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New release, digitally restored classic documentary on Ornette Coleman, “Made in America,” premiered in New York

Synergetic Press, previous distributor of the Ornette Coleman classic film is pleased to announce the new release through Milestone Films of “Ornette: Made in America.” 

Ornette: Made In America captures Ornette’s evolution over three decades. Returning home to Fort Worth, Texas in 1983 as a famed performer and composer, documentary footage, dramatic scenes, and some of the first music video-style segments ever made, chronicle his boyhood in segregated Texas and his subsequent emergence as an American cultural pioneer and world-class icon. Among those who contribute to the film include William Burroughs, Brion Gysin, Buckminster Fuller, Don Cherry, Yoko Ono, Charlie Haden, Robert Palmer, Jayne Cortez and John Rockwell.

The film was recently featured in the New York Times:

“Ornette: Made in America,” which was released theatrically in 1985 and opens again, in a print restored by Milestone Films, at the IFC Center in Manhattan on Friday, is full of such tantalizing stuff: formal juxtapositions, half-sketched implications, parallel experiments of image and sound. By virtue of the footage alone, it’s a valuable time capsule for anyone drawn to Mr. Coleman’s work, particularly in the two decades following the cusp of the 1960s, when his dauntless, affirming vision of free improvisation famously created a crisis of faith in jazz.

-By  from the New York Times


Read the full NYT ReviewWatch a clip from the film

From the New York Times: How psychedelic drugs can help patients face death

Recent news from The New York Times examining current research on psilocybin and its ability to reduce patient anxiety about facing death.

The article talks about people experiencing cancer, and the way in which psychedelic experiences can calm a person’s fear about death and help them to appreciate the time they have left.

Read the full article.


It also describes some of the early research into psychedelics and how these scientists are trying to separate their work from the shadow of the 1960’s in order to be taken more seriously by the medical world in exploring the therapeutic benefits of these substances.

Ram Dass and Ralph Metzner’s Birth of a Psychedelic Culture details the beginning of this movement that examines the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics and challenges the stigma of these substances from the 1960’s.

“After transcendent experiences, people often have much less fear of death,” Griffiths says. Fourteen months after participating in a psilocybin study that was published in The Journal of Psychopharmacology last year, 94 percent of subjects said that it was one of the five most meaningful experiences of their lives; 39 percent said that it was the most meaningful experience.

Read the full article.

Oprah and Ram Dass

On April 22, Ram Dass appeared on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) for the premier of Oprah and Ram Dass: Fierce Grace. If you missed it, don’t forget to listen to Oprah’s interview with Ram Dass airing on SiriusXM through the end of April!

Also check out this blog to learn more about Ram Dass’ spiritual evolution and his relationship with Timothy Leary. [ilink url=””]Learn More[/ilink]. Or get a copy of his book, Birth of a Psychedelic Culture: Conversations about Leary, the Harvard Experiments, Millbrook and the Sixties, coauthored with Ralph Metzner and Gary Bravo, available from Synergetic Press or your local bookstore.

Oprah and Ram Dass



Psychedelics, Healing and the Expansion of Consciousness

Michael Bogenschutz, Dr. Ralph Metzner & Dr. George Greer Presented at the Colloquium


On March 20th, Synergetic Press hosted “Frontiers of the Future,” a colloquium on Psychedelics, Healing and Expansion of Consciousness featuring presentations and discussions with pioneers in these fields.

Dr. Ralph Metzner

The evening began with a presentation from George Greer, Co-founder and Medical Director of the Heffter Research Institute. He spoke about psilocybin research that Heffter is supporting and how psilocybin can be used for cancer anxiety treatment.

Michael Bogenschutz, Professor of Psychiatry at UNM followed Greer talking about current psilocybin-alcoholism research happening at UNM.

The program was moderated by Dr. Robert Weisz, a clinical psychologist, consultant, and life coach in private practice. 

Tonight we were looking at the mysterious phenomenon of healing and change and the administration of certain substances that can expand awareness and induce deep experiences,” Weisz said.

Dr. Paulo Barbosa, Professor of Scientific Methods and Mental Health, Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz, Bahia, Brazil gave a presentation on the effects of Ayahuasca on health. He spoke about the health benefits of ayahuasca for people experiencing alcohol/drug-related problems.

Dr. Ralph Metzner culminated the presentations with a talk on the expansion of consciousness and the use of psychedelics for the purpose of healing.

Metzner spoke about consciousness expansion that occurs in our everyday lives. Each morning when you wake up, your consciousness expands as you come out of your dream state and back into reality, he said.

Dinner and a Discussion with the Speakers

He spoke about the need to find terminology, other than “psychedelics” to describe these substances and the experience of consciousness expansion.”These changes in consciousness that happen call into question your entire worldview,” Metzner said. It’s difficult to find a word to describe that experience.

“Psychedelics” is a term that has been identified in popular culture with one specific purpose, but Metzner says there are many different experiences one can have with these substances. “The therapeutic possibilities of consciousness expansion cannot be overestimated,” Metzner said in his talk.

Following the presentations, a dinner and panel discussion was held where the speakers responded to questions from the audience. Food was prepared by Joe’s Diner in Santa Fe.

It’s one of the ingredients in a rather huge and mysterious process of healing and change. We want to keep in mind that there are no absolute answers to these questions but there are a lot of interesting questions to be asked,” Weisz said.

(Photos and Video courtesy of Gay Dillingham)

Ralph Metzner on Santa Fe Radio Cafe

Ralph Metzner on Santa Fe Radio Cafe

Ralph Metzner on Santa Fe Radio Cafe with host Mary Charlotte

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Ralph Metzner, Ph.D. who has a B.A. in philosophy and psychology from Oxford University and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Harvard University, has been involved in the study of transformations of consciousness ever since, as a graduate student, he worked with Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert (later Ram Dass) on the Harvard Psilocybin Projects. He co-wrote The Psychedelic Experience, and was editor of The Psychedelic Review. During the 1970s, Ralph spent 10 years in the intensive study and practice of Agni Yoga, a meditative system of working with light-fire life-energies.

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