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100x Better Than Expected
by Eric
Citation:   Eric. "100x Better Than Expected: An Experience with Mushrooms (exp116141)". Mar 1, 2022.

  insufflated Tobacco (ground / crushed)
  4.5 g oral Mushrooms (dried)
First Mushroom Trip: 100x Better Than Expected

I’m 50 years old and took entheogens for the first time last week in the form of psilocybin mushrooms, a dosage of about 4.5 g. What occurred after that was a life-changing, tectonic spiritual event for me. The following is a fairly detailed account of my experience, most of which I recorded the day after. Enjoy!


My decision to take mushrooms had been long time in the making. I remember as a kid reading old science book my parents had bought me that described LSD research from the 50’s and 60’s. It was extremely fascinating to me. I was brought up in a family with a string mix of science and religion. This opened up my mind spiritually and intellectually, but also put me in a culture where all drugs were taboo, so before last Monday I had never even had a sip of alcohol, much less taken psychedelics
before last Monday I had never even had a sip of alcohol, much less taken psychedelics

I’ve always been a spiritual seeker and I made a lot of personal progress through therapy, meditation, religious study, and learning how to follow my inner voice. Becoming a father and raising children was also no small education for me. And yet in recent years, I could feel myself approaching something of a wall. I had made great leaps early on, but I was finding that my steps were getting smaller, and I felt more and more the desire to open a door to new learning and experience.

Probably five years ago, I began to encounter material about psychedelics, eventually discovering Michael Pollan’s book “How to Change Your Mind.” This reminded me of my childhood fascination, and I realized that this was something I wanted in my future, so I began trying to figure out how I might safely and legally have my own experience with entheogens. I felt partial to mushrooms because they occur naturally, and the descriptions of psylocibin effects felt close to what I wanted. I spent a couple of years looking without much success, but then a friend pointed me to [an organization]. Their spiritual approach and organization as a church checked off my needs and I signed up right away.


An important part of the preparation was selecting a facilitator/shaman to guide me. This person would be there the entire time to assist as needed. When I got to the page with the choices for facilitator, it was immediately apparent to me who to pick, and upon meeting him over video chat before the ceremony the wisdom of my choice was doubly confirmed. Talking with him felt like talking with a brother. We have wildly different backgrounds, but we have the same seeking mind.

They had helpful reading material, however I also found a great workbook for psychedelic integration made available through an Oregon organization. The workbook provides the reader with information about what to expect as well as exercises to help form thoughts around intent. Going through the workbook made it easy to pay attention to what has happening in my life leading up to the ceremony and see these as unconscious indicators to what I was asking for.

Starting about a month before the ceremony, I stopped all medications, improved my diet, and took measures to get better sleep and relaxation. I reserved an Airbnb within walking distance from [the site] where I planned to arrive the day before the ceremony and leave the day after so that I would have some buffers to relax and process. I also planned travel with public transportation so that I would not have to drive, as I was travelling alone.

What I Experienced

I arrived at 9am greeted by [the facilitator I would be working with and] another facilitator. I took off my shoes and [my facilitator] gave me a little tour then led me to a room with the shades drawn and warm comfortable lighting. There was a large comfortable couch, a massage table, a few chairs and a small table that held the material needed for the ceremony. I sat on the couch and he sat in the chair and began talking with me to determine where my mind was and to develop a statement of intent. In this conversation, I recalled the things that have been coming up for me in recent weeks, realizing that my inner self was reminding me of what was needed and wanted. Upon drafting a statement that we both felt captured my desires, we both inhaled rapé, a tobacco-based snuff which has the effect of bringing the mind into the present moment. Having never had any tobacco products before, this quite burned my nose which by itself has quite the centering effect! We sat with the rapé for several minutes, meditating, and then it was time to take the "medicine".

The medicine came in the form of seven tiny, dried mushrooms, each about the size of a small Cheeto. The facilitator gave me six of them, holding one aside as an option for later. I held the six in my hand and allowed gratitude to settle upon me before ingesting. I felt a warm calmness and zero reservation as I placed them one by one in my mouth. I thought they had a pleasant dusty flavor and a chewable texture similar to fruit leather.

When I had washed down the mushrooms with a swallow of water, he invited me up to a massage table where I lay on my back. He put on some soothing music and worked on my neck and shoulders to relax me and guided me through a grounding meditation. This was helpful in opening up my mind for what happened next.

