I get faced with the question, “Why would you do more than one plant medicine retreat or ceremony? What is the value?” And really, fundamentally, after doing one, you’re a different person. Really. Completely. Particularly if you dive super deep into process, you can fundamentally transform. And with that brings a whole different life; a whole different set of goals; a whole different personality structure; a whole different set of problems and challenges that you face. So for all the same reasons that enabled you to go into one, you can go into more.
— Eric Brown, HEx Podcast #32
Using psychedelics is a fantastic way to see what your ordinary mind is like and how it works.
For many of us, psychedelics can reveal patterns that are going on all the time, but under the intense spotlight of plant medicine we see it less as a background murmuring and more of a strong soul-punch that makes us writhe around in agonising self-reflection.
There is so much advice out there on set and setting and how to navigate a difficult psychedelic experience, but one of the few people whose advice I would take seriously on this subject is Eric Brown.
Eric is the type of psychonaut that can dive very deep into process and yet still remember his training—breathing, mindfulness, cognitive distancing, trust, surrender.
Whenever I talk to him after an experience of his, I am amazed at how lucid his recollection is and how he navigated the difficult moments with Jedi-level calm.
So it was my pleasure to spend 3.5 hours (longest interview ever) going very deep into Eric’s recent 3-week trip to Peru where he partook in a very strict plant diet, which included copious amount of sacred tea drinking, ayahuasca, kambo, and fasting from modern distraction and pleasure.
This episode of the podcast will show you in vivid detail how plant medicine works, how it can transform you, how to prepare, integrate, and generally think about working with ancient plant technologies.
WHAT WE DISCUSS IN THIS EPISODE:
- Eric’s retreat and psychedelic experience.
- The trap of viewing retreats as the next spiritual high.
- The difference between lying and bullshitting.
- Eric’s view on meditation and how he practices mindfulness.
- How to prepare for a psychedelic experience.
- What do do when a “bad trip” happens.
- Eric’s story of the 3-week dieta in Peru.
- How to “communicate” with the medicine.
- The right and wrong way to integrate mystical experiences.
- WAY MORE…
LISTEN TO THE HEx PODCAST (#28)
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WHERE TO FIND ERIC BROWN
Hangout with him at an Apotheosis Retreat
Read Eric’s work here.
Jon Brooks is a Stoicism teacher and, crucially, practitioner. His Stoic meditations have accumulated thousands of listens, and he has created his own Stoic training program for modern-day Stoics.