Secular Ecstasy: Mystical States Without the Supernatural Element

It is possible for anyone, regardless of his or her religious or metaphysical beliefs, to have a mystical experience. These mystical states of consciousness have been accessible since time immemorial. You can find accounts of profound altered states in ancient Hindu and Buddhist scriptures and in the descriptions of the Eleusinian Mysteries, those secret rituals…View Post

Overcoming the Fear of Death During a Psychedelic Experience

During personal, guided, or group psychedelic sessions, people will often confront a range of issues, from trauma to depression to addiction (sometimes all three together since these problems are often linked). One of the most interesting aspects of the psychedelic experiences, to me personally, is how they can feature confrontations with the key existential concerns…View Post

Book Review: After the Ecstasy, the Laundry by Jack Kornfield

After the Ecstasy, the Laundry (2000) is a book by Jack Kornfield, a renowned Buddhist and meditation teacher. This is the second book I’ve read by Kornfield, the first being the best-selling A Path With Heart (1993), which I’d highly recommend as an introduction to Buddhism and a practical guide to Buddhist meditation, including the…View Post

Psychedelics as a Catalyst for Existential Joy

In many discussions around psychedelics, there can be a tendency to be a focus on how these compounds alleviate various ills, rather than on what they can positively add to people’s lives. This speaks to a more general theme in the psychological field, where there is a preference for trying to resolve the negative and…View Post

Using Metta Meditation to Deal With Depression

Depression can be a complex condition to treat. I’ve tried to change my lifestyle in all sorts of ways to ease symptoms of depression. However, one lifestyle change that I feel has helped to address the deeper causes of my depression has been a regular meditation practice. Mindfulness meditation has led to clear improvements in…View Post