Depression Can Be Safer For Older Adults

New Wave Holdings Corp Appoints Dr. Dennis McKenna to Psychedelic Research Advisory Board

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Jun 19, 2020
Tyler Chandler, Nick Meyers and Adrianne - Dosed Movie: Psychedelics and Mental Health
01:04:38

In this episode, Joe Interviews Dosed filmmakers Tyler Chandler and Nick Meyers, as well as the subject of their documentary, Adrianne. 

Show Notes

Nick and Tyler tell the story of how they went from really knowing very little about the psychedelic healing movement to becoming advocates solely from a panicked call from Adrianne.

Adrianne speaks of her journey from opiate addiction and severe depression to trying mushrooms and eventually learning she needed Iboga and a community around her to really fight her way out of a life she no longer wanted to live.

They touch on the costs of Iboga compared to other rehabilitation methods, the often glazed-over dangers of Iboga, the effectiveness of psilocybin against opioid withdrawal, anxiety in the western world, holotropic breathwork as a safer method towards healing, the power of the Pixar movie, Inside Out, and why it would be beneficial for young viewers to watch Dosed.

Resources

www.dosedmovie.com

Notable Quotes

“I have gotten sober and detoxed many, many, many times and not stayed sober, so obviously while the physical withdrawals are completely excruciating and definitely a big barrier to getting sober, there’s really something more to recovery than that, and that’s that kind of spiritual experience or awakening. And the psychedelic component is really important to that and I feel like that’s what’s contributed to me... not only getting sober but staying sober.” -Adrianne

“The real problem is that… people are forced to make these decisions and take these risks because something that has been known for 40 years to have this wonderful effect on opioid addicts is somehow something that nobody knows about and isn’t legalized.” -Nick Meyers

“No matter how you choose to recover or what you do to get sober and stay sober, having a community around you and staying connected with people is so, so important.” -Adrianne

“I definitely had a lot of discomfort just learning to… be still or be with myself and not have an escape. That’s part of recovery and it’s very uncomfortable. It takes time to get used to that. I was always used to having some kind of coping mechanism that took me out of myself, that just helped me not feel uncomfortable or whatever negative feeling I was feeling. So that’s always a challenge and there’s no shortcuts to that- you do have to just learn to be in your body and feel feelings, which I did not like very much. But, you know, it gets easier over time.” -Adrianne

“Everybody is so scared of just saying... ‘this is something that teens should do’ because nobody wants to have anything bad happen and then have it get traced back to them. But look at the realities of what teens are going through with... the rampant alcohol and other drugs, and… vaping and smoking and all the other vices- prescription medications, everything that’s available. And there’s like, no guidance, no supervision a lot of the time… What we’re doing right now isn’t working. Can I dare say it? It would be better if there were rites of passage with psychedelics in controlled settings with proper set, setting and dose with young people, because it really helps you recontextualize and reframe things in your mind.” -Nick Meyers


About Dosed

After many years of prescription medications failed her, a suicidal woman turns to underground healers to try and overcome her depression, anxiety, and opioid addiction with illegal psychedelic medicine such as magic mushrooms and iboga. Adrianne’s first dose of psilocybin mushrooms catapulted her into an unexpected world of healing where plant medicines are redefining our understanding of mental health and addiction.

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Jun 16, 2020
Solidarity Fridays - Week 11
01:14:15

In today's Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle sit down and discuss topics in the media including the usefulness of brain activity scans and the idea that “brain does not equal mind,” how language can shift the social narrative to or away from stigma when describing substance use, and psilocybin testing in mice and when we might see psilocybin start being prescribed.

They spend a lot of time on the questions everyone is asking right now- what changes can we make that will help the most people and give the oppressed what they need? What tangible changes do the oppressed actually want? What should the role of police look like, either compared to or in conjunction with social work or therapy?

They look at these questions with hope, but through a realistic lens- disasters, illness and even global warming always affects the poor and oppressed more than those in power. And historically, people have always shown a natural tendency to want to hold others down. What is the real purpose behind what those in power do (for example, outlawing encrypted texting or arresting someone for doing drugs)? Are they trying to encourage only specific conversations they’re comfortable with? 

Quotes

So what really can we do, and what specifically can those with white privilege do? The answer there is to find where your voice is most effective, and to have those tough conversations. “Find those inarguable points. Don’t let the media steer your narrative. Major media outlets want you to talk about certain things. Don’t do that. Find out what you think is most important and most helpful to discuss with the people you’re around. Where do you have the most influence?” -Joe 

“How can we... shift the narrative there to help people heal instead of… putting them in this lifelong box of ‘you’ll never heal from this because you have this disorder and this disease’? I’m always on the side of healing [rather] than trying to completely pathologize experiences.” -Kyle

“It sounds nice to say that we want to eliminate violence, we want to eliminate racism, we want to eliminate rape- all these really bad things. But how long have those things been with us? At least 14,000 years, I think. What’s it going to really take to totally reprogram the human genome- the human mind- to transition to this ideal? Is it possible? I don’t know... I want to see these police held accountable, I want to see… criminals in the government go to jail. But it’s kind of the nature of these institutions. They have this monopoly on violence that was granted to them a long time ago, and there’s no real recourse. They’ve got way bigger budgets than any of us as individuals or gangs have, much more training, much better gear… I don’t totally see a great path out.” -Joe

Links

Studies of Brain Activity Aren't as Useful as Scientists Thought

Language Matters in the Recovery Movement

Interview: Adam Halberstadt, UC San Diego

Protests Drive DC Psychedelics Decriminalization Signatures As Activists Launch Major Mailer Campaign

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Jun 12, 2020
Mark Plotkin - Bio-Cultural Conservation of the Amazon
01:01:23

In this episode, Joe speaks with Mark Plotkin, Ph.D., author of The Amazon: What Everyone Needs to Know, and President and co-founder of the Amazon Conservation Team (ACT).

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Show Notes 

Plotkin talks about studying under Richard Evans Schultes (“the father of ethnobotany”), biocultural conservation (the main point of the ACT), Covid-19 and the possibilities for cures in the Amazon, how ayahuasca news can always be viewed as both good and bad, how indigenous people often know much more about their environment and plant medicines than we realize, and how not all ayahuasca is created equal.

They mostly talk about the purpose of the ACT- using ethnographic mapping to help indigenous people take control of and protect their own land from their government and mining or logging interests, all while trying to bring a focus on respecting and protecting the environment, culture, and traditions encompassing the Amazon and its many people.

“The race is on. Protect the forests, protect the shamans, protect the frogs, protect the plants, protect the fungi, and let’s learn what these people know before that knowledge disappears because the knowledge is disappearing much faster than the forest itself.”

Resources:

Notable Quotes:

On the ACT: “When we set up the Amazon Conservation team about 25 years ago, the idea was that you had groups like the World Wildlife Fund (where I had been working) that was focused on protecting rainforests, and you had groups like Cultural Survival that was focused on protecting indigenous culture, but they really didn’t talk to each other. And so we wanted to help create a discipline now known as Biocultural Conservation because those of us who work with indigenous cultures (whether it’s in the far north of Canada or it’s in the Amazon) know that there is an inextricable slink between traditional shamanic cultures and their environment. And nobody was addressing that.”

“There’s a great saying… that the rainforest holds answers to questions we haven’t even asked. So who knows if the answer to Covid-19 or SARs or the next virus which is coming at some point is in the Amazon, and the answer is- nobody knows, and nobody’s really looking for it. So why not protect this treasure, steward it better, look for these answers, and keep the earth a rich and wonderful place?”

“The medical office of the future, if we get it right, is going to have a physician... a nutritionist... a pet therapist... a music therapist... a dietitian... a shaman... a massage therapist. Because there’s no one person and one way that’s going to embody all aspects of healing at the same time.”

“We all go to the grocery [store and ask]: ‘I want to buy organic stuff.’ How come nobody ever asks where the ayahuasca comes from? Is it harvested sustainably? Was it grown organically? You know how many times I’ve been asked that question? Never. If we’re having raised consciousness, why the hell aren’t we asking these questions?
So my challenge to all of our like-minded colleagues is: Let’s make sure we’re getting this from a sustainable source. Let’s make sure it’s being replanted when it’s harvested. Let’s make sure it’s benefiting tribal communities or peasant communities that are respectful of nature and shamanic processes and things like that because I don’t understand why anybody would go to the grocery store and want to get organic grapes but will buy ayahuasca off the internet without knowing where it came from.”

“The shamans often say everything is connected, which sounds sort of trite- this “butterfly effect.” But here’s proof of that. This whole terrible pandemic is due to our lack of respect for nature.”

“It’s not nice to screw mother nature either, because, you know, mother nature always wins. And thinking that we can get away with this and make a few bucks or eat a few weird dishes and not pay the ultimate price is foolish… It’s us [who are] following our nests... abusing indigenous cultures... abusing forests… and mother nature is ultimately going to have her revenge.”


About Mark J. Plotkin, Ph.D.

Dr. Mark Plotkin is a renowned ethnobotanist who has studied traditional indigenous plant use with elder shamans (traditional healers) of Central and South America for much of the past 30 years. As an ethnobotanist—a scientist who studies how, and why, societies have come to use plants for different purposes—Dr. Plotkin carried out the majority of his research with the Trio Indians of southern Suriname, a small rainforest country in northeastern South America, but has also worked with elder shamans from Mexico to Brazil. Dr. Plotkin has a long history of work with other organizations to promote conservation and awareness of our natural world, having served as Research Associate in Ethnobotanical Conservation at the Botanical Museum of Harvard University; Director of Plant Conservation at the World Wildlife Fund; Vice President of Conservation International; and Research Associate at the Department of Botany of the Smithsonian Institution. Dr. Plotkin is now President and Board member of the Amazon Conservation Team (ACT), a nonprofit organization he co-founded with his fellow conservationist and wife, Liliana Madrigal in 1996, now enjoying over 20 years of successes dedicated to protecting the biological and cultural diversity of the Amazon. ACT has been a member of the United Nations Environment Programme Global 500 Roll of Honour since 2002, and was recognized as using “Best Practices Using Indigenous Knowledge” by UNESCO, the United Nation’s cultural organization.

Jun 09, 2020
Solidarity Fridays - Week 10 with Kwasi Adusei
56:23

In today’s Solidarity Fridays Episode, Kyle and Joe interview Kwasi Adusei, Nurse Practitioner, and board member of Psychedelics Today. In the show, they talk about the root of protesting, privilege, the country’s leadership, the importance of this conversation and ways to support the Black Lives Matter movement.

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Show Notes

About Kwasi

  • It's difficult for all groups of people to talk about, not everybody is coming from the same place on this topic
    • Kwasi says it's wonderful to see so many people rising up to fight against injustice
  • These things have been happening for a long time, and it speaks to the history in America
  • Kwasi grew up in The Bronx, and it wasn't uncommon to hear about deaths, gun violence, etc
  • Kwasi went to receive his Doctorate, but reflects on his time in middle school and barely graduating
    • It wasn't because of him and his willingness to learn, it was because of his environment
    • The high school he went to is now shut down because of the low graduation rates

The Perfect Storm

  • Kyle says he wonders why this time in particular, why this is impacting the nation and the world more than anything else going on
    • Kwasi sees it as a two part thing, it's a snowball effect, the anger around these instances continue to grow
    • The other part of it, has a lot to do with the Coronavirus, people are losing their jobs, having trouble paying rent, feeding their family, etc
      • They are losing their outlets to grieve, and they go through it for weeks
      • Then something like this happens and it results in rage 

Making the Right Statement

  • It's important to look to the family of George Floyd, they are angry at the violence coming out of the protests
  • Some people believe that the anger that people are showing when damaging property, is causing the same anger when lives are lost
    • But some people are capitalizing on chaos, burning buildings and bringing destruction, and it takes away from the message of changing the systemic issues, it perpetuates it
    • It brings the spotlight to those who are inviting hate by graffiti-ing, lighting buildings on fire, ec
    • The conversation needs to prove that protests are making a statement 

Poor Leadership

  • We have a President that is enforcing law and order to remove peaceful protesters in a violent way
    • The leadership we have is very important, how crisis is approached is really important
    • “How [as a leader] do you calm the nerves of people, while getting to the root of the problem?” - Kwasi
    • We have a lot of people that support Trump, and he doesn't do the best job at leading and supporting the country in a respectful way, especially in these times
  • Joe mentioned videos out there of undercover cops breaking windows that are ‘bait’ to bring in stronger forces to shut down the protests
  • “We should all be asking ourselves, if I care about the messaging, how do I use my sphere of influence to change things?” - Kwasi
  • There are so many roots to this problem
    • How much are we using to fund the police force versus funding education, community services, public health? 

How to Support 

  • Joe says this platform (Psychedelics Today) is to create a space for people to give back, have an impact, share stories and support movements like this
  • Kwasi says to look locally to give your time, money and support
    • He says look to get involved in local elections, making a small difference in your local community, makes a difference on the larger scale when multiplied
  • Stay informed for yourself and share that information with everyone else
  • People are thinking heavily right now “where are my tax dollars being spent?”
    • Instead of extra funding to the local police force, you can vote for that increase to go toward something else like education 

Having the Conversation

  • Our voice is our vote
  • Many people who listen to the Psychedelics Today podcast are probably privileged
  • The psychedelic movement is (and if not, should be) connected to so many other movements like BLM
    • Psychedelics Today is mainly about social justice, changing the narrative on drug policy, the drug war, psychedelic exceptionalism and access
  • Kwasi says that for those who have acknowledged their privilege, not to just keep themselves in the pillar of ‘because I support the psychedelic movement and its connected to the BLM movement, I've done enough’
    • He encourages becoming an ally of the BLM movement, as well as any other movement

Privilege

  • Being a spiritual and privileged person, you have even more time to sit and process and think about all of this, especially when it's not affecting you
  • It’s difficult to analyze one’s own privilege
    • Kwasi says he went on a medical mission to Ghana, where he was born
    • Going back and seeing what the lifestyle was like there, it shifted a lot in him to understand his own privilege
    • He had the privilege of coming to America, receiving an education, etc
    • Because of his education, he is asking himself how to give back

Making Change through Action

  • If you're going to voice your support, that voice needs follow up with actions
    • Actions like donating to groups, educating yourself on local authority measures, voting, etc
  • Sometimes an organization's agenda isn't always aligned with what the people want
  • Kwasi says that he had a few people randomly venmo him money and it offended him
    • He doesn't want money, he wants change to be made in other ways
    • He says for those looking to help, ask first and see what ways those who have been oppressed want to see the change and be supported
  • “We can all be change makers, and all make a change in this world” - Kwasi

Final Thoughts

  • Kwasi wants to bring mental health into communities of people of color
  • He says email him at kwasiadusei@buffalo.edu

About Kwasi Adusei

Kwasi dedicates his work in the psychedelic movement to altering the stigma in mainstream channels by promoting the science, the healing potential of psychedelics, and civic engagement. Kwasi is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and graduated from the University at Buffalo. He is the founder of the Psychedelic Society of Western New York and project manager for Psychonauts of the World, an initiative to share meaningful psychedelic stories, with the ultimate goal of publishing them in a book as an avenue to raise money for psychedelic research. He is also one of the administrators for the Global Psychedelic Network, a conglomerate of psychedelic groups and individuals from around the world. Born in Ghana and raised in the Bronx, New York, Kwasi hopes to bring psychedelic therapy to communities of color.

Jun 05, 2020
Jacob Curtis - Psychedelic Photojournalism in Denver
01:11:54

In this episode, Joe speaks with Jacob Curtis a photojournalist at Denver7, a Denver-based ABC affiliate. 

Curtis covered Alaska’s marijuana legalization in 2014, and as a photojournalist living in Denver, has been at the forefront of the Decriminalize Denver movement, even providing some of the first broadcasted footage of a local mushroom grow. 
Curtis speaks about attending Psychedelic Club meetings and meeting James Casey, wanting to be the person to bring this story to the mainstream, and how these meetings and growing interest from the community were ultimately the incubators for the Decriminalize Denver, and later, Decriminalize Nature and #thankyouplantmedicine movements. 

They also discuss the National Psychedelic Club (of which Joe reveals he is now on the Board of Directors), Edward Snowden and the dangers of speaking with the media, and advice for how to protect one’s identity, the Telluride Mushroom Festival and documentaries like “Dosed,” the Psilocybin Mushroom Policy Review Panel, new startups in the field like MindMed, the Denver Mushroom Cooperative, MkUltra experiments in Denver, the importance of the #thankyouplantmedicine hashtag, and ultimately, how much Covid-19 has impacted the speed of progress in bringing legalization to the mainstream. 

Resources: 
www.facebook.com/somasagas

Notable quotes

On James Casey: “He was an awesome subject to sort of wrap the story around, and he was the perfect poster child because he had all the right ingredients- he was a veteran, really well-spoken, and just pretty straight-laced.” (9:41)

“It is interesting to watch, how the media sort of responds and works with stories that are on the fringes and then move slowly towards the mainstream.  It’s one of those things about our culture- it bends and shifts.  The times change and what was radical 10 years ago is normal now.” (13:51)

“We’ve had so many huge events that have taken place in our lifetimes that this kind of seems trivial… it’s not the highest priority anymore after we had the 2000 election, September 11th, the Iraq war.  Those things [psychedelics] aren’t as high on the list of things that we are supposed to be worried about anymore.” (14:45)

“I don’t think that we’re going to shy away from talking about psychedelics after a catastrophic virus collapses the world economy.  It’ll be an easy topic.” (15:57)

On #thankyouplantmedicine: “I don’t think there was necessarily a hashtag for drug policy reform that has been a conscious effort like that before, so it definitely gained some attention... If anything, it brought people together.  If it didn’t get this big media splash, it definitely helped grow the network.” (53:09)

About Jacob

Jacob is a photojournalist at Denver7, a Denver-based ABC affiliate.  He has been at the forefront of the Decriminalize Denver movement, even providing some of the first broadcasted footage of a local mushroom grow.

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Jun 02, 2020
Kyle and Joe - Solidarity Fridays - Week 9
01:02:32

In today’s Solidarity Friday’s Episode, Kyle and Joe sit down to talk about Grof Legacy Training, Peyote scarcity, a DMT survey on entities, and more.


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Show Notes

Grof Legacy Training

  • Its based on Stanislav Grof’s research into psychedelic therapy, holotropic breathwork, transpersonal psychology, and spiritual emergencies
  • Dr. Stanislov Grof and his wife just launched this program
    • It’s not just about breathwork
  • His involvement in the Grof transpersonal training program dropped off in the last few years
    • He wasn't allowed to teach breathwork in the GTT model, there wasn't any growth in the company, so a lot of people like Grof left and started their own thing
    • Kyle says this is pretty common with trademarks and protocols
    • Joe says he's very excited about it
  • Kyle says Stan’s work is very important and a lot of the reason Psychedelics Today came to be 

Peyote

  • Native American Churches don't have as much access as they need to properly grow Peyote
    • Perhaps, in countries where Peyote isn't illegal, there should be growing of Peyote
  • Native American’s are in a bad spot due to colonialism
  • As insiders, we need to talk about how to use less Peyote
    • “Pick one, plant two” should be the mindset
  • Kyle says, “how do we just respect these sacred medicines?”

 

DMT Survey 

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May 29, 2020
Erik Davis - High Weirdness: Drugs, Esoterica, and Visionary Experience in the Seventies
01:26:51

In this episode, Joe and Kyle interview Erik Davis, Author of High Weirdness: Drugs, Esoterica, and Visionary Experience in the Seventies. In the show they cover topics on La Chorrera, uncertainty, synchronicities and more.

3 Key Points:

  1. Erik is the Author of High Weirdness, a study of the spiritual provocations to be found in the work of Philip K. Dick, Terence McKenna, and Robert Anton Wilson.
  2. These 3 authors chart the emergence of a new psychedelic spirituality that arose from the American counterculture of the 1970s. Erik examines the published and unpublished writings of these thinkers as well as their own life-changing mystical experiences.
  3. Erik is America's leading scholar of high strangeness, and talks of synchronicities, uncertainty, and all things weird.

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Show Notes

About Erik

  • Erik went into the PhD program and always wanted to write about Phillip K Dick
  • He got a sense that he didn't want to spend 3 years in Phillip’s head
  • He looked into the works of Phillip K Dick, Robert Anton Wilson, The McKenna brothers, etc
    • He wanted to find a way to take their experiences seriously, without taking them literally

La Chorrera

  • Erik says that it's the great story
    • He says that no one had taken it seriously, and he wanted people to recognize what their work was, which was their experiences
    • Its half science, and half a ritual
    • It was a theater of transformation and novel experience
    • The purpose is to avoid the traps of blaming it on psychosis, and look at it as a creative venture
  • “I think a lot of us wrestling with psychedelics and visionary experiences have our own challenge of, how do we put these pieces together?” - Erik

Uncertainty

  • “I want to invite that difficulty in, it's not always love and light” - Erik
    • When someone is uncomfortable, people just turn away from it, and they just live in this lie 
  • Erik says he blames the culture and capitalist scene
    • Because of uncertainty, there are so many experts ready to sell you something
    • “The people who are seeking, I have more sympathy for. The people that are selling, I have less sympathy for” - Erik
  • “If you keep the balance, you can go pretty far and not fall in” - Erik
  • A lot of conspiracy theorists hand over their sovereign-ness
    • “I know” gives you an answer
    • We have reasons to distrust institutions
  • It's good to have a dose of skepticism

Synchronicities

  • One of the characters in Robert Anton Wilson’s Book, Illuminatus is Saul Goodman
    • In the Breaking Bad series, Saul Goodman is this kind of discordian
  • In Robert Anton Wilson’s Book, Cosmic Trigger, he talks about synchronicities
    • Reason is a way of modulating our pattern recognition
  • We are on a spectrum of pattern recognition
    • If we are below it, we are cold and dull
    • If we have hyper-pattern recognition, it could be psychosis

Cults

  • Erik says he can't write off people like Osho or Crowley
    • Even if they may have caused abuse or bad things, they have done a lot of great things for humanity
  • What's a cult? Its a creative director who sets the ‘stage’ and script that people learn etc

Links

Website


About Erik Davis

Davis was born during the Summer of Love within a stone’s throw of San Francisco. He grew up in North County, Southern California, and spent a decade on the East Coast, where he studied literature and philosophy at Yale and spent six years in the freelance trenches of Brooklyn and Manhattan before moving to San Francisco, where he currently resides. He is the author of four books: Nomad Codes: Adventures in Modern Esoterica (Yeti, 2010), The Visionary State: A Journey through California’s Spiritual Landscape (Chronicle, 2006), with photographs by Michael Rauner, and the 33 1/3 volume Led Zeppelin IV (Continuum, 2005). His first and best-known book remains TechGnosis: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Age of Information (Crown, 1998), a cult classic of visionary media studies that has been translated into five languages and recently republished by North Atlantic Press. He has contributed chapters on art, music, technoculture, and contemporary spirituality to over a dozen books. In addition to his many forewords and introductions, Davis has contributed articles and essays to a variety of periodicals. A vital speaker, Davis has given talks at universities, media art conferences, and festivals around the world. He has taught seminars at the UC Berkeley, UC Davis, the California Institute of Integral Studies, and Rice University, as well as workshops at the New York Open Center and Esalen. He has been interviewed by CNN, NPR, the New York Times, and the BBC, and appeared in numerous documentaries. He has hosted the podcast Expanding Mind on the Progressive Radio Network since 2010, and earned his PhD in Religious Studies from Rice University in 2015.

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May 26, 2020
Solidarity Fridays - Week 8 with Dave McGaughey
01:33:32

In today’s Solidarity Friday’s Episode, Kyle and Joe interview Dave McGaughey, Founding Partner of NorthStar. In the show, they talk about NorthStar, Ethics, and the story, “We Will Call It Pala”.


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Show Notes

About Dave

  • Dave was interested in natural food and kombucha and sold kombucha commercially and personally for 10 years
  • He mentions his favorite book of all time Island
  • The critical moment for Dave was at a convention hall on an escalator
    • On the escalator, in the middle, there were signs for an ‘exit’ that each company sold for
    • “What do we spend our short lives doing and why?” - Dave
    • He became humbled by the genius around him there and left the natural foods 'industry' for something more

Business Ethics

  • People come in with really good intentions, and then things get out of hand
  • Money screams security and comfort, even though that's not really the case
  • Joe says integrity has been Psychedelics Today’s number one goal, we've turned down investors that were not ethical, been pubic about partnerships (and the ending of some), etc
  • Reflect inward to maintain ethical standing
    • “How do we reflect on what we actually need and what we need to do?” - Joe
    • Since the beginning, Joe and Kyle would reach out to their advisory board for questions and guidance

Anchoring Community

  • At Northstar, they look at a large coalition of people in the psychedelic field
    • Pollanators - those who have read Pollan’s book and are super excited
    • Those who have had their own psychedelic experiences
    • Investors who are coming into the space and gaining a lot of power very quickly
    • Anchoring Community - the people who have been here for the longest time, and doing work in this space (elders, drug policy activists, etc)
  • In the underground, there is no strategy of how to hold accountability of facilitators, etc
  • “The eco-system is most thriving when non-profit pharma, and decrim and legalization are going really well” - David

Mindmed

  • Mindmed is making a drug that acts as a LSD Neutralizer technology to shorten and stop LSD trips
    • Dave says it could be really valuable for the ‘bad’ experiences
    • Another thing about the patent that might be bad for the community is that it says that trips are bad
  • He says Mindmed is specifically structured at doing something that may hurt the field

Book Reccomendations

  • Dave recommends two books that give insight on organizations and language use
    • Dave mentions a book that helps centrist people understand systemic issues around inequality, The Jungle
    • He recommends to the activist community, Nixonland, of the rise of the culture war

Consumer Education

  • It could be wise to have consumers decide the market
  • “The fact that the field is more precarious, actually puts more incentive to act ethically, especially for patient care.” - Dave
  • Dave says at NorthStar they ask, “In what ways do you build power to incentivize or pressure ethical action across the ecosystem at large?”
  • Joe says a lot of the stuff happening in psychedelics are by people that are underfunded and underpaid
  • NorthStar is not an industry association

NorthStar Pledge

  • It's a starting point to a dialogue on ethics
    • The NorthStar Pledge is on integrity and ethics
    • How do people in the field who care about this, talk about ethics?
  • Kyle says capitalism has influence on systemic issues
    • He says that people who embody psychedelic influences, are typically ethical
    • Being capitalistic, usually equates to bad ethics, but how do we embody the psychedelic wisdom to create a new model and change the capitalistic model to be more ethical?

