The Third Step in Safe and Responsible Use is Preparation.
Many individuals and organizations have been working for decades to understand and teach effective ways to prepare the users for the experiences created by the entheogenic plants and fungi, not to mention the millennia of historical use. Locally, we also have a rich resource of community members and facilitators who have studied or are currently studying effective ways of assisting individuals in their preparation.
While there is no “one-size fits all,” there are many effective methods for preparing oneself to have a meaningful and transformative experience with entheogens. We believe that every individual has the right to make their own decisions about how to heal or expand their own consciousness. The very act of personally making these simple decisions of choosing how to prepare for the experience, is critical to the future ability of the individual to understand their own personal agency and power through the entheogenic experience, integration, and implementation processes.
And, while we believe in empowering each individual to decide which modes of preparation are best for themselves, there are some commonly agreed-upon helpful practices:
Spending more time in nature, understanding that plants and fungi both emerge from and connect us to the Earth, revealing a deeper relationship between the user’s experience and their own existence on this planet.
2. Setting an intention and journaling about it, which helps guide the purpose of the entheogenic experience.
3. Using yoga, tai chi, or other somatic movement practices to balance one’s energy prior to working with entheogens.
4. Using breathing techniques such as holotropic breathwork to access and become familiar with experiences similar to those accessed through entheogens.
5. Using meditation or other spiritual practices to develop skills in relating to and navigating the dynamics of the mind and difficult emotions
6. Understanding ethical considerations and risks such as informed consent, potential sexual misconduct, cultural sensitivities, safe set and setting, physical contact, vulnerability, and hypersuggestibility when choosing when and where to partake.
7. Committing to not finalize any big decisions until 2-4 weeks after an experience.
8. Implementing a diet of healthy food and reduced external distractions (such as technology, social commitments, crowds, and sexual interactions) and crowds as best as possible leading up to the experience and for several days after.
9. Consulting with health care providers to understand contraindications of any pharmaceutical regimens and tapering off before having an experience.
10. Finding a mentor or community of peers that will be available to connect after an experience whether to integrate or just check in.
11. Listening to sound and music to help soothe any emotional fears or anxieties.