Mushrooms - P. cubensis
Citation: S. "Validated in the Ocean of Love: An Experience with Mushrooms - P. cubensis (exp113944)". Erowid.org. Feb 9, 2020. erowid.org/exp/113944
Prologue: It had been quite a long time (six years) since I had intentionally ventured into a healing medicine journey. That journey for me being that deep, profound feeling of utter presence of being, peace, love, safety, and light.
To introduce the story, I’ll say that I have a near lifetime of experience with using these substances for healing purposes. Being 34 now, that makes it almost 20 years. So this was by no means my first time. However, it had been a long time, about 6 years since my last journey. My previous session was a mushroom journey in the middle of my honeymoon, and that was a life changing experience, extremely deep in and of itself, yet also terribly intense and jarring, with “full” ego death experience, no less. As was the solo journey before that, which was about 8 years ago now. So, now that I am a little older, maybe a bit wiser, have a family, responsibilities, and am much more established and grounded in life than ever before, I was not looking to have some incredibly intense shamanic experience, not this time anyway. I was going for more of a therapeutic experience and thus dose; something that would open me up, help me to go within, answer some questions and help facilitate healing.
I was going for more of a therapeutic experience and thus dose; something that would open me up, help me to go within, answer some questions and help facilitate healing.
Setting: Our cozy little brick house on our basically suburban organic farm, surrounded by neighboring houses. It was the crisp, clear, cold winter night of Christmas Eve. Quiet. Home alone. Wood stove burning hot.
Background: I’ve lived a deeply spiritual life, ever since I was a child. Entheogens definitely helped cultivate that side of my psyche and have always been powerful catalysts for personal growth and finding deep wisdom, connection and meaning. I’ve been practicing yoga and meditation for nearly 20 years, and spent 3 years living in ashrams. I have a Guru. I’m vegetarian. I live a fairly disciplined, farm working life and run a professional business. Staying deeply aware of my thoughts and actions and living a responsible, open-hearted, purposeful life is deeply important to me. I have a beautiful, very wise wife and a brilliant little boy. I used to consume cannabis very frequently but keep it limited these days, but utilize it for beneficial purposes. So that’s some of “who I am” going into this experience. I mention these aspects of my lifestyle because I see many reports of people meditating on Vedic concepts such as Hindu symbolism, yoga, interest in ashrams, etc. I think that those connections are very important and can be a potent way to remain established in spiritual truth and peace. It also helps to frame the general mindset I live by and who I was going into this experience.
The Journey: My wife and son had left on a trip in the very early morning to go be with her family for Christmas five hours away. She usually makes these trips alone because I don’t like the long travel and need occasional alone time, which I get very, very little of. So, I was home alone. I spent the sunny, unseasonably warm, clear day being quiet. I climbed up a huge white pine tree adjacent to our property and went to the very top, which I had not done in a long time. I had a nice view of the surrounding area, and although I was 30 feet up the tree, it was very grounding and peaceful. Earlier that morning I got the news of Ram Dass’ death a few days before. So, his presence was in my heart and mind that day.
I decided today would be the day to take the medicine. That day I ate lightly, called and told my wife my intentions and stayed quiet throughout the day. I was feeling a little anxious, having not taken any medicine in quite some time, and knowing that I can never fully predict what will happen when I do. But, I felt that it was the right time, having sat with the medicine on hand for almost a year but not utilizing it.
4:30 PM T: 0:00 Ingested what was approximately 2 grams. Very well produced, dried, organic Golden Teacher fungus. Took a spoonful of raw honey afterwards and a sip of water to wash it down.
Still feeling a bit anxious, I commence cleaning the house, getting the fire going in the wood stove, and completely a few tasks. I like to vigorously clean before the medicine kicks in; it gets any nervous energy out and makes the space fresh and is symbolic of the “internal cleansing” soon to come.
5:15pm T: 0:45 I take a quick hot shower and then commence to perform an outdoor Agnihotra fire sacrifice within a small, copper inverted pyramid vessel. This is an ancient Vedic practice I began doing last summer. It’s very healing, grounding and quieting, and does palpably and positively change the vibes of the area. As the ghee and cow dung burned, I feel a very slight coming on of the medicine. I finish the practice, bow, and come inside. Feeling more grounded but still a little nervous, I commence to applying some healing Ayurvedic herbal massage oil to my head and neck, and then take a very hot bath. The wood stove is warming up the house very nicely as the night air starts to rapidly get cold, and the sun bids a peaceful farewell over the hilled horizon with a lovely, warm, striped pink sunset.
