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Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat?

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Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat? Raving Rhubarb 8/9/19 5:19 AM
RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat? Zachary 3/26/19 1:50 PM
RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat? Hibiscus Kid 3/26/19 2:54 PM
RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat? Jyet 3/26/19 3:01 PM
RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat? Cláudio Cruz 3/26/19 10:09 PM
RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat? Jyet 3/27/19 4:13 AM
RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat? Jyet 3/29/19 12:51 AM
RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat? Jyet 3/29/19 10:22 AM
RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat? Jyet 3/29/19 7:17 AM
RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat? F V 3/26/19 3:00 PM
RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat? F V 3/29/19 12:33 PM
RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat? F V 3/31/19 1:10 PM
RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat? F V 3/31/19 1:06 PM
RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat? Stickman2 4/1/19 7:03 AM
RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat? Raving Rhubarb 4/1/19 7:23 AM
RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat? Stickman2 4/1/19 10:15 AM
RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat? Raving Rhubarb 4/2/19 9:53 AM
RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat? Squirrel Master 4/21/19 2:17 PM
RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat? Gus Castellanos 4/22/19 5:50 AM
RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat? Squirrel Master 5/12/19 1:25 PM
Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat?

RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat?
Answer
3/26/19 1:50 PM as a reply to Raving Rhubarb.
Nevertheless, I still have chronic physical tension which is ALWAYS present and leaves me unable to walk except for short distances.

This sounds like a pretty serious condition. Have you seen a doctor, had bloodwork done, routine checkup, etc. recently? Oftentimes it can help to touch base with good ol' western medicine when other modalities don't seem to be moving the needle much. 

Other than that I would suggest taking a look at the usual things: sunlight, spending time in nature, moderate exercise, diet, spending time with friends and family, volunteering and serving others if you're able to. 

Wishing you the best for your health and practice. 

RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat?
Answer
3/26/19 3:00 PM as a reply to Raving Rhubarb.
Just to be clear, have you ever done a meditation retreat before?  If so, could you please share your background and experience with that?

I would strongly suggest separating the hallucinogens and retreats.  I've done 2 meditation retreats, but a lot of LSD and mushrooms.  Both retreats and hallucinogens can have very powerful effects on the mind, and mixing them at the worst could be dangerous, and at the best would take away from the experience of both (in my opinion).

I snowboarded on LSD a few times (mushrooms too once haha), and I always tell people that it was a wonderful experience, but not to be undertaken by anyone who is not experienced in both snowboarding AND tripping.  That's a story for another day though emoticon

I am a big believer in the benefits and transformative powers of psychedelics, but also know and have seen the risks.  Are you familiar with the terms set and setting?  It's the idea that with psychedelics your mindset, intentions, and environment will determine how your trip plays out.  One of the poster's above said that these substances can be a wild card, and I would agree.  As such, it is important to mitigate the risks by first understanding what you are getting into, and secondly be prepared both in mind and setting, at least for your first time as people do react differently, and differently at different times.

Would it be an option to take the psilocybin a couple weeks before the retreat, or to consider doing it a few weeks after you have integrated the experience of retreat?  I would still advise being in a secluded place, not at the retreat center.  Both psychedelics and retreats have an "integration period" where it is important to reflect on the insights you've gathered.

Please feel free to reach out to me if you'd like to talk about responsible psychedelic use, or want to bounce some ideas off me.  I'd be happy to chat.

Edited because I do not think it's responsible to take pyschedelics even close to a retreat

RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat?
Answer
3/26/19 2:54 PM as a reply to Zachary.
Hey Rhubarb,

I'd recommend that you try to do some easy exercise (maybe swimming since it's easy on the joints and some stretching/yoga) and deep breathing/relaxation exercises on a regular basis. In fact, there is an entire wikipedia article dedicated to the benefits of aerobic exercise which may provide some motivation if you're skeptical.

The fact is that good sleep, exercise, and clean diet (many raw veggies and fewer processed foods) are the low hanging fruits of a healthy body/mind.

A medium to large dose of psilocybin can be a bit of a wild card and a roller coaster. I believe that it caused one of my first panic attacks. I don't recommend taking them, personally. That may seem hypocritical, but any discomfort tends to get magnified when reality around you starts breathing and crawling in ways that can be unsettling. 

Good luck.  

RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat?
Answer
3/26/19 3:01 PM as a reply to Zachary.
Please don't take psychedelics at a meditation retreat center. I say this as someone who had my awakening/AnP while on a shamanic retreat and is forever grateful for that.

You never know how you will react and doing it among other people who are unaware of what you are doing seriously make you prone to paranoia or the like.

If you're doing it yourself, which I don't recommend, be at a space where you feel safe and will be undisturbed. Maybe try microdosing for a week first.

Why not find an ayahuasca retreat instead? Thereby you will be doing it in the right context and have some support available. I also feel that Mother Ayas love and healing power is slightly better than shrooms.

Although i find the idea to do it while in the feeling of metta to be intriguing, but wait until your not at the center.

