#52: The Conscious Psychedelic Explorer, John Robertson

Hosted by Josh Gonsalves
1 HR 38 MIN
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Episode Description

Psychedelic Explorer and Guide John Robertson shares his framework for how to prepare for, set up and integrate meaningful psychedelic experiences so you can harness its power for personal insights and accelerate your personal growth.

About John Robertson

John Robertson is a the creator behind Maps of the Mind. He’s a psychedelic explorer and guide, with experience in the fields of mindfulness, meditation and personal growth.

He has been facilitating psychedelic sessions privately and on retreat since 2017 and is the co-founder and director of New Moon Psychedelic Retreats, one of the first legal psychedelic retreats in the world.

He has developed a complete, step-by-step online course that teaches you how to prepare for, set up, and integrate meaningful psychedelic experiences so you can harness personal insights, access healing states, and accelerate your personal growth.

To learn more about The Conscious Psychedelic Explorer program, go to

Connect with John Robertson

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  • 00:46 — conversation begins
  • 02:13 — overview of The Conscious Psychedelic Explorer course
  • 09:46 — what are some of the psychedelic paths that John’s students go on
  • 12:07 — how you know you’re ready for a psychedelic experience
  • 16:35 —
  • 17:30 — Starting a psychedelic retreat (New Moon Retreats)
  • 20:35 — How John saves all of his psychedelic research
  • 20:53 — Building a Second Brain by Tiago Forte
  • 21:55 — John uses a note-taking software called Scrivener
  • 23:18 — Roam Research & Obsidian for networked thought
  • 23:31 — Psychedelic research
  • 25:07 — Recalling information and making new connections in the brain while tripping
  • 26:40 — Psychedelic session integration
  • 27:29 — Trip journalling
  • 35:34 — How to guide and control your trip
  • 36:23 — Types of psychedelic sessions
  • 36:47 — The Inner Journey psychedelic sessions
  • 38:21 — Psychedelic-assisted therapy
  • 38:44 — Creative sessions
  • 39:51 — Dosage
  • 40:07 — Set, setting, substance
  • 41:52 — Psycholytic therapy
  • 44:23 — Recreational sessions
  • 46:39 — Session Preparation
  • 49:49 — Relationship with psychedelics
  • 53:19 — Exercise to get comfortable with psychedelics
  • 55:04 — Safety profile of classic psychedelics
  • 01:00:36 — techniques for integrating meditation and relaxing into the experience
  • 01:01:06 — Using meditation to navigate and direct your experience
  • 01:05:23 — Sensory deprivation tanks
  • 01:06:08 — Sleep meditation
  • 01:08:28 — Insight Timer free app for guided meditations
  • 01:08:43 — John’s guided sleep meditation on Insight Timer
  • 01:09:54 — Using nitrous oxide with psychedelics
  • 01:13:23 — What started John’s passion for psychedelics
  • 01:13:51 — John’s first psychedelic experience
  • 01:17:25 — How often should you do psychedelics?
  • 01:24:39 — Advice for being more intentional with psychedelics
  • 01:28:38 — The Conscious Psychedelic Explorer course
  • 01:32:22 — Maps of the Mind (John’s website and blog)
  • 01:34:11 — How to Change Your Mind book by Micheal Pollan
  • 01:34:26 — How to Change Your Mind series on Netflix

[00:00:00] John: The most common thing that my students have, which is lovely to be able to say, is that everyone is coming with a sincere intention to grow and to learn about themselves.

[00:00:11] Many people that I've worked with are more coming from the kind of introspective, reflective, approach, more kind of looking inwards to learn, but often are looking also to branch out, or understand there's more to psychedelics, you know?

[00:00:26] So maybe actually someone's been working in some method for a while and they think I'd like to freshen up my practice. I think there's, there's more to this. There's more that I can get out of working with psychedelics.

[00:00:36] If we think of working with psychedelics as kind of exploring. Exploring the world of psychedelics and different ways of working with them.

[00:00:46] Josh: Okay, John, welcome to Mind Meld. After a few false starts here in so many different ways, Uh, no one needs to know that though, but now they do. Now they're here in this conversation with us. Now they know that this is not the first time that we hit record today.

[00:01:06] John: Thanks for having me pleasure to be here. Uh, like you say, not the first time, but we didn't, we didn't get too far in, so, uh, I think we're good. And, um, yeah. Thanks for having me pleasure to sit down and have the chance to speak with you.

[00:01:19] Josh: Yeah, absolutely man. And I think this is gonna be one of my favorite podcast date. I already know that because we've had a few conversations that have ignited me and I'm really interested in exploring more about psychedelics and how that can be used as a tool for thought to enhance creativity, to, um, you bear, more fruits into the one's life, right.

[00:01:41] I feel like for me anyways, you haven't really, truly lived and you haven't really fully lived until you've had at least, uh, an experience. It's not to say that everyone needs to do it, but I think that it's a great tool for personal growth and that's where I wanna bring your expertise.

[00:01:57] You've been researching and having a, I don't countless experiences of your own. And now you're bringing that to hopefully the masses. I'm hoping that more and more people will start to learn how to use this tool, um, and a little bit more responsibly.

[00:02:13] So where I really wanna start actually with this conversation is sort of an overview of your course that you're teaching just very, um, you know, just high level, what you're gonna be teaching in your course on, on how to use psychedelics, because it will absolutely set the stage for everything else we're going to be talking about today, uh, in our conversation.

[00:02:34] John: sure, absolutely. Yeah. Happy to. Um, so yeah, the course really is for psychedelic explorers. It's for people who are working with psychedelics and it's not limited really to any single specific purpose. There's, there's lots of different ways of working with psychedelics. I like to think of myself as kind of method agnostic, you know, there's, there's.

[00:02:58] Ways, you know, there's the, what's pretty common now, the headphones and IMS kind of therapy style approach, directing your attention inwards there's people using them for creativity. You know, there's been lots of great thinkers and musicians who have been working with psychedelics and using them in their processes, scientists to, um, there's people working in groups, there's people going solo.

[00:03:18] There's all kinds of different ways of working with them and bearing fruit from, um, from these processes that arise. So really the course is for anyone who's really looking to work with psychedelics in a kind of more intentional way and to, to, to make the most out of their, their psychedelic path. So maybe just a easy way for me to kind of give an overview is to kind of just go over the, the four key modules of the course.

[00:03:48] And, um, those are path prepar. session preparation, session integration and path integration. So the first one path preparation, this is basically preparing to walk the psychedelic path. So it's preparing to work with psychedelics. So this is kind of foundational stuff that I think whichever type of method or route or where you're gonna be working with psychedelics, this is kind of applicable across the board.

[00:04:20] So this is the kind of things like intentions, looking at your relationship with psychedelics. Like how, how do you relate to them? You know, how, how do they make you feel and, uh, do you trust them? And these kind of things that I think is kind of important to look at that really before getting stuck in or very helpful, at least anyway.

[00:04:43] Um, and, um, And yeah, and, and things like support, you know, having a support network, having people, you know, that you can turn to, if things come up, psychedelics can be, can open big doors. And sometimes that can be kind of destabilizing, you know? And so it's good to have in place a support network. So this kind of foundational stuff is kind of the first module.

[00:05:08] And that's preparing basically to engage and work deeply with psychedelics. The second module is, uh, session preparation. So this is where each Explorer or student then starts preparing for a specific session. So then we're kind of honing in a little bit and thinking, okay, choosing kind of one intention or one method or mode of working with psychedelics mentioned a couple earlier, you know, creativity or healing, or maybe outside in nature, you wanna connect more than natural, whatever it is, it's choosing one of those.

[00:05:43] and then we go through a few lessons to prepare for that specific experience. So there's, there's, there's a few different things there. There's thinking about who you're gonna be tripping with. If you're gonna be needing a sitter, where is it gonna be? What's the logistics of that need some certain supplies or equipment, you know, um, music, all these kinds of things.

[00:06:03] So it's kind of going through step by step and preparing for that specific session. Then each Explorer will take that, be, be prepared, sufficiently prepared. They'll have that session. And then we come into module three, which is session integration and integration it's is pretty, pretty big field. Now in the psychedelic space, it's almost become coming its own kind of field.

[00:06:28] Um, so this is yeah. Integrating the experience. And so that might be hopefully if there's been some. Benefits and positives, that's gonna be kind of incorporating those into our day to day life. How are we bringing them forward? How are we bringing them out into our day to day life? You know, integrating that experience and kind of maybe looking at key themes and, uh, things that we actually need to do, cuz you know, sometimes you need to take action.

[00:06:58] It's like maybe you have a big idea or something and, but there's, you know, the story doesn't end there, life goes on and you know, you're maybe gonna need to do some work to integrate that. So, um, that's basically the third thing and that's also includes kind of ways of processing the experience and reflecting on it.

[00:07:18] So there's different methods to explore there. And I should also say at this point is the kind of course is kind of an exploration as well. I'm a, I'm a great believer in people finding an approach which works for them and, and recognizing that. Different things are gonna work for different people. So it's an opportunity for people to kind of create their own approach as it were in terms of preparation and integration and, and maybe trying out a few different, um, complimentary modalities and, and finding really and identifying, okay, this worked, you know, I'm gonna carry that forward.

[00:07:52] Um, I digress. And then we go onto the fourth module, uh, which is path integration. And that is integrating as a person, as a psychedelic person, as a person who works with psychedelics over the long term, you know, not just, not just a one-off kind of thing, someone that's re-engaging with them coming back for different lessons.

[00:08:15] And so in there there's, there's, there's, that's kind of, yeah, that's, there's kind of cool. There's a few fun lessons in there, I think. Um, but maybe I'll get into that, but there's also some kind of, uh, Some kind of like it's, it is kind of longer term thinking, you know, there's some kind of basic lessons and fundamentals about yeah. Walking the path and going on that journey of growth.

[00:08:46] Josh: This is why I wanted to start with this because a, it kind of gives an overview of how you're teaching people to use these tools and these like substances more, uh, effectively and more consciously, right? It's not just something that you do, for fun in the park with your friends one day, which you probably could, that can be part of a session, but now you're kind of breaking it down, so you have the path and you have your sessions.

