The Psychedelic Podcast by Third Wave
Cartography of the Divine: Exploring the Union of Psychedelics & Meditation
Rak Razam & Joel Brierre
Paul F. Austin speaks with Rak Razam & Joel Brierre, creators of Bridging Heaven Retreats, about the “marriage” of meditation and 5-MeO-DMT.
Rak Razam is an alchemical storyteller with his finger on the pulse of tomorrow and the heart of today. A screenwriter, documentary filmmaker, author, journalist and culture maker, his focus is on the cultural paradigm birthing in this brave new world. Co-founder of the World Bufo Alvarius Congress (www.wbac.info), he has become one of the world’s leading experts on 5-MeO, giving lectures and panel discussions at events worldwide. He has been facilitating bufo toad retreats in Mexico since 2016.
Joël Brierre (aka: the entheogenic yogi) is a pioneer in the modern psychedelic movement, and has years of experience in the realm of 5-MeO-DMT and the Bufo Alvarius toad. His unique approach of applying classical non-dual yogic philosophy for both the preparation and integration from the entheogenic experience gained attention from around the world at the first World Bufo Alvarius Congress (WBAC) in 2018 and continues to shift the landscape of psychedelic use. He is Founder & CEO of Kaivalya Kollectiv and President of Tandava Retreats.
- Rak Razam’s journey through Psychedelics as a media professional.
- Joel Brierre’s spiritual re-entry into psychedelics, and his contributions through retreats, public education, and trainings.
- Joel and Rak’s approach to designing a low-dose 5-MeO meditation retreat.
- Weaving ancient yogic philosophy into 5-MeO practice.
- Considering 5-MeO harm reduction as the substance becomes increasingly widespread.
- Looking ahead: continuing explorations with neurofeedback technology and 5-MeO-DMT, and mapping the frontiers of consciousness.
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00:00:00 Paul Austin: Hey listeners and welcome back to the Third Wave Podcast. Today I am speaking with Rak Razam and Joel Brierre, founders of Bridging Heaven, a meditation retreat that combines 5-MeO-DMT with vipasana-style meditation.
00:00:16 Rak Razam: Modern psychedelic culture is still treating 5-MeO like LSD or like psilocybin—like something external to ourselves that we take and we have a peak experience. We’re here to tell you that’s not the case. This is a relationship with the geography of the divine within you, that all cultures across the world have had access to through their modalities and ways of engagement that we’ve forgotten in the West and the busyness; in the ego reinforcement. And now, we have an understanding and a map of how to take us to that place and how to entrain us into that place so we can remain on.
0:00:55 PA: Welcome to The Third Wave Podcast. I’m your host, Paul Austin, here to bring you cutting edge interviews with leading scientists, entrepreneurs and medical professionals who are exploring how we can integrate psychedelics in an intentional and responsible way, for both healing and transformation. It is my honor and privilege to bring you these episodes as you get deeper and deeper into why these medicines are so critical to the future of humanity. So let’s go, and let’s see what we can explore and learn together in this incredibly important time.
00:01:32.4 Paul Austin: Hey, listeners, I am so excited to have both Rak Razam and Joel Brierre on the podcast today. We go deep into the intersection of 5-MeO-DMT and meditation. We talk about 5-MeO-DMT as a neurochemical key and how when we work with it, particularly at low doses, we can combine that with, then, a vipassana practice, a meditative practice, that allows us to become that much more skillful at meditation and dropping in.
It was one of the more fascinating conversations that I’ve had on this podcast. Rak is articulate and so well-spoken about 5-MeO-DMT and meditation, and Joel brings in a really great perspective around retreats and holding space. The combination of both of them is really quite a treat and a delight.
00:02:17.4: PA: I first met Joel at a conference last year with his retreat, Tandava Retreats. They’re doing wonderful work with 5-MeO-DMT education, facilitator training. We talk all about that in the podcast. Rak is a well-known documentary filmmaker in the psychedelic space. He’s made a couple in particular around Ayahuasca that had been really quite meaningful in terms of setting a cultural frame and context for Ayahuasca . So it really was quite an honor to have them on the podcast today. But before we dive into today’s episode, a word from our sponsors.
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So without further ado, let’s go ahead and get into this episode. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Rak Razam and Joel Brierre.
0:04:18.0 Paul Austin: Listeners, welcome back to the Third Wave Podcast. Today we have Rak Razam. Did I pronounce that… I mean I can restart again, Rak. Is that… Rak Razam, is that correct?
0:04:28.3 Rak Razam: You got it. There’s only one Rak Razam and you pronounced it right.
0:04:32.5 PA: Alright. Rak Razam with us and Joel Brierre. Rak and Joel, it’s great to have you on the podcast. Thank you for your patience in getting this scheduled. I know we had to reschedule a number of times, so it’s good to be here. And we’re gonna talk a lot about, I mean, what we just rooted in is really the marriage of 5-MeO and Meditation, but we’re gonna cover other things around Five best practices, a little bit about your background and context. Rak, you’ve been in this space a long time in sort of a media storytelling documentary role. And I’d love to just start off the conversation with you about… Tell us a little bit about kind of your role as a filmmaker and just what you’ve… Your personal involvement with psychedelics, what you’ve been learning about Ayahuasca and Five, and how that’s led you to where you are now today.
0:05:20.5 RR: Thanks, Paul. It’s really great to be here and connect with your audience. As we know, psychedelics are sort of the answer globally and with the global trauma and the healing that is needed to cope with the civilizational crisis of our times is probably, part and parcel, responsible for the popularity of psychedelics to help people come back to their center and to their alignment, to know who and what they really are. I’ve been in this psychedelic field for over 15 years as a media professional. It’s almost as if it doesn’t matter how we come in. We can be a parent, we can be a documentary filmmaker, like myself or a writer or a journalist, as I started out. Psychedelics draw us into their event horizon. There can be personal healing, there can be spiritual growth. And for me, particularly, there can be an unveiling that the world is larger than we believed. And that there are, perhaps you could say, plateaus of existence with beings and entities, and support mechanisms that the entire universe seems to be wanting humanity at this point in time, not just to heal, but to come home.
0:06:28.8 RR: To know themselves and to know who and what they are, and to be part of this larger ecosystem which has been revealed. And all through human history, people have had spontaneous mystical experiences connecting with larger sort of forces. And it just seems like, in my personal journey of awakening and discovery, I started off as a journalist, I was going down to Peru and looking at the mythic archetype of the shaman and the Ayahuasca culture that was developing around 2006. That led on to a book, Aya Awakenings, which became a documentary film, Aya Awakenings. And basically, my first 5-MeO experiences were a week into my jungle, my virgin experience in Peru. I was working with a rogue neuroscientist called Dr. Juan Acosta, who has since passed on. But he was looking at 5-MeO and getting some EEG readings on the brain and what was happening.