That's my internet advises on a sensitive topic. You are obviously responsible for you own decisions 

With Metta

RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat?
Answer
3/26/19 10:09 PM as a reply to Jyet.
I know through my own experience with close relatives that mushrooms can help people with depression. 
I have a few journeys working with mushrooms, san pedro (cactus similar to peyote) and ayahuasca. They are all different entheogens and create unique experiences. Make sure you don't have any history of schizophrenia or related mental issues on your family before experimenting with those power plants.

The main thing to know is to approach the experience with respect.
Do it from a wholesome place with an open hearth and genuine intention to learn and heal.
If it is your first time would be good to have someone that you trust and feel comfortable around. But avoid being focused too much on the outside. Really sit with the entheogen and explore what will be shown to you. Keep your eyes closed if you can.
The set up helps a lot: a quiet and isolated place close to nature is a good choice. 
You can start with a small dose: 1 to 2 grams.

Very important to remember: there is a beginning, middle, and end for the experience. Keep that in mind especially if you find yourself in some difficulties. 

After your first journey, you will have a good base to plan in case you want to work with it again. 

RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat?
Answer
3/27/19 4:13 AM as a reply to Jyet.
You sound like a responsible person who has deeply contemplated his options I sincerely hope that you can find relief. The throwing up on Aya is pure healing. You're basically getting rid of emotions locked in the body or that's my experience at least. But start with shrooms if that is your calling emoticon

As you're close to the Netherland I have a suggestion to you of someone I've met once and who is a serious mushroom nerd and who also serves 5meo DMT in 1/1 sessions. Could be worth looking into. I found him very caring and knowledgable.

I'll send you a PM

No, I have not done shrooms or anything like it after metta retreat but I've had my heart blown open for months after Aya experinces of the past. But basically the last 10 years have been meditation only for me.

Best of luck

RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat?
Answer
3/29/19 12:51 AM as a reply to Jyet.
Why people choose meditation I don't know but I can try to explain what happened in my journey.

I simply felt finished with Aya, like she had given me what I needed and now it was up to me to find it for myself. Threw myself into some intense spirutual seeking and had more than enough with handling the ups and downs of that.

The last few years I've contemplated doing it again for as you say, getting at the "stuff", locked emotion in the stomach. But as my spirutual practice has been destabilizing enough. I haven't felt that the pay off would be worth it. Maybe I'm just getting old and lack the gung ho attitude of my twenties?

By that said if I seriously thought they where the best option at some point I would not hesitate. They are a wonderfully powerful tool.

RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat?
Answer
3/29/19 7:17 AM as a reply to Jyet.
For inspiration........Daniels account from this thread.....

https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/view_message/6026400#_19_message_6066178


"Then, on day fourteen, just on a lark, I did something I hadn't done in 10 years. After the world reappeared after even nothing had vanished, I made a quiet resolution to attain to Nirodha Samapatti. About 30 seconds later: total mental power failure, like someone had pulled the plug on experience itself, then power back up, then massive afterglow. It felt like coming out of deep anesthesia, for those who have had surgery or some fully-sedated procedure.


Since it had been 10 years since I had done this, I was stunned by the afterglow. This time the effects were clearly evident over 24 hours later. My body felt totally different, like every single little hint of muscle tension or pain had just vanished.

I went to get a massage during this time, and the massage therapist commented, "Wow, you have no tension at all!", which is basically unheard of for my back, which does bad things sometimes and basically always has some moderate number of knots. I had had two massages by her during the previous 15 days, and each time there had been plenty to work on. She also kept commenting that my skin feld oddly cold, but I felt warm myself. She said this was very different from how it had felt before. I am not sure what to make of that, but just offering it as a phenomenological data point."

RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat?
Answer
3/29/19 12:33 PM as a reply to F V.
Hi Raving Rhubarb, thanks for the detailed reply!  That's really awesome you have done so many retreats, a bit off topic but I would be interested in hearing a bit about the Ajahn Tong and metta retreats.  Did you do those in SE Asia or whereabouts?  Would you recommend Ajahn Tong for vipassana?  I'll be leaving my corporate job in a few months and then traveling to visit monasteries and do some retreats, so I'm curious emoticon 

I'm still not sure how to quote properly like you did in your reply, so my apologies for the formatting.


"Yes, I've read the standard instructions, which are all over the web. I understand that it is a good idea to prepare for the trip by having a place where you feel safe and by being in a good state. This is why I contemplated doing this after a Metta retreat. I would never consider doing this after a 10-day Ajahn Tong retreat with 12 hours of Vipassana each day and going 3 days without sleep at the end. 
But on Metta retreats my concentration does not even come close, the mind is much more stable and reliably more positive, so I wondered if it might be a good idea. But it seems that the consensus is that psychedelics and retreats shouldn't be combined under any circumstances whatsoever (and certainly not by a beginner), so I guess I will drop this plan.

My mindset/intention for this trip would be: My mind seriously needs healing. Maybe it can reconfigure itself in a good way if given the opportunity. So I should do this, relax and see what happens. Maybe I spontaneously can do some focusing (Eugene Gendlin style) or Brahmaviharas during the trip to get the most healing out of it, but most sources seem to recommend to just let it happen.
I'm not at all interested in: spiritual experiences, funny visuals, hearing voices, getting to know "the truth".

