‘bob jess is like the puppeteer.. the visionary guy working behind the scenes’ – katherine maclean (worked in roland griffiths’s lab from 2009-2013)
taking her in first here – 2016 – Open Wide and Say Awe – TEDxOrcasIsland
2 min – i forgot how to be afraid.. and anything seemed possible
3 min – psychedelic science is a totally legit job to have.. illegal since early 70s.. researchers have made.. institutions are beginning to unlock the mysteries of psychedelic substances.. ie: smokers.. cancer.. military ptsd.. depression.. results have been consistent.. people report meaningful experience w long lasting well being.. reduction in psych distress and greater confidence in making positive life changes..
4 min – science we’ve been focusing on is psilocybin
maria sabina – mushroom healing art – sent to hoffman who had recently discovered lsd
5 min – since 2001 – 250 individuals.. experimenting.. report what has before only been by mystics.. ie: a dissolving of borders of self and other.. dropping of constraints of time and space.. a deeply felt undeniable experience of connection with all things.. and that warm mushy feeling of being at home and completely at peace in your own skin.. hard to believe/describe.. let’s just say you’d know it if it happened to you
6 min – facil’d over 100 sessions.. 1/3.. said they’d experienced their own death
7 min – not sure what triggered my plane death.. panic.. overwork.. meditation for 10 yrs.. enlightenment is inherently a destructive process.. letting go of ourselves and attachments can feel like death.. thinking it might be from all those sessions.. as if my brain had been permanently rewired to expect transcendent experiences and death.. so my sense of reality has shifted so fundamentally by *just being in the same room as our volunteers.. i wondered how things were different for them
*that’s why i think if it’s all of us.. detox time.. lag time.. will become irrelevant.. the fact that it’s all of us will bring us along
8 min – i tried to tackle this in research by looking at personality
dang.. we’ve a mess already.. already not us.. ie: black science of people/whales
we found most traits stayed the same.. except openness and it stayed high for almost a year for people who had had a mystical experience.. this finding is unheard of in psychology research.. and it’s also great news.. because openness is correlated w all sorts of great.. wonderful things.. like creativity.. empathy.. intelligence
people high in openness immerse themselves in art/music and have active imaginations.. openness is correlated w abstract problem solving and a number of inventions.. for what it’s worth.. steve jobs said lsd was one of the most important things he did in his life
9 min – research has found that openness typically declines as we age.. we become more conservative/rigid.. less creative and less likely to try new things
people who report increases in openness report more happiness and being satisfied w life.. more moments of awe/inspiration..
so if psilocybin can increase openness.. it’s like giving people their youthful innocence back.. like seeing thru the eyes of a child..
exactly what we need.. whichever way we can all get there..
10 min – story of 29 yr old sister dying – the whole thing was horrific in all the ways you can imagine.. but also spectacular.. i’d never seen anyone die before.. after all those crazy months of living on the edge of life/death.. i wasn’t afraid.. and i did all i’d been taught in those psilocybin lessons.. i held her hand.. i breathed w her.. i encouraged her to trust.. let go.. be open
11 min – as much as i could i got out of the way and let her have the death she needed to have.. in the end she died in peace and she was free.. for months after i wasn’t afraid of anything.. although it didn’t last i have a hunch that that version of reality has enormous healing potential.. i wonder what our world would be like if more people could be that open and unafraid more of the time
12 min – i’ve seen some of that already.. our hope that people can weave these into daily lives
i imagine so much more.. where no one has to go thru what my fam and sister had to go thru as she was dying.. i envision great places to die.. et al.. places that honor death
13 min – i don’t know how story ends.. i’m left w an amazing story that is ultimately inexplicable.. i could tell you 100 more stories of how i saw people’s lives change overnight..but it wouldn’t be enough to convince the biggest skeptics among you.. but i urge you.. don’t dismiss what i’m saying simply because it sounds far fetched.. or you’ve been told that drugs are dangerous.. or because you’ve been taught to fear the unknown..
consider that your very life is already psychedelic.. it may not seem so most of the time and it may not truly feel psychedelic until the final moments of your life.. but i would argue that that’s because of how you’ve been taught to pay attention
14 min – most of us are so used to focusing on the ordinary.. planned out.. expected moments in our life that we miss the strange and mysterious detours.. we’ve been taught since we were kids that the only things that are real are the things we can use language to name and our fingers to point to.. we’ve been told to avoid the dark places in the world and the scary places in our minds.. and we’re so practiced in self control.. self preservation.. that we can’t even imagine what it might be like to open ourselves up to the magical and mystical realms of our natural world.. and we’ve nearly obliterated the tools and traditions of our ancestors that might give us access
thankfully.. the mushrooms have not given up on us yet
neither has curiosity
it will be quite some time before we see a change in the law.. and i don’t think psilocybin is the path for everyone..
we could do cure ios city .. today.. and it’s for everyone (already in us.. each one)
dec 2017 – MycoMeditations 2018 Women’s Retreat Preview
I am a research scientist with expertise in studying the effects of mindfulness meditation and psychedelics. At Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, I conducted legal clinical trials of psilocybin, the primary chemical found in “magic mushrooms”. In 2015, I co-founded and was the first director of the Psychedelic Education and Continuing Care Program in New York (www.psychedelicprogram.com), where I led training workshops and monthly integration groups focused on increasing awareness and reducing risks of psychedelic use. I have helped to bring medical and humanitarian aid to remote Himalayan villages, as well as create sanctuary spaces for psychedelic support at large outdoor festivals. I’m currently a sub-investigator (part of a therapy team) in a federally-approved clinical trial of MDMA-assisted therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (learn more at www.maps.org).
I specialize in harm reduction for psychedelic use, embodied mindfulness practices for integration, and science-based trainings to support clinical practice.