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53. Navigating Psychedelics: Mental Health, Healing & Conscious Expansion Ft. Matt Zemon

Updated: Jun 17












Matt Zemon offers his valuable insights and practical advice for navigating the world of psychedelics as a means of healing.


Why Discuss Psychedelics?

With the increasing prevalence of depression, anxiety, and loneliness, many are seeking alternatives to traditional mental health therapies. Psychedelic medicine is emerging as a potential solution. Matt isn't here to convince anyone to use psychedelics—acknowledging that they aren't for everyone—but he does believe they hold benefits for everyone. For some, this might involve a personal psychedelic journey; for others, it could mean witnessing the positive effects on a loved one. Understanding the transformative power of psychedelics is essential to move beyond societal taboos.


In this episode, Matt shares his personal journey with psychedelics, highlighting how these powerful tools have helped him connect with his inner essence and navigate life with a deeper understanding of love, presence, and abundance.


Guest Bio:

Matt Zemon, MSc, is the author of two best-selling books, "Psychedelics for Everyone: A Beginner’s Guide to These Powerful Medicines for Anxiety, Depression, Addiction, PTSD, and Expanding Consciousness," and "Beyond the Trip: A Journal for Psychedelic Preparation and Integration." Holding a Master’s degree from King’s College London, Matt combines academic insights with a passion for safe and sacred psychedelic use. He focuses on broadening understanding and access to these transformative substances, consulting with medical practitioners to further integrate psychedelics responsibly into healthcare.





Topics Covered:

  • Variety of Psychedelics: An overview of different psychedelic substances and Matt's perspective on their benefits.

  • Safety and Risk Reduction: Strategies for using psychedelics safely and minimizing risks.

  • Brain Effects: An exploration of how psychedelics affect the brain and a guide to navigating misinformation.

  • Mental Health Benefits: The potential benefits of psychedelics for those with repetitive thinking patterns or mental health issues.

  • Usage Frequency: Insights into how often people use psychedelics and typical treatment plans.

  • Personal Practices: A behind-the-scenes look at how Matt personally uses and integrates psychedelics into his healing and personal growth.


Here are the key takeaways:


  1. Ceremony as a Spiritual Practice:

  • Matt describes his ceremonies as spiritual practices aimed at connecting with his sacred essence. He emphasizes the importance of remembering who he is at his core, beyond societal roles and achievements.

  1. Setting Intentions and Self-Reflection:

  • Before taking psychedelics, Matt sets intentions and asks himself reflective questions like, "What am I missing today?" and "What do I need to work on next?" This helps guide his journey and focus on personal growth areas such as presence and interconnectedness.

  1. Scarcity vs. Abundance Mindset:

  • Matt discusses the impact of scarcity mindset, where fear drives behaviors, versus an abundance mindset that embraces the belief that the world is abundant and supportive. He shares how psychedelics have helped him shift towards an abundance mindset.

  1. Practical Use of Psychedelics:

  • Matt provides a glimpse into his ceremonies, including the use of various psychedelics:

  • MDMA/Sassafras for heart opening and love.

  • Psilocybin for interconnectedness and deeper connections.

  • Bufo (5-MeO-DMT) for non-duality experiences, connecting with universal energy.

  1. Integration Practices:

  • Matt emphasizes the importance of integration practices such as journaling, meditation, breathwork, and yoga. These practices help ground the psychedelic experiences and bring insights into daily life.

  1. Safety and Education:

  • He stresses that psychedelics are catalysts, not cures, and highlights the importance of understanding the risks and benefits. He recommends consulting professionals like Dr. Ben Malcolm from Spirit Pharmacist for personalized guidance.

  1. Resources and Further Learning:

  • Matt shares his resources available on his website, mattzieman.com, including a guide to microdosing and information on his books. He also mentions his upcoming book, "The Veterans Guide to Psychedelics," which supports the Heroic Hearts Project.

  1. Daily Practices for High Vibes:

  • Matt shares his routine of using psychedelics periodically to remind himself of his capabilities and daily short practices to maintain a high vibe state. 








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Full Episode Transcript:

 

[00:00:00] On today's episode, we are having a conversation about psychedelics. Why are we talking about psychedelics with depression, anxiety, and loneliness on the rise, people are looking for an alternative to traditional mental health therapies and psychedelic medicine is emerging as a possible solution. So you'll hear from our expert guest today, Matt Zeman, and his personal story of how he went from being a non drug user to an educator and author and leader for the safe and responsible use of psychedelic medicine, working alongside medical professionals and psychedelic spiritual leaders.

Matt believes that psychedelics are for everyone, but for some that doesn't mean that they're going to [00:01:00] actually experience a psychedelic journey. That might mean that psychedelics will positively impact someone that they love. The point is creating a healthy and empowered society, one that recognizes that we're all different and different tools will work for different people

let's explore beyond the taboo and understand the transformative power of psychedelics. Matt Zeman is the author of two best selling books, Psychedelics for Everyone, A Beginner's Guide to These Powerful Medicines for Anxiety, Depression, Addiction, PTSD, and Expanding Consciousness, and the book Beyond the Trip, A Journal for Psychedelic Preparation and Integration.

Matt holds a master's degree combining academic insights with a passion for safe and sacred psychedelic use, focusing on broadening understanding and access to these transformative substances. And additionally, it consults with medical practitioners and psychedelic therapy, contributing his expertise to further the responsible integration of psychedelics in [00:02:00] healthcare.

