4 Principles For Making The Most of the Psychedelic Experience

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4 Principles For Making The Most of the Psychedelic Experience

Psychedelic experiences can cleanse the soul and take you to places unseen by the mind. Keeping a grasp on reality can be a challenge at times. Here are four ways to keep yourself firmly planted in reality during your next psychedelic experience.

For those new to the psychedelic experience, it can be simultaneously exhilarating and unsettling. Taking a trip through the use of psychedelic drugs like LSD or psilocybin is about taking down barriers in your mind. It's about shattering preconceptions but in doing so can shatter the anchors of your mind to our 'normal' reality. The psychedelic experience is not one solely of fantastic hallucinations. It can uncover a more fundamental and primal self. A self not constricted by the confines of our waking mind nor by the artificial constructs of our society. Allowing yourself to explore the psychedelic waters can alter your perception of time and space. For some this is embraced and anticipated but for others, the deconstruction of reality into something else can leave the mind scared and withdrawn into an experience that is anything but fun.

Maintaining your grasp on what is real and what is not can be a challenge when entrenched in a psychedelic experience. For those who have allowed their mind to walk the psychedelic path, you know there is no off switch. Coming to understand the cycles of the trip along with employing a few down to Earth practices will ensure that your experience is as pleasant as is is insightful. The idea of “set and setting” was introduced by psychedelic pioneer Timothy Leary in 1964. Setting is pretty obvious; take your trip in a place that feels comfortable. Set on the other hand, can be a little harder to iron out. Set refers more to your mindset than anything else. It describes your attitudes going into the experience. In gathering the appropriate mindset there are a few principles you can use to keep those anchors firmly planted.


Before you eat those mushrooms or drop that acid, you should really be prepared for what is to come. Of course you can dose on a Friday night and catch a horror flick with your mates, but you're not going to get a whole lot more out of it than some extra blood and gore. Psychedelics hold a key to unlocking the mind and with taking psychedelics comes a great responsibility. Knowing what it is you seek before entering into your experience is key in maintaining your path and coming out with some answers. The psychedelic experience will trigger feelings of wonder. It will make you question yourself on a fundamental level. Why am I who I am? Why do I act the way I do? How can I become a better person? These are all fundamental questions that the psychedelic experience can help answer. Knowing what it is you want to come to understand or change about yourself plays a major role in keeping your trip on track.


The psychedelic experience will return you to a more child-like state. One of curiosity and wonder. The most basic and simple things in life, that often are taken for granted, become miracles of nature. As the mind expands it returns to a simpler state. We shed the pretense of our existence. The ego becomes stripped away and we can often take on the perspective of others in ways unimaginable before. It is this curiosity that propels the human spirit forward. When experiencing the psychedelic state, this curiosity becomes highlighted. It is this curiosity that often leads to a humbling of the self. The realization that we are a small cog in a big machine inspires true fervor for life and the intricacies that make it what it is. Our curious nature defines us as a people and this is never more apparent then when we look through the mirror of psychedelics.


One of the harder concepts to grasp when one finds themselves drowning in the waves of a bad psychedelic experience, is that resistance is futile. The chemical cocktail that runs through your veins will persist as long as it wants. It can be a bumpy ride but the the secret to overcoming a bad psychedelic experience is realizing that you are doing it to yourself. Psychedelics in a nutshell, overclock the brain. The brain begins to communicate with itself in ways it hadn't prior to the introduction of a psychedelic. It triggers thought and processing ability at rates which when not experienced, can be overwhelming. When you talk to people who have had bad experiences, there are a few common traits. The most significant being that events kept repeating over and over again in their mind. This is a byproduct of the fact that out thoughts are nothing more than a product of causality and they move in distinct circular patterns. The more you fight your own thoughts, the worse you make the experience. It's like a mental Chinese finger torture. The trick is to surrender to the flow. Only when you succumb to the power of your own thoughts can you truly begin to reap the wisdom that lies within all of us.


One technique meant to keep you grounded during your experience is actually called grounding. Psychedelics act as a disassociative meaning you can really forget you have a body as you are soaring through the stars in your mind. Grounding involves focusing your mind on your physical body and its connection to the world around you. Feel your feet as they touch the ground. Feel the muscles in your legs as you stand. Raise your arms and feel the connection you have with yourself and the space you inhabit. Go outside and touch the Earth. Feel the textures of the planet you reside on. Come to feel your place in the world and in your own skin. Lay on the ground as you gaze up into the cosmos. Your mind and body are inseparable. Grounding can help keep your mind anchored to our reality at time when reality itself seems like a foreign concept.