Welcome to the Extended-State DMT Research Newsletter of Medicinal Mindfulness

 

Thank you for your interest in our Extended-State DMT research program (DMTx).  For those of you who don't know us yet, I'd like to welcome you to the Medicinal Mindfulness community.  

My name is Daniel McQueen and I founded Medicinal Mindfulness with my wife, Alison, as a Psychedelic Harm Reduction program in Boulder, Colorado in 2012.  We represent a small grassroots consciousness community and host regular Community Breathwork events, psychedelic experiences called Conscious Cannabis Circles, and we facilitate a professional training program called Psychedelic Sitters School. 

A few years ago we started a community gathering and speaker series called Psychedelic Shine, and it was through this project that I met Dr. Rick Strassman, Dr. Dennis McKenna, and Dr. Andrew Gallimore, to name a few.  The process of creating psychedelic inspired programs, meeting innovative leaders in the field, and also the inner exploration this work requires, were all factors that initiated this journey into exploring Extended-State DMT research. It has been a wild and wonderful ride ever since, and we're excited to step into the next stage of this work. 

It is our intention to create a sustainable, multi-generation DMT research program that is both congruent with scientific inquiry, as well as with the creative and spiritual interests and values of the psychedelic community.  We believe Extended-State DMT research is as much an expedition as it is a scientific experiment.  We believe it is both deeply inspiring and practically feasible.

For those of you who expressed interest in becoming volunteer psychonauts, I honor your passion and desire.  I'm inspired by this work as well.  The preliminary information many of you shared was extremely helpful, and we're using what we learned to further clarify and develop the volunteer selection process.  We'd also like to thank Noonautics for their support in helping us consolidate the program after interest in the program went viral.  We ask for your patience as we step into this work in a way that is sustainable. 

To share an update on our progress, we would like to invite the community to our next Psychedelic Shine on Dec. 16th.  This will be our DMTx Update & Psychedelic Society Social.  This event is a community gathering and fundraiser for the DMTx research program.  It will be held on Dec. 16th at Vali Soul Sanctuary in Boulder, CO.  See the event poster below for additional information.  Vali Soul is a beautiful, private yoga studio and gathering space, and there are less than 100 tickets available for this event.  We'll have good food and drinks, wonderful music (TBA in our next update), poetry, and great company. 

We'll provide an update of our progress on Extended-State DMT research, and more information on our volunteer selection process.   We will also livestream the presentations for those of you who are out of town.

Moving forward, we will continue to provide additional email updates leading up to the event and then about once a month starting in 2018.  Our goal is to make the research as accessible as possible, and we will use this newsletter to answer questions and keep people informed. Unfortunately, due to the amount of interest, we may be unable to respond to inquires individually.

Please forward to friends and allies that might be interested, and like us on Facebook so we can continue to educate our community about this important project. Links to our website and some of our events are listed below. 

Our next update will include more information on the gathering, a complete musical lineup and sponsors, as well as additional articles and videos on our research.

Thanks so much for your interest in our project.  We are deeply inspired by the vision and transformational potential of Extended-State DMT research.  We hope to meet many of you soon. 

Daniel McQueen, MA
Director, Medicinal Mindfulness
DMTx Principal Organizer

Psychedelic Shine: DMTx Update Facebook Event Page
Extended-State DMT Research website
Psychedelic Shine YouTube Channel

Send program inquires to: dmtx@medicinalmindfulness.org

 

 

Now Recruiting Crew for Psychedelic Summer Expedition

Dear Medicinal Mindfulness Students & Allies,

Medicinal Mindfulness is now recruiting members for a special Psychedelic Summer Expedition.  This is an exploratory expedition.  We’ll be setting off into mostly unknown transpersonal territory to explore new possibilities of creating what we call “psychedelic society.”

We will be deep diving into the training program starting in May for a four month expedition.  New members are invited to participate as Journeyers, or to join us for a weekend Psychedelic Sitters School training program to participate as Sitter-Journeyers.  Long-term allies are invited to participate as Senior Sitters, Mentors and Guides.    