Capitalism

  • Is capitalism really bad?
    • Imagine how capitalism would look if it were run by women and people of color, individuals who systematically don't operate with power
    • Imagine if companies were run by ethics, and not by money or power

Final Thoughts

  • At NorthStar, there are 3 women in high leadership positions
  • Dave wants to see more women and people of color in leadership positions
  • Dave says he is so proud by the leadership who runs NorthStar

Links

NorthStar

We Will Call it Pala


About Dave McGaughey

Dave McGaughey serves as Creative Director for Auryn Project, a non-profit incubator in the psychedelic field supporting heart-lead, highly effective organizations scaling equitable, affordable psychedelic medicine. He is a founding member of North Star, an initiative dedicated to centering integrity and ethics in the heart of the emerging psychedelic field, starting with the North Star Ethics Pledge. Dave is the author of We Will Call It Pala, a short work of graphic fiction exploring one potential future for psychedelic commercialization. Dave has done graphic design and web development for Auryn Project, North Star and Sage Integrative Health. Prior to psychedelics, Dave worked in Natural Foods and has brewed kombucha commercially and personally for more than ten years.

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May 22, 2020
Dr. Mike Hart - Cannabis is Medicine
01:07:57

In today’s episode, Joe and Kyle sit down with Dr. Mike Hart. In the show they talk about Cannabis and Ketamine used as medicine.

3 Key Points:

  1. The main uses for Cannabis are for chronic pain and mental health. CBD is really good for people with inflammation.
  2. When it comes to any psychedelic/plant medicine therapy, it's all about agency. The power lies within the individual, the therapy and the drug are just tools to help the person obtain the power to heal themselves.
  3. Ketamine is a useful treatment for depression. It's instant, a patient can take it and it's effective right away, where typical antidepressants may take 4-6 weeks to kick in.


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Show Notes

About Dr. Mike Hart

  • He attended Med school on Saba Island
  • Then he came to Ontario where he did his residency
  • 8 months after practicing he started prescribing cannabis
  • He got into cannabis because it's a great alternative to opioids and pain pills, etc.

Cannabis

  • The main uses for Cannabis are for chronic pain and mental health
    • CBD is really good for people with inflammation
    • CBD is good for anything with -itis like arthritis, etc
  • THC is found to be much better than CBD for things like sciatica and nerve pain
  • Kyle mentions that when he takes CBD he has flashbacks of ayahuasca dreams/experiences
    • CBD is not psychoactive in that it doesn't get you high
  • Kyle says that people can have spiritual experiences just by breathing, so the
    • CBD is just another vehicle that helps
  • Adding a small amount of THC to CBD isn't going to potentiate it, but there may be an entourage effect that can be a further benefit to a patient
    • Don't use more than 2.5mg of THC with CBD if you don't want psychoactive effects
  • Mike says that some people use CBD isolate, and that's great, but like an egg, it's best not to eat just the egg whites, it's best to eat the whole egg to get all of the benefits
    • So just like eating the whole egg, the best way to get all the benefits of cannabis is to use/consume the whole plant
    • There are definitely situations where using the whole plant is best, and other situations where isolation is best

Cannabis and Therapy

  • Anxiety can be treated very well with exposure therapy
    • Exposure therapy is exposing something you're afraid of, and exposing it over and over until its not an anxiety anymore
  • CBD can decrease learned fear
    • PTSD is a learned fear
    • “The people who end up doing the most in life, are the people who have had the most trauma. We need to tell people that their trauma does not define them.” - Mike
  • It's all about personal agency
    • It's not about the drug, its you
    • It's not about therapy, its you
    • The power is in you, its just learning how to harness and use that power
  • Mike says your relationships, your job, and your health are the three most important things to master
  • Going without something makes you more grateful for that thing

Ketamine

  • Mike has been prescribing Ketamine for just over a year now
    • It is helpful for mental health and chronic pain
    • Ketamine is really useful for treatment resistant depression
  • He prescribes Ketamine orally
    • He advises his patients to take it in the morning as soon as they wake up on an empty stomach
    • If it is taken that way, they get a psychoactive effect, and he thinks that it is the most effective way
    • Its instant, a patient can take it, and its effective right away, where typical antidepressants may take 4-6 weeks to kick in

Links

Website

Instagram

Twitter


About Dr. Mike Hart

Michael Hart, MD is the medical director and founder at Readytogo Clinic in London, Ontario. Readytogo Clinic focuses on cannabinoid medicine, but also offers family medicine services, IV vitamin therapy and specialized hormone testing. Dr. Hart is a recognized speaker on the topic of cannabis. He has spoken at CME events throughout Ontario, multiple cannabis conferences and has been featured on a variety of cannabis websites. In March of 2017, Dr. Hart released a free Ebook with his co-author Jeremy Kossen. Dr. Hart has seen first hand how the opioid epidemic is affecting our population and wanted to take action by finding a solution. Dr. Hart believes that cannabis is an excellent alternative to opioids and has seen excellent results in his practice. Dr. Hart emphasizes lifestyle changes in his medical practice and follows a low carb diet himself. Dr. Hart actively trains MMA at Adrenaline Training center and follows a comprehensive strength and conditioning program.

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May 19, 2020
Kyle and Joe - Solidarity Fridays - Week 7
01:09:10

In today’s Solidarity Friday’s Episode, Kyle and Joe sit down to talk about therapists being unprepared to talk to people taking psychedelics, the drug war and more.


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Show Notes

MAPS Press Release

Therapists Are Unprepared to Talk to People About Taking Psychedelics

  • Should there be some sort of body regulating therapist training in integration?
    • Should there be a standardized training?
  • There are going to be good therapists that care, and go out of their way and get the training, and there will be bad therapists, that do harm
    • It's a long and difficult topic
    • Should people be going to jail for being bad therapists?
  • Looking at breathwork, there are training groups, but there isn't one large, overarching group that governs all trainings
  • “Are we acting with integrity if we aren't bringing the utmost safety to the table?” - Joe

Group Setting Impact

  • How is COVID going to impact psychedelic tourism?
  • In breathwork, people are potentially coughing, crying, and in general just doing heavy breathing, COVID is super contagious

About Kyle

Kyle’s interest in exploring non-ordinary states of consciousness began when he was 16-years-old when he suffered a traumatic snowboarding accident. Waking up after having a near-death experience changed Kyle’s life. Since then, Kyle has earned his B.A. in Transpersonal Psychology, where he studied the healing potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness by exploring shamanism, plant medicine, Holotropic Breathwork, and the roots/benefits of psychedelic psychotherapy. Kyle has co-taught two college-level courses. One of the courses Kyle created as a capstone project, “Stanislav Grof’s Psychology of Extraordinary Experiences,” and the other one which he co-created, “The History of Psychedelics.”

Kyle completed his M.S. in clinical mental health counseling with an emphasis in somatic psychology. Kyle’s clinical background in mental health consists of working with at-risk teenagers in crisis and with individuals experiencing an early-episode of psychosis. Kyle also facilitates Transpersonal Breathwork workshops.

About Joe

Joe studied philosophy in New Hampshire, where he earned his B.A.. After stumbling upon the work of Stanislav Grof during his undergraduate years, Joe began participating in Holotropic Breathwork workshops in Vermont in 2003. Joe helped facilitate Holotropic and Transpersonal Breathwork workshops while he spent his time in New England. He is now working in the software industry as well as hosting a few podcasts. Joe now coordinates Dreamshadow Transpersonal Breathwork workshops, in Breckenridge, Colorado.

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May 15, 2020
Eamon Armstrong - Iboga, Ethics and Rites of Passage
01:39:34

In this episode, Kyle and Joe interview Eamon Armstrong, host of the Podcast, Life is a Festival. In the show, they talk about Eamon’s Iboga experience, the festival culture, rites of passage, ethics and more.

3 Key Points:

  1. Eamon Armstrong is the host of Life is a Festival, a podcast promoting a lifestyle of adventure and personal development through the lens of festival culture.
  2. Maya is an intelligence platform for psychedelic therapists to manage their clients and their protocols. 
  3. Rites of Passage can look different for everybody, they can look like going to Africa to be initiated in an Ibogaine ceremony, to attending Burning Man. 


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Show Notes

About Eamon

  • Eamon is the host of the Podcast, Life is a Festival
    • It's not about festivals, it's about how to make life like a festival
  • Eamon is very passionate about mental wellness
  • After graduating college, he felt very lost
  • He was throwing mushroom tea parties, making electronic music with his friends
    • The key to throwing a mushroom tea party is to have people drink less mushrooms than they think that they're drinking, everyone just thinks they are tripping harder than they were
  • He went to Burning Man in 2010
    • He started working in social media for Burning Man’s off playa events
  • Psychedelics and harm reduction became core to their editorial voice
    • He worked closely with Psychedelic Peer Support, Zendo, Kosmicare, etc

Ibogaine Experience

  • Eamon attended an Iboga retreat in Gabon, Africa, and he says it was more about the retreat than the Iboga
    • He was in the chamber for 5 days, and he was alone in it
  • This retreat was in the Bwiti religion
  • He really went there for a full sledgehammer experience
    • He felt he had some addicted aspects that were hindering his sexual experiences
  • Iboga goes to the root of the trauma and shows you where the addictive pattern of behavior is
  • Iboga has a long integration period
  • Iboga is a root, and he consumed it in a form of a tangled nest
    • He felt very blasted open from the experience
  • Iboga took him directly to his anger
  • “We have in our modern Western Culture, a lot of lost, young people” - Eamon
    • “The value of a rite of passage, is that you are confronted with certain things that you can't get to on your own” - Eamon
  • The fact that you can die in an Iboga experience, is part of the initiation

Rites of Passage

  • Burning Man isn't a rite of passage, but it can be used as a rite of passage
    • Burning Man is a temporary experience in civic living, it is not orchestrated by elders
  • There is a growing topic on psychedelic parenting, and taking psychedelics with children

Maya

  • Maya is designed in partnership with psychedelic practitioners & ceremony leaders
  • Maya is an intelligence platform for psychedelic therapists to manage their clients and their protocols
  • Ethics in psychedelics are so important right now
  • This does not replace the therapist, it's everything the therapist needs to support their clients in healing
  • “The ecosystem itself will thrive when we are all working in service to each other” - Eamon
  • “If you want to be a part of the cool kids, and the cool kids are doing it ethically, then you have to do it ethically” - Eamon

Final Thoughts

  • The soul is the most beautiful thing
  • “Psychedelics as medicine, treat society, beyond individuals” - Eamon

Links

Eamon Armstrong Website

Life is a Festival Facebook Group

Maya

Maya Health Facebook Page

Psychedelic Therapy Podcast

Psychedelic Therapy Podcast by Maya Facebook Group


About Eamon Armstrong

Eamon Armstrong is the creator and host of Life is a Festival, promoting a lifestyle of adventure and personal development through the lens of festival culture. He is the former Creative Director and public face of Chip Conley’s industry-leading online festival guide and community Fest300, where he was a global community builder. Eamon’s belief in the transformational power of psychedelics led him to take part in a traditional Bwiti initiation in Gabon, and to become a trained Sitter with MAP’s Zendo Project. Eamon is a passionate advocate for mature masculinity and offers public talks and workshops from mythopoetic men's work to stand-up comedy on integrating masculinity.

Headshot Photo Credit: GBK Photos 


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May 12, 2020
Kyle and Joe - Solidarity Fridays - Week 6 with Brett Greene
01:27:16

In today’s Solidarity Friday’s Episode, Kyle and Joe sit down with Brett Greene, who was the very first guest on Psychedelics Today four years ago. In response to last week’s episode on the Corporadelic topic, Brett comes on the show to talk about companies and drug discovery.


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Show Notes

Brett Greene

  • Brett Greene was the very first guest on Psychedelics Today four years ago
  • Brett and Kyle originally met at the Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics conference in New York City in 2013.
  • He works at The Center for Drug Discovery

Drug Development

  • At his new company, they are making drugs from tryptamines that are more predictable
    • His team has not only done this countless of times with the FDA, they have also done it with psychedelics

Ethics

  • The psychedelic movement doesn't own psychedelics, they don't own molecules, but they do own their history
  • “We should get away from the right and wrongness of the mechanics, and get into the right and wrongness of the ethics” - Brett
  • “Patents are the language of invention” - Brett
  • “An ethical charter is one that covers cognitive liberty, business ethics, and responsibility and accountability for patient safety” - Brett
  • What are the minimal acceptable requirements when doing this work?

Final Thoughts

  • We need to be kind with each other
  • We need to balance truth with kindness and compassion
  • For those interested in a work postiton email Brett@adeliatx.com 

About Brett Greene

Brett works in research administration under Alexandros Makriyannis, one of the world's top cannabinoid researchers. His job consists of a multitude of functions, ranging from administrative support for a team of 15+ grant submitting scientists to lab equipment and lab management, and diverse recruitment for NIH grants.

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May 08, 2020
Tom and Sheri Eckert - Oregon Psilocybin Therapy Initiative
01:11:47

In this episode, Joe interviews Tom and Sheri Eckert, organizers of the Oregon Psilocybin Therapy Initiative. The IP 34 is the bill that would legalize psilocybin therapy.

3 Key Points:

  1. IP 34 asks the Oregon Health Authority to create a licensing system that will create a regulated program where Oregonians suffering from depression, anxiety, trauma and other challenges can see a licensed and trained facilitator to receive supervised psilocybin therapy.
  2. IP 34 was written by licensed therapists in Oregon along with the country’s leading advocates in the field. It is supported by healthcare professionals, treatment providers, veterans’ groups and community leaders across the state.
  3. There has been a multitude of studies from leading medical research institutions such as Johns Hopkins, UCLA, and NYU showing that psilocybin therapy works.

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Show Notes

About

  • Tom and Sheri began their interest in psilocybin research about 5 years ago when they read an article in The New Yorker by Michal Pollan
  • They realized how powerful psilocybin was for clinical work
  • They are both therapists, and were inspired to find out if there was a way to create a modality that allowed them to provide psilocybin therapy to help their clients

Psilocybin Assisted Psychotherapy

  • Psychotherapy is supposed to be experiential, the breakthrough is where the change happens
  • Sheri says that psilocybin therapy gets all parts of the brain in communication together
  • “The more intense the mystical experience the more clinical outcomes that are achieved” - Tom

Ballot Initiative

  • They started in 2015
  • They wanted the breakthrough studies and the research proving low risks to work for them
  • The psychedelic community was very helpful
  • They went through rotations with the way the initiative was written
  • They like the therapy model, its safe, careful and mindful

Clause

  • Joe asks about a Supremacy Clause, where the state supersedes local districts
    • This initiative does not get in the way of any other initiative
  • There are angles on all different types of drug policy reform
  • There is nothing in the IP34 that blocks any other initiative like decriminalization
    • We are all a part of the big picture, we all need to work together

GMP Psilocybin

  • They wanted to keep this in the frame of non-commercialization
    • Their goal with this is not about money, it’s really about the healing
    • “We are trying to move forward a healing modality to help people, we are trying to legalize psilocybin assisted psychotherapy” - Tom
  • There is a part in the initiative that says measures will have to be taken to make sure the psilocybin is ‘food grade’ standard or in general just clean and safe

Oregonians to Sign the Petition

  • Download the petition, sign it, and mail it in

Final Thoughts

  • Sheri says that the team behind the initiative is inspired by what is happening globally around psilocybin and research
  • They are right at the end of their signatures, but they need help to reach the goal
  • “We've got to see the bigger picture here, and get behind it.” - Tom

Links

Website


About Tom and Sheri Eckert

As husband-and-wife founders of the Oregon Psilocybin Society (OPS) and authors of the Psilocybin Service Initiative (PSI), Tom and Sheri Eckert have set in motion a historic campaign to legalize Psilocybin Services, also known as Psilocybin Assisted Therapy, in their home state of Oregon. A growing number of Oregonians are getting behind the idea, largely in response to the latest science. The Eckerts, with a growing army of volunteers, are spreading a truth held increasingly self-evident: that the psilocybin experience, when facilitated under safe and supportive conditions, can be a life-changing gift.In addition to their activism, the Eckert’s own and operate “Innerwork” – a private psychotherapy practice serving the Portland metro area. Included in their catalog of services is their groundbreaking “Better Man” program, which is shown to neutralize intimate partner and family violence. Sheri has been awarded a Cosmic Sister Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance in support of her presentation at the Spirit Plant Medicine conference.

Designed to help the body with cellular energy and cardiovascular endurance.

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May 05, 2020
Kyle and Joe - Solidarity Fridays - Week 5
01:05:11

In today’s Solidarity Friday’s Episode with Kyle and Joe, they talk mostly about Corpora-delic, companies and wealthy individuals investing in the psychedelic industry.


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Show Notes

Psychedelics Company Orthogonal Thinker Closes $6M Seed Round

  • The company is valued at 111 million
  • The CEO, Jason Hobson says, “The current health pandemic has resulted in a societal shift in the way we think about our health and the importance of access to treatment, both physical health and mental health. Ei.Ventures believes this is the right time to lean into mental health issues such as mood disorders and addiction, and eventual access to therapeutic treatments from innovations in botanical compounds that have been around for thousands of years.”
  • Joe and Kyle say that there is so much money coming in, and it worries the psychedelic community because they aren't used to seeing capitalism
  • Joe says that he hopes that some patents don't equate to ruining access

Thiel Backs Psychedelic-Drug Startup in Latest Funding Round

  • “Are these companies going to bully the smaller organizations out of existence so that diversity doesn't really exist in the way we think it should?” - Joe
  • Medical is a great model, but it should be reduced to that only
  • Kyle says the sacred-ness feels like it may be taken away, and big companies just look at it as a commodity

Medical Researchers Worry Silicon Valley Could Screw Up Psychedelics

  • "Not everyone sees this opportunity for entrepreneurship as a good thing. For researchers looking into the efficacy of psychedelics for therapeutic purposes, these substances are far more than a market opportunity—they’re potentially life-saving medications. And after decades of prohibition, psychedelics are just barely gaining mainstream acceptance.’ - from the article
  • People are bold enough to stand up to companies they don't agree with
    It's no joke how much money was spent on making Tim Leary look bad

DARPA Wants Benefits of Psychedelics but Without Hallucinations

  • The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is launching a new drug program for treating soldiers with PTSD, depression, anxiety, and drug addiction, and it is drawing inspiration from psychedelic research.
  • Kyle mentions that this is tricky, its both a biochemical and experiential thing
  • Will eliminating the hallucinations ruin the experience?
    • Joe says that there are some people that are so unstable that a psychedelic experience can be really a lot
    • Joe also says that there arent alot of drugs that their use needs to be supervised (medically) and psychedelics are some of them

How Climate Justice Could End the Drug War

  • Joe recorded with Erica Darragh from Sunrise Movement
  • Their talk was about how climate justice could end the drug war
    • They talked about more equitable ways of including people of less power, influence or privilege into the world of psychedelics
  • The more ahead we are of the government, the more likely we are to influence policy, Joe says it's best to just stay informed

A North Star for the Emerging Psychedelics Industry

  • If we aren't coming from psychedelic values when bringing these substances into the mainstream, then what are we doing?
  • What are psychedelic values?
    • Valuing the planet, valuing your place in the planet, a sense of connection, cooperation vs. competition, how do we honor a lineage or where these medicines come from? these could be some psychedelic values
  • Following the permaculture principles and applying them to life is a great tool for systems thinking

About Kyle

Kyle’s interest in exploring non-ordinary states of consciousness began when he was 16-years-old when he suffered a traumatic snowboarding accident. Waking up after having a near-death experience changed Kyle’s life. Since then, Kyle has earned his B.A. in Transpersonal Psychology, where he studied the healing potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness by exploring shamanism, plant medicine, Holotropic Breathwork, and the roots/benefits of psychedelic psychotherapy. Kyle has co-taught two college-level courses. One of the courses Kyle created as a capstone project, “Stanislav Grof’s Psychology of Extraordinary Experiences,” and the other one which he co-created, “The History of Psychedelics.”

Kyle completed his M.S. in clinical mental health counseling with an emphasis in somatic psychology. Kyle’s clinical background in mental health consists of working with at-risk teenagers in crisis and with individuals experiencing an early-episode of psychosis. Kyle also facilitates Transpersonal Breathwork workshops.

About Joe

Joe studied philosophy in New Hampshire, where he earned his B.A.. After stumbling upon the work of Stanislav Grof during his undergraduate years, Joe began participating in Holotropic Breathwork workshops in Vermont in 2003. Joe helped facilitate Holotropic and Transpersonal Breathwork workshops while he spent his time in New England. He is now working in the software industry as well as hosting a few podcasts. Joe now coordinates Dreamshadow Transpersonal Breathwork workshops, in Breckenridge, Colorado.

Designed to help the body with cellular energy and cardiovascular endurance.

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May 01, 2020
Amanda Feilding - The Beckley Foundation: Changing Minds through Psychedelic Research
01:17:50

In this episode, Joe interviews Amanda Feilding, Founder and Director of The Beckley Foundation. In the show, they cover topics on psychedelic research, policy work, regulation, and the benefits of psychedelics in a time of crisis.

3 Key Points:

  1. The Beckley Foundation pioneers psychedelic research to drive evidence-based drug policy reform, founded and directed by Amanda Feilding as a UK-based think-tank and NGO.
  2. There is some interesting research happening around LSD expanding the neuroplasticity of the mind and increasing neurogenesis.
  3. We are in the midst of a mental health crisis, especially in the West, and psychedelics may be helpful in improving mental health.

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Show Notes

The Beckley Foundation

  • Amanda says she felt alone for a long time, they were taking a scientific approach, and it was much too serious for the underground
  • The Beckley Foundation is doing policy work, medical work, scientific work, etc
  • Amanda has a passion for science, but felt a social responsibility to do the policy work
    • It's a very destructive work with ‘drugs’, because they are all under the same umbrella, but we psychedelic enthusiasts know, that psychedelics are beneficial and different than other drugs
  • Joe mentions he always thought how crazy LSD sentencing is, in some places it is longer than murder charges
  • “The ego is really a mirror of the government, and it can be much too restrictive and damaging” - Amanda

LSD

  • LSD increases cognitive function by expanding the networks of integrative centers in the brain
    • Amanda thinks that LSD is better at increasing cognition than mushrooms
  • She says they are doing exciting work with LSD and how it expands neuroplasticity of the mind, and how it increases neurogenesis
    • She thinks we haven't really even scratched the surface of exploring the benefits of these compounds
  • Joe says he is hearing about a lot of athletes using LSD as a performance enhancing drug
  • Neuroplasticity is like when the brain becomes hot metal and it can adapt and change

Crisis

  • We have a horrible mental health crisis in the west, 1 in 3 teenage girls are depressed
  • Out of all death causes in the US, air pollution is one of the largest
  • “Our society needs a paradigm shift” - Amanda
  • Amanda says that she doesn't believe that all people need to take psychedelics, but that they can be very beneficial

Regulation

  • Joe says he would love to see regulation everywhere
  • The cause of most drug harms are prohibition
  • Portugal and Switzerland are great models for boosting public service
  • Recognizing the potential benefits helps (starting with medical but not stopping there)

Final Thoughts

  • We are all moving in the right direction
  • The spreading of knowledge and education is the right path
  • The intuitive gains are the main benefits of these altered states of consciousness

Links

The Beckley Foundation


About Amanda Fielding

Amanda Feilding has been called the ‘hidden hand’ behind the renaissance of psychedelic science, and her contribution to global drug policy reform has also been pivotal and widely acknowledged. Amanda was first introduced to LSD in the mid-1960s, at the height of the first wave of scientific research into psychedelics. Impressed by its capacity to initiate mystical states of consciousness and heighten creativity, she quickly recognised its transformative and therapeutic power. Inspired by her experiences, she began studying the mechanisms underlying the effects of psychedelic substances and dedicated herself to exploring ways of harnessing their potential to cure sickness and enhance wellbeing. In 1996, Amanda set up The Foundation to Further Consciousness, changing its name to the Beckley Foundation in 1998.

Designed to help the body with cellular energy and cardiovascular endurance.

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Apr 28, 2020
Kyle and Joe – Solidarity Fridays – Week Four
01:10:13

In today’s Solidarity Fridays Episode with Kyle and Joe, they talk about current topics in the news including MindMed, psilocybin synthesis, treating climate grief with psychedelics, psychedelic decriminalization and more.


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Show Notes

MindMed

  • Psychedelic Pharmaceutical Company MindMed Develops LSD Neutralizer Technology To Shorten and Stop LSD Trips
  • MindMed is a psychedelic Pharmaceutical company that is exploring LSD and patenting anything they find during the research
  • Joe comments and says that organizations like Zendo are able to do optimal work and we don't necessarily need a Pharma company to help in recreational/festival settings
    • But in a clinical setting, this is more necessary
  • “Are these big companies coming into the space as allies are not?” - Joe
    • Joe says he thinks they are part of the ecosystem, for better or worse
  • Joe says, imagine if drugs were legal, they would be so much safer
    • Kyle questions what legalization would look like not in a capitalistic market

Scientists Turn Yeast into Psychedelic Psilocybin Factories

  • There is a lot of reason why people choose not to play in commodified markets
  • “How do we know what is true? How do we know what is helpful for us?” - Joe
    • Joe says lets not have a quick easy answer
  • "It's infeasible and way too expensive to extract psilocybin from magic mushrooms and the best chemical synthesis methods require expensive and difficult-to-source starting substrates” - a quote from the article

Can Psychedelics Treat Climate Grief?

  • 20 years is when it's going to be really bad for climate change
  • It's been more prominent, people getting therapy for trauma of what's happening in nature
  • The question of a conference that Joe and Kyle attended was, “Can extraordinary experiences help save us from planetary, ecological collapse?”
    • We are able to make people feel more connected to ecological systems with psychedelics
  • We have to be able to feel the grief, but we have to be able to act
  • Are we stewards of the earth, or do we want to work pointless jobs and be a part of consumerism?