5:45pm T: 1:15 In the bathtub, being immersed in the hot water feels great and is very relaxing. I definitely feel the medicine coming on rather quickly. The Indian patterns on our shower curtain are getting intense. I feel this mild buzzing in my forehead right around my pineal gland. It’s a feeling I typically have after recently ingesting an entheogen, and is a sure sign I’m in for a medicinal ordeal. The buzzing is less intense than before my previous two trips, which I feel positive about, but I get the feeling this is going to be more than a mild “therapeutic experience,” and I was correct. I recall having this little dialogue with the medicinal “deities”, who were feminine in my mind, and they reassured me, in a very motherly way, that this is a “mild” or “medium” experience, yet there is some giggling and playfulness from them about it that makes me question what that actually means.
After soaking for a bit longer in the soothing hot water, I feel the slight urgency to get prepared for what is soon to come. Soon I get out of the tub, dry off, dress comfortably in loose cotton clothes and go into my prepared, cleaned bedroom, where I have a soft cozy bed laden with thick, warm blankets and a sheet, a softly glowing orange salt lamp night light, small notebook, ipod, headphones, sleep mask, palo santo sticks, and some water. I get under the covers and the journey kicks in rather immediately and full on. I turn on my playlist I had created, mostly of calm, ambient and New Age type music that I personally like and thought would go well with the trip, and it does and sounds incredible (Aeoliah). The headphones resting gently next to the pillow playing music near my head, I dive fully into the trip.
6:15pm T:1:45 It’s hard to recall exactly what happened at this point, but I can describe the next few hours of events. I’ve ingested as much as 6-8 grams at a time, also have taken Ayahuasca, and other potent medicines, but am apparently just super sensitive to this particular medicine! It’s like I can’t BUT have a very intense, life-changing experience, even on a low dose. I also don’t weight a whole lot, and ate very little that day.
The only way I can describe the journey is that I soon found my conscious awareness floating and swimming in this intense, turbulent ocean of Love. Divine Love. There was a conscious, intense presence holding space with me. I kept seeing the Bindhu, which is the “blue light” described in Hinduism, right between my eyebrows. The Grateful Dead said they always saw the “blue dot” when composing music. It shone brightly and came and went like the reflection in a moving crystal.
I felt very present. Nearly overwhelmed, but thankfully not quite. Wave after wave of ecstatic love washed over me, and it tingled with pure, intense ecstasy. All I could think and feel was this Divine Love. Every time my heart beat it sent intense Shakti through my veins. I put on the sleeping mask (something I was inspired to try after reading Michael Pollan’s recent book). I did so and my closed-eye visuals were pretty intense. I saw these greenish fractal, kaleidoscopic patterns that formed this vague “Jesus” like apparition. I am not typically fascinated with going deep into visionary imagery. I’m much more into the internal message of the trip and the dialogues, not the 3D special effects, so to speak. So, I removed the mask, and this felt grounding and better. Staring at the ceiling glowing by the light of the orange salt lamp, my room felt turbulent, like I was literally on a boat floating in this undulating sea of living, loving energy that I could only surrender to. I sometimes had strange thoughts come in. At which point I chanted the mantra that my Guru had bestowed on me years ago. This instantaneously removed the negative energy and shifted my mind. I had never before on a journey had a mantra to work with, and I can tell you it’s like having a veritable lifeline of safety, truth and peace… for me, the mantra is this at all times, but it was very apparent in that state.
7:00 pm T: 2:30 Now about 1.5 hours into the trip, I’m full-on journeying quite intensely. Life review, big time.
I’m full-on journeying quite intensely. Life review, big time.
When a wave would subside, I’d journal here and there, but my arms feel slightly sore and weak, like I can hardly hold my hands up to write. I feel warm and comfortable, sometimes overly hot, sometimes a little chilled, augmenting my blankets per sensation. A little sweaty and slightly nauseous. My notes say ”Feeling very empathic. Kind of spacey. Honestly glad I took a small dose.” Some time after that, my handwriting, now a bit more scribbly, I wrote, “ I want my life to be an expression of Love”. I feel completely immersed in a firey Ocean of Divine Love that is continually washing over my entire being.