Those who sign up for the expedition will be part of the core crew of Medicinal Mindfulness.  There is a certain level of energetic containment and support that comes with this.  It is also very common to have deep transformational experiences initiated during your time with our program.  It can be challenging, but also a ton of fun.  If this sounds intriguing, please read further to view the map of the terrain ahead, and the “ship” we’ll be taking to get there.  

If you’re interested in learning about the goals of Medicinal Mindfulness in more detail and the general direction the expedition will be taking, watch my Psychedelic Shine presentation “On CyberDMT and TransCannabis” here.   Dennis McKenna presentation’s presentation is here.  Dennis pretty much sums up the “why” we’re doing it.

Before I tell you what our “expedition ship” for the summer will look like, I would like to share some of the exciting things happening with Medicinal Mindfulness and a sketch of the terrain we’ll be exploring together.

  • Yes, I am VERY SERIOUS about extended state DMT research.  This is the longterm goal of Medicinal Mindfulness and our non-profit foundation.  It’s going to take some time, but I am all in.
  • Community Breathwork will continue as a training program for our students, giving you safe and evocative opportunities to lead your own groups with supervision.  The live music by Nibumbu will soon be professionally recorded and distributed online to those who can’t make it to Boulder.
  • To get back to my writing, I’ve started my blog again www.letterstomolly.org.  You can check out the latest entry that is a response to a question I received.  If you have a question, please consider submitting it in this way and I’ll use it to get this project going again.
  • We’re currently finalizing a plan to bring a CFO and business consulting team into our new company, Medicinal Mindfulness Events LLC, to better organize our membership program, training program and ongoing events.
  • Psychedelic Shine is going to continue, and we need a lot of volunteer support to make that happen.  Our goal is to bring in women/minority perspectives, as well as to continue to support the CyberDMT concept by bringing in Dr. Rick Strassman and his co-author Dr. Andrew Gallimore at some point. This will become the primary fundraiser for the DMT research.  
  • The primary Medicinal Mindfulness counseling office is now at Holos Health, our new medical cannabis partner.  We’ll send out announcements regarding cannabis related services Holos Health offers.  Because of the unusual political environment we are now in, we want everyone to consider getting a MMJ card to be best protected. 

Many of you have said you are inspired by our work. I AM TOO.  I sincerely consider this my calling, and I feel particularly blessed to know what my calling means to me.  A lot of hard inner work went into that question for many years.  It is an honor to be a psychopomp for so many people now who are transversing this terrain.  Maybe I’m just a ferryman, but I have one stellar ship!

~

So here’s the invitation.  We are about to embark on a four month expedition journey and I am looking for a crew of explorers interested in helping me sail this ship through the terrain of opportunities listed above.  This is an opportunity to deepen your own process as a journeyer, facilitator and guide.  I’m calling this the Psychedelic Summer Expedition.  Depending on your experience with our program, you’ll be invited to participate in a variety of ways.  If you are interested in joining this team for this expedition, here’s a few ways to do it:

Psychedelic Sitters School - Two opportunities for 4 day trainings in early May 2017 and late July 2017.  Tell your friends.  This might be the last time I teach this for a while.  Training info here: http://medicinalmindfulness.org/psychedelic-sitters-school

Medicinal Mindfulness Membership for Summer Semester 2017, May-Aug, 4 month period.  Psychedelic Summer Expedition.  Go to http://medicinalmindfulness.org/membership-levels to learn more about MM membership.  4 month commitment to monthly payments or 10% off full 4 month payment.  (*Scholarship price for students/veterans)

  • Membership Level - Journeyer - Green - $99/$79*  
  • Membership Level - Sitter - Red - $125/$99*
  • Membership Level - Senior Sitter - Blue - $150/$120*
  • Membership Level - Assistant Facilitator/Facilitator - Purple/Black - Invitation only

Benefits:

  • Journeyer/Green level is for those wishing to focus on their own process before diving into other trainings.  Green level and all other members can attend one Community Breathwork and one Conscious Cannabis Event each month (or receive $350/$280* credit to use with individual journeywork or coaching services for those who live out of town).  
  • Red level and above require completion of Psychedelic Sitters School and are asked to sit for one community event a month, but are invited to sit for more.  
  • Red and Blue levels are required to attend a monthly Advanced Sitters School class to learn additional sitter/guiding skills.  Advanced Sitters School Dates are:  Thursday evenings 6:30-9:30pm 5/18, 6/22, 7/20, 8/17.
  • Blue level and above will be invited to sit for private groups, and facilitate parts of ongoing CBW and CCEs.  
  • Blue level and above will also meet for a monthly 2 hr group facilitators supervision.  

