Tag Archives | Ayahuasca

Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) on Reddit

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The folks at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) did a Reddit AMA yesterday. I’ve curated some of the more informative questions and answers, but you can read the entire thread here.

MAPS introduces themselves with this lengthy but informative opening:

We are the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), and we are here to educate the public about research into the risks and benefits of psychedelics and marijuana. MAPS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and educational organization founded in 1986 that develops medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana.

We envision a world where psychedelics and marijuana are safely and legally available for beneficial uses, and where research is governed by rigorous scientific evaluation of their risks and benefits.

Some of the topics we’re passionate about include;

  • Research into the therapeutic potential of MDMA, LSD, psilocybin, ayahuasca, ibogaine, and marijuana
  • Integrating psychedelics and marijuana into science, medicine, therapy, culture, spirituality, and policy
  • Providing harm reduction and education services at large-scale events to help reduce the risks associated with the non-medical use of various drugs
  • Ways to communicate with friends, family, and the public about the risks and benefits of psychedelics and marijuana
  • Our vision for a post-prohibition world
  • Developing psychedelics and marijuana into prescription medicines through FDA-approved clinical research

List of participants:

  • Rick Doblin, Ph.D., Founder and Executive Director, MAPS
  • Brad Burge, Director of Communications and Marketing, MAPS
  • Amy Emerson, Executive Director and Director of Clinical Research, MAPS Public Benefit Corporation
  • Virginia Wright, Director of Development, MAPS
  • Brian Brown, Communications and Marketing Associate, MAPS
  • Sara Gael, Harm Reduction Coordinator, MAPS
  • Natalie Lyla Ginsberg, Research and Advocacy Coordinator, MAPS
  • Tess Goodwin, Development Assistant, MAPS
  • Ilsa Jerome, Ph.D., Research and Information Specialist, MAPS Public Benefit Corporation
  • Sarah Jordan, Publications Associate, MAPS
  • Bryce Montgomery, Web and Multimedia Associate, MAPS
  • Shannon Clare Petitt, Executive Assistant, MAPS
  • Linnae Ponté, Director of Harm Reduction, MAPS
  • Ben Shechet, Clinical Research Associate, MAPS Public Benefit Corporation
  • Allison Wilens, Clinical Study Assistant, MAPS Public Benefit Corporation
  • Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D., Clinical Research Scientist, MAPS

For more information about scientific research into the medical potential of psychedelics and marijuana, visitmaps.org.

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Herbalism, Ayahuasca and Symbiotic Culture with Dan DeLion – Free Radical Media Podcast

In this installment of the Free Radical Media podcast, hosts Eric Scott Pickard and Patrick Ryan are joined by their friend and former guest, Dan DeLion. DeLion, herbalist, forager, naturalist and teacher is the founder of the organization Return to Nature. This time around, Dan discusses his new, far-ranging documentary project, “Hunting the Medicine: Stalking the Wild Spirit,” which has taken him to such places as Columbia and India. He also details his recent personal experience with Ayahuasca in a Shamanic setting, and shares his views and insight into the world of herbalism and the philosophy of living in harmony with the natural world. Dan’s website can be found here.

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Santo Daime: Home of The Cosmic Christ

imageEntering into the initial phase of research regarding the Santo Daime religion, I had little understanding of what it really was, or how the activities within the religion generated something unique, but my interest is in finding the answer to the question, “What is it that draws modern middle class individuals to a highly ecstatic and mystic religious culture in light of the increasing presence of scientific rationalism and reductionism?” Andrew Dawson’s book has helped me to make discoveries that have led me closer to finding the answer to the question of why we moderns still seek out the mystic and ecstatic. In order to find an answer, one must find the proper context within the culture, the economics, the background and the history that surrounds Santo Daime and this framework has been deftly established in Dawson’s book.

Dawson explains the questions he sought to answer in his book:

Building upon questions raised by my first experiences of Santo Daime, the research undertaken from 2007 to 2011 primarily focused on three areas.

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Santo Daime in the Sacred Valley

Holy Cross - symbol of the doctrine of holy daime (also known as Caravaca de la Cruz)  Ton (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Holy Cross – symbol of the doctrine of holy daime (also known as Caravaca de la Cruz)
Ton (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The last thing I would have to expected to be doing on Halloween night was standing in a brightly lit room attempting to sing Portuguese hymns of Christian praise. Yet there I was, swaying back and forth, clad in white, leafing through a booklet of verse and mumbling along. I was barely able to stand by the end of it. I hung my head in my hands and endured tidal waves of nausea brought on by the medicinal sacrament that had been periodically served throughout the night. I forced myself to remain upright until the last recitation of the last Hail Mary was complete. The closing of the work initiated a reception of congratulations and gratitude while I collapsed and recovered. I had survived my first experience with the doctrine of Santo Daime.… Read the rest

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Preparing for Ayahuasca

VisAyaBefore taking an ayahuasca trip how can I prepare?

Go and see Avatar again in 3-D.