That's good to hear that you have done your research and read a bunch online.  I also think that the mindset you have would be very conducive to a fruitful experience.  I also liked how you mentioned what you are not interested in, because although I think that having spiritual experiences and getting to know "the truth" as goals/intentions might be useful for someone who does not have formal meditation/spiritual experience, under the right conditions and guidance it can influence them to become more interested in developing a practice and framework for understanding.  This was actually the case for me!  Psychedelics and weed seemed to open my mind up to spirituality and Buddhism in particular, and eventually showed me that the best path for me would be to pursue these practices without substances.  With this being said, I believe that these substances can show up in people's lives in different ways for different purposes, and intentions and timing are important.  Here's a very interesting read from another poster here who fell into the dark night after using psychedelics, practiced to attain stream-entry, and still occasionally uses psychedelics to practice concentration and metta:

https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/6955635 

I think that setting your mind on practicing metta and the brahmaviharas could be very wonderful and healing.  Sometimes during a trip, as you may have found in your research and on the many retreats you've done, that you just have to practice letting go as well.

"Of course, both would be possible. It's not particularly urgent. I could also wait half a year or more, but I think there's no reason to do so. And now is really a good time, because I do not currently work (yet), which means that I have a lot of control over my environment, which means that I have a lot of control over my mind, which means that I can prepare for the trip.
What I could also do is 1-10 days of intense Metta practice at home, take a 1 day break, do the trip.
Or I could drop meditation completely for a few days and do the trip, though this would take my mind to a rather bad state.
I can do pretty much everything I want.
What would you consider to be the best preparation?"

Not having to work would definitely be a good time, especially if you have a lot of control over your environment!  Sounds like you have the right idea for set and setting.  If you think that stopping meditation practice would put your mind in a bad state, I don't think that would be conducive to a productive experience, at least for your first time as you learn how it affects you.  I have never practiced metta intensively, although I would say that it would be a good way to prepare.

"
Thank you for the offer! We could chat, but I think if we continue this conversation on this forum, then it would benefit more people. It is an important topic, and probably relevant for many. And it is becoming more relevant, as Psilocybin is nearing its admission as official therapy drug."

Agreed emoticon 

"I do want to do this responsibly. In the past, I have never seriously considered going the psychedelic route, since I was a bit scared about their power, and because I was (mistakenly, as it seems to me now) under the impression that psychedelics don't have to offer more than some impressive yet meaningless temporary states.

I think I'm ready for this step (and it does not get better than this) because
- my general state is better than in the whole last decade
- if unpleasant things arise, I'm not scared of them. I have crawled out of very bad mind states more than once and I trust my own ability to handle every bad thing that my mind throws at me. For example, I'm not scared of anything that's related to anxiety, such as panic attacks. If a panic attack arises, I will smile and enjoy it. (I'm also not scared of meaninglessness, shame, regret, guilt, anger and probably other things.)
And I mean that: I have actually done this at the end of a 10-day noting retreat. In stable equanimity, a vision arose of me having fun. This triggered a panic attack, with depersonalization. Because I was in equanimity, I didn't instantly recognize it. My thoughts were something like "wtf is this. am I enlightened? yeah, cool. oh, wait probably not. well, then what? am i going crazy? hm... ah wait, this is probably a panic attack. how disappointing. ok, I guess I'll just sit here and... well, sit here." It eventually subsided and I was almost sad (:
-Obviously, bad mind states might still be overwhelming during the trip, but that's only 5 hours, so what.
- If something should arise that I can't handle, I have a good, loving, supportive environment that will care for me and help me get back on my feet.
- If something should go really wrong, I have insurance that covers the psych ward.
- But: There's no history of schizophrenia in my family. Although my mind has been to some bad places (anxiety, depression, agitation), I have never had even the slightest signs of schizophrenia or psychosis. When I initially stumbled into really bad anxiety (nothing of which is left today), I went to a psychologist who suspected that I might have schizophrenia, so he sent me to a doctor who specialized on schizophrenia. She asked me a bunch of questions and then declared that I, without any doubt, do not have that. We had a good laugh, we talked only once, but I still remember it."

It sounds like you have put a lot of thought into this and I'd say based on what you said here you would be more than ready.  I would say that the day you go for it, if you decide to, to listen to yourself and allow yourself to call things off if it doesn't feel right - sounds like you have done your due diligence and know what you're getting into though, so I wouldn't be concerned!  I hope you don't mistake my cautiousness as any indication that it has anything to do with you - I personally think these tools can be very valuable but I have seen the other side of the story too so I must be responsible myself with disclaimers emoticon I kind of think of it like how Daniel Ingram thinks people should know about the dark night when they get into meditation, but meditation is such a wonderful and healing practice.

With this being said, it's completely normal to feel some anxiety, fear or jitteriness!  May I ask if you will be using mushrooms or a psilocybin extract?  If you have access to LSD, I think that it is a really good choice as well.  It's typically my preference, but there are pros and cons to both especially when considering how "energetic" they are or the length of the experience itself.

"
Is it a good preparation for a trip to be doing Vipassana beforehand?
Is it a good preparation for a trip to be doing Metta beforehand?
Is one better than the other?"


