As a business owner of two small companies, I’ve been dealing with stress and a feeling of “weight” on my head for the past two years and began researching possible treatment with psilocybin. I previously tried mushrooms and experienced the positive aftereffects for two years.
One of the best elements of the MycoMeditations retreat was the eleven other participants, made up of mostly professionals and two younger attendees, with varying issues (PTSD, migraines, depression). I was grateful going through the process with them and hearing their experiences. Eric laid the groundwork for trust and communication and the presentations he gave were very interesting.
After not feeling any effect on the first session at 1.5g (others did have an experience at this level, so dosages are individual-sensitive), I decided to move up to 4g, which got me there and then the last session at 3g. To summarize the most important effects that I experienced (and continue to experience):
1. During the 2nd and 3rd session, I had a deep mind-body connection and my jaw, upper back pain and a year old shoulder injury completely went away. The next morning after the final session, I had complete range of motion in my shoulder after trying 6 months of P.T. I believe the tension release opened up the blood flow and has given me a feeling of openness physically and mentally. Also mushrooms have been shown to be anti-inflammatory and we discussed the possibility of this. The healing effects are still taking place and another attendee recently told me that she continues to feel physical healing as well.
2. Several expansive insights and a feeling of deep connection.
Overall, I found it to be a very grounding and healing experience. With the right setting and intention, there is opportunity for major work into physical/mental/emotional nooks and crannies. I feel very fortunate to have found Mycomeditations. Eric’s a great teacher and is ahead of the curve with this work.
Extras pluses: great food, beautiful setting, yoga, massage
A recent client email:
The traditional options for alcohol treatment are currently a joke. Either spend the rest of your life in AA meetings or spend $20,000+ on rehab just to relapse after being released.
It’s been almost a month since the Jamaica trip and the effects are still going strong. Thanks to the mushrooms power of introspection, they really made me realize what I was doing to my body and mind by poisoning it with copious amounts of alcohol day and night. Since returning, I haven’t had a single drop of alcohol and the cravings have been reduced to almost nothing. To say the least, this is a spectacular feat for me considering I haven’t gone more than 10 days without a drink since I was 17(14 years). With a clear head now, I decided to get out of the culinary industry and am returning to college beginning Monday to finish my degree with a major in Sociology. Thanks again for organizing the trip and I am grateful to know that many others will have beneficial life altering experiences guided by you down in Treasure Beach, Jamaica.
Just checking to see how you are doing and provide some feedback from the retreat. (And a picture of some chanterelles I picked yesterday that I know you would appreciate.)
I definitely think your treatment could have a market for people like myself that aren’t willing to blow $$$$ on a rehab facility or spend the rest of their lives in AA meetings.
All the best,
I am a 58 year old retired small business owner (Chef/Owner of Home On the Range Catering in Chapel Hill, NC, for 20 years) forced into early retirement by cancer, and the traumatic effects, both physical and mental, of the treatment of cancer. I had gone from a person who worked 12 hours/day 6 days/week, hiked, camped, and fished to a person so immobilized by depression, anxiety, and grinding fatigue that I relied on a daily cocktail of Ritalin, Ativan, Tramadol, and whatever antidepressants my therapist was currently trying out on me to flail my body into just being able to feed the cats and water the plants. I was desperate, as a person with Stage 4 Cancer, not to live out whatever time I had left like a drugged vegetable, unable to do the things on my bucket list, crying all the time, thinking only of cancer returning.
A friend gave me Michael Pollan’s New Yorker article, “The Trip Treatment,” which contained information about the clinical trial research that had been done at Johns Hopkins and NYU, showing psilocybin (psychedelic mushrooms) to lift, with durability, depression & anxiety suffered by Stage 4 Cancer patients. I found MycoMeditations through a Google search. Impressed and reassured by the healing intent, the serious emphasis placed on set and setting, and the capabilities of the facilitators at MycoMeditations, I decided to go to Jamaica.
From my first session with the mushrooms, my depression and anxiety lifted and I had no use, craving or need for the drugs I had been taking. My energy returned, the fatigue was gone. And those were just the physical results. The spiritual experience of the sessions was and continues to be almost incommunicable. I’d read that: “Psilocybin ecstasy is a rapture whose breadth and depth is the despair of prose” and that was true for me. That said, it was not a recreational experience, it was hard but absolutely joyous work and continues to be so as I integrate the sessions into everyday life. And it has implications that you would never think about until you experience it–for the culture as a whole, for the health of the planet. The people facilitating these retreats are serious men, yet playful and wise….just like the mushrooms. It is their life’s work. They make you feel, as you are, totally safe and cared for. It will remain one of the most significant events of my lifetime.
