Psychedelics and Meditation

Anthony, modified 6 Years ago.

Psychedelics and Meditation

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About a year ago I found myself tripping on the beach on 2CI-Nbome. I found myself in a serene state of consciousness laying in the warm sun floating in existence in my mind and it came to me. Meditation. This is what meditation is, except the experience experienced through psychedelics is super charged. So the next day i looked up basic concentrative meditation techniques and as i found myself in a state of deep concentration i found traces of sensations that were super charged while on psychedelics.

On a separate day about 3 to 4 months prior i had an experience on psychedelic mushrooms that very very very strongly resembles the 5 step experience of rebirth as described in the book LSD psychotherapy by Dr. Stanislav Grof if anyone has read it. At a point during this experience i felt like pure knowledge was entering my brain that i could not decode. I also had an extremely vivid sensation of being connected to everything that is alive in the universe. After this experience I considered the possibility of all life being connected through some mystical force, but i did not take it so seriously as I was naturally very sceptical of anything seeming supernatural being a staunch atheist.

Over the past few months through concentrative and insight practices i have come to the understanding that all life is connected through some force. We are all a part of that same force. Seemingly as a result I became more aware of my empathic abilities to sense the emotions of others around me and even being able to communicate through vibes with those close to me (this effect seemed even more pronounced if I have taken a psychedelic drug with someone both during the experience and forever after). It seems as if my meditation practices have confirmed the message of the magical mushroom.

To me the connection between psychedelics and meditation is indisputable. I see psychedelics as a jetpack that blasts off so fast you have no control or any idea where you end up, where meditation is taking the same journey with your own two feet, much slower but very conprehensable. 

Does anyone else feel this way? There are very people i know that use psychedelics and I dont personally know anyone who meditates so I feel pretty alone, I can't talk to anyone about some of the most important events and revelations in my life.
Pål, modified 6 Years ago.

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Lewis, modified 6 Years ago.

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I wonder if psychedelics really do that universally, or if they just trigger insight for those who were predisposed to it already. There definitely seems to be some kind of link, but I know plenty of people who've done acid in huge doses and not had any kind of mystical or spiritual experience at all. I once had a trip on LSD where I experienced boundless consciousness, and when I came back into my bodily awareness I couldn't tell where my body stopped and my girlfriend's started - it was profound. When I asked her afterwards how her trip had been, she told me she'd basically just hallucinated millions of penises and got confused for 8 hours. So... your mileage may vary.

Since I really got my meditation practice strict I've just gone off psychedelics, they mess with your mindfulness in disconcerting ways. I used to be very confident in the old 'it's just a drug' defense while tripping, now I'm not so sure what it is that I'm messing with. Like you say, it can get out of control very quickly and lead you down unskillful paths.
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Noah S, modified 6 Years ago.

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I wonder if psychedelics really do that universally, or if they just trigger insight for those who were predisposed to it already.


This
Pål, modified 6 Years ago.

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How do I get predisposed? emoticon
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Lewis, modified 6 Years ago.

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Karma???

I used to do concentration practice on LSD. It was interesting but ultimately fruitless. Lots of out of body experiences but they were just distracting/disturbing more than anything.
Pål, modified 6 Years ago.

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Why where they fruitless? Karma?
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Lewis, modified 6 Years ago.

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Pål:
Why where they fruitless? Karma?
Good point emoticon For me, they seemed to lead to lots of fascinating but ultimately delusional content - out of body experiences, visions, etc. They're interesting but they didn't really give much insight, though they often felt profound. It was just another thing to get attached to, in the end. Meditating on LSD is kind of interesting because the mental chatter tends to go way up and the mind gets much more excited. So it's harder at first to concentrate. If/when you do finally attain access concentration, it tends to jump very quickly to unusual experiences, I guess because the concentration level has to be much higher than it would be sober.

In any case, it became this whole neurotic mess of stuff that felt profound but didn't really do anything to improve my well-being. Also, at the time I was approaching A&P territory and it was difficult to be clear on what was drugs or HPPD and what meditation was doing.