D.C. Would Vote To Decriminalize Psychedelics, Poll Shows

  • If COVID wasn't a thing currently, it looks like decrim would happen in the belly of the beast, in D.C.
    • Despite the public health crisis, its looks like citizens want to reassess entheogenic use
  • “When there is hardship, creativity seems to spike” - Joe
    • Joe says to check out the microdose VR by Android Jones

About Kyle

Kyle’s interest in exploring non-ordinary states of consciousness began when he was 16-years-old when he suffered a traumatic snowboarding accident. Waking up after having a near-death experience changed Kyle’s life. Since then, Kyle has earned his B.A. in Transpersonal Psychology, where he studied the healing potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness by exploring shamanism, plant medicine, Holotropic Breathwork, and the roots/benefits of psychedelic psychotherapy. Kyle has co-taught two college-level courses. One of the courses Kyle created as a capstone project, “Stanislav Grof’s Psychology of Extraordinary Experiences,” and the other one which he co-created, “The History of Psychedelics.”

Kyle completed his M.S. in clinical mental health counseling with an emphasis in somatic psychology. Kyle’s clinical background in mental health consists of working with at-risk teenagers in crisis and with individuals experiencing an early-episode of psychosis. Kyle also facilitates Transpersonal Breathwork workshops.

About Joe

Joe studied philosophy in New Hampshire, where he earned his B.A.. After stumbling upon the work of Stanislav Grof during his undergraduate years, Joe began participating in Holotropic Breathwork workshops in Vermont in 2003. Joe helped facilitate Holotropic and Transpersonal Breathwork workshops while he spent his time in New England. He is now working in the software industry as well as hosting a few podcasts. Joe now coordinates Dreamshadow Transpersonal Breathwork workshops, in Breckenridge, Colorado.

Designed to help the body with cellular energy and cardiovascular endurance.

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Apr 24, 2020
Melissa Stangl and Daniel Cleland - Soltara Healing Center: Where Integration meets Tradition
01:11:54

In this episode, Kyle interviews Mellissa Stangl and Daniel Cleland, Co-founders of Soltara Healing Center. They talk about integration, Shipibo healing lineage, accessibility of psychedelics, and psychedelic tourism. 

3 Key Points:

  1. Soltara is a Healing Center dedicated toward  integration as well as practicing and preserving the Shipibo tradition of Ayahusca healing. 
  2. It doesn't make sense to take nature based traditions and turn it into instant gratification and business. The further you get from tradition, the less beneficial it may be.
  3. Tourism for Ayahuasca can bring both harm and benefits to the local community. Reinforcing the heritage, paying the healers very well and giving back to the forests in terms of sustainability are all ways that Soltara is using Ayahuasca tourism to help the local communities.

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Show Notes

About Michelle

  • Michelle originally comes from the STEM field
  • She was working in corporate America and was in search for a deeper meaning
  • She met Dan and it changed her mindset
  • Dan looked for someone to help him after starting up Soltara, and so she dropped everything and moved to the jungle to make it happen

About Daniel

  • Daniel grew up in a small town in Canada
    • He followed the typical life trajectory, go to school, go to college, get a job, etc
  • He didn't have big ambitions at the time, very in line with the middle class area that he grew up in
    • After entering the work-force, he was in un-ambitious jobs
    • He thought “are there just 30 years of doing this until this is over?”
  • He felt a strong pull towards South America
    • He was very close to nature in his upbringing
  • He got a job leading tours
  • He had a personal crisis that led him to do some soul searching
  • Within the span of a few years, the trajectory pushed him to build his own healing center in Peru

Pillars of Soltara

  • They feel very strongly about having the Shipibo healers lead the ceremony, and everything that they (Mel, Dan and the team) do is to help honor the tradition
  • They focus a lot on integration
    • For the Shipibo culture, their life is integraton, but for a lot of people that are coming from the Western world and other places, that is not the case
    • They started collaborating with clinical psychologists to help create a program that puts the retreat at the start of the program, the work comes after
    • Soltara includes a workbook for integration afterward
  • Our transition times in modern life are shamed, getting your period, having a mid life crisis, having a psychedelic experience, but these experiences can be very sacred
  • “Connecting to the sacredness of life is so healing and so needed for modern-day society” - Melissa

Container for Safety and Integration

  • The sensationalism is more around the experience itself
    • People think that you just go in and have the experience and then your life is changed forever and that is not the case
  • A place where people not only can find who they are, but then be who they are in that container, and meet people and create community, is so powerful
    • Kyle said when he attended his retreat there, he can't shake how safe he felt
      He said it really stood out to him, for someone who is looking at integration and so involved in this field
  • “I would like to bring people to this tradition in a way that is accessible, and I think that starts with safety” - Melissa

Corporadelic

  • There are new products, treatment centers, etc
    • The further away you get from tradition, the less beneficial it may be
  • Dan says it doesn't make sense to take nature based traditions for instant gratification, monopoly, and business
    • The ceremony is the healing part, the ayahuasca allows one to connect with the plants, and that it is just the songs in ceremony that really create the healing
    • Melissa says she understands that the science is helping the movement, but she is so afraid that big corporations will just run with this and ruin tradition around it
  • Kyle says during his experience at Soltara, he just felt flooded with gratitude to experience the medicine healing in nature and in the Shipibo culture, where it is natural

Ayahuasca Tourism

  • Tourism for Ayahuasca causes harm but also brings benefits to the community too
  • Dan says they are expanding the work, they are not taking away from the traditions
    • It takes a certain capacity to travel to the jungle, speak the language, figure out where to go, how to get there, and how to receive healing is not typically possible for the vast majority of people
  • The Shipibo is receiving really good pay doing this work, which isn't typically possible for the indigenous people
  • This is also reinforcing the heritage, encouraging the children to continue the traditional path
    • Now it’s not only a cultural heritage, it's also a way to make a living for the community members
  • You don't cut down trees to grow ayahuasca, you grow ayahuasca among the trees, so it's protecting the jungle
  • In recent years there has been more information and collective awareness to ask the hard questions, Bia Labate has been on the forefront of this, asking the indigenous leaders the important questions of how to keep Ayahuasca tourism sustainable, beneficial and protected

Sustainability

  • They just completed a fundraiser for the Amazon
    • They have been collaborating with Amazon Watch, and they raised over $10,000
    • They are working to plant new Ayahuasca, not to harvest but just to put back into the jungle

Final Thoughts

  • Melissa suggest listeners to watch Reconnect, a movie about a man’s journey to Soltara

Links

Soltara Website


About Melissa Stangl

After taking a leap of faith in September 2015 to step out of Corporate America and into the Amazon jungle, Melissa has since used her background in engineering, science, and management to help advance the plant medicine and psychedelic movements – first by helping run a top-rated ayahuasca center in Peru as Operations Manager, and then as Director of Business Development – and now as Founding Partner and COO for Soltara. She is passionate about using her technical, managerial, and problem-solving skills to help bridge the gap between the Western world and the incredible healing potential of plant medicines and holistic health. Melissa is honored to be a part of this project and working with such a high-quality team that understands the importance and sacredness of this work. Her ethos is one of authenticity, professionalism, respect for tradition, transparency, and high-quality service. These mutual tenets are the team’s vision for Soltara as a whole, and she is grateful to take part in creating a space that is a strong conduit for healing, sustainability, and knowledge, empowering each guest to become global beacons for positive change.

About Daniel Cleland

Daniel Cleland is the Founding Partner/Chairman and CEO of Soltara Healing Center. He is an international entrepreneur, traveller, and author of the book, Pulse of the Jungle: Ayahuasca, Adventures and Social Enterprise in the Amazon. Originating in Walkerton, Ontario, he has spent over a decade globe-trotting and hosting group tours all over Latin America and in the deepest parts of the Amazon to work with traditional indigenous medicine practices. After completing his Master’s of Intercultural and International Communication, Daniel founded the company Pulse Tours, a company operating in Peru which became one of the highest rated shamanic retreat centers in the world before he sold it completely in 2017. He believes in supporting sustainability initiatives around the world, such as a free solar power installation that he spearheaded for an entire village in the Amazon in 2017, and the work being done by Amazon Rainforest Conservancy, a Canadian NGO wherein Daniel sits as a member of the advisory board.

Designed to help the body with cellular energy and cardiovascular endurance.

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Apr 21, 2020
Kyle and Joe – Solidarity Fridays – Week Three
01:01:49

In today’s Solidarity Fridays Episode with Kyle and Joe, they talk about the Shadow Panel, embracing the weird in psychedelia, what is real, re-examining ‘normal’, and more.


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Show Notes

Shadow Panel

  • Topics in the Panel include
    • Ayahuasca retreat centers
    • Maximization culture to use psychedelics for optimization
    • Ketamine therapy and shadow as aspects of character
    • The collective shadow and astrology
    • and much more!

Erik Davis

  • Joe and Erik just had a call and they talked about his book High Weirdness: Drugs, Esoterica, and Visionary Experience in the Seventies (The MIT Press)
    • It is a study of the spiritual provocations to be found in the work of Philip K. Dick, Terence McKenna, and Robert Anton Wilson
    • It's a really nice survey of the weird
    • “Are you acknowledging what you're getting by believing something is true? It's a part of your analysis”
  • Joe says if you're into the weird stuff in psychedelics, this book is for you. If you are only into the clinical stuff, then this is good for you.
    • Kyle says sometimes we don't give enough credit to the weirdness in the psychedelic space
  • Corporadelic is a means of spiritual bypassing
  • The weirdness is core to what the psychedelic experience is

What is Real?

  • Psyche means more than just mind
    • When its mind, body, spirit, breath, it seems more accurate
  • It is worth reading Alfred Whitehead and James Fadiman, Philosophy is important
  • We are trying to understand and have helpful language around the psychedelic experience
    • “There are no whole truths, there are only half truths”
  • Kyle said that at the core of our being, how do we know what is true and real?
    • At the fundamental truth of what real is, Kyle says that sitting in the CAT scan machine and being on the brink of death, that's the only place where truth sits for him

Psychedelic Liberty Summit

  • Saturday and Sunday April 25th and 26th
  • Receive a discount here
  • This is a psychedelic conference that turned virtual due to COVID-19

Group Work

  • Breathwork, retreat centers, etc are at an undetermined standstill because we don't know how this is going to plan out
  • The Navigating Psychedelics Today Online class has students learn the information first and then come together to talk about it
  • There are so many means of transmission
    • Kyle mentions he read something about COVID being transmitted on the soles of shoes
  • We will probably need additional shelter in place measures all the way until 2022
  • We are almost hitting 9/11 death toll numbers on a daily basis

Re-examining Normal

  • Do we want to go back to the way things were? Or do we want to take this weird/uncertain time and do something with it?
  • The worst of climate change is only a mere 20 years out
  • It's easy to have emotional heartbreak when ecological destruction happens
    • Eco-psychology is a huge field

Mind Medicine Australia

Final Thoughts

  • Navigating Psychedelics for Clinicians and Therapists, May co-hort is SOLD OUT
    The wait list for the next co-hort can be found here 

 


Psychedelics and the Shadow: A Series Exploring the Shadow Side of Psychedelia

Enroll Today!


About Kyle

Kyle’s interest in exploring non-ordinary states of consciousness began when he was 16-years-old when he suffered a traumatic snowboarding accident. Waking up after having a near-death experience changed Kyle’s life. Since then, Kyle has earned his B.A. in Transpersonal Psychology, where he studied the healing potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness by exploring shamanism, plant medicine, Holotropic Breathwork, and the roots/benefits of psychedelic psychotherapy. Kyle has co-taught two college-level courses. One of the courses Kyle created as a capstone project, “Stanislav Grof’s Psychology of Extraordinary Experiences,” and the other one which he co-created, “The History of Psychedelics.”

Kyle completed his M.S. in clinical mental health counseling with an emphasis in somatic psychology. Kyle’s clinical background in mental health consists of working with at-risk teenagers in crisis and with individuals experiencing an early-episode of psychosis. Kyle also facilitates Transpersonal Breathwork workshops.

About Joe

Joe studied philosophy in New Hampshire, where he earned his B.A.. After stumbling upon the work of Stanislav Grof during his undergraduate years, Joe began participating in Holotropic Breathwork workshops in Vermont in 2003. Joe helped facilitate Holotropic and Transpersonal Breathwork workshops while he spent his time in New England. He is now working in the software industry as well as hosting a few podcasts. Joe now coordinates Dreamshadow Transpersonal Breathwork workshops, in Breckenridge, Colorado.

Designed to help the body with cellular energy and cardiovascular endurance.

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Apr 17, 2020
Michelle Janikian - Your Psilocybin Mushroom Companion
01:13:36

In this episode, Joe interviews Michelle Janikian, Author of Your Psilocybin Mushroom Companion. In the show, they talk about Michelle’s book, the need to speak about the unspoken, and how psychedelic experiences differ for everyone.

3 Key Points:

  1. Michelle Janikian is Author of the book, Your Psilocybin Mushroom Companion, an easy-to-use guide to understanding magic mushrooms, from tips and trips to microdosing and psychedelic therapy.
  2. Psychedelics can help people, but they don't solve all problems. Doing the homework after an experience is so important.
  3. The psychedelic subculture has a lot of repressed stuff going on like sexual abuse. We need to speak about the things that aren't necessarily good for the movement, we need to talk about all of it. 


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Show Notes

About Michelle

  • Michelle was originally a cannabis journalist
    • Then she was a staff writer for Herb
  • She then started writing her own book, Your Psilocybin Mushroom Companion
    • So much has been happening with mushrooms lately, and Michelle thought we really needed a resource on how to use mushrooms safely
  • Ulysses Press did a few Cannabis books
    • Michelle was approached by them, they wanted to do a mushroom guide
  • She first took mushrooms when she was 17
    • She took them for fun, but had so many deep and meaningful experiences too
  • Michelle believes there are multiple right ways to use psilocybin, either therapeutically, ceremonially, recreationally, etc.
    • "As long as you're being safe with your surroundings, and with yourself, anyway is the right way (except for the fact that they are still illegal)" - Michelle
  • In places where mushrooms are decriminalized, she mentions it totally changes your comfort level and experience when you're not so afraid to have them on you

Retreat

  • Michelle just volunteered as a trip sitter at a week long women's retreat in Mexico at  Luz Eterna Retreats
  • She says she doesn't have all the answers, but the group environment can be really great for some, and not good at all for others
  • She suggests, “do what feels right for you

Routes of Administration

  • There isn't one ideal form of administration across all drugs
  • Joe says one route of administration may be good for one person, and not for another
  • You can powder the mushrooms and put them into capsules, put them on food, eat them plain, make a tea out of them, etc
    • Michelle says she has a great recipe in her book for mushroom tea to prevent nausea

Different for Everyone

  • Michelle felt a calling to write the book because she says many other books and publications were coming out, and she didn't want some people to feel upset when psychedelics didn't just ‘heal them’
  • She says psychedelics help her, but they don't solve all of her problems
    • Doing the homework after an experience is so important

The Unspoken

  • She says she feels uninspired to write about the ‘black and white’, the same old, stereotypical narrative
    • She wants to write about the grey, the unexpected, the in-between
  • Michelle asks how do we talk about the things that aren't right for the movement? Like the sexual abuse that happens in this space
  • This psychedelic subculture has a lot of repressed stuff going on, and how do we talk about it?
  • We need to keep learning in this field to keep improving, it is dense and detailed
  • Michelle leaves us with a final thought, “read more books written by women!”

Links

Your Psilocybin Mushroom Companion: An Informative, Easy-to-Use Guide to Understanding Magic Mushrooms―From Tips and Trips to Microdosing and Psychedelic Therapy

Website


About Michelle Janikian

Michelle Janikian is the author of Your Psilocybin Mushroom Companion, the down-to-earth guide that details how to use magic mushrooms “like an adult.” As a journalist, she got her start writing about cannabis for publications like High Times, Rolling Stone and Herb. Now, she writes a column for Playboy on all things drug related and also contributes regularly to DoubleBlind Mag, MERRY JANE, Psychedelic’s Today and others. She’s passionate about the healing potential of psychedelic plants and substances, especially psilocybin and cannabis, and the legalization and de- stigmatization of all drugs. Michelle studied writing and psychology at Sarah Lawrence College before traveling extensively in Latin America and eventually settling down in southern Mexico. Born in New York City and raised in New Jersey, Michelle ventures back to the States a few times a year to give talks and workshops on safe mushroom use and other cannabis and psychedelic related topics. 

Designed to help the body with cellular energy and cardiovascular endurance.

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Apr 14, 2020
Kyle and Joe – Solidarity Fridays – Week Two
01:13:49

In today’s Solidarity Friday’s episode with Kyle and Joe, they cover current events on psychedelics for treatment of COVID-19 trauma, an article on single dose psilocybin effects, psychedelic investments, self care and more.


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Navigating Psychedelics


Show Notes

A Single High Dose of Psilocybin Alters Brain Function Up to One Month Later

  • It was a small study of only 12 people
  • The article states, the researchers found that self-reported emotional distress was reduced one week after psilocybin administration, but returned to baseline levels at one month after psilocybin administration

Doctor Calls for "Temporary Approval" of Psychedelics to Treat COVID-19 Trauma

  • There were a few doctors and people that didn't understand the value of psychedelics being used as psychiatric tools
  • Kyle thinks especially of all of the first-responders that are working non stop, without a break, for weeks on end, witnessing tons of people dying daily, and then trying to come back and process this
    • The mental health, long term of these people is going to be so impacted
  • Then we have to think about the people that can't come together for a funeral after they lose someone
  • This pandemic is going to be traumatizing for people
    • Joe says this looks like a global ego death, all of the systems that we have had before are not adequate
  • The Spanish flu of 1918 was only a few years away from the Great Depression
  • We know that traumas influence health and behaviors, but we have tools and technologies to get ahead of this, from an epigenetic standpoint

Psychedelic Investments

  • Kyle and Joe talk for a while about psychedelics and money and research and funding
    • It's a tricky thing, because we want there to be funding to make this accessible, but we want people to invest with integrity and to not start a monopoly on the funding
  • Joe says we (as a company) have been approached by investors, but we have been hesitant to stay with our vision, keep our integrity and stay on track with our mission

Self Care

  • Kyle says stay in the present moment, limit news consumption (watch it maybe once a day to know what's going on, but then put the phone down and not drown in it)
  • It's helpful to develop more of a spiritual practice in this time (yoga, meditation)
  • Self care is going to look different for everybody
    • Joe says ‘Maslow it’, get good sleep, drink good water, satisfy basic needs, those are first step during this time
    • Kyle says that he uses movement, somatic work, breathing into places in the body that are tense, etc
  • Kyle says that those who are doing a lot of online work, take time to move and stretch
    • This is a time to do a lot of work we have put off, but at the same time, its okay to give our bodies a break, take time to rest, get outside, find movement, etc
    • It's important not to take on too much or do too many things

About Kyle

Kyle’s interest in exploring non-ordinary states of consciousness began when he was 16-years-old when he suffered a traumatic snowboarding accident. Waking up after having a near-death experience changed Kyle’s life. Since then, Kyle has earned his B.A. in Transpersonal Psychology, where he studied the healing potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness by exploring shamanism, plant medicine, Holotropic Breathwork, and the roots/benefits of psychedelic psychotherapy. Kyle has co-taught two college-level courses. One of the courses Kyle created as a capstone project, “Stanislav Grof’s Psychology of Extraordinary Experiences,” and the other one which he co-created, “The History of Psychedelics.”

Kyle completed his M.S. in clinical mental health counseling with an emphasis in somatic psychology. Kyle’s clinical background in mental health consists of working with at-risk teenagers in crisis and with individuals experiencing an early-episode of psychosis. Kyle also facilitates Transpersonal Breathwork workshops.

About Joe

Joe studied philosophy in New Hampshire, where he earned his B.A.. After stumbling upon the work of Stanislav Grof during his undergraduate years, Joe began participating in Holotropic Breathwork workshops in Vermont in 2003. Joe helped facilitate Holotropic and Transpersonal Breathwork workshops while he spent his time in New England. He is now working in the software industry as well as hosting a few podcasts. Joe now coordinates Dreamshadow Transpersonal Breathwork workshops, in Breckenridge, Colorado.

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Apr 10, 2020
Dena Justice - Using Neuro Linguistic Programming to Create Change in the Unconscious Mind
01:18:18

In this episode, Joe invites previous guest, Dena Justice back on the show to continue the conversation on Neuro Linguistic Programming and non-ordinary states of consciousness.

3 Key Points:

  1. 93% of what we do on a day to day basis, is unconscious. If we can figure out how to work with that 93%, then we can really do some important things.
  2. A lot of times we aren't happy with our behavior, first we have to distinguish between cause and effect. With effect, you blame other people, but when you're a cause in your life, you're taking responsibility for what's happening.
  3. Creating new habits is hard at the conscious level, because it requires conscious thought. NLP focuses on the unconscious.

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Show Notes

Last Episode

  • 93% of what we do on a day to day basis, is unconscious
    • If we can figure out how to work with that 93%, then we can really do some important things
    • Communicating with the unconscious mind is kind of how we communicate with ourselves
  • The previous episode was called Neuro Linguistic Programming and Non-ordinary states of consciousness
  • NLP is all about our nervous system and what is coming in with our 5 senses, then the linguistic part is all about how we communicate what is happening in the body
  • NLP basically creates all of our behavior
    • The more we are able to understand how our unconscious mind works, the better we are able to get the outcomes we actually want

Outcomes

  • A lot of times we aren't happy with our behavior
  • First we have to distinguish between cause and effect
    • When you're at effect, you blame other people, but when you're a cause in your life, you're taking responsibility for what's happening
  • When we can help people be more at cause, they get those desired outcomes, and people start to get to where they want to go in life” - Dena

Perception is Projection

  • Whatever you're believing that which is outside of yourself, it's actually a reflection of you
  • Dena said that she won't go to fitness classes simply because of the language they use
    • Altering your state through movement makes a person very vulnerable and the language can be very suggestive
  • What are we subjecting ourselves to everyday? When we sit down to watch TV or movies, we are in a trance-like state
  • Dena suggests being very careful to be aware of what we let in
  • Getting rid of barriers and obstacles to get where you want in life is the goal for NLP

Prepping the Unconscious Mind

  • Going to the gym is a habit so many people want to have and don't
  • Creating new habits is hard at the conscious level, because it requires conscious thought
    • When we try to make decisions at the conscious level, it gets really difficult
  • All learnings and behaviors, happen at the unconscious level” - Dena
  • “How many times did you have to tie your shoes consciously, before you tied your shoes, unconsciously?” - Dena
  • Most people don't have good language running in the background, and that is a big reason why people are stuck in poor behaviors

Prime Directives of the Unconscious Mind

  • We create gestalts of emotions and experiences
    • A gestalt looks like a pearl necklace, and they are all related to each other
    • All of our experiences of our emotions (ex. anger) all get hooked together like a necklace
    • It's a way that our mind organizes the information
  • When we learn to re-frame intentionally, we can take it as a tool into non-ordinary states of consciousness

Re-framing

  • In psychedelic experiences, we are re-framing the conscious mind, we shake loose of our gestalts
    • We need to learn new tools in order to directly communicate with the unconscious mind” - Dena
  • When we can get to the ‘aha’ moment, we can create change more quickly
  • Limiting beliefs and negative emotions get in the way
    • Getting rid of limiting beliefs causes massive aligned action which leads to massive life change

Tools

  • Our unconscious mind loves following instructions
    • We tell the mind so many don'ts, ‘don't cross the street, don't walk on the grass, etc
    • We need to tell the mind exactly what to do
    • People are really clear about what they don't want, but they aren't always clear on what they do want
  • 7% of what we are saying are just words, the other 93% is is how we say it, our emotions, our infections, are body positions, etc
  • Joe mentions somatic techniques, but that only goes so far, NLP takes it home
  • We learn language, but we don't learn to be effective communicators

Workshop

  • Joe, Kyle and Dena are talking about doing a 5-day breathwork and NLP workshop in Sonoma, CA
    • Breathwork is such an amazing tool for non-ordinary state of consciousness
  • Until more news is released about the retreat/workshop, Dena invites listeners to take her course over at her website, Ecstatic Collective
  • Sign up at psychedelicstoday.com/NLP to be notified of the future workshop

Links

Website


About Dena Justice

As a master manifester, Dena has created a beautiful life for herself. She been financially responsible since age 15 including putting herself through college, two masters degrees and purchasing her own home in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has made over $1M in her life through a fulfilling career as a facilitator, educator, trainer, mentor and coach working with thousands of people across the country. She loved her career, yet hit a point where she felt empty. Near the top of her career ladder, she was a classic case of a high performer and leader hitting burnout. She chose a powerful pivot out of her J-O-B and into her own business. Now, she helps other high performers who have hit burnout and are scared to admit they’ve hit a plateau or a wall. She helps them get the eff out of their own way and move to the next level to increase their impact so they feel fulfilled and inspired again, as well as helping them create more wealth and the relationships they want in their lives. She helps people experience new levels of success, increase/improve focus and performance, abolish FOMO, evolve communication skills, develop transformational leadership skills, create amazing relationships, increase financial abundance and live life on their own terms.

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Apr 07, 2020
Kyle and Joe - Solidarity Fridays - Week One
01:06:58

In today’s Solidarity Friday’s episode with Kyle and Joe, they cover current events on COVID-19, social media narratives, a new world, psycho-pharma, psychedelic VICE articles, movies about acid and more.


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Show Notes

Coronavirus

  • Joe and his girlfriend are recovering from being sick, potentially coronavirus (they weren't allowed to be tested without being hospitalized)
    • Joe said he was really sick in a new and novel way
  • Kyle is located in New Jersey (currently around 19,000 cases, close to 250 deaths)
    • He has a weak immune system, so he is trying to be super careful by staying isolated (he hasn't left the house in weeks besides to go on a walk outside)
  • Joe says this whole thing is really going to impact humanity and life on earth
    • The ecosystem of commerce is fragile and this is a strong way of showing it
  • Kyle says that Trump estimated 250,000 deaths in the US
  • Joe says we are going to get through this, and life will go on, but what will that look like?
  • How can the conscious show up as leaders?
  • When we are in a fear state, we don't make rational decisions

Narratives

  • Kyle says all of the psychedelic people that he is connected to on social media are posting so much on 5G right now
  • There are dual narratives, like people dying, but also a lot of info on conspiracies
    • What do we pay attention to, and what is really happening?
    • Joe said that he played in the conspiracy, occult area for a while, and he couldn't find any solid ground
    • In times like this, the conspiracy media ramps up, because people are afraid, and that impairs cognition
  • There is a lot of media saying that COVID-19 is a biological weapon
  • There is a lot of unknowns, and how do we not panic?