All right, Matt. I'm so excited for this conversation. And I think a good place to kind of kick off for anyone who doesn't know is to talk about what the different substances are that are classified under psychedelics and which stand out to you as beneficial and why.

Thank you. So I appreciate that question. That's, um, yeah, because there's, there's a lot of different types of psychedelics and I don't think people know that. So we have our, our classic psychedelics, things like magic mushrooms or psilocybin. Um, ayahuasca would be a natural one. Iboga is a natural, , psychedelic.

, we get into our synthetic psychedelics. Things like acid or LSD. , MDMA is a synthetic psychedelic. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of, of synthetic psychedelics. And then we go into things that aren't technically psychedelics, but are classified like psychedelic psychedelics. So things like ketamine, which is a disassociative [00:03:00] anesthetic.

We call it a classic, uh, we call it a psychedelic because it has many of the similar characteristics. So there are lots and lots of different types of psychedelics. , Yeah, and, , and then people access them in all different ways here in this, in this country. . . What are some of those ways that people might access that?

Yeah, so there's there's really three ways. There's there's a medical model. So in in America, the only legal option we have in all 50 states is ketamine. But coming up this August, MDMA hopefully will be relegalized. And then in a few years, we're hoping that psilocybin, the active ingredient in those magic mushrooms will also be relegalized across the country.

In certain states, Oregon and Colorado, they have decriminalized a number of psychedelics and created a medical model where people can also access these medicines. Um, in addition to the medical model, there's the decriminalization model. So think of this as the people who say, hey, no adult should tell another adult that they can't put nature in their [00:04:00] body.

And there are decrim nature chapters all over the country. Many cities have started to decriminalize. Some psychedelics, Washington, D. C. would be an example. Ann Arbor, Michigan would be another example. There's some up in Massachusetts, a bunch up in California. So a number of different cities are doing this.

Quick side note, what's important about the decriminalization movement is access. For people who can't afford the medical model, it's typically expensive. The decriminalization model allows those people to have access to these, these powerful medicines. And then the third model is the religious freedom model.

So, so think of this as people who say, hey, we are a country founded on religious freedom. And we, um, these , Tools, these psychedelics, these entheogens, would be the term they use, have been used in spiritual and ritual practice for thousands and thousands of years. And we are, we deserve and want to practice our [00:05:00] religion using these tools.

, And that we're seeing, we've just saw, uh, We have, I don't know, four churches that have an exemption from the government. And then somewhere between 200 and 2, 000, we don't know the number of churches that are practicing, , that they say we're, we're practicing under protected by statute and by law. , but they're technically not operating legally because they don't have an exemption from our government because there's not an, a straightforward way to do that.

Okay. So, um, three models, people access it, any of those different, different ways. Yeah, and obviously I would hope that there would be an increased access to it through healthcare and safe models and ways that things are more tested and regulated, but obviously not expensive because it kind of freaks me out.

Obviously, if you're getting it off the street because of the fentanyl. crisis and issues going on. , but I have [00:06:00] seen, in Florida, like someone came in offering their business card and they're doing local ketamine services, for people with depression. So that's been really good and helpful to, to see.

And like you said, hopefully that's going to expand to psilocybin as well. The same things that we are concerned about. With underground or ceremonial or psychedelic tourism, yeah, we're also concerned on the medical So let's let's to keep the term we use is risk reduced So if you want to stay risk reduced with your use of these tools Yeah, we suggest you pay attention to three things source set and setting so sources.

Where did your Drugs medicine come from if you're doing the medical model that came from a pharmacy you can check that off the list But if you're doing a church service or an underground provider or psychedelic tourism asking them How often do you do this? Do you test your medicine? How do you know the purity of what you're delivering to my body your set is your mindset?

So, [00:07:00] um, there are people in the medical field who believe that this is just a biochemical reaction. And they're gonna put the, put you, put a, you're gonna come in, they're gonna take your vitals, they're gonna put an IV in your arm, give you your medicine, and send you on your way. It's legal, and that's a philosophy.

There's others who believe it's a biochemical, psycho, social, spiritual process and chemical. , And they're gonna do things like intention setting and helping you gather your resources in advance and, and afterwards doing something called integration where they're helping you unpack what occurred. , Even in that medical model, both are philosophies, both are available.

 But you need to decide what do you want as a consumer? And ask for it and make sure you're getting that. The um, other things that go into mindset are informed consent. Do you know exactly what you're taking? Do you know how, how it might make you feel? , do you know how many people are going to be in the room?

Do you, do you and the facilitator have rules? Are they going to [00:08:00] talk to you? Are they going to give you information? Are they not going to do that? Are they going to give you music? , are they going to touch you? All those things go into your mindset. So again, there are medical providers who it's one on one, others that are groups, others that are, , just different configurations.

Some believe it's more therapeutic, so they're going to talk throughout it. Others believe you're going to do your own work. You need to ask those questions. And then the final thing is setting. What's the physical environment? So are you going to get a blanket? Are you going to have an eye mask? Is there going to be music?

Are there going to be interruptions? , does it feel like a medical experience? Does it feel like a living room experience? Does it feel like a ceremony? Again, nothing's right or wrong. It's just what do you want and do you know what you're getting before going in? There are, there's a very famous, , ayahuasca retreat center that does a hundred people at a time.

