Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Griffiths: Psilocybin Mimics Effects of Meditation

A video excerpt from Roland Griffiths' presentation on his research into the complementary relationship of psilocybin and meditation at the 2012 SAND (Science and Nonduality) conference.  Full video is $195, I'd like to see it.  Info from the slides:

  • Psilocybin and meditation can be viewed as complementary techniques for exploration of the nature of self and mind
  • Recent neuroimaging studies show that meditation and psilocybin produce strikingly similar decreases in brain circuits responsible for self-referential processing
  • Griffiths mentions the "default mode" network research of Brewer (meditation) and Carhart-Harris (psilocybin)
  • If meditation represents the systematic "tried and true course" of discovery of the nature of mind and Self, psilocybin represents the "crash course"
Psilocybin is a pharmalogical tool that helps people:
  • recognize how it feels to embody the present moment
  • dispassionately observe and let go of pain, fear, discomfort
  • transform a conventional sense of self (i.e. ego) [you are not your mind]
  • recognize that mind is capable of revealing knowledge not readily accessible in everyday waking consciousness
  • gain an authoritative sense of the interconnectedness of all people and things (mystical experience)
I had come across the Brewer and Carhart-Harris research while doing this blog, and tied them together with a small piece of my own experience in the post Meditation and Psilocybin.  I think psilocybin is very helpful, and my experiences have been about 95% wonderful.  But as to that other 5%, it's like Buddha referred to sense pleasure - it's like licking honey off a razor blade.  Every now and then you might taste a bit of blade, and every now and then you might swallow the whole blade.  My recommendation: don't go overboard with the dosage, and view everything with equanimity.

No comments:

Post a Comment