Friday, January 18, 2013

Meditation Increases Sensitivity to Psychedelics

It has been my experience that meditation has increased my sensitivity to psilocybin.

Fairly early on (pre stream entry and pre jhanas in meditation terms) I experimented with around 2 grams of mushrooms, eventually working up to a peak of around 6 grams.  But at some point (after stream entry) I slowly began to notice that higher doses seemed to be a bit too much, that there was a certain load of tension from the drug that I found unpleasant, and I've been decreasing the doses of my "experiments" ever since.

Even last summer I was tolerating doses of 1 or 2 grams, but that seems a bit much now.  I've experimented with low doses before, but now I'm getting into a range that some might legitimately consider a microdose.  Lately (post 2nd path) .06 - .08 grams seems to be plenty, and I've alternated with doses of around .15 - .17 grams which now seem slightly high.  My guess would be that .06 - .08 grams might barely get the average person to the equivalent of a mild cannabis high.

The early FMRI research showing similarities between the effects of psilocybin and meditation might explain this.  Or, I could be an anomaly.

At these lower doses I don't get nearly so much in terms of visuals, but the "mind-freeing" aspect seems to work just fine, which is mainly what I'm looking for.  Higher doses seem to cause this tension that I referred to, kind of playing off the stimulant effects of the drug, and seem to emphasize the more unpleasant aspects (dukkha).

I would also mention that I haven't noticed this kind of "reverse tolerance" in other recreational substances that I use, i.e. cannabis, alcohol, and nitrous oxide.  Just psilocybin.

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