Processing All of This

  • We were not evolved for this moment
    • Now, how do we evolve to handle this stuff?
    • How do we build resilience?
  • As ecosystems collapse, some organisms start to mingle with other organisms and then viruses like this can come up, and will pop up more in the future
  • We are in a spiritual emergence-y right now, we need to bring up our shadow and do the work
  • What can I actually do in my life right now? Instead of worrying about everything

A New World

  • 90% of products in the consumer economy right now are completely non-essential
    • We are on a finite planet with finite resources don't mesh with infinite growth
  • Hopefully this is the emergency that we need to re-imagine the future
  • There is a role that the psychedelic community plays in this
    • The psychedelic culture is familiar with sitting with shadow, doing the inner work, and taking a creative approach at alternative systems and reimagining the future
  • Kyle says this feels psychedelic, having new ideas about what the future could look like, what we can offer the future
  • A lot of the things that we wish for are starting to unfold, in some sense, the collective has been wishing for the things that are happening
  • When we take substances, we are upgrading our operating system

Psycho-Pharma

  • MindMed (Mind Medicine) call themselves a leading neuro-pharma company for psychedelic inspired medicines
  • Right now they are working on a compound, essentially an iboga-like drug
  • There is a lot of suffering happening in the world, and whatever tools that can help with the suffering will do
  • There is a roller coaster of the psychedelic experience
    • If every experience was just rainbows and happiness, it would just devalue the human experience

Vice

Shadow Panel

  • Kyle is co-hosting a Shadow Panel with Ido Cohen and takes on a Jung approach to process the shadow
    • They host interviews with doctors and other speakers on the topic
    • They explore a lot of somatics in the shadow
  • It is a donation based course right now, potentially paid in the future

Final Thoughts

  • Joe says we are heavily impacted by COVID-19, a ton of breathwork events all had to be cancelled
    • But we have a ton of online courses and resources available, from integration books, to online guided therapist and clinician courses, to psychedelic online courses, coaching, and more
  • Joe said he had a fun conversation with a film producer (Malibu Road) on the acid scene in the 70’s
    • The film cant be streamed yet, but the trailer is out
    • About Kyle

      Kyle’s interest in exploring non-ordinary states of consciousness began when he was 16-years-old when he suffered a traumatic snowboarding accident. Waking up after having a near-death experience changed Kyle’s life. Since then, Kyle has earned his B.A. in Transpersonal Psychology, where he studied the healing potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness by exploring shamanism, plant medicine, Holotropic Breathwork, and the roots/benefits of psychedelic psychotherapy. Kyle has co-taught two college-level courses. One of the courses Kyle created as a capstone project, “Stanislav Grof’s Psychology of Extraordinary Experiences,” and the other one which he co-created, “The History of Psychedelics.”

      Kyle completed his M.S. in clinical mental health counseling with an emphasis in somatic psychology. Kyle’s clinical background in mental health consists of working with at-risk teenagers in crisis and with individuals experiencing an early-episode of psychosis. Kyle also facilitates Transpersonal Breathwork workshops.

      About Joe

      Joe studied philosophy in New Hampshire, where he earned his B.A.. After stumbling upon the work of Stanislav Grof during his undergraduate years, Joe began participating in Holotropic Breathwork workshops in Vermont in 2003. Joe helped facilitate Holotropic and Transpersonal Breathwork workshops while he spent his time in New England. He is now working in the software industry as well as hosting a few podcasts. Joe now coordinates Dreamshadow Transpersonal Breathwork workshops, in Breckenridge, Colorado.

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Apr 03, 2020
Dylan Beynon - Mindbloom: The Next Chapter in Mental Health and Wellbeing
55:55

In this episode, Kyle sits down with Dylan Beynon, founder of Mindbloom, NYC based mental health and wellbeing platform. In the show they talk about how Mindbloom differs from other centers, paving the way for accessibility and affordability.

3 Key Points:

  1. Mindbloom is a next-generation mental health platform, catered to accessibility and affordability.
  2. They use ketamine tablets, different from lozenges and any other method. The tablets are held in the mouth and then spit out to avoid entering the liver, causing a sedation-like experience.
  3. Mindbloom differentiates themselves from other psychedelic therapy options by using a patient-choice model, to keep it affordable for those who need it. They offer the 4-week therapy model and give patients the option to choose ‘add-ons’ like extra integration. 

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Show Notes

About Dylan

  • Dylan is not a clinician or a doctor, he is an entrepreneur and a psychedelic medicine and therapeutic ketamine patient
    • These medicines have been transformative in his life and he wants to bring their benefits to the public
  • He grew up in a family that suffered greatly from mental illness
    • He lost his mother to addiction
  • He discovered positive psychology
    • When learning about the science of happiness, he realized that he wasn't happy
    • He was in business school and wanted to be a banker and make a ton of money
    • He soon realized that money doesn't buy happiness, and he thought maybe everything he was doing was a lie
  • He was self medicating with psychedelics
  • About 5 years ago he heard about psychedelic therapy
  • About 18 months ago he started working with a clinician doing ketamine therapy
  • He saw that when it's done in a therapeutic context, it can have a profound effect for people to get the most out of it
  • “Recreational vs therapeutic use is a false dichotomy” - Dylan

Mindbloom

  • The goal is to build the next-generation mental health platform
  • Right now they are doing Ketamine therapy
  • They are trying to make it accessible by making it affordable
  • They are trying to bring an elevated client experience, which they do with the space and software

Software Background

  • Voters Friend - a platform to help inform voters on the candidates, to increase access to democracy
  • Mighty - increasing access to social justice
  • Mindbloom - increase access to psychedelic medicines

Differentiation

  • The protocols that Mindbloom are using are capped
  • They are increasing access to the medicines, making it affordable
    • They keep it at $150-$250 a session, where at most Ketamine Therapy centers, it can range from $1000-$2000 a session
  • Dylan says he makes this possible by bringing in technology and software tools to make the sessions for efficient and effective
    • They use patient choice care, where the patient can use their best judgement on how in depth they want their treatment
  • They can ‘add on’ extra integration time onto the therapy session, or choose not to
    • This keeps the price down and accessible for each individual patient if need be
  • Mindbloom is a 4 session program, usually 1-2 months
  • They use the platform to have the client practice using the information in the weeks between each session, so they can practice integration even when not with a therapist or in session

The Program

  • The clinician prescribes a 4 week Ketamine Therapy session for anxiety and depression
    • The clinician will schedule a video interview to learn their symptoms
    • Then they will meet in person and build an integration program if needed
    • Its $1000 for the 4 session program and $600 for the renewal program
  • They use Ketamine tablets (similar to lozenges but faster acting)
    • They're not swallowing it, they spit it out after
    • If they swallow it, it breaks down in the liver into nor-ketaine, and that produces a sedative effect
  • After they spit it out, there is about an hour of music with no vocals
  • After the session, they move to an integration room where they are journaling
  • The protocols at Mindbloom were based on the MAPS protocol
  • They don't have a clinician in the room during the experience, only for after the experience
  • Dylan is looking to expand to other locations
    • A lot of people request couples or group therapies, so they will be taking that into consideration when building new locations

Final Thoughts

  • The more people who are thinking critically about this and putting their intentions into making this more accessible the better
  • There needs to be more gentle conversation around psychedelics and therapy, especially around the people that are still so unaware about this field
    • We should bring sacredness, specialness, and care to the conversation with those who might still be afraid about it

Links

Website


About Dylan Beynon

Dylan is the Founder & CEO of Mindbloom, an NYC-based mental health and wellbeing startup helping people expand their human potential with clinician-prescribed, guided psychedelic medicine experiences. There, he is partnering with clinicians, technologists, researchers, and patients to increase access to science-backed treatments, starting by reducing the cost of ketamine therapy for depression and anxiety by over 65%. Dylan is a 10-year psychedelic medicine patient and 3-time tech entrepreneur with both $100M+ in funding and an exit in his prior startups, which were focused on increasing access to justice and democracy. Dylan graduated from The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania.

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Mar 31, 2020
Dr. Ryan Westrum - The Psychedelics Integration Handbook
01:18:08

In this episode, Kyle sits down with Dr. Ryan Westrum, Psychedelic Integration Therapist. In the show, they talk about topics and teachings from Ryan’s book, The Psychedelic Integration Handbook.

3 Key Points:

  1. The Psychedelics Integration Handbook is designed to bring psychedelic experiences into the flow of your life and maximize their potential for helping you create the life you want to live.
  2. There is an important part in distinguishing integration from aftercare. Aftercare can look as simple as taking care of your body, getting good rest, eating well. You can't integrate without taking care of yourself first.
  3. One of the pillars of integration is PREP (purpose, reflecting on experiences, expectations, potential).


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Show Notes

About Ryan

  • Ryan is a Clinical Psychologist in the Minneapolis area
  • He has been a licensed Marriage Therapist for 15 years
  • He works in the realms of psychedelics and sexuality
  • He has a 14 year old daughter, and likes to take a psychedelic approach to parenting
    • He holds healing circles with mothers and fathers and their child(ren)
    • Psycho-ed and harm reduction are his focus with families
    • This is a group of people that need an honest conversation
  • At a young age he was into Stan Grof and Jungian literature and psychedelic experiences
  • His graduate program was focused on non-ordinary states of consciousness
  • Kyle mentions a good book, The Smell of Rain on Dust: Grief and Praise
  • “As a western civilization, we have really minimized the opportunity for growth, the expansion of consciousness, and to be ourselves.” - Ryan
    • These experiences are powerful, and to come back to a culture that does not support it, is hard
  • The goal is being conscious with your confidence of why you're doing this work

About the Book

  • The Psychedelics Integration Handbook is designed to bring psychedelic experiences into the flow of your life and maximize their potential for helping you create the life you want to live
  • This is not a book with black and white answers but an offering to individual people who want to explore all the possibilities for being alive and seeking wholeness.
  • The Psychedelics Integration Handbook contains historical perspective, maps of consciousness, approaches for integrating body-mind-spirit, and practical suggestions for all stages of psychedelic exploration.

The Psychedelics Integration Handbook

  • The book was written for people to make it their own
  • Its broken into 3 parts, educational, a ‘your turn’ section, and then integration
  • Its about having a compartment, and then playing within the compartment
  • Everyone has unique nuances, integration looks different to everyone
    • Integration practices don't matter if they don't personally mean something to you

Integration

  • The question to help determine the integration needs is, "What does the individual lead with?"
    • It's the mind, body, emotion in the spirit altogether
    • Immediately after a psychedelic experience, some want to talk about it, others embody it
    • Do they lead with thoughts or emotions?
  • There is a part in the book: The difference between integration and aftercare
    • How do we distinguish between self care and integration?
    • Is my body rested? Am I comfortable? Are my needs taken care of?
    • Aftercare is grounding
    • “If you're not taking care of your body, you won't be able to integrate” - Ryan
    • It might not be as complex as it needs to be, its as simple as taking care of yourself
    • An important part of aftercare, is asking yourself when it is okay to practice again
  • Ryan was mentored by James Fadiman, and he believed in taking big doses every 6 months
  • One of the pillars is PREP (purpose, reflecting on experiences, expectations, potential)
  • Ryan says he is not the gatekeeper
  • Controlling willpower is a huge step in integration
    • Some people want to just take psychedelics, but not write, or do yoga, or do any other mindful activity

Safety

  • Dose, set and setting are the obvious
    • It's like a goldrush, some just want to jump in blindly
    • You have to understand what safety means to you
  • Ryan thinks we aren't talking enough about the recreational use
    • He is excited about all of the conversation on therapeutic use, but he thinks we are ignoring recreational use
    • He wants to see ritual and reverence in the recreational community
  • Preparation is so important
  • Kyle says that a lot of times after an experience he has all of these ideas for how to live his life, and he tries to practice them, but sometimes he finds himself slipping into old patterns of behavior
    • Ryan says he believes there is still movement and progress, be gentle with yourself

Links

Healing Souls LLC

Psychedelic Integration

About Ryan

Dr. Ryan Westrum, PhD, LMFT, is an internationally recognized psychedelic integration expert. For more than 15 years, his primary focus has been working with individuals and groups facilitating experiential therapy and integrating psychedelic journeys into healing and personal transformation. Ryan speaks on a myriad of topics and leads experiential groups, like dreamwork integration therapy and psychedelic integration groups.

 

 

 

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Mar 24, 2020
Jessica DiRuzza - Understanding the Psychedelic Experience with Astrology
01:18:34

In this episode, Kyle interviews Jessica DiRuzza, Psychotherapist, Astrologer and Teacher. In the show they talk about how astrology can be used as a tool and framework for navigating and understanding psychedelic experiences.

3 Key Points:

  1. Astrology can be used as an integrative tool for psychedelic and other exceptional experiences.
  2. The planets are emitting some type of force that are letting us behave a certain way. Astrology is the one thing we have agreed upon across millennia and era.
  3. A Saturn Return transit can be a difficult but transformative time in one's life. This transit happens around age 28-31. During this time, we face crises in our life as we take on greater responsibility. It can feel like death and a rebirth. It can correlate to Grof's Perinatal Birth Matrix II (“No Exit” and "Cosmic Engulfment"). 


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Show Notes

About Jessica

  • She is a Psychotherapist
  • She teaches and practices Astrology
  • She uses Astrology to help put meaning and understanding to what happens in visionary states
  • She received her bachelors at CIIS and studied and taught with Stan Grof and Richard Tarnes in the Philosophy, Cosmology and Consciousness Program
  • Since the 70’s, Stan Grof was following his transits and all the transits of his clients
    • Richard Tarnas and Stan Grof studied astrology as a diagnostic tool for those who would do psychedelics
    • They studied transit astrology
    • By looking at these transits, what they found were archetypal similarities
    • “Our solar system is an extension of our ecosystem here on earth.” - Jessica\
  • “For millennia, the one thing that human beings have agreed upon across cultures and eras, are the meaning of the planets” - Jessica
  • Astrology is the original science

Free Will vs. Determinism

  • The planets are emitting some type of force that are letting us behave a certain way
  • They are reflective, what is happening in the sky is indicative of what's happening here
  • Astrology is like a clock, a clock does not make it be a certain time, it just helps us tell the time

Interest in Astrology

  • Psychedelics brought Jessica to Astrology
  • Jessica went to her first Burning Man at 20 years old
    • She received an astrology reading there and said it broke her open
  • She went to CA to see the reader that gave her the initial reading
    • She did a high dose LSD session
    • She re-lived her birth experience, and gave birth to her new self
  • The person who gave her the reading was teaching with Stan Grof and Richard Tarnas at CIIS
  • She dropped out of college and moved to attend CIIS
    • She was in a Uranus conjunct Ascendant transit
  • Through these experiences she uprooted her entire life

Astrology Lingo

  • Sun represents our sense of self, our identity in the world, egoic consciousness
  • Moon represents our relational matrix, our early childhood experiences, our emotions and experiences, and a deep sense of belonging
  • Rising represents who we are from moment to moment, how we initially meet existence
  • Zodiac means belt of life
  • Each aspect carries a different quality
    • Conjunct means new moon, representing a new beginning
    • A full moon represents when the sun is opposite than the moon, a blossoming or fruition. 
  • Astrology is a language, the language of the stars
    • There are so many ways to speak this language, and so many schools of thought
    • What really matters is the cosmology that goes behind the description
  • “Both astrology and psychedelics are a tools for self reflection, that hopefully we are using to become more kind and more caring” - Jessica
  • “Astrology provides a world view or a cosmology to hold what happens in those visionary states, it's a grounding place to integrate and make meaning of what's happening” - Jessica

Saturn Return

  • Saturn return happens from age 28-31
  • During our Saturn Return, we face crises in our life and take on greater responsibility
  • It can feel like a death, but also like a birth
    • “The greater the death, the greater the rebirth” - Jessica
  • The 4 bpms correspond to the four outer planets
  • It's not just in entheogenic spaces that this is applicable
  • “Working with the resistance consciously, actually helps us move into what the divine or the universe wants us to step into our life, karmically, what we are here to do” - Jessica

Astrology and Psychedelics

  • Kyle asks about using astrology to pick a time of when to do psychedelics
    • Jessica responds saying that if you have a strong calling to do so for healing and balance, and you have all the components for proper integration, then it's a good time
    • Then, astrology can be used to help find themes and help dissect the experience
  • Your Saturn transits contain a difference component in each person
    • The sense of responsibility grows in you
    • “My deepest calling in this life is to bring Astrology and Psychology together in one unified field” - Jessica

Final Thoughts

  • Jessica is so proud of the honest integrity that people are bringing to this work
  • She send best wishes in the great reckoning, and the great becoming

Links

Website


About Jessica

Jessica is a licensed psychotherapist, astrologer, and teacher. Her life is guided by a passion for engaging with people, understanding relationships, and staying connected to the larger world around us. This passion and curiosity led her into the healing profession as a counselor in 2007. For over a decade she has worked collaboratively with individuals, couples, and groups on their transformative journeys. Helping people on their path of exploration and healing is the privilege of a lifetime. Jessica received her Master’s in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. She completed her undergraduate degree at California Institute of Integral Studies, where she studied and taught archetypal astrology and transpersonal psychology. Her greatest joy is working in sacred and revolutionary ways with people in psychotherapy, teaching, and astrological consultations. She also shares her work through podcasts and writing on her site.

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Mar 17, 2020
Rob Heffernan - Psychedelic Liberty Summit: Religion and Plant Medicines
01:25:06

In this episode, Kyle sits down with Rob Heffernan, an independent researcher and activist. In the show, they talk about churches, Ayahuasca, accessibility and the Psychedelic Liberty Summit by the Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines. Rob is also part of Chacruna’s Council for the Protection of Sacred Plants

The Council for the Protection of Sacred plants is "an initiative of the Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines that endeavors to advocate for the legality of sacred plant medicines among indigenous peoples and non-indigenous communities, encourage legal harm reduction practices that protect those who use them, educate about conservation of plant species, document relevant legal and social issues, and consult on legal cases including possible litigation. " 

3 Key Points:

  1. The Psychedelic Liberty Summit is a gathering on legal, cultural, and political issues around the emerging psychedelic renaissance.
  2. Accessibility is not just about whether or not people can afford psychedelic therapy, people cant even afford regular therapy, the whole healthcare model is an issue.
  3. A lot of churches get a bad name, but really most churches are built around community. Psychedelics can help revitalize churches.

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Show Notes

 

About Rob

  • Rob is a member of the Chacruna Council for protection of sacred plants
  • He is an integrative sound and music practitioner
  • He is involved in the Santo Daime
  • He has been drinking Ayahuasca for over 20 years
  • He began to ponder and ask a lot of questions about involvement with medicine communities

Psychedelic Liberty Summit

  • Rob will be hosting a talk on religious exemptions and more
  • There will be speakers of all different initiatives, from decriminalization to indigenous relations
  • There are a lot of investors interested in the psilocybin market
  • The issue is complex because there is this ongoing cultural history of the US and other countries exploiting those cultures and removing resources (oil, medicines, etc)

Ayahuasca

  • The first time Rob drank Ayahuasca was back in 2000, where there weren't Ayahuasca retreats going on then
    • People who lived in the area were not familiar with Ayahuasca use
    • People started coming from around the world to use Ayahuasca
    • There are feedback loops between the cities and the forests
  • People typically think integration is what happens afterwards, but really it is also the sacrifice from the start, the preparation, such as a dieta
  • We need to honor what we have learned from the indigenous, and give back
  • Traditional dietas don't involve actually drinking the Ayahuasca, the culture has come a long way

Accessibility

  • While these medicines are relatively safe, you can get in trouble using these substances recreationally, there is a role for the therapeutic support
  • It's not just about whether or not people can afford psychedelic therapy, people cant even afford regular therapy, the whole healthcare model is an issue

Santo Daime

  • It was founded in the 1930’s in Brazil
  • The reason that the Santo Daime looks more white in the USA is due to the segregation
  • There are all sorts of ways that the Santo Daime may look
    • When Rob first got involved in drinking Ayahuasca, he wasn't sure that he wanted to get involved in the Santo Daime, but he said the container was so strong
    • There are hymns sung, and it's very structured
    • It allows you to really go deep
    • Sometimes it can look like drumming, dancing, and fire, but there is also a style of sitting in silence
  • There is a profound ethical foundation which is really important
    • All of the elements make for a really important container
  • In the traditional form, you do not touch anyone, unless there is a certain circumstance, and a prior consensual agreement, and waivers signed, etc
    • There have been issues of sexual abuse in the psychedelic realm, the Santo Daime takes many precautions against this

Churches

  • There are legal churches in the US through the Daime and the UDV (União do Vegetal)
  • The Daime has 5 churches that are explicitly legal
    • The government has decided not to pursue or prosecute Ayahuasca for those other churches
  • From Shock to Awe
  • Someone tragically died at the Soul Quest Church, but it wasn't related to ayahuasca
  • There are a lot of people that claim to be a part of a Native American church that are not
    • A lot of people reach out to Chacruna on how to become a part of the Native American Church to hold ceremonies, and it's not easy, you almost have to already be a part of it, instead of just joining
  • Some people don't like the word church, but it originates from the words ‘congregation’ and ‘assembly’
  • The problem is the controlled substances act, that these things are illegal in the first place” - Rob
  • "The experience in all those settings is about community. The goal isn't to have spiritual experiences, its to have a spiritual life” - Rob
  • Psychedelics and entheogens could be central to creating a new hub
  • It is possible to create psychedelic churches outside of the Santo Daime
  • The Ayahuasca tradition really uses the potential of group process
  • “How individual is the psychedelic experience, where you need some one-on-one work?” - Kyle

Psychedelic Liberty Summit

  • April 25-26 in San Francisco
  • Discount Code: PsychedelicsToday for 10% off at checkout

Links

Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicine

Psychedelic Liberty Summit 

 


About Rob Heffernan

Rob Heffernan has been involved in the Peruvian curandero tradition and the Santo Daime for the last 16 years. He was a member and chairman of the North American Santo Daime Legal Committee for a number of years. He has been engaged in independent research and active in ad hoc groups promoting legal clarity and ethical integrity in the Ayahuasca Community. He is also a certified Integrative Sound and Music Practitioner; Shamanic Breath Work Facilitator; and a long time student and practitioner of Buddhist Dhamma. He has a BA in Communications and Social Studies from Fordham University, and works in the AV/IT communication industry.

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Mar 10, 2020
Alicia Danforth PhD - ICPR 2020: Ethical Challenges in Psychedelic Medicine
01:26:57

In this episode, Joe interviews Clinical Psychologist, Alicia Danforth. In the show, they cover topics including how to get involved in the space, consent, research, MDMA, Autism and more.

3 Key Points:

  1. Alicia Danforth is a Clinical Psychologist who will be having a talk on Ethical Challenges in Psychedelic Medicine at the ICPR Conference in the Netherlands, April 2020.
  2. There is a possibility for MDMA to have a non-responder effect. No one has done research dedicated to why some people don't react at all to MDMA.
  3. Psychedelic science is very hard to talk about. We have the language of science that studies the psychopharmacological effects of drugs but no language that holds the effects of an altered state of consciousness yet.

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Show Notes

About Alicia

  • Her path to her current place is such a random road that led her to where she is
  • She was going to burning man and getting into harm reduction when she realized the untapped value of psychedelics, its where her interest began
  • She began volunteering, doing administrative work for a doctor
    • She was offered to be a study coordinator
  • She got introduced to the power of psilocybin as a medicine, for dying cancer patients
    • The patients had a prognosis from 6 months to a year
    • To see how this state of consciousness helped people transition to the end of life so smoothly, that is what inspired her
  • 5 months after she started working on the study, she got a cancer diagnosis

Getting Involved in the Space

  • Alicia would always get people approaching her about how to get in the field and she tells them “what field?”
  • Her Power Point making skills, are what technically got her involved in this field
  • “You never know what skill may be needed in this field” - Alicia
  • Alicia encourages people to look into their own collection of skills, and dig deep into that, find your niche, and then use that to contribute to the movement
    • Clinical therapists and psychologists are not the only people in this field
      We need accountants, marketers, etc

Consent

  • People start to get really religious around this field
  • Joe mentions a story where someone performed non-consensual reiki

Current Research

  • She is currently looking at why psychedelics appeal to people who typically like to abuse power
  • She did a talk at burning man about ‘coming down from the psychedelic power trip’
  • She tries to cite as many references and research as possible
  • Her talk at ICPR is going to be the very professional, version of that talk
  • Why are individuals who seek to abuse these tools so irresistibly drawn to psychedelics?
  • “If someone gets abused, and people say don't come out about it because it's not good for the movement, then what kind of movement is that?” - Joe

Empathogens

  • MDMA is known as an Empathogen
  • Can empathogens help people who are not empathetic, become empathetic?
  • Cohen’s D is the measure of effect size
    • Big pharma uses this all the time, to determine the effects of one drug compared to another
    • The Cohen’s D is how large that difference is

Non-response MDMA

  • There is a known, non-responder effect with MDMA
  • There was a few double-blind sessions, where the patient received MDMA, and they didn't react, their vitals didn't change
    • At the end,  it was revealed that they truly received MDMA, and then even to be sure, they would do a blood test, and it showed up in the blood
  • No one has done research dedicated to why some people don't react at all to MDMA
  • It's probably common, that for people who are relying on MDMA to work as their last resort option and try it and not feel anything at all, to end their life afterward

Media and Support

  • It's the most difficult thing in dealing with the media
    • When you are entirely dependent on funding, if you don't talk about what you're doing, then you can't get funding at all
  • There is a crisis in science on the replicability on these studies
    • Joe says its cool to have these studies replicated outside of the US
  • Psychedelic science is very hard to talk about due to the subjective nature of the psychedelic experience. We have the language of science that studies the psychopharmacological effects of drugs. There is no language that holds the effects of an altered state of consciousness yet.” - Alicia
  • The rapport that the patient and facilitator have, and the effect of that relationship, is a variable

Links

Website


About Alicia Danforth

Alicia received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto in 2013. Since 2006, she has worked in clinical research at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center on clinical studies for adults with anxiety related to advanced-stage cancer and with autistic adults who experience social anxiety. She is currently a lead clinician and supervisor for a clinical trial at UCSF for psychological distress in long-term survivors of HIV/AIDS. She is also certified in Trauma-Focused CBT and Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy.  