Pål:
Other than meditation, can you recommend any other way of setting the mood, mind and intention right? I've heard from a pretty experienced guy that a bad trip is often more therapeutic and spiritually developing than a good one. 
My physical health is great, don't know what grounded energy means, but meditation can make me pretty relaxed. I guess my psychodynamics are ok, I'm mostly quite happy, but I sense that there are some subconcious emotional blockages that need to be sorted out, which maybe lighter psychedelics (not lsd) could help with. They call it spiritual steroids. 
Bad trips are very interesting from the point of view of developing equanimity. They can certainly bring up a whole lot of emotional stuff to deal with. I'd say most trips that are undertaken with spiritual intentions will end up being challenging in some way. So, for your purposes, it's worth a shot.
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Noah S, modified 6 Years ago.

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Pål:
How do I get predisposed? emoticon


Just with intention.  If you do a substance and set the mood, get your mind right, and stay super duper open the whole time, good things will probably happen.  But the prerequisite is that you have good physical health, grounded energy, and well sorted psychodynamics.  Otherwise its obviously not worth it.
Pål, modified 6 Years ago.

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Other than meditation, can you recommend any other way of setting the mood, mind and intention right? I've heard from a pretty experienced guy that a bad trip is often more therapeutic and spiritually developing than a good one. 
My physical health is great, don't know what grounded energy means, but meditation can make me pretty relaxed. I guess my psychodynamics are ok, I'm mostly quite happy, but I sense that there are some subconcious emotional blockages that need to be sorted out, which maybe lighter psychedelics (not lsd) could help with. They call it spiritual steroids. 
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Noah S, modified 5 Years ago.

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Other than meditation, can you recommend any other way of setting the mood, mind and intention right? I've heard from a pretty experienced guy that a bad trip is often more therapeutic and spiritually developing than a good one. 
My physical health is great, don't know what grounded energy means, but meditation can make me pretty relaxed. I guess my psychodynamics are ok, I'm mostly quite happy, but I sense that there are some subconcious emotional blockages that need to be sorted out, which maybe lighter psychedelics (not lsd) could help with. They call it spiritual steroids.


Just have a devil-may-care, cowboyish attitude for the whole thing.  Go in shooting from the hip, ready for anything, expecting everything, and with the deep set intention of havng an adventure.  Also, just lower your dosage of whatever substance you might be intaking.  Why overload your brain?  This seems to be a common mistake.
Pål, modified 5 Years ago.

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Sounds like I could handle this emoticon
About lower vs medium dose: Don't know where I heard that it's like dipping your feet vs diving into the water in one go: the former will probably be more uncomfortable. Btw I'm thinking psilocybin now. 
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Lewis, modified 5 Years ago.

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If you were going to meditate while on them, I would definitely do a low-end dose the first time around. For me, meditation severely increased the effects of the drug.
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Noah S, modified 5 Years ago.

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About lower vs medium dose: Don't know where I heard that it's like dipping your feet vs diving into the water in one go: the former will probably be more uncomfortable. Btw I'm thinking psilocybin now.


Fuck no, lol.  Low dose, esp. with psilocybin.  B/c its not like theres technically any uppermost dose you could do, so its not as if theres one standard strong dose anyway.  Stay low homie.
Pål, modified 5 Years ago.

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Haha I was recommended 2.5-3.5 grams as an introduction dose, might not be a good idea after all. A low dose would be, like 0.5-1.5 grams, right? 
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SeTyR ZeN, modified 5 Years ago.

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Pål :
Haha I was recommended 2.5-3.5 grams as an introduction dose, might not be a good idea after all. A low dose would be, like 0.5-1.5 grams, right? 