About 30 minutes in, I could sense that something was starting to change in my brain – just an odd feeling that something was different. It was not long after that before I began to notice little angular patterns and glowing filigrees when I closed my eyes. My impulse on seeing these things was to smile and giggle, for I somehow knew immediately that they were gifts from another world and even in these first timid displays, I could sense how pointless it is to fear death. I was just kind of an “Oh” moment, taking no effort at all to understand it and interpret it. Death is nothing at all. We worry and worry about this thing, but in an instant I could see it for something marvelous.

The facilitator could see my reactions, and probably noted the stupid grin on my face, and invited me to lay on the couch. I felt a bit nauseous getting up, but that disappeared as soon as I was reclined and comfortable and wearing eye covers. There was a rapid crescendo of the visions, which became a spectacle beyond all I could anticipate or describe. I experienced overflowing waves of infinite fractal patterns infused with vibrant rainbow color and detail. These patterns were more vivid and stunning than anything we could produce on our own, and these sights were constantly renewing and folding in on themselves at a frenetic pace. (Interestingly, I don’t recollect hearing much sound even though music was playing.) It the same way that the triviality of death was communicated, it became obvious to me that I was experiencing the other world, I was inside of it and along with me, intertwined with me, was another presence that could be described as god, but that is an inadequate word for that being. I could see that in this "world of color" exists all around us, inside us, and through us- we just don't see it as part of our regular experience. It is not a place that one goes to. It's right were you are, inside everything that is. This vision rolled on an on with mesmerizing variation for the course of one hour according to the facilitator, but I had no sense of time. My silent time on that couch might as well have been five minutes or five days. In retrospect, I interpret that hour of visionary time as when God(s) introduced themselves to me- a kind of a get-to-know-you phase before the real work could begin.

After this introduction a very curious thing happened that I did not expect at all. I began to think and speak as an entirely different person. I could feel the presence of God come upon me, filling my body, and just like that, "I" was this other eternal being, the one that I had seen in the world of color, and "Eric" was somewhere else, watching in fascination. I suppose some might call this "ego death", but I would not describe it that way. My ego was always there, fully intact, but it was as if it was invited to go sit on a bench for a while until needed.
My ego was always there, fully intact, but it was as if it was invited to go sit on a bench for a while until needed.
Indeed, as this experience progressed, about every hour, “Eric” would rise from his proverbial bench so my body could drink, use the bathroom, etc., then he would sit down again to allow God to resume talking. This lasted about four hours, all the while my guide scribbling notes of what was being said. He had recorded pages and pages by the time the experience was over. Afterwards, I wrote do this memoir and other private remembrances, which also took up pages, but are only a partial account. The sheer volume of information was mind boggling and joyful to receive.

Talking as this other being was a curious and wonderful experience. The best way I can describe the personality from my perspective is to imagine the character Rafiki from the Lion King: Loving, witty, silly, compassionate, and frequently laughing. (For simplicity, I will call this presence Rafiki from here forward.) When speaking as Rafiki, there were outward manifestations of a different personality. I spoke with an accent and presented little affects I had never used before. When my ego surfaced, I would revert to speaking as my regular self.

I noticed specific delightful things about Rafiki. First, he spoke with 100% purity and honesty. There was no guile in anything he said, no shame, no judgement, even though some things he said might sound rude or abrupt. He was constantly expressing love, compassion, and gratitude. He saw all of existence as the most superb joke ever imagined – not a cruel joke, but something delightful and clever - and he was constantly laughing at the little jokes he saw in everything. He especially laughed as he stumbled over words that had inaccurate meaning. Occasionally he would discover and recognize something painful or sad, and he would say with innocent sincerity, "I am so sorry. I am so sorry." And I could feel the universe radiating compassion.

It took real effort on Rafiki's part to speak through me. The world of color was constantly churning through his mind and distracting him. He would start on one topic, speak a profound truth, then this would spark other irresistible topics, often mid-sentence. If he closed his eyes, the world of color would draw him away from the conversation, but he would remember where he was and kindly return with an apology for being sidetracked. He said multiple times, "It is difficult for me to be here and talk like this. I do not say this to make you feel bad. I say it so that you know how much I love you and how much it pleases me to be here."