0:07:20.8 RR: He has published his scientific research, which has contributed greatly to the field in the last few years before he passed. But essentially, 5-MeO to me and Ayahuasca were entwined on the path. I spent about seven years working with Ayahuasca . I still take retreats down to Peru to work with my shaman down there, Percy Garcia Lozano. The 5-MeO-DMT very quickly became the preeminent driver of my medicine media work. And so for me, basically I enjoy having these experiences on the cutting edge, learning and digesting my own personal spiritual path, but making sense of it and communicating that back to the audience. So I’ve just really launched my website, rakrazam.com and you can find 15 years’ worth of extremely great content on there about all these psychedelic explorations.
0:08:12.1 PA: And one question that I wanna circle back on before we kind of pass it over to Joel, just to get a little bit more context in his work, you mentioned 5-MeO in the jungle. Was this with Toad? Was this with Yopo? How was that…
0:08:24.9 RR: This was in the very forlorn days of 2006. So 5-MeO-DMT has been legal for most of human history. And like most of the psychedelic substances, we know that it’s only Richard Nixon’s war on drugs and political machinations which have dared to demonize plant and earth medicines, which have been part of the human tradition for a millennia. And so, I first experienced 5-MeO in the jungles of Peru. It was actually synthetic 5-MeO just dropped onto plant material. And I had an EEG helmet on, reading my brain waves. And we filmed it, and I didn’t know any better. I mean, it was… On the inside, it was literally probably the most significant experience of my life. Since then, 5-MeO-DMT has only been criminalized in the States since 2011. Toad has skyrocketed, the Bufo alvarius toad, which I’ve been very dynamically involved with.
0:09:17.3 RR: Unlike Ayahuasca lineage and culture, which has hundreds if not thousands of years of engagement with indigenous cultures, the Sonoran Desert, which is where the Bufo alvarius toad comes from, in the North of Mexico over into Arizona, it doesn’t have an unbroken lineage with the Sonoran Desert tribes, the same tribes which … books. But it’s been reintroduced pretty much only since 2012 or so. And so it’s from there, come out into the world into popular awareness. And it really feels to me that the popularity of Bufo alvarius and 5-MeO, is like a stepping stone, which has been growing and cresting on the back of Ayahuasca coming out in the last two generations or so, from the jungles of Peru and the popularity of plants and earth medicine spreading. But each one is like a specific tool. It’s like in the doctor’s or the surgeon’s office, the suction and suture and scissors. It’s like each one does a slightly different thing. And collectively, there is this species awakening and healing, which is happening through these medicines, which I’m sure we’ll get into a little bit more.
0:10:32.6 PA: And I love that, that sort of play of EEG and the cutting edge of neuroscience, working with these mystical experiences. And then core of what we’re going to talk about today is how that maps on to meditative states and sort of the distinction between psychedelic-induced EEG enlightenment, we could say, and sort of a monk meditative mind, and how we might get there and so that’ll…
0:10:58.1 RR: It’s an interesting thing, I don’t want to hold too much room at the start here, but in context of this chat, it’s so exciting because psychedelics have been promoted by all the world’s media, all the leading institutions, they’re looking like they’re going to be replaced for SSRIs in the next few years, the FDA and MAPS and everyone’s on board with psilocybin and MDMA coming in, and therapy-induced healing is coming and psychedelics have arrived.
0:11:23.2 RR: So the question now is, what else can we do with these substances? Do we have to be sick to take them? Have generations of indigenous usage shown as any way we might utilize these substances collectively, as groups as well as individuals, or for navigation, for understanding what we’re in, not just our own personal sickness, and how do the consciousness maps of previous cultures like the Eastern traditions, which have left us meditation maps, how did they marry with psychedelics and what, how do we use those to optimize the human condition, not just to heal it?
0:12:01.7 PA: I love it. All right, Joel, let’s hear from you a little bit in terms of, you’re in Mexico, you have a stunning background. I don’t know if our listeners are gonna see the video, but it looks beautiful and lovely. You’ve started to host retreats, which one of our team members went to a couple months ago, Tandava. You’ve also started something called the Kaivalya Kollectiv. Two Ks there, the Kaivalya Kollectiv. And we had a chance to meet in Miami at the Wonderland conference last year. And you’ve really started to make a name for yourself, I think, in helping to temper some of the enthusiasm around 5-MeO, while still elevating the sort of importance of it as a tool and substance. So, just to start with, I’d love if you could open up a little bit about your story, your background, how you got to this point in place, and then tell us a little bit about the Kaivalya Kollectiv, how that came to be and how that led to Tandava, and now what we’re talking about today?
0:13:02.3 Joel Brierre: Absolutely. Yeah. Thank you, Paul. So yes, my background is actually in the yoga and yogic philosophy and teaching the practices along with meditation and yogic breathwork called pranayama. And I began teaching around 15 years ago, I was really into psychedelics in the ’90s but I was also into all other substances back then, too. So I got clean in the early 2000s but when I got clean, I stepped away from all substances. And I found my healing through meditation and through the yogic practices. And then I was reintroduced to psychedelics and plant medicines around 2006/2007, living in the Virgin Islands. And I was reintroduced to them by my two teachers.
0:13:42.2 JB: And this time, re-approaching these medicines, while having some system of self-inquiry under my belt such as yoga was a completely different story. This time, when the medicine tried to show me those scarier parts of myself, I didn’t try and turn and run away. I had a toolset to be able to face these adverse parts of myself. From there, I got to… Traveled around the world, studied under some amazing teachers. I lived in India for a little over a year and then moved to Australia in 2000… The beginning of 2011. And when I was in Australia, I began studying under a Peruvian curandero who was coming there regularly, I became the Fire Keeper in his ceremonies. And after a few years of evolution, began working in medicine work, and with my teachings and with my yogic practice, retreats were really my juice. I really enjoyed hosting retreats. I started doing it back in 2010, I believe, was my first retreat.
0:14:37.8 JB: And so then started incorporating medicines into these retreats, around… It’s been a while now, yeah, I started incorporating medicines in around 2014. And back then, I was serving N, N-DMT ceremonially. And it was right around then where I was re-initiated with 5-MeO-DMT. And I had a hero, such as Rak Razam here, and some other greats, putting out podcasts with all different types of juicy information. And I became pretty obsessed with 5-MeO. After I had my, that re… I call it a re-initiation. I first tried it back in ’99, but I don’t really count that time. This time, it was that full-blown mystical experience. And having a background in yoga, I could only help but notice the exact similarities between what we would call nirvikalpa samadhi, and that Five experience.
0:15:26.3 JB: So then slowly, with the help of some amazing mentors, began to shift my practice over to 5-MeO-DMT from N, N-DMT and I started off then really using the yogic lenses to both prepare and integrate from this work, really using that as the framework and geography for this work. And of course, right around then, started seeing a lot of crazy things happening in the community. I’m sure we all remember all the debacles that went down around 2016, 2017, 2018, with unnecessary deaths occurring in the community, a lot of things happening due to practitioner negligence. People being zapped with little Taser toys and having water pouring down their throats and all that fun stuff. And so, really felt a strong calling to help guide this medicine into a safer place.