Millions of us saw Avatar and, in journeying on Pandora, we discovered a world that is not so distant from the aboriginal’s world: interconnections among plants, animals, the tree of souls, and so forth.

We rode the dragon, which is close to the archetypal visions offered by the plants. With no difficulty, we also entered into fully experiencing the emotions of the movie character who was asleep in his pod while his adventure was being lived by his avatar. This is just like the experience in a ceremony, where you are seated in the maloca but your mind can be on a distant voyage. What’s more, with Avatar you’re experiencing this adventure in 3-D, projected with depth, within a sensory immersion that is continually all around you in a way that’s similar to the visions in a ceremony!… Read the rest

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Ayahuasca Can Help You Communicate with Plant Spirits, and Heal Your Body and Mind

Medicine Hunter Chris Kilham with Goji Berry in China.jpg

Chris Kilham (CC)

If you needed any further persuasion that psychedelic drugs are back in vogue, this hearty endorsement by Newsweek of the foul but powerful brew known as Ayahuasca should do the trick:

Drink ayahuasca and you may see yourself being eaten by a crocodile. You may find a miraculous resolution to a crippling sadness. Or, more likely, you’ll land somewhere in between. Regardless, you will definitely throw up. Author and ethnobotanist Chris Kilham says all of these things have happened to him after drinking this psychoactive Amazonian brew.

If you haven’t heard of ayahuasca, you may soon. While once consumed mainly by natives of the Amazon basin, today, thousands visit Latin American countries every year to imbibe it, with the hopes of seeing profound visions, having religious experiences and—many claim—undergoing immense healing. Ayahuasca now has devoted followers throughout the world.

Kilham, who calls himself the “medicine hunter” and has traveled to and intermittently lived in the Amazon for more than two decades, says that he is a firm believer in the healing properties of the drink, which is made from the bark of a jungle vine called Banisteriopsis Caapi, and usually mixed with other plants like the leaves of the Justicia pectoralis or Psychotria viridis.

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The Sacred Valley: A Prototype for Psychedelic Society

Urubamba Valley, Sacred Valley of the Incas, Peru. Photo: Charles Gadbois via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0)

Urubamba Valley, Sacred Valley of the Incas, Peru.
Photo: Charles Gadbois via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0)

The dream of a free society where psychedelic exploration is not prohibited is coming true. Acknowledgment of the medicinal and spiritual benefits of such activity is steadily breaking through to the mainstream. It’s hard to say when this transformation will be complete but that we are headed in that direction is increasingly obvious. Those of us with direct experience of intentional psychedelic therapy have seen that the personal effects that can arise will range from the subtle to the dramatic. Gentle bursts of creativity as well as total emancipation from addiction are not at all uncommon. How these personal breakthroughs will translate into a more generalized social shift is being slowly revealed. The transformation is of course more evident in some areas than in others.

One of the more pronounced examples of this trend exists just outside of the historic city of Cusco, Peru, where a community of international seekers have settled in the area known as the Sacred Valley of the Incas.… Read the rest

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Common Themes in South American Indian Yage Experiences

Paul Hessell (CC BY 2.0)

Paul Hessell (CC BY 2.0)

Deoxy.org (via web.archive):

The existence of a hallucinatory drink made from the South American tropical forest ayahuasca or yage vine (Banisteriopsis) was perhaps first reported to the Western world by the Ecuadorian geographer, Villavicencio. He observed (1858: 372-73):

This beverage is narcotic, as one might suppose, and in a few moments it begins to produce the most rare phenomena. Its action appears to excite the nervous system; all the senses liven up and all faculties awaken; they feel vertigo and spinning in the head, then a sensation of being lifted into the air and beginning an aerial journey; the possessed begins in the first moments to see the most delicious apparitions, in conformity with his ideas and knowledge: the savages (apparently the Zaparo of eastern Ecuador) say that they see gorgeous lakes, forests covered with fruit, the prettiest birds who communicate to them the nicest and the most favorable things they want to hear, and other beautiful things relating to their savage life.

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The Beautiful Darkness of Ayahuasca

J. Davis Rorer (CC by 2.0)

J. Davis Rorer (CC by 2.0)

Last week, I ingested ayahuasca. For those who are not familiar with ayahuasca: it is a potent psychedelic/entheogen derived from a particular set of South American plants. This is my account of the experience.

Usually, the brew is prepared as a medicinal tea and is ingested in a ritualistic fashion under the (hopefully competent) guidance of a shaman or an ayahuasquero. The name ayahuasca, which roughly translates to “vine of the soul” or “vine of death,” is often consumed as a spiritual purgative, a kind of curative solution for psycho-physical maladies. It is a somewhat ancient concoction and has been considered one of the strongest hallucinogens known to man, mostly due to its extremely potent effects on the psyche as well as the spiritual depth that it evokes in those who experience it. Its potency has everything to do with its active ingredient, DMT, an organic compound natural to most living beings, which is said to play an important role in dreaming.… Read the rest

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