[00:09:11] The path, from what I'm gathering, is sort of your overview, your, the way that you relate to psychedelics. Is your relationship with it in your life and the path that you wanna walk. then the sessions are the individual sessions along that path, and those sessions can be different every time.

[00:09:27] So it's not just, oh, I do psychedelic because I wanna be more creative. It's like, no, you can do it this one time, uh, to uncover something about yourself, um, for therapeutic reasons, another time you can do it cause you wanna create a piece of art, another time just to enjoy nature.

[00:09:42] So, I guess where we can kind of go from this is sort of like, what are some of the paths that you see your students going on? And what are some of the paths that you kind of, um, help people recognize?

[00:09:55] John: I guess the, the The most common thing that my students have, which is lovely to be able to say is that everyone is coming with a sincere intention to grow and to learn about themselves. Um, I probably say actually a lot of people or many people that I've worked with. Are more coming from the kind of introspective reflective, uh, approach, more kind of looking inwards to learn to begin, but often are looking also to branch out or understand or have glimpsed or, or, or for, for whatever reason understand there's more to psychedelics, you know?

[00:10:38] So maybe actually someone's been working in some method for a while and they think I'd like to freshen up my practice. I think there's, there's more to there's more to this. There's, more that I can get out of working with psychedelics. And so this is, this is something I enjoy doing, working with people, you know, like, I mean, it's like , if we think of working with psychedelics as kind of exploring, exploring within the exploration, you know, different, there's exploring the world of psychedelics and different ways of working with them. Some people also maybe have glimpsed something and they they're like, there's something there, but they want to go deeper, you know?

[00:11:19] Josh: I think I find myself in that category, for sure. I haven't, I've been microdosing psilocybin for quite a while. In fact, today is another day what I'm doing. I feel like it's a great time to do that during a conversation like this. Um, but having a macro dose, having one of these intentional experiences not something I've had for a little while.

[00:11:38] And I kind of like, feel it calling me, is that something that people have said, and, and it kind of seems like that's what you're kind of getting at. Like, it almost calls you, I've had friends and relatives saying that a specific, uh, substance calls. I'm like, they, they really wanna try iowaska. They have like, I don't wanna try LSD. wanna do MDMA. It's like specifically iowaska is calling me. It's like, for me, I don't really have a specific substance potentially LSD, cause it's not something that I've experimented with before.

[00:12:07] How do you know when it's sort of time and you're ready for this experience, especially for people who are like, kind of maybe scared or afraid, cuz it's new, it's so different. It's like going off into space. It's like going into a whole new reality. It's like your world will shatter almost in a, in a good way and maybe sometimes a bad way. How do you prepare people for that?

[00:12:25] John: yeah, it is, it's good that you mentioned that it can be like shattering. I think that's like world shattering. I think that's good for people to be aware of before going into that. But yet there are some people who are looking for that, you know, there are some people who are like, I'm ready for my world to be shattered, like, uh, that you know, that, um, someone recently joined the course and they were saying like, that's, that's what they want.

[00:12:52] They kind of want to break through experience. I mean, to be honest from the course and people, uh, just working one to one with people or people that coming on retreat quite often, they are, they are people who are looking for a big experience or ego death, or ego dissolution, or a spiritual experience, obviously different people use different terms, but, um, but yeah, that, that's, that's common that people have a sense that, okay, there's something I want to dive deeper into and to come back to your question on how does someone know when they're ready, um, gonna go to the cliches, but I would, I would say the intuition, that feeling kind of checking in with yourself about how you feel.

[00:13:40] I mean, what I, what I enjoy about my work now is that I don't, I'm kind of there for people when they've already kind of made that decision. I want to go further or I'm, I'm go, I'm, I'm going this path. And then I'm like, okay, I, now I can support you and help you on this. You know, I, I mean, I've had my times.

[00:14:06] After my early experiences, you know, when I, I was more, maybe everyone needs to do this. Like almost like encouraging people like you should do. You should try asset. This is incredible. I've kind of over time kind of, um, rebalance that, or maybe rebalance, not the right word, but I, I'm not so forthright with it.

[00:14:27] Josh: evolved past that. It's like an evolution past

[00:14:29] John: That's, that's a nice way of putting it. Yeah. May, um, yeah, maybe I've evolved. Let's go with that. I like

[00:14:37] but yeah, now I'm at the stage where I'm not trying to convince anyone. I mean, fortunately enough there's enough research and media out there is kind of doing that, hyping it up enough. Um, so I mean, even sometimes a big part of what I do is managing expectations.

[00:14:54] Uh, really, you know, because. That's something we cover in the fourth module, walking the path, because you know, people coming to psychedelics, there can be a high expectations, you know, and if those aren't met, which can be the case that can sink back into feelings of disappointment. And maybe then also that can come up with some other stuff.

[00:15:15] Oh, why, why did I pin so many hopes on this? Or why didn't this go? How I wanted it to, did I not prepare properly? You know, people can get caught up in that kind of thing. So that's kind of coming back to the classic psychedelic, tennis, you know, acceptance, trusting the process, you know, these kind of core principles.

[00:15:33] Um, so yeah, but just to come back to it, um, yeah, I I'm at the stage now, which is really nice where it's like working with people that are already on the path and they want to go further and they're looking for ways to improve their approach, to learn maybe new ways new. Tips tricks, you know, ways of preparing, approaching, individualizing, their approach, you know, all these kind of things and, and maybe connecting with other people, um, and learning from other people, which is something I also really enjoy about the, the founding group we had of, of the course.

[00:16:09] What I really enjoyed about putting that, putting out the course that was for experienced people, was that I knew I was gonna learn also from the group, you know, there there's, we, we had a really great ranger experience in the group and it was, uh, also great for me to, you know, to engage and, and get ideas sparked from, from other explorers, you know?

[00:16:34] Josh: Yeah, absolutely. And it just seems like, again, from your blog, I'm gonna link a lot of resources by the way, in the show notes of this, cuz I'm gonna refer to a lot of things that you've written before.

[00:16:42] Some of the things, um, that you've kind of shared in this conversation. but yeah, I wanna get into that sort of knowledge sharing and why this is amazing that it's like a group, course technically, right.

[00:16:54] You're kind of going through it with people, you have a community to lead on, but the end of the day, this is gonna be an individualized, uh, experience for you, which is what I think is really interesting because especially when you're working with psychedelics it's it's, um, You're working with each individual human's minds.

[00:17:10] Right. And everyone's very different. They're gonna react to things different. So obviously it has to be very specific to them. But when it comes to like this larger group of like knowledge sharing, I think the having the group or the community is amazing. So, uh, have ideas from each other, but I've also noticed in one of your blog posts, you talked about, um, during your, your days as, uh, at the retreat that you started, you were talking about how you don't see other retreats as competitors.

[00:17:36] You don't see other people doing courses as competitors. It's like, no, these are all people in our community. We can learn from them. We can share the knowledge and that's not something you get in other types of communities. That's not something you get in other types of industries.

[00:17:50] Everyone wants to hoard knowledge, but it really seems in this space, people are sharing their knowledge. Is that kind of like your experience with it? Like how have you been experiencing, um, the knowledge sharing and how have you been able to get all of this knowledge? Cuz you've years and years of knowledge under your belt now.

[00:18:07] John: Well, yeah, I mean, I, I've learned a lot from other people sharing their knowledge, you know, uh, and, and generously sharing. And I I'm just try and pass that on. Um, and I've felt really, I don't know, moved really when other people who might be considered competitors reaching out to me and, and giving me encouragement or, or, you know, sharing things.

[00:18:36] And I've really enjoyed that, um, about being in the community and having back and forth and having other people in the space, kind of share things with me and, and have a kind of beneficial relationship. And I think we all bring each other up when we work and collaborate in this way. there's some kind of discussion or debate conflict in the sphere now, you know, there's, there's companies trying to come out with patents for certain types of approach of working with psychedelics or even combinations of psychedelics.

[00:19:16] So there are some people saying kind of, yeah, there's, there's a bit of cynicism and I think understandably so about, um, yeah, people maybe trying to yeah. Control certain aspects of, this emerging thing and, and for profit. Um, so yeah, that, that's not something I I've. Particularly put a lot of energy and focus on, you know, um, I'm focusing on what I'm doing and that's, and that's helping people, um, who are working with psychedelics. yeah,

[00:19:52] Josh: gets easier for them to access substances themselves because like there's a whole, what it seems like we can get into some of the modules, especially with the session preparation.

[00:20:01] Like there's so many logistics that go into it to making sure that you're curating an experience. Um, but just, I wanna stick on this knowledge part real quick.

[00:20:11] Cause I have I a legitimate question for you that it's a burning question for me. So you're following research studies, right? You're following maybe competitors, you're following, other explorers in the space. You go to a lot of conferences. You speak to people all the time.

[00:20:25] How do you save all of this research. Do you have like a note taking method? Do you have, like, what is now being called a second brain to like start, you know, uh, adding all of your research and like tagging things. So you kind of know where things are going and how you can like, bring that knowledge into your course and teach people.

[00:20:43] Do you have like a note taking system or somewhere that you kind of like build a graph of knowledge of all this stuff?

[00:20:49] John: yeah, that's a great question. Um, yeah, the building a second brain that Tiago book just came as in it. I haven't read it yet. Um,

[00:20:58] Josh: fresh in my mind. Cause I'm reading that

[00:21:00] John: right. Okay. Yeah, it's on my list. Um, no, I haven't read it yet. I well, a bit influenced, um, from David Allens, getting things done. Um, I've always been a prolific note taker. Um, I've always carry around a small pocket notebook with me everywhere I go.

[00:21:19] I've done that since I was a late teen. I think I, I, I heard about, I think it was like writers or, or comedians that that was a practice they did just to capture ideas. Um, and that's something that I kind of just picked up and it stuck with me. Um, so that's first, first point of reference. I'm a big analog guy as well.

[00:21:40] I like pen and paper. what I do now is I'll go through a weekly review as part of my weekly review process. I will then go through my pads and then organize those things into where they need to go. So I will have, I use actually a software called Scrivener.

[00:21:58] Josh: never heard of that one. I'm

[00:21:59] John: write a,

[00:22:00] Josh: I'm gonna look at that.

[00:22:01] John: that's what I used to, to do the course, basically the, the core content and the outlines from it. that's, pretty much it. Yeah. Scrivener, Scrivener. Yeah. That's,

[00:22:14] Josh: all of your digital notes.

