Psychedelics on the Spiritual Path with Katherine MacLean and Colin Pugh

Raising Consciousness

Photo by  Smart  on  Unsplash

Photo by Smart on Unsplash

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.


Surrendering the White Ego with Abraham Lateiner and Margaret Johnson

When We Stop Defending Our Egos, We Liberate Energy for Real Change

In a deepening of our topic from last week, we get into the nitty gritty of anti-racism as spiritual practice this week. With our guests Abraham and Margaret, we examine what happens when we let go of the goal of being "good white people," humbly acknowledge the our complicity in racist and white supremacist cultures, and settle in for the long haul work of enacting paradigm change within ourselves, our communities, and our culture. 

photo by  Ben White

photo by Ben White

Margaret Johnson is an activist, a healer, and a spiritual seeker. She cut her teeth working for social change in the Catholic worker movement, and is inspired by the work of the Ayni Institute and the Momentum organizing community in developing frameworks for strategic organizing while upholding relational culture. Margaret is a licensed massage therapist and a Kundalini yoga teacher, and has participated in several activist movements and organizing communities.

Abraham Lateiner works to create spaces for people with dominant power to experience the freedom of surrender. He has found that when such people experience the “power-with” that comes with aligning with movements led by people at the margins of society, they can learn how to support those movements in sustained, sustainable, and sustaining ways. That, he believes, would be a true freedom. He is part of the core team of Freedom Beyond, a decentralized network of small circles of people seeking freedom from white supremacy.

In This Episode

The Chalice and the Blade by Riane Eisler

Sacred Economics by Charles Eisenstein

Ethnoautobiography by Jurgen Werner Kremer and Robert Jackson-Paton


Shooglet on Instagram

Living in the Tension: The Quest for a Spiritualized Racial Justice by Shelly Tochluk


Anti Racism as Spiritual Practice With Jardana Peacock


Anti Racism is Ancestral Healing

Race and whiteness may be social constructs created centuries and generations long ago, but we have all been shaped by them in many ways, seen and unseen. Battling racism is not just a matter of thinking the right thoughts or believing the right ideas. To truly dismantle white supremacy, white people must be willing to look at the ways whiteness has shaped our sense of self-worth and identity. This is not just a political undertaking, but a spiritual one. It demands we go to the deep places of our own discomfort within ourselves and our ancestral lineage to begin to truly heal and transform the injustice of racism. 

Jardana Peacock is a spiritual teacher, writer, yoga teacher, and organizer in Louisville, KY. She is the director of Liberation School, a healing and spirituality school for changemakers that is the first of its kind located in the southern US, and the author of the “Practice Showing Up Guidebook,” an anthology for white people working for racial justice.

Jardana brings an incredible presence of humility and depth to this conversation and we get to talk to her about the ways in which she and others are working to bring healing, compassion, and care to organizing and activist work as well as learning how we can go deeper into our own anti-racist work.

In This Episode

Emergent Strategy by adrienne maree brown 

Crazywise the movie

POC Centered Spirituality and Activism with Teresa Pasquale Mateus

Photo by Jakob Owens

Photo by Jakob Owens

Transformation Will Come From the Margins

Meditation, mindfulness, sacred chanting and other contemplative practices have exploded in popularity over the past several years. Magazine covers are constantly extolling the “miracle of mindfulness” or touting the latest research showing how meditation changes the brain. There are countless Buddhist meditation centers and what seems like a yoga studio on every corner. Christian churches offer slow, meditative Taize chanting services and Centering Prayer groups.

Yet too often, the spaces where these practices can be experienced are overwhelmingly white and center white experiences. It often requires money and a certain familiarity with white, upper middle class norms to access meditation retreats, yoga studios, and other resources. We talk about how spirituality feeds activism and vice versa, but so many of our paradigms of both spirituality and activism are rooted in or interpreted through the lens of white culture.

We talk to Teresa Pasquale Mateus, a trauma therapist, yoga teacher, contemplative, and co-founder of The Mystic Soul Project, a non-profit organization that “seeks to bring forward a People of Color (POC) - Centered Approach to Action/Activism and Contemplation/Mysticism.” She is also the author of the book Sacred Wounds: A Path to Healing From Spiritual Trauma. 

In This Episode

Mystic Soul Project

Teresa Pasquale Mateus

Sacred Wounds

Welcome to The Rising

Photo taken by Rebekah Berndt

Photo taken by Rebekah Berndt

Talkin' Bout a Revolution

What is The Rising? It's the longing we feel deep in our bones for the more beautiful world that our hearts know is possible. It's  the thrill that runs through our veins as we each step into our power and purpose to make that world a reality. It's the love and solidarity that binds us together as we fight for freedom and work toward justice. Rebekah and Chelsea are spiritual directors, intuitives, and activists who want to connect you to resources and practices that can inspire you to find your own sacred activism and sustain you during these difficult times of change.

In our first episode, Chelsea and Rebekah introduce themselves and tell you what you can look forward to.


In This Episode

Gloria Anzaldua, Light in the Dark/Luz en lo Oscuro

Miribai Starr and William Hart McNichols, Mother of God, Similar to Fire