0:16:15.3 JB: As Rak mentioned, there’s no ancient history or ancient lineage we can look to for wisdom with this medicine. And it was a very strong teething process we were seeing occur. And so, it’s just been an effort to really work with peers, work with mentors, work with those greater than me and figure out ways to safely approach this medicine and how to not only make it something safe to do, but make it something where we can really draw life-lasting change from it.
0:16:41.4 JB: So I formed the Kaivalya Kollectiv, which is our parent company. And Kaivalya Kollectiv is a psychedelic wellness company, essentially. Under that, we have our main subsidiary, which is Tandava Retreats and I’m here at the flagship center in Tepoztlan, Mexico, where we work on individualized retreats with 5-MeO-DMT, that include weeks of preparation and at least four weeks of integration as well with each participant. And then we have… We’ve just been having a lot of fun down here, getting to jump into these juicy containers. We recently launched F.I.V.E., which is 5-MeO-DMT Information and Vital Education. And that was the brainchild of my amazing partner, Victoria Wueschner. And so she and I co-founded this education and resource platform. And this is essentially meant to be the world’s first centralized hub of resources and info around this medicine, something that anyone from prospective participants to experienced veteran practitioners can go to this site and get information from. And something that’s not just about myself or my company, but really about the community. So we got, we really got as much of a community as we humanly could together for this and brought in all the different voices to be able to offer a very well-rounded understanding of this molecule.
0:17:54.4 JB: And we just launched our practitioner training, which begins in January and it’s a one-year long, fully comprehensive, well-rounded course, with over 35 guest teachers. And Mr. Rak Razam here is one of them. But we cover everything from the mystical to the clinical to really give future practitioners the tools that they need to be able to safely shepherd people to and from this powerful experience.
0:18:20.5 PA: So there’s a ton to… We’re not gonna cover everything today, unfortunately, ’cause… Or else we’d probably be talking for…
0:18:28.6 JB: Of course. [chuckle]
0:18:30.3 PA: Three to four hours. But kind of the point that I’d love to continue on is and what I always do when I have a couple of people on an episode is, at what point did your paths oversect? And I’ll ask Joel this just to get a little bit more context from him. And then I wanna sort of go into some of the meditative stuff. But I’d love… When did you and Rak meet? What was the context around that and how has that led to your current collaboration?
0:18:53.0 JB: Rak and I met back in 2018 at the first World Bufo Alvarius Congress in Mexico City. And I had already been a fan of Rak for years. I’d been listening to his podcast, In a Perfect World, for a couple of years before that. Had seen his Aya documentary and was just a big fan of his vibe, in general. Rak has a real knack with storytelling and that’s something that has been lacking from the modern psychedelic space. And so I always really enjoyed how he would bring forth these frameworks. And of course, listening to his podcast, I just felt that we had very similar views around of a lot of things, particularly including the Eastern lenses and the relevance to the psychedelic experience, particularly with 5-MeO-DMT. So he had me on his podcast back then, I think it was 2018 and we got to do some fun work together over the years. And we’ve been talking about this for years and are finally doing it, this, the Bridging Heaven program, where we’ve finally been… Put together a retreat that is the combination of these meditation practices, combined with low to medium doses of 5-MeO-DMT.
0:19:55.3 JB: That’s something that we’ve been talking about for a while. And then, we’ve been working with a few other practitioners as well, who all have experience with the Eastern lenses. And I’ve been kind of chatting about this container for a couple of years and then it finally came together and has formed something beautiful. So we had our first one just in July and it was a week-long silent meditation retreat, using lower to medium doses of the medicine in conjunction with these practices. And it was amazing. It was absolutely amazing.
0:20:23.2 PA: Alright. So I wanna hand it over back to Rak ’cause I wanna have a better understanding of how that early experience with Five and EEG, and especially with maybe your background as a meditator then led to the creation of this Bridging Heaven offering and experience. Why is it that you felt so compelled to create this, knowing how impactful Five had been for your own sort of… Let’s say, the EEG in particular ’cause I think it’s one thing to experience the mystical subjectively. It’s a whole nother thing to see the mystical objectively on a screen, so to say.
0:20:59.4 RR: Yes. Thank you. I agree. Look, 5-MeO can be, life-changing isn’t enough of a term to describe it. Yes, there can be healing, but to me, there’s also this intuitive understanding, like a transmission that is… I can’t help but use any mystical language to describe it. In fact, 5-MeO has been nicknamed the God Molecule, as opposed to N, N-DMT being nicknamed the Spirit Molecule. The only real difference seems to be the content of duality or non-duality between them. But the realms that they reveal within the human organism appear to mirror identically with 5-MeO, the spiritual mystical experience, which may mean a sense of transcending the known world. It may mean a sense of connection, a sense of unity, a sense of oneness. And the periphery effects of letting go of the ego behind and of the imbalances it might hold, and of the healing that may arise from these substance, I believe are peripheral. Because the general thrust of it is, this understanding or the potential, if you have the potential to understand, of the divine, of whatever label we give it. We could call it Zero-point field, the unity field, samadhi. Every culture, every framework has a lens to describe this. But for me, this is the big revelation.
0:22:26.4 RR: There’s a geography and then one of our friends calls it the theography, of the divine that lives within us, which all the world’s spiritual traditions say is there. And we now have, through the external modality of external 5-MeO, whether that’s from a synthetic or a natural source, we have a replicable technology of the sacred, that we can go back to this geography, again and again and again. And in fact, what we’re learning is the geography itself, once it’s awakened, can maintain the relationship in the human organism. So when I got to experience this in 2006, it literally was life-changing and there was an understanding that awakened within me of what it really meant. And that understanding is transforming both psychedelics and both life on Earth. We have the divine within us, we can access it. So all through human history, people have gone through different experiences and they have spontaneously sometimes had this experience. 5-MeO-DMT, unlike other psychedelics, the Tryptamines which is what 5-MeO is part of, the Tryptamine family, are contained within the plant kingdom, the animal kingdom, in mammals and in human beings.
0:23:41.7 RR: We have a natural psychedelic within us, which can be accessed usually within extreme circumstances: Birth, death, near death experiences, mystical experiences, or modulation through darkness retreats, through breathwork, through meditation. And so what we’re finding is there are ways to modulate consciousness to reveal there are infinite capacities within us that the normal bandwidth, what we now call the Default Mode Network or the default mode of being, keeps sussing. But there’s a whole spectrum of reality outside of the default mode which we can access. And when we take a psychedelic externally, it lowers the Default Mode Network and it allows our consciousness to go on a journey within or without. 5-MeO-DMT is already within us. So when we’re lowering the gate, Dr. Juan Acosta, who is the neuroscientist I work with and worked with the EEG headset, and you are right, it totally set an imprint on my being where it was like, alright, I’m not just gonna do 5-MeO for whatever historical, circumstantial reasons.
