My Yogic Experience With Psychedelics
Updated: Oct 13
Allow me to preface by saying, while I may have thought so in the past, I do not feel now that pchycedelics are for everyone. The experiences we acquire through pchycedelics are going to be largely impacted by our setting, as well as the intention we set or even embody as an individual prior to engaging such a medicine.
I do not for an instant feel it is safe or okay to synthetically administer pchycedelics in a cold sterile room while people stand around observing how you behave, nor do I feel this method will yield positive results. Just as I would not recommend engaging earthly pchycedelics in a square and closed environment with the tv running. You get the picture of what not to do here.
But to further iterate I would even go so far as to say one should not be in or near any man made structure or any man made sounds. I mean to suggest when one embarks on such a journey, notify a trusted friend or family member to look after the things that are important to you so you can just let go and engulf yourself in nature for a few hours. Free from anxieties induced by the concept of time and responsibility.
You may even wish to bring a friend along so you can look after each other and have a reflection buddy as you taper off. But I should warn you, once the waves and the download begin, it is best to take a good chunk of forest space from the friend so you can each have your own experience with felt oneness, without anyone interrupting the download. Or as universe once told me during a journey,”people will always try to draw you out of your frame of consciousness and into theirs.”
In correlation with that same stream, universe also told me, “not to get trapped in any one layer of consciousness.” And that, “There are so many layers, even the mind was but a pinprick of counciousness,” at best. It works within our tiny human scope you see, and that’s really the point here. The point in working with psychedelics really is to lift that limited veil of human consciousness and reveal to you another “other” worldly potential.
The truth is, what it’s showing us is what is already there. It’s just our consciousness as humans is so small, and also we do have biological limitations. Which is why the excessive use of pchycedelics can eventually lead to some pretty anticlimactic experiences, and perhaps even be damaging if the duration of the engagement spacing isn’t performed properly.
One of the most valuable insights I ever received from a surfer buddy of mine, the morning I left for my first extended mushroom journey ever. He said,”just remember, it’s all in your mind.”
The reason this quote was so important was because I would later use it in a public restroom whilst coming down from a pretty intense journey.
On a random Thursday morning I had planned a journey with two of my most beloved friends in a magical place in the middle of nowhere. All the way out past Julian,(if you're a SoCal person) complete with a waterfall and old timey candy, and anything you could possibly wish for when embarking on such a journey. Because it is in fact, a journey...
It was there that we formed an allegiance we called “Team Thursday,” having ventured out in the middle of the week like that. And while everybody else was working. We began our journey as any other, first stopping at a whole foods to gather rations for our escapade. Having engaged in the casualty that is gangja partaking, we then continued forth in the vast direction of pie town itself, Julian. Where we were very readily distracted by an old timey candy shop where we proceeded to go ape shit crazy (but in a good way).
Then off to Neverland we went, which is commonly the term I use to describe San Diego and it’s many counterparts. Off until we felt very confused about where we were because the dirt road just went on and on. And this my friends, this is how you know you’re getting close, you’ll think you fucked up big time and took the wrong turn. Then we just pulled up in a grown over random parking lot which I have no recollection of how we actually found it.
This being said, I want you to dog-ear this so you can understand the later challenge when we finally return to the car and drive back to the city on the same windy dirt road, but in the rain at night and high af.
Again, kids do not try this at home. I have legendary ninja skills in this department, and I say that comedically but am absolutely dead serious. I have magical will-powers when engaged in such activities. Not everybody has these powers and the outcome could turn out really bad for them. Do not fucking do this.
Okay, so we pull up to this big tree in a dirt parking lot and are already pretty blazed I’m not gonna lie. But as we shuffle off to the trailhead we would then remove some delicious jam cookies which made great catalysts for the magic mushies. Gold caps for what would turn out to be a pretty golden experience.
Down the hatch and off we went yammering on about this and that, when in a matter of what felt like moments the rocks began to look very vibrant. Bright reds and the flowers, bright greens and yellows. It was fantastical. We frolicked about laughing and admiring, moving through various types of terrain which were equally as beautiful.
Until someone asked the question, wait, where are we going? Then everything changed. We had no idea where we were actually making our way to. Though I did have some faint recollection of needing to find a waterfall. So we continued on rather confused like and just before we threw in the towel of surety we stumbled upon a woman walking. All the way out there, just walking with her little dog.
We asked the woman where she thought the waterfall might be as we found ourselves now at a fork. To which she replied, "just up that way", signaling we should go up the hill.
We were so grateful for this woman I remember, as we were totally frustrated and confused and she would happen to enter in a moment that made her forever in our minds, a total earth angel. It was rather remarkable come to think of it, her being all the way out there. It’s not a place you would expect to see anyone.
So up the hill we trekked, wind now blowing and making one tree look as though it was telling me to “calm down” blowing forth in a claw-full kind of motion.
It was when the wind began to die down and when were heard the light trickle of the waterfall ahead that perspectives would shift drastically from confusion/survival mode, to absolute bliss. We began to see the light…
We saw the light as we sat at the top of the waterfall where we each removed something we felt was important for us to bring. So I got out some vibrant vintage scarves that I stretched in to the air and let waver about like something out of “Fear in Loathing Las Vegas.”
My friend sat next to me and we stretched out together wearing huge smiles on our faces. While our other friend curled up in his blanket behind us. Now I see what a genius idea that was of him to bring a little pillow and blanket. As it is best if one can be as comfortable as possible when riding the waves of infinite webbing.
The sooner you can release any anxieties (which can be done using breath), the sooner the download may come through your body fully and result in absolute knowing and understanding of all things. When that acceptance state kicks in and you feel as though you can absorb in to the earth with total peace of mind, that's the place where one can talk to source truly.