When I started to get more and more into meditation, I started to use psychedelics less and less.  I first was more interested in concentration practices on the breath (still am a lot!) and found these to be really useful to have a centered and calmer mind going into the experience.  I have read about others even using psychedelics for jhana and concentration practice.  If I had been into metta before, I think that it would have been a really useful way to prepare!  My recommendation would be to focus on metta and concentration beforehand.  It might be fun to play around with both during the experience, but also allow yourself to just relax and go with the flow while you get a feel for things your first time.

As far as vipassana goes, I'm not sure to be honest.  Perhaps others will have input on that, but I hadn't practiced much vipassana when I was into tripping more.  Part of me thinks that it could be very insightful, and part of me thinks it could be overwhelming or very difficult if you ended up in dark night territory.  Again, I couldn't say for sure, but if I were to give advice on that I'd say that concentration and metta would be safer, especially as a first time experience.  But who knows, perhaps the reason your mind needs healing is because it needs more insight?  May I ask where you are insight-territory wise, and if you are pre- or post- stream entry?  I'm still pre-SE myself, but the reason I ask is that I've read a lot of accounts of SE where people say that their minds just seem to function better, be less "sticky", and have less suffering overall.  My understanding is that stream entry is a sure-fire way to eliminate a good chunk of suffering from day to day life, but I'm shooting to find out for sure myself ;)

"
Or is it better as preparation to do those things that people usually do to feel good, i.e. sleep long, have sex, have a massage, hang out with friends, spend time in nature, exercise, take Feldenkrais/yoga lessons, enjoy nice food...?
Is it possible or even a good idea to do Vipassana or Metta during the trip? What about Gendlin-style Focusing or Feldenkrais?
Is it a good idea to do Vipassana or Metta after the trip or in the week after the trip to facilitate integration?

If you have a sitter, does this person have to watch you the whole trip or is it enough if they are in the next room?"

I do think that being well rested, hydrated and feeling good helps.  If you are going to focus on metta too, I would think that hanging out with friends or having sex with a loved one could be really great!  I do believe that limiting some of the things you listed can many times be conducive to a mind conducive for meditation, but something to keep in mind about tripping is that is important to be grounded.  Nature, exercise and yoga are all great for being grounded, as is healthy food and connected relationships.  I'm not familiar with Gendlin-style Focusing or FeldenKrais but I always LOVED to do yoga and spend time in nature while tripping.  Yoga in particular can be really good while you are coming up, because it can help to stay grounded and center the jitteriness you possibly could encounter.  I would say concentration practices, but especially metta, whether more formal or informal would be great to try while tripping.  Again, I'm not sure if I would recommend vipassana or not, but it could be interesting to try some light stuff and see where it takes you.  Keep in mind that you can always come back to experiment and see if anything benefits you later on too - once you have a personal feel for how a particular hallucinogen works for you at a certain dose, you can have a good idea of how to work with it for the best benefits.

I would say that any sort of meditation practices definitely could help with integration.  I think that sometimes clear, directed thinking and question asking can be really useful too.  Like what did you learn and how can you implement that into your life?  How are you going to take this experience and insights and use them to continue to heal your mind?  If you do decide to do it again, what might be better ways to prepare, ways to focus your mind, concepts to contemplate for the most fruitful experience? 

Something that was big for me is seeing the things that I needed to clear out of my life, and things to let go of.  I actually stopped drinking alcohol almost entirely after one trip because I very clearly understood how it affected me, and how I could create space for better things without it.  

If you do decided to have a sitter, that would be perfectly fine to have them in the other room.  I would say based on what you told me, the decision to have a sitter or not should be up to you and how you feel about that, and also who it will be.  Another consideration could be to have someone on speed dial.  I've actually never had a sitter, although many of the first times I tripped was with a couple of close friends - so I did have people around.  I have tripped a fair bit by myself, and never felt the need for a sitter.  I actually felt like it would be a hindrance to have someone around as some of my focus would be wandering towards thinking about them in some ways, and when I trip by myself I agree that that I will accept whatever comes to me.  It should be noted that I have never done a heroic dose where it is very likely you can lose complete touch with reality or at the least things get very very weird.  You mentioned sex earlier so I'm curious if you have a significant other?  If so, it would be worthwhile to think if you would prefer to have them involved or not - both ways could be really great depending on the circumstances.

Just a few other things I think can be helpful.  The trips I really focused on getting something out of or resolving a certain issue with myself, I would write down my intentions and think about some different things I could do depending on how things go and what those particular intentions were - ie take a walk on a preplanned route (maybe wait to go outside until after the peak), shower, meditate, art, journal, watch a particular documentary or movie, music playlist, etc.  It always seemed to be really helpful for me to meditate prior to taking the substance, and then reflecting on my intentions while taking it, and then either doing a meditation (20-60 minutes) followed by yoga, or just jumping straight into yoga for however long I felt like doing it.  I started doing this after I was a bit more experienced tripping though, and still would sometimes just trip for fun and just go with the flow emoticon 

"Instead I could take one dose every week starting with microdosing-doses and if it goes well, gradually increase that. (And also increase the time between every dose, as the doses get bigger.) Right now, this seems like a good idea to me. Is this generally the better way?

I doubt that microdosing is as effective as a bigger dose to let the mind restructure itself. (One reason for this belief is that the promising studies done on cancer patients do not use microdosing.) Is this correct?"