0:24:48.0 RR: The first time I did 5-MeO, which you can see, both in my documentary, Aya Awakenings. Just go to my website, rakrazam. I think this week, we’ve got the… Vice magazine covered it a few years ago and has the raw footage. And you know, people often say, “I wish I hadn’t recorded my 5-MeO sessions.” It’s usually not that exciting. You usually see the flesh body rolling about and moaning, and blah, whatever, but on the inside, there’s this miracle that you just can’t capture with the camera, right? But we did. In the film, we recreated the interior journey so it’s worth seeing the film. But that incident of using the technology to capture brainwave data and again, EEG, electroencephalography, is only the electrical activity of different surface areas of the brain. Science can’t really understand what’s happening in your experiential feeling.
0:25:39.7 RR: But we are getting to grasp towards a nexus point, where we can marry what’s happening internally, with what’s happening externally. And there are ways. Imperial College is going down to Tandava Retreats, in a way, echoing these first 5-MeO EEG experiments that Dr. Juan Acosta and I did back in 2006. He continued to get critical masses of data sets over the years. And he published in 2015, 2016, in one of his journals, his results. Some of the results with 5-MeO in general show that, yes, it may be affecting Default Mode Network, but it’s also working on the frontal and parietal lobes of the brain. It’s inviting the electrical activity in that area where at least partially, we think the sense of ego is generated, to lower for about 15 minutes. 5-MeO only stays in the human organism for around 15 minutes because we produce it, we know how to metabolize it. As soon as we’re taking it in, it’s metabolized. But for that short target window, the gate is dropped.
0:26:42.2 RR: There’s been a seminal study that came out in… Well, it’s in braintap.com, a few years ago, looking at monks meditating and people on 5-MeO in two separate EEG studies. They compared the results and their results were essentially identical, that what happens with the repetition and entrainment of brainwave activity with meditation is that it lowers the egoic activity, by learning to not attach to the thoughts, to let them run their course and to go deeper. In the Eastern traditions, they call the mind “sattva”, and it’s like an ocean. And they say that we live on the surface of the ocean and the egoic intellectual thoughts, the vrittis, the waves rippling, but it’s deep. It’s like an iceberg with nine-tenths under the surface. And what 5-MeO does, it immediately takes you into that ocean of mind within and away from the surface thoughts and down into the depths. But the two modalities are the same. Because we have 5-MeO within us, we now believe that it is the neurochemical catalyst for the mystical experience. And that begs the question, what is the mystical experience?
0:27:57.0 RR: Essentially, like most psychedelics say, it’s the experience of the cessation of the ego, not of the mind itself. There can be a witness in consciousness, which is present in the depths of these experiences. Just like a baby when it’s first born, you’ll see first six months or so, the babies are like, they’re like distributed consciousnesses. They haven’t come down or collapsed into an egoic state of being. We can exist without the ego. My short hand over many years of psychedelic engagement with these spaces is the modern ego for the last 10,000 years of history is a trauma response from a global civilizational collapse that had happened around 12,800 years ago.
0:28:39.3 RR: And it’s come to the fore, the ego is always searching for protection, for danger, for what it needs to do. It never shuts up, just like me. It never knows how to shut up. And it’s like psychedelics… I think this is why I came into them in my 20s, is they relax the mind and the mind finally has an opportunity to be present. With the endogenous psychedelic or entheogen, which reveals the divine within your 5-MeO, it’s a relationship because it’s always there. It’s always within. We’re really just discovering this. Modern psychedelic culture is still treating 5-MeO like LSD or like psilocybin, like something external to ourselves that we take and we had a peak experience.
0:29:22.3 RR: We’re here to tell you, that’s not the case. This is a relationship with the geography of the divine within you that all cultures across the world have had access to, through their modalities and ways of engagement, that we’ve forgotten in the West, in the busyness, in the ego reinforcement. And now, we have an understanding and a map of how to take us to that place and how to entrain us into that place, so we can remain on. Revolutionary.
0:29:53.8 PA: Mind… I mean, egoic mind is totally blown. I’m sure my deeper collective unconscious mind is also kind of just still trying to get a sense for what was just communicated, ’cause there’s so much there. And one thing I wanna dive deeper into, and Joel, I’m just gonna kind shift the ask over to you and sort of hosting the retreat that you hosted, Bridging Heaven and seeing how this actually played out, a silent meditative retreat with low doses. And this is building on what Rak had talked about. When a lot of people think of Five, they think of the breakthrough dose, right? They think of 80 mg’s, they think of the pop, they think of white light, unity consciousness, which can be a very valuable experience.
0:30:39.2 PA: And yet, it doesn’t, I think, necessarily allow for the, kind of what Rak was talking about, a training of the internal geography to actually go back to those states and access them again and again. So I’d love to hear a little bit about why you set up Bridging Heaven the way that you did? How you curated that retreat? What the sort of flow of the retreat was? What were the different dose levels that were dropped in? And why is it that these, let’s say, lower to medium doses are so much better at training that meditative state compared to just the high peak breakthrough, kick your ass experience?
0:31:22.5 JB: Yes. So the protocol for the Bridging Heaven Retreat, I think we can kind of call a bit of a combination or a merger of one of our standard 5-MeO containers, along with Vipassana retreat, with a lot of different kind of added flavor to it. And so how we were working with this one is we used pens, 5-MeO-DMT vape pens, and all the participants had their own personal pen. Of course, we would keep all the pens and hand them out at the beginning of the session. But we would hand out all the pens before entering meditation. We would take time, we would do all of our practices, and then there’d be specific periods where a sound of a chime or a gong would go off.
0:32:05.4 JB: And we’d know for those next 20 to 30 minutes, we can kind of go in on the pens. And the pens are measured in a way to where if you get a good 3-5 second pull, you’re taking in kind of somewhere between a handshake and a hug dose. So you’re taking in, speculatively, 3 to 6 milligrams of pure 5-MeO up in that pull. And as Rak mentioned before, what these medicines do, particularly 5-MeO-DMTs, it peels back the layers of the mind, it peels back the layers of the Default Mode Network. And when we take these lower doses, particularly in a setting of entrainment, we are training the mind to find that stillness because of course, after you take that pull, it’s not that it’s just gonna send you to a state of stillness. Anyone who’s worked with 5-MeO-DMT before generally knows that with the lower and medium doses, it can actually be a little more turbulent than with a full dose, where it cuts right through your awareness.
0:32:59.8 JB: There’s a little more confusion of the mind, as it attempts to get its footing. But even with lower doses of 5-MeO-DMT, the mind can’t exactly get its footing. It’s still a bit ineffable. And so taking those low to medium doses in meditation allows us to watch the reaction of the mind and surrender our body and surrender our awareness in the face of that reaction and continually soften into the stillness. And so, the experience may rise to a peak, it may get confrontational or uncomfortable, and it’s about continually letting go and softening into that, and surrendering into deeper layers. I definitely found that it shifted my relationship with my meditation in a great way, and I’ve had a longstanding meditation practice of decades. But I look at it like working out with weights on or like training, training for baseball by putting the weights on the bat.
