Retreating in Jamaica
The vast majority of Jamaica is safe and friendly. You are much more likely to find someone hoping to help you rather than hassle you. The area where our retreats are hosted, Treasure Beach, is a quiet and rural area. In this community everyone knows each other, and this helps hold everyone accountable. This is one of the safest parts of Jamaica and we’re confident you will soon feel at home in Treasure Beach.
There are several basic grocery/general stores, pubs and restaurants within walking distance. The choice of brands is limited and not the same as in the US, so if there is something you can’t live without, it is safer to bring it with you. There are no typical tourist shops in Treasure Beach. If you require vehicle transportation, then a driver is available for $10US round trip to most places within the area. If you are interested in other outings or sightseeing, these are available at affordable rates and can be coordinated with Eric or another facilitator.
Yes! All of the beaches are safe for tourists. There are several different beaches in the area. Many are small private bays. Some are more suitable for swimming than others. There are two larger beaches that are around a ten-minute walk from the MycoMeditations Facilitation center. These beaches (Calabash Bay and Great Bay) both have small bars on the beach where you can enjoy a Red Stripe, non-alcoholic drinks and food.
The water is safe, but a little off-taste due to added chlorine. Cold bottled water is available at the retreat site and gallon jugs are available at the local store.
Experiencing Magic Mushrooms
Psilocybin is not toxic. The response to psilocybin mushrooms is NOT from poisoning. Psilocybin is a serotonin analogue, primarily operating on the brains 5HT2A receptors. The ‘psychedelic response’ is a result of this chemical interaction with the serotonin system. Psilocybin is less toxic than sugar, caffeine, alcohol or a whole host of commonly consumed additives.
Occasionally participants encounter issues that are difficult for them to address when they work with psilocybin. MycoMeditations guides are experienced with assisting through the typically short duration of these experiences. These are often followed by profound relief. If you have a difficult experience on our retreat, there will always be an experienced facilitator to assist you. Various techniques such as intentional breathing, vocalization or simple encouragement may be employed to help keep you grounded. The accurate information on our website, clear communication prior to joining us in Jamaica, our day to day group conversations along with the safety of our hosting facilities all work to set the stage for you to have the most positive and authentic experience possible. History shows that most retreat participants experience deeply meaningful insights, and many experience substantial relief from various symptoms.
First, let’s change our language around mental health. Psilocybin and any substance that alters perception can elicit psychological disturbances. An angry drunk is no less threatening than a frightened ‘tripper’. Nothing is without risks. However, the risk with psilocybin is extremely low. Individuals with a history of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, suicidal behavior, and some other mental states are strongly advised against psychedelics at the moment. Please be honest in your application so that we can have full knowledge to make an informed decision regarding if our retreats are right for you.
Fears about psilocybin have several origins. One is reports from the 1960s and ‘70s of “bad trips”. Often the substances taken may not have been psilocybin and the set and setting inappropriate; the dosages may not have been known, and they were taken in a party atmosphere, often among strangers.
MycoMeditations offers known quantities of mushrooms selected and approved by a certified mushroom expert, with support before, during and after your session. Psilocybin is much more likely to promote mental and psychological wellbeing than the opposite. It can help greatly with depression, anxiety, PTSD, addiction, cluster headaches, OCD, and body dysmorphic disorder. It can reliably potentiate classical mystical experiences that are deeply healing.
Since potency of psilocybin mushrooms can vary widely from mushroom to mushroom…we dry, mix and encapsulate whole collections to ensure consistency of dosing. From there we base our dosing on medical history, body weight, personality type and previous experience with psychedelics. Independent of these guidelines we start dosing low. Typical first doses for our retreat participants are between 1.5 and 3 grams. After observing your initial response and consulting with each individual we alter the dosage accordingly. We have had individuals start at three grams and work their way up to ten. We have had individuals stay at two grams on three separate experiences within the week. We require that you respect our dosage recommendations, your safety is our number one priority.
As we understand this question, people whose faith is dear to them may fear that a psychedelic experience could cause them to doubt the teachings of their particular religion. We have found rather that if one comes to the mushroom with a particular worldview, it is often supported. During sessions, our participants may envision Christ, angels, saints and more. They may also cause us to envision things beyond words that encourage us to look deeper into life and our ‘understanding’ of reality. At MycoMeditations thoughtful curiosity is a good thing. All faiths are welcome at our facility and while we encourage constantly questioning our belief structures, we will not allow disrespectful or intolerant language.
There are too many studies and scientific findings to list here. Please visit our Research page. The consensus is clear: Psilocybin is safe and highly effective when correctly used. In one interesting study, 20 divinity students were given either psilocybin or a placebo. When followed up 25 years later fully 100% of the students who received a placebo were no longer working in a spiritual capacity. Of the students who received psilocybin, all were still working in a pastoral or spiritual capacity.