8:00pm T:3:30 The journey is becoming more intense as the life review continues. Wave after wave of Love overpowering me. I think of my wife, and how powerful, strong, and beautiful she is, and how I have failed to fully appreciate her throughout our 6 years of marriage. I think about my little son, so bright, so strong, so intelligent, and how he is my hope for the future, and how much I believe in him. He has had to undergo three open-heart surgeries by age 3 and is extremely brave.
I am contemplating love, religion and society and it’s all incredibly intense and fast-paced. Going into my subconscious, I reach a point of fear when a certain thought arises. That fear, it turned out, was a fear of fanatical Islam. I realize I had been harboring a deep fear of radical Islam for some time, to the point of bordering on feelings of hatred. I had been rationalizing it and quietly suppressing it and not dealing with it. In that state, the shock of finding that fear was very intense and sad, and it appeared within my subconscious as a tangled messy ball of black yarn-like strings, all bound up and tense and chaotic. I had to let it go, I had to surrender to love. I decided in that moment the only way forward was to love Islam and all Muslims as well, and forget fears of the future, and not to generalize. I had to love everyone and everything. I told myself I would reach out to a certain Muslim man I know through my business, who has been very friendly with me, and I would get together with him and his family, and I actually will do that. And maybe even visit his Mosque.
My journal reads thus: “I feel a major wave has passed. Feeling so, so much love. Enlightenment is only about Love. Love is the answer. Compassion. Gauranga came to show the Love that had been lost. Power is nothing. Always pray for Love. Jesus came to show the Love that had been lost. I have to open my heart to Love, or I’ll become lost.” For those unaware, Gauranga, also known as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, is a Bengali saint. Continuing, my journal reads: “But, the beautiful miracle is that my Gurus are so great, that I cannot remain lost for long. My son is under divine protection. He is my hope for the future. He will become a spiritual leader. Of some kind, I am not sure. Size matters not. Be thankful for each day. Love is the only way.”
9:00pm T: 4:30 I’ve spent the last couple of hours sailing this ocean of overwhelming Love. I’ve thought about my relations, friends, family. I think about my neighbors and their struggles and how many of their life situations are kind of pathetic, and I pity them. I think about all these various people and how I should be more connected to them, and reach out more. Don’t stay so isolated. Be more loving. Be more kind. Pray constantly. Pray constantly. It’s this kind of intense dialogue and the feeling of a deeply spiritual experience unfolding.
I connect with the spirit of Ram Dass, and I say, “thank you Ram Dass, thank you.” He immediately feels present and replies, very sweetly, “Thank you, S. You are me…I am you. We’re all One.”
I realize how I believe I do not do “enough” service to humanity and have become a little cloistered. Dwelling within the walls of our fenced in farm, sheltered from everything we’re trying to keep out, inside my little brick house, with the shades drawn over the windows, underneath the covers, It’s like I’m hiding. From what? Love is the answer. I decide on some services I can start to perform in the neighborhood to encourage people and share love. I dedicate to seeing it through, and will.
I realize more now the raw power of pure Love. My Guru is always talking about how we should support troubled people and listen to the pain and sorrows of others. She talks often about the power of Divine Love. The “fire” of Divine Love. I realized I had taken those statements shallowly and superficially. Divine love, real, pure love, has the power to save the world. It has the power to stop wars. It’s the only thing that can and will save this planet. We cannot live without love, no matter what else we think we have. Technology is not a replacement for love and never can be. I’ve realized that the ecological crises facing planet Earth are only partially caused by carbon emissions, pollution, deforestation, etc. What are the actual root causes of all those things? Is it carbon or is it greed? Lust for power and control. Money. Anger. Lack of awareness. Fear. That’s what’s destroying our planet. Not cars, not cutting trees down. So only loving awareness and THEN responsible loving action can truly help the situation we’re in. I made a decision to spend less money and buy less things.