[00:22:15] John: that's where, yeah. I mean, that's more specifically for projects. Um, like, uh, like yeah, I'm currently working on a workshop, um, but, and then I'm using it for that also, and that's for the cause. Um, but I mean, really just in pads basically is pretty.

[00:22:37] Josh: Do you review those pads? you like bring them out ever and like go

[00:22:39] John: Yes,

[00:22:40] Josh: trip reports or journals and stuff like that. Do you bring them.

[00:22:43] John: yes. I, I go through them all and then kind of once I've been through and satisfied that there's nothing that is, has not been archived in a relevant Scrivener doc. Or put in place in a digital file then that can kind of be laid to rest, basically, if that makes sense.

[00:23:02] Josh: And, um you always come back to it later, but it's like, it's safe there if you ever need to come back to it, but you don't need to have it top of mind. Yeah. I think any kind of archiving solution, otherwise it's just kind of all over the place, but that's why I was like really, really interested.

[00:23:14] Um, recently a lot of people moving to things like, uh, Roam research or obsidian, these like networking for thoughts, right? These like these software where you can start making these connections between things. And I think that's super interesting in the psychedelic space.

[00:23:31] I was wondering if you did anything like that or if you know of anybody in the industry doing that kind of stuff, because I think that's a great way to do research and make new connections because we're so fresh and so new in this.

[00:23:42] John: Yeah. That's, uh, it's funny. I was speaking with a friend yesterday and he was telling me he's been using obsidian since the start of the year. And he said exactly like you, that it's great for making connections between different things. Um, I'm kind of embarrassed to say I don't, I don't really have something like that.

[00:24:03] I'm pretty old school. Um, it's something, yeah. I'd like to experiment with more. Um, but uh, my kind of approach is read widely, read around or take in a lot widely around and a lot. And then connections will get made. Normally if I'm out running or, or, um, or tripping, normally those are two times when it's, then things will be like, oh, I didn't actually, yeah.

[00:24:31] Like connect those things before like, oh, this, you know, where you have those moments. And you're like, oh yeah, of course, like. Oh, that's great. Um, so yeah, and then they all go in the notepad, basically

[00:24:42] Josh: your Scrivener or like any kind of archiving solution for me, I do it in notion. Uh, I might start using something like, uh, obsidian, but just like that with you're talking about with tripping, it's like with digital document, you have, you download the idea and maybe you write notes and you archive it and it's there.

[00:24:59] Like you can make those connections. I feel like we don't give our brains enough credit. I feel like it is in there. It does get stored. Like we have like terabytes and terabytes and terabytes of storage in the brain. We're just really bad at recalling it. But maybe it's during these times when we're tripping those connections get made.

[00:25:16] Like it gets stored in there. It's stored somewhere deep in the brain. I feel like everything we take in gets stored some way in some kind of archiving, uh, solution in the brain. And then when you take these substances and you're tripping, then those connections get made, things that are in the back of your mind, come to the forefront.

[00:25:31] Have you experienced that? Do you have any ideas behind that one? There's kind of a random thought that popped in my head now.

[00:25:37] John: Sure. Yeah. AB absolutely. I mean, I, I wouldn't say, that necessarily, yeah. I wouldn't say that means that it's, we don't need to use external or as you were a second brain external cataloging systems, but can be effective. I mean, different parts of the brain communicate with each other on psychedelics that don't normally communicate with each other.

[00:26:04] So, I mean, that's, it's pretty much a direct analogy. there's, you know, um, I mean, that's also why sometimes people experience things like synesthesia, you know, like seeing colors or tasting numbers, these connections that aren't normally there are suddenly then made and that affect how we perceive things and influence things. What creates our reality. Um, so yeah, definitely, definitely something there.

[00:26:37] Josh: yeah, and then I guess this is part of the session integration, like the, uh, maybe the post experience, post experiential, uh, recollection, or again, of that experience, um, is that during that point where maybe you'd ask people to journal, to write about their experience, to maybe talk about it, how are some of the ways that people actually integrate this knowledge?

[00:27:01] Cuz like we just talked about like you're taking knowledge from external sources. Sometimes, like ideas that you get from internal after taking psychedelics is almost like an external, uh, external knowledge, right? It feels like it's coming from God. It feels like it's coming from somewhere totally outside of yourself.

[00:27:17] So you wanna capture that knowledge as well. How do you, um, suggest people do that? Do you have like a standardized way of doing it, of like trip journaling or like trip reporting? Do you have a certain method for that?

[00:27:30] John: Yeah. I, I do myself personally, which is slightly different actually, depending on if it's an inner journey or a creative session, um, for an inner journey, the headphones I'm asked, basically looking inwards, listening to music for the whole thing. What I kind of understand is a condensed or concentrated kind of meditation session, like observing thoughts and being with feelings.

[00:27:56] One that's the same across both is rest. I think it's just key. It's just key to allow yourself to rest. I mean also consolidation of memory and things. That's so important sleep, so allowing rest and allowing some space, that is something that's the same. For, for both creative and inner journeys, um,

[00:28:14] for inner journeys, what I will do, my, my typical kind of integration is the day after leave the day free after allow myself to rest, then I'll put back on the playlist that I've listened to the day before.

[00:28:30] So this is a kind of, um, like recreating the context of the experience, which can help bring certain things back. Also if you've had something burning or a certain smell, any kind of triggers that you can do to bring yourself back to that experience without taking anything again, you know, basically revisiting and remembering can help.

[00:28:51] Um, so I will even do things like I'll, uh, depending how, um, how good I'm being, but like recreate the alter, have even leave my like eye mask over my head with the headphones on. So I'm kind of really trying to feel like I'm I'm back there. Um, And then listen to the music and then, um, journal and write an open-ended report of the experience.

[00:29:19] Um, so rather than having my attention inwards, I'm then kind of putting it out. Um, and that's, that's something I actually picked up from the research papers from the research, John Hopkins, that that's, they have people write up. They even actually do it or did the day of the trip when they go home. They go in through a, an integration meeting the day after to talk, uh, with their therapist and they're supposed to have written up an outline ready already.

[00:29:48] Um, I don't do that. Actually. I've write it up the next, uh, allow myself to chill out in, in the evening and just, and just relax. Uh, but then the next day I will take a few hours to just write journal, everything, anything that come up, try and, and then normally I'll try. pick out key themes. So there might be some, some key themes.

[00:30:15] It might be, you know, it might be something personal, it might be something health related. It might be a particular relationship. It might be some something in myself that I want to cultivate more, you know, an attribute or something in my personality or character that if I, if I see an obstacle or something that I'm trying to overcome, and I think, okay, this is more the person I need to be, then maybe that, that will be a theme.

[00:30:39] Um, so yeah, it could be anything that I try to basically pick out key themes. Um, and, and yeah, and that's pretty much it. And then I'll, I'll make some, maybe if there's some key points of steps that I need to take or things that I need to do, those will then go into my task manager. Basically or, or I'll make an appointment or, okay.

[00:31:06] I need to speak to this person. This is a conversation I need to have or whatever, you know, and I'll just that those will go into my things set up. Um, so yeah. And then in terms of, uh, creative session, that will typically be, uh, that for that I, I will have the notepad out the whole time and I'll take basically notes throughout the whole session.

[00:31:32] Josh: During the session.

[00:31:33] John: during the session itself.

[00:31:35] Yes. Um, and then what, for those, what I'll do is a kind of session review and then the day after, or not necessarily directly after, but within a couple of days, um, ideally I would go through all the notes, you know, because normally a creative session for me would be exploring divergently and not. Not really converging, not going too deep on any specific thing, but just like ideas, like gimme all the ideas, gimme all the connections, you know, write them all down.

[00:32:07] Don't judge them too much. Just like allow myself to be excited by them or whatever, you know, think it's the next greatest thing, whatever. Just, just get them down and knowing that I'll review everything later. And then in the review, you know, that that's kind of where the integration comes in. Some of that might be like, you know, a bit of discernment there, some of that might be like, okay, this is a good idea.

[00:32:30] Like what can I do to move this forward? Or what, yeah. Like what are the next steps to this? But there might also be things when I'm like, that sounded good. Join session. Doesn't really sound that great now, you know, um, or, or, or maybe like, oh, this idea's great, but it's just too big. It's too ambitious.

[00:32:52] Like there's no way I can handle that now. Or like, you know, maybe that goes in the folder for later or like, or just like, yeah, this is kind of be beyond my capability now or, or yeah, it could be, could be anything really, but that that's kind of the assessment then of the session comes in that session review.

[00:33:11] So there'll be, yeah, what I found is during sessions, more ideas come up, creative sessions, more ideas come up. That includes more bad ideas, but it also includes more good ideas. And if there's a couple in there, that's makes everything worthwhile basically. So it's kind of going through and seeing, okay.

[00:33:28] Throw that one away, throw that one away. Like, or maybe it might be renegotiating like, oh, this is a cool idea, but it's a bit too much for me to handle now. Can I do a small version? You know, can I downscale it? You know? Or like, could be anything like that could be a creative project, but often, normally in those sessions, other ideas will come about.

[00:33:50] It might, it might be like a lifestyle experiment that I want to do, or it might be like a trip that I want to go on. And for example, maybe it's like, oh yeah, cool. Like go, go traveling for like three months. And then, but then maybe in the assessment, it's like, I, that's not gonna work. , you know, my workflow, but then it's like, okay, well there's some part of me that wants that adventure.

[00:34:10] Maybe I can go away for a week or maybe I can work remotely for a month or something, you know? So then that's kind of the integration kind of thing, like negotiating with it a little bit and thinking like, okay, like, yeah, there's maybe something to that, but not in its. The original form. Um, so, uh, yeah, that, that's pretty much, that's pretty much the, kind of how I, how I go about a session integration.

[00:34:35] Um, and yeah, it it's chance to rest and

[00:34:39] process,

[00:34:40] Josh: So I love that. So it's almost like in these kind of scenarios. So I would say like, what are the types of sessions? Cause I wanna kind like categorize this almost. I don't wanna put too many, uh, rigidness to this, but it seems like there's different types of sessions.