It depends on the type of mushrooms (talking psylocybin familly,. Amanita muscaria works differently, and philosopher stone does not contain psylocybine), check erowid for what are low, average and heroïc dosages ; and familiarize with the set and setting concept. and get a sitter.

lsd has a technological texture but somewhat still a tad organic
mushroom feel definitely organic, living feeling .. pick your choice and fasten your seatbelt, shrooms are longer to come up (1h-2h), and longer to come down, with some nausea sometimes while ramping up  (but thats digestion itself). Stay safe ! emoticon

about the ramping up.. you know that feeling when you are slowly going up up, up ,up to start for a roller coaster ride, and you feel more and more anxious, thightened and trapped? emoticon .. thats whats gonna happen.. and then when you notice that and relax, just be patient, don't panic.. its gonna give way, break through and the ride will finally starts and it will feel instanteously exactly the same .. weighless , and all "spacial" (ok now im too proselyt, and i hate that, im for the .. don't do drugs unless you know what you do school, but i can't refrain advising because there is potential harm possible, so risk reduction is always a priority )

the thing about better having a bigger dose than a smaller one is right, but don't overdo the bigger dose. If you know your body's general sensitivity compared to other in various precedent experience, you know if you are a "sensitive" or not, and titrate accordingly
Pål, modified 5 Years ago.

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Now this is a hard choise, low vs medium. I want that which is the least scary but I realize that this doesn't depend on the dose alone. Maybe I should work up the piti-generating ability before even trying. I think it's there but veeery subtle. 
Benjie O K, modified 5 Years ago.

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I strongly reccomend starting with a low dose, based on my own experience and observations of friend's experiences. 

Low, but not a "micro" dose, or a barely-past-the-threshold dose - when you don't know what to look for or how to use it, a very low dose can just feel "weird" or uncomfortable, and just be generally unpleasant or disappointing. I find a low, but not very low, dose still gives enough profundity/mystery/wonder to have an impact, while not making you so far gone that you can't do anything to influence the experience if it starts slipping to a place you don't want to go.

This gives you a taste of what the psychedelic experience is like, so that if you choose to go deeper with a stronger dose later, you have an idea of what it feels like, what the arc of the experience is like, etc. Having some familiarity of the territory really helps to keep you from resisting what's happening.  

I've only tried psilocybin cubensis mushrooms, and with those I'd agree that a "low", manageable dose would be between .5-1.5 grams, depending on your height and weight. 

I'm a fairly small person: 5'7", 126lbs, and 1g is a very good dose for me. It's definitely there, effects are noticeable in my body, mind, vision, sometimes hearing (mostly enhancement of appreciation - music sounds better, rather than there being "trippy" effects like echoing). Somtimes quite strong at the peak, and profound enough to have some deep insights, while still able to move around/function/not get overwhelmed. 

This is a level where, if things do start slipping into a dark place and I do not want to go down that path, I can still shift the course of things by changing the environment: Music is hugely helpful to do that, or a change in temperature, going inside/outside... And if it really starts getting dark, watching something on TV can be a useful focus to help me ride it out. Nature documentaries are spectacular for this - I'm particularly drawn to things about the sea. The bright, flowing colours are soothing as all get go. 

If all is going well, then you can choose to dig deeper into the experience - closing your eyes, sinking into music/silence, going for a long walk, and seeing what happens. 
Pål, modified 5 Years ago.

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What kinds of visionary changes could be expected at a dose like that? Not that I should have any excpectations x)
Benjie O K, modified 5 Years ago.

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You mean changes to the way you see? 

It's difficult to describe - You often see people describing it as everything seeming "HD", and that's not a bad way of putting it. Colours can be heightened, things with texture are seen with a deeper sense of relief, or seem more 3D. Walls can "breathe" sometimes. I find most of the activity is on the edges of things, if that makes any sense - lines wiggle, things like that. Closing your eyes can reveal some interesting visuals as well. 
Pål, modified 5 Years ago.

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I've heard about the inanimate objects breathing thing before. That could be a great test of equanimity because it sounds scary as fuck. Will I notice it with my eyes closed in meditation? emoticon Do things breath audibly? 
Benjie O K, modified 5 Years ago.

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Seeing the walls "breathe" isn't frightening in and of itself, I find: Usually it's more, "Wow, that's darn cool." But, I suppose, if you were already slipping into a fearful/paranoid/overwhelmed head space, that would add to it. 

I haven't experienced closed-eye visuals breathing... but that's not to say they can't. I also haven't heard things breathing, but on both points, Your mileage may vary. 

If you're curious about the kinds of experiences that might come up, I highly reccomend checking out the experience reports on Erowid. They're often worthwhile reading for their own sake too - some of them are beautifully written.  
Pål, modified 5 Years ago.