There are others that do 40. There's others that do 10. Again, that's right or wrong. Just what do you want? So source set and setting as you think about however you're going to access this medicine, [00:09:00] medical, underground, tourism. , that was great. I love how you broke that down and I'm so, , excited to, to have this conversation because that's the whole point.

You're an author. You people think about. Those important things, how we set that intention. If we're curious about taking these alternative routes, this alternative medicine, it's good to be really educated and informed before we just kind of, you know, maybe take it off the street or take it with a friend like, oh, yeah, I was thinking about trying this.

So, uh, That's really helpful thinking about the intention. Yeah. Source, set, and setting. Three S's. Yes. So on a personal note, how about your background? What was the catalyst for you to getting into this world of psychedelics?

I truly almost fell into it by accident. , Melissa had some friends invite me to a guided magic mushroom experience. And I was like, I don't do that kind of stuff. They're like, [00:10:00] yeah, you want to. You love to travel. This is like taking a trip inside your head. And you love to learn. And here's a way to learn a lot about yourself in a short period of time.

So I went in with low expectations and had this, , just this phenomenal experience. I reconnected with my mom who died when I was 22 and she was 49. I, , I felt incredibly safe and loved in this experience. And realized I don't feel that level of safety and love in my everyday life. , I had just kind of insight after insight in, in those first, I don't know, five or six hours.

And I left that experience wanting to learn more. So I started traveling around the country in the world experiencing different psychedelics by different types of practitioners, titans and shaman and MDs and PhDs. And I also went back to school to get a master's in psychology and neuroscience and mental health focused on psychedelic medicine.

Then all of that is what led to that first book, the, , psychedelics for Everyone book, and then [00:11:00] led to the second book, which is Beyond the Trip, which is a workbook for preparation and integration. , for this. And my third book, which is The Veterans Guide to Psychedelics, comes out August 1st and is being done in collaboration.

with Heroic Hearts Project and all of the proceeds are going to them. So I'm very excited about that. Yeah, that's exciting. It's really cool how you covered all the bases too. You have a lot of personal experience on the spiritual side and from different countries, like you said, and different practitioners on spiritual side and also in the more academic and the health care side with your master's degree and working alongside, , those medical professionals.

So I think that really helps to give a well rounded picture and some experience with psychedelics. So, , one thing I was wondering too, you said ketamine kind of fits in this also doesn't quite fit in this. What are some [00:12:00] of the benefits since that's something right now that's more legalized? Yeah, and it's interesting that's part of why ketamine is classified as a psychedelic is it's being studied and used for many of the same things that psychedelics are being used for.

So when we think about, so ketamine is prescribed off label for mental health issues. Challenges things like depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, eating disorders, substance use challenges. , it works in the glutamate system, which is, which is different than where antidepressants work. So for people on antidepressants, it's a tool that they can use to see if this, if this helps them.

, it's interesting with antidepressants. I mean, they, they only work on roughly 40 ish percent of the population. So if someone out there is listening to this and they're taking an antidepressant and it's not working for them, that's not you failing the medicine. It's the medicine failing you and it's actually normal.

So ketamine might be an alternative, an option for you to pursue. [00:13:00] Again, off label typically means it's not covered by insurance. So for most people it's an out of pocket expense. There is an exception to that. If you've gone through a bunch of different um, antidepressants and treatments. You might qualify for something called esketamine, which is a Johnson and Johnson product.

, And I just talk to you, talk to your insurance provider and talk to your doctor or psychiatrist about that and see , if that might be an option for you. , but it is amazing when there's over 300 institutions, academic institutions, studying psychedelics right now. And that's really for anything that has repetitive thinking behaviors that manifests in our everyday life.

So think about that as, as, as depression or has anxiety or, um, has OCD. Or as alcoholism or as, , any other type of substance use or as workaholism or as eating disorder. So lots of different things are being studied. There's even, , studies being done by [00:14:00] University of Toronto and Imperial College London on autism and psychedelics.

, so it's, it's, it's incredible the, the range of things that they're studying, but at its root, at its core, they're studying. repetitive thinking patterns. Yeah. Can you address just some of the taboo and skepticism around psychedelics in general, just kind of what you've seen through the years and where you see things might be turning more positively right now?

Yeah, Melissa, I mean, for so many of us, we grew up just in a prohibition, but no one said we were in a prohibition. So we learned in school about the alcohol prohibition back in the olden days, but we didn't realize that we were in a prohibition. So we would get this, these educational messages about Um, this is your brain.

This is your brain on drugs. And we would look at the way drugs are scheduled and we'd be told, Oh, these are schedule one drugs. They have no medicinal use. They are highly addictive. They're there. And, and, and [00:15:00] psychedelics were classified in the same category as things like heroin. Um, which we just thought that was true because it's what we were told.

And, , So what's happened? Well, 50 years of that type of messaging is hard to, um, for people to get their minds around the idea that these These drugs aren't the same as those drugs and these drugs do have medical benefits and these drugs are not Physiologically dangerous and these drugs for the most part are not addictive so I think those those Stereotypes still exist.

There is also a lot of misinformation about Oh, this is gonna put a hole in your brain No, it doesn't. Um, this is going to make you jump off of a balcony or walk in front of a car. And are there rare instances of people taking, doing bad, dangerous behavior? Of course there are. But for, again, for the most part, these are physiologically safe.