[00:34:52] So you mentioned like there's the session where you're gonna have ideas and you're gonna let divergent thinking do its thing. There's also these like internal sessions where like those, I guess more personal journey, personal, um, like therapeutic kind of sessions where you're going inwards,

[00:35:08] obviously like you can't really control what happens when you get shot out into space and sometimes you think you're gonna go on a creative journey and take a left turn, take a right turn. And you're like, oh shit. Like this thing came up. Um, and you're, you know, something maybe deep inside of you, that's like personal issue comes up. Um, does that happen? Like, I mean, it must, right. And how do you deal with those kind of things and you know, how, how do you make sure that you're kind of like giving yourself guardrails, if you are gonna have an intention to do one thing and then something else happens, how do you, how do you help people through that?

[00:35:44] John: Yeah, absolutely. And that's something should be taken into account. Um, I absolutely I'm trying to think if that's yeah, actually it has happened to me. It's been okay. I was gonna say not, but I've heard many also stories from many other people where they were going after recreational experience, then all of a sudden, all this stuff just started coming up. Um, so yeah, I mean preparation. I think one thing that's good to bear in mind is. Yeah, it is basically be just being prepared for that to happen.

[00:36:20] Josh: So we can get into the path preparation, I guess, before we do that, what are the types of like sessions? Like if you were to categorize them like these types of categories,

[00:36:28] like, what are the types of sessions, the main ones, then we'll get into path prep cause or session prep. Cause I think that will inform how to get the actual session itself, there's nothing you can really do to control it, but you can maybe prepare for one of these types of sessions. So what are what are the main types of kind of expect?

[00:36:45] John: Well, I've spoken a little bit about it, but the inner journey is a classic's. Most people are probably heard of some research study with incredible statistics, um, be it treatment resistant depression or end of life, anxiety, Imperial and John Hopkins.

[00:37:04] Um, they typically use the psychedelic what's known as the psychedelic therapy. Style approach. Um, and that is for the session itself is basically high dose preset playlist of music that goes, start to finish, um, headphones on I mask on direction, um, attention directed, inwards. Um, so yeah, and that's one I use myself.

[00:37:39] Um, that's probably been the most useful for me, um, in terms of, yeah, in terms of my work with psychedelics. Um, and that's. Yeah, that that's great. Introspection looking inside, basically. Um, so there's that one, I use the term psychedelic therapy style session or in a journey interchangeably, because of course, if people are organizing themselves or like I do, I'm actually not working with a therapist. you know,

[00:38:12] Josh: It's almost self therapy at that point,

[00:38:14] John: yeah. Kind of.

[00:38:16] Josh: The substance, it is the molecule.

[00:38:18] John: sure. Yeah. Or as in the studies, they call it psychedelic assisted therapy. Um, so they have, they have psychotherapy leading up to it. They go through certain things and they have follow up sessions. Um, so, but yeah, for, for reference, basically, that's why I call it style like psychotherapy style session or inner journey.

[00:38:41] So, so there's that one basically, um, There's creative sessions, which could look in any number of ways really. Um, because depending on, on the, what type of creation someone is coming up with, they can also be kind of more open ended. Um, but there might be that might be working like with art, you know, with some supplies, paper, um, colors, pens, it might be working with, I, I'm more of a kind of words person. Um, so for me, that's normally just a journal basically, and, and pen

[00:39:18] Josh: you can write while you're tripping?

[00:39:21] John: Yes.

[00:39:22] Josh: I would not be able to write. I feel like I would have to, like, I would have to like vlog, I would have to vlog it or I'd need to like, do voice memos. writing, I would like go back and like, I think I'm writing my name and then I'm drawing a picture of like the moon or something. People are like, what the hell is that? I wouldn't be able to do that.

[00:39:38] John: sure. Um, Yeah. I mean, well, we get onto it, but that's also one thing of like, um, you mentioned like how to prepare, cause maybe you're gonna open a whole kind of worm.

[00:39:51] Dosage is a big factor. Dosage is something that I think to be honest, not talked about enough, it's such a key component. There's set setting dose for me is like on the triangle. Yeah. Depending which model you're using. I know you

[00:40:05] Josh: dose. You would kind of

[00:40:06] John: yeah, or set, setting, substance. That's another, another way of looking at there's of course the seven S's model, but there's, there's also the classic set setting and substance and within substance of course would be the amount of the substance. Um, and so I think that's huge.

[00:40:24] but yeah, the, I mean, part of it, yeah. I was also learning how you work. So it might sound like good. And then you realize you can't write, maybe you have other tools, maybe you use something, you know, that will transcribe for you. Um, I love doing that, not on psychedelics, but, um,

[00:40:40] I will generally like for my blog posts, I always write the first draft pretty much dictating I'll I'll take my phone out and walk around and just talk to someone, um, or not to someone, but imagine I'm talking to someone, um, and then just go back and LA, but yeah, but I mentioned that because that's yeah, maybe a tool that one could use.

[00:41:03] Video recording, I know people have done that also filming themselves, just talking to a camera. Um, and yeah, but people maybe also do music that something I do sometimes, which is great. Again, dosage is important and setup is also key. You know, I don't wanna start having to fiddle with technical cables and sound levels.

[00:41:25] So that's kind of like for those sessions, I have just like a big, it's not too big, but a list of things that are run through before, kind of playing as it were. Um, so yeah, there's creative sessions.

[00:41:40] There's, what's also, I mean, yeah, in the, kind of in this therapeutic, um, way of working with psyche there's psyche therapy approach, which we talked about, there was also, it was popular in the fifties and sixties psycholytic therapy, um, which is contrasting to psychedelic therapy, which is the high dose in a looking inwards. It's working with lower doses in what would look more like a typical therapy session.

[00:42:10] So speaking with someone, so you know, how a therapist maybe will help you to explore your world with certain questions, this would be a psycholytic approach. Um, which yeah. Was pretty big. It's not so much in the research now.

[00:42:26] Um, hopefully that, that that'll be more, more that'll be coming back. Cause I, I think. That that's good potential. And, um, yeah, I think again, there's so many different ways of, of working with psychedelics, so, um, but yeah, that's basically yes. Speaking so that the, the personal process that would maybe come about through therapy is kind of heightened it's on this other level basically.

[00:42:53] And so you have someone to, to yeah. To help you go into certain topics and explore them. And I kind of myself more loosely used the term psycholytic, which I were, I think of as using interaction as a means of guiding the explor. As it were. So I've done what I was kind of psycholytic style sessions with friends where maybe we will bring up a topic or something that's current in our lives or something.

[00:43:29] That's something that we're kind of dealing with. Um, and then together we can explore it. And so maybe we'll be asking each other questions, you know, and in that state then maybe some connections might be made that weren't made before or some insights might come up within that kind of guided interaction.

[00:43:49] Um, so, so yeah, that, that's kind of the psychological approach that then you could also kind of blend in, sorry, this is kind of not neatly categorized, but, um, that could also then blend into using things like, uh, they could be guided reflections. They could even be videos.

[00:44:11] Josh: So these are like sub-categories, right. That can kind of go within that, like kind of more, um, reflective use case of it. So it's like, almost like the reflective, which kind of has a bunch of different use cases. There's like the creative, and then I guess the third, like big category would you just put under recreational? Like you just want an open ended, I'm just gonna do it and just whatever happens. Would you just put all of that under like recreational use or how would you categorize.

[00:44:36] John: Yeah, it's a, it is a tricky one. I, I like, I think the categories are useful, but in reality, sometimes they just blend with each other. Uh, they, they really, Yeah, like

[00:44:50] Josh: And it's also a long time, right? Within that time, like you're, you can go in so many different paths, so many different ways. so I guess if people aren't like, hey, I specifically want a creative session. You just wanna explore, I guess you just open ended, explore and see what happens. And just all of these things will probably happen. Like a whole, like fricking season of a television show happens in like 12 hours somehow. You're like, how did this happen? Like, , it's crazy. It's um, it's definitely really, really interesting there.

[00:45:17] Um, I guess like the biggest thing here now, too, is like, now we're kind of getting into, like you talked about. Your triangle approach of like the set setting, but also like the substance slash dosage. So may, maybe we can, like,

[00:45:28] we're also working backwards here for anyone like kind of lost. We're going, we went from like the session integration into the session itself. Now we're going back up to preparing for that. And I think it's useful in this conversational way to be like, okay, here's the end state and let's work our way back.

[00:45:43] When they're gonna be working with you and they're going through the course, or they just want to like, take what they've learned from here. You're gonna do the opposite way, obviously. Right? You wanna prepare for these things, you're gonna have the session and you're gonna integrate it, but I love this conversation and this approach of like, kind of working our way backwards, it kind of like gives us a different vantage point and a different like perspective of this. So

[00:46:04] John: It's about psychedelics. Yeah. So we can't go in a linear, normal progression.

[00:46:11] Josh: Exactly. So maybe we'll go back a step. Now, now we'll go into that preparation. then preparation, I think we can leave sort of like open ended because we'll be preparing for like these kind of sessions. But then also I have lots of different questions about what people might be thinking or questions they might have while this preparation stage.

[00:46:29] And that's for me too, these are questions that I actually literally have for you. These are questions that people have asked me. These are questions that I have a feeling, an inkling that the listener right now might be thinking.

[00:46:39] So let's get into the preparation of this now. So we talked about these different sessions. We've talked about, you know, integrating these sessions. And then we talked about, and we'll probably loop back around after of integrating all of this into your whole life, not just the one session, but your whole life. so let's get into preparation.

[00:46:54] What are the first things things start thinking about while you're preparing for a journey such as this.

[00:47:00] John: sure. Yeah. starting point really for me is intention, which is kind of convenient because that works double on the prepara. It's kind of, I like it as the path preparation and the session preparation. You know,

[00:47:16] it's a common practice or well spread kind of practice to form an intention for your psychedelic experience, thinking, why am I doing this? What am my expectations? What am I hoping to get out of it? Um, then, but I like also having an intention for your journey with psychedelics, you know, having an intention for why. Yeah. Why are you walking the psychedelic path? Why, why are you going down that road? You know? And so that's kind of broader and that's something that can be changed over time as well.

