Religious leaders of traditional religions are often skeptical of the short-lived mystical experiences that entheogens like psilocybin, ayahuasca, and MDMA can bring about, even though those who have taken these consciousness-altering substances often report profound insights into the human mind and soul. At the same time, many people who have used psychedelics eschew the rigid dogma of religious institutions. Scientists have thrown themselves into the mix of this controversial topic by showing how various substances can not only lower anxiety and ease PTSD, but also inspire qualities like forgiveness and compassion. Can spiritual practice and psychedelic use come together?
Katherine MacLean and Colin Pugh think so and join The Rising to discuss how these substances can, and should, be integrated with spiritual practice and community support - and how this can change for the better not only oneself, but the lives of others as well.
Katherine MacLean is a psychological scientist, teacher and meditator. In her academic research at UC Davis and Johns Hopkins University, she studied how psychedelics and mindfulness meditation can promote beneficial, long-lasting changes in personality, well-being and brain function. In New York, she co-founded and directed the Psychedelic Education & Continuing Care Program (www.psychedelicprogram.com), focusing on group integration for psychedelic users and training workshops for clinicians. She currently lives on an organic farm and is preparing to be a study therapist on the upcoming Phase 3 trial of MDMA for post-traumatic stress disorder. Learn more: katherinemaclean.org
Colin Pugh is the organizer for the Brooklyn Psychedelic Society, a community dedicated to educating individuals on how to use psychedelics effectively and safely for personal and spiritual growth. Colin also has a strong interest in contemplative Christianity, Buddhism, psychedelics, and political change. He currently works as a freelance product manager and lives in Brooklyn, NY.