Um, [00:16:00] I always, I love to talk about this study from Imperial College London by a gentleman named Dr. David Nutt. And he said, let's, for a minute, forget how drugs are classified and let's just look at the harm to self and the harm to others that these drugs do. And he studied a bunch of different drugs and he put us, put a chart together.

And on the far left hand side, the most dangerous drug for self and others that we all use is alcohol. It's like a 72 and you work your way down and you get to heroin and tobacco and blah, blah, blah, and all the way down to the far right. And you have mushrooms and there is six and LSD is a seven and MDMA is a nine.

So I bring that up to remind us that all of these drugs, all drugs can be dangerous. , there's, uh, I think a couple hundred people a year who die of, uh, or a couple of thousand people a year who die of acetaminophen overdoses in the world. So all drugs can be dangerous. We're not saying, no one's saying that psychedelic drugs are safe.

Not [00:17:00] dangerous. Yeah. No. But the relative risk of these medicines versus other medicines and other drugs that we allow in our culture. Are far less and that's something we should consider when making an informed decision on whether these drugs are right for me or for someone I love or just how we're going to vote in the next election.

Yeah, I think that's a really helpful chart and seeing it in that way of what kind of harm it does and where it kind of falls comparing it with tobacco and alcohol and everything. It's definitely not black and white, obviously any, you know, we can be addicted. We can have addictive behavior tendencies around food or video games or all these different things.

So I know there's one of my favorite musicians who , came out as having a ketamine addiction and went to rehab for it and everything. So stories like that can come out, you know, and then people can just blanketly think like, oh, this [00:18:00] is bad. And I, and I remember too, being in the D. A. R. E. program and in school and everything and people specifically saying like, you are killing your brain cells.

Your brain cells are shrinking. They're dying. You're losing brain cells. If you take any of these kinds of drugs, that was like the war on drugs and everything. But if we think about its effects on the brain, what's actually happening, like how do psychedelics actually affect our brain to kind of weed through that misinformation.

Let's do that real quickly on ketamine. So it's interesting you bring up, but you bring up the musician on with the ketamine addiction. Yeah. Ketamine is one of these few, few psychedelics that actually does have, um, some addiction potential. It's been shown in, in, in animals, it's been shown in animal tests and also in recreational users.

, so it's, it's something that when used outside of a medical model can, can get away from people, especially when they're using powders and nasal sprays. It can, it [00:19:00] can climb quickly. So that's one to be very careful of, , things like mushrooms and LSD really aren't addictive. They're actually in the body reacts and kind of makes them anti addictive by building a tolerance super quickly, , against those.

So again, it's, it's, it's ironic that the only legal option for us today is, , is ketamine. So you asked about what does the brain do when taking the psychedelic? Um, and I'm going to just talk. Really high level here. So the first thing think about your, , your default mode network as your inner narrator, the voice inside your head that's saying you need to do more.

You're not good enough. You're not worthy. It's going to turn that down. And just that alone for many people feels like the weight of the world is lifted off their shoulders. Then it's going to allow neurons to fire together that haven't fired together since, since maybe you were a kid. , so the, the example of Michael Pollan talks about is, is imagine skiing down a mountain.

And as we get [00:20:00] older, we ski in the same track over and over and over to the point where the track so deep. We just, we don't know any other way to think. Well, the psychedelic, , by allowing these neurons to fire is like throwing a fresh coat of powder on the mountain and all of a sudden we remember, Oh wow, I can ski across this entire slope and I don't have to think about this like I've been thinking about it.

And I don't have to think about my relationship with these eyes and I don't have to have these constraints on, but these definitions of who I am. So that's also a powerful thing that happens. For many people, you get some kind of connection with your sacred, the interconnectedness of all things, the higher power, the universe, whatever you want to call it.

, there's a, there's a mystical experience questionnaire that, that has been used for, for decades now. And the stronger the mystical experience, the longer lasting the effects of these psychedelics can be. , so then that's, that's another really, , a powerful [00:21:00] thing that's again happening in the mind.

With some medicines, it's turning off shame, blame, and guilt, which allows us to look back at our role in things without being defensive and come to terms in many cases. So I use, um, I use MDMA as an example. Phase three clinical trials working with people with treatment resistant post traumatic stress disorder.

So picture veterans and first responders and victims of sexual assault, and none of the existing talk therapies or pharmacological solutions have worked for them. They gave this population three sessions with MDMA with, with therapy before and after, and about 70 percent emerged without having a PTSD diagnosis anymore.

70. It's a tremendous number. Yeah. For people where nothing has worked. It's like the hardest population to work with. , I think turning off that shame, blame, and guilt is part of that. , so super, super powerful medicine and all of these [00:22:00] things are happening. I guess the only other thing I'm going to bring up on the brain chemistry is following these psychedelic experiences.

You typically have about a 30 day of extra neuroplasticity in your brain. So this is when your brain can, almost like a kid, you know, you learn so quickly, but you have this 30 days where you can learn kind of extra fast. And for many people, we talk about this integration process. of how do you unpack the awareness and the things that came up during a psychedelic experience.

And then how do you train your mind and train your behaviors during this 30 days of neuroplasticity to again, stretch the efficacy of that outcome. , so it really, it's, it's, if you're trying to optimize the experience, , having help and, and, and really thinking through what are you going to do during your 30 days, how Is an important thing to think in advance of the experience for sure.

