Thursday, August 23, 2012

Meditation and Psilocybin

So we have research from people like Judson Brewer showing decreases in activity and connectivity in the Default (Narrative) Mode Network as a result of meditation.

And research from people like Robin Carhart-Harris showing the similarity of these changes with the changes in the brain on psilocybin.

So we have plausible evidence, maybe not tons of it, that there are at least some similar things going on with respect to meditation and psychedelics.  Some kind of overlap.

And then you have someone like me, meditation-wise approaching 2nd path, with at least light access to jhanas up to usually 5 or 6, and finding that my mind seems increasingly sensitive to the effects of psilocybin.  Sensitive is almost a good word there.  On the one hand, I believe I would be relatively better prepared than the average person to deal with a high dose psychedelic (that may be more due to experiential learning), on the other hand my mind seems increasingly inclined to "take advantage" of the influence of even a very small dose, which seems to be due to the meditation training.

Recently I took a small amount of psilocybin mushrooms, 0.15 grams, and made a tea with 16 oz. of water.  The water was then poured into an ice tray made of spaces for 16 x 1 oz. cubes.  So each cube has just under 0.01 grams of mushrooms, and considering that the extraction into water was probably not 100%, we're probably realistically talking about something in the ballpark of 0.075 grams of mushrooms.  Not very much.  At around 0.5% psilocybin by weight, that puts the dose (if my math is correct) at around 0.375 mg of psilocybin, with common doses in research upwards of 15-30 mg.

But I'm getting a very significant effect now from that tiny amount, and I will experiment with even smaller doses.  Again, I attribute the effects to meditation.  Seems to me no question that the two things are pointing in the same direction.


  1. Can you elaborate on the "very significant effect" a bit? And did you use the ice cubes by melting them into a cup of tea? Also, why did you extract into hot water, and not lemon tek?

  2. There are subtle effects on the thinking process, etc., that are hard to put into words. I can say that the mind definitely becomes more inclined towards jhanas and viewing the world as one. Actually, going hard into 5th jhana, as opposed to my usual light or soft experience, is not even that subtle - it's obvious there is something special going on. Visual effects, if any, are at best barely noticeable to an experienced eye.

    I typically put an ice cube into a cold drink. I have to be agnostic about the lemon tek, overall, after both trying it and reading tons of threads.

    I do use piracetam. It very definitely increases effects by a factor of about two, and I should have mentioned that with respect to the dose. I had my morning daily dose of ~800mg only. Sometimes when I do larger amounts of mushrooms I will take an additional capsule with the dose.

    1. I tried this protocol, sans piracetam, and also noticed definite effects during Shamatha meditation. More quietness than usual with an enhanced global awareness. I also noticed a general anxiolytic effect afterwards. I'll repeat this next week with 800mgs piracetam (I'll start a daily dose tomorrow morning, in preparation). Piracetam looks like a good daily supplement anyway.

  3. Are there any further developments with this line of investigation? I find it very interesting.

  4. I should say that I don't specifically do jhana practices but rather I just stumble into these areas from doing vipassana. I am noticing that there seem to be periods (weeks) where the jhanas come more easily, or then again not so much. I still find that this small dose makes the jhanic area more accessible.

    Another data point I can put out there is that very consistently the day after tripping, my meditation is enhanced. My guess is that it is some combination of a de facto microdose for that day, and maybe the additional "practice" from the day before.