0:33:56.1 JB: If you’re practicing meditating while taking in a substance that will cause your mind to kind of flip out for a few minutes, you are training your mind with heavy weights on to find its stillness, to find the eye of the storm in the face of the hurricane. And I found that to be really, really amazing. And of course, then there’s the group energy, the forming of, as Rak would call it, that group gestalt, where we’ve got 11 or 12 meditators all in deep space, all working with this medicine and kind of our awareness or our individual egoic identity softening to a degree to where we begin to merge into group identity, and there’s that whole dynamic. And so that was beautiful. But essentially, throughout the retreat, we did daily practice of meditation. We would also do walking meditation out in the yard without medicine though, but we would do daily meditation and touching in with the meditation… Touching in with the medicine multiple times a day.
0:34:48.5 JB: And then it culminated with a full release experience on the last full day, where the whole group went in full release together and there was a few of us anchors staying out of the medicine to watch over everyone, but it was celebratory indeed. But yeah, very, very, very interesting retreat. Definitely something juicy to play with and to really explore those deeper realms of consciousness, when we can use these geographies that have been polished for millennia upon millennia by the Eastern cultures and combine them with this powerful-acting entheogenic tool that allows us such deep and direct access to our inner workings.
0:35:24.7 PA: I’m curious if you’ve also… Go ahead, Rak.
0:35:27.1 RR: Oh, sorry, I just wanted to add that. Yeah, it’s very different. I’ve been working with 5-MeO… Well, it’s been since 2006, a good long while. And just in terms of 5-MeO culture as it’s blossoming in the world and Bufo alvarius toad has taken prominence with the synthetics around all those conversations. But this is probably the strongest medicine we know of, for the weight ratio in nature. And I like to say, the only thing that’s strong as 5-MeO-DMT is you, is the human mind, which can resist it. So traditionally, there is this language and sort of context in 5-MeO culture about surrender, about letting go, about letting the medicine take you, and that’s all true. But what I found over the years is, it’s not about the medicine per se, it’s about the interaction of the person and the medicine. If they’re armored, if they’re contracted, if they’re holding on, if they have trauma and they can’t open up, or if they’re… Some of the meditators are so open already that they just need a little push to get them there.
0:36:28.4 RR: But with this work, with the bridgingheaven.com retreats, We are working with established meditators that have their own practice already and understand, anchoring that practice. And this medicine in low doses is pretty much 180 degrees away from that full release, from that fully letting go. We’re inviting people, in a way, not to let go but to stay with it, to stay with their practice, to stay with their focus, to hold the edge; they’re edging, they’re learning how to edge, and how to maintain that. And what our goal is with this is, we do not believe that 5-MeO is just a peak experience, we believe that it is a molecule we contain within your human organism that has the potential to entrain us and to teach us how to use our operating system, how to be more than we are in the Default Mode that we are in.
0:37:21.4 RR: Part of the lineage and part of the inspiration of this is some of the enlightened beings in India, in their traditions where they have a term for this, they call it jivanmukta, it’s like enlightened ones. But it’s potential of learning through meditation, how to keep the meditative state on, so that you are not just having a… You don’t just meditate one hour a day and then go off into your nine-to-five and not in that state of mind. What we’re suggesting is, you can entrain yourself into an optimal state of mind, where the ego is reduced to a certain degree and then the bandwidth of what that enables to open up is on, to a certain degree, and you can be functional. I mean, this has been proven in India, with these jivanmuktas that they don’t go back down from the enlightened state and they’re functional in the enlightened state, that we have a capacity of human consciousness, which we are on the verge of unlocking, and perhaps, that consciousness itself wants to unlock in the human organism.
0:38:21.3 RR: So working with low dose 5-MeO is not designed to push people outside of their egoic consciousness, it’s designed to stay within it, but to deepen the groove of their meditation practice, to figure out what’s happening to let things sort of clear and to go, and to work also with a really established lineage of teachers that work within these models, that understand the nuances of consciousness, and can entrain and bring people back to that point. I mean, what I found was, it was incredible to do a meditation retreat, which I wouldn’t have probably done on my own but wanted to do it for many years, and then to do it with low dose 5-MeO, which gives you that boost. So many people thought, with starting out meditating, they’re like, “Yeah, I just don’t know how to quieten my mind. I like the idea of it, but it just doesn’t work for me.”
0:39:11.0 RR: What we’re following, and Joel can talk more about this, we’re basically followings Patanjali’s eight limbs of yoga, the Yoga Sutras and there is a sequence that the ancients have left us of how to do these practices in order, which for instance, the asanas calming the body down so then the mind can be calm. Once the body is calm and then once the mind is calm, then we are working with low dose 5-MeO. So these sequences blend synergistically and optimalize, and make it a whole lot easier for people to get into the meditative state and then to realize their full potential. It’s just life-changingly incredible, the ability to feel these states or modes of being. And that’s what we’re really excited about with Bridging Heaven.
0:39:58.4 PA: Thank you. So Joel, that was sort of the follow-up question that I had, to Rak’s point about sort of yogic philosophy, right? ‘Cause in some ways, yoga is a meditative practice, right? It’s a moving meditative practice. In other ways, Vipassana, which you sort of made the comparison to, is a different school of thought than let’s say Ashtanga or these other sort of aspects of yoga. So I’m just curious how, Rak mentioned these eight, I don’t wanna say they’re pillars, but they’re probably eight steps that you move through, so to say.
0:40:36.7 JB: Limbs.
0:40:39.6 PA: And I’d love if you could explain a little bit about kind of that philosophy, how that maps on to the Bridging Heaven retreat. And if you intend to weave in more sort of a yogic practice, as part of that, not just necessarily Vipassana, which is more emptiness and sitting and that process.
0:41:00.8 JB: Yeah, absolutely. So I’ll start with talking about Patanjali. So Patanjali was the sage who existed in India sometime between 3 and 800 BC. And Patanjali compiled a set of scriptures known as the Yoga Sutras. And the Yoga Sutras are essentially the handbook for the system of yoga. He was able to completely boil down the human experience and the perplexing questions of consciousness into a manual and outlined the eight-limbed path of yoga. And so we say eight limbs instead of eight steps because eight steps would refer to a linear function, where eight-limbed, it is part of a whole, where each part is its own world, but they’re not necessarily always progressive in order. And so the first two limbs are yama and niyama. Yama and niyama are the essentially, dos and don’ts. They are the set of disciplines and… Self-regulating disciplines and actions and systems that we can use to ensure that we are able to take part in our spiritual journey without harming others and harming ourselves.
0:42:08.5 JB: So, yama and niyama contain notions like satya, which is truthfulness or ahimsa, which is nonviolence. Things like svadhyaya which is self-study. Things like tapasya, which is the discipline of entraining oneself through rigorous practice. Things like this, they set the stage and the foundation. Then the third limb is asana. Asana is the physical practice of yoga. This is kind of where we got stuck in the West because quite often when we think of yoga, we think of the physical practice, but the physical aspect is a very, very small aspect. It’s only one of the eight limbs of yoga and the point of asana is to gain control of the body. It helps us regulate and master the nervous system. It allows us to sit comfortably for hours on end, without our knees screaming at us. So it allows us to sit in meditation without being distracted by the body. It allows us to master the body in that aspect.