You might hear different advice from different people on this, but I would actually recommend just going straight for the full experience.  A few reasons for this - one, microdosing is not fully representative of a full trip, and won't necessarily give you a good idea for what to expect or how things will go.  I think that microdoses can actually be better appreciated after larger doses.  Also, microdosing could give you ideas for what larger doses are like that aren't necessarily true, giving you some preconceived notions that could alter the full experience.  Finally, like you said, I believe that the bigger changes can come from larger doses. 

To be clear, when I say larger doses, I don't mean a huge heroic dose, I'm talking maybe an eight of mushrooms or 150 ug LSD for the first time.  Microdosing and lower doses can be really useful in my opinion, and I think could be used to help with the integration process.  I have read about people who only microdose though and claim to see a lot of benefits and ways it has improved their lives.  I imagine microdosing would make metta practice easier as well while under the influence.  This is just some food for thought, so if you feel inclined to start with microdosing I wouldn't want to push you to not go that route.  It's important to listen to yourself and get a feel for when you do feel like you have integrated and are ready for more.  I would say that this is different for everyone, but if in doubt it might be best to wait and reflect.  

Please let us know how it goes, and how it benefits your mind and practice if you go this route.  I'm curious to hear too if my replies spark any more questions or things you wanted to comment on?  By the way, my apologies for the slow replies, things are a bit crazy right now and I want to be sure my responses are thoughtful and not sloppy!

With metta and happy wishes!

RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat?
Answer
3/29/19 10:22 AM as a reply to Jyet.
Yes funny how we started in different ends.......

No it has nothing do do with psychedelic emoticon neither is it an attempt to discourage you from that path 

I simply found it today and as he spoke about deep bodily relaxation I thought I'll share it with you. Of course hard to attain to NS. But inspiring to read about for me, maybe you too?

And as other's have done it, like Daniel, it must be possible.

RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat?
Answer
3/31/19 1:10 PM as a reply to F V.
Thanks Raving Rhubarb, good to continue our conversation!

"I haven't researched this yet. (I put this off, since I first wanted to find out if at all and how I would do this.) It was my impression that Psilocybin is a bit safer than LSD and that it is very likely that you try to buy LSD and end up with something else, whereas with mushrooms being legal in the netherlands this wouldn't happen (though with psilocybin extract, the same issue is more likely to occur, right?). I also thought that psilocybin extract is only used in the medical studies on cancer patients so I thought that I couldn't possibly obtain this.
Do you have a suggestion of where best to get the mushrooms or the extract? It seems possible to order them online from the netherlands, but I haven't researched yet if it makes a difference where you get them from, and I'm not sure how to look for this information.
For the record, I live in west Germany, but if necessary I could go over to the Netherlands and buy them there in person."

Do you mean that psilocybin is safer than LSD only because of the chance of getting something different with LSD?  Other substances are sometimes sold as LSD but depending on where you are and who you are purchasing from, I would not go as far to say as very likely.  With this being said, if you do decide to get LSD, you should absolutely purchase a test kit (about $30 USD) to ensure what you get is what you were sold - "Bunk Police" sell reputable products online. 

Purchasing mushrooms in the Netherlands sounds like a safe bet though since it is legal!  Mushroom potency can vary by strain and batch, and I don't know too much about psilocybin extract but would wager if not bought in a legal fashion it could potentially be something else.  If you do go for psilocybin, I would choose mushrooms as I have heard that there are other chemicals in the mushrooms too that contribute to the experience and healing process aside from psilocybin.

Another option that could be easily obtained would be ayahuasca and DMT.  Another poster mentioned Ayahuasca, which I have heard very very good things about if you do it with a good guide/shaman in the proper setting - I wouldn't be too thrown off by the vomiting and such, but if it does spark any sort of interest and you would be willing to travel to the US, I know some trustworthy people who can make good recommendations about shamans within the states. 

Smoking DMT is a different experience than ayahuasca though (smoking DMT is a trip that only lasts about 5-15 although it's very powerful and intense vs. ayahuasca lasts hours), and it is something that you can purchase legally online.  Well, sort of - you can purchase plants containing DMT, and then do an extraction yourself with some basic and easy to obtain equipment and end up with DMT that can be smoked.  If DMT interests you this could be a good option too - it's also rewarding working with the plant itself to end up with the product you will use for whatever healing purpose you seek.

"I used to be pretty sure that I got stream entry. There were some signs that it actually wasn't, but there were many more signs that it was. Today, I still can't be completely sure, but also I have completely stopped caring and I mean it. But I am very sure that I don't have 2nd path. The "less sticky, less suffering, somehow works better" reads like an apt description of what it was like for me in the weeks after SE. However, subsequent Vipassana retreats threw me in much more challenging territory. I'm not sure that I would describe the development as "sure-fire way to eliminate a good chunk of suffering from day to day life", as I interpret my experience more like "before SE, my mind was pretty good at hiding away tons of suffering. But after SE, it sort of stopped and hell broke loose". Doesn't mean I regret it though. Not a bit. I've never wanted to go back."

