276. Unlocking the Mind: Psychedelics & Healing with Jahan Khamsehzadeh

Jahan Khamehzadeh

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Psychedelics have been proven to heal severe depression, addiction and anxiety, but what happens when someone with borderline or schizophrenia takes them? Join us in episode 276 of the Meditation Conversation podcast as we explore the transformative power of psilocybin and its deep roots in human history. But be warned, not everyone is ready for the threshold it demands.

It's quite an anomaly in our paradigm... I focus on psilocybin because I think it can be the most potent so far as seen when it comes to really deep healing. - Jahan Khamsehzadeh

My special guest in episode 276 is Jahan Khamsehzadeh.

Jahan is a seasoned expert in the field of psychedelics and mental health. Having completed his dissertation on psychedelics at the California Institute of Integral Studies, Jahan has a wealth of knowledge to share. As the author of "The Psilocybin Connection," his work focuses on the transformative potential of psychedelics for consciousness and planetary evolution. Jahan has also undergone extensive training in Hakomi Somatic Psychotherapy and the Mazatec Mushroom Tradition. With years of experience and a deep understanding of alternative therapies for mental health, Jahan is a compelling voice in the world of psychedelics.

This is Jahan's story:

Jahan's curiosity about consciousness and the nature of reality first piqued in his teen years, as he found himself grappling with existential questions about life and the human experience. This young and inquisitive mind was drawn to the idea of compounds that could alter our perception of self, time, and space. He discovered psychedelics, and over the next 20 years, they became a significant part of his practice, making him deeply interested in their therapeutic and transformational potential. He was particularly intrigued by psilocybin's remarkable healing capabilities, which can, astonishingly, alleviate decades-long depression, anxiety, and addiction in a significant number of cases.

In this episode, you will be able to:

  • Discover the potential of psychedelics in addressing mental health challenges.

  • Delve into the rich history of psychedelic use within indigenous cultures.

  • Understand the significance of responsible and careful application of psilocybin.

  • Weigh the pros and cons of microdosing psychedelics for various purposes.

  • Recognize the necessity of trained guides in ensuring safe psychedelic journeys.

Microdosing Psychedelics
The concept of microdosing, taking small amounts of a psychedelic substance over an extended period, has gained popularity as a way to enhance creativity, focus, and other cognitive abilities. It can also improve mood and reduce anxiety without causing the intense experiences usually associated with larger doses. Microdosing aims to optimize the user's cognitive and emotional capabilities while minimizing potential negative side effects. During our discussion, Jahan shares his insights on microdosing and describes the history of experimentation with LSD and psilocybin. As he states, microdosing can be a helpful tool for boosting cognitive performance and well-being, but it's essential to take a responsible approach and not rely solely on this practice for mental health. Individuals should seek guidance from experienced professionals and be cautious about dosage and frequency to maximize the benefits and minimize risks.

Healing Depression
Psychedelics have shown potential for healing depression and reducing anxiety by stimulating the regrowth of neurons, quieting the default mode network, and increasing neuroplasticity. When used responsibly and with intention, these substances can offer transformative experiences and help individuals work through difficult emotions and patterns. The research into the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics, especially for those struggling with treatment-resistant depression and other mental health conditions, continues to expand and offers hope for alternative treatments. During the conversation, Jahan acknowledged the benefits of psychedelics for treating mental health conditions like depression. The healing potential of these substances arises from their ability to stabilize dislocated parts of the brain and unify the individual. This can help people see themselves as part of a larger whole and reduce feelings of isolation and shame. Jahan emphasizes, however, that appropriate support systems are crucial, and approaching psychedelics responsibly is vital to their transformative potential.

Psychedelic Therapy
Psychedelic therapy involves using substances like psilocybin or LSD in a supervised and supportive environment to facilitate personal growth and emotional healing. Advocates of this approach believe that the transformative effects of psychedelic experiences can be integrated into daily life, leading to lasting positive changes. In recent years, psychedelic therapy has attracted growing interest in the mental health community, with research showing its potential to treat a range of disorders. In the episode, Jahan highlights the importance of responsible use and supervised therapy when using psychedelics for healing. He notes that appropriate settings and trained therapists can provide much-needed support for those who embark on the difficult journey of exploring deep emotions and challenging experiences. Jahan advises anyone considering psychedelic therapy to ensure they are prepared and have access to the necessary resources for safe and beneficial use.