0:43:01.8 JB: The fourth limb is pranayama, the breathing techniques. So there’s thousands of different pranayamas, and this translates to restraint or control of the prana, and prana is our energy or our life force, what the Chinese and Japanese would call the Qi or the Ki. And so the prana can be moved, guided, or directed by the breath. And so with pranayama, we begin to gain mastery over our energetic body. We begin to gain mastery over access to different parts of our nervous system and endocrine system. Things like this. That allows us to move to the fifth limb, which is pratyahara. Pratyahara is the withdrawal of the external senses, focusing our awareness inwards. And so this is essentially tuning out what we’re hearing, what we’re seeing, what we’re smelling, what we’re tasting, all of that. It is shifting all of that awareness, all of the focus inwards to tune into our inner world. And of course, this is far easier said than done. This is a full practice in of its own, but pratyahara can be looked at as creating a buffering space between what happens to us and our reaction to it. And so pratyahara allows us full entry into our inner world.
0:44:08.0 JB: And that takes us into the sixth limb, which is dhyana, intense focus on one point, on one-pointedness, and this is gaining mastery of the mind, so this is keeping our focus on one thing. An example of this could be trataka meditation or gazing at a candle flame. Anytime your mind wanders, you bring it right back to what you’re gazing at. This allows us to master the fluctuations of the mind and really find that stillness. And then that leads us to dharana, which is the seventh limb, which is pure meditation, flow state, absorption. And that takes us into the eighth limb, which is samadhi, or absolute dissolving in, merging of subject and object. And there are many different levels of samadhi, but two main categories, nirbija and sabija, with and without seed samadhi. So in some stages of samadhi, there is as semblance of individual self there. There still is some egoic consciousness. In other levels of samadhi, there is no semblance of individual mind whatsoever and it is more experienced as pure, boundless awareness, quite similar to where we go in that peak state of 5-MeO-DMT.
0:45:14.9 JB: And so understanding and using these, utilizing these systems of yoga, we can look at them as a geography to and from the dissolution of the individual self. The primal, the founding tenet of yogic philosophy is Atma is Brahman. The individual soul is the same as the infinite, or God or whatever word we want to use. And so, the system of yoga is all about non-duality and it’s about priming the awareness to realize and remember that absolute unity and also about priming the awareness to be able to integrate it upon the return and to bring some sort of semblance and meaning into the daily life.
0:45:49.5 JB: And so utilizing that has been a wonderful way to explore psychedelics. And it definitely did get utilized quite a bit in the retreat. I would say it was a good combination or good balance between Buddhist style silent meditation, and also yogic contemplation or what we would call Jnana yoga, the yoga of wisdom. Very similar practices, in essence. And then we also, we were beginning the days off with asana, the physical practice and with pranayama, doing breathwork. And so we’re using a lot of the different techniques through the days.
0:46:19.7 JB: And then the real juice, in my opinion, is really in the philosophical lenses. And a lot of the days and evenings were filled with juicy satsangs and different discussions about these different lenses, mainly through the yogic lens and the Buddhist lens. And specifically, within the yogic lens, I would say my philosophical outlooks reside within the school of Vedanta, which translates to summary of the Vedas and is kind of the philosophical school of… Yogic school of non-duality. And so using those, we really were able to shape this retreat into something that wasn’t about converting people to a specific form of ideology. It wasn’t about “do this and become a yogi” or “do this and become a Buddhist” or anything like this. It was about using the essence of these practices, using the foundational understandings of these geographies to find which works best for us.
0:47:13.7 JB: Each individual has their own unique path to and from total dissolution and really finding the ones that speak to us is wonderful. So, during the retreat, we were able to offer a good variety, a good kind of buffet of the Eastern practices and philosophical lenses. Even though in core, they’re all pretty much the same, it’s just the details that start to get more different and more different, the more we try and think about it.
0:47:40.4 PA: Go ahead.
0:47:40.8 RR: I’d just like to add that it’s so illuminating when you see, in the meditation retreat with low dose Five. In normal 5-MeO sort of engagement, you see a presentment of people’s egoic structure, of them releasing trauma, of them learning how to open, learning how to sensitize, purging. It’s all happening at once, the internal sort of work and the external work, and going into that space, it’s all happening at once. And so much of it I’ve learned from this retreat can be prepared for and titrated and sort of processed that we can do our work before, not just integrating afterwards, but in the preparation before. So working with meditators is quite a blessing because most people have done a certain amount of work and are already familiar with the spaces. And then so when the 5-MeO engages with them, it’s a very different experience than the normal catharsis that might happen with an average person who hasn’t done the work before.
0:48:43.3 RR: And just to say, these substances, again, 5-MeO is endogenous to the human organism. It’s something we have within us already. It seems to be the neurochemical catalyst for the mystical experience. And I don’t believe we need to bring the dogma of the past with us into this new terrain. I mean, in some traditions, intoxicants in the ancient world or in the Vedas were seen as something to be avoided, in regards to meditation. 5-MeO is not an intoxicant. I’ve had other people that have tried to meditate on things like San Pedro cactus, which is a stimulant, so it’s obviously not a good idea to mix with meditation.
0:49:25.6 RR: But it’s, I think we’re coming around to a mature appreciation, both of psychedelics and entheogens made in nature. And especially with 5-MeO, that this is not something which is a drug. This is something which is a neurochemical, very close to a neurotransmitter within us, very fundamental to consciousness. It’s not cheating to work with 5-MeO within a meditative lens. It’s something that actually is replicating what meditation does in the organism. And then you can utilize, by hacking basically your nervous system, you can do a darkness retreat for 10 days and 5-MeO, once the melatonin leaves in total darkness after six, seven days, 5-MeO aggregates in the human organism. This is something we have within us. It’s not a left-hand path.
0:50:11.8 RR: It’s the A path forward, and it is something that is also not really utilized in psychedelic community, that people think psychedelics is something you take, you have a peak experience, but not necessarily people are thinking of, “Oh, I’ll meditate on a psychedelic” or “I’ll do yoga on a psychedelic.” But the thing is, it’s all consciousness and there’s a left and right hemisphere of the brain and we’re all about unifying the hemispheres. We’re about unifying the modalities, unifying the potential within the human organism. At this point in human history, as things are hitting the fan, why don’t we pull out all the stops and utilize not just these external substances, but our own internal capacity, our potential, and put them together? Because if we can create… If we can assist in the awakening of one enlightened being, one Buddha nature in the world at this point in time, then I think you need to give it a go.
0:51:11.5 PA: And what you’re hitting at a little bit is, is that, you brought up the example of San Pedro, huachuma, in terms of, it’s probably not an ideal aid for meditation, but vision quests in the mountains with huachuma is a phenomenal fit, how it’s been used indigenously, the energy that comes from phenethylamine in terms of what it does for dopamine is great for that. Whereas something like Ayahuasca , a different medicine, a different context, a different, let’s say modality, they may be ideal to combine with Ayahuasca , which you would know much more about, Rak, than I would certainly; same with psilocybin or LSD, or even something like ketamine. For me, when I look at how I work with ketamine and what can be really transformative, it’s body work and getting a great body worker that can get into all the fascia that’s been stuck.