Righ on!  Please forgive me if any of my questions or statements sound assumptive, I truly want to ask to best understand the situation, and genuinely curious since I know I have a long ways to go myself.  Did you get into dark night territory relatively soon after finding SE?  I read somewhere that the DN can be even worse after SE than pre-SE, but I forgot if I read that this was for the review nana in the first cycle, or cycling through towards second path.  Thank you for helping me to check my expectations emoticon guess I'll have to shoot for at least second path LOL!  In all seriousness though, I'm glad to hear that you have no regrets.  

"Yes, I have. She doesn't have any experience with this, and she doesn't approve of my decision to research and try this. So I think it's better if she will not be part of this in any way. (I just researched/discovered that you can actually have sex on mushrooms. Funny. That thought seriously didn't even occur to me until you asked. On reflection, this is probably the first thing anyone else interested in mushrooms will research, and I'm really the odd one out 
emoticon )"

Ok, cool.  Hahaha!  Have you read many trip reports?  It sounds like you have, and I also say this to inform others reading this post, but if you didn't know about erowid.org they have some great stuff out there that can be good to read to understand through other's experience not only proper ways to prepare for a trip and how different factors and mindsets can influence the flow of a trip, but there's also just some damn interesting reads that shed some fascinating insight on places human consciousness can go, whether or not these experiences are a product of mind or realities the mind encounters.  Reading some biographies from monks in the Thai Forest tradition have actually been very interesting to me for the same reason (but they don't eat mushrooms or smoke DMT hehe)!  

"Thank you very much for taking the time and writing such a thoughtful response. Thanks everyone else, too! This board is such a great ressource. In the real world, I wouldn't even know where to start looking for people with experience in those two highly unusual domains (Seriously... where do you even meet mushroom nerds in the real world?). But here, I only need to spend an hour or two writing down my questions in the cozy atmosphere of my living room and I get answers. How cool is that."


No problem, thank you!  I'm glad you brought this up because I think it is an important topic as many people either come to meditation and even dark night nanas because of pyschedelics, and it's interesting to see how at different times and stages of practice they can be useful.  I am very curious myself to hear more about how people post-SE might be able to use them to benefit their practice.  I firmly believe like any tool, it must be used at the right time and sometimes the tool may never be of use again for a certain person.  The more we can learn from each other, the quicker we can all progess in our practices!  This forum is a wonderful place emoticon 

As far as meeting mushroom nerds in the real world, great question!  Haha they are all over but most I have encountered hang out at certain types of events or music festivals, and many are more underground or don't often share their experiences with people IRL.  I met a lot living in the mountains teaching snowboarding, and seem to have met a handful working in the corporate world as well.  I have become more cautious about associating with people who are really into psychedelics, as I have seen many rely on them too much or become dependent on the insights or pleasantries that come from them while neglecting other areas of their lives.  This could just be my experience and not representative of the whole.  It have seen some people drop their old identity and just gain a new "psychedelic" or "spiritual" identity instead, and just get more wrapped up in that. 

This is why I whole-heartedly believe that these substances must be used responsibly and having a framework for understanding is important, particularly if part of a spiritual path.  I don't see them as a path to enlightenment like many do, but rather as a tool or an aid that can be used along the way.  In fact it saddens me to see people who have taken lots of psychedelics seem to believe that they are enlightened from these substances when it is seems to me like they have deluded themselves and aren't aware of defilements that are clearly present.  I have seen people come down from this notion only to fall into what appears to me as a good ole dark night accompanied by lots of confusion...  This is not meant to be any sort of advice for you Raving Rhubarb, but more of a rant about how I believe if used improperly, can lock one up in samsara just like any other drug, except with more delusion. 
 

"I think a rough plan is slowly forming, in the following order:

  • Find someone to watch me.
  • Find out how to get psilocybin/mushrooms. Actually get them.
  • Try small doses a few times. (Even though this doesn't prepare me for the real thing, it will probably alleviate some anxiety about taking the full dose.)
  • Do a write-up on the most important things to remember. Prepare everything I need.
  • Do a 1-3 day Metta retreat at home.
  • Rest for about 1 day spending time in nature, exercising, doing relaxing things.
  • Do a full dose with a sitter.
  • Evaluate.
Sound reasonable?"

I think this sounds great!  Like this sounds perfect in my opinion.

Just to elaborate on what I said about sitters above, and I'm sure you have read this elsewhere in your research, I think it is important that it is someone you can really trust and are close to.  Also someone who you know won't judge you and could really support you if things get tough.  Sometimes it's nice to have someone just to bounce some crazy ideas off of or chat too, even if it's not emotional support.  Like even if you have a Buddhist or meditation friend who's open to the idea, talking about the Dhamma, cause and effect, or some crazy ideas about the impact of metta on the world might be interesting!  I think this will depend too on if you are looking for a more introverted experience going deep within yourself, or if you seek something more light hearted as you get to know your choice of halluncinogen.  If you don't have someone like that around, having someone on speed dial could be good too.  There's also a "trip-sitting" forum on Reddit if you want to have someone available but not someone in person.  I just mention some other options because I personally sometimes like being with other people tripping, and sometimes wanted to just be by myself.  Different people have different preferences for these things so just wanted to bounce some ideas around.

