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.
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Do you want to know more about sacred plant medicine and psilocybin? If you’re interested in sacred plant medicine, we encourage you to register for Esalen’s upcoming series with Entheowheel. Learn everything you want to know as Esalen presents DNA Journeys’ Entheowheel: The Ceremony and Science of Psilocybin. This educational and experiential event will be live-streamed from Esalen from April 23 to April 26, 2021.
The online odyssey will be guided by: Jyoti Ma, Xochitl Ashe, Paul Stamets & Pam Kryskow (live streaming from Canada), East Forest, Millana Snow, Justin Boretta, Allan Badiner, Dream Mullick, James Fadiman (live streaming from CA), Robin Carhart-Harris (live streaming from the UK), Grace Oh, Rhada Wapner and a digital transmission from Francoise Bourzat. Secure your place for this online experience now.
Scholarships for BIPOC folks who want to attend are available - apply here.
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.
Alex Belser is the founding member and administrative director of a Psilocybin Cancer Anxiety Trial at NYU School of Medicine where he’s investigated if psychedelic mushrooms can ease anxiety for folks facing end of life. In his psychotherapeutic practice, he focuses in part on preventing suicide amongst young gay and bisexual men. We spoke about his queer critique of the psychedelic world from his vantage point as a researcher and a queer cis-gender man, and ruminated in depth about queer spirituality, queer wisdom and the subversive nature of psychedelics.
Ismail Ali is Policy & Advocacy Counsel for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, otherwise known as MAPS. His job is advocating to eliminate barriers to psychedelic therapy and research by developing and implementing legal and policy strategy. In this interview, Ismail discusses the history of the war on drugs, the intrinsic differences between drug decriminalization and legalization, how MAPS has been able to achieve specific goals with the FDA under the Trump administration, Joe Biden’s "tough-on-crime-Democratic-Party" drug policy history, with respect to the R.A.V.E. act and the 1994 Crime Bill, how medical insurance will play in a landscape where psychedelics may become legalized or medicalized, how MAPS has become a thought leader with regards to social justice within the field of psychedelics, and whether Ismail believes psychedelics can bestow a knowledge of unity, oneness, and connectedness that can affect views and policy on racism and environmentalism.
Charles Stang, Professor of Early Christian Thought and director of the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard Divinity School, is our guest for part one of our multi-part series, The Psychedelic Moment, where we speak to thought leaders within the modern world of psychedelics and psychedelic psychotherapy.
Stang and Harvard Divnity School have partnered with Esalen to create a series of free online lectures that examine the psychedelic renaissance. Today, we spoke about the so-called first wave of psychedelics, and how the Harvard Divinity School played its own crucial role, as well as the importance of the mystical experience in achieving positive therapeutic outcomes in psychedelic trials, "divine darkness" and how that affects a psychological reckoning, how somatic practices, apart from any intoxicant, can traditionally bring on a mystical experience, the use of sacraments in the ancient mystery religions of the mediterranean, and much more.
To check out the Center for World Religion's psychedelic collaboration with Esalen, please visit:
Deborah Medow is an Esalen legend. She came to Big Sur and the Esalen Institute in the late 1960’s, and found it so much to her liking that she never left. Deborah was an early acolyte of Dick Price, who encouraged her to become one of Esalen’s first yoga teachers.
Deborah found her home as a massage therapist, where, as part of an early crew that featured trailblazers like Peggy Horan, Brita Ostrom, and Vicki Topp, she helped to develop and shepherd a school of touch that would influence practitioners around the world.
Through more than 50 years of service to Esalen, Deborah has been a beloved community member, teacher, and leader - insightful and intelligent, curious and kind, hilarious and unapologetically unique.
Our interview begins in Indiana, where she grew up, and it ends with an incantation, featuring her famous rattle.
Matthew Ingram is the author of Retreat: How the Counterculture Invented Wellness. His book is a primer covering the historical unfolding of a host of topics including Allen Ginsberg, Stanislav Grof, LSD psychotherapy, the Prague Spring, psychoanalysis, Freudian Marxism, ego dissolution, the CIA's MK ULTRA program, Tom Wolfe, Libertarians, cultural revolt, and more.