I indulged only in an occasional beer, glass of wine, or cocktail for close to 50 years. In college, I had taken psilocybin several times and smoked a bit of grass, but any illegal substances would have endangered my husband’s education and physician’s license, and likely wouldn’t have helped me as I pursued a doctorate, so I let illicit substances go. Fifty years later, in routine reading I ran across articles in the Baltimore Sun and the New Yorker on psilocybin’s benefits…both powerful spiritual experiences and anxiety reduction for those with terminal disease.
Days are taken with conversation, meals, swimming or walking, herbal sweats, massage therapy, and a short presentation by our guides, while ceremonies are held during three evenings, with a rest day between ceremonies. Doses are individual, based on the guides’ judgement and how each person experiences the mushroom. After each ceremony, we share our experience. These are deep conversations. Like the ten of us who have travelled to Jamaica for this experience, all three guides have come to mushrooms for healing. The guides’ dedication is extraordinary. They have sacrificed to this calling. This is not easy work, but the benefits they have experienced and witnessed are extraordinary.
What to make of the week? I wouldn’t trade my experiences for anything. As I ponder how much I have gained in resilience and ability to handle difficulty, I‘m sad that decades have been wasted while research into this powerful medicine was cut off. Even now that research has resumed, it is a slow process. I will return to MycoMeditations in Treasure Beach for more healing.
What I found on my Myco-Meditation retreat was more wonderful than expected! Eric led the group well, balancing island time with a rich selection of holistically healthy activities.
Whether awakening to the heartfelt praises from a humble Rastaman, touring an edible landscape rich in diversity and use, eating Doreen’s succulent myco-Jamaican meals, or allowing the general atmosphere of sea, sand, and sun to calm my troubled nerves, I cherished getting to know my fellow travelers along with soaking up peace during sweet solitude.
I would definitely recommend this trip if you seek an immersive experience — you can bring home a renewed and invigorating sense of what is important in life.
While traveling to sunny, tropical locations is nothing new for me, attending a retreat most certainly was. And I could not have been more pleased. Feeling drawn towards such experiences for some time, MycoMeditations seemed to provide the perfect blend of opportunity and flexibility- there was no overarching “theme” we had to conform to, merely our own personal journeys.
To have such a friendly environment only further enhanced the insights and new experiences gained. To escape from reality for a couple weeks is one thing, to escape to discover new aspects of yourself is a whole other rewarding level of adventure. If you feel your spiritual battery is running low and you need a recharge, MycoMeditations comes highly recommended. You get what you came for, and so much more.
I cannot even desribe the tranformative experience that I had while I was on my Myco-Meditation retreat. I was asked to go with a friend and I must say that I was hesitant, yet excited to have such an experience. Upon arrival, I was welcomed with a delicious authentic meal of salt fish and vegetables. It was just a short walk to one of the most beautiful, private beaches I have ever seen.
I was able to live in the present moment which is exactly one of the reasons I went in the first place. I am so grateful for my experience, the connecting to and learning from new souls. It is not just coincidence that we all come together This experience and the beautiful people I got to connect with in the safe and loving space of Myco-Meditation has changed me forever.
I went to Treasure Beach, Jamaica to live the tropical dream for a week. I hoped to connect with people I’d never met, eat fruit and avocados straight from the trees, explore my mind and open up my perspective during nighttime ceremonies, all the while immersing myself in Jamaican language and culture. What a dream!
Despite this grand vision, I had no idea what that experience would really feel like. It was genuinely everything I had wanted and way more. I recommend a Myco-Meditation journey to anyone craving to stimulate their life experience; not just for the duration of your stay, but for the months and years in your future. This is a trip you will keep in your heart forever. It’s only been a year since I departed and I’m already planning my 2nd Myco-Meditation!
#1: Thursday, 6/15/17
After having taken two grams of psilocybin, I sat cross legged on a chair for a while. The pressure in my head (this first happened during one of the Goenka meditation retreat) was getting stronger and becoming heavier. I could feel its stony weight on my back and wanted to relax. I lay down on the couch with my eyes closed. In the space gazing out with my closed eyes, geometric patterns of unearthly colors constantly appeared, moved, changed, disappeared, and reappeared. The pressure in the head gathered tangible power, pulling, splitting, and undulating with heavy, sticky gravity. An overwhelming sense of boredom and frustration rose up in me. I’d been long fed up with that pressure in my head and it was the last thing I wanted to face during my mushroom trip. And a stronger version at that.