The resources mentioned in this episode are:

  • Check out karagoodwin.com for more resources specific to helping your meditation practice.

  • Consider enrolling in the Meditation Immersion online course to go deeply into your own meditation practice.

  • Join Kara's Healing Hearth online community where we meditate together regularly and have access to a large library of recorded meditations.

  • Read Jahan Khamsehzadeh's book, The Psilocybin Connection, to learn more about the healing potential of psychedelics.

  • Consider trying psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression, near-end-of-life anxiety, nicotine addiction, and alcohol addiction.

  • Learn more about the similarities between meditation and psilocybin use in altering the default mode network of the brain.

  • Explore the history of psychedelics in indigenous traditions and their role in human evolution.

  • Be aware of any potential risks or contraindications before trying psychedelics.

Timestamped summary of this episode:
00:00:12 - Introduction,
Kara Goodwin introduces Jahan Khamsehzadeh, author of the Psilocybin Connection and discusses the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics.

00:04:31 - Healing Capabilities,
Jahan discusses the powerful healing capabilities of psilocybin, including its effectiveness in treating treatment-resistant depression and end-of-life anxiety.

00:07:18 - Addiction,
Jahan addresses the fears of addiction to psilocybin and explains that he has never seen anyone become addicted to the substance.

00:09:20 - Differentiation of Psychedelics,
Jahan explains that psilocybin is part of the tryptamine family and discusses the differences in duration and potency of psilocybin, LSD, and DMT.

00:12:03 - History of Psychedelics,
Jahan discusses the history of psychedelics, including their use in indigenous cultures and the reasons for their prohibition in Western culture.

00:14:29 - The Threshold of Psychedelic Experience,
Jahan discusses the difficulty of the psychedelic experience, which is often filled with anxiety. He explains that moving through this threshold is necessary to break up the ego membrane and expand into something larger, and that the fear response is natural and must be overcome.

00:15:25 - Who Should Avoid Psychedelics?,
Jahan explains that while he believes psychedelics are an important part of the human experience, certain personality disorders such as borderline and schizophrenia may not be able to withstand the effects. He emphasizes the importance of being grounded and functioning before taking psychedelics.

00:18:08 - Fungi and the Brain,
Jahan discusses the evolutionary relationship between fungi and humans, and how fungi has been around for billions of years and created the first root systems in plants. He explains how psilocybin works to heal different parts of the brain, including the reenlivening of dendrites, which can lead to a sense of unity and wholeness.

00:20:18 - Healing Depression,
Jahan notes that depression and anxiety are rising epidemics and that depression often stems from a sense of fragmentation and separation. He explains that psilocybin can help to unify the brain and stabilize pathways to alleviate depression and anxiety, leading to a sense of connection and purpose.

00:28:23 - Microdosing Psychedelics,
Jahan explains the concept of microdosing, which involves taking small amounts of psychoactive substances like LSD and psilocybin to improve mood and productivity. He shares the results of a study where 90% of the participants felt an improvement in their life, but notes that it does not work for everyone.

00:30:40 - Microdosing Schedule,
Jahan explains that microdosing LSD has a one-day-on, two-days-off schedule, while psilocybin is taken for four to five days a week. He advises taking breaks to allow tolerance to decrease and effects to return. Microdosing is safe and can be stopped once it has achieved its purpose.

00:32:15 - Psychedelic Therapy,
Jahan discusses the challenges of accessibility to trained therapists for psychedelic therapy. He recommends finding a therapist or guide for individualized attention, joining a ceremonial setting for a shared experience, or undergoing self-experimentation with a trusted sitter present. Jahan and his friends created a free online training at silohealth.co to help people learn how to sit for each other.

00:35:24 - Jahan's Work,
Jahan's website psychedelicevolution.org provides information on his work in psychedelic research and therapy. His book, Psychedelic Evolution, is available on various platforms. Jahan emphasizes the importance of accessibility to psychedelic therapy for underprivileged communities and highlights the need for more trained therapists.

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