It's making me think of so many applications for it even me as someone with adhd and [00:23:00] Constant distraction and like the it's like having intrusive thoughts or like a million thoughts, you know I've heard a three hour podcast on it. It's like yeah, it's like your conductor. He's he's kind of deflated He's dead, you know And everyone else is just running wild and they're trying to have their say Say, and your brain's just being pulled in a million directions.

It's hard to focus on one thing at a time because there's, there's so many voices, you know, buying for your attention at once. , but then of course, also like you said, like the application, if you've had a traumatic experience or you have a negative core belief, a pattern, right. That's showing up in relationships, that's just repeating over and over again.

What are some of those . Additional applications that you've seen people use that come to mind for you in terms of, of terms of retraining the brain, like how we can, when they think of the neuroplasticity, like, and you [00:24:00] said you have that window where you can really set an intention, you know, what, what kind of intentions can people be setting, like some ideas for listeners?

Yeah, I mean, it can be I want to, , change my relationship with alcohol and I want to stop drinking altogether. And during those 30 days is for many people, a much easier time to do that. Want to retrain my mind for the positive. So then maybe using an app, uh, like a tool, like take two minutes, uh, just take two minutes or some of those other tools that help, , That are based on kind of positive psychology things, so you can do a gratitude journal, a three good things exercise, those types of things just helps us pay more attention to the positive things happening in our lives.

, maybe it's establishing boundaries. I see that the relationship I have with so and so is not healthy for me. No bad them, no bad me. I just don't want to be around that energy, and I don't need to. [00:25:00] So I'm going to use these 30 days to, to break the energetic tie to that person or that thing.

, it can look like exercise. I need, I want to, I see the value of my body. I want to be alive to be an old age and, and because of that, I want to take care of my body differently. I'm going to start eating differently or exercising more. , and then most importantly, or as importantly as I, I, I see the, I understand this connection with sacred, with sacred in a different way.

And I want to have a morning practice or a daily practice where I can just be at calm, peace, grateful, , and take a few minutes of each day just to, , to remind myself of this. . What kind of application do you see?, like typically, I know there might be outliers for people who would start psychedelics.

Is this something they're going to do one time, like for one month or a few months or for a [00:26:00] year? Like what would that generally look like? Or a few times every few years? All right. So I'm going to separate these. So if you're going to a ketamine provider, for your psychedelics, they're probably going to ask you to do six sessions within four weeks, something like that.

And they, they call that the flood dose. They get you, , they just put a, they, you do a number of sessions in a row. And then depending on why you went, , and maybe how severe of a pre exit, pre process Depression or anxiety you are experiencing, they're going to then try to see how far they can stretch the efficacy so they maybe will say let's go two weeks for your next session or four weeks or two months.

And, um, and then they try to give you tune ups that are in line with kind of when the chemical and the, and the experience is going to, it's going to wear off. Again, if it's an episodic reason that you're at the ketamine, maybe you just do it a few times. You do that initial flood dose and a few times and you're [00:27:00] finished.

For others who have struggled with a, um, a lifetime of, of kind of depression or anxiety and nothing has worked, maybe it becomes an ongoing treatment, but again, it's every once in a while, it's not every day, like, like the antidepressants are. And then the side effects are much, much less. With antidepressants, we talk about, uh, weight gain and lethargy and suicidal ideation and sexual dysfunction.

None of that happens with ketamine. The classic psychedelics, things like psilocybin, I'll go with that. So, there's, there's a number of studies where they've given psilocybin to people, , once in their lives, or twice in their lives. And they've talked about that as, and the majority of people say it's one of the top five things that's ever happened to them, if not the top one thing that's ever happened to them.

 So for many people doing a high dose of psilocybin, either in, um, either in a clinical study or in a ceremonial setting, might be a once in a lifetime thing. For others, they treat it [00:28:00] like church. So they go and they, They go to learn, they go to reflect, they go to give thanks, and they, they do it maybe quarterly or annually, and it just depends on the person.

, MDMA we talked about before, if you're medically, it's medical, it's mostly, the protocols are three MDMA sessions within a period of time, and then maybe a fourth within that first year. , I know people who once a year, they do an MDMA session to remind themselves of how much love they feel for themselves, love they feel for others, to turn off shame, blame, and guilt.

There's an autistic, uh, the person who runs kind of the psychedelic autism society talks about, uh, or one of those people talks about how life He didn't have panic attacks life was a panic attack And through MDMA he saw that he didn't have to live that way and once a year He chooses to to do an MDMA session to remind himself [00:29:00] to reset his systems And to move forward.

So lots of different methodologies depending on the person, the psychedelics and the reason that you are, uh, you're drawn to the medicine. . So helpful to see those different pathways and uses. And it reminds me too, like what kind of broke the taboo for me and made me super curious was hearing on a podcast, probably like five years ago, uh, podcast girls that I listened to all the time, they would talk about a lot of different spiritual topics and everything, but.

Remember one sharing her example, um, her story with doing ayahuasca with her husband and just how much it changed. It impacted their marriage, their relationship, just all the benefits. And I have a family member too, who did ayahuasca and. Really helped him to with anxiety, depression, started losing weight, cut out things that weren't helpful for him and alcohol and just getting healthy and happy.

And so it's [00:30:00] really cool to hear stories like that as well. Is there a, well, you shared your personal story too, which. Was really profound and amazing to be able to see your mother and it sounds like that definitely Impacted, you know and transformed your life. Is there any other? Experiences personal experiences you had that stood out to you.