[00:47:53] You know, that that might not be static or fixed, but I think it's useful to, to take a moment and like check in and think, okay, why am I doing this? What am I, what am I going for? And to, to, yeah. To link it. This also kind of goes for the session preparation as well. But having that kind of clarity at the outset, I think is really useful because well, one, it gives a kind of, it gives you some kind of direction.

[00:48:26] It, it, you're not guaranteed to, to know where you're exactly where you, what you're gonna go through, but you have in your mind, okay. A clear reason for doing this. And that is also, I think, very helpful for when you might encounter difficulties. Um, along the way, you know, and then you can return back to your intention and think like, okay, here's why, like, you know, then there's moments where you might think, why am I doing this?

[00:48:53] Like what, like, why have I, why have I put myself in this situation? You know, like, this is really, if I be touring a trip or in the aftermath of a, you know, like this is pretty uncomfortable, some stuff that came that I didn't really want to look at. And then if you're coming back to your intention, thinking, okay, well, this is why I'm doing it, you know, and that can help to kind of ground yourself on that path and to have an acceptance for that, and to be able to persevere also, you know, um, and to go on ahead with it.

[00:49:23] So yeah. Being intentional and working with intentions, I think that's, that's a great, um, starting point, um, relationship with psychedelics mentioned before, but that is also for me kind of foundational. Thinking about yeah. What, how do we relate to psychedelics

[00:49:49] Josh: what are those kind of relations or what are some of those relations that you've seen? And I'm sure you have a specific relationship with them yourself, but maybe for some students, what are some ideas or what are some, examples of these relationships?

[00:50:03] John: Well, yeah, if we do a bit of like looking into that, then we might find there's some kind of unhelpful ways of relating to, and there might be all kind of reasons for that, but there, there might be kind of fear there. Um, which I would say is.

[00:50:20] Josh: fear of psychedelics

[00:50:21] John: Yeah. Yeah. yeah, like kind of beneath, you know, because of they're illegal. I mean, now we're pretty getting, getting much better, much more acceptance, but still there are some beliefs hidden that, you know, these are dangerous things. Um, I, I think it's important just on this point to make a distinction. Like for me, one of the core principles of a healthy relationship with psychotics is respect.

[00:50:50] so not to say like, oh, don't be scared. It's all gonna be fine. But for me, there's a difference of like, oh, this is like, should I be doing this? I shouldn't be doing this, these ambivalent feelings that doesn't lend itself to being able to trust psychedelics, which is another kind of foundational principle for me, respecting them and trusting them.

[00:51:11] Um, and these are important for a healthy relationship with psych, you know, to be able to go into a session, the relationship with psychotics, for me, informs the set, going into a session. Set, mindset, internal state. So if you don't really trust psychedelics,

[00:51:32] or it could even be also, maybe there's some guilt around it. I had that for a long time. When I first started, I was kind of in, in the closet as there were, or like hidden shelter, didn't speak with too many people about it because I was worried about judgment. Um, and lots of users have that tied up within their relationship with psychedelics.

[00:51:51] Maybe they're embarrassed. They won't share with certain people. They keep that side of themselves hidden. They might feel guilty about it. There could be all kinds of things mixed up just because of. Really our relationship with psychedelics as a culture, um, has, it has been since, since the war on drugs and we're still recovering from that, but anyways, so yeah, kind of working on that relationship and like inquiring and, and thinking about it and, and trying to heal that relationship is fundamental to then having a good set, you know, and feeling good, like

[00:52:29] Josh: able to let go about, right. Otherwise you're holding onto tight and you just gotta yeah, absolutely. Wow. That, yeah, that, that, that that helped me a lot. Right away, right off the bat. Just having that, the relationship kind of like healed, cuz again, some people may not, might not even have a relationship or they think they don't have a relationship to it cuz maybe they haven't done it.

[00:52:48] Maybe they've done it once or twice. Yeah, that's so true. You have a relationship to it, whether you've done it or not in the past, whether that is fear of it, or you've used it as an unhealthy coping mechanism or something or whatever it is.

[00:53:01] But I, that is so great having like that that really positive relationship and that healthy relationship with it before going into it. And then from there, then you can really start to let go, right? Then you can start using it with a solid intention. Oh, I love that so much.

[00:53:16] John: Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. So, I mean, yeah, we have a small exercise on the course, which is really just sitting and anyone can try this themselves. Um, but it's sitting with a psychedelic and maybe just having it in your hand and could be, maybe be a high dose. And just seeing how that makes you feel like, thinking about that, you know, and just seeing how that makes you feel and just exploring what are your feelings to that, you know, do you, do you have reverence for it? Are you like, oh shit. Are you like, I hope no one sees me with it. You know what I mean?

[00:53:54] Josh: Paranoia will set in, right. That's the set,

[00:53:56] John: Yeah, exactly. So these kinds of things. Um, so that's a simple way of, yeah. Just looking into, to your relationship and getting a glimpse of maybe yeah. Some of these feelings that maybe you haven't looked at, and that will then maybe inform your experience

[00:54:12] Josh: it's of course always best to try to amend these relationships and these feelings before having the experience. But I'm sure if you get to a point where like, okay, like I think, I, at least I think that I have this healthy relationship. I'm sure that once you're on the trip, that will be part of that journey as well, coming to terms with it.

[00:54:31] Maybe you have that big aha realization of like, oh, this isn't so scary. Or why was, why is this even illegal? Why am I scared of this? Like, it's, it's very weird because. Um, you know, it's a very, I mean, as far as we know, it's a non-addictive substance, like, and we're talking about psychedelic as a whole, like maybe at a certain point, we can talk about, uh, the third point on your triangle, which is like the substance and talk about a very specific one, but all in all, like we're talking like psychedelics as a whole is non addictive, right? So you can maybe shed some light on that of that. people have that worry as well.

[00:55:02] John: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, yeah. The safety profile of the classic psychedelics is really impressive as far as substances go. Um, some of the safest substances on earth, not to say there aren't risks and dangers, but that's, that's why you, we need education and preparation.

[00:55:21] Josh: substance itself is like not gonna hurt you may, you might do something yourself while on it, but like the substance itself is quite safe.

[00:55:28] John: exactly. Yeah. I mean, like with mushrooms, it. I, I don't know the number, the, the exact number, but it's an insane amount of mushrooms you'd have to, uh, consume before you're getting into issues of toxicity.

[00:55:43] Josh: Again apart

[00:55:43] of the to know that whatever you're taking know, like do some research on, obviously you wanna know what you're taking and that way you're not thinking, oh my God, I'm gonna die. I'm gonna die from this. I need to go to the hospital. You're like, well, if you knew ahead of time, you had that relationship with it.

[00:55:56] If you're in a relationship with someone, you would know stuff about them, right. You're not just on a first date with this person. You're like, you're on like a third date here. You know, you're really getting in the weeds of these people. You're going on like a vacation with them, right. You're not gonna go on a vacation with someone on your first date. Right. You wanna learn about them.

[00:56:13] So I think like part of that relationship and like the preparation is just like knowing about the substance. So do you, do you do that and as part of your course of like, here's like the lowdown of the classics of what you might be taking and do you get people to like really have a understanding of this kind of stuff to be like, you need a lot of it to have any kind of toxicity. Like you're not gonna die from this thing. Like, do you get, do you make sure people know that? Or is that part of the . Preparation,

[00:56:38] John: not specifically, actually. No. Um, yeah, that's, that's kind of, uh, expect most students to know that

[00:56:51] Josh: right? You expect them to know it. Right. But some people are like, yeah, I'm just gonna try mushrooms cuz like. Yeah, I did LSD before. Like I, but it's a different type of thing.

[00:56:59] I personally think for me now preparation, I'm like, I know, and this is a question, not even for me, but for my fiance, my partner, where she's very analytical like that, like she'll like be Googling things halfway through her trip, right, or something.

[00:57:11] I'm like, no, you should know that before. Like you don't wanna be doing that. So I think like for a lot of people, again, like obviously more experienced explorers I'll be working with, you would definitely know that, but maybe for people who, um, are not at that stage just yet, I think it makes sense to have profile built, breaa breaking down all of these substances that you're taking, so you know what it is that you're, you're doing. Like you're not gonna get random medication without knowing some of the side effects and you know, what it should be doing to help you. So I

[00:57:39] John: Yeah,

[00:57:40] Josh: yeah, no brainer.

[00:57:41] John: Definitely. Well, I, yeah, in fact that I guess that kind of falls under best some best practices, um, that we have, but yeah, one of those is, is knowing the substance and knowing what the different dosages are. Um, so yeah, we actually don't provide that in the course currently, maybe that's, that's something to, to, to bring in. Um,

[00:58:02] Josh: Substance, doses, what you can expect from each kind of dose and have like a little, little cheat sheet

[00:58:07] John: Yeah, yeah. That's super helpful. And I mean, yeah, like you say, key to letting go, because if you have, yeah, if Sunday it's really difficult then, or you might feel like you're ill or those worries or thoughts like, oh, did I take too much, like my in danger now then you can just, the, the, the part of you that's done the homework can just, you can just que that thing, man. Maybe not that easily, but you've got that knowledge. Yeah.

[00:58:38] You can say like, no, this is not possible. You know, for me to be, I'm not in any danger, I'm not, you know, this is, it's not possible for me to come to physical harm from this dose. So it's just. I've just gotta relax. I've just gotta kind of let go into this.

[00:58:57] Um, and that's something. Yeah, we also do with people coming on the retreat. We, we, we have that as a kind of, part of the preparation sheet before. Know that you are safe know at the doses that you will be taking, it is impossible to overdose. Like that's just not going, it is just not going to happen. Um, so yeah, and that can help bring a sense of ease and relaxation to it. Yeah.

[00:59:21] Josh: Yeah. And it seems like that's the biggest thing, is having the ease and relaxation. And I've read a few of your posts where you talked about how meditation has helped you in this, um, or you spoke about, uh, also we wrote about things like, um, breathing exercises, that to help you calm down.

[00:59:39] You wrote about a specific scenario where you saw a monster on your ceiling, but as you started breathing and you started meditating the same, I guess, visuals that you saw in the ceiling turned into magical things, something that was like a lot easier to deal with, something that was maybe even, fun to experience. Like that Demonn turned into an angel sort of thing, because of your, your way, uh, your, I guess, your ability to calm yourself down through meditation.