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Thanks, will look up some trip reports, but I realize these things are very unpredictable. 
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SeTyR ZeN, modified 5 Years ago.

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as for the "nice" or "not nice" stuff, yes.  Nearly totaly, and then totaly after passing a threshold

you can drink as much warm milk you want (yeah you can google that emoticon ) , a train wreck is not going to end if it has started . Not to scare you, it is only truth
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Superkatze one, modified 5 Years ago.

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I once took a dose of 11g of psychedelic mushrooms, because i read a paper which conclusion was, that long term meditators show a similar brain activation pattern to people who are on psilocybin. I was pleased to see that the result was practically identical to the state i identified to be high equanimity. 
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SeTyR ZeN, modified 5 Years ago.

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@Superkatze I can't say and compare, as i don't know for sure what is high equanimity emoticon

@Pål Oh no, no metaphor there, there is really a an urban myth that milk is meant to stop a "bad trip" , just like the high doses of vitamin c myth .. i really lutterally mean that when it comes to psylocybin or lsd, and you are in for a strong ride, there is only one way out, 5 to 10h minimum emoticon
Pål, modified 5 Years ago.

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But I've heard that LSD trips are much longer than shroom trips, is that correct? Like, a long trip on shrooms would be 8 hour while a long LSD trip is more like 12 hours. 
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Lewis, modified 5 Years ago.

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Generally true, though it varies, and to be honest whenever I tripped I never felt entirely 'down' until I'd slept a good length of time.

Also, folk remedies aside - benzodiazepines will cancel out a trip pretty effectively. They're useful to have on hand especially if you're trying higher doses - if you end up going into hospital believing you're dying or whatever they'll just give you 10mg of Valium and you'll be fine in 20 mins, give or take. You'll still be tripping slightly, but somehow it just cuts through the mental 'space' of the trip.
Pål, modified 5 Years ago.

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Thanks, I'll see of I can get my hands on some of those. But there must be a trade off with the benzodiazepines. What could that be and could it be a hindrance to practice? 
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Lewis, modified 5 Years ago.

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They can be psychologically and physically addictive and certainly impede proper mindfulness. But, they are generally short lasting (6-12 hours). Useful for emergencies (panic attacks, etc) but certainly should never be taken recreationally.
Pål, modified 5 Years ago.

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Maybe a bad idea then. 
Pål, modified 5 Years ago.

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I don't really understand the metaphor (or was it?), could you elaborate please? 
Monsoon Frog, modified 5 Years ago.

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About lower vs medium dose: Don't know where I heard that it's like dipping your feet vs diving into the water in one go: the former will probably be more uncomfortable. Btw I'm thinking psilocybin now.

Another psychedelic theory is that a higher dose can be easier to deal with than a smaller dose ... the reasoning being the difficulty is in transitioning/disembedding from the ordinary state … and a lower dose may in fact distend and exacerbate the transition period, maybe keep one stuck in some nether zone, perhaps not be strong enough to actually complete the transition, and thus make for an uncomfortable experience … whereas a sufficiently strong dosage will successfully blast one off into the desired orbit where these concerns no longer apply.

There are a lot of ways to use these substances. 

Btw, here's one essay on varieties of usage:

https://www.erowid.org/psychoactives/basics/basics_article3.shtml
Some Ruminations and Tips on Tripping From forty years of personal experience, by JP


..and here's a little excerpt from one of my favorite authors on the psychedelic experience, Art Kleps:


"Adequately describing this kind of thing to those who have no references for 
it in their own experience is uniquely difficult. It's not only one hell ofa literary problem, it's a real doozy of a psychological problem.

How can anyone have an experience of this magnitude and intensity without 
turning into a paranoid, terrorized blob of quivering jelly? How can anyone stand it, much less enjoy it, if it's as overwhelming and irresistible as we say it is? The reader who has had no major psychedelic experience, however sympathetic he was to start out with, will suspect the author of exaggeration and bravado. As always, I advocate skepticism, but some conditional and provisional suspension of disbelief is necessary if you want to find out what it feels like to be someone else or to get some grasp of an alien practice and philosophy.