I have so many That's what we want to hear so there's a, um, when I was in an early teenager, I had inappropriate sexual contact with a family member, 10 years older. And for me, that was, it was awful. It was very, very, uh, embarrassing. I have, I carried around a lot of shame. Um, it was something I couldn't talk about.

Um, and even if someone made a joke kind of close to it, I could feel like my ears burning in a pit in my stomach. And they teach us when we are doing psychedelic work that if you see something scary, [00:31:00] to approach it with wild curiosity. So if a dragon appears, dragon what are you here to teach me? On one of my psychedelic journeys, this has nothing to do with my intention, not why I was there, not what I was thinking about.

, I was put back in that room and I was able to relook at that, , situation. , And while I, , without condoning the behavior, I was able to understand the humanity. I was able to see this person as a just person. Someone who had been rejected from her father, someone who had been, who was dealing with substance use challenges, someone who was not feeling very loved, and someone who just wanted to feel love.

And, again, without condoning, I could understand, I could forgive, I could understand my role as not the adult in the room, I could understand my, Um, I could just understand it differently and I could move on and now I can talk about it. I'm not embarrassed. I wrote about it in my book. But that's [00:32:00] wildly different than what I carried around for 30 some years.

, the feeling I have today. So that would be kind of one. way the medicine worked for me. And I, and I see that type of healing all the time with this, with these medicines. , I think the other story I'll tell is just there. And sometimes every now and again, you, you feel like you're dying, literally dying on these journeys.

And one of them, I felt like I turned into worm food, just like dirt and worms were eating me and I was just gone. And then shortly thereafter, I felt the breath of life. And just had this realization of the trillions upon trillions upon trillions of accidents that had to happen for the universe to conspire to allow me to be alive at this point in time, to be able to breathe, to be able to be aware, and just how grateful I am and how beautiful this world is and how , lucky I am to be [00:33:00] alive now and , , there was like an ecstatic feeling throughout my body.

, Yeah, this understanding, this breath that we get to do is so, so valuable. Um, and I just, I look at breathing differently since that experience. I look at kind of the, I think about even like right now, I'm just took a second to just think about my feet on the ground and just this, the world supporting me.

Yeah. And, um, it's something I don't, it's when I, when I concentrate on it, I'm aware of it. It's of course, it's supporting me. Of course, I'm part of this world. I'm not separate and apart from nature. I am nature. , but all of that came and kind of that, that experience I was just referencing. . Thanks for sharing those.

It's a huge transformation when you're in that place did you feel like you had the tools in that you were setting an intention to learn from that experience? Did it take time for [00:34:00] that experience to kind of settle in with you? Because the reason I'm asking is because I think some people might be really.

Scared right and being a lot of fear to confront experiences like this to feel like they're dying and worm food to, uh, relive a sexual trauma and naturally they might want to avoid that and think, well, what if I don't turn the other corner? Or how can I turn the other corner? Like, how can I take good from confronting that experience?

So what has been your kind of process and journey with that when you go through that? I think this is exactly why I recommend people work with skilled practitioners. So the, the, the, uh, The Alan Watts example is if you give somebody a piano, anybody piano, and they just put their fingers in the keys, they can make some noise, and some of that noise is going to be pretty.

So anybody can take a psychedelic and see what happens. If you give the piano to a musician, [00:35:00] they can take you on a journey. And they can make you feel, and they can, uh, yeah, they can, they can bring you to, to all sorts of different types of pleasure. Um, with psychedelics, because you don't know what's going to come up, it's really not something to be treated lightly.

Um, it's just, it's riskier. Can it be okay? Of course it can. Do I judge you if you choose to do that? No, not at all. But it's, it's just more things can come up. So when you haven't experienced. person, it can be a coach, it can be a therapist, it can be a guide, someone who's helping you in advance. Why are you doing this?

What's, why do you even want to do this? Help you set those intentions, think through those. Okay, great. On the other side of this, who is going to be there to help support you? Who do you trust and love? Whose company do you want? What is your space going to look like in your house that can help you do those things?

Yeah. And then following the journey, like you said. You get these insights and these messages and [00:36:00] these awarenesses and these awakenings. These aren't cures. These are catalysts. These are, these are moments of, of clarity. Great. Having, again, a coach or a therapist or a guide or someone who can say, tell me more, tell me more.

What did that make you feel? How does that, how does that reflect into your life? How do you want to reshape your behaviors now that you have this level of awareness? Nothing bad about you in the past, nothing bad about your past decisions. But what's going to happen moving forward? Um, someone you can help check your thoughts.

I'm thinking about this. Okay, that's great. That's interesting. Or maybe just give that a little bit of time to settle in. We talk about like having at least a two week period of no major decisions following psychedelics. Give yourself some time to let these These, uh, processes are, again, awakenings, awarenesses, settle in and make sure if you still want to do something after a few weeks, then you can take that action.

Um, but give it a little time and, and, and work through this [00:37:00] process. Does that make sense, Melissa? Yes, definitely. What do you think is important to share with listeners about, , what else they're going to learn from in your book? So if you, if a listener is to get psychedelics for everyone, that one does, , it does personal stories and then , it goes through kind of an overview of the psychedelic industry as a whole.

And then chapter after chapter is really about each different drug. And what does the research say? How is it being used? So people kind of, in my experience, people read the beginning parts, they love the stories, they read the introduction, and then they move around to the different drugs based on what are they curious about.