[01:00:08] So, um, maybe we can sort of get to that again. We're bouncing all over the place, but it's kind of makes sense here. We're like, we're kind of in that space of like, if you're in a weird spot during your trip, how you can kind of calm yourself down, it seems like meditation is like the perfect pairing here. um, we'll get into meditation even deeper in a little bit, but I think. They can really help you on this journey if you're having a difficult time.

[01:00:33] Do you have any thoughts or do you have like specific, techniques for people, um, to integrate meditation, to help them calm down and, and ease and relax into the experience?

[01:00:44] John: Sure. Yeah, absolutely. I'm yeah. I'm glad you brought it up because I think meditation or some awareness practice is like one of the most useful things to have. Especially, especially for solo explorers. Um, because having that kind of extra awareness allows you to, to navigate really, to direct course, to be able to see where you are and maybe, uh, move in a certain direction or to put your attention in a certain place or to yeah, to kind of, to direct the experience. And that might be, as you mentioned through doing relaxation techniques, um, yeah. There's a, there's a few, but yeah,

[01:01:37] I think conscious relaxation is just a great thing for any psychedelic Explorer to learn. One of the simplest ways is controlling the breath, um, and long, deep breaths, basically bringing the attention to the breath and just slowing that breathing right down, just breathing in, breathing out and just filling the belly and then letting it go, you know, and holding and holding that attention.

[01:02:11] That's where kind of some kind of ongoing like awareness practice helps because then you were able to hold that attention better. If you are a bit more scattered, then maybe like, okay, I'll breathe. But. After three breaths, your minds jumped back onto the anxiety or the, whatever it is, you know? Um, so having some kind of practice or some kind of background in a meditation, mindfulness practice, super helpful. Um, and .

[01:02:46] Another one I think is really good is, um, it's kind of like Shavasana. Going through every body part and just relaxing each part individually. So, you know, relaxing the muscles in your face, relaxing the muscles in your neck, relaxing your shoulders, relaxing your stomach, you know, and just going through sometimes what I'll do is I'll do a breath on each.

[01:03:11] So breathing in, relaxing my face, breathing out, relaxing my face, breathing in, relaxing my neck, breathing out, relaxing my neck. And you can just go through systematically like that. Um, I think that. That's great. And, um, yeah, and, and basically surrendering, I don't, I'm sure, you know, yoga with Adrian, I've done a bunch of her videos, but she has this, um,

[01:03:37] uh, phrase that I really like, which is a flash of surrender and how she describes it is just see how quickly you can surrender. Like when you go, when you lie down, how quickly can you let go of everything, um, and just release all tension and that's a practice, you know, it's maybe not easy to, to do, but I think that's also really useful. Um, so yeah, I think basically controlling breathing as a, as a method of relaxation, observing the breath and slowing it down.

[01:04:10] There's a physiological response there. It also helps us to slow down and to relax. Um, so that's, yeah, that, that's a really good one. The, the, the slowing down the breathing and then, yeah, of course. Relaxing all the individual muscles. I think that's, that's a great one. And, uh, yeah, letting go, just surrendering and just like, you know,

[01:04:32] Josh: And you as a facilitator, kind of just touching on it, cuz you've done retreats and you've been working with people one on one, but now you're getting people to kind of do it so low and that's kind of, or like you're with friends or you have a sitter or whatever, you're there to tell them, Hey, you're not breathing properly. You need to slow down your breathing.

[01:04:49] But when you're on your own, kind of hard for people to recognize like, oh my God, I'm actually, you think you're dying? No, it's because you're breathing right here in your chest. You're breathing up into your throat and you're not breathing properly. So maybe part of that preparation is like doing a week, two weeks a month, even of just like meditation practice of like conscious breathing, so it becomes like a, an instinct in your brain to be like, oh no, this is not normal. I'm not breathing properly. So it's like, you don't even think about it. You just relax right into it.

[01:05:18] You could even do like maybe float tanks if you've done, um, I'm sure you have, um, you know, some, um, sensory deprivation tanks, a float tank, it's like meditation on steroids, right? Like you're, once you get, maybe you're first time, you don't really do it, but once you do relax into it and you just feel that weightlessness, and you're just floating there, if you could do that, then you can do psychedelic and you know, that you can kind of like relax into it's a very similar, um, type of experience, at least from my experience.

[01:05:45] Um, what do you think about that? Like about, as part of the preparation to kinda like get into these practices, to like have these new habits.

[01:05:51] John: Definitely. I think that's, that's great. yeah. Would totally recommend the best preparation really? Uh, well maybe not the best, but would, would be a part of the best preparation I would say. Um, and like you say, doing a month, maybe every day, relaxing,

[01:06:08] one thing that I kind of recommend to people, which is also kind of crosses over is a hack, cuz it's you do it when you're going to sleep, but sleep meditation.

[01:06:19] I don't know how the listeners, if they've ever tried it, but sleep meditation is kind of like the relaxing body thing. It's like a body scan meditation, but you also kind of actively letting go of any tension. Um, so you can do this when, when you're going to bed, when you're going to sleep. So just the last thing you do, I, I say it's kind of hack cause you can, you don't have to find extra time in the day to do it.

[01:06:44] You, you know, if you're busy, you can just, okay, I'll just do my guidance, sleep meditation every night before bed. Um, and that's something I did, um, some time, so many years ago now, but when I was really kind of developing my meditation practice, um, and I found a guided sleep meditation, it was like, I don't know, 15 minute song, 12, 15 minute song.

[01:07:10] Um, and the last thing I would do each night is just put my headphones in and then do that. And that kind of goes through, as I talked about, talks you through all the body parts and says, relax. And obviously if you fall asleep whilst, um, whilst doing it, that's fine. Um, but I did, I did that every night.

[01:07:30] For, I don't know, a series of months I think. And just, just doing it. And like you say that then it's kind of,

[01:07:39] I'd say, what would the mind equivalent of muscle memory be?

[01:07:43] Josh: Yeah. exactly. It's mind. Muscle memory. Yeah. Mind

[01:07:46] John: mind memory. Uh

[01:07:48] Josh: that's Just memory, yeah. Just straight up. Yeah.

[01:07:51] John: it's true. Yeah. Uh, but yeah, then that becomes kind of natural. It's like instinctive, you're like, you just kind of get into that way of just checking in with yourself and relaxing all the things. And that's like perfect. Being on a trip and rather than sleep though, you'll just go off onto, onto some stream or, you know, into some experience, but yeah. Um,

[01:08:12] Josh: and so where can people find that guided meditation? Is it something you found online? Is it like a free resource that we can maybe link to?

[01:08:17] John: yeah, yeah, absolutely. Uh, I'll send you over a

[01:08:20] link. And we can include it in the show notes. Yeah, there's one I've used. I mean, I guess people find one, one, they like, um, there's insight timer is a good app for people to find, um, guided meditations.

[01:08:34] Josh: was gonna bring it up cuz you're a, you've done some guided meditations on insight timer or do you still do them like regular.

[01:08:40] John: that's true. I haven't actually uploaded one in a while. I did,

[01:08:43] Josh: Maybe you should do a sleep one. Maybe you can create your own, uh, sleep guided, sleep meditation.

[01:08:48] John: yes. I do have a conscious relaxation when it's inside the course

[01:08:53] Josh: That's cool.

[01:08:55] John: but yeah. Um, there's a kind of,

[01:08:57] Josh: You should totally put that on insight timer. And then maybe like in the description you can link out to the course. I don't know if they allow that in the app or it might be a great way as a free resource put on insight. Cuz insight timer has become my, um, meditation app, now. I used to use like Headspace and calm insight timer has now become like my main meditation app,

[01:09:15] John: how cool.

[01:09:16] Josh: I don't even want, um, a guided one. I'll just put the timer on and But I think more and more people are using it and they're finding out, um, new techniques. So I would highly recommend putting up there man use and then use it as sort of a link building, uh, marketing technique or tactic to bring it into your course, people like, oh, I like this guy. Oh. And here's even more. You can explore even more

[01:09:36] John: cool. Yeah, that sounds good. Yeah. May, maybe I'll get it uploaded. Um, yeah, yeah, yeah. It's there. Yeah. Yeah. True. Um,

[01:09:47] Josh: The other thing I wanna bring up, cause we talked about sort of like the, the meditation to kind of ease you down. I've seen some of your writings, you talked about U utilizing other substances, like nitrous oxide to help with, um, with easing yourself.

[01:10:00] Do you still recommend that? Like, do you recommend mixing psychedelics? Is that safe to do do you recommend or just, I wanna know your thoughts on that now. Cause it could have been an older post, but I know it's something you've done in the past.

[01:10:12] John: Sure. Yeah. I don't. Yeah, I don't use it so much now to be honest. Um, I don't generally don't recommend it unless someone is I mean, to be honest, normally people I work with, um, they're looking for insight, introspection reflection, growth, um,

[01:10:36] nitrous oxide, I'd recommend like for exploration, if you want to explore some other reality or you want to go to some yeah, you want to experience something totally different, um, than combined with other psychedelics that is up there.

[01:10:59] Josh: Yeah. Cause it is, I think you, your psychedelic history started from what I'm I read in my research, um, you you mixed LSD, MDMA marijuana and nitrous oxide for your first like big experience. What was that like? Like again, do you recommend doing that or is like, do you recommend just sticking with one and doing the one? Um, obviously it was your first time and I'm sure there's a different intention there and you have a different relationship

[01:11:24] John: Sure.

[01:11:25] Josh: the, um, the substances at the, time.

[01:11:28] John: Yeah, that was absolutely wild. uh, yeah, I guess that was a, a first initiation or something like that. You could say. Um, yeah, that, that was when I would say my, uh, was a little more recreational.

[01:11:51] Um, how terms of recommending it? I, I, yeah, like I say, the people I, I work with are normally. not after that experience. So I, I wouldn't really recommend it.

[01:12:05] Um, but it's, but yeah, I wouldn't, I wouldn't, I'd say not recommend Um, nitrous oxide also has a really interesting history. Um, you know, like William James, Harvard psychologist seen as one of the, like fathers of modern psychology, he was a big nitrous oxide guy. Um, he wrote about it.