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Mar 03, 2020
Mike Margolies - Psychedelic Seminars: the Benefits, Risks, and Complexities of Psychedelics
01:21:06

In this episode, Kyle interviews Mike Margolies of Psychedelic Seminars. In the show, they cover topics including guests and conversations from the Psychedelic Seminars, the decriminalization of all drugs, and the importance of allowing psychedelic use to be a part of training therapists for psychedelic therapy.

3 Key Points:

  1. Psychedelic Seminars is an educational conversation series deepening awareness of the benefits, risks, and complexities of psychedelics.
  2. There are large topics of decriminalizing psilocybin or the movements for ‘decriminalize nature’, but the conversation on decriminalization of all drugs is rare, which is what's really important.
  3. Some companies (MAPS for example) allow the option to use MDMA as a part of their therapist training program while other companies who are training therapists for psilocybin therapy, don't have the option to use it. It's important to have the option to have a psychedelic experience in order to provide therapy for it.

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Show Notes

About Mike

  • Mike used to work as a chemical engineer in corporate America, and then he did Ayahuasca
    • When he returned, he thought to himself about what he wanted to do with the rest of his life
    • He took a look at the pulse of the country and looked at what it needed
    • There wasn't anyone organized locally in Baltimore, so he started Psychedelic Seminars
  • Now he is living in the Bay Area, doing events locally
  • He has been interviewing people and putting the videos out globally

Psychedelic Seminars

  • They will be having some Indigenous people at the seminar
    • It's hard to get Indigenous people to seminars and conferences, because, what's in it for them?
  • The goal is to ramp up the project and do a seminar every month, where it usually takes place every few months
    • They are doing it all in a home, privately
    • The whole project is donation dependent, they are doing it all for free
    • You can support the mission here
  • After Michael Pollan, they did one with Jim Fadiman
  • He did another with Ayelet Waldman
    • The talks were on microdosing and the unknowns of microdosing
    • Just because there is no real harms taking a large dose of LSD, doesn't mean there aren't any harms taking a low (micro) dose of LSD frequently
    • Mike thinks that the term Jim Fadiman uses is its ‘sub-perceptual’, in that you have a noticeable effect on the mood, but no other way of noticing it

Decriminalization

  • Drug Policy tends to stay in the realm of psychedelics only
    • There are large topics of decriminalizing psilocybin or the movements for ‘decriminalize nature’, but no one likes to talk about the decriminalization of all drugs, which is what's really important
    • Poppy is not considered in decriminalize nature, which is selective nature decriminalization
  • It's not a real decriminalization, it's just a low priority for law enforcement
  • He’s been asking in his conversations, opinions on decriminalizing all drugs
  • Different drugs have different risk profiles
  • Just because you're not using criminal justice as your mechanism for reducing risks of drugs, doesn't mean you do nothing. The last thing we want to do is add criminalization to those who are already suffering, this is why we should decriminalize all drugs” - Mike
  • Laws should be written in terms of what are you not allowed to do, not what you're allowed to do
    • He is allowed to walk down the sidewalk, but not punch someone he walks past, but the law shouldn't be to get a license for walking down the street so long as you don't punch someone
  • The communities that are marginalized continue to be marginalized by the drug war

Psychedelic Therapy and Experience with Use

  • With MAPS, there is an option to do MDMA as a part of the training
  • With psilocybin, at least with Compass Pathways, there is not an option to use psilocybin. Mike says that's a huge issue
  • When you scale treatment, there is the risk of losing the quality of care
    • “We aren't going to solve the problems of our future by mass distributing psychedelics” - Mike
  • The fact that we have such mass amounts of widespread depression, means that we have a deeply ingrained systemic issue at hand
    • Psychedelics treat the symptoms, but we still need to fix the underlying cause
    • “If you are distributing psychedelics, but still exacerbating the same underlying issues, you now have the problem and solution in the same hefty package” - Mike
  • “Psychedelic experience is intrinsically something spiritual. How can you guide someone in spiritual practice if you haven't experienced it yourself?” - Mike
  • “Inducing a state intentionally, and guiding someone through a process, its completely unethical to guide someone through a spiritual process that you haven't been through yourself.” - Mike

New Economy

  • Burning man is not a barter economy, it's a gift economy, where things are given without an expectation of receiving something in return
    • We are far from that economy
  • What if we had a world where instead of trying to extract value, we were trying to create value?

Links

Psychedelic Seminars Website

Psychedelic Seminars Patreon


About Mike Margolies

Since 2015, Mark has worked full-time in the psychedelic community, starting and contributing to a number of projects as an event and media producer, connector, and advisor. He is the Founder of Psychedelic Seminars, an educational conversation series deepening awareness of the benefits, risks, and complexities of psychedelics. On the PsychSems stage, he has interviewed a range of leaders including bestselling author Michael Pollan, Dr. James Fadiman and Ayelet Waldman on microdosing, and therapeutic ketamine expert Dr. Raquel Bennett. He started the project in 2015 after returning to his home city of Baltimore to build community for open and honest conversations about psychedelics. The project now operates primarily out of the San Francisco Bay Area and livestreams globally. Through his psychedelic community work in Baltimore, he seeded the Baltimore Psychedelic Society. He has sparked and mentored similar Psychedelic Societies around the world from Washington DC to San Francisco to Portugal. He helped start the Global Psychedelic Network to connect them.

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Feb 25, 2020
Elizabeth Nielson and Ingmar Gorman - The Importance of Psychedelic Integration Training for Therapists
01:18:34

In this Episode, Kyle sits down with Elizabeth Nielson and Ingmar Gorman, Co-founders of Fluence, Training in Psychedelic Integration. They are both therapists on the MAPS clinical trial for MDMA Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD.

3 Key Points:

  1. Elizabeth and Ingmar are co-founders of Fluence, an online Psychedelic Integration Training program.
  2. If psychedelic treatments become available more widely, the fear is that therapists won't be as educated on how to handle their patient interactions based on the behavior of each psychedelic. Psychedelic Integration Therapy Training is so important.
  3. There are 3 phases to the MDMA for PTSD clinical trial. Phase 1 would be pre-clinical data about the chemistry of a drug, Phase 2 is where you begin to test your treatment in a patient population, and Phase 3 is where you get the data to demonstrate that the treatment is superior to a placebo and other treatments in general.

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Show Notes

About Ingmar

  • Ingmar is a previous guest of the show
  • He is a private Investigator for the MAPS MDMA trial
  • He is a therapist and the Co-founder of Fluence

About Elizabeth

  • Elizabeth is a Clinical Psychologist
  • She has a long history in working with clinical trials as a therapist
  • She is part of the psychedelic education and continuing care program
  • She does a lot of supervision and training for therapists

The Trial

  • The approval of expanded access by the FDA includes 50 people in total
  • They are near the end of MAP 1 (out of MAP 1 and MAP 2)
    • When they transition into MAP 2, it will be a little more refined
    • MAP 2 is different participants than MAP 1
  • There are 3 phases
    • Phase 1 would be pre-clinical data about chemistry of a drug and how it metabolises, if its poisonous, etc
    • Phase 2 is where you begin to test your treatment in a patient population
    • Phase 3 is where you get the data to demonstrate that the treatment is superior to a placebo and other treatments in general
    • They are done as a double-blind trial, both the therapist and patient don't know if the patient is receiving the treatment or now

Take-aways

  • There is a lot of information that has to be shared effectively
  • The therapists are very much in the lives of the participants on top of just the MDMA
  • Instead of learning from the trials of what to do on a practical level, its about inspiring them to bring this as an actual treatment for people
  • The multiple ways that PTSD can manifest and look like, and the may ways that MDMA can look like when administered, have some commonalities
    • The deepening, the broadening, the way they communicate, can all be the same
  • Ingmar holds the belief in the inner healing intelligence of all people
    • One of the first things he does when he begins with a new patient, he says that this is something he really believes in, and his role as a therapist to help them in their own healing process and mechanism
  • What Elizabeth wanted to learn, know and practice while she was going through school, isn't what she she thought it was until she found it
    • She says this work really requires them to trust people's minds and experiences
    • There is something that they tell their patients, “Don't get ahead of the medicine” - Elizabeth
  • There is an interesting paradox between not knowing and following intuition, to having an actual method and following that
    • There is a sweet spot between following a script to following your intuition as a therapist
    • You want to trust that inner healer process of the patient, but also need to know when to intervene (usually from a safety standpoint)

Fluence

  • 3 days after Horizons, Elizabeth was at home with a cold, and talked to Ingmar that morning curious for a name for the project
  • Fluence means, magical or mystical power or source of power
    • It can also refer to the density of particles of energy
  • They teach about harm reduction and integration with their patients in their practice
    • They aren't teaching protocols in the workshops, they just think the harm reduction is important
  • The last part of integration is mindfulness
  • Ingmar’s biggest influence are his clients and patients, he is so inspired by them
    • A large piece of the motivation for creating Fluence is from patients just looking for someone to talk about their experience with

The Why

  • A mother whose teenage daughter with depression, reached out to Ingmar with trouble trying to treat her depression
    • The family decided it would be a good idea to use Ketamine therapy, which was successful
    • She was doing so well, so well that she then went to a therapist to integrate it
    • The therapist that she went to then instead of responding positively, decided to fire the teen for further therapy, and report the parents to child care services for providing ketamine therapy
    • Ingmar says their position is not that everyone needs psychedelic integration therapy, its specifically for those that don't feel supported by family or community, and it gives them a professional service as an option
  • "Psychedelics are not 10 years of change in one night, they are 10 years of insight in one night. integration is so important." - Elizabeth
  • The goal is to support people in making a change that feels safe and right for them
  • If the treatments become available more widely, the fear is that therapists won't be as educated on how to handle their patient interactions based on the behavior of each psychedelic
    • Mental health practitioners can be a great source for working through those experiences

Menla Training

  • Menla Training
  • They could really take their time with the process and training
  • The trainings that they had gone to has made their own Fluence courses better
  • In 2019 they had 5 of the trainings for clinicians, and the trainings will be better and better as they go

Ketamine Infusion Therapy

  • The experience is not dose dependent
  • The purpose of the workshop is to educate both therapists and doctors about what can happen in psychotherapy

Links

Fluence

Psychedelics 101 and 102 Workshop at ICPR 2020


About Elizabeth

Dr. Elizabeth Nielson is a co-founder of Fluence and a psychologist with a focus on developing psychedelic medicines as empirically supported treatments for PTSD, substance use problems, and mood disorders. Dr. Nielson is a therapist on FDA approved clinical trials of psilocybin-assisted treatment of alcohol use disorder, MDMA-assisted treatment PTSD, and psilocybin-assisted treatment of treatment resistant depression. Through Fluence, she provides continuing education and training programs for therapists who wish to engage in integration of psychedelic experiences in clinical settings. Her program of research includes qualitative and mixed-methods projects designed to further understand the phenomenology and mechanisms of change in psychedelic-assisted therapy, including the experiences of trial participants and of the therapists themselves. Having completed an NIH postdoctoral fellowship at NYU, she has published and presented on topics of psychedelic therapist training, therapists’ personal experience with psychedelics, and including psychedelic integration in group and individual psychotherapy.

About Ingmar

Dr. Ingmar Gorman is a co-founder of Fluence and a psychologist who specializes in assisting populations who have a relationship with psychedelics. He is the site co-principal investigator and therapist on a Phase 3 clinical trial studying MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder. Dr. Gorman is a board member of Horizons Media, Inc., a not for-profit educational charity and organizer of the Horizons Conference: Perspectives on Psychedelics. After completing his NIH postdoctoral fellowship at New York University, Dr. Gorman stepped down as director of the Psychedelic Education and Continuing Care Program to focus his efforts on Fluence and the training of future therapists.

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Feb 18, 2020
Jon S. - NYU’s Double-Blind Trial of Psilocybin-Assisted Treatment of Alcohol Dependence
01:00:46

In this episode, Joe interviews Jon S. on his experience in the psilocybin-assisted trials for alcohol dependency at NYU. In the show, they dive into Jon’s background and how psilocybin assisted therapy helped him out of his alcohol dependence and into a new life.

3 Key Points:

  1. Jon participated in the NYU Double-Blind Trial of Psilocybin-Assisted Treatment of Alcohol Dependence.
  2. The study was double-blind. In each session, he didn't know if he was going to receive psilocybin or Benadryl. 
  3. The sessions helped him so much with this dependence on alcohol, he believes he is a better father, husband, and human overall. He hasn't had a drink in 5 months (or a desire to). 


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Show Notes

About Jon

  • He is based in New York
  • Jon is the father of 2 kids
  • He spent a lot of his life DJing, so he has spent a lot of time around alcohol
  • He found out about a psychedelic therapy study at NYU from someone at a Holotropic Breathwork Retreat
    • The study took place in New York City
  • He had always wanted to explore the psychedelic side of things
    • He read Michael Pollan’s book and it said in the book that the Holotropic Breathwork community would be a great group to help find a guide

The Trial

  • In his assessment, he found out truly how much he was drinking
    • He would crack a beer before even playing with his kids
    • He was into craft beer and at 8% a beer, his 3 beers were more like 5
  • He was asked to not have his sessions recorded so he could be as open as he could be
  • The session was very focused on curbing drinking
  • His wife knew he was going down the path of psychedelic healing
    • I'm not doing this to have a good time, I'm doing this to be a better person” - Jon
  • His trial was double-blind
    • He was never told when he was receiving the psilocybin at each session
    • He was told that he was either going to get 1 or 3 doses in the trial

The First Session

  • The first session with the eye shades on (on psilocybin), was very visual
  • In that first session he kept seeing this pirate ship underwater
    • His sons would say “come on daddy, lets play on the pirate ship”
    • He would go to the pirate ship with his sons and then say “I need to go back down and do some work”, and he would swim back into the depths
  • He came home that day, and his youngest son greeted him at the door, and said let's play power rangers, I'll be the red power ranger and you be the pirate
  • It hit him in a float tank session, the message of that session was to play with his sons more
  • He had a moment in his first session of rebirth

Integration

  • There is a 2 hour integration session the very next day
    • He didn't think it was going to be as important as it turned out to be
  • He had the choice to keep it at the same dose or up it
    • He upped the dose to 40mg instead of 25mg
  • He was told his second session wouldn't be anything like his first
  • The medicine was so intense the second time, he couldn't even remember the music
  • In his second session, he saw a body being chopped up (realizing it was his body)
    • He realized that he was one with the universe, love is the only thing that matters
    • He wanted to be a part of everything
  • He was compensated about $100 per session
    • "When the university gives you financial compensation, you buy everyone in the ice cream shop ice cream" - Jon
  • Jon says he has a new baseline for anxiety
    • He never thought he had anxiety, but after his sessions, he found that he is way less anxious than he was, even though he really wasn't
  • He didn't have a desire to drink, he hasn't had a drink in 5 months
  • He has never felt better or happier
  • He's a much better dad, and husband

Life After the Experience

  • He is re-reading Aldous Huxley and is finding a whole new meaning to it all
  • He is spending more time with his family and being present with the
    • He spends a ton of time with his kids now
  • Stuff that used to worry him, doesn't worry him anymore
  • His experience was everything he hoped for and more
  • He genuinely believes, that whatever he got out of a session, is what he needed

Final Thoughts

  • He is talking to the Decrim Nature in NY
  • He appreciates the platform (Psychedelics Today) for the space to talk about his experience
  • He appreciates everyone at NYU for the work they are doing 

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Feb 11, 2020
Joost Breeksema - The Interdisciplinary Conference on Psychedelic Research
01:12:17

In this episode, Joe interviews Joost Breeksema from the Netherlands to talk about the Interdisciplinary Conference on Psychedelic Research. In the show they cover topics on ICPR 2020, and the importance of accessibility.

3 Key Points:

  1. The Interdisciplinary Conference on Psychedelic Research takes place April 24-26, 2020 in the Netherlands.
  2. It's important to acknowledge the indigenous, ethical, and political dimensions to psychedelic use at conferences.
  3. Although this conference will be catered toward mainstream science and research, personal experiences and stories are important too.

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Show Notes

About Joost

  • Joost is a part of the OPEN Foundation
  • ICPR is a huge conference
    • Nobody before was doing research on psychedelics in the Netherlands
  • William James work sparked Joost’s interest in psychedelics

ICPR

  • Starting with the OPEN Foundation, the conference has been very scientific
    • It is interdisciplinary, but also taken very seriously
    • This field is so broad, you could really never get bored
  • Wade Davis, Alicia Danforth, Matt Johnson and more will be speaking at the conference
  • There will be over 80 speakers
  • Joost expects it to be a pretty international conference, half local, and half from abroad
  • Psychiatrists are usually short on time, and they like things compressed more
  • It's really easy and cheap to grow psilocybin as mushrooms or truffles
    • Even in Mexico, they need to use GMP Psilocybin

Accessibility

  • If this is going to be the treatment, how are we going to help people afford it?” - Joe
  • There is some tricky stuff happening, companies trying to patent different parts of psilocybin to use it for therapeutic use
  • Ketamine has been off patent for years, but you can develop a new route of administration, patent that, and make a ton of money
  • Spravato is making it to the UK

Conference Themes

  • Joost is both excited and scared that they are bringing indigenous practitioners to the conference
    • It's important to acknowledge the indigenous, ethical, and political dimensions to psychedelic use
    • Talking about concepts and approaches to healing is going to be an important aspect
    • The goal would be to do research with the indigenous communities to be able to address the needs of psychedelic use
  • There are also a few neuroimaging people coming
  • For mainstream scientists, the conference has to be as close to a scientific conference as possible, they may be turned off to the cultural aspects of psychedelics
    • It's the conservative nature of psychedelia
  • Joost also says that although the scientific research is important, it is really cool to hear the personal experiences
  • People’s experience with psychedelics may be completely different from each other
    • It's important to share the bad stories with the good stories
    • If we don't share the stories and data and research, then we can never learn
  • Joe hopes that there will be a growth of citizen science in the near future

Links

ICPR


About Joost

Joost Breeksema is a part of the OPEN Foundation, which from it came the Interdisciplinary Conference on Psychedelic Research. His current research focuses on the experiences of patients that are undergoing therapy assisted by psychedelic substances. His aim is to better understand psychological mechanisms of action/change, to tease out salient themes, and finally to learn about what works and what does not work in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.

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Feb 04, 2020
Hallie Rose and Kyle Buller - Soltara Healing Center and Kyle’s Experience with the Plant Medicine
02:07:31

In this episode, Kyle invites a guest interviewer, Hallie Rose of the Thought Room Podcast, to interview him on his recent experience at Soltara. In the show, they talk about Soltara, Kyle’s experience with the plant medicine, and important topics like privilege. 

3 Key Points:

  1. Eastern attendees have a different integration need than Western attendees. In the West, attendees come back to more hustle and bustle, more time is needed for integration. Soltara does a really good job at providing that time for integration.  
  2. With Psilocybin and other psychedelics, there is this one big door, you eat the mushrooms and open the door and get to experience it heavily. With Ayahuasca, there is a smaller doorway to penetrate through, you have to create a relationship with the medicine first.
  3. If the people that really need the help can't even afford it, then how do we have mass healing? Peer support movements are a way forward in this issue.


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Show Notes

About Hallie

  • Hallie interviewed Kyle after his first 4 experiences with Ayahuasca
  • Kyle's episode on The Thought Room Podcast about his Near Death Experience
  • The Thought Room Podcast was inspired by Hallie’s first Ayahuasca experience
  • She had typically pushed away anything psychedelic in nature, even alcohol before coming to Soltara as a guest
    • “A lot of the paradigms I had been working with were flipped upside down on their head” - Hallie
  • The message that really spoke to her was to create a podcast
    • 2 ceremonies later she had some things come up about family and career, and again, the message ‘podcast’ came up again
    • When she went over her integration notes from her experience at Soltara, she kept coming back to the podcast thing
    • She describes her journal entry message as a black hole, a void
    • She felt like she was in rooms, some were bright and rainbow-y, and others were dark and lonely
    • The rooms were rooms for thoughts, thought rooms
  • She owns the start up company Lunar Wild

Soltara

  • Hallie mentions that she was blown away by the amount of effort that it takes to uphold a medicine center like Soltara
  • Kyle says right from the start from arrival to the location, he was greeted with such warmth and it reminded him of his breathwork background
    • The ground rules that they laid down right at the start made him feel so safe
    • She said it's amazing to see the amount of healing that happens in that space
    • “When it comes to your own medicine work, your own journey work, only you know what's right for you” - Hallie
  • Hallie is part of a mastermind group through Aubrey Marcus, the CEO of Onnit
    • She is connected to a bunch of people as a part of this group
    • She was introduced to Dan Cleland, a co-founder of Soltara, who invited her to come down
  • Yes they had the traditional Shipibo aspects, but they also did a fantastic job of adding in the Western concepts to cater to the western needs
    • Hallie mentions that coming from the West, we have the need to integrate the experience in a different way than those coming from the East, and Soltara does a really good job with that kind of integration

The First Session

  • Kyle said the tea was actually tasty
    • You drink a lot of it where you override the system to where the body wants to purge
  • Kyle drank 5 cups of the tea over all the nights
  • The purging is to clear the system out of toxins and clean it out energetically
  • Soltara built in pre-ceremony sessions like yoga or meditation to help ease into the actual sessions
  • Kyle said that the Ayahuasca experience was familiar
    • Everything felt very green behind his eyes
    • There was a serpent weaving in and out of his DNA
    • The experience felt so healing
    • Kyle didn't purge (vomit) but did do a little crying
    • He said he did not experience much anxiety
    • The serpent was healing him and stitching parts of himself back together
    • “There is something intelligent here working on very subtle levels” - Kyle
  • The next two ceremonies were very gentle, some crying, going through family dynamics, but always in the background, there was that same serpent
  • Kyle said the first 3 sessions felt really easy, compared to previous experiences with psychedelics
    • The spirit said to him “oh you think this was going to be easy, that you would just drink this and that I would show you all this stuff. Well we have to get to know each other first”
    • With Psilocybin, there is this one big door, you eat the mushrooms and open the door and get to experience it heavily, with Ayahuasca, there is a smaller doorway to penetrate through, you have to create a relationship with the medicine first

Final Ceremony

  • It was during the full moon in Cancer and lunar eclipse, the energy was already intense
  • For the 4th ceremony, Kyle was already feeling high energy, and did not want to go too strong, so he started with ¾ of a cup
    • Kyle felt like he was sober, the medicine told him to ask for a second dose
    • The facilitator gave Kyle ¼ of a cup more
    • That ¼ of a cup really blasted him off
  • After the singing, he laid down and that's when things took off
    • All of a sudden, he saw himself back in the CAT scan machine (referring back to his NDE as a teen)
    • He always tells the story as blissful and beautiful, but this time was so different
    • He saw himself back in the CAT scan machine as a child, and was terrified, and he began shaking
    • He felt this pain in his pelvic area as he felt during his NDE
    • He was shivering and so cold, it brought him right back into that state
    • He was re-experiencing the fear in a new way during the ceremony
    • He went into his body and felt the scar tissue and felt that shake and stretch and kind of brought in some healing there
    • After his actual surgery/NDE, as he was healing he was always really afraid to move in certain ways in the fear that movement would re-open some of the healing wounds
  • He got a clear way of looking at how the body holds trauma, especially after surgery
    • That trauma is tied to the way we hold ourselves, the way we walk and talk and in so many ways
    • This ceremony helped Kyle view somatic body work in such a new light
  • The ceremony was not scary, he allowed his body to process the fear, but not attach to the fear and become fearful
  • Yoga can also bring that out, stillness and vulnerability can bring up some body trauma and put you into that fight or flight response
  • Even when you think you're done processing something, there are always more layers to dig into and see something differently to bring more clarity

Preparation

  • Hallie said what she is learning with this medicine, is that she doesn't need to make anything happen, she needs to just let it happen
    • That feeling of relaxing things is scary because it means giving up control
    • It's a practice and its a lot easier said than done
  • The most important part is the set (mindset), because the set is you
    • “Having your set figured out, when the going gets tough, you're safe still” - Hallie
  • Kyle said that Aya always told him to wait, he didn't need to jump into trying it right away, he waited over 10 years to process his NDE trauma
    • Hallie says it's just like marriage, you can get married easily, but it's not always going to work out if you don't have the tools and the skill sets to maintain it
    • Ayahuasca is similar in needing the right tools and time to do it right
  • The dieta and the prep itself is so hard
  • People are turned off by the idea of doing something disciplined
    • These experiences can be so much different when we go through the process of giving something up
    • It's not to punish ourselves, it's to heal ourselves
    • “There is a whole other side of us, that opens up when we cut out some of the things that numb us” - Hallie
    • The dieta strips away the illusions, the plant medicines help us remember who we are

Hopi Creation Story

  • The great creator said “I have a gift for the human beings, but I need to hide it somewhere until they are ready to find it”
    • It is “the gift of the knowing that they can create anything, they can create their own reality”
  • The creator asked the earth where he should hide it
    • The eagle said he will bring it to the moon
    • The fish said he will bring it to the bottom of the sea
    • The buffalo said he will bring it to the edge of the plains
    • The creator said no to all of them, they will find it there
  • So the great grandmother who lives in the breast of the earth said, put it inside of them
    • And the creator said “it is done”
  • It brought Kyle back to his fourth ceremony, the Ayahuasca was a reminder that everything he needed was already inside of him

Privilege

  • It's hard to tell people of their only legal options for healing, which most of them are leaving the country, which is not an option for some people
    • We are all worthy of finding relief of our suffering through psychedelics
  • Is therapy only going to be for the rich and elite? There are so many people who really need it
  • Yes, you can grow mushrooms, but then you're at risk of the law
  • The system is so complex and we need a more humane way of moving forward in this field and offer experiences like this to the people that need it
  • Therapy is a privilege
    • Most people that need therapy are in survival mode that don't have the privilege of access to therapy
  • Peer support movements are a way forward in this issue
    • If the people that really need the help can't even afford it, then how do we have mass healing?
    • There are great healers out there that never became healers because they didn't have the privilege to
  • Kyle says he escaped a lot of suicidal ideation after his near death experience, it took a lot of time to call earth his home
  • “Just to wake up and be a part of this, even that is magical in itself” - Kyle
  • “The stars come out every night, and we watch television” - Hallie

Authentic Self

  • Hallie has recently had her 12th Ayahuasca experience
    • “I am no longer breathing, I am being breathed” - Hallie
  • “Hatred does not exist, it is only a resistance to love” - Hallie
  • Even being hard on ourselves is only a resistance to loving ourselves
    • Its love with nowhere to go
  • People that have a lot of self hatred toward their bodies or themselves, the medicine always comes back to the self, it teaches people to love and take care of themselves
    • “You really can't love anything outside of yourself until you love yourself” - Hallie
    • Kyle says that the people who he looks up to (ex, Stan Grof), what if they never showed up for themselfves? What if they never stood up for what they believe in?

