We encourage you to read the following text if you are considering working with the mushrooms or other psychedelics by yourself, with us, or with other facilitators and/or retreats:
Thank you for being here.
We are happy you are seeking out the medicine, and that it is calling to you.
As you may know, the number of universities conducting and disseminating research on psilocybin and other psychedelics continues to increase. Mainstream media channels are now frequently reporting on different facets of the plant medicine movement.
We've seen the demand for guided mushroom/truffle experiences grow exponentially since we started in August 2018. As you can imagine, we are now receiving hundreds of messages and requests from people around the world.
We want to share the thoughts and emotions that have been ruminating in our hearts, so you can better understand what’s happening in the psychedelics space and what to expect from journeying with mushrooms/truffles.
A big part of our job as facilitators is to temper expectations. The more we expect from the psychedelic experience, the more disappointment we will face. Disillusionment is an important part of the path, and it’s better to start popping the bubble of false hopes as soon as possible.
The more we do this work, the more we find ourselves saying, "I don't know" a lot. The more that people share their experiences with us, and the more we commune with the mushrooms ourselves, the more we feel like beginners. The more people reach out, and the more we sense our collective crises, the smaller we feel. Love for the people and faith in the mushroom's wisdom keep us going.
We're going through major shifts as a species and as a planet. Some of us are waking up to the stark, and sometimes overwhelmingly sad and cold reality of living in a late-stage capitalist society. The system operates like a machine and makes us feel like robots and cogs. Almost everything in our modern world is designed to increase the velocity and size of financial transactions. Human happiness seems to not be a priority in many ways.
Most human beings want the same things -- love, community, secure shelter, nourishing natural foods, clean water, meaningful work, harmonious relationships. Many of us are missing these basic building blocks. That we are unhappy is a feature of the system, not a bug. Mostly, it’s not our fault.
But we shouldn't be surprised that there is an epidemic of mental and emotional health disorders. It’s simple math -- inputs determine outputs. We are constantly bombarded with messages that we are not enough, and that we need something outside of ourselves to fill the emptiness, angst, or boredom we feel. Society and corporations lie to us to keep us running around from one distraction to the next, from one high to the other. It's not really their fault either. They, just like us, are products of the environment.
Many people who reach out to us feel anxious, isolated, lonely, stuck, sick and helpless. Many feel lost, purposeless. If you are feeling this way, you are not alone.
Mushrooms can help us open our eyes and our hearts. They can help us look inward so we can face the truth of our lives. Sometimes our journeys can be full of joy and love. We may feel the positive emotions we've been craving for years and sometimes decades. Psychedelics can help us develop compassion and feel deeply for ourselves and other people. They can help us be soft and gentle in every interaction, the way some kind old grandmothers are.
But the psychedelic path is not always pleasant. At times, it can be full of pain and difficult emotions. If we commune with the medicine enough, we will be forced to face years of pent-up grief, rage, fear, hatred, confusion. The more we open, the more we feel our own pain and everyone else’s pain. Sometimes, it can seem infinite (which it is). Some of the pain is ours and some are our ancestors'. The more journeys we go on, the more we realize our bodies and minds are part of a lineage, and this lineage usually carries suffering.
Psychedelics are not the answer to all of life’s problems. They are not a magic bullet, like many people want to believe. They are ancient tools and medicines to help us grow, heal, and learn how to love and trust again. Growing and healing are not linear processes. For most of us, we’re not going to all of a sudden feel better all the time. If we’re really committed to the process, we’re going to feel a whole range of emotions, both pleasant and unpleasant. To be sure, psychedelics will usually help us feel periods of relief from various negativities. But probably not all the time.
Psychedelics will not help us escape from our past. The medicine does not somehow erase all our suffering. There’s no such thing as starting “brand new” when it comes to our bodies and minds. Our lives are natural processes; they are not problems to solve or to fix.
If we surrender to their wisdom, mushrooms can help accelerate learning, decrease the strength of our addictive and destructive habits, and improve our relationship with ourselves and the whole of life. If we think we are going to somehow use psychedelics to get something from life, the medicine will teach us some harsh lessons.
There’s nothing to gain. We are here for now, and the body and mind will disintegrate sooner or later. This body is made of organic matter; in one sense we are exactly the same as every other living being on this planet. Anything that makes us feel separate or different is a lie. Communing with psychedelics helps us to think bigger, include more of life, and consider others more often. Ultimately, life is not really about us as individuals. The reason why many of us are sick is because we’ve only thought about ourselves our entire lives.
It’s important to understand that a lifetime of depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, and other mental health issues are not going to magically disappear overnight with one or two psilocybin journeys.
If you are on this path, please realize it may take many years of inner spiritual work (plant medicine, therapy, meditation, bowing, praying, yoga, dance, practicing gratitude and loving-kindness, reconnecting with community, reconnecting with nature/God/Spirit [something bigger], apologizing, asking for forgiveness, forgiving ourselves and others, etc.) to feel like you are making some progress.
Sometimes progress might look and feel like we are falling into old habits again. It’s bound to happen for most of us. Regardless of how many psychedelic journeys we go on, the momentum of the body and mind carries on in a cyclical fashion like it always has. The medicine just might help clarify what we can learn from these cycles, and we might be able to pull ourselves out of these dark states more quickly. Or not. Nothing is guaranteed.
We encourage everyone to find ways to work with the medicine in safe environments. Make sure you fully trust the people with whom you journey. Make sure nobody in the space is trying to get something from you -- power, sex, money, respect. We've heard many stories of people having unpleasant experiences when journeying with people who they aren't comfortable around. Make sure you're around people who are grounded and caring and loving. Find a community of like-minded people, either in person or online. Spend time with people with whom you can share your experiences without fear of judgment.
And be prepared for sometimes unsettling, frightening new perspectives. Healing is not always pleasant. In fact, facing the truth can be painful and scary, especially if we’ve been avoiding it for most of our lives. We may go through months or years of turmoil regardless of how many psychedelic journeys we’ve been on. Karma is real.
Ultimately, we’re all going to die one day. We’re going to leave it all behind. Rich, poor; black, white, yellow -- doesn’t matter. We all come from the same place, and we’re all returning. Psychedelics can help us realize this truth. Are we ready to face it?
Finally, the more people we work with, the more certain religious stories start making sense. One passage from the Bible sticks out as particularly relevant in what we've witnessed. We hope everyone can put the specific religion, terminology, characters, locations aside to focus on the universal message within the story.
The Rich Man
17 As Jesus was starting out on his way to Jerusalem, a man came running up to him, knelt down, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good. 19 But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. You must not cheat anyone. Honor your father and mother.’”
20 “Teacher,” the man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.”
21 Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22 At this the man’s face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God!” 24 This amazed them. But Jesus said again, “Dear children, it is very hard to enter the Kingdom of God. 25 In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”
26 The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked.
27 Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.”
28 Then Peter began to speak up. “We’ve given up everything to follow you,” he said.
29 “Yes,” Jesus replied, “and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, 30 will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property—along with persecution. And in the world to come that person will have eternal life. 31 But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.”
May we all reflect on the beautiful lessons in this story.
May all beings be happy, peaceful, and liberated.