Happy 2023, I hope it’s been off to a good start! It certainly has been for the world of psychedelics. I’m excited to share an abundance of uplifting news with you today. Let’s get into it.
We reached 100k followers on TikTok (yay!), so unless that’s how you found me, check out some of my videos if you’re on there. (Warning, yes, TikTok is as addicting as everyone says it is.)
To celebrate the above, I’ve launched a fundraiser to help democratize psychedelic healing. If you’ve benefitted from plant medicines in any way, please consider making a donation, however small. Anything is appreciated. The money will be used to gift psychedelic retreats (including integration support) to those in need who cannot afford it, including those belonging to minorities. (And if you are that person, stay tuned — applications will open as soon as we’ve closed fundraising!) You can find more details on the GoFundMe page here. If you feel called to share it, that would be incredibly helpful, too.
The Synthesis Institute is hosting another free webinar on the evolving psychedelic ecosystem this Wednesday (Jan 18). If you’re curious to learn more or even considering dedicating yourself to this work professionally, I highly recommend joining.
A member of the royal family came out of the psychedelic closet! Prince Harry gave a 60-minute interview on CBN in light of the publishing of his memoir, during which he openly spoke about using psychedelic medicines such as ayahuasca and psilocybin to heal. In particular, these medicines helped him process grief around the loss of his mother, Princess Diana. This is monumental. I can’t wait to see the ripple effect this will have on the psychedelic movement.
OneCommune is hosting a free, virtual 10-day meditation retreat, starting tomorrow. Every day, you'll receive an e-mail with a meditation from Ram Dass, supported by some of the country’s finest meditation teachers such as Sharon Salzberg, Jack Kornfield, Tara Brach, and Joseph Goldstein.
I finally watched this panel discussion on Youtube — a dialogue between a Buddhist scholar and a Theoretical Physicist on nothing less than the nature of reality. Two smart people with drastically opposing world views explore the fundamental realities and seek to answer the question: what underlies what? One poses the question, what if consciousness is the fundamental underlying quality that’s been left out as a variable in our perception of all physical forces? “We are more ignorant to our own consciousness than to distant galaxies”. A thought-provoking must-watch. A bit longer, but time will fly by, I promise.
I also recently re-discovered Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia, a (now) oldie but goldie. A chemist explores rare psychedelics in this entertaining Hulu series. Definitely worth a watch.
I often get asked about the difference between a bad trip and a challenging experience. I recently heard a psychiatrist talk about the distinction between process and processing: Processing is always good (but can be challenging). “Bad trips” occur when you’re stuck in the process, without being able to do the processing. Now you may ask yourself, how do I avoid that? As always, the answer is set and setting. Your intention, container, and support during the journey make all the difference. Read more about how to navigate challenging experiences here.
Huge news from MAPS! The organization that single-handily spearheaded psychedelic research for the last 35+ years announced an incredible update last week. They were able to replicate the results from their initial Phase 3 clinical trial for MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD in their final confirmatory trials, getting ready for FDA approval later this year. What does this mean? There’s little in the way now of legal MDMA therapy coming in 2024. This will be the first federally approved psychedelic therapy.
Some exciting policy updates: California and New York both have bills in the running now to legalize/decriminalize psychedelic plant medicines. In mid-December, California Senator Scott Wiener reintroduced legislation that had passed the state’s senate in 2021 but then stalled. A similar proposal in New York was made earlier this month, sponsored by Linda B. Rosenthal, an assembly member representing the Upper West Side and Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan. Both proposals would relax laws around substances such as psilocybin, ibogaine, and DMT (the psychoactive in ayahuasca). Fingers crossed!
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Wow Julia. I really love the fundraiser you started and will, of COURSE, share it everywhere!!