I think much of the resistance is based on the natural assumption that the 
person who took the pill is the same person who has the following experience, which, after all, is an assumption we solipsistic nihilists can't expect not to be made unless we suggest otherwise. The explanation is just as hard to swallow as the facts which make it necessary, but it's true nonetheless: The constancy of the personality is illusory.

I quote David Hume:
[An individual mind is]"a bundle or collection of different perceptions, which succeed each other with an inconceivable rapidity and are in a perpetual flux and movement."

[The identity which we ascribe to an individual mind is only a] "fictitious one since every distinct impression which enters into the composition of the mind is a distinct existence and is different and distinguish-able and separable from every other perception, either contemporary or successive.

"
To some extent, at least, almost all will grant, one becomes what one beholds. Freak-outs, in a way, are caused by a time lag. The truly terrified person is still imagining himself to be the kind of creature to whom such things simply cannot happen, trying to hang on to his former self. It's an error that lies at the root of much simplistic occultist thinking: I "go," if I get this spell right, find the newt's eye that rolled under the sofa, or say my mantra properly, from one world or level to another world or level. No, that is not what happens. There are no "trips," however convenient it may be to use the analogy. There are only transformations, transformations of everything. Does that help?

Visionary experience is always personal and yet almost always fantastic and 
impressive. One is flooded with it. On a big one there is no way to stop the action to think things over. This is a recipe for fast and sloppy supernaturalist and paranoid ideation, among those who are so inclined.

The pace, the scope, and the contents of the experience are not in 
contradiction to or in agreement with but are irrelevant to and incommensurable with normative psychology and any "depth" or "structuralist"
psychological system I know about, Jung's included."

-Art Kleps, Millbrook
(the tail end of his impressive reflection upon his very first trip, a large 500 milligram dose of crystal mescaline sulfate)



Monsoon Frog, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: Psychedelics and Meditation

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Pål:
How do I get predisposed? emoticon


Maybe Hendrix should have sung 'Have you ever been predisposed,' rather than 'Have you ever been experienced'?
Monsoon Frog, modified 5 Years ago.

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Lewis:
I wonder if psychedelics really do that universally, or if they just trigger insight for those who were predisposed to it already. There definitely seems to be some kind of link, but I know plenty of people who've done acid in huge doses and not had any kind of mystical or spiritual experience at all. I once had a trip on LSD where I experienced boundless consciousness, and when I came back into my bodily awareness I couldn't tell where my body stopped and my girlfriend's started - it was profound. When I asked her afterwards how her trip had been, she told me she'd basically just hallucinated millions of penises and got confused for 8 hours. So... your mileage may vary.

"Most people who try them simply have pleasant, unpleasant, or confusing experiences. Although only a minority of people who experimented with psychedelics had beneficial spiritual experiences, there were millions who experimented with them from the mid 1960's to the mid 1970's."
-Bill Hamilton, Saints and Psychopaths
Pål, modified 5 Years ago.

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I was told shrooms -often- gets you a "peek behind the curtain". Maybe "if taken with meditation" was implicit.
Mattias Wilhelm Stenberg, modified 5 Years ago.

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My perspective is that Psychedelics is a formidable way to speed up the results of other spiritual practices such as meditation, yoga and energy work. Of course it will also sometimes bring "supernatural insights" or access to "other dimensions".

Regarding the things discussed here in the thread I would like to offer some perspective and opinions.

One is that LSD is actually a very "light" psychedelic. Before I tried it I always imagined it to be very powerful, but even when consumed in high doses (I think I did about 4x normal dose at one time) it is still a pretty smooth ride. It will "cleanse the doors of perception" so to speak and at high doses will clearly illuminate what a joke the ego is. The main drawback for me is the time it takes to move through the system, since the "trip" is usually 8-10 hours. Basically you need to set aside a whole day to do it.

