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How to give mushrooms to someone you love...


Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor, this is not medical advice, and I am not encouraging this - only trying to provide my experience for harm reduction.

The objective of this outline is how I think you go about helping those you love most, experience mushrooms for themselves.   I have struggled with this idea for over three years as when I first took mushrooms I definitely got that megalomania to save the world and everyone should do them but with time comes perspective and realize that is not the way to do it.  Anytime you push your agenda onto someone when they are not ready it will always backfire and make the situation worse.  So that leads me to the most important step which is timing.

Timing: The person you love needs to be in a place where they are open to your ideas on what the mushroom may or may not be able to help them with.  This is basically a time or situation where they are most vulnerable and actually seeking advice or direction.  Maybe they have tried other medications had therapy and no options seem to be helping.  To be ready for that moment means that you have the patience, maturity, and proper intention to offer a solution once it can actually be heard.  Maybe you get indications from that person tomorrow, next week, next year, or 10 years, the point is everyone is on their own journey and you have something special that can help in only the perfect moment where necessity meets opportunity.  How do you know when they need help?  You will have to define for yourself but so far my experience is when they begin to lose meaning in their life, highly emotional, closing themselves off to others, and a general mind rumination of circular loops that is keeping them trapped.

After timing there is a need to outline how to introduce something like this to your loved one so that they can hear your intentions and believe what you have to offer will help.  I think this might be the statement of intention: 

Statement of Intention: This requires you to have trust with this person first.  Then, you will need to customize your approach to that person based on who you know them to be.  Do they need facts, do they need just the experience and feelings, do they need to start small or just jump in, what do they prefer?  Allow them to navigate their own approach so they take charge of how they want to proceed based on you answering their questions and providing context to each.  Ultimately, you could have planned everything perfectly and they choose now is not the right time, your job is to respect that and walk away from the equity you put into your intention and agenda to help.  They have to own the decision and approach based on the information you have provided so that they have the experience and responsibility to integrate the experience themselves.

The next step to consider is methodology.

Methodology: Safety is the primary goal.  First do no harm.

- Dose:  Most of the time it seems to me the way to start is at low dose (0.30g {dried} is preferred).  This will give you a good idea on how the person reacts; also, it seems there is a need for that person to navigate with still some control in the beginning.  If there is desire to continue after this then I would propose 1g the next week.  At 1g they should start to get into a space where they have a little less control and maybe some emotions start to come up but they may be able to still keep them at bay.  Finally, 2.5g the following week if there is some deep trauma that needs to be brought to the surface.  If 2.5g did not get at some deep work (chronic depression, high use of opioids, history of drug abuse) then 4g and higher might be needed for follow ups in the next month.  

- Setting: I would propose the setting to be in a place where your loved on is most comfortable (in their own home for example).  Remember, their senses are going to be widened and can be very scary if you cannot create an environment that is calm and without distraction.  This requires silencing phone, clean and organized environment, soft/dim lighting, eye shades available, a blanket (can be comforting), and a place to lay down (couch or bed).

- Mindset: It is very important to get this right.  It would be helpful to set intentions, like what do you really want to work on for yourself.  However, when you are with your loved ones it may be difficult to have this conversation so I have been able to just say hold your intentions in your mind on what you want to work on and then be flexible to whatever comes up.  Surrending to the experience is easier to say than to actually do when you are in the moment so I suggest just focusing on your breath when it feels overwhelming and that will calm you down, everything is as it should be and just breath.

- Timeline: I don't like capsules (this is a fundamental mistake in carhart-harris protocol).  If you have a capsule of dried mushrooms open it up and ingest the mushroom itself.  Capsules have different breakdown times within your body and I have always had inconsistent results.  However, if you ingest the actual mushroom (not a tincture) then this is a very stable protocol: 
  • 30 min: purge, probably a bathroom break here.
  • 45min: onset
  • 45min- 1hr: lay down - eyes closed- and as still as possible.  I call this the phase shift.  Based on dose this 15min can feel like an hour and a lot is happening here.  Don't take it lightly how important it is to stay still (with more experience symmetric is even more helpful because it keeps your ego from moving your limbs all about) and focusing on breath.  This is the first tidal wave..breath.
  • 1hr-2hr: Mind is racing need water, probably want to get up a few times and walk around but difficult.
  • 2hr-3hr: a great time to be outside, drinking raspberry tea is awesome here.
  • 3hr-4hr: coming back down thinking about some of the experiences, a good time to write notes for integration later, maybe a light salad or fish if there is appetite or low on energy.  More water.

Finally the most important step and the one with the least support: 

Integration: Unfortunately there is not a structure built everyone has access to for integration, and that is the primary reason why not everyone sees the value or benefits from a mushroom experience.  Still, there are many resources out there but no one book I could recommend.  Sure I could say read archetypes of the unconscious or psychedelic information theory, or many many other books but today that journey is left up to the individual.  Maybe the guiding light is that you have to do something with the notes your wrote down from your experience.  Without action there really is no improvement that can be made from the experience.  You have to take action on the lessons you learned.  

Okay that is what I have at the very surface level outline.  This is definitely not the only way to go about it but when you really love someone close to you I find it is even more difficult to keep all this in my mind on the ritual of taking mushrooms.



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