Oh, I'm more curious about psilocybin than I am about, uh, 5 MeO DMT. Great. Read the psilocybin chapter. Skip some of the others. Skim some of the others. , , the preparation integration journal, which is called beyond the trip. That's really for someone who's already found, okay, I'm going to go do blank.

I'm going to go through a ketamine experience at a, at a local ketamine clinic. I'm going to do a, I'm going to go by mind bloom or wonder med or better [00:38:00] you. And I'm going to do it at home. I'm going to go on a trip to Costa Rica and do an ayahuasca ceremony. Well, this journal is to help you prepare. In advance and integrate after and you can use it with your coach or therapist.

You can do it by yourself , but it's to help give you that framework for , these experiences you're about to have Awesome. Where can people find that book? Psychedelics for everyone is really anywhere books are sold and then there's an audible version of that one that seems to be Really popular people like that and then beyond the trip is on amazon Okay, perfect.

I appreciate you, uh, you letting people know how to get it. And then for people who want bulk, like, uh, there are coaches, therapists, uh, the integration centers out in, in Oregon that are buying this and, um, ceremonial leaders who are buying this by the, by the box. And there's a, on my site, madzeeman. com, there's the information on how to do bulk orders of the workbook.

Yeah, I really I need to get the workbook as well because I'm super I've been interested and I want to kind of like read it all and plan it [00:39:00] all out like you said so that's awesome. I think it's amazing that you created a guide like that and I would love to get micro and specific by laying out like an idea of the your personal use of psychedelics what that has looked like for you as far as okay I'm going to take whatever the psychedelic is, and then obviously you're probably integrating that with some other tools or practices in order to solve a personal problem.

Can you just give us, just paint a picture for listeners of an example of what that could look like? I love that. So, um, when I go into what I call ceremony, um, because for me it is a, it's a spiritual practice. I, I, the first thing I say is I want to connect with my sacred.

I want to use this time to give thanks and to, and to connect with this power inside of me. This, this, this essence of love, this essence of. , I want to use this time to remember who I am and what's [00:40:00] interesting about just saying remember who I am. It's not who I am as, as a business person or as a, as a, uh, somebody who's got these degrees or this, that, or the other thing.

It's who am I am in my core. I want to remember that. I want to understand where I'm going. So if I understand who I am and who I am at my essence is the same as who you are. Then we get into what do we do, which we're all different, , in the behavior, but not in the essence. So then I like, show me what I need to see.

So where am I not, what am I missing today? What is the next thing I need to work on? And I love that it bounces around. You need to focus. For me, it might be, Yeah. Presence you right now be still and be present and be aware and work on that and bring that to every conversation. , Interconnectedness work on your relationships with and feeling connected and making sure the people you love feel connected to you.

Those are the types of messages that come, [00:41:00] that come out of this. , I love seeing where this, this, where, where medicine might show me, okay, this is more ego than, uh, than you need. It's not serving you. Let it go. Okay. I love when the medicine shows me, um, I often see the world kind of divided between abundance mindset and scarcity mindset.

And I think we in our culture grow up with a scarcity mindset. There's not enough for everyone. You've got to take what's yours. You've got to work extra hard to make sure you have enough to make sure you can retire and make sure if something happens that you can afford the healthcare that you're going to need later in life.

It's a whole bunch of scarcity that leads to all these behaviors, starting in getting into the right high school, the right college, the right first job, staying in the job, working the extra hours. So many behaviors are because we're scared. , so many relationships we stay in because we're scared. What if this person leaves me?

Does that mean I'm not worthy? Am I not? Why? On and on and on. [00:42:00] The abundance mindset is, no, there's plenty. The world is abundant, It's beautiful there. It's always taking care of you. It will always take care of you. And, , and I love when the medicine shows me, ah, you're acting as if you're scared of something here.

What are you scared of? And, and help unpack that. Does that, does that resonate? Yes, I feel like that's exactly, I mean, you cut to the core of the, the issue, like a lot of the issues, you know, cause I think for myself too, if there's all these, Intentions, things I want to work on and a theme that comes up for me.

I've already talked about this in like the last three episodes because it keeps coming up, but the theme for me. Was that scarcity and the fear of success, ? That's a core issue that has played out in a number of different ways in my life. So that gives a good example of, okay, that could be a way I'm in a scarcity mindset.

[00:43:00] And how do I transform and go into that abundant mindset? So these tools, like you've talked about, um, that help us be aware what kind of minds that we're in and then change our mindset. That's what the podcast is all about, right? High five mindset, figuring out how are we going to be aware of our mindset?

How are we going to help improve our mindset? Um, when you were talking about like, Setting up. I mean, everything you said was so beautiful, Jack. , I loved how you're, you know, talking about the intentions that you set, the questions that you ask yourself, is this something more of an intuitive, like meditative process for you?

You're journaling this, you're kind of thinking like sitting in silence before you take the the medicine, maybe it looks different every time. Or maybe sometimes you're just like, I'm open, you know, whatever is going to come through is going to come through. Like, how does that usually look like for you?[00:44:00] 

It's a little bit of all of the above. I'm a huge fan of journaling. I believe in journaling before ceremony. And then I love journaling after a good friend in this community. He talks about if you're not journaling, um, you miss things. And I agree with him that when I'm journaling, I'm taking the time to slow down.