When the trip would get very intense, I would become very present and tell myself, ‘this is a session to rewire your brain. Do it! Rewire it! What do you want to perceive in a different way? How do you want to view things in life differently? Now is your opportunity!” And I’d commence to re-wire my mental pathways, seeking out burdens, annoyances, and negativities and telling myself I’d perceive them now in a positive, proactive way. I visualized glowing neural pathways and white, web-like synapses firing. I really focused in on this. Humorously, I later had the image appear of that little tiny puppet character in Star Wars who rewires C-3P0’s “brain”.
At times my thoughts briefly went political. I thought about how President Trump has ended the bloody horrible wars America has been involved in since I was a boy in high school, and helped drastically to lower tensions in the situation with North Korea. And how did he do it? Through love. He personally went to North Korea and shook hands with the president, and called him his friend, and opened personal dialogue. I feel that was very brave and unconventional and that he gets very little credit for all of that.
I’m calming down some at this point, but am still very mushroomed. I had called my wife, and she rings me about now. Ecstatic to have her presence with me, I feel very cozy and warm. I begin telling her all about the experience in great detail. She’s fascinated and being very loving. We talk for some time, then she has to put our son to bed and calls me back later.
10:00PM T: 5:30 Journal reads: “I want to see “Myself” - Blossom in love.” Over five hours from ingestion, I am now experiencing this fantastic afterglow experience, which I have always deeply savored. My wife present with me via phone I am cozy, safe and warm and am relishing telling her these realizations and experiences. It brings her to tears as she listens. She has taken mushrooms twice (with me) but never yet had a meaningful experience with them, so we are discussing and planning her healing journey to be happening very soon, with me sitting for her. I’ve noticed sometimes a person’s 1st or 2nd mushroom trips can be pretty mild and uneventful for some people (it was for me also). During our talk, I’m feeling extremely present, open, clear-minded and honest. Having similar feelings as if I was on MDMA, which I took a couple of times many years ago and enjoyed. Feeling very empathic, grounded and able to deeply listen. Unguarded. Open.
12:00AM T:7:30 We are talking for hours. Unexpectedly, I ingest another 2 grams or so, and take a very little toke. The dialogue goes on into the night. I’m sitting by the fire, feeling just fantastic. The booster dose kicks in rapidly and before long the dark room starts to look very interesting and crystal cave-like. We talk till after 1am and then I have to let her go so she can get some much needed sleep. I’m very talkative. We continue to chat for a bit and then we leave our phones on, to keep us more connected, and she goes to sleep. I bundle up and go into the cold night air, which I find very refreshing. It’s about 30 degrees F out. The neighborhood is quiet and the stars are radiantly shining and bright, bright blue. I walk around inspecting our farm and have a little bit of a toke on some quality herb. I stop to take a pee and felt I had to be positioned just in this certain spot. As I pee, in my field of vision right directly in front of me, this effulgent meteorite quickly flashes by, burning on the ozone layer, glowing green. I was delighted. I walk into the yard, look up and, staring directly out at the stars and the vastness of space, I raise my arms up and exhale and declare, “ I Surrender!”
3AM T:10:30 Back inside the house I take off my heavy winter jacket and I visit each room of the house and smudge the entire house with burning palo santo, which smells just divine and very healing. I feel very safe, very secure, very content and present, now sitting on the floor, wrapped in a blanket by the flickering light of the blazing woodstove, listening to a vintage recording of Ravi Shankar playing sitar. Journal reads: “Very late. On night watch. Tonight has been extremely healing and good. Very positive, glowing experience. Strong but not overwhelming. Could reduce dose. Deep night, very deep. Very profound.”
Nine hours into the journey the booster is keeping me wide awake but I’m in bed now, ready for some sleep. I finally drift into a peaceful sleep. Upon waking just before dawn today I feel refreshed and excellent and pursued my morning meditation and yoga.
Epilogue: This was a very deep reminder to me of the intense and real healing power of these medicines, and the true power of Love. It’s amazing to me that a mushroom can inspire such overwhelming expressions and feelings of love and divine truth. This must be more widely accepted and utilized by humanity at large.
I’m deeply grateful to not only have access to those reminders and healing sessions, but more importantly that I have a profession and daily yogic lifestyle that is fully in line with my values and that deeply helps facilitate spiritual balance, surrender and awakening. These moments of truth and beauty are real, much more real and important than so much of our daily grind.
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