0:52:03.1 PA: And ketamine’s phenomenal for that ’cause it’s an anesthetic. It lasts for about an hour and a half to two hours. So I think what you’re hitting at is when we look at 5-MeO as a tool, the way it’s often been used in these high dose peak experiences, it’s certainly helpful, no doubt. I know a lot of people who have been transformed through peak 5-MeO experiences and yet likely the ideal way to land it is actually in these low to medium doses with meditation. Just like the ideal way to land ketamine is with body work. Just like the ideal way to land huachuma is with a vision quest, etcetera, etcetera. And that, that is maybe, it’s true… It’s sort of like God-given intention or the way it’s meant to be used, like the ideal, optimal way that we can weave it in. And we’re now seeing that reflected in EEGs and we’re seeing that reflected in sort of how it works, as a neurochemical key. I think the way you’re describing it, Rak, it’s sort of like, this is how we can get the pieces to all fit together, mapping on to this larger existential crisis that we’re clearly faced with, in terms of the need to help more and more people wake up into the truth of who they are and what experience life really is.
0:53:16.4 RR: Yeah. Also, I’d just like to add that there’s this phenomena within 5-MeO culture called reactivations, in the sense that either the synthetic or the Toad medicine is metabolized by the body in about 15 minutes, and it’s excreted and it’s gone. The mind comes back on into its old style patterning, but underneath that, what is activated sometimes remains activated. And anytime the mind lowers, boom, there it is. I like to say to people, you are the medicine, right? 5-MeO is the catalyst but you have it already. And once you activate that seed of the divine within you, it can remain active. So, some people find the first night or the first few nights, around 3:00, 4:00 AM, your blood sugar’s lowest, the mind’s offline, and the 5-MeO was highest in the darkness. And people go back into the same space, sometimes to the same intensity of a full release, and there’s no external trigger, that they have it within them. This is really unexplored territory. ‘Cause what it suggests is that it’s always on, it just needs to be activated.
0:54:18.0 RR: So by utilizing a training program like Bridging Heaven is teaching, we’re teaching people how to find that on switch within themselves and even maybe how to switch it off. ‘Cause sometimes that reactivation can continue, but what it suggests is, you don’t need the external catalyst. You have it internally and that this is a capacity of human consciousness, which other people, throughout history have experienced, that we can experience that ourselves, and we’re also at this juncture of human history that we don’t know what the collective effect is, if a thousand people reactivate at the same time or a million people reactivate at the same time, or if we were to do a concerted, synergistic experiment in consciousness, where we do the thing all at the same time. If there is a collective, what I call a samadhi mesh network, if the effect gets stronger, the more people that join it in a simultaneous excursion, that these are experiments which we’re gonna have to do because the potential is so tangibly close. And we know that reactivations happen spontaneously, all through other substances. We know that, that actually suggests that you have this capacity that you can maintain the on-ness of.
0:55:34.0 RR: So what is the effect in the culture, in civilization itself, if more people stay on in the awakened state? We are tangibly close to unlocking that door. And we need integrity, we need skill, we need love, and we need support to do this effectively, to look after people in this hugely revelatory and rebirthing experience into their full potential.
0:56:00.7 PA: The samadhi mesh network reminds me of those… There’s a specific name that they call them, but when they have like a 100,000 people meditate at the same time. I think Deepak Chopra something…
0:56:12.5 RR: Like the synchronized global meditations. Yeah. Yeah.
0:56:15.3 PA: Right. Where they’ll do that. Now what if we could just get a vape pen, a 5-MeO vape pen in everyone’s hand, as they were going through this?
0:56:23.1 RR: But this is another thing, Joel and I have talked about this in other panel discussions, but vape pens are a new emerging technology for many substances, including 5-MeO. 5-MeO is the most powerful psychoactive on the planet. It should not be used recreationally. You can whiteout, you can leave your body, you can choke on your vomit, you can hit your head, you can drown. Like a million things can go wrong, which is why you should have a facilitator or a sitter present. The technology of vape pens means that 5-MeO is gonna get out into the community in a way which is uncontrolled. And now I’m not trying to control it, I’m trying to safeguard the right relationship with this medicine. What we found is, it’s not about the technology. There’s nothing wrong with vape pens in themselves. When they’re used in a safe, sacred, and sound container, like we create in the ceremony space of Bridging Heaven and when they’re used to top up a meditative state, they work so well. They are the preeminent tool for this seamless journey between your meditative state and the deeper meditative state with a pen.
0:57:29.5 RR: So, again, one of the things that we’re learning is, the container is what’s important. So if we can help the integration of vape pen, 5-MeO vape pens into the world, and we’re not saying you have to do Bridging Heaven our way, where we’ve got incredibly respected, well-trained teachers with Joel, with Quilley Powers, with Eugene Alliende, with Victoria, helping us with their expertise of, it’s all in the nuances. Our first wave of participants in July, as Joel said, we’ve had an eight-week integration, follow-up, relationship, bonding with them, with their practices, with meditation, how they’re going, integrating that into their lives.
0:58:11.6 RR: And what we’ve realized is there’s so much nuance. Obviously, we can’t condense down a lifetime of meditation into our five-day bridgingheaven.com retreats. But what we can offer is a container, which is safe, sacred, sound, and integral, to teach people the basics of how to do this, to continue their own practice. And what we’re looking at perhaps doing is recording some of our sequences, some of our teachings, the yoga sequences, the meditative… Meditation sort of sequences, the satsangs, and giving people the framework to understand, you can do this yourself. Because time is short these days on the planet. And this modality is something which, it isn’t actually rocket science. Meditation has existed forever, 5-MeO and psychedelics have existed forever. The potential to marry them is sort of like the next step. And people are gonna be doing that on their own, regardless of what we do.
0:59:08.4 RR: We hope we can give a lineage here, a transmission of integrity, of how to use these substances in a way which people will do on their own. Theoretically, you don’t even need a 5-MeO vape pen, which is becoming more and more common in the underground. In California, they’re using a THC vape pen. Anything that’s relaxing the mind. You’re relaxing the mind, but you’re not just sitting there doing nothing. If you have a sequence and a teaching and a program to follow, while the Default Mode Network is being modulated, that is what’s gonna make a point of difference. So we are still evolving as a brand and what we’re offering the community, but we see the community is gonna be runnng with this on their own and we hope to walk with guidance and support for the marriage of psychedelics and meditation.
0:59:56.4 PA: Joel, anything to add to that? I’m sure there’s lots that’s coming up for you, in terms of Rak’s eloquent description of all of this.