These classes will be encrypted video conference called to participants who live outside of Boulder so you do not have to live here to be part of this adventure.  

Additional email coaching will also be available to members.  After this four month term, it is our goal to have each member progress to the next stage in their development.  Registration begins now and will end May 7th for May-Aug Date.  July Psychedelic Sitters School may bring additional crew members on board.

~

Please email me to register or if you have any questions, thoughts or ideas. I can be reached at daniel@medicinalmindfulness.org.   I am available to discuss these options with you.  I look forward to deep diving into the wonderful opportunities and adventures ahead!  

I’m off to the Psychedelic Sciences MAPS conference in Oakland to engage in some general psychedelic rabble rousing.  If you’re there, hit me up so we can meet.  

All the best,
Daniel McQueen
Medicinal Mindfulness

Dear Molly, Something I'm feeling into a bit is that there is anger in me. It's deep down there. I keep it under tight wraps...

Dear Molly,

Something I'm feeling into a bit is that there is anger in me. It's deep down there. I keep it under tight wraps. But I've had a couple flashes of it - just split seconds - and it comes when I'm poking around some of these edges. It's somehow linked to the voice that says "none of this hyper spiritualism is real." I think it's the anger of a young me that had his desire for the transcendent snuffed out. There's a sense of betrayal in it. It feels like an adolescent type rage. There's some real teeth to it, though. It seethes and smolders in places I don't often visit.  Also, some of this doesn’t feel like “mine,” if that makes sense.  I’ve heard about something called “clearing attachments” and I’m wondering if this is possible.  How should I work with this?

Sincerely,
Ever In Process

Dear Ever,

Thank you for writing and having the courage to look at the darker edges of your psyche.  This is some of the most important work we engage in and can’t be overlooked, although so many people in the psychedelic community try to do so.  In all of the parallel realities we’ve explored or encountered so far, the most vibrant, healthy and peaceful global societies are the ones that have evolved in a way that they have been able to engage this deeply personal work on a societal, collective level.  The most successful of these have skillfully incorporated psychedelics into their practices.  The timelines we’ve explored that are unable to turn towards these darker edges of the self commonly spiral downward into war and sometimes even total annihilation.   This is how important the underlying theme is to your specific question.  

Do not despair at the world around you.  It is difficult to see the beauty and the light in a realm so marred by pain, sadness, and anger.  But there is hope.  And it is in turning towards the self that you will find it.  Let’s turn towards the self now.  

This "angry voice" is tangled with a young wounded aspect, most likely some of your own trauma, a good amount of it being religious in nature, but this will be tangled with other events and difficulties in your life that have suppressed your trust in the spiritual.  These traumas are tangled with, as you identified, energetic and psychological attachment in the form of coercive social programing, other people's trauma, and even unknown, non-human transpersonal influences.  It helps to think of it as a big tangled ball of multicolored yarn. Sometimes we can feel so stuck that this ball of yarn feels like it has been repeatedly dipped in concrete. When we start chipping away at this experience, we can feel energetic “discharges” that can come in the form of flashes of really big emotions, difficult memories, or even physical pain.

Anger is a very ALIVE emotion.  It shows us where we care and have passion.  It is also what Jung would call a piece of vitality that gets stuck under shadow, so doing this work will increase your own human vitality in areas that are important to you by freeing up the energy you are now using to keep that anger suppressed and in check.  When we do so, anger turns into passion and excitement for life and challenges.

IT IS OKAY TO FEEL ANGER.

When left unattended and suppressed, Anger and Shadow are often projected onto others and this can create discord or even “shadow loops” within transformational communities.  Don’t be naive.  The purpose of this shadow aspect is to destroy the community so it can stop people from waking up.  

Shadow projections have a lot of negative charge and are usually coupled with a “deep knowing” of “being right.” Pay attention to this clue and if you find something that is really charged being directed toward someone else, it might be an indication that you’re edging into something that is really juicy in your own system.  It will be the one thing you don’t want to do, but the path forward is to turn toward the self.  How did I create what I am seeing here?  How am I unconsciously responsible?  How do I do the same thing they are doing?

