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Thu, Feb 02

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Via Zoom

Psychedelic Book Circle: How to Change Your Mind - by Michael Pollan Feb 2 2023

This eight-part discussion series gives the opportunity to openly collaborate, share, question, and explore each chapter of How to Change Your Mind.

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Psychedelic Book Circle: How to Change Your Mind - by Michael Pollan Feb 2 2023
Psychedelic Book Circle: How to Change Your Mind - by Michael Pollan Feb 2 2023

Time & Location

Feb 02, 2023, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM CST

Via Zoom

About the event

PsyT Online: Psychedelic Book Circle

Michael Pollan’s How to Change Your Mind

An 8 Part Series. See a video overview here. Passcode: +$b*4ip2

Book Overview:

In How to Change Your Mind, Michael Pollan explores new science surrounding the use of psychedelics as a cure for anxiety, depression, trauma, and addiction. Fusing science, medicinal history, and personal experimentation, Pollan’s book addresses the remarkable ability of psychedelics to expand human consciousness, rewire the brain, and turn off our brain’s default mode network. He provides a history on psychedelics and experiments specifically with psilocybin, LSD, and DMT.

Series Overview:

In this eight-part discussion series led by Laura Hall, group participants will be given the opportunity to openly collaborate, share, question, and explore each chapter of How to Change Your Mind. Specifically, we’ll center our dialogue around the pieces of Pollan’s writing that most resonate with our existing beliefs, as well as those that cause us to question our ideas and principles. The series aims to blend Pollan’s writing with the personal experiences of the group to explore the scientific revolution taking place around psychedelic drugs. Each week we review the themes and insights from one chapter in a 60 minute format.

We place a heavy emphasis on inclusion in this discussion series. We welcome any and all members to join, whether you’ve never participated in a book club, wish to only come to a few of the discussions, or have never studied psychedelics before. We similarly invite book club regulars and those well versed in psychedelic research. We hope to learn and grow together as a group, regardless of background.

Series Schedule:

Week 1: A New Door (Introduction)

A brief history on psychedelic substances, Pollan’s initial exposure to psychedelics, and studies that prompted his further exploration.

Week 2: A Renaissance (Chapter One)

A more in-depth history of psychoactive substances and their consequent criminalization; the potential of those substances to prompt spiritual, enlightening experiences and to aid users cope with existential dread; Pollan’s initial reluctance to accept these studies as fact.

Week 3: Natural History - Bemushroomed (Chapter Two)

A history on psilocybin; Michael Pollan’s first experimentation with psilocybin after interviewing users about their experiences at John Hopkins.

Week 4: History - The First Wave (Chapter Three)

A history on LSD, including its initial conception to treat alcoholism and its subsequent “moral panic” and political scandal that caused all psychedelic research to halt.

Week 5: Travelogue - Journeying Underground (Chapter Four)

Michael Pollan’s experience of seeking out a psychedelic guide to try LSD; his first trip and lessons learned; his second trip using psilocybin; his third trip using DMT; consequent emotions and realizations.

Week 6: The Neuroscience - Your Brain on Psychedelics (Chapter Five)

Accounts of research, clinical work, and brain scans conducted to study the effect of psychoactive substances on neurological activity, specifically regarding quieting the default mode network and loosening the grip of the ego.

Week 7: The Trip Treatment - Psychedelics in Psychotherapy (Chapter Six)

Studies on the positive results of implementing psychedelics in therapy, specifically with terminal cancer patients grappling with death, as well as those suffering from addiction and depression.

Week 8: In Praise of Neural Diversity (Epilogue)

Detailing on the recent increase in interest in and research of psychedelics, bringing together a diverse group of people, such as shamans, therapists, researchers, and entrepreneurs; Pollan questions how close society is to normalizing the use of psychedelics.

About the facilitator

Laura M. Hall is a mother, a grandmother, an educator, a therapist, and a human navigating this life with as much love, grace, and allowance as she can muster. After struggling with treatment resistent depression and suicidal ideation since her early teens, Laura came to psychedelics at age 50, and has found healing, wholeness, and peace she never dreamed possible.

Laura believes that psychedelics offer an amazing opportunity to reset the pattern of our thoughts and behaviors. Once that door is open, we can take daily steps to create a new path of acceptance and love for what is. Life is the ceremony, and we are the medicine. Remembering this, we can allow and embrace not only our own unique journey, but the journey of all other beings as well. Y’all, we are all just walking each other home.  And, that walk can be full of ease, giggles, love, connection, and  really good snacks.

**No recording are made at book circles due to the personal and sensitive nature of the content**

Book Circle Rules - Zoom

We are also going to ask everyone to:

- Speak from personal perspective

- No Advice Giving

- Bring an open mind

- Confidentiality “what happens in Zoom, stays in Zoom”

- No Recording of ANY kind

- Silence all electronic devices

- Avoid distractive behavior: eating, multitasking, driving

- Mute mic when not talking

- avoid crosstalk

- Participation! We request that everyone participates on some level. That can look like: just turning on your camera, or participating in the check in verbally or via the chat. This is for the comfort of the group and everyone who is showing up and sharing vulnerably

- No Solicitation of Substances or Promotion of Retreats (see disclaimer)

PsyT Disclaimer: Version January 2022

PsyT does not hold ceremonies or promote illegal activities during our events. This is not a place to seek, encourage, or participate in the procurement of controlled substances. You agree that you will not contact us for such things and will not engage in any such activities in your participation in any PsyT event. We provide a platform to discuss experiences that offer transformation in our personal and professional lives. You acknowledge that any information we provide is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. 

**Please do not use our space to promote or source substance and retreats**

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