So we hung out there in the waterfall nook for quite some time, but really who’s to say how long…And yet the greatest parts were still yet to come…
We headed back the way we’d figured we come from, hiking straight in to a grey trickle and overcast. It was so interesting this extreme weather should be upon us, for when the heavy weather lifted we were able to experience the most beautiful golden hour of all time.
The only way I could best describe this absolutely flawless experience, is to correlate it to what you might think a heavenly kingdom would look like. With every color available, and even some which were perhaps new. Golds and pinks against bright greens and blues. To say it was majestic would be an absolute understatement.
One of the greatest components however, was the feeling of immense connection to all life. As well as having deepened our bonds as Team Thursday through some pretty juicy reflections and countless joined epiphanies. Hiking effortlessly, and casting huge smiles throughout the switch-backs which had once felt so treacherous. Now pausing to soak in the serenity and bliss, and occasionally shouting out to the mountains ever so lovingly. Saying things like,”THIS IS MY KINGDOM,” and,”AAAAAUUUUUU!!!” Purely beastly and utterly magical it was...
It was getting late and the sun was just tucking behind the mountain when we reached the car. The clouds set in and it began to trickle again which would soon turn in to a downpour. At this point it is highly probable that we smoked another spliff before continuing forth on the windy two hour road which had led us in.
This is where you have got to have ninja skills folks, serious ninja skills and intense unyielding will-power. You have to be able to invoke your concentration to a degree that feels humanly impossible when on shrooms…
With piercing eyes, full-on “lean-in” towards steering wheel, and good friends who cheered me on, I could courageously speed down a twisty muddy road at a whopping twelve miles per hour returning us safely to a completely unsafe environment that is downtown San Diego. My gawd that was the craziest bit of all, as it so usually is for me. The whole, returning to society thing…I hate that.
So there we were, grateful we survived this long, but of course feeling like we were first world starving. Having spotted what looked like the best hole in the wall Thai restaurant that would tolerate such characters, we parked, kissed the ground and headed in looking as normal as we could possibly muster, but likely not looking normal at all.
I asked to use the bathroom, and this is where I started tripping a bit. I could not find the light switch and so decided I will just pee in the dark quickly and I would be totally fine. And boy, was it dark. This is when the profound words of my buddy Dano came in and reminded me,”It’s all in your mind…” The words that literally saved me from what could have been a rather traumatic experience.
When I returned to the light, I found my friends who were so happy and awaiting my return to order virtually every dish that looked appealing to us. We felt super nourished immediately with some hot tom ka. It was like we could feel exactly how the food was nourishing us, and it felt so wonderful! We all cheered “Team Thursday” and high- fived and felt in some ways, forever bonded.
This is but one experience out of dozens of my personal experiences working with mushroom medicine, as well as with MDMA.
Every experience was just as extraordinary as the last. Until the very last time I worked with mushrooms where I felt almost no launch at all.
Where the mushrooms had before told and shown me so many incredible life changing messages, things like, “Keep doing what you’re doing, and life will always turn out well.” In regard to teaching yoga. To having told me, “Just Breathe." I could go on, but hopefully you’re getting the picture. I've received some pretty incredible insights. But on my last journey, the message I received was,”You don’t need this anymore.”
Which, I was getting a sense of that the months leading up to this journey. I had on three accounts taken acid. And while the people around me were flying high and really enjoying themselves, I felt no climax whatsoever. It was strange, like it literally transmuted when interacting with my system.
As many of you know, I’m a pretty avid yog-er and I pump breath more than virtually anyone I know. With the exception of my teacher. So it is safe to say I am naturally higher than the vast majority of people on a very regular basis. I feel this is why psychedelics no longer work for me. I also don’t get buzzed from drinking anymore, I just retain water weight. So needless to say, I don’t drink alcohol all too much these days either.
I now focus my attention on ways we can all elevate ourselves through natural and ancient method. Purely through breath and movement. And I wouldn’t be the first to tell you, it is very real and possible. The trouble with this is that one grows so accustom to feeling bliss, it can pose as quite a shock when/if shit hits the fan at some point and the body no longer functions optimally.
That’s why it’s so important to practice breathing and relaxation techniques, so as to ready the body for the inevitable effects that just plain o’l gravity induces over time.
So a word of caution, wether you decide to work with psychedelics or not, your life outcomes will be much more savory when yoga/pranayama are in tact, as well as when the intention we set is of the upmost positive. Or more specifically, when our intention is towards understanding.
I have worked with medicine with various friends, some who had great intentions to which we had magical experiences. I have also on a few accounts hung out with the wrong crowd who literally used the phrase,”they wanted to get fucked up tonight.” The latter mentioned are not people I would recommend expanding mind vulnerability around. You will definitely yield better results around people who understand you and will not judge you in any way.
The first example is my social preference, but in all honesty, my favorite is simply being on my own. Wether it be in nature, or in my art studio stretching and painting, maybe shaking my hips to some music of my choice. Or no music at all. Environment is key though, and you might even find yourself becoming hyper sensitive to music you once liked.
For instance there are some pitches, both vocal and instrumental/ technological that I just cannot tolerate after my experiences with earth medicine. Where I use to once consider myself a bit of a punk rocker, I for many years could not tolerate any negative words or vibrations around me. And in many ways, still cannot. I’m simply very sensitive to vibrations I know to be harmful according to what they do to us on a cellular level.
Anyhow, I hope this has provided some of you with insights as to what it’s sort of like on a journey. Truly, words will always minimize the journey to something far less worth talking about. But truthfully I'm writing this for a friend who is currently writing a book on psychedelics. A friend who has oddly never himself consumed psychedelics, which admittedly now feels a bit like describing the Kama Sutra to a celibate...