[01:12:28] He said it helped him to understand like the philosophy of Hagal. Um, he, yeah, he wrote some classic books, like varieties of religious experience. Um, so he's like a big, like a big and influential thinker really. Um, and he wrote about his use with nitrous oxide. Um, so yeah,

[01:12:51] there there's something I, I would like to see more research done on it, to be honest, because I think it's a really powerful substance and it's, it can really bring about incredible experiences. I mean, yeah, tho those for me, what I'll say about on those wild things that really kind of just like blew my perception of reality open, uh,

[01:13:15] Josh: Unplugging of the matrix. Full red pill, like you're. Yeah, that was it. That was the moment for you.

[01:13:21] John: Yeah, yeah. Pretty much.

[01:13:23] Josh: And is that what started all this, like for your love and passion for psychedelic? So was it, I know you had a other big trip report. I think it's like in part two of your psychedelic journey where you talked about, um, a solo experience had a friend's house that really, I think maybe, uh, change your relationship to psychedelics and maybe on the path that you are now, uh, rather than a recreational, but using it as a tool to like enhance one's life.

[01:13:48] John: yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I mean the, the first experience was really, I guess, a questioning of reality or, or how to say better. Uh, reality is not all that you thought it was basically like here's, here's, here's had an experience, which was like, wow, okay. There's way more. It's some of those things you then realize what little, you know, kind of thing, um, or you probably don't, but you have, you get closer to realizing how little, you know, um, and that was really, yeah,

[01:14:36] for me, that just sparked a curiosity and a fascination in awareness, reality, perception, how, like what, you know, like reality is kind of how we perceive things and our perspective on things and sensations, and, you know, so tho that first experience was, was more like wonder and awe. Um,

[01:15:02] and the, the other experience that came many years, that kind of sparked my curiosity in psychedelics as well, and I never kind of went too far away from them. Um, but the second experience which you talked about, which was yeah, a solo experience, um,

[01:15:20] Josh: I love how we can hear the, uh, the German sirens in the background. Keep it in the recording here. Let's just enjoy it for a second. Especially for our north American listeners. It's so different than the

[01:15:29] John: you, you don't have,

[01:15:31] Josh: or us. It's just

[01:15:32] John: it doesn't sound like that. Right? Okay.

[01:15:34] Josh: very, uh, European. Yeah, we don't, we don't have that here. So, and I guess for anyone wondering he has the, john has the window open, get

[01:15:42] John: Yeah,

[01:15:43] Josh: natural beauty in here, but it's great. Yeah. Um, yeah, the second, or I guess maybe not second experience, but that other um, at your friend's

[01:15:52] John: I probably, yeah, maybe second landmark experience could say. Um, but that really opened my, I mean, sure there was awe and wonder, but that also, that really opened my mind to the healing potential of psychedelics more.

[01:16:10] Um, that's not something I had really experienced to that point. Um, and I was going through some things in my personal life at the time. And my, my parents were separating and we were leaving the family home. And so there was a lot of, a lot of things going on inside me around that time. And that experience really helped facilitate the personal process, which helped me to heal from everything that was going on. And that gave me yeah, a, a real appreciation of the healing and therapeutic potential of psychedelics as well as then also the total also impressed like mystical dimensions as well.

[01:16:59] Uh, but that was something I'd kind of experienced before, so that wasn't as new, but it was, it was kind of again like, wow. And then, oh, you can also, like, you can also use these things on a maybe useful on a less cosmic level, but also like very personal process.

[01:17:18] Josh: Yeah, that's, that's incredible. And I guess the other question I have around this is sort of like, um, how safe is it to do them often or how, what is the effectiveness of them doing it often? And then maybe like on a reverse of that, maybe not how often, but just like how, how often would you recommend doing this?

[01:17:38] like um, a once a month, once a year? Like, is it just, what, like, how often would you recommend, not that everyone should or whatever, like what would you think would be the ideal after having all these experiences yourself and guiding people through these experiences?

[01:17:52] John: I'm gonna give a total cop out answer but it's, it's genuine. Um, which is, I would say it really depends. Um, I, again, I mentioned that kind of being, I'm also kind of agnostic about frequency of use, um, and that's kind of schedules and frequencies. Also something we covering the course, but basically, you know,

[01:18:19] some people have one psychedelic experience and they say that's enough for them for life, you know? Um, then you have other people working on much more frequent schedules. And I mean, if people go to the Amazon typical to work with, ayahuasca. It's pretty common. I I'd probably say it's more common than the other way that people would work consecutive nights. You know, people will be there for a week and drink ayahuasca maybe five times or like five nights in a row, or be there for two weeks and be drinking every other night, you know, so that that's also like quite a lot.

[01:18:56] And then you've got now our, like in the research model, it's normally like between one and three sessions within a longer period of psychotherapy and the kind of sessions the therapy is revolved around the sessions. So there's lots of different ways of working with them.

[01:19:17] Um, and I think that again, also kind of comes back to a little bit of personal discernment, um, thinking, yeah, like maybe not rushing back in, taking some time to integrate previous experiences. Um, and, and yeah, be before going back in and, and then returning once, once ready.

[01:19:43] Um, however, yeah, there there's also, you know, sometimes it can be the fact that, you know, even in integration we can hit blocks. You know, like for example, maybe, maybe we get stuck in, in somewhere or hit a kind of block and then a psychedelic session will be helpful or move some energy or help something move through.

[01:20:08] And then maybe we go back to integration, but it's possible. We also might hit a block with integration. In which case, then you might actually be ripe to go back into the psychiatric space. Even if you haven't fully integrated. I mean, I've heard people say, oh, you should make sure you've squeezed every drop of juice out of the last experience before going into the next one.

[01:20:31] Um, for myself. Uh, personally speaking, um, I found that to not be practical, um, and sometimes just a refresher or something, you know, or maybe you've heard the term once you hear the message, hang up the phone. Um, that's an Allen Watts quote. That's being around a lot in psychiatric space and that it's been taken to mean like, yeah, if you've, if you've kind of got the message, you don't need to keep taking psychedelics, like you need to work on integration.

[01:21:04] Um, but I would say like, it can be useful to get a reminder of the message sometimes, you know, or maybe there are different messages to receive. So I, I don't think it's quite as straightforward as, as that interpretation, um, says, but yeah, I think there is a lot to be said. Um, integration of experiences and, and putting in some work and sometimes it can be kind of mundane and, you know, it can just be, yeah, just kind of like,

[01:21:35] um, yeah, boring even, or just like hard work, you know, to, to implement some of those changes. Um, but yeah, sometimes they can be helpful and yeah, people can work on different schedules. Um, and that, that also, again, like other things may not be static, you know, maybe someone's going through a period and they'll work more frequently and then they'll have a long break. Maybe they won't trip again for a year or maybe someone might find their once a month to check in.

[01:22:05] Um, so yeah, I would say really, it depends on the person and where they are in their journey. Um, but I will. Yeah, but I've also what I've found from working with people and myself is that. Generally a, a condensed period, maybe like a retreat where there's like three sessions or just doing like, even like two se two days in a row, um, that can help to kind of go deep that, you know, like peeling layers of an onion back, and then you kind of get off the surface level and then you kind of digging in a little bit deeper.

[01:22:42] yeah, that's kind of a non-answer , but.

[01:22:48] Josh: does. I mean, it, it totally, it, again, it just helps, um, understand the relationship even further with these, uh, experiences and these substances where it's like, it's, it's not static. As you said, it's very fluid. And like, you really understand that when you are on it, but it's getting again, a helpful reminder, um, of these kind of experiences and these lessons.

[01:23:09] And, you know, you talk about before with meditation, like you can reach these levels of consciousness, um, through meditation, um, through jogging, through like, um, music getting lost in music and you have like a reminder. So it's like having that. Big experience. And as you said, some people can just do it once and they just need it just to like, kind of understand, and then they can do other experiences to remind them about it, but they might not need to do do it ever again. It's like the one time, one and done.

[01:23:33] And again, this neatly wraps kind of our conversation here in a bow in a little while in a little bit, I guess, because it's talking about being more intentional, right. Uh, with psychedelic and improving our relationship with it. And I think that's what you're really doing here with the course, with your teachings, with your blog, with we're doing here on this conversation, there's still so many things I wanna talk to you about, and we could be on here for hours, but we're at about an hour and a half point here.

[01:23:58] So maybe we'll do a part two. I've also been talking on this podcast about doing, almost like a virtual, um, uh, round table with other people, um, to talk about these different ideas. Maybe we get, maybe we go go more deep on retreats and group vs. solo experiences. I didn't even really have a chance to ask you about that now that we're coming up on so much time. And I feel like we could have these conversations for hours and hours and, and talk about these things.

[01:24:24] But I think we're at the point here where it's like, the, the message here really is how to be more intentional uh, with psychedelics and to have a better relationship with them.

[01:24:33] So on that front kind of getting to our last section of questions and, and such like that, to wrap it up, what would be your biggest advice for people to become more intentional, uh, with psychedelics and to improve the relationship with it?

[01:24:47] John: yeah, I think, and yeah, we could totally go on all day

[01:24:53] Josh: oh, yeah.

[01:24:56] John: um, yeah, I think in terms of being. Intentional really taking, taking time. I mean, it's also kind, it's like having a good relationship with any, to have a good relationship with a person you need to make time for them.

[01:25:13] Um, and that would also apply in terms of being intentional, like make time to learn about psychedelics, like we talked about a bit, you know, make time to think about, or take time to think about why you are engaging with psychedelics, make time to think about what you are looking for from a specific experience.

[01:25:36] Um, and yeah, journaling meditation. Those are all great practices. You know, these kind of inquiry forms of inquiry where we're just taking some time to think and reflect and contemplate and yeah.

[01:25:57] Looking inwards to ourselves. What do we want? What, what are we hoping for? You know, what are we hoping to learn? What are we, how are we hoping to, to grow? Um, and yeah, just, just take, taking some time to, to think about those things and to, to learn about psychedelics. And I think that's also a great way to improve the relationship with psychedelics.

[01:26:24] another thing I mentioned, just not to go into too much, but in terms of also, uh, improving that relationship, I think is, is connecting with other people, uh, who are also using psychedelics.

[01:26:39] Um, as we kind of spoke a little bit about, there might be some, yeah, I mean, if you are the only person, you know, doing it, then you, yeah, you might feel a bit like an outsider. That's maybe not integrated into your life as much, and that's gonna have an effect on, on how you relate to psych effects.