Psilocybin seems like a more organic and living version of LSD that has more of an agenda or a story to tell. When using it it is very much like the mushrooms themselves are communicating with you in a friendly and playful manner, showing you interesting new perspectives and having fun with you, but also usually imparting profound healing, both spiritually, energetically and physically. When doing Yoga on mushrooms my body is incredibly flexible, enjoyable and respondent compared to when doing it "sober". Another advantage is that the effec only lasts for 3-5 hours, and "bad trips" can be mitigated by eating and drinking which will lower the effect of the medicine.

Then you have the interesting beast known as DMT or Ayahuasca (when brewed and drunk). Now this is what I would call a STRONG psychedelic and not something to take too lightly. The Ayahuasca in particular will act very strongly on a physical level and initiate purging if there are too many toxins in the system. Ayahuasca feels similar to mushrooms but not at all as playful. They call it the "grandmother" because of this. If mushrooms are your playful childlike (but wise) friends, Aya is a strict grandparent that comes to teach you a few lessons about life and will not accept no for an answer. The secret (as to all psychedelics) is to accept this and surrender to the experience. It is quite possible to communicate/negotiate with it but it is very much a mistake to try and resist it. Any resistance will be struck down by force is my experience.

When smoked in its pure DMT form the effect is very different and in some ways actually gentler. At low doses I find that the world becomes incredibly organic, and the sense of "self" jumps into the backseat but is still present. The interconnectedness and "aliveness" of the world becomes very apparent. At higher doses you get access to a more "crystaline" world view as I describe it, where everything is seen as being made of clear light and the world appears as imacculate and perfect. At this level the ego or self is either non-existent or so modest that it is not noticable, there is considerable understanding of emptiness.

At really high doses you get the "catapult effect" where your consciousness completely leaves the body and goes for a ride in other dimensions. Unfortunately for me I did not manage to retain that memory so I only got the catapult effect, not the actual dimensional travel. The energetic benefits where however very strong and it felt like it activated and cleared my whole body/mind system very effectively. The almost instant ego-death and deconstruction of the world was also very interesting. I would describe it as seing the world rush towards my and revealing it's true nature as a fractal machine of consciousness, I basically got a short (maybe 0.1 to 0.2 seconds) look "behind the scenes" of the universe that was quite fascinating and illuminating.

Integrating psychedelics in your spiritual practice as a tool is a powerful way to speed up the evolution of your consciousness and gain fundamental (and funny-as-hell-damental) insights. Some will be silly, some will be profound. If you have access to a shaman that is also very beneficial, since experience regarding these things will help smooth the journey.

As others have said before it is almost as if the "bad" trips are the best, seen from a perspective of spiritual growth. A bad trip is simply the medicine showing you your fears, paranoia and the limitations of your psyche. It will unlock your subconscious and depending on what you have been hiding in there, the experience can be anything from hell-ish to divine. Personally I have had experiences of panic attacks, being convinced that I am dying etc etc but I don't count them as bad at all. Since I already then was a fairly good meditator I was able to stay aware of what was happening and even though I was freaking out on one level, my awareness was steady and there was an underlying acceptance that this was simply a lesson my ego was being taught.
Pål, modified 5 Years ago.

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TL;DR: Psychedelics+spiritual practice=awesome emoticon

But doesn't LSD give flashbacka sometimes, even after the trip has ended? I read somewhere flashbacks sometimes occur even a week after tripping. 
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Lewis, modified 5 Years ago.

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In my experience, flashbacks is an overstatement. It's certainly not like what you hear from anti drug campaigns and the like. People in the psychedelics community tend to refer to it as HPPD (Hallucinagen persisting perception disorder) and not everyone experiences it. For most people it tends to be very subtle, and actually very similar to what extended meditation practice seems to produce (I remember reading Dan's post about what he sees with his eyes closed in every day life and it sounds very similar, lol). So it'll be stuff like lights in the eyes, very slight geometric/jewel tone hallucinations, sometimes slight texture drift. In most cases this only develops after a lot of drug use, and in many it fades away after abstaining for some time (weeks to months). However, there are rare cases of permanent HPPD.

I've often wondered if there is some overlap between some spiritual experiences and HPPD experiences - for example, those perceptual errors are there anyway but we're not usually aware of them, but meditation and psychedelics increases our awareness such that they aren't as easily filtered out.