Links

$200 off coupon code for Soltara: THOUGHTROOM

Soltara Healing Center

Hallie's Instagram

Thought Room Podcast 

 


About Hallie

Hallie Rose is an author, speaker, educator, and relationship coach from New York City. She is the host of The Thought Room Podcast and also the founder & CEO of the company Lunar Wild which aims to reclaim the sacred feminine and address a modern need for a Rite of Passage into womanhood. The Thought Room is a combination of edge-of-your-seat storytelling and groundbreaking interviews with celebrated thought-leaders from around the world. The show covers a breadth of topics including psychology, spirituality, sex & relationships, psychedelic science & plant medicine, bio-hacking, fitness, nutrition, alternative health, business & entrepreneurship, mindfulness, yoga, and meditation.

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Jan 28, 2020
Aaron Orsini - How LSD Helped Bridge the ASD Neurotypical Divide
01:12:37

In this episode, Joe sits down with Aaron Orsini, Author of Autism on Acid. In this powerful episode, Aaron shares his moving story on how LSD gave him life-saving relief from his struggles with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

3 Key Points:

  1. Aaron spent the first 20+ years of his life suffering from the struggles of Autism Spectrum Disorder. He changed his life in an unexpected way through the use of LSD.
  2. LSD gave Aaron the emotional installation of perception to see the stimuli in life that he had been blind from because of his disorder.
  3. Aaron is the author of the book, Autism on Acid, a self told story on his autistic perceptions before, during and after his LSD experience. He goes into great depth on his experience in the show.

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Show Notes

About Aaron

  • A large part of his psychedelic journey stems from his Autism
  • His diagnosis didn't affect him in school so much as it affected him in his adult years with socialization
  • His childhood friends were more based on similar shared activities
  • When he was thrusted into more social situations, he had more issues with non-repetitive and non-scheduled socialization
    • He was anxious in the idea that he would go into avoidance, he wasn't very afraid, just more confused
    • Most of his knowledge was based on repetition and memorization, it was harder to navigate new or unique social scenarios
    • Social vertigo is how he described his experience
  • His doctor told him to read some books, and he felt like he was reading a journal on his own life

A Transition Point

  • Aaron left his job
    • A relationship he was in ended
    • A friend of his was killed by a drunk driver
  • He was in a dark place, and he wanted to retreat
    • He didn't know what he needed, he just wanted to leave
  • He got a backpack and a bike and headed west toward California
  • He had an opportunity to try LSD
    • He thought it was going to be an escape, and it ended up being the most involved experience of his life
    • He sat on a tree stump in a wooded area, finally noticing everything that had been there his whole life that he hadn't seen before
    • He saw the beauty in literally being alive
    • He sat there and cried for an hour or two, it was a lot
  • Aaron eventually got up, and started walking and saw some people walking and he had an urge to say hello, so he did, and they said “hello, how are you” back
    • He describes it as a sensation of a child riding a bike for the first time
    • Them saying “hello, how are you” to him, was the first time he experienced someone saying hello to him and him feeling it
    • It was like a def person getting a cochlear implant and hearing for the first time
    • It kick started his exploration of the world around him

Integration

  • His LSD experience was about 6 years ago, and he didn't know much about LSD at the time
    • He didn't know what to do with his experience
  • In the beginning, he felt as if he would go into it, see everything very clearly, and then back out of it again, and things felt more muted and ‘blurry’
    • I was utilizing LSD, not for a sub-perceptive, metabolic effect, I was going for a supra-perceptive effect” - Aaron
  • Aaron was taking at or slightly above the threshold dose amount (20-50micrograms)
    • For someone who already had sensitivity issues, it was very apparent when he would take ‘too much’
  • In no way is he advocating someone to repeat what he has done, he wants it more to spark interest in researchers to find more data on this in the hopes to find relief for others

Emotional Installation

  • LSD has helped me understand myself and embrace that” - Aaron
  • Aaron said he's willing to take a risk to not be anonymous, because it's not some simple thing, it's so important, it's the most important thing to him
  • He gets emails all the time saying the same thing has happened to them, but they want to stay anonymous
  • Aaron says it has changed his relationships with his loved ones, the fact that he has this new depth of feeling has changed his relationships dramatically
  • The main treatments for kids with autism was to help the caretaker, to help the child not fidget when they sleep
    • Aaron says he needed to fidget, he needed to squirm around
    • “If you can't hear, and someone is telling you over and over again ‘listen, listen, listen’, how are you going to begin to listen? That’s the void that LSD filled.” - Aaron
  • He fell in love with parts of himself that he didn't get a chance to before
  • Every other form of therapy was coming from the outside and telling him what to feel, LSD was the only therapy that came from the inside
  • He mentions a quote from a documentary on someone who used truffles to help them, “Truffles installed emotionality in me”

Hope for Research

  • There were studies done with LSD on autistic children in hospital settings before the drug prohibition
    • The results showed the kids changing so fast and so effectively
  • It's a difficult topic, ASD research in general is heavily funded by the government
  • Autism aside, the older you are in life, the more surprised you are when that veil is lifted for a moment
  • The risk that he is taking is nothing compared to the significance of what good this has a chance of bringing
  • It's not a desired risk to come out as an Autistic person, and especially as one who has taken controlled substances to heal from it

Links

Autism on Acid: How LSD Helped Me Bridge The ASD-Neurotypical Divide  

Website 

Email: autismonacid@gmail.com


About Aaron Orsini

Aaron Paul Orsini is a writer, public speaker, and survivor of a decades-long battle with clinical depression resulting from social isolation, mental rumination, and hypo-sensitivity issues common in autistic individuals. When Aaron was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at the age of 23, he took comfort in receiving a diagnosis but remained deeply depressed as a result of seeing himself as broken and blind; someone who just couldn’t and wouldn’t “get it”. But then came his first experience with LSD, during which he became intuitively aware of the very stimuli he’d been incapable of perceiving throughout his life. Thanks to LSD---and a yet-to-be-fully-understood combination of chemically-induced synesthesia and associated fluctuations in intrinsic functional connectivity within the salience and default mode networks, Aaron can now perceive critical social cues embedded in facial expressions, speaking tones, and body language, which in turn means he feels fully connected to the human experience, and fully capable of navigating the social and emotional landscapes of life.

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Jan 21, 2020
Daniel Greig - The Cognitive Continuum: From Insight to Enlightenment
01:19:10

In this episode, Kyle and Joe interview previous guest of the show, Daniel Greig. In the show, he goes in depth into the meaning of enlightenment and previews the new book he is writing with Dr. John Vervaeke, The Cognitive Continuum.

3 Key Points:

  1. Insight, flow and mystical experiences are all facets of working toward enlightenment.
  2. Enlightenment is really a fundamental grip on reality. It's about maintaining a relationship with the transcendent, it's not about just constantly escaping this body life.
  3. The mystical experience is a glimpse at consciousness. The most important part of having a mystical (psychedelic) experience is coming back into our bodies and developing better relationships with ourselves, others and the world.

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Show Notes

The Cognitive Continuum

  • There will be a crowdfunding campaign launched for the book
  • The book will be a combination of art and science
  • He is writing it with Dr. John Vervaeke
  • The core of cognitive continuum is insight
  • There is also the flow state
  • There are also mystical states
  • Insight, flow and mystical experiences all have something to do with enlightenment
    • If we can train people on how to access this cognitive continuum, they can become enlightened

Enlightenment

  • It is important to see the truth
    • “How can we take our natural ability to attach to things, and learn to step back and care about the greater good?” - Daniel
  • Cognitive flexibility is important to understand the needs of the greater collective
    • "Enlightenment means to apprehend truth and act in relation to truth” - Daniel
  • Mind does not equal brain

Gut Feeling

  • EGG - electro gastro grams
  • There is a singular resting state network between the brain and the stomach
    • You're never really able to access this network, but when we have ‘gut feelings’ it's typically coming from neurons in your stomach
  • Being grounded in those sensations of the stomach is a huge part of problem solving and guidance in truths
  • We need to get back to ‘feeling’ something as actually meaning something

Mystical Experience

  • Enlightenment is really a fundamental grip on reality
  • It's about maintaining a relationship with the transcendent, it's not about just constantly escaping this body life
  • Daniel uses a lot of Roberto Unger’s theories in his new book
  • There is the absolute reality and illusory reality
  • The mystical experience is a glimpse at consciousness
    • The most important part of having a mystical experience is the coming back into our bodies, having better relationships with ourselves and others
  • Psychedelics don't do anything by just sitting there, they take a perceiver to matter and make a difference
    • It's the person, the body, that really holds the power to embodiment

Psychedelics and Enlightenment

  • People say that psychedelics are a shortcut to enlightenment
    • Daniel says that psychedelics can help take people out of depression style states
    • A mystical experience can help you, but you're going to hit a plateau if you don't integrate and interpret these experiences
  • For those practicing a lot of psychedelic work, they should balance with body work like yoga
    • There needs to be a balance in all practices in order to keep escalating toward enlightenment

Links

Website 


About Daniel Greig

Daniel is an educator, organizer and artist living in Toronto. He studied Cognitive Science and Philosophy at the University of Toronto, specializing in wisdom, consciousness, and spiritual belief and experience. In 2015, he founded the Mapping the Mind conference that occurs annually in Toronto, which raises much needed funds for psychedelic research. Daniel regularly host lectures and workshops, on topics in cognitive science. He is currently writing a book with Dr. John Vervaeke on the science of enlightenment, which will be published in 2020. When not contemplating the realm of the intellect, Daniel delves in the sonic perturbations of music, writing and producing progressive metal.

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Jan 14, 2020
Chris Bache - LSD and the Mind of the Universe: Diamonds from Heaven
01:22:14

In this episode, Kyle and Joe interview Chris Bache, author of LSD and the Mind of the Universe. Chris went through 73 high dose LSD sessions and talks about his experience in the show.

3 Key Points:

  1. Chris went through 73 high dose LSD sessions, but he says that pushing the edge of high dose and high frequency use brought on increasingly intense difficulties. He does not recommend high dose sessions like he did.
  2. The mind of the universe is where someone goes when one completely dissolves.
  3. In the show, they discuss psychedelic therapy and the debate on whether or not therapists should have to have psychedelic experience to do the therapy. Chris believes that the level of experience a therapist has had will impact the type of support they will be able to give.

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Show Notes

Psychedelic Interest

  • It was at the time Chris had just finished grad school and was looking where to take his research as a university professor
  • He was introduced to the work of Stan Grof, and his book Realms of the Human Unconscious: Observations from LSD Research (Condor Books)
  • He was the professor of Religious Studies, sticking to his traditional life
  • He knew there would come a time for him to share his experiences with a larger audience
  • Chris says he's always been locked into his body and his physical experience
    • He had no background in psychedelic states of consciousness

Protocol

  • He said you're always working with a sitter and same context/setting
  • As the dosage increased, he began creating a more intense music playlist
    • Chris thinks music is very important for psychedelic sessions
  • Chris does not recommend working with high doses
  • “When you're working with opening consciousness that radically, music has a tremendous effect, it has an amplifying effect by 5 or 10x than doing it without music” - Chris
  • Chris said he has experienced all the common layers of the psychedelic unconscious that's talked about

Consciousness Levels

  • Chris experienced 4 different death/rebirths
  • Chris differentiated 5 levels of the universe
    • The first is at the personal mind, where an ego death happens
    • The second takes places at the collective mind, about species
    • The third level is an archetypal mind, the high subtle mind, moving beyond the species existence
    • The fourth level is causal mind, causal oneness, profound states of non-dual reality
    • The last is Diamond Luminosity, its absolute clarity, pureness

Psychedelic Therapy

  • Chris says that there is a certain level of support that one needs to truly let go of themselves and let go to the experience
  • He says that he thinks the level of experience will impact the type of support a therapist will be able to give

Subtle Level

  • The mind of the universe is where someone goes when one completely dissolves
  • Pushing the edge of high dose, high frequency use brought on increasingly intense difficulties
  • Chris says he was very secret about his psychedelic use, his students didn't know about it
    • But he said after he had gone deep and touched these different levels of consciousness, his students became alive
    • The deeper he went in his own work, the more it touched the students at a deeper level

Potency

  • Chris thinks that LSD is a little cleaner than other psychedelics
    • His basic sense is that psilocybin tends to be less evocative, disruptive
    • Ayahuasca is more disruptive in opening up to deeper levels
    • LSD is the most disruptive in opening people up to really deep levels of consciousness
    • With LSD is was less about his personal experience, and more about the collective unconscious experience

Realizations

  • With one of his experiences, he had seen everything in his whole life all at once
  • He then entered into archetypal experiences, the platonic domain beyond the time-space reality
  • The beings he ‘met’ were as large as universes, responsible for creating time and space
  • He went into ‘deep time’, different magnitudes of time experiences in a broader frame of reference (where we are in the history of time, what our future looks like)
  • He reached that diamond luminosity level only 4 times out of all of his LSD sessions
  • “If we keep this up, sooner or later, the totality of this consciousness is going to wake up” - Chris
  • “We are moving toward a collective wake up, it's not a personal experience, it's a collective experience. An evolution of our species.” -Chris
  • If Chris has one tip, is to let go of our fear of death, when we die, we go back home
  • After so many sessions, and not taking the time to stop to integrate, after years, his body was screaming for community, and he felt this deep existential sadness and felt as if he was just waiting to die
    • It took 10 years to integrate his deep exploration, and to finally feel okay and comfortable again in his body suit and in this life
  • The universe is an infinite ocean of possibilities, we will never reach the end
  • “The collective psyche is being cosmically stimulated by the trauma that we are entering into” -Chris

Links

Articles 

LSD and the Mind of the Universe: Diamonds from Heaven

Chrisbache.com - future website

 


About Chris

Christopher M. Bache is professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Youngstown State University where he taught for 33 years. He is also adjunct faculty at the California Institute of Integral Studies and a Fellow at the Institute of Noetic Sciences. An award-winning teacher, Chris’ work explores the philosophical implications of non-ordinary states of consciousness, especially psychedelic states. Chris has written three books translated into six languages: Lifecycles - a study of reincarnation in light of contemporary consciousness research; Dark Night, Early Dawn - a pioneering work in psychedelic philosophy and collective consciousness; and The Living Classroom, an exploration of teaching and collective fields of consciousness. His new book is Diamonds from Heaven ~ LSD and the Mind of the Universe (2019).

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Jan 07, 2020
Peter H. Addy PhD - Salvia: Research and Therapeutic Use
01:08:02

In this episode, Joe interviews Dr. Peter Addy, Licensed Mental Health Counselor out of Washington. In the show, they talk about the research and therapeutic use of Salvia.

3 Key Points:

  1. Salvinorin A is the active molecule that causes the psychedelic experiential reports, although there are at least a dozen unique compounds in the Salvia plant.
  2. In a recreational setting, Salvia is usually smoked, but in the Mazatec culture, they do not smoke it, they use a sublingual method.
  3. The clinical applications of Salvia are tricky right now. It's not easy to get funding for psychedelic research.

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Show Notes

About Peter

  • Peter helped found the Yale Psychedelic Speaker Series
    • The main goal was to normalize talking about psychedelic research as research
  • Peter joined the pharmacology lab for his post doctoral research on Salvia
    • The team was mainly studying THC but were also studying Ketamine
    • He wanted to bring in MDMA and Psilocybin research
  • Peter attended The Institute of Transpersonal Psychology
    • As a psychologist, Peter focused heavily on feedback and experience

Transpersonal Psychology

  • It all started when Peter stumbled across a dusty book in the library as a Freshman, States of Consciousness by Charles Tart
    The book talked a lot about meditation
  • Joe says he has been practicing non-drug transpersonal states (breathwork) for years
  • You can have a psychedelic experience without drugs, and you can also take psychedelics and not have the psychedelic experience at all, it's not about the drug
    • “Everyone has an innate desire towards transcending who they are, moving towards wholeness, and personal and societal transformation” - Peter
  • “If I'm kind, then people around me are more likely to be kind, it's about the transformation of groups and societies than about having a cool trick” - Peter

Salvia

  • Psychedelic Assisted Psychotherapy is proven to do a lot of really good things, but it's not the only way and it's not necessarily the right way. There are wrong ways to do it, but not one culture owns this experience.” - Peter
  • "Having a healthy critique of science in the modern world is helpful because its a series of provisional truths, it's a good tool to get closer to objective reality, but its not perfect, it's all we have so far" - Joe
  • Peter says that art is an amazing tool as well
    • Verbal language is limiting, he has seen images that can convey an experience way better than words can
  • Salvinorin A is the active molecule that causes the psychedelic experiential reports
    • There are at least a dozen unique compounds in the Salvia plant
  • There was going to be a bill to make Salvia illegal in 2008 or 2009
    • Now it's just illegal for minors

Salvia Study

  • Peter recruited 30 people who had all used psychedelics
  • He used a controlled set, setting and intention
  • He used either a Salvia extract or just the unadulterated leaf
    • No one in the real world is using Salvinorin A, they are smoking the leaf or using extracts of the leaf
  • The participants smoked it when they desired, Peter was not enforcing the smoking
    • It was a very relaxed setting
  • Once the participants smoked, they then had an experience for 10 minutes, and then he came together with them and just listened to their experience
    • 2 people got up and moved, the rest just sat there in the experience
  • Interoception (the inner feelings of your body) is the internal form of proprioception (the feeling of your body in space)
  • Every time you smoke something it is going to hit you quickly and be over quickly
    • By the time you realize what's going on in a Salvia experience, you're already on your way out
    • In the Mazatec culture, they do not smoke it, they use a sublingual method

Advice

  • The clinical applications of Salvia are tricky right now
  • It's not easy to get funding for psychedelic research
    • Peter says if you do get funding, attach it to something else
    • MDMA research didn't just begin to ‘see what it could help’, PTSD sucks, and there isn't a whole lot that works to treat it, but MDMA does and it just happens to be a type of psychedelic

Links

Website


About Peter

Peter is both a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Washington and a Licensed Professional Counselor in Oregon. He earned a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Sofia University in 2011, including certification in biofeedback and Process Oriented Psychodrama. There, he studied non-ordinary states of consciousness, holistic and all-encompassing views of a person, and ways that these experiences can transform a person and society. Peter then engaged in post-degree specialty training at Danville State Hospital, Yale University School of Medicine, and the Connecticut Mental Health Center. As faculty at Yale University he engaged in research and training. Some of his clinical training is in mindfulness-based therapies, Motivational Interviewing, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. He also discovered a passion for data management and security which he brings with him to his online therapy practice.

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Dec 31, 2019
Rafael Lancelotta and Alan Kooi Davis - 5-MEO-DMT: Facilitation Harms, Oneness and Privilege
52:49

In today’s episode, Joe visits Naropa in Boulder, CO to sit down with Rafael Lancelotta and Alan Kooi Davis. Alan is a Clinical Psychology Professor at Ohio State and Rafael is a legal Psychedelic Therapist operating out of Innate Path in Colorado.

3 Key Points:

  1. Facilitation is a huge problem in the 5-MEO-DMT space. Some people take it without the intention of working on it afterward, they are commonly given too much, and also in a poor context. This recipe of poor facilitation and guidance leads to a lot of challenging experiences and a lot of integration work.
  2. The feeling of oneness typically arises when taking 5-MEO-DMT. It can be great for some, but for others, it can be extremely overwhelming and harmful when not provided the correct intention, context and tools to work through it.
  3. Privilege is a huge issue in the psychedelic space. The goal in this space is to make everyone’s voice heard, not just those of privilege.

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Show Notes

Rafael

  • Rafael studied Mental Health Counseling at the University of Wyoming
  • He is currently at Innate Path in Lakewood, CO doing Ketamine and Cannabis assisted Psychotherapy

Alan

  • Alan is on the Faculty at John’s Hopkins
  • He is a Clinical Psychologist
  • He is currently doing clinical research on psychoactive substances

5-MEO-DMT

  • It is a psychoactive substance that comes from the Sonoran Desert Toad
  • It's a fast acting and powerful psychedelic substance that is challenging to predict
    • Some have amazing, beautiful and transcendent experiences, but it also has the ability to bring up challenging and dark things to deal with
  • It isn't as visual as other psychedelics, it has to deal a lot more with consciousness itself
  • “It may feel like being shot right into the center of love, or the center of the universe” - Alan
  • DMT can be more visual, while 5-MEO-DMT can be more spiritual, not that they can’t dip into each other

5-MEO-DMT Harms

  • Alan did a talk on 5-MEO-DMT at Horizons
  • There are a lot of harms when using 5-MEO-DMT
  • Both Alan and Rafael have been contacted numerous times about looking for facilitators or about trying to integrate massive and difficult experiences
  • An ego death, in the right context, can be transformative, but in the wrong context, can be extremely harmful.
  • The facilitators are the problem
    • If the facilitators are delivering the medicine in a shamanic practice, and the people using it are coming from a Western mindset, then with goals misaligned, there can be some major issues
    • People have these grand, god-like experiences when using psychedelics, then feel like they need to become shamans and facilitate these experiences for others and have literally no clue or education on how to properly care for these people using the Toad
  • Joe says facilitators commonly overdose their users because the toad venom is hard to predict potency
  • Alan says that the fear response needs to be initiated when extracting the venom from the toad
    • He thinks it can come up as a huge problem when using 5-MEO-DMT from a fear-stricken animal
    • Alan says there is a lot of reports of feeling abducted by aliens, and it could be related to the fear response from the toad being hunted for its venom
    • It's a similar concept to the traumatization of any other animal by the way it is killed and then eating the meat of that traumatized animal
  • On average, there is roughly 10-20% of 5-MEO-DMT in the venom

Oneness

  • When someone becomes ‘one’ with everything, it takes a lot of detailed integration
    • When someone becomes ‘one’ with everything, that would also mean that they experience the suffering of everything around them
  • When the rational mind comes back online, if the person does not decide to take action, it can be seriously overwhelming to feel that oneness
    • Integration has part to do with the experience but then the other part is everything before it, our family, relationships, job, our personality, etc.
    • “Yeah its cool that we are one with the universe, but so is everything else” - Rafael

Power and Privilege

  • Privilege means having a voice, but it also means position in society, gender, race etc
  • In psychedelics, for so long, it has been so hard to find a voice
    • But with this psychedelic renaissance, it has become so much easier to speak up about psychedelic use, research, etc
  • The people within the scientific community get put on a pedestal to speak about psychedelic research
  • Alan says his goal as someone in the middle of the research role, is to create community, to bring every voice to be heard
  • Being connected to psychedelics in anyway, used to mean prosecution
    • There are still imbalances that need to be looked at
  • The psychedelic renaissance is a chance to look at systemic issues
  • We need to determine what our personal values are, and values of the whole community, and whether or not they are aligned

Final Thoughts

  • Alan says his goal is to continue having a voice and allowing others’ voices to be heard in this space
  • Rafael says his goal is to make this therapy more available to those who can benefit from it and not just for the privileged

Links

Source Research Foundation

5 MEO DMT Forum


About Rafael Lancelotta

Rafael is a graduate from the University of Wyoming in Mental Health Counseling. He has worked as a wilderness therapy guide with adolescents and young adults experiencing a wide range of emotional and psychological challenges. He has also worked as a counselor at the Behavioral Health Services unit of a psychiatric hospital treating severe and persistent mental illness and medically supervised drug and alcohol detox. He has worked on several research projects studying the epidemiology of 5-MeO-DMT use in the global population and is also the administrator of 5meodmt.org, an online forum dedicated to hosting community discussions on harm reduction, integration, and safe practices around 5-MeO-DMT use. He is interested in the use of psychedelics paired with therapy for increased resiliency, mental health, and openness. He believes that the counseling relationship is essential to deepen, enhance, and actualize the benefits of psychedelic-assisted therapy. He is passionate about finding ways to make psychedelic-assisted therapies available to all those who may benefit from it as well as helping to raise awareness as to responsible clinical applications of psychedelics/entheogens.

About Alan Kooi Davis

Dr. Alan K Davis is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at The Ohio State University and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Psychedelic Research Unit at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Davis’s clinical experience includes working with people diagnosed with trauma-based psychological problems such as addiction, PTSD, depression, and anxiety. His clinical expertise includes providing evidenced-based treatments such as motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy. Consistent with his clinical interests, his research interests and expertise focus on contributing to the knowledge of and ability to help those suffering with substance use and mental health problems, understanding how to improve clinical outcomes through examining new treatments, and developing ways to conceptualize substance use and mental health problems through a strengths-based approach.

Dec 24, 2019
Mike Jay - Mescaline: A Global History of the First Psychedelic
01:13:03

In today’s episode, Joe interviews Mike Jay, Author of the book, Mescaline: A Global History of the First Psychedelic. In the show they discuss Mescaline’s origins and the history of Peyote use.

3 Key Points:

  1. Mike Jay is a Cultural Historian and Author whose topics include science, medicine, drugs, madness, literature and radical politics.

  2. Mike’s recent book, Mescaline, is a definitive history of mescaline that explores its mind-altering effects across cultures, from ancient America to western modernity.

  3. Over time, Peyote has been used by spiritual seekers, by psychologists investigating the secrets of consciousness, artists exploring the creative process, and by psychiatrists.


