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Psychedelics Today

A show discussing the important academic and other research in the field of Psychedelics. We discuss how psychedelics relate to human potential and healing.
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Now displaying: 2020
Apr 21, 2020

In this episode, Kyle interviews Melissa 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.

Support the show

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Show Notes

About Melissa

  • Melissa originally comes from the STEM field
  • She was working in corporate America and was in search for a deeper meaning
  • She met Dan and after joining one of his initial ayahuasca journeys into Peru, it changed her mindset about healing
  • Dan looked for someone to help him after starting up his first ayahuasca center in Peru, and so she dropped everything and moved to the jungle to make it happen
  • After witnessing the healing potential working within the Shipibo tradition, and the need for integration within the community, she later founded Soltara with Dan in Costa Rica

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 17, 2020

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.


Support the show

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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.

Get a 30 day free audible trial at audibletrial.com/psychedelicstoday

 

 

Apr 14, 2020

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. 


Support the show

Navigating Psychedelics


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.

Get a 30 day free audible trial at audibletrial.com/psychedelicstoday

 

Apr 10, 2020

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.


Support the show

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

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.

Get a 30 day free audible trial at audibletrial.com/psychedelicstoday

 

Apr 7, 2020

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.

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

Get a 30 day free audible trial at audibletrial.com/psychedelicstoday

Apr 3, 2020

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.


Support the show

Navigating Psychedelics


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 Drumpf 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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Mar 31, 2020

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 24, 2020

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 17, 2020

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 10, 2020

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 3, 2020

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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Feb 25, 2020

In this episode, Kyle and Joe interview 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. This leaves the question, "Should the psychedelic experience be part of the psychedelic therapy training?" 

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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 18, 2020

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 11, 2020

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 4, 2020

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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Jan 28, 2020

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 21, 2020

This disclaimer was originally posted in our episode, Treating Social Anxiety in Adults with Autism with MDMA and LSD – Voices in the Dark, and it feels important to post it on this episode as well. 

Caution/Disclaimer

A few important notes. This is an episode of an individual experimenting with powerful drugs to see if he can get any sort of relief from autism. In this case, it appears to have been successful. That said, this came with a substantial amount of risks, and people need to be aware. Please read the below bullets so you understand. 

  • Autism is not what is treated. The thing being treated would be a symptom like social anxiety.
  • "The field of autism science includes a long and shameful history of quack treatments and parents taking desperate and harmful measures to “fix” their children. Autism is a spectrum of congenital and neurocognitive variants, and there are no published research data in support of any compound that can influence its course." Alicia Danforth, PhD
  • Please do not administer these drugs to children with autism. It would be highly unethical to do so. 
  • There are only two researchers investigating where MDMA and autism meet - Alicia Danforth PhD and Dr. Charlie Grob. A scientific paper will likely be available on this in the next few months. Expect to see more here. 
  • These drugs have not been shown to cure or treat autism, but in some cases, just like with neuro-typical individuals, some have seen meaningful changes. 
  • Even if changes are noticed the person is still autistic no matter how many high doses of psychedelics they take.
  • Obtaining pure drugs is very difficult if not impossible in black markets.
    • Verifying purity will require the resources of mass spectrometry from organizations offering these services like Energy Control or Ecstasy Data
    • Providing unsafe, dirty or compromised drugs to people can cause serious harm or death.
  • If you are planning to use MDMA to alleviate some suffering on your own, please wait or don't.
  • Do substantial research and have skilled people available to help. 

Thanks to Alicia Danforth for helping us understand the nuance's in this area.


..autism is a genetically determined cognitive variant. It's pervasive, and it affects the whole person, not just the brain. No chemical compound has been shown to treat, cure, or alter the course of autism. However, for some people, substances like MDMA can help them manage symptoms such as anxiety, social anxiety, and trauma effects. - Alicia Danforth, Ph.D


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 14, 2020

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 7, 2020

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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