To begin working with this, bring in resourcing techniques so you have a safe space to rest in between encounters with this unconscious aspect.  This is especially important if you're going to be poking around tender edges of the psyche known as Shadow.  Resourcing can look like cultivating a safe location in the body to rest in between engagements, an imaginal space that is comforting, or even the presence of guides, spiritual allies, or other archetypal support systems.  

The shadow aspect, the unconscious part of Self, will have to be owned and integrated into your larger identity.  This aspect will probably be tangled with a wounded younger child aspect that will also need to be integrated. You will be required to be the nurturing adult to this injured, younger part that is lashing out, practicing both right boundaries and full and unconditional love and acceptance. 

I’d recommend creating some containment around the feelings of anger so that you don’t lash out at people you are close to as you explore this material.  This is sometimes easier said than done, but containment is way different than suppression, and it is very appropriate.  Containment is important because anger and rage are often coupled with energetic/emotional attacks.  We can tag people with our words and they have a lot of hurtful, potent energy behind them, and people in our community often use metaphors like daggers, swords and spears.  So be mindful of this.  If you're feeling a lot and it is becoming overwhelming, this may indicate that you are moving too quickly through this inner terrain.  

In addition to this containment, making a physical space where these experiences and emotions can fully be felt and expressed in a SAFE and PRIVATE way will be incredibly important.  If possible, work with a therapist or guide who can help you hold it.  If there are constraints to working with someone, learn the skills of a sitter and be your own guide, or find an ally or friend who will trade experiences with you in this way.

Regarding extractions... or what you call “clearing attachments.”  Throughout this process, you're going to be in a conscious engagement with a "voice/presence" that may not be all your own.  These parts are very skillful in deflection and confusion.  You'll check out, get distracted, and possibly dissociate a number of times.  This part can also hit you with a lot of very strong negative judgements, emotions and memories you’ll have to do something with.  This is what the terrain looks like.  Resource, and keep going back to where you left off.  Doing so challenges the part that is engaging you and it can only use these tactics a finite amount of times before wearing itself out.  This is especially true if you show a lot of determination.  Don’t expect any process to clear in one session.  This work requires a lot of patience and continued focus, sometimes over significant periods of time.  

While you are engaged in this encounter, it is most important to track your physical experience, as much of this is actually held in your body.  Tracking means noticing the sensations of what is happening in your body.  Bring your awareness to where you feel tension or pain as you engage the aspect that feels anger.  It is important to physically relax around this area of tension/pain, while “breathing into it” so the current of energy moving through your body gives the experience some space to release into.  Remember the ball of tangled yarn metaphor.  If the threads have no place to go, there won’t be enough room to untangle.  

While you are relaxing and allowing, also try bringing all of your focused awareness to the darkest, most painful spot in this physical experience and gently press up against it with the dagger tip precision of your own consciousness.  At some point the location of this pain or tension will start to move so you keep this pressure on it, following it where ever it goes.  Go back and forth from the water/dissolving/relaxing into process to the fire/focus process and even practice holding both at the same time.  This is the key to transformation.  Your body might start to contract, twitch or vibrate, and you’ll have big experiences of emotions, memories, images and realizations.  These are called “discharges.”  Simply relax around them, let them happen, and keep tracking your body’s experience.  

Once you clear enough of the dross that is covering your experience of anger, and all of those beliefs you have around the feeling, you'll be able to start discerning different parts of the equation... the different threads of yarn will be understood more clearly.  Some of these will be your own parts that you will then be able to reincorporate into your self-matrix in a healthier configuration.  The parts that aren’t yours will become pretty obvious so you can clear, transmute, or even expunge them.  These might be ancestral or family traumas, cultural introjects and unconscious programs, and even in extreme cases, might be some sort of encounter with a consciousness beyond the self.  

Remember to resource throughout the experience. Don't expect to get through this in one session, especially things that you’ve been holding onto since childhood.  Creating what is called “sacred space” through prayer, meditation or ceremony, is an important “container” for this work and can help hold the intensity of these experiences.  