However pretty the geometric patterns were, I wanted them to stop and have normalcy back. Since I was under the influence and knew it was going to continue until it wore out, I felt helpless and caged in by the unwanted state. When I went outside to the balcony, I couldn’t focus on any thoughts, nor could I make a coherent conversation since I was constantly getting distracted by the sensations in my head. Whatever I did or said felt futile but I attempted to stay with the sensations until hopefully they’d anchor my mind down. Throughout the trip, though, I was grateful that it wasn’t as scary as my salvia trip, which was quite traumatic and was a constant source of apprehension.
#2: Saturday, 6/17/17
I surmised that the first dosage was a too light for me to tear my consciousness away from its normal patterns so I took four grams. This time, I was determined to stay with the boredom and sensations in my head and open to the experience. The intention setting before the ceremony really helped. I sat on the couch until the mushrooms kicked in strong, very strong. I couldn’t move even a finger or toe. I was mildly panicking.
Then I felt a flow of energy moving along my spine and down to my toes. My toes and feet were twitching without my willing them to do so. My body seemed to know when to move on its own without me directing it. My right arm stretched out when it was ready. My neck bent backwards letting out air sharply and breathing heavily in. It felt good and just right. There was a certain sense of separation between mind and body. The mind wasn’t in the body. It felt as if I was taken over and had stepped aside to observe. Whatever movements my body made were not initiated by me. My body was moving at its own pace as it pleased and I merely observed as it happened.
It was a hard process, physically, which made me breath hard and moan. I wanted to get up and wanted to lie down but I had no command over my body. There was a thought that felt like mine but also not mine and it was telling me to trust the process. Thoughts rose up and assured me I was in control and they would never take that away from me but I didn’t need to exercise that control right then and there.
When the time came, I just stood up. Again, I was just an observer and experiencer of that action. My body just stood up and stretched because it was the right time. It felt liberating. I watched myself lying down on the floor. Thoughts flooded into my head. We are here to help you. We are not here to harm you, nor to embarrass you. We will never take control away from you. As I was listening to these thoughts, I thought Jacob, Eric’s son, needed to hear them. If he were to hear these, I thought he wouldn’t be afraid of trying the mushroom. I thought he needed their help.
The inability to move my body at my own will made me panic a little. I sensed there were multiple entities around me seemingly consulting one another how to proceed. Then I smelled tobacco smoke thick and strong at my nostril. The smoke was so thick and heavy that it felt almost like liquid poured into my nostrils. I had the understanding that it was administered to calm me down. And it did. This happened a few more times as the experience progressed, as needed.
We are healing you. Trust the process. Stay with the sensations. You promised us. I felt my whole body in the warm energy and it was going through the healing process. Thoughts were revisiting my earlier apprehensions and fears. How silly and pointless all those worries were and I smiled. ‘Yes, isn’t it silly?’ They seemed to smile with me. And then the reassuring of their intentions and chanting thoughts continuously flooded in: Pay attention. Intention matters. Pay attention. Intention matters. This is a space where your wishes are granted. We heard you. We’ve been watching you.
With that I was reminded of the day when was riding a bicycle across an empty field to go to work at McDonalds in Fresno, CA. It was the lowest point of my life in the States and I thought death would be a welcome relief. As I was gliding through the field on a fine spring morning, a thought that didn’t feel like mine was projected into my thoughts, Everything is going to be okay from now on. Everything is going to be okay. Somehow, I knew it to be true and my heart was tremendously relieved and comforted. So, here we meet again, I thought.
I seemed to go into another phase. I opened my eyes and knew I was an alternate state. The room I was in was empty, beautifully empty with unearthly color tones. All the furniture was exactly where it was before I took the mushroom but with not a single person around. Although I was thinking and witnessing, even I wasn’t there. There was an understanding that it had always been that way. No one had ever been anywhere and that was how it always had been and I was perfectly fine with it. Again, there was an understanding that what I was seeing was a revelation. And that the revelation could happen to me in a terrifying way or in this peaceful way. It was kindness and care that granted me the gentlest possible delivery.
I was also reminded of my true goal: to be enlightened and to be truly free. You are here for a reason. You are with these people for a reason. I saw Ben and Jason in my mind and they were presented as benefactors. I heard Joanne and Pierre chatting and laughing in our bedroom. I listened to them and their voices and laughter grounded me. They felt like guardian angels. I opened my eyes and saw Eric. I was comforted and infinitely grateful of his guarding presence.