During my processing afterwards, I developed this metaphor for what it meant to have Rafiki there: Imagine you are a child of the most important person in the world, and that person is in the most important meeting in the world with all the most important people. Your parent is standing at the podium giving the most important speech of their life, and you walk up to tug at their shirt. Without skipping a beat, your parent stops mid-word and plops right down beside you, putting you in their lap. Your parent looks into your eyes and says kindly, “tell me what’s on your mind” and with that marvelous audience watching with rapture, your parent listens patiently to you, answering all your questions until you are satisfied. This is the character I saw in Rafiki. It fills my heart with gratitude just to write an account of it. I personally saw and experienced what God is seeing and experiencing - a world of infinite wonder and beauty and JOY. True, limitless, unending joy. To open my physical eyes was to suddenly drop into another world, our world, a still, almost colorless world that moved at a snail's pace. Rafiki called this the "open eye" world. Staying in it and staying focused on my guide and I took tremendous mental effort, but he LOVED it. It was delicious to him.

Rafiki gave me another surprise as he spoke. He was there for me, of course, but he was also there for my guide. I suddenly understood that the guide was not the Shaman as I had supposed. *I* was the one who had taken the mushrooms. *I* was the one upon who the mantle had fallen. I knew that I was speaking for God and I had a deep sense of compassion for the guide. Speaking through me, Rafiki would look over at him and say something like, "I know you are writing things for Eric, but I am also here for you. I know you want to ask me questions, and it is not selfish for you to do this. Don't worry about Eric, his questions will be answered by your questions. You tell me what you want to know." Then the guide would ask, and Rafiki would answer and it was amazing.

I cannot adequately describe the clarity and wisdom that came from my mouth in those hours. My mind was constantly awash in the infinite wisdom of that other world. It felt like a dream, but I was fully aware of what was happening. The words remained clear even afterwards- they did not have that dream-like quality of making sense in the dream by not in waking life. The words that came through me were revelation upon revelation - the kind that comes from opening the curtain and actually seeing what has been obscured. Many times Rafiki would point out that which was obvious, but had been clouded by personal judgement and belief. Everything in this world is a symbol of truth. All things testify that the eternal world, that the loving entity some of us call God exists. I thought that before, maybe even believed it a little, but now I know.

I cannot possibly relate all the information conveyed in that session because there was just so much of it, flowing too fast and furious to even take notes on all of it. I will, nevertheless, attempt to relate a few gems here:

* Nothing matters in the way that mortals think they matter. Mortals are constantly trying to judge things as good or bad, right or wrong, then they try to eliminate one and preserve the other. They do not understand that they go together. Would you enjoy a movie that had no contrast, no struggle? Of course not, we savor stories with struggle and contrast. Eternal beings desire the same and understand Life must have contrasts to be worth living.

* The mortal world has a peculiar nature in that it will always generate new contrast that counters of our efforts to even it out. If we make enough peace, war will break out. If we make enough war, peace will break out. We worry about wrong choices, but the world constantly balances us, regardless of choices. One of the most common things I heard Rafiki say was something like "Do it. Don’t do it. Do something else. It doesn't matter." Then he would laugh about the comedy of the whole thing, mortals trying to decide what matters and what doesn’t.

* Suffering is suffering. The magnitude of the event is irrelevant. A wife loses a husband and weeps. A child loses a toy and weeps just the same. The suffering is the same. The form of the loss is irrelevant, but mortals try to make it so, telling people when it is OK to suffer. Eternal beings feel compassion for our suffering very similar to how a parent feels compassion for a small child struggling to walk. The child falls and cries, the parent comforts, then encourages more walking. The eternal being is watching your suffering right now and feeling deep compassion for you, just as much as any other person.

* The true nature of compassion. I used to think that compassion was looking at the actions of another and recognizing the capability in myself to do the same thing if I had experienced the same circumstances. Rafiki corrected me in this. He pointed out that there is a judgement in that view - a belief that what we witness the other person is doing is "wrong" and that we would do the same "wrong" thing if we were in the same circumstance. He said that true compassion is to see an event and understand it is a necessary part of an eternal wholeness. Rafiki said that all beings in this world inflict suffering on each other and that this is an unavoidable part of our existence designed to produce joy.

* Language is a catch-22. The minute that we assign a meaning to a word it is wrong, and yet we must use words to communicate in the open-eye world. It cannot be avoided, and so miscommunication cannot be avoided. It is a permanent struggle to fully communicate with each other in this existence. Poetry exists because of this. We create poems to circle around a meaning we are trying to convey. If words could have precise meaning, there would be no poetry.

* There is no displeasing God. Every tiny action by a mortal in this realm is sensed as exquisite pleasure by God. There was a point in my experience where the guide began to play the guitar. I was in vision at that point absorbing all the patterns and colors. As he began to play, I could see the "body" of God, and every miniscule vibration from his voice and guitar erupted in colors and sparks in the eternal world, wrapping themselves around God, generating wave upon wave of eternal joy. It was so beautiful, I had to tell him to stop playing