1:00:06.0 JB: Yeah, yeah, yeah. He’s very correct in saying that, the timing is just very ripe for the merger of these two modalities. And 5-MeO-DMT and its lower to medium doses, just does seem to be very synchronistic with this practice. It really allows us to just soften into it. And to me it just seems that consciousness is going through a period of purging, where consciousness as a whole is releasing a lot of old patterns, releasing a lot of old everything from the collective. And both meditation and working with psychedelics and particularly, 5-MeO-DMT, is a great direct path to catharsis and to releasing and letting go. And so we really see programs like this and practices where we utilize these tools to access the deeper areas of ourselves in ways that allow us to stay present and bring it back to share with the community. This is the stuff that the world needs right now. These are exciting times and it’s just really, really beautiful to be able to play in the depths of consciousness in such ways and to be able to use these powerful tools that have been shepherded here, and just get to experience all the infinite possibilities.
1:01:21.4 PA: And so, on that note, kind of a final question for you, Joel, in terms of the retreats and Bridging Heaven and meditation and yogic practice and 5-MeO, what’s the end game here? What’s the vision? What’s the objective? And I think we’ve talked at length somewhat about the larger end game of consciousness and growth and awareness. But just specific to, what are the different bells and whistles that you wanna weave into this? Do you wanna start to do more extensive research with EEG, as it relates to brain scans before and after people come to the retreat? Are there other opportunities to have other retreats that splinter off of this, in terms of Vipassana style or Ashtanga or whatever it might be, in terms of the different modalities? I’m just curious about how you see sort of the growth and evolution of this offering in particular.
1:02:15.0 JB: Yeah, definitely. I see this evolving in many different ways. Firstly, with the technologies, we’ve been include… We’ve been implicating the… Or utilizing the EEG technology in our regular protocols here. We work with neurofeedback, with an eight-point EEG set, here at the center. And that type of brain entrainment, utilizing the neuroplasticity that 5-MeO allows us, really opens up some really potent doors there. And so I’m very excited to continually dive down and see how deep we can get. At the next Bridging Heaven, we may break out the headsets as well, the EEG headsets and get into some neurofeedback as well on that one.
1:02:51.9 JB: As Rak had mentioned before, Imperial College London is in talks with us right now for some hopeful research down here at the center. And so we’re looking at different ways of framing this research, but essentially, we’ll be looking at getting 30 different participants with a full 32-point headset on, and recording their entire experiences. And so, we’d be looking for particularly participants who have experienced 5-MeO-DMT and can stay in a still position because that’s the tricky one with Five; people get dynamic and so we get the artifacts in the EEG readouts.
1:03:26.7 JB: And so the idea of this would be to get as many clean readouts of the full blown mystical experience as we can. And from there, there’s just so many different directions we can go. The more we understand the mystical experience on a neurological level, the more we can begin to unpack consciousness and how we interact with it, and what it is. So all of these really lead to very open-ended roads, in my opinion. So I can’t say that I can speak to an end game as of yet, but right now, I can speak to, us here at Kaivalya Kollectiv, whether at Tandava, whether FIVE, whether any of our subsidiaries, we’re always keen for good collaboration. We’re really always keen to partner with different people in the space who are emerging and doing interesting things.
1:04:09.2 JB: Finding people who are working with modalities that pair well with ours and seeing which avenues that go, those go down. Us, the four of us teaming together for this Bridging Heaven retreat is one example of just how much I love collaboration and working with different people, who have different areas of knowledge in areas where I may not know myself, and putting together bigger containers and more well-rounded containers. But rather than an end, I see this as a beginning. I see this as a beginning of something that could effectively shift the way we relate to ourselves as human beings, and in turn, shift the way we operate in the world.
1:04:46.2 PA: Love that. Rak, any final thoughts from you?
1:04:50.0 RR: Well, I just echo Joel’s sentiment. I think that even though, I guess psychedelics are over 70 years old, the last few years we’ve seen a, I guess a return of the psychedelic renaissance and this idea of the medicalization of psychedelics, and a lot of the discourse and a lot of the conversation is around personal healing. And that’s so needed. And we have to be healed to move forward as a human race. And yet, that’s not the only path and possibility of psychedelics and especially of 5-MeO. There seems to be a spiritual awareness, a spiritual rebirthing and a connection to something larger than ourselves, which you don’t need to be sick to experience.
1:05:34.2 RR: There’s this optimization understanding that consciousness is still being really understood and the full spectrum of consciousness is still being understood. So with all the issues we have in the world today, it feels like unlocking our full capacity of consciousness is one of the greatest gifts we can do personally, but also collectively on what that might do for the world. And so we do invite people to become part of this experience, to work with the bridgingheaven.com retreats. Our next retreats are coming up in January 17 to 21 and July 4 to 8 in 2023. We have a team of four or five of us. We can only do a certain amount of retreats every year. We’re hoping that we might be able to get a website, sort of brand.
1:06:21.6 RR: We’ve got a website, bridgingheaven.com, listing the retreats, but we’re hoping maybe we can add some online support for people that can’t make the retreats and have a more horizontal connecting point for the community, as well as a vertical one at the retreats. But essentially, what we do is we encourage people to think outside the box of psychedelics. Psychedelics aren’t something you necessarily just take and have a healing experience. It’s part of your spiritual journey. It’s something… We are psychedelic.
1:06:51.0 RR: If we can activate the Tryptamine consciousness within, that has been built into our wetware, then we can activate our full capacity of what it means to be human. And it feels like, if there’s ever been a time to seize the day on your full capacity, it’s now. So we would love to work with you, with experienced meditators or with experienced psychonauts that have a leaning towards meditation, and to marry these two modalities into one unified consciousness for the betterment of all. Blessed be.
1:07:24.4 PA: Thank you, Rak. Thank you, Joel, for joining us on today’s podcast. Bridgingheaven.com is the retreat. Joel, what’s the F.I.V.E. education website, just so we have that top of mind as well?
1:07:36.1 JB: It is five, F-I-V-E education… Or five-meo.education. Excuse me. [chuckle]
1:07:43.8 PA: Five MEO…
1:07:44.3 JB: But F-I-V-E hyphen meo.
1:07:48.2 PA: Okay, five-meo.education. Is that correct?
1:07:51.7 JB: Yes.
1:07:52.6 PA: Cool. And we’ll link to it as well, just so people can easily access it. Bridgingheaven.com for their next retreats. One is January 17 to 21. The other is July 4th through 8, I believe, is what you had mentioned. Is that correct? And then Tandava Retreats, we have them listed in our directory on Third Wave. So if you are interested generally in a 5-MeO retreat, check out Tandava. And then we also mentioned Rak’s website, rakrazam.com, if you wanna learn more about Rak. Anything else that I missed before we close the… End the podcast today, in terms of resources or things to check out?
1:08:25.9 JB: No. It’s all good.
1:08:26.0 RR: I just wanted to say thanks to all your audience. I mean there are so many new people coming into psychedelics. It’s a little bit of a fad, in a way, but it’s a transformative experience. And for a generation or more, there’s been an established community, but it is just quintupling, it’s so exponentially growing. There are so many new people, but we’re all in this together. And so what we’re really trying to do is work on projects which build community and bring community together, enable us to anchor these states of being into our lives to make the world a better place. So thanks to you for listening to this podcast and for getting into the psychedelic community, being part of it.
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