John is a curious traveller whose primary passion is exploration. He is a facilitator for MycoMeditations, who run legal psychedelic retreats in Jamaica with psilocybin mushrooms, and there he also works as videographer to document people’s experiences and continue spreading information on psychedelics. He blogs about psychedelics, meditation and travel at mapsofthemind.com
Honesty & Psychedelics: Acknowledging the Sham Shamans
At my first shamanic retreat, the ‘shaman’ was at times defensive and dismissive towards participants, and other times even hostile and aggressive. He scolded the entire group for our behaviour the day after a ceremony and also berated a guest for sharing her poetry. Was it a teaching method to help us learn? Nah.
Because of my own naivety, combined with my own overwhelmingly and exclusively positive experiences with psychedelics, I was blind to seeing this for what it was. My underlying rationale was ‘if I’ve learnt so much from so few sessions, then anyone with such experience must surely be trustworthy’.
I didn’t want to admit that our shaman was a flawed human.
In this short presentation I’ll share what I learned from this experience and how it might affect how we view and interact with practitioners in the psychedelic field, as well as the importance of honestly sharing our full range of experiences.