I found myself tuning into Eric’s humming: I was humming his tune. I thought I ought to stop it but whatever I was doing seemed utterly impersonal. There was an understanding that life is nothing more than all the happenings in life being recorded and stored in our bodies and having them reverberate as we go on. Nothing is personal but mere collections of memories and sensory inputs bound in a biological form. Oddly, though, I also felt I was in total control of my life at the same time. It was both powerfully liberating and empowering feeling.
#3: Monday, 6/19/17
However profound the second trip was, I think deep down I was disturbed by the loss of control. Despite what they said, they did take the control away from me. Certainly, they didn’t hurt me but the inability to move my body by my own will disturbed me. Since the overall experience was good, I stayed with the same dosage, thinking I could handle it better the second time around and digest what was happening to me.
The third ceremony was at the beach. As we were walking toward the beach, Queenie, a female dog, we met on our first day hiking trip, showed up and accompanied us. I felt a strange sense of attachment to her. Somehow, she was special. Then again, many other people must have felt that way with her as well.
I did not feel safe being out in the open by the beach. I felt vulnerable. I struggled to stay with the sensations and surrender to the experience. Again, the sensation in my head was getting stronger and it felt like my head was tearing apart, opening for whatever to freely enter. There was a lot of mental noise and I couldn’t think a single coherent thought. At the peak of the sensations I shouted in my mind, What?
You aren’t listening!
That was communication!
I had always feared that I might have my grandmother’s predicament. But why was I afraid? I didn’t feel threatened or detect any harmful intentions. After all, there is no solid permanent self and ‘I’ am not an exclusive entity that belongs only to me but a collective embodiment of my ancestors’ lives, hopes, dreams, and karma passed down to me. I’ve never believed mind and body were different, separate from each other. As my body carries their biological genes and mirrors their images, so would my mind their mental and psychic makeups. In many respects, whatever I do or achieve in my life is not just my deeds or achievements but collective ones. So why would it matter if there’s a spirit world and one wanted me to do its work through me to help others?
However, those were just perusals of my rational mind. I was afraid and wanted to be left alone. I kept on saying Please leave in peace, please leave in peace.
#4: Wednesday, 6/21/17
I decided that I had developed tolerance and four grams wasn’t strong enough for me any longer. That had to explain all the mental noise and my inability to surrender to the experience. So I took five grams. Queenie again accompanied us. And again, I couldn’t rest on the sensations. I was too unsettled and apprehensive. I felt vulnerable and exposed. Being out on the beach at night I realized was simply not the right setting for me. I’ve been fearful of dark all my life and being out in the open in the dark was the worst combination for me. I sensed frustration and a headshake that was not mine although my own head was shaking in frustration. There was a presence on my left and I smelled tobacco again. The smoke poured into my nostrils and I started to calm down. Uncannily, I heard a motorcycle approaching. I knew it wasn’t real and later confirmed that was indeed the case.
They knew I was too afraid and guarded to fully let them in. They provided as much hand holding as possible. Quite a few times, I simply opened my eyes and it wasn’t willed by me. They seemed to reassure me that everything was there and everything was fine as it was. See for yourself, they seemed to say.
Then the presence on my right seemed to nudge me to bow to the being in front of me. It felt like I was supposed to show my respect. My body simply bowed down at the command. The being tossed me something that felt like a blessing or gift. I didn’t count but continued to bow to the next one and then the next. I had this distinct notion that their visitation was coming to an end. They were leaving. I bowed down and lifted my head all the way in long exhaling breaths.
When that round of departure was over, I went over where BG was. She was lying down on the blanket spread on the beach. I stayed there for a while until I went over to the fire to warm up. Jacob was tending the fire. I asked him for some water and a blanket which he kindly obliged. My typical judging instinct kicked in and said, Here I am, a grownup woman running a teenage boy on errands. Only to be answered by an insight telling me that he was there to help and that he needed to do that. I went back to the spot where BG was. She was gone and I sat there with my eyes closed. I heard a motorcycle again and was reminded the earlier time when I first heard it. I knew there was no motorcycle but the sound was loud and clear.
Queenie came and sat in front of me. I found her presence enormously comforting. The bowing started again. The presence on my left had a bell. Like all other presences, it was a felt sense. The presence shook the bell at intervals. It felt ritualistic. I was afraid. It sounded like those bells Korean shamans use for their ceremonies. I badly needed company and when Craig came by, I asked him to sit with me. He didn’t. When Eric came, I asked him to sit with me. Craig and Julie later joined. I started to relax and the bowing started again. Dance with me. I started rocking side to side. It felt like I was dancing and being cradled at the same time. I sensed a closure and soon after Eric started to hum. It was over.
For the time being.