And to write down what I noticed and sometimes if I don't take that step, yeah, things just pass by. , With, with the ceremonies that I'm involved with, , so we just have, for example, had a ceremony in Mexico back in January. , we start every day with breath work and yoga and meditation just to kind of get into the frame of mind before taking, before participating in the ceremony itself.

, in that particular ceremony sequence, we started with a heart opener. So we used on day one, MDA, Sassafras. , to feel that love for self and feel that love for others, to get used to our fellow travelers in the room, to get used [00:45:00] to the, in that case, we had six musician facilitators creating a custom soundscape for us.

And it was just a beautiful, that's a beautiful way to start. And then we move on day two into a, , and I'd say Sassafras. which is again, MDA or MDMA, they're more subtle. We then move into, on day two, a , psilocybin, which is again, that interconnectness of all things, that essence. And because we had just done the heart opener, and we're feeling that and had our connection there, we're now able to, I think, dive deeper using the psilocybin, and that's a beautifully and profound experience.

And then we, in Mexico, uh, experienced bufo. which is a non duality medicine, 5 MeO DMT. The toad, uh, the venom of the Bufalovarius toad is what that is. And in that very short acting psychedelic, there's no time, there's no place, there's no you, there's no me, there's just the energy of the universe. And to be able to sit in that energy for 10 or 20 minutes, , [00:46:00] and just feel the vibration.

For many people, it's, it's, they, they talk about their personal conversation with their sacred. It's, it's, it's, it's a very unique medicine, has a different. Effect than the other two. Yeah. Um, but again, every day starts with, with breath work, meditation, yoga, settling down before partaking in these different medicines.

And then on the other side of the psychedelics, we do like a hape, a, a, a nons psychedelic ceremony and a, and a candlelight meditation. These , , different ways to bring it back and ground in back to this 3D world in which we are. Experiencing right now. , that sounds amazing. The third one sounded so interesting to me, too, because of the non duality that you're talking about and duality, you know, a big theme.

It could be its own podcast, but another thing that's very interesting to me. Did you say that was a toad medicine? It is. It's, , it's called Bufo or 5 MEO [00:47:00] DMT. And the way it's there's, there's, there's a synthetic version and there's a natural and the natural version literally is the venom of the Bufo alvarius toad.

And it's milked out of one gland and then dried and then inhaled. Okay. So you can do a synthetic or you can do the natural. Correct. Okay. Very interesting. Well, thanks for sharing and getting micro with me and sharing, you know, a little bit behind the scenes of how you like to personally use psychedelics and ways that we can integrate that lessons we can learn.

, anything else that you just want to leave with listeners and then also let us know, like everything that you have going on, where people can follow you. I appreciate that. I think I think what I want your listeners to hear over and over a couple messages. One, these aren't cures. We're not swapping one pill for another.

These are catalysts. These are when you've [00:48:00] decided when I've decided I'm not going to go to a medical, I'm not going to go to someone else to tell me, um, to do the work for me. I'm going to do it myself. I'm going to use this tool to do it. These then create these awarenesses. These awakenings are powerful medicines as catalysts, not cures.

And then these aren't safe, they're risk reduced, but they all come with their own risks. So reading up, looking to see which one feels right for you, given your background, your prescriptions, your supplements, your history, um, is hugely important. And actually I didn't, I didn't reference this. I'll give, I'll give a shout out to Dr.

Ben Malcolm. If you go to spiritpharmacist. com , Ben does medical intakes. So if you're curious, I'm thinking about ayahuasca versus psilocybin versus ketamine. Let him fill out your medical information for him, have an hour consult with him, and then he'll give you information based on who you are. [00:49:00] And he has nothing to sell you.

He's not selling you a ketamine package or a ceremony or retreat. He's just giving you information. , he does a great job. Emily Culpepper does a good job. There's actually a psychedelic pharmacist association. There's a number of them that do good jobs, but. Someone that you can trust, if you have anything complicated in your background, it's good to get that third party.

information. , And then for me, , if you go to mattzieman. com, I have a guide to microdosing. I have a bunch of little videos. I have information on my books. , if you're interested in me speaking or in bulk orders, that's all at mattzieman. com. Amazon and Audible for the books for either, either psychedelics for everyone, , and Amazon for beyond the trip.

, Are the best ways and then just stay tuned if you're a veteran or if you're working with veterans, the Veterans Guide to Psychedelics is coming out August 1st and then all the proceeds 100 percent are going to Heroic Hearts Project, which is this incredible nonprofit that takes veterans down to Central and South America and then now for two cohorts in a [00:50:00] row up to, , to Oregon.

So it's super exciting group to, uh, to be working with and they just do beautiful work in this world. Awesome. And I have one more question before we start off that I ask all my guests. This is the question I ask everyone. So what are the favorite, it could be tools, routines, practices that keep you high vibe.

Yeah, man, I, since we're talking about psychedelics, I think periodically using this tool to remind me of, of, of just how capable of high vibe I am. Um, It's before psychedelics. I was like, as an example, was an awful meditator. Couldn't even do five minutes. And now I can do like an hour and a half. , and I can have vibrational experiences just from meditating.

, so I love this tool as a reminder, , and as a way to push the envelope and then I love , the daily short practices as a way to [00:51:00] keep connecting back. for all the days that I'm not using medicine. Awesome. Thank you so much for being on. This is so informative and I am looking forward to listeners who are going to hear this and learn more about this.

So thank you so much for your expertise and being on today. I appreciate you doing this today, Melissa. Thanks so much.



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