The clearing that happens is like mining a psychic gold that can then be used as a sort of energetic currency for other transformational experiences. Underneath this you’ll find the psyche’s generator.  Anger Energy Emotion once purified and healed, can be directed towards manifesting any intention.  It is a wealth of power that can transform the world.  

From our timeline, which exists in relationship to one of your potential futures, we have seen again and again, that when this work is engaged on a conscious, collective level, anything, absolutely anything you can and can’t even imagine is possible.  It is a subtle shift, a turning inward to self, before returning back to the external, that makes all of the difference.  

We wish you the best on your journey of collective awakening.  There are so many of us holding space for you during this most important process.  The struggle you are in now is so worth the effort.  Please keep going.  

All our love,
Molly

Right Relationship with Substances, and Guan Yin: The Goddess of Compassion

By Contributor: Alison McQueen, MA, LPC

I’m not a “just say no” therapist.  Humans of every culture, across the globe, since the beginning of time, have used plants and other substances to alter their consciousness.  There’s nothing new about substance use; in fact, it’s a normal aspect of being human.  Clearly, a number of personal and cultural problems are normal as well, and substances and addiction can and do play into this.  So we must attend to our own individual relationship to substances, and determine on a personal level what it is to be in right relationship.  We must look through and beyond what our current culture, or family, says about it; we must dig deeper.  Our work is in tapping into a deep inner knowing, a felt sense experience of health, sanity, and self-compassion. 

These are the questions I ask myself, and my clients, so that together we can assess one’s relationship with substances.  The questions could be applied to anything one could develop an addiction or unhealthy relationship with— from drugs to alcohol to shopping or social media.  I’m offering these questions to you so that you can begin to assess for yourself what does and does not serve you.

This leads to my first and most important question: Is it serving you?  Can you give examples of how the substance is supporting your life, your relationships, and you being your best self in the world?

Is the substance highly addictive?  Have you done thorough and unbiased research on the consequences of ongoing use? Would doctors, holistic healers, and other practitioners who you respect support you if they knew the type of substance it is, dosage, and frequency? Are you keeping your use a secret from close loves ones whom you respect?

How does your use affect your job and relationships? Are you more productive or less productive because of it? How’s your health and immune system? 

What would happen if you stopped using?  Would you be willing to abstain or fast from the substance for a while to find out? Notice what happens in simply imagining doing without it for one lunar cycle (28 days)? 

And finally, does your use of this substance line up with your personal values? When you really think about what you value most in life, what makes you you, does the substance or medicine you're using support that in some way?

You are the expert here, not me.  What did these questions bring up for you?  Are you noticing an openness to the questions, a defensiveness, or something in between?  Is there any shame coming up?  Or perhaps pride?  Substance use, medicine use, drug use— it’s an incredibly personal experience, and because of the way our culture handles these things (often with a lot of misinformation, shame, and blame) we often have the tendency to hide them. That’s why I’m writing this really.  Because chances are you’re alone somewhere reading this, curious about what right relationship actually means for you, perhaps sick of the medical model or traditional therapies related to addictions— which can so often feel as if they are somehow infused with some version of “there’s something wrong with you.”   And from where I sit, there’s nothing wrong with you.  There is nothing wrong with you.  There’s a brilliance within each of us, within you, within your particular way of being with substances.  And I’m fascinated— incredibly fascinated by those inner workings, inner longings, cravings, “addictions.”  

I hope these questions are useful to you, and that you continue to work with them.  And whatever’s coming up, I hope you peer into it with deep compassion.  I’ve intentionally attached an image of Guan Yin, the Goddess of Compassion, above as a gift for you.  Guan Yin, she who “hears and sees the cries of the world” offers boundless love and comfort to all people, easing the inevitable pains of human life. She’s a wonderful presence to invoke as you work with these questions.  I’d love to hear from you.  Please reach out and let me know what this self-assessment process was like.  

To learn more about bringing goddess wisdom into your life, check out my upcoming series Myth, Art & Movement Part 2: The Goddesses of Spring. Join Karina Maria and I as we facilitate a sacred circle of women exploring goddess mythology and storytelling, as well as intentional movement and art practices designed to activate the Goddess wisdom already within you. More info here.