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Show Notes

About Mike

  • Mike Jay is a freelance writer, an author and cultural historian
  • Mike has been interested in Mescaline for a really long time

Indigenous Use

  • James Mooney is a crucial figure in the transition from indigenous use of peyote to the more current applications
  • The New Deal made religions respected, protected under the First Amendment for freedom of worship

History

  • There is a ton of literature before the 60’s on psychedelic use
  • It was obvious that if people were interested in psychoactive drugs, they would take it themselves
  • Back then, science was much more proactive than it is today, but it is becoming more popular again

Peyote Experience

  • It's hard to find an ethical source of Peyote
  • Mike says its unpleasant but warm and tingly and euphoric
  • By 1970, Mescaline was this legendary substance, but it was hard to find on the streets unless you knew an underground chemist
  • On the Erowid site, they have a bulletin that the DEA created about all of the street drug seizures
    He wrote a book 20 years ago called Emperors of Dreams
  • 2CB is not as intense as Mescaline
  • Mescaline is a phenethylamine
  • It does not cross the blood brain barrier as easily. So you need to take more of it
    • It is a body and mind drug

Indigenous Use

  • The Comanches were in a reservation in the Wichita mountains
  • He was notified by the Comanches on some history
    • He went to meet with them, and they told him stories on the history
    • Peyote use originated inside of a Tipi
    • The way that we see psychedelics in modern Western culture, is not the only way of thinking about it:” - Mike

Native American Church

  • There is an interesting thing that happened between Mexican/South American Shamanic practice and Native American Church
    • In the ceremony, the facilitator is made to not ask like a priest, everyone is their own priest
    • It is a healing modality for everybody
  • The very first peyote experiences in the west encouraged artists to make art
  • Salvador Dali was apparently anti-drug use
    • The surrealist movement had a number of rules
  • Huichol art is a very psychedelic inspired art

The plant

  • Peyote is so fast growing, in some places it is growing naturally
  • San Pedro is way more sustainable than Peyote
  • There is a lot of demand for Peyote currently
  • Joe says he thinks that Peyote is not scheduled in Canada

Accounts

  • The western story is full of first-person experiencesIts based on the personal
    • experiences and visions
  • In the indigenous accounts, there are very little stories on experience or personal matters, its more recording on the collective experience

Links

Website

Twitter

 


About Mike

Mike Jay is a leading specialist in the study of drugs across history and cultures. The author of Artificial Paradises, Emperors of Dreams, and The Atmosphere of Heaven, his critical writing on drugs has appeared in many publications, including The Guardian, The Telegraph, and The International Journal of Drug Policy. He sits on the editorial board of the addiction journal Drugs and Alcohol Today and on the board of the Transform Drug Policy Foundation. He lives in England.

Dec 17, 2019
Dena Justice - Neuro Linguistic Programming and Non-ordinary States of Consciousness
51:40

In this episode, Joe interviews Dena Justice from the Ecstatic Collective. Dena and Joe talk about Neuro Linguistic Programming and how it is beneficial to use with non-ordinary states of consciousness.

3 Key Points:

  1. NLP is Neuro Linguistic Programming. Dena Justice is a Lifestyle Design Strategist that uses NLP to help people create their dream, ecstatic life.
  2. 93% of communication happens at the subconscious level. NLP training focuses on how we use communication tools to help people in non-ordinary states of consciousness.
  3. Perception is Projection. Our belief of someone else, is a projection of ourselves onto them.

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Show Notes

About Dena

  • Dena grew up with NLP in her life
  • NLP is Neuro Linguistic Programming
  • “You get to create your reality, what are you choosing consciously?” - Dena
  • She became impacted by Tony Robbin’s events, and decided to teach NLP
  • NLP is about language and communication and things that are happening subconsciously
    • 93% of communication happens at the unconscious level

Neuro Linguistic Programming

  • Perception is projection
    • “If I have a belief about someone else, that is my projection of myself onto them” - Dena
  • The big no-no in NLP is to say things like don't or not
    • Say it the way you intend it
    • What messages do you want to enforce when in an altered state? You want it to be positive
    • “What is someone creating in their reality based on their unconscious communication?” - Dena
  • It's important to take NLP and combine it with non-ordinary states because they are more powerful together than the sum of them separately
    • The ‘aha’ moment happens because we have neural networks in every single cell in our body
    • Resistance is always a sign of a breakthrough
  • Virginia Satir  is known for translating people’s representational systems
    • In the Hierarchy of Ideas, Virginia was all about ‘chunking down’
    • When someone says “I'm upset” then you ask “how specifically?”
  • On the opposing side, Milton Erickson focuses on abstraction, chunking higher to get to trance
    • Dena uses the Milton model of hypnosis to bring people into trance states

NLP Training

  • Dena offers NLP training that focuses on how we use communication tools to help people in non-ordinary states of consciousness
    • It's so important to understand the 93% of communication that is happening at an unconscious level
  • Timeline therapy is a process that utilizes the unconscious mind to get rid of negative emotions such as anger, sadness and guilt
  • Every part of her training concludes with NLP coaching
  • The Milton model and hypnosis is really beneficial when focusing on its delivery specifically
    • Hypnosis is important because its using everyday words but with intention and volition to put people into a trance state
    • We reduce resistance in communication when we move up in abstraction

Links

Website


About Dena Justice

As a master manifester, Dena has created a beautiful life for herself. She been financially responsible since age 15 including putting herself through college, two masters degrees and purchasing her own home in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has made over $1M in her life through a fulfilling career as a facilitator, educator, trainer, mentor and coach working with thousands of people across the country. She loved her career, yet hit a point where she felt empty. Near the top of her career ladder, she was a classic case of a high performer and leader hitting burnout. She chose a powerful pivot out of her J-O-B and into her own business. Now, she helps other high performers who have hit burnout and are scared to admit they’ve hit a plateau or a wall. She helps them get the eff out of their own way and move to the next level to increase their impact so they feel fulfilled and inspired again, as well as helping them create more wealth and the relationships they want in their lives. She helps people experience new levels of success, increase/improve focus and performance, abolish FOMO, evolve communication skills, develop transformational leadership skills, create amazing relationships, increase financial abundance and live life on their own terms.

Dec 10, 2019
Raquel Bennett - KRIYA Conference Recap: Ketamine in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
01:11:10

In this episode, Kyle sits down with Raquel Bennett to recap on the KRIYA Conference. Kyle attended the conference, which is to bring people together with dedication to understanding the better use of Ketamine.

3 Key Points:

  1. The more recent KRIYA Conference was the last of its kind. The goal is to make information on ketamine more accessible to more people in the future.
  2. At KRIYA Institute, they believe that there is not one right way to use ketamine, different patients are best served by different treatment strategies.
  3. Intramuscular ketamine is usually 93% bioavailable, while nasal and lozenge based ketamine is usually only 40% bioavailable. The less variability the better when working with a powerful medicine for therapy.

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Show Notes

KRIYA

  • KRIYA is an international conference focused on ketamine and its therapeutic potential
    • The goal of KRIYA is to get people of all different ketamine backgrounds in the same room
    • Different people benefit from different things, and different doses and methods matter
  • There is a symbiotic relationship between therapeutic and spiritual practice of ketamine
  • She wanted to create a place where researchers and clinicians could come together
    • This last conference was the last one
    • The conference is CME accredited, which means physicians can get units for their education
    • Raquel picks people from different backgrounds, therapists who use low dose ketamine for therapy, to those who do full blown spiritual work with ketamine
  • Ketamine is a relational medicine - which is about having a relationship with the substance

Ketamine Therapy

  • Ketamine Therapy Lessons
    • Wisdom Teaching
    • A Loving Relationship
    • The Medicine
  • The medicine is adjunct to the entire process, it's not just about the ketamine, it's about the relationships, the wisdom teaching, etc. And each are powerful on their own, and even more powerful when all combined
    • When people are using ketamine in absence from the other components, people are not getting the full effect that they could
  • “Ketamine when done correctly, when administered in the right setting, with the correct support, enhances resilience.” - Raquel
  • Therapy is an important mechanism to teach coping skills needed in psychotherapy

Highlights of KRIYA

  • When Raquel first started running this conference in 2015, the clinicians were afraid to even come, they were afraid to talk about Ketamine
    • This past year, there were hundreds of applicants and so much excitement around talking about ketamine
  • In 2014, a whole bunch of psychiatrists stood up and said they have been using ketamine for their patients and it worked
  • A doctor talked about combining meditation with ketamine to heal substance use disorder
    • When ketamine is offered in a structured context, its highly beneficial
  • Another doctor talked about using ketamine to treat those who are acutely suicidal
    • People who are severely psychiatrically distressed benefit from ketamine treatment
  • Another doctor talked about combining ketamine with EMDR to treat patients with PTSD

Bioavailability

  • Raquel says she prefers intramuscular ketamine over lozenges
    • It's the cheapest way of doing it
    • Its super precise, you have a great control of the bioavailability of the ketamine to the patient
  • With IM, 93% is bioavailable
  • With nasal and lozenge ketamine, usually 40% makes it to the patient's brain, which is a huge range of variability when working with a powerful medicine

Progression

  • Clinicians are on the fence for prescribing for at home use
  • A doctor talked about 4 different tiers of ketamine experiences related to dosage
  • Other doctors talked about measurement tools of pre and post experience ways to take data when administering ketamine to patients
  • There is a lot of ketamine use outside of the medical context
    • The field is stuck in the question “Should ketamine be allowed to be used by people who aren't psychiatrically fragile?”
  • Everything good that is going to come out of ketamine usage and assisted therapy, will come
    • It's a slow process, but it is all moving forward

Final Thoughts

  • Raquel encourages people to are interested with using ketamine in therapy to get together regionally and learn from each other
  • She is thinking about creating a video series, as well as a retreat for ketamine providers
  • The KRIYA Conference is over, but the KRIYA Institute isn't going anywhere
    • She is looking at ways to get the information out faster and to more people, than to limit it just to conference attendees

Links

Website


About Raquel Bennett

Dr. Bennett is a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Clinical Psychology (PSB 94022544), working under the supervision of Dr. Bravo. Dr. Bennett primarily works with people who are experiencing severe depression, who are on the bipolar spectrum, or who are contemplating suicide. She has been studying the therapeutic properties of ketamine since she first encountered it in 2002. In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Bennett’s practice has evolved to include consultation services for medical professionals who wish to add ketamine services to their offices. She also lectures frequently about therapeutic ketamine. Dr. Bennett is the Founder of KRIYA Institute and the Organizer of the KRIYA Conferences.

Dec 03, 2019
Andy Frasco - Finding Balance with Psychedelics and other Substances as a Touring Musician
01:27:15

In today’s episode, Joe sits down with Andy Frasco, a touring rock musician with the band, Andy Frasco and the UN. In the show, they cover what is it like to be a touring rock musician with drugs so available and how to live more healthfully in the space.

3 Key Points:

  1. Andy Frasco is a talented, touring music artist a part of the band, Andy Frasco and the UN, as well as a podcast show host. Andy uses psychedelics to help cope with the anxiety that the rock star lifestyle brings.
  2. Psychedelics open us up to the possibility that everything we know is wrong. Finding truth and clarity for some people is hard, and people resort to alcohol and other harmful behaviors to suppress the painful reality we live in.
  3. Cocaine and uppers only keep a rock star up for so long. It keeps you awake for the partying, but it suppresses all the stresses of the lifestyle. Psychedelics and meditation can help with the balance needed in a stressful, lifestyle of traveling and fame.

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Show Notes

Intro

  • Joe attended a bunch of his live shows and was able to catch up with Andy in his hotel room while he was in town
  • Life is tough for a traveling entertainer, so the healthier they are, the better they are to perform for their audience
  • Andy Frasco’s World Saving Podcast

Micro-dosing

  • Microdosing is typically 6 weeks on, two weeks off, dosing every 3 days
  • 1/10-3/10ths of a gram (of mushrooms) is the typical microdose
    • Once you feel it, it's more of a macro-dose
  • Paul Stamets has made mushrooms popular

Mushroom Evolution

  • Mushrooms did not leave a mark on bone structure, so it's hard to tell if they actually made a difference in human evolution
    • Drugs have been around for a long time, and people in the past have definitely used them
  • There are studies of mushrooms helping to grow nerve cells and brain neurons back
  • We are only 50-100 years in on science
    “(Psychedelics) open you up to the possibility that everything you know is wrong.” -Terence McKenna
  • Joe says he's been to a therapist a bunch of times, and he says he has enjoyed it
    • Joe’s main form of therapy has been Breathwork
    • His most intense experiences have been just as powerful as his Ayahuasca experience

About Andy

  • Andy says he is open about taking psychedelics, he takes mushrooms, he doesn't really use cocaine
    • He says he feels more anxious when he isn't taking them than when he is
    • He says he gets really anxious on weed now as he gets older
  • Psychedelics show us a lot of truths
  • “We are all trying to figure out life, it's hard. Psychedelics help us create a better relationship with our mind.” - Andy
  • Andy says he has been anxious his whole life
    • He has had very scary panic attacks
    • He became addicted to sex as a crutch for his anxiety
    • He woke up one day, and sex didn't give him the thrill anymore
    • Andy started in the music industry because rock stars get the chicks
  • Teen years are just about being super insecure about everything
    • Shame is a huge influence on our relationships with other people
  • “The majority of effects from drug use for people are good.” - a quote from Carl Hart, a Psychology Professor who studies drug use
  • Andy's first psychedelic experience was an 8th of mushrooms at 18 years old

Rock Star Lifestyle

  • Andy says he used to be really into coke because he just had to stay up for the shows
    • But he says he doesn't take anything anymore that feels like speed
    • He was coping his exhaustion with drugs and alcohol
  • “When you're in a band you're the party for one day of the year in that city.” - Andy
    • Life for a rock star can't just be the 2 hour show, the trick is figuring out how to be mindful for the other 14 hours of the day after the party
    • The lifestyle is really hard, its very common to use drugs, sex and alcohol to suppress it
    • Humans were not designed for this
  • Andy has begun using transcendental meditation to help with this lifestyle
  • He also mentions having his first DMT experience recently

Links

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About Andy Frasco

Andy Frasco, a Los Angeles, CA native singer, songwriter, band maestro, entrepreneur, party starter and everyday hustler, tours with his band, “The U.N.” The music has elements of Soul, Funk, Rock and Roots and the shows have been described as orchestrated chaos, an overall great time. Frasco average 200+ dates a year, touring the country dozens of times, creating a loyal following everywhere he goes.

Nov 26, 2019
Kyle and Joe - Q&A: The Many Uses of Psychedelics
01:07:20

In this episode, Kyle and Joe sit down to cover questions from listeners of the show. They discuss topics that include psychedelic use for exorcisms, cluster headaches, athletic performance, processing grief and more.

3 Key Points:

  1. There are a few examples where psychedelics are used to increase athletic performance. Psychedelics can also be used to help realign those who are using sports as a form of distraction from internalized issues.
  2. When eliminating variables for psilocybin consistency in mushrooms for therapeutic use, freeze drying helps. But there are so many variables in mushrooms versus synthesized psilocybin.
  3. When addressing the sustainability of the Toad, according to the data, there isn't a real difference between 5-MEO-DMT from a toad and synthesized 5-MEO-DMT

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Show Notes

Kratom Warning

  • Joe brings up an issue that was brought up to him by a physician from the Wholeness Center, Dr. Craig Heacock, out of Fort Collins, CO
  • Dr. Heacock warns about Kratom
    • It is safer than opioids, but it can be physically addictive and getting off of it can be horrible
    • Kratom withdrawal closely imitates opioid withdrawal
    • The receptor site activity is the same as opioid pills

Using Psychedelics for an Exorcism

  • Kyle thinks of shamanic uses for plant medicines, and with the idea of purging and spiritual emergence, working in non-ordinary states can exacerbate these states and maybe help with this kind of work
  • Joe and Kyle go into writings from Stan Grof, explaining the physical appearance of those going through LSD psychotherapy or breathwork, and how it assimilates to an ‘exorcism’ of releasing the bad
  • The purging during a psychedelic experience may feel evil, or alien
  • Joe and Kyle say, do not perform an exorcism, leave it to the trained people

Treating Cluster Headaches with Psychedelics

  • Cluster Busters is an organization for the research on cluster headaches
  • LSD works for some as well as oxygen treatments work for others
  • We know a lot more about migraines than cluster headaches
    • The migraine is where neurons in the brain start misfiring and create a firing storm

How can Psilocybin Mushrooms be Standardized in Production for Therapeutic Use?

  • Joe says the practical solution is to have a really large amount of psilocybe cubensis, all blended up, and then split in even doses
  • There are potency differences between species, strains, etc
  • There are so many variances with mushrooms versus synthetic psilocybin
  • Freeze drying also promotes close to 0% loss of psilocybin when drying mushrooms

Psychedelics and Athletic Performance

  • There may be psychological blocks that are getting in the way of a person reaching the peak performance of their genome
    • It could be trauma, or psychological blocks
  • Athletic performance could be a distraction from what you're really here to do
    • Athletes have a lot of dysfunctional behavior
    • Psychedelics may show us our bad behavior and help us align
  • Kyle says he had this passion to snowboard and dedicate his life to snowboarding, and then he received a message in journeywork that told him snowboarding is simply a hobby and he needs to focus his life on other things
  • “Sports are a great way to cover up our emotions” - Joe
  • Kyle mentions tow other episodes that cover similar topics
    Ben Eddy
    Shane Lemaster

How to get the Ball Rolling on Psychedelic Liberty

  • Start a club
    • Joe says he’s been incubating a Psychedelic Club in Phoenix
  • Clubs are great for harm reduction

Is There a Humane or Conservative Way to Harvest the Toad Without Disrupting its Habitat?

  • Joe says yes, roadkill, pick them up off the road
  • If you touch a living one, there is a chance you'll be doing harm
    • Even touching the toad can transmit harmful fungus to them
  • According to the data, there isn't a real difference between 5-MEO-DMT from a toad and synthesized 5-MEO-DMT

How Psychedelics Might help with Processing Grief

  • Kyle says when he thinks about grief, he thinks about trauma
    • Psychedelics may be really beneficial when treating trauma
  • Kyle says he loves breathwork, because it creates the container to process things and even just simply cry
  • Kyle recommends a really great book on grieving, The Smell of Rain on Dust: Grief and Praise by Martin Prechtel
  • Our culture does not contain grief very well
  • A lot of people internalize it instead of breaking down and letting it go

Links

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About Kyle

Kyle’s interest in exploring non-ordinary states of consciousness began when he was 16-years-old when he suffered a traumatic snowboarding accident. Waking up after having a near-death experience changed Kyle’s life. Since then, Kyle has earned his B.A. in Transpersonal Psychology, where he studied the healing potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness by exploring shamanism, plant medicine, Holotropic Breathwork, and the roots/benefits of psychedelic psychotherapy. Kyle has co-taught two college-level courses. One of the courses Kyle created as a capstone project, “Stanislav Grof’s Psychology of Extraordinary Experiences,” and the other one which he co-created, “The History of Psychedelics.”

Kyle completed his M.S. in clinical mental health counseling with an emphasis in somatic psychology. Kyle’s clinical background in mental health consists of working with at-risk teenagers in crisis and with individuals experiencing an early-episode of psychosis. Kyle also facilitates Transpersonal Breathwork workshops.

About Joe

Joe studied philosophy in New Hampshire, where he earned his B.A.. After stumbling upon the work of Stanislav Grof during his undergraduate years, Joe began participating in Holotropic Breathwork workshops in Vermont in 2003. Joe helped facilitate Holotropic and Transpersonal Breathwork workshops while he spent his time in New England. He is now working in the software industry as well as hosting a few podcasts. Joe now coordinates Dreamshadow Transpersonal Breathwork workshops, in Breckenridge, Colorado.

Nov 19, 2019
Jac Harrison - DMT Inspired Music: How DMT Mimics The Near-Death Experience
01:30:14

In this episode, Kyle sits down with Jac Harrison, a grammy nominated music producer. Kyle and Jac talk about music as therapy, how DMT mimics the near death experience, and how Jac produces music based on frequencies of mystical experiences.

3 Key Points:

  1. Jac shares his story about his near death experience, and how DMT has been a therapeutic option for him to cope with his crippling anxiety and PTSD.
  2. Jac is a music producer, who uses frequencies from mystical experiences to produce music. His music helps people with addiction, sleep issues, anxiety, and more.
  3. Music is not an FDA approved medicine, but if there is music that tricks your mind into thinking you have taken a medicine, then it should be an option for those suffering.

Support the show

Navigating Psychedelics


Show Notes

About Jac

  • In 2008, Jac was newly married with a baby on the way
  • He needed a new job, and accepted one with Whole Foods Magazine
  • Around 2011, the owner of the company became ill, and gave his company to his daughter, who was awful
  • Jac said that he knew something had to change
  • He started his music career, went under a lot of stress, and went through a divorce
    • Everything started to go okay with his music career, money was pouring in
    • His first album was Musicians Collection Project
  • He had a ton of anxiety after the divorce, and had high blood pressure
    • He took some cold medicine, on top of his blood pressure medicine, totally forgot about it, then decided to have a glass of wine with a friend
    • The next thing he knew, he was in an ambulance getting his chest pounded on
    • They told him he was in and out all night, and practically died
  • After this near death experience, he felt amazing!
    • But the feeling of greatness only lasted about 3 weeks, and then his anxiety came back, and it was crippling

A Synchronistic Event

  • Jac says he doesn't believe in magic or witchcraft or any woo woo
  • For his 39th birthday, he was working a trade show
  • He ran around his hotel in Las Vegas, screaming that he felt he was going to die
    • He didn't know how, but he could feel it
    • Everyone thought he was crazy
  • Moments later, was the shooting right outside of his hotel
    • It was the Las Vegas shooting
  • He does believe in coincidence
    • He had this overwhelming feeling that something bad was going to happen, it was his intuition

Understanding the Experience

  • After trying to figure out what this all meant, he took a 2000mg bar of chocolate to blast off, trying to relive his near death experience
    • He said, there was a lot of frequency, and as a musician, he felt like he could mimic it
    • His first album, and first song on the album, Relief, was about his experience when he died
    • His music is found at MindToyBox
    • Each song he did after that, catalogs the DMT experience he had
  • “An old projector TV, I had one for a while, it was great. The light came on and told me I needed to change the bulb. I changed the bulb and saw in a new and clear way forever. That's what DMT is like.” - Jac
  • Kyle says that when he attended COSM for the DMT Spirit Molecule release party, Rick Strassman was there and said that the idea that DMT comes out of the pineal gland is just a hypothesis, and people took it and ran with it as truth

Frequency for Healing

  • After he smoked DMT, he heard this humming, and so he started humming and recording it as a frequency for the album
  • He took opium, and then figured out the frequency that substance performs at
    • He wrote music, based on the mathematical equation on how opium works and releases
    • He says it has helped others detox off of opium
  • Jac cant take mushrooms because he is allergic, so he takes DMT
  • Jac worked with a man who had gone through a ton of trauma, he had gone through combat
    • He kept reliving his combat trauma when he would try to go asleep
    • He smoked DMT, and really relived the experience, and was able to let go of it after that
    • “Your mind is a bitch.” - Jac
    • “If you can lock onto a memory, and dissociate it with something, and re-associate it with something else, Every time you can go back to that memory,you can relive it in a way that it's tolerable, and get over it.” - Jac
  • Jac says without this, he would not be able to function, and he would be institutionalized
  • Jac’s music is Alex Grey’s form of art creation
  • It is made to go with journeywork experiences
    • It is supposed to mimic taking a pill, so you don't need to take the actual pill
    • It is supposed to guide people when taking different psychedelics
    • His tracks match the frequency of specific psychedelics

Malta Hypogeum

  • The Malta Hypogeum, the oracle chamber, is a cave with naturally occurring frequencies
  • Raymond Reif is an underestimated person in history
    • He beat cancer using frequencies in the 30’s and 40’s
  • “If we're not going to someone to get drugs for something that we need drugs for, and solving our problems using plant based medicines, music therapy, and frequencies, we are much better off.” - Jac
  • Jac came across psychedelics when trying to treat crippling anxiety
    • Kyle is the first person he has told this NDE story to
  • Alzheimers is not a neurological problem, it's a perception problem
    • Psychedelic medicine should be used for research to treat cognitive health problems, PTSD, alzheimers, etc
  • “If the earth gives us something for our body, we should be able to take that at the same time we are able to take modern medicine.” - Jac
  • Jac says that he started doing this type of work as more of an Atheist, and after the psychedelic experiences, he says he has become more spiritual

Intuition

  • Jac says that his intuition and discernment came after his near death experience
    • Kyle says that this happens after mystical experiences, we become more in tune with what is going on around us
    • “I believe that we have something in us, that is triggered, when we have a fear of death.” - Jac

Final thoughts

  • Jac recommends Relief as the first track for listeners
  • He extends himself to people who are heavily anxious, have severe PTSD, or depressed, to come to him, and he will make music for them
  • He said that this is not medicine, but if there is music that tricks your mind into thinking you have taken a medicine, then it should be an option for those suffering

Links

Website


About Jac Harrison

Having spent most of his adolescent life medicated to treat ADD/ADHD, Jac developed a dependency on the medications and could not function without them. When he stopped using them, his anxiety was so bad that he was diagnosed with PTSD in 2009; so he took his love for music with his understanding of mathematics and developed music to help himself get off all the medication. Mind Toy Box is the result of his work.

Nov 12, 2019
Kyle Buller and Joe Moore - Exploring Psychedelic Integration and Coaching
01:03:46

In this episode, Kyle and Joe sit down to explore psychedelic integration. They cover different frameworks, resources and benefits of integration and coaching services.

3 Key Points:

  1. Integration is commonly confused as post-session only, but it includes pre-session, self care, and really begins at the point you decide to engage in self-work.
  2. It is important to remember the GPA framework when determining where you are at in the integration process, G - grounding, P - processing, A - action.
  3. Psychedelics Today offers many resources to assist with the integration process; Navigating Psychedelics Online Course (and Live Course), Coaching and Integration Calls, and books, Trip Journal and Integration Workbook.

