Reverend Bodhi Be is the Executive Director of "Doorway into Light," a non-profit that seeks to re-invent and revolutionize the funeral home and the funeral industry, transforming the “business of dying” and returning it to “sacred service." Bodhi is an ordained minister in the universal Sufi lineage, an independent funeral director, hospice volunteer, end-of-life bereavement counselor, as well as a grandparent, coffin maker, death doula, educator, artist, and entrepreneur. He lives on Maui, where he is also the founder and president of the Death Store, Hawaii's only community educational resource center and store for those who are living with a life-threatening illness, those grieving the death of a loved one, and those wishing to explore their own approaching death.
Darnell Walker is Esalen's artist in residence for Spring 2021. Darnell is a writer and creator of children’s media, as well as a powerful documentary filmmaker — his efforts include 2015’s Seeking Asylum, which explored Black Americans’ desires to escape American tyranny and widespread police violence for safer lands, Outside the House, which focuses on Black mental health, and Set Yourself on Fire, a film about sexual violence. His work investigates education and revolution, with a strong first-person point of view informed by an inspiring DIY ethic. Together we explored his body of work, modes of creativity, and the kind of change he hopes to affect in the world.
Bill Donius is the New York Times Best Selling author of Thought Revolution: How to Unlock your Inner Genius. He is the creator of a simple but powerful methodology designed to unlock potential in all areas of your life by using your non-dominant hand as a direct pipeline to right-brain wisdom. Bill is an innovator, a facilitator, former CEO of a major bank, and a member of Esalen’s board of trustees. He’s helped major corporations and organizations all over the world tap into their creativity and intuition.
Lauren Taus is a licensed clinical therapist with a specialty in addiction and trauma treatment. She utilizes ketamine-assisted psychotherapy in her clinical work, where she’s had success treating a number of challenging conditions, including depression, anxiety, suicidality, eating disorders, OCD, and more.
Lauren trained at The Trauma Institute in Boston in Trauma-sensitive yoga, and with the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for complex PTSD. She's an experienced clinician whose work is firmly rooted in creating a safe and loving connection between herself and her clients. She's also the host of a podcast about Psychedelics and Psychedelic Psychotherapy: INBodied Life. To check out her show and her practice, visit her online at inbodiedlife.com.
Sara Gael is the Harm Reduction Officer at the MAPS-sponsored Zendo project. Sara received her master's degree in transpersonal counseling psychology at Naropa University. She started working with MAPS in 2012, coordinating psychedelic harm reduction services at festivals and events worldwide with the Zendo project.
Sara served as Director of Harm Reduction at MAPS from 2017 to 2020, and she continues to train individuals and organizations in principles of psychedelic peer support. Sara is a therapist for MAPS clinical trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD in Boulder. She also maintains a private practice as a psychotherapist specializing in trauma, integration, Non-ordinary States of consciousness, and ketamine-assisted psychotherapy. She's presented at conferences, universities, and events around the world, serves on the board of directors at DanceSafe, and as the harm reduction advocate on the city of Denver psilocybin policy review panel. Sara believes that developing a comprehensive understanding of psychedelic medicines through research and education is essential for the health and wellbeing of individuals, communities, and the planet.
Terence Ching is a US-based Chinese Singaporean currently completing his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Connecticut. Terence has assumed a co-therapist role in a MAPS-sponsored trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, where he infused the research process with culturally-informed recruitment and assessment procedures. Terence is working on his doctoral dissertation with an emphasis on examining possible differences in efficacy of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD between white participants and participants of color across MAPS-sponsored study sites. We spoke about intersectionality, diversity with regards to identity, and how psychedelics can change conditions previously thought of as intractable, such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Laura Mae Northrup is a somatic psychotherapist and podcast creator. Her remarkable show, Inside Eyes, focuses on the use of psychedelics and entheogens to heal from sexual trauma, drawing largely on personal stories from survivors of sexual violence and exploring the ways they have used these medicines to heal. Laura's work focuses on defining sexual violence through a spiritual and politicized lens and supporting the spiritual integrity of collective humanity.
Trigger warning: this episode contains frank descriptions of sexual violence and trauma, so please, take care of yourself and use discretion while listening. This episode is not appropriate for children.
To listen to the entirety of Inside Eyes, please visit www.lauramaenorthrup.com/inside-eyes-podcast.
Laura Dev is a Postdoctoral scholar in public political ecology at UC Merced whose work investigates the relations and practices surrounding ayahuasca, a psychoactive plant mixture, focusing on the pathways by which plants, rituals, and knowledge associated with the use of ayahuasca travel between Shipibo communities in the rural Peruvian Amazon and the Global North. Together we chatted about global ayahuasca tourism, why ayahuasca became fashionable among middle-class and upper middle-class American searchers and seekers, the various specificities of the "Ayahuasca Economy," how spiritual use of plants can transform native landscapes, what socially responsible use may look like, how Laura asks for and receives wisdom from plants and sometimes helpful writing advice.
Charlotte James and Undrea Wright are the founders ofThe Sabina Project, a Black-led platform for psychedelic education, legal ceremonies, and integration whose mission is to return reverence to sacred earth medicine ways, to look to and learn from ancestral practices, and to support radical self-transformation in the name of collective liberation.
We spoke about what just and equitable modes of interaction with psychedelic medicine looks like to Charlotte and Dre, who they were ten years ago and how plant medicine has changed their lives, what's most challenging when it comes to educating about anti-Black racism, whether there's a distinctly African psychedelic tradition (there is, and Iboga is an example), what is Kambo, if there is required reading for this moment, and finally, how the founders have been able to manifest their dreams and embody the change they wish to see in the world.
Visit Charlotte and Dre online at www.thesabinaproject.com.
Dr. Mellody Hayes is an evidence-based and spiritually-centered medical expert in the emerging clinical science of Psychedelic Medicine. Dr. Hayes is a graduate of Harvard and UCSF medical school and is an anesthesiologist, leader, public speaker and founding member of Decriminalize Nature. She’s also the founder of a Bay Area clinic that offers psychedelic ketamine therapy. Dr. Hayes is the creator of How We Heal, an online community of healers and leaders committed to creating belonging, safety, and health for all people, particularly those from historically marginalized communities.
We discussed the mechanics and science of ketamine-based psychedelic therapy, the need for diversity within the psychedelic community, her optimism for the practice of psychedelic medicine in creating cultural change and cultural healing within contemporary society, and the healing power of story.
To learn more about Dr. Hayes's work, please visit www.drmellody.com and howweheal.net.