Written by Michael Gosney
Here’s a report from our last symposium. New events coming in London and NYC this November, details found on this link: https://www.synergeticpress.com/understanding-ayahuasca-indigenous-origins-neo-shamanism/
On Wednesday April 6, 2016 a Synergetic Symposium and Salon was held at Synergia Ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This symposium and salon marked the first in a series of events with the goal of raising Earth Consciousness. One hundred and fifty people attended this high-frequency gathering entitled “Earth Consciousness and the Lore of the Amazon – Conversations on Ayahuasca, Ethnomedicine and the Biospheric Imperative.”
The crowd gathered in the geodesic dome at Synergia Ranch
The primary inspiration for the event was the forthcoming July release of the Ayahuasca Reader, but it also served as the launch of the Synergetic Press Earth Consciousness Campaign and seemed to be the perfect timing to bring together leaders on the cutting edge of psychedelic research in this year of rapid evolution. The event, featuring a 4 hour symposium, a gourmet dinner, and an evening Salon and dance party, was a resounding success. Video of the presentations will be available at synergeticpress.com.
The Symposium featured Dennis McKenna, providing an overview of the 45 year history and his journey of discovery with ayahuasca; Rick Doblin, presenting the new era of entheogenic/psychedelic-assisted therapy and the cutting edge research underway with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS); and Ralph Metzner providing a framework for understanding the process of shamanic use of psychedelics and consciousness expansion, along with an addendum to his talk on the importance of activism on both the drug decriminalization and environmental frontiers. The Symposium concluded with a panel discussion and Q&A with the presenters and moderator George Greer.
(Left to Right) Allan Badiner, Gay Dillingham, Valerie Plame Wilson, Ralph Metzner, Dennis McKenna, Michael Garfield
After dinner in separate Synergia Ranch buildings, guests returned the dome for the evening Salon portion of the event. Kicking off the evening was the Earth Consciousness Roundtable moderated by Zig Zag Zen editor Allan Badiner, with Ralph Metzner, Dennis McKenna, author and ex-CIA agent Valerie Plame, filmmaker Gay Dillingham (Dying to Know), and musician/artist Michael Garfield. The discussion touched on the broader aspects of raising Earth Consciousness, including biospheric science and social and political opportunities and challenges as well as further examination of the applications of plant teachers and synthetic compounds for therapy, personal growth and transformational work.
A “biospheric poetry” reading by John Dolphin Allen with Robert “Rio” Hahn providing visuals, provided the transition to the evening’s entertainment, starting with a dance performance by the Daughters of Lilith followed by musician Michael Garfield and DJs offering attendees a chance to dance with the incredible energy of the day.
More Synergetic Symposium Salons will follow, as well as the launch of the Earth Consciousness Campaign. This multi-level initiative will not only promote the release of the Ayahuasca Reader, but also widely disseminate essential information from the book and the work of its multiple contributors, who are in fact the world’s leading authorities on the subject. In addition, informing people and groups about the eco-evolutionary side of the equation, which means human stewardship vs. destruction of the biosphere. Indigenous wisdom/eco-psychology + biospheric science/sustainability solutions = Earth Consciousness.
In conjunction with the Synergetic Symposium and Salon, Santa Fe Radio Café host Mary Charlotte welcomed several of the contributors to the salon to her show to deepen the discussion in raising Earth Consciousness. You can listen to the episodes below.
Don Lattin, Allan Badiner and Ralph Metzner
April 15, 2016
Allan Badiner activist and writer, contributing editor to Tricycle Magazine, editor of the new edition of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics, published by Synergetic Press, on the board of the CBD Project
Ralph Metzner Psychologist, writer, founder of the Green Earth Foundation, author of many books, including Allies for Awakening and Green Psychology
Don Lattin Author and journalist; his books include Distilled Spirits, The Harvard Psychedelic Club, and his forthcoming books is titled, Changing Our Minds: The Reemergence of Psychedelics for Mental Health and Spiritual Growth.
Ralph Metzner, Don Lattin, Allan Badiner interview by Mary-Charlotte for Santa Fe Radio Cafe
April 11, 2016
Dr. George Greer conducted over 100 therapeutic sessions with MDMA for 80 individuals from 1980 to 1985 with his psychiatric nurse wife, Requa Tolbert. Their review of this work remains the largest published study of the therapeutic use of MDMA. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and Past President of the Psychiatric Medical Association of New Mexico. He is Co-Founder and Medical Director the Medical Director of the Heffter Research Institute since 1998.
