Metta Bhavana: An Overlooked Practice for Psychedelic Integration

Metta bhavana is an ancient Buddhist meditation practice that aims to cultivate the emotional virtue of loving-kindness, known as metta. I have previously explored the benefits of metta meditation for depression, as well as the potential pitfalls of the practice. I would like to return to the benefits of this form of meditation again, specifically…

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How to Navigate Difficult Psychedelic Experiences

Challenging experiences are always a possibility when using psychedelics. These may occur after a string of several positive and glowing experiences, but they can occur the first time as well. Essentially, the risk of them increases when there is a lack of attention paid to set and setting – that is, everything you bring to…

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Psychedelic Materialism: When the Ego Latches Onto Altered States

I have previously explored the phenomenon of the psychedelic ego: a self-image that is inflated through the use of psychedelics; the irony being, of course, that experiences that can deflate – or disintegrate – the ego can end up having the opposite effect when the experience is over.  I looked at the different thought and…

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Defining Naturalistic Spirituality

Over the last 50 years in the UK, the proportion of the population identifying as non-religious – often referred to as ‘Nones’ – has been on the rise. The British Social Attitudes Survey from 2019 found that over half (52%) of the UK population regard themselves as belonging to no religion. Hannah Waite, from the think…

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Mudita (Sympathetic Joy): One of the Hardest Buddhist Virtues to Cultivate

Mudita (sympathetic/empathetic joy) is one of the four brahma-viharas (also known as the sublime attitudes or Four Immeasurables), which are the Buddha’s “heart practices” – those that develop particular emotional states, or virtuous emotions, that help to cultivate happiness in ourselves and others. “Brahma-vihara” literally means “dwelling place of brahmas”, and brahmas are gods who…

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