Greetings dear friends! Recently I experienced a profoundly healing and humbling plant medicine journey and upon awakening into our safe home in these sacred Grandmother Blue Ridge mountains, my was moved to a space of tremendous love, care and compassion for all those suffering as victims of senseless violence. And for all those who are lost and suffering enough to choose to harm brothers and sisters of our human family.
We are living at a time of true existential crisis for humanity. Profound civil unrest, dire environmental challenges, and a mental health crisis where fear, isolation and a loss of purpose press heavily against the very core-fabric of civilization itself. Below is a reflection, I composed after my journey on how plant and fungi medicine can help restore the vital “Who” and “What” we are to reignite our “Why” we need keep striving forward together.
The Psychedelic experience is about restoration of our core self. It’s about rediscovering our innate nature behind the stories, wounds, traumas and rules that have constricted our capacity to express our radically creative selves within a boundless pallet of life experience. It helps us to clearly see the choices we made along our life journey to cope with challenges to survive or try to fit into a role our soul never truly wanted. It reveals to us why we chose to don these “masks” in the first place; and the power we hold to let go, reconcile and forgive that which no longer genuinely serves. Yet most of all, it helps us to remember the innocence, wonder and beauty of being a child of the world… ”
On Sunday Oct 1, 2023, I had the sincere honor of hosting a fireside chat with psychedelic luminaries Dr. Raymond Turpin, co-founder and CEO of The Pearl Psychedelic Institute and Dr. Christopher Bache, Author of the seminal book “LSD and the Mind of the Universe” on behalf of the Psychedelic Society of Asheville (PSA).
Most of us have heard of the notion that “psychedelics increase suggestibility,” that people become “more suggestible” while under the influence of psychedelics. As Taylor emphasizes above, when we become more suggestible, we become more vulnerable. In my research, I’ve found that most of the ethical issues related to psychedelic suggestibility appear to be centered on or connected to this increased vulnerability.
“Vulnerability” is often viewed as the capacity “to be easily hurt, influenced, or attacked”. However, I argue (echoing what Kylea Taylor told us for this article) that becoming vulnerable is also often the key to facilitating intended inner change, such as growth or healing. In order to become open for deep, meaningful, profound transformation, we must turn to the more intimate dimensions of our inner lives, bypass or relax our defenses, and open ourselves up to change within those inner dimensions. Sometimes we may knowingly and consciously choose to open ourselves up like this, and other times our defenses may fall away without us even realizing what happened. It is important for us to be able to anticipate when we might become suggestible, so that we can give our fully informed consent before entering into these vulnerable states, and so that we can be highly intentional about the circumstances within which we suspend our defenses and open ourselves up to change…
Psilocybin (a classic serotonergic psychedelic drug) has received appraisal for use in psychedelic-assisted therapy of several psychiatric disorders. A less explored topic concerns the use of repeated low doses of psychedelics, at a dose that is well below the psychedelic dose used in psychedelic-assisted therapy and often referred to as microdosing. Psilocybin microdose users frequently report increases in mental health, yet such reports are often highly biased and vulnerable to placebo effects. Here we establish and validate a psilocybin microdose-like regimen…
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Ehren Cruz is an Anthropologist, CTA & ICF Professional Certified Coach (PCC), Third Wave Psychedelic Certified Coach, Master Ceremonialist, certified Harm Reductionist, Loving Husband & Proud Father of 3 Little Ladies. He is devoted to the healing & actualization in all facets of his life.