Mary-Charlotte interviews George Greer, Santa Fe Radio Cafe
April 11, 2016
Dr. Dennis McKenna is an American ethnopharmacologist, research pharmacognosist, lecturer and author. He is the brother of well-known psychedelics proponent Terence McKenna and is a founding board member and the director of ethnopharmacology at the Heffter Research Institute, a non-profit organization concerned with the investigation of the potential therapeutic uses of psychedelic medicines.
Mary Charlotte Interviews Dennis McKenna, Santa Fe Radio Cafe
April 7, 2016
Dr. Rick Doblin is founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). His undergraduate thesis at New College of Florida was a twenty-five-year follow-up to the classic Good Friday Experiment. He wrote his doctoral dissertation (in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government) on the regulation of the medical uses of psychedelics. His professional goal is to help develop legal contexts for the beneficial uses of psychedelics and marijuana and eventually to become a legally licensed psychedelic therapist.
Mary Charlotte interviews Rick Doblin, Santa Fe Radio Cafe
Sign up for our newsletter at synergeticpress.com to find out about upcoming events in this exciting series and for more news on Earth Consciousness.
If you ask the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), you’ll find that these topics are much more closely related than the US government currently wants you to believe. And the people at MAPS are working to change those government policies through the power of scientific data.
MAPS has recently sponsored the first double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the therapeutic use of LSD in human beings that has been completed since the early 1970s.
Experimental LSD capsule from the completed MAPS pilot study in Switzerland
The pilot-study included twelve patients who had anxiety related to a life-threatening disease. They were treated with therapy sessions to discuss their anxiety without any drugs, as well as participating in two LSD-assisted therapy sessions, using a double-blind, randomized method to administer the LSD.
Once the study was completed, it was found that there were positive trends and lasting benefits in the reduction of anxiety after the two LSD-assisted psychotherapy sessions. The study results also indicate that LSD-assisted psychotherapy was safe to use and administer in these subjects. These results showing the safety and potential benefits of LSD justify conducting further research on its therapeutic potential.
St. Albert and the LSD Revelation Revolution by Alex Grey
LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is a semi-synthetic compound first developed in 1938 by Dr. Albert Hofmann at the Sandoz pharmaceutical company in Basel, Switzerland. After Dr. Hofmann first discovered some of its interesting effects in 1943, LSD quickly became recognized for its possible therapeutic effects. LSD also played a significant role in the discovery of the serotonin neurotransmitter system.
LSD is known for its ability to catalyze spiritual or mystical experiences and to facilitate feelings of interconnection. MAPS helps people to explore the potential of these substances to treat a variety of conditions, focusing primarily on the treatment of anxiety associated with life-threatening illness, as well as for spiritual uses, creativity, and personal growth.
There is considerable previous experience using LSD in the context of psychotherapy. From the 1950s through the early 1970s, psychiatrists (such as Stanislav Grof), therapists (like Ralph Metzner), and other researchers administered LSD as a treatment for alcoholism, or for anxiety and depression in people with advanced stage cancer.
The research that MAPS has completed and their plans for future research conform to the development standards for other modern drugs and will help guide the way for the development of additional research into the risks and benefits of LSD-assisted psychotherapy.
Rick Doblin PhD, the Founder and Executive Director of MAPS, was one of the coauthors of the groundbreaking pilot study, and is a contributor to Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics. He was interviewed for the book by editor Allan Badiner and in that interview they discuss Rick’s personal history with working to legalize psychedelics, experience with trying meditation and ways of relating to skeptical relatives.
You can watch them talk about some of the ideas in Zig Zag Zen at Watkins Books in London in the video below:
[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Or_xAWd8wdM” width=”360″ height=”280″]
And for more information from MAPS, you can check out their comprehensive Psychedelic Bibliography for scientific literature covering the risks and benefits of LSD and other psychedelics.
If you’re still hungry for more psychedelic information to feed your head, be sure to check out the Consciousness and Psychedelics section of our bookstore.