I hope you don't think I've been a "hardo" in any way with my responses... Haha.  It's a bit of blurry line to walk for me to recommend something as powerful and life-changing as pyschedelics (I mean this in an immesely positive and transformative way), while also discussing responsibility and potential negatives of using these. 

With this being said, someone like you who is approaching this in such a mature and genuinely curious fashion I know will truly benefit from this experience.  I wish you the best and will be curious to hear!  Thanks again for the great discussion.

edit: on the topic of legality and obtaining substances, 1P-LSD may be legal in your country.  I honestly don't know too much about how it differs from LSD, or if there are the same risks as far as getting the right substance you were told you're purchasing, but it could be worth looking more into as I know there is a wealth of information online.  I have heard some say that there are reputable vendors on "the dark web" but I also wouldn't know much about that, or if it is even still active as I thought there was some sort of bust a couple years ago - I don't recall clearly but thought I'd throw that out there!  Always always always get a test kit though emoticon

RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat?
Answer
3/31/19 1:06 PM as a reply to F V.
"I did all my Ajahn Tong retreats in Dhammacari in Germany, which is an awesome place. (I did one at home on the phone which you can do after your first retreat.) This place is as good as it gets. If you live in central Europe, I don't think you need to go to SE Asia, and I don't intend to ever do this.
I definitely recommend Ajahn Tong for Vipassana, though I have to add that I have experience only with Ajahn Tong and Goenka. There are lots of reports about Ajahn Tong method on DhO (the report that you linked, for example), and I think I don't have to add much. This method works great for me, and there are only 2 reasons why I stopped practicing it for several years:

  • I couldn't do walking meditation.
  • I was full of anxiety, and 12-hour-retreat days would cause the anxiety to get more and more and ultimately out of control and then I would freak out and the teachers would tell me to meditate less or stop altogether.
I have cleared up the anxiety completely, but I still can't do the walking meditation because knee pains because chronic tension. So at the moment I do the technique slightly adapted, where I do the walking meditation motions sitting on a chair. Awkward, but it works. However, I probably couldn't do this for 20 hours a day sitting all the time. If I do the mushrooms and get rid of the chronic tension, then one of the first things I will want to do is sign up for another retreat in Dhammacari.

Some more things to consider:

  • This thing is intense. You do mindfulness from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep. In the course of the retreat, it gets more intense. The work meditation gets cancelled, the sleep gets cut down incrementally. In the end, you are only in your own room without anyone else and you don't sleep at all for 2 or 3 days (unless you aren't ready for this which actually happened to me most times I was there. The system isn't inflexible or stupid). Concentration skyrockets. The intensity of those retreats is higher than what Daniel Ingram recommends. But they are usually not dangerous, since you talk to a teacher every day.
  • Despite being intense, the actual instructions are not like anything in MCTB. You don't go out and actively look for the 3Cs. You sit there and follow the instructions (basically: note the walking/breathing and when interrupted note the interruptions, then go back to noting the walking/breathing) and the 3Cs will just show up naturally. This actually works. To this day, I have no idea what Goenka or Daniel Ingram talk about when they want you to look for impermanence or the other two, but I have 100% faith in my abilities to understand the 3Cs by just following this simple protocol.
  • I read much of TMI. The first chapters of TMI describe which things in meditation are important to create a nice balance. I noticed that the Ajahn Tong method is basically a clever scaffolding to achieve this balance. This works even if you don't know anything of this theory behind it.
  • They won't talk about attainments at all and very little about maps. This doesn't mean they don't know anything about this, but they want you to do a favour by emphasizing that you need to focus on this moment. This is a very good idea. If you go into such an intense retreat and decide that you want to get stream entry and then you will use extra effort, then you'll likely become unbalanced and throw yourself off the rails. There are reports on DhO where exactly this happened. Don't go into this with the goal of getting stream entry. Go into this with the goal of following the instructions closely and finding a nice balance in every single meditation session.
  • They are very experienced with their method. Trust them on this.
  • On the other hand, they only have a hammer, and everything is a nail.
  • In particular, if the method doesn't work for you (it is certainly not for everyone) don't expect them to tell you that or tell you what to do instead.
  • So: don't expect them to know anything on anything else. They may have completely weird/misguided/uninformed/horribly wrong/dangerous ideas about concentration practices, brahmaviharas, movement practices, food, polyamory and probably lots of other things. Despite (or because?) their ignorance they are surprisingly sure about those ideas and will not let you know about their lack of expertise on these areas.
(maybe something else later, but I'm suddenly out of time.)"

This is great information - thank you so much for the elaborate reply!  I am thinking about Wat Ram Poeng's 26-day retreat in Thailand sometime next year.  I already will be in that corner of the world and so Germany might be a bit far to travel (SEA is so cheap and I'm trying to stretch my dollar emoticon ).  I will keep this in mind though!  The information you cited on how to practice and about the way they teach in this tradition is good to know, and I would imagine would be similar at WRP.  If you have any information that conflicts with this notion please do let me know.  I'm glad to hear such a rave review about Dhammacari!

When you say TMI, is this "The Mind Illuminated"? Any other book recommendations to prepare myself to train vipassana in this tradition?

Thank you Raving Rhubarb!

RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat?
Answer
4/1/19 7:03 AM as a reply to Raving Rhubarb.
Don't forget to make a contribution to science!

https://global.psychedelicsurvey.com/

RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat?
Answer
4/1/19 7:23 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
Stickman2:
Don't forget to make a contribution to science!

https://global.psychedelicsurvey.com/

Hey, this is pretty cool! Didn't know about that one yet. However, I don't think it's necessary anymore, at least not for Psilocybin, which will probably be an official therapy medication 5 years from now.

RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat?
Answer
4/1/19 10:15 AM as a reply to Raving Rhubarb.
Raving Rhubarb:
Stickman2:
Don't forget to make a contribution to science!

https://global.psychedelicsurvey.com/

Hey, this is pretty cool! Didn't know about that one yet. However, I don't think it's necessary anymore, at least not for Psilocybin, which will probably be an official therapy medication 5 years from now.
Maybe in the USA, - https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/psilocybin-legal-therapy-mdma-753946/ -

but the conservative UK government are less civilised and recently tightened the prohibition. However, they're toast, and future govs may be more open. I don't know how it is in other countries. But there's a lot of pressure and activity coming from academia now so yeah maybe you're right. And I suppose the new Silicone Valley tycoons are not averse to hallucinogens so a change of mood is in the pipes.

https://twitter.com/Imperial_PRG/status/986978877326135298

RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat?
Answer
4/2/19 9:53 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
Stickman2:

Maybe in the USA, - https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/psilocybin-legal-therapy-mdma-753946/ -

but the conservative UK government are less civilised and recently tightened the prohibition. However, they're toast, and future govs may be more open. I don't know how it is in other countries. But there's a lot of pressure and activity coming from academia now so yeah maybe you're right. And I suppose the new Silicone Valley tycoons are not averse to hallucinogens so a change of mood is in the pipes.

https://twitter.com/Imperial_PRG/status/986978877326135298
There has been pressure and activity from academia since the 60s, so I wouldn't bet on that. But the thing is now everyone can read the countless articles on the internet about the actual research, people can read the actual scientific studies, people can read the first person accounts on the internet, which are getting more by the minute as people take their fate into their own hands and just try it out. Lots of people still are (and maybe always will be) opposed to recreational drug use, but approximately no one is opposed to medications which heal themselves or their loved ones. As soon as any first-world country introduces psilocybin (or similar) as official therapy and it works, all others will have no choice but to follow suit. Even your UK head-of-government-porn-star will not be able to wait that storm out. I'd bet on that.

RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat?
Answer
4/21/19 2:17 PM as a reply to Raving Rhubarb.
Hey Raving Rhubarb,

just read this post and would like to add my thoughts on taking Psilocybin Mushrooms. I took mushrooms around 15 times so far with the highest dose of 2 Gramm dry weight and i also did a few days of Micro-Dosing with 0.1 Gramm.

I think with the condition u are describing u could benefit from PM, especially the thing with the tension. For me when taking PM my body feels really deeply relaxed after one or two hours into the trip, so it could be helpful. The higher the dosis the more relaxed the body gets.

Before i took PM the first time i also had a lot of concerns but finaly decided to do it and in the right setting it was always a great experience. Also the trips where sometimes difficult in the beginning with difficult feelings and strange bodily sensations coming up, things got more pleasant after one hour and most times it became an extremly blissfull experience (with dose of 2 Gramm).

I myself prefere to be alone while doing PM for spiritual journeys, but if it gives u a sense of comfort when someone is being around than go for that.

You can order a PM grow kit in the netherlands as shipping to Germany is legal. (at least it was 2 years ago when i ordered mine).

I would not do it on retreat, as the mind is already in an altered state, so things could get messy.


Here are some points u should consider when taking PM in dosis from 1 Gramm upwards:

-Music is essential, it works like a base to where the mind is anchored. Make a playlist so u dont have to care about it while tripping.  I like to start with something like Reggae and after an hour go to electronic music, but whatever makes u feel good.

- A Helpfull mindset is to completly accept everything that might come up during the time on PM: Any Fear, any sensation of dissolfing, any panic, any bodily discomfort, just give urself comletly into everything that comes up. Dont put up resistant or try to control the experience. Just remember that its part of the trip and in a few hours u will be fine.

- I prefere to lie down, put something over my eyes, darken the room, have a blanket ready, some water ready and put on earphones so there is no  disturbance from outside

- A great book i read before my first trip was "the psychedelic explorer's guide" so i can highly recomment it

- Enjoy the Trip


Grüsse aus Dresden ;)

RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat?
Answer
4/22/19 5:50 AM as a reply to Raving Rhubarb.
Not sure if this was mentioned already on this thread, but here is a study just published: Psilocybin-assisted mindfulness training modulates self-consciousness and brain default mode network connectivity with lasting effects

Its a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study with 38 participants following a single administration of the psychedelic psilocybin (315 μg/kg p.o.) during a 5-day mindfulness retreat, with pre and post-intervention brain fMRIs.
I am not sure how they double-blinded the psilocybin group not what type of mindfulness retreat this was, as I do not have access to the entire paper, just this abstract.


RE: Taking Psilocybin at the end of a Metta retreat?
Answer
5/12/19 1:25 PM as a reply to Raving Rhubarb.
Try it with music on and eyes closed