Support the show

Navigating Psychedelics


Show Notes

Updates

  • He will be attending the ACISTE Conference this November
    • Kyle is speaking and doing a breakout session with Michelle Hobart
    • Kyle is going to present on using technology for support with spiritual emergence
  • Kyle and Joe will not be offering any major workshops until spring
  • They will be attending a conference in Amsterdam, Psychedelics and Philosophy

Psychedelic Integration

  • Kyle says his near death experience shows up in his life everyday
  • Integration is not only post session, it is also pre-session
  • Integration, at its root means bringing parts together into wholeness
  • Joe says you don't need support to do integration, although it is helpful
  • Kyle's analogy of a psychedelic experience as a big hallway with a lot of doors, and a ton of magical stuff, even scary monsters, are coming through the doors and wandering through the halls
    • The goal is to realize and say “this is a part of me” and learn to be okay with all of the stuff in the hall
  • Self care works until it doesn't, and that is when integration comes in

Integration Framework

  • Kyle uses a framework and asks, what is your GPA?
    • G - grounding, post session, how are we getting re-connected to ourselves?
    • P - processing, once energy feels stable and centered, how can we process the material? It could mean journaling, therapy, body or somatic work, breathwork, yoga, etc.
    • A - action, moving it forward, breaking the leanings down into goals of things to work on
    • Kyle says that these things do not need to be done in order necessarily, but its a good framework to check in after an experience and see where you're at
  • Joe reminds listeners of 'pre-hab', that preparation can make a world of a difference and weigh a lot more than post work in a lot of cases
  • “Life is integration, call your mom, pay your rent.” - Joe
  • Joe mentions the quote that “the opposite of addiction is connection”
  • Climate change can bring up a lot of existential dread, the connection piece, and other topics can be addressed with psychedelic integration

Resources

  • The Psychedelics Today, Navigating Psychedelics Course is a great way to learn more about integration
  • We offer two books, the Trip Journal and the Integration Workbook
  • We also offer Psychedelic Integration coaching calls and services
  • You don't need an integration coach all the time, but for someone to just be there helps
  • If you have a retreat planned, integration and coaching can really help mitigate the risks
  • Integration within the psychedelic community is somewhat understood
    • Kyle says he gets tons of emails asking for medicine sessions
    • Psychedelic Integration and coaching services do not include medicine or guiding or providing of medicine, its simply pre and post session guidance
    • Psychedelics Today does not suggest underground or illegal psychedelic sessions/therapy and makes a significant effort to be ignorant of underground work, there are legal options to choose from

Links

Psychedelics Today


About Kyle

Kyle’s interest in exploring non-ordinary states of consciousness began when he was 16-years-old when he suffered a traumatic snowboarding accident. Waking up after having a near-death experience changed Kyle’s life. Since then, Kyle has earned his B.A. in Transpersonal Psychology, where he studied the healing potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness by exploring shamanism, plant medicine, Holotropic Breathwork, and the roots/benefits of psychedelic psychotherapy. Kyle has co-taught two college-level courses. One of the courses Kyle created as a capstone project, “Stanislav Grof’s Psychology of Extraordinary Experiences,” and the other one which he co-created, “The History of Psychedelics.”

Kyle completed his M.S. in clinical mental health counseling with an emphasis in somatic psychology. Kyle’s clinical background in mental health consists of working with at-risk teenagers in crisis and with individuals experiencing an early-episode of psychosis. Kyle also facilitates Transpersonal Breathwork workshops.

About Joe

Joe studied philosophy in New Hampshire, where he earned his B.A.. After stumbling upon the work of Stanislav Grof during his undergraduate years, Joe began participating in Holotropic Breathwork workshops in Vermont in 2003. Joe helped facilitate Holotropic and Transpersonal Breathwork workshops while he spent his time in New England. He is now working in the software industry as well as hosting a few podcasts. Joe now coordinates Dreamshadow Transpersonal Breathwork workshops, in Breckenridge, Colorado.

Nov 05, 2019
Kyle and Joe - Horizons Highlights: Perspectives on Psychedelics
01:03:52

In this episode, Joe and Kyle sit down to cover highlights from the Horizons Conference. In the show, they discuss the presentations and topics they heard at the conference.

3 Key Points:

  1. Joe and Kyle attended Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics Conference in NYC, it is a forum that examines the role of psychedelic drugs and plant medicines in science, medicine, culture and spirituality.
  2. Carl Hart gave a compelling talk; Dispelling the Lies that the Psychedelic Community believes about Drugs. Greater than 80% of the effects of drugs used are positive.
  3. Another popular topic was on the economics around psychedelics, and discussion on companies trying to monopolize on psychedelics.

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Show Notes

Horizons

  • Kyle mentions he loves to attend because it's a great social event to connect with others interested or involved in the psychedelic field
  • Kyle says the videos of the talks from the conference will be released soon
  • They presented neuro-imaging data

5-MEO-DMT

  • Dr. Alan Davis did a talk on 5-MEO-DMT and its challenges
    • People have a hard time letting go into the experience because its so fast and overwhelming
  • He talked about a term, reactivation, similar to flashbacks that happen between 1-2 weeks after the experience
    • People were reporting it as positive experiences, 80% of people enjoyed the reactivations
  • He did say that there were some bad players in the 5-MEO-DMT space
    • There is no control in the dosing in underground facilitation
    • A lot of people eyeball their dosage in 5-MEO-DMT
    • Joe suggests to buy a milligram scale

Carl Hart

  • Carl Hart did a talk; Dispelling the Lies that the Psychedelic Community believes about drugs
    • Greater than 80% of the effects of drugs used are positive
  • PCP is a psychedelic drug, but the psychedelic community chooses not to own it
  • Ketamine was derived from PCP
  • Hamilton Morris said that no drug is bad, it comes down to the dose and how its being used
    • Poison can be a medicine, and medicine can be a poison, it all depends on dose
  • No drug should be illegal, drug scheduling should just go away
  • Some states are starting to ban private prisons
  • Joe says the drug war is the war on race, the war on class, etc
    • Joe suggests looking up the Portugal drug law; less overdoses, less HIV, less incarceration, etc
  • Kyle mentions that in some cultures they would drink alcohol to get into a trance state and dance around all night and then chill for 3 days afterward because they would all be recovering from the hangover

Talks and Topics

  • Shelby and Madison, co founders from Doubleblind Magazine did a talk
  • Fiona Misham did a talk on the use of psychedelics for festivals and fun
    • She talked about having on-site drug testing facilities and how they heighten safety
    • In 2018 in Europe the MDMA contents were tested at 168milligrams
    • 1 in 5 substances are mis-sold
    • 1 in 20 MDMA samples were long lasting N-ethylpentylone, a drug that keeps you up for 3 days straight
  • There was also an Economics panel
    • Kyle says it was a heavy and hot debate
    • There was a lot of conversation on companies making money on psychedelics
    • There was worry from some on Compass Pathways monopolizing on psychedelics
    • Kyle says big and fast growth can be dangerous for mental health
    • It's possible that these companies will just push for results to pay off the investment than to really take the time to have slow meaningful sessions and include the therapeutic model
    • When therapists have more congruence with their client, they get better results

Links

Website

About Kyle

Kyle’s interest in exploring non-ordinary states of consciousness began when he was 16-years-old when he suffered a traumatic snowboarding accident. Waking up after having a near-death experience changed Kyle’s life. Since then, Kyle has earned his B.A. in Transpersonal Psychology, where he studied the healing potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness by exploring shamanism, plant medicine, Holotropic Breathwork, and the roots/benefits of psychedelic psychotherapy. Kyle has co-taught two college-level courses. One of the courses Kyle created as a capstone project, “Stanislav Grof’s Psychology of Extraordinary Experiences,” and the other one which he co-created, “The History of Psychedelics.”

Kyle completed his M.S. in clinical mental health counseling with an emphasis in somatic psychology. Kyle’s clinical background in mental health consists of working with at-risk teenagers in crisis and with individuals experiencing an early-episode of psychosis. Kyle also facilitates Transpersonal Breathwork workshops.

About Joe

Joe studied philosophy in New Hampshire, where he earned his B.A.. After stumbling upon the work of Stanislav Grof during his undergraduate years, Joe began participating in Holotropic Breathwork workshops in Vermont in 2003. Joe helped facilitate Holotropic and Transpersonal Breathwork workshops while he spent his time in New England. He is now working in the software industry as well as hosting a few podcasts. Joe now coordinates Dreamshadow Transpersonal Breathwork workshops, in Breckenridge, Colorado.

Oct 29, 2019
RiverStyx - Funding the Access and Preservation of Sacred Plant Medicines
01:04:53

In this episode, Joe interviews Cody Swift from the Riverstyx Foundation. In the show, they talk about Peyote and the troubles for Native Americans and their church not having access and preservation of Peyote.

3 Key Points:

  1. RiverStyx is a small family foundation that funds projects that demonstrate the potential for healing and beauty. RiverStyx has funded the preservation of land to protect the sacred Peyote plant.
  2. The Portugal Model shows that decriminalization works. Portugal faced unprecedented overdoses and drug abuse, typically with heroine, and when they turned to decriminalization and treatment, overdoses and incarceration dropped significantly to almost none.
  3. The Native American churches have held onto their ceremonial practices very tightly, and they struggle to find legal and sustainable access to Peyote, their sacred plant medicine.

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Show Notes

About Cody and RiverStyx Foundation

  • RiverStyx is a small family foundation
    • Cody’s grandfather was the CEO of UPS, and before his grandmother passed, she put a large share of the stock into a small family foundation
    • Cody and his father took their quarter of the Foundation and created RiverStyx
    • “How do you use a million and a half dollars a year for remarkable good?” - Cody
  • He fell into philanthropy along with the burden/blessing of making decisions to change the world with a lot of money
  • He started LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion)
    • It is a program that aims to help those struggling with addiction rather than punishing them with prison time

The Portugal Model

  • In the early 2000’s, Eric Schlosser’s book, Reefer Madness Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market eluded to Portugal having decriminalized all drugs
  • Portugal faced unprecedented overdoses and drug abuse, typically with heroine
    • They realized that they couldn't arrest their country out of the drug addiction problem, so they turned to decriminalization and treatment
    • They de-stigmatized treatment and drug users didn't have to feel ashamed and use drugs in the shadows
    • This lowered HIV rates to almost nothing
    • It was highly successful
  • “Not everyone needs drugs, but not everyone should be at risk to go to jail if they get caught with them.” - Joe
    • Joe encourages psychedelically inclined folks to look deeper into harm reduction and drug decriminalization
    • “Let's provide these people safe access to a clean supply where they can stabilize again” - Cody
  • Joe mentions a book by Jeremy Narby, Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge, Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge
  • The drug war is causing danger to the plants
    • Cody says, if cane syrup was made illegal because it is killing people, we wouldn’t ban the growth of corn, because it is sacred and used for so many other things
  • “Jail is one of the biggest problems for mushroom users” - Joe
    • Joe mentions that he was a little frustrated that Michael Pollan was able to take mushrooms and not go to jail, but the average person could go to jail
    • Cody says that he highly respects Michael Pollan and what he has done for the psychedelic revolution, and that he thinks that Pollan wouldn't want anyone to go to jail for this
    • People like Michael Pollan and Tim Ferriss have done a tremendous job securing funding for Psychedelic Research

Peyote

  • Native American people had always been close to Cody’s heart
  • As a philanthropist, he didn't know where to begin
  • There is a myriad of problems facing Native American communities
    • About 5 years ago, it just came into consciousness
    • He got connected to Sandor of the Native American church
    • He learned about ceremony and it became absolutely clear that he had to be a part of it
    • It was an unclear path on how to support the community in the beginning, there was no 501C-3, there were no other philanthropists, the community is so large
  • How to support them in the continuance and empowerment of their using of a highly potent and healing substance to treat communities that have suffered so much, that was the key question” - Cody
    • Looking at the threat and endangerment of the Peyote plant was the most important part of securing the preservation of this sacred plant
    • Synthetic Mescaline is difficult to access and expensive

Ceremony

  • It's hard to track the ancient original threats to the traditions
  • The Native American churches have held onto the ceremonial practices very tightly
  • It's important that white people don't just come in and tweak the ceremony
  • The average life expectancy for Native Americans is only in their 50s
  • They have gone through so much suffering, and they are very awake, sensitive people that are holding this culture and practice close to them
  • Alcoholism is one of the largest problems in Native American communities, and Peyote has shown to be a highly tangible benefit and cure for alcoholism

Preservation

  • It has taken over 4 years to begin building these alliances
  • Riverstyx and Bronners have been the only sources of funding, they need more
  • Through this, they purchased 605 acres of land for peyote preservation in Texas
    • 600 acres may not solve the Peyote crisis, but it is a start and has opened the doors to connect with other farmers that has now led to 12,000 acres dedicated to peyote preservation
    • This is to return sovereignty and control to the Native
    • After the land was purchased, they had a pilgrimage with the Navajo
  • Peyote is God to them, it's their connection to the spiritual realm
  • Native Americans have resisted acculturation and stuck to their ways, that is their strength

Links

Email: cody@riverstyxfoundation.org

Website


About RiverStyx

RiverStyx Foundation attempts to lessen human suffering caused by misguided social policy and stigma, while advocating enhanced opportunities for healing, growth, and transformation in such areas as drug policy, criminal justice, and end-of-life care. The Riverstyx Foundation believes in the human potential for healing, growth, and transformation. The Riverstyx Foundation works to provide a bridge to the relinquished parts of ourselves, our society, and our ecology, to ease those fears and prejudices by funding projects that demonstrate the potential for healing and beauty, when life is embraced in its fullest expression.

Oct 22, 2019
Louis Adam and Jordan Williams - Mycology Now: Spreading Knowledge one Spore at a Time
56:35

In this episode, Joe sits down with Jordan and Lou from Mycology Now, a company that makes and sells spore syringes for microscopy use. In the show, they talk about the start of Mycology Now, the culture change caused by psychedelics, and personal stories on how psychedelics changed their lives.

3 Key Points:

  1. Mycology Now is a company that produces premium spores for microscopy use. The goal is to spread knowledge about mycology, one spore at a time.
  2. We are living in an age of information that has never been experienced before, people have the tools to break the stigma on their own just by educating themselves.
  3. Psychedelics are becoming a culture change agent, more and more people are becoming accepting of psychedelics, and psychedelics are helping people come together to create positive change.

Support the show

Navigating Psychedelics


Show Notes

Mycology Now

  • Jordan and Lou are co-owners and creators of Mycology Now
    • The company runs out of Florida
  • Mycology Now is a company that sells spores for microscopy
  • They have two locations in Denver
  • The mission of the company is to spread spores and knowledge
  • Lou shares how his interest in mycology began
    • He says it began with his struggle with depression and suicidal tendencies
    • Psilocybin had ended up being the only thing that helped with the struggle, the depression was completely erased
  • Jordan shares his story
    • His mother was in a relationship when he was about 10 years old with an abusive man
    • This man abused narcotics, opioids
    • He was abusive mentally, physically and emotionally
    • He grew up being convinced that he wasn't worthy of love, and he blamed himself
    • About 2 years ago, he discovered mushrooms, and was able to go into the painful parts of his childhood and forgive himself and heal from his trauma
    • “Although negative things did happen to me, and to my family, I was not the cause of it, and I should not have to carry that around with me.” - Jordan
    • He wants to do everything in his power to bring that to the rest of the world

Shattering the Stigma

  • One thing that they have noticed about the younger generation is that they are way more open and have way more acceptance of psychedelics and an interest in self care and mental health
  • “We are living in an age of information that has never been experienced before, people have the tools to break the stigma on their own just by educating themselves.” - Jordan
  • Joe mentions that in Colorado, psychedelics are a bit normalized to have conversation about
    • In Florida, the median age is 55, so there is more of a challenge because people that age grew up in the taboo time of psychedelics

The start of Mycology Now

  • It organically grew into a website
    • Lou says it was an entity that grew on its own
  • Joe predicts that in 2020, we are about to see the Psilocybin movement really take off
  • Joe brings up the Paul Stamets Stack, which is Cubensis, Lions Mane and Niacin
    • There are testimonials about auditory changes that you can measure, you can increase your ability to hear frequencies
    • They bring up an example of a deaf man being able to hear the waves of the ocean for the first time after practicing the Stamet’s stack

Psychedelics as a Culture Change agent

  • Some people say its the worst time in history, and other people say this is the best time in history
  • There is a hunger of more digestible ways of receiving information
  • Psychedelics can help us understand the impermanence of things
  • Lou brings up that Paul Staments and Dennis McKenna were the catalysts to his understanding of mycology
  • Jordan says that his inspiration and influence came from people at music festivals
    • People are very open and authentic when on psychedelics
    • Meeting real people with real lives who had profound change in their lives because of psychedelics are his major sources of inspiration

Psilocybin for Cancer and Depression

  • Lou’s sister was diagnosed with Metastatic breast cancer with a double mastectomy and was diagnosed with depression afterward
  • After talking about the health benefits, she took psilocybin, and laid down and disconnected with her body
    • Afterward, she was able to come out of it and talk about her ease with death
    • The experience felt like death itself, and having felt what death might feel like, she no longer experiences depression about her cancer

Final Fun Fact

  • Johns Hopkins psilocybin study on smoking cessation
    • 80% of people were abstinent from smoking cigarettes on a 6 month followup
    • Those people smoked an average of 19 cigarettes per day for an average of 31 years of their life

Links

Website
Instagram


About Mycology Now

Mycology Now is a humble small business dedicated to spreading awareness. They are a company that makes and sells spore syringes for microscopy use. Their Mushroom Spore prints and syringes speak for themselves; always having a heavy spore count.

Oct 15, 2019
Dr. Daniela Peluso - Guidelines for the Awareness of Sexual Abuse in Ayahuasca Ceremony
01:17:52

In this episode, Kyle joins in conversation with Dr. Daniela Peluso, Cultural Anthropologist and Associate Director at Chacruna. In the show, they discuss guidelines for the awareness of against sexual abuse in the Ayahuasca ceremony.

3 Key Points:

  1. Ayahuasca settings bring together shamans and participants, and with the increasing occurrence of such encounters, there is an alarming rate of incidences where shamans make sexual advances toward participants during or following ceremonies.
  2. Ayahuasca is a commonly used substance for seducing participants looking for healing, whom then return from their retreats needing additional healing from sexual abuse.
  3. This guideline reviews some of the key behaviors to look out for and ways to prepare before attending an Ayahuasca retreat to avoid and protect oneself against sexual abuse.

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Show Notes

Daniela

  • Daniela has a PhD in Anthropology
  • She was living with Indinenous people in Amazonia
    • She conducted field work in the Amazonian regions of Peru over the last two decades, particularly Ese Eja
  • She is on the board of Directors at Chacruna's Institute for sexual abuse
    • She wrote an article on Ayahuasca and was noticed

Guidelines

  1. There was an initiative that made a guideline for doing Ayahuasca but it was held back because there are so many different ways ceremony can be performed and it wasn't accurate
  2. Drinking with friends is wise
  3. Drinking with experienced women or a couple is another wise move
    Abuse mainly happens to women but it does happen to men as well
    There is a higher chance for a person to speak up when they have someone they know and trust there with them
    Ayahuasca tourism is why sexual abuse is such a problem
    When someone doesn't know that touch is out of the norm in ceremony, they might accept it because they were never informed that it's wrong
    They may think that being touched sexually is just a part of the ceremony, and it's not
    AyaAdvisors and Tripadvisor are both decent resources for reviews on Ayahuasca centers/ceremonial retreats
    Unless something goes terribly wrong, you will usually get good reviews
    Places also change over time
  4. It's not necessary for healers to touch intimate parts of your body or any area to which you do not consent 
    There are forms of healing where the body is touched, so it's important for the person to make known what is okay and not okay from the start
  5. Curaciones, Sopladas and Limpiezas do not require you to remove your clothes 
    If a shaman removes clothing, that may be a warning sign because that is not a part of tradition
  6. Look out for warning signs that a healers intentions with you might be sexual
    When healers start to talk about how they aren't married or that they can give you ‘special treatment’ or that sexual or ‘love magic’ is necessary for healing, that is a warning sign
    Use common sense and draw the line immediately if anything sexual comes up
  7. Sexual Intercourse between healer and patient during ceremonies or directly after the ceremony is not acceptable in Ayahuasca tradition
  8. Sexual intercourse with a healer does not give you special power or energy
  9. Consider cultural differences and local behavioral norms when interacting with native healers, letting go of ethnocentrism                                                                      Having an understanding of what is culturally normal is important
  10. Consider cultural differences and local clothing customs
  11. Protect your personal space, physically and spiritually
    Each person has a right to know their body and know what feels right and wrong to them
    No means no
  12. Be wary if healers offer psychoactive substances other than those used during ceremonies
  13. He is a Shaman, not a Saint!                                                                                                        There is a lot more “I am a Shaman” these days, where it used to be more of “I am not a Shaman”
    Ayahuasca tourism definitely romanticized what being a Shaman really is
  14. If violation occurs, get support
    People should speak up as quickly as they are able to, vocally or physically
    “There is no need to suffer in silence” - Daniela
  15. Beware of what might appear to be consensual sex
    It has a lot to do with having the same form of communication, trust, and power dynamics
  16. Beware of getting romantically involved
  17. If you are aware of or witness sexual abuse, speak up

Final Thoughts

“Although its negative, individuals have to accept that Ayahuasca has become a business and an industry as much as it is a spiritual practice, and that includes the trappings of capitalism like exploitation and inequality.” - Daniela

Links

Website

Chacruna.net

Email: d.peluso@kent.ac.uk


About Daniela Peluso, PhD

Daniela Peluso is a cultural anthropologist whose current research focuses on indigenous Amazonian communities. She has worked over the last two decades in Lowland South America, mostly with communities in in the Peruvian and Bolivian Amazon. She is actively involved in various local efforts on issues relating to health, gender, indigenous urbanization and land-rights and works in close collaboration with indigenous and local organizations as reflected in her publications. She also specializes on the anthropology of finance. She received her PhD in 2003 from Columbia University and is a senior lecturer in social anthropology at the University of Kent. She is an Associate Director of the Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines and on the board of the Society of Lowland South America (SALSA) and People and Plants International (PPI).

 

Oct 08, 2019
Laura Northrup - Healing Sexual Trauma with Psychedelics and Entheogens
01:12:54

In this episode, Kyle interviews Laura Northrup, Marriage and Relationship Somatic Psychotherapist and creator of the podcast, Inside Eyes. Inside Eyes is an audio series about people using entheogens and psychedelics to heal from sexual trauma.

3 Key Points:

  1. If you think sexual abuse is happening, its important to speak up! We live in a world where it's scary to speak up, but at its core, it's really scary to not speak up, and to let these things happen to our fellow humans.
  2. Somatic work brings people the autonomy of their body that usually gets taken away when trauma is formed.
  3. Dissociation is usually a side effect of trauma, and it's common for a trauma patient to take psychedelics and become re-associative after one experience. But, if a patient was traumatized at a young age and dissociated their whole life, becoming re-associated can be stressful, and integration becomes really important.

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Trip Journal                                               Integration Workbook


Show Notes

Inside Eyes

  •  Inside Eyes is an audio series about people using entheogens and psychedelics to heal from sexual trauma.
    • Laura says the name 'Inside eyes' means to look inward
  • Sexual violence happens in every community, as well as in the psychedelic community
  • “Entheogens and psychedelics can wake us up so we can be more empowered and better stewards to the earth. But just because someone uses these substances, it doesn't mean that they will be operating at their highest self.” - Laura

Somatics

  • Laura is a psychotherapist in the Bay area who works with survivors of sexual trauma
  • There is a place where people get with their healing that is very difficult to move past
    • There is something on a spiritual level that needs to move to heal someone past their ‘block’
  • Somatic therapy is a huge part of preparing for and integrating these experiences to heal from trauma
  • Laura says when people talk about their healing, its common to only talk about the part when the entheogen or psychedelic comes in, but maybe not the 6 years of therapy they had before hand
    • She says she really wants to create the balance of including both the therapy and the entheogenic/psychedelic use
  • Laura says she also believes in community based healing
    • There is so much shame in secrecy
  • One theory of somatic therapy, is that there was a physical response that our body may have wanted to make during a moment of sexual trauma, and psychedelics and entheogens brings those movements out in therapy, to be able to heal
    • Somatic work brings people the autonomy of their body that usually gets taken away when trauma is formed

Integration

  • This thing can happen when you become extremely dissociated from trauma, and then you use psychedelics or entheogens, and you become associated after just one experience, thats great
    • But if you have trauma from a young age and have been dissociated for your whole life, one psychedelic experience can be very stressful
    • It takes a lot of integration to deal with the difficulties

Ketamine

  • Dissociation when you're already suffering from dissociation has a healing effect
    • “Part of healing is going toward wholeness” - Laura
    • There is a lot of variation in what someone considers dissociation
    • “Being embodied is empowering, and being disembodied is different than being dissociated. People can become more embodied after using a dis-associative medicine.” - Laura
  • Laura also covers how people function in their relationships as they heal from their trauma
  • Alcohol is legal, its horrible for your body, it causes so many deaths yearly, yet we don't look at Ayahuasca and MDMA and all these other medicines as a collective culture

Bystanders

  • If you think something is going on, it's important to not just be polite and not say anything
    • The politeness is a sickness that we have in America
    • Psychedelics and entheogens can be really good at helping us be activists in healing both ourselves and others
    • We live in a world where it's scary to speak up, but at its core, it's really scary to not speak up, and to let these things happen to our fellow humans
  • Psychedelics and Entheogens get people into a deeper sense of their own truth
    • “We need to be in a globally aware place, we don't need to just be healing ourselves, we need to all be healing.” - Laura
    • We need more connected relationships, if you spend today and have a more connected relationship to yourself or someone else, that is one step closer to healing our world

Advice

  • Just because you get connected to a group, does not mean that that group is the group you need to do your healing with
    • Do your research, and get references
  • Laura says she looks at psychedelic and entheogenic substance use from two lenses, she cares about the people taking it, and about the plants themselves
    • She says that some of these plant compounds are becoming endangered so it's important to be mindful of that
    • She also says that some therapists and shamans use bodywork and ‘touch’ so it's also important to be aware of that before ceremony or therapy
    • Touch can be both very healing, but also traumatizing, so it's important to know boundaries

Horizons Event

  • Laura will be hosting an event at Horizons on sexual ethics in the psychedelic community, sign up here

Links

Horizons Event

Website

Podcast

Instagram

Twitter

Facebook

Email: insideeyespodcast@gmail.com


About Laura Northrup

Laura Mae Northrup is the creator and host of the podcast Inside Eyes, a series that explores the use of entheogens and psychedelics to heal sexual trauma.  She is a practicing psychotherapist and educator. Her work focuses on defining sexual violence through a spiritual and politicized lens and supporting the spiritual integrity of our collective humanity.  She is a champion of living more fully engaged and responsible lives through the healing use of entheogens and psychedelics.  She lives and works in Oakland, CA.

Oct 01, 2019
Dr. Ben Sessa - Preliminary Results from MDMA Assisted Therapy for Alcohol Use Disorder
45:25