[01:26:59] And when you start speaking with other people and like all kinds of people using them, um, for like just genuine good reasons, you know, there's people just trying to help themselves and improve themselves.

[01:27:15] And when you speak with these people and, and get to know other people, it's like, oh, you, you know, that, that can really bring a sense of, depending how your relationship was before, but I mean, for me initially when I started, it was also some kind of, we got the sirens again.

[01:27:33] uh, yeah. Um, and then being able to share that with people that like, and connect with people that kind of bring a sense of relief a little bit, um, and also a sense of connection, you know.

[01:27:48] Like anything, you know, if you, if you, um, if you love a band, there's a band you love and you don't know anyone else that loves them, you can still love them, but it can also help, you know, it's also really nice when you connect with someone and you're like, yes, that album's incredible. Like, yes. You know, um,

[01:28:05] Josh: Going to a concert alone versus with a friend versus a group of people. Totally. It's a totally different experience. Right. And it really, um, it allows you not to be in your own head as much too, right. And I, I, so that's amazing, man. And it seems like this is exactly what you're doing like with the course now.

[01:28:22] So I'll give you this chance and the space here, because I really think if people want to, their relationship, kind of go further, as you're saying and learn a little bit more, and have that community.

[01:28:33] Um, I don't really know any other place right now, off the top of my head, that's doing what you're doing. So I'd love for you to kind of talk about the, the course and what you're doing in the community that you're building and kind of an invitation to people who found this conversation interesting.

[01:28:48] If they wanna go deeper, I'm sending them right to you. Like this is the place you are, the person that at least I know of, um, that I would trust wholeheartedly in this process for my, myself and you know, who I'd recommend for anyone else.

[01:29:03] John: Sure. Well, thank you, Josh. I really appreciate that. Um, and yeah, it's, it's really, like you say, it's a chance for people to go deeper really. Um, With psychedelics and, and a chance to explore and a chance to connect. And we go deeper by being a bit more intentional by exploring more and, and trying different things and being exposed to different ideas and incorporating different things.

[01:29:38] I mean, one thing I feel about the course is I've tried to like, just like cram loads of ideas or like things that people might try or things that might inspire people in terms of how they approach or how they might prepare or things they might do.

[01:29:52] Um, and I, I feel like if there's one, one technique that someone incorporates into their psychedelic practice, even if there's just one thing, that it will pay for itself over the long term. If some, if someone's gonna continue to use 'em, if it's like one technique of integration or, or, or one way of preparing or something that they discovered about how they're approaching psychedelics. That's my genuine hope and belief that, that if anyone can pick up something like that, then it will easily be worth it.

[01:30:28] Um, I hope lots of opportunities for that to happen. Um, so yeah, it's really, for anyone looking to go deeper or maybe looking to expand, or to freshen up their practice a bit, maybe they've glimpsed and they've think, okay. Yeah, that's something I want to go deeper into

[01:30:43] and, uh, learning a, in a, um, a group experience, you know, I think that adds a lot. And I think that really contributes to learning process when we learn alongside other people. So that's kind of a big part of the course itself.

[01:31:00] Josh: That's awesome. And John, honestly, I just wanna thank you for, you know, putting your life and your effort and your passion into this, because I think it's so important. And I think it really is gonna make a big dent in humanity and in, you know, just the universe,

[01:31:15] because again, like you don't know the ripple effects, like someone that takes that one idea, they have a different type of experience, they have an idea, something comes to them and then they make that happen in the world.

[01:31:26] Like there's only the positive things that can come from this. It's not really like it's dampen dampening anyone's life. It's really enriching their life. And through that, obviously humanity in other people. So I just thank you, man, for like putting your heart and soul and passion into this.

[01:31:42] Um, for anyone that wants to check it out, what's the name of the course and where can they find it online?

[01:31:47] John: Sure. Um, thank you, Josh. It's, uh, touching for you to say that it's, uh, yeah, it really means a lot.

[01:31:55] and You can find it on That's my website. So, uh, yeah, it'll be there. We we've been through the founding course. I'm now, uh, integrating the feedback and making some updates to the course. Um, so maybe by the time this airs I'll be launching again for the next cohort, um, which yeah, I'm, I'm really looking forward to and seeing, seeing who joins.

[01:32:20] Josh: Absolutely man. That's awesome. And Maps of the Mind, like whole website, has a go-to resource for me now. So I hope writing on sure you will, on the . Blog, adding more resources.

[01:32:31] It seems like that's also your knowledge graph. We talked about Roam Research and Obsidian, and all those things, but all your stuff gets published to your site where then other people can learn.

[01:32:39] And again, I've been like making notes from some of your blog posts and those go into my Notion and that comes into my brain and I'm taking clippings from your ideas. So thank you for putting that online. And you know, this is a great resource.

[01:32:50] So anyone, you know, if you're listening to this, you wanna go deeper, you want to just learn more, uh, maps of the I will link all the stuff in the show notes

[01:32:58] And people can also work with you directly, right John. So they can go on the same website and they can connect with you.

[01:33:04] John: Yes. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah.

[01:33:07] Uh there's yeah, you can contact me through the website and get in touch. I work with people in the Netherlands, so we do it legally above board, above ground. Um, and yeah. Yeah. People can reach out to me through that.

[01:33:24] Josh: Fantastic. Um, so I guess the last question I really have for you, I'd love to end this on a high note. you know, just kind of wrap this all up.

[01:33:32] We talked about so much of your journey, the psychedelic journey, but what's next. I wanna know what you're excited about. What's something that you're looking forward to. What are you excited about?

[01:33:41] John: about,

[01:33:41] Josh: up.

[01:33:42] John: well, besides the, uh, course relaunch and getting the next group through, um, I do you mean personally or

[01:33:54] Josh: It's up to you, man. What are you excited about?

[01:33:56] John: Well, I really, I mean, I'm excited to see what happens, you know, we're at this amazing point where psychedelics it's moving, you know, and we've, I, you know, a big part of that kind of mainstreaming or popularizing was Michael Pollan's book. Um, and then in the last year or so there's maybe been a slight. We could say like contraction in the, in the movement after this huge expansion.

[01:34:26] Um, and now there's the, a Netflix series is coming out, um, in July with Michael Pollan again. So I guess that's gonna be huge and I guess that's gonna be the next wave of psychedelic expansion. It's gonna be on everyone's Netflix home screens, you know? Um, so I'm really excited to see where yeah, what that brings and where that goes.

[01:34:53] In terms of myself personally, I'm also excited about exploring more, you know, this is what I really love about psychedelics. I just feel like there's no end to, to learning with them and, and about working with them. And, uh, yeah, I, I'm excited to explore that alongside other people as well, you know?

[01:35:14] Josh: Absolutely. Well, as you can see from the excitement on my face, I'm very excited about that Netflix series, cause I love the book. It's, it's how to change your mind. Right. And they're making a series about it. I remember Michael Paul talking about it on perhaps Joe Rogan's podcast, where he said the visuals that they made for that are unlike anything we have ever seen on screen, um, for the psychedelic experience.

[01:35:35] I think people who have experienced psychedelics, he said that they will, um, as we talked about, the reminder you'll have that psychedelic experience because it's not like, you know, the weird kaleidoscopic effects from the seventies that we saw. He says, it's something new, something fresh. They worked with a VFX team to make something really amazing and very true to the experience. So I'm so excited about that.

[01:35:58] I didn't know that was coming out in July. That's like, uh, it might be out by the time this podcast out actually. So, uh, I'll link that in the resources as well, I'm super excited,

[01:36:05] John: That's that's cool. I hadn't heard that actually. Yeah. I guess if they've got Netflix money behind it, then it's gonna be next level visuals.

[01:36:15] Josh: That is something to be excited about, man. And then of course, as you say, the infinite game, the infinite game of psychedelics is always something to be excited about.

[01:36:22] Again, we didn't get to that, man. This is in my notes about, um, your philosophies on life as a game. That's a big part of my life philosophy. So we have to do, uh, part two,

[01:36:30] um, I don't wanna keep us too long here because there's just so much to get into there. So part two, I'm bookmarking it here. Um, as reference for us to come back to as

[01:36:39] John: that sounds great.

[01:36:40] Josh: life as a game, the game of life will have a part two.

[01:36:44] John: That sounds great. I'd love to, yeah, I can talk all day about that. So, um, yeah. Sounds good.

[01:36:52] Josh: Well, john, again, thank you so much just for your wisdom, your knowledge sharing, and having this amazing conversation with me today. Um, I already have a bunch of notes from here. Um, I'm gonna put them in my show notes for the podcast. I'll link all of the resources that we talked about, your website, the course.

[01:37:07] Um, and then I'm gonna follow up with you and show you kind of like some of my ideas that popped in my head during this conversation about how I'm building out a little journaling template in Notion. So I can have like maybe my path preparation, and my session preparation, and then I can journal that experience.

[01:37:22] So you gave me a lot of tangible tips that I think a lot of people listening would probably take away. And if not, I will make it very apparent for you and I'll make resources out of some of the knowledge that I took away. and continue to share, because it seems like that's just the nature of this industry, man. We're just sharing knowledge and it just feels amazing. So thank you bringing your wisdom and knowledge onto this podcast.

[01:37:44] John: Amazing. That's super cool too. I look forward to it and thank you, Josh. Thanks for having me on real pleasure speaking with you and, um, yeah. Thanks for facilitating and setting up this conversation and getting it out there.

[01:37:58] Josh: Likewise, man. Well, thank you so much and I can't wait to do it again.

[01:38:02] John: Likewise. Cheers. Bye.

[01:38:04] Josh: Cheers

Thanks for coming this far! if you're reading this, it is no accident. The universe brought you to this corner of the internet for a reason, and you're on the right track. I already know that you're an amazing person and I can't wait to connect with you!

— Josh

Episode Transcript

Josh Gonsalves
Mind Meld Podcast Host

Hi, I'm Josh Gonsalves, the host and producer of Mind Meld. I'm also a Canadian Academy Award-nominated director and Co-founder of Contraverse, an immersive media company. I'm a multi-media experience designer living and working in Toronto, operating at the intersection of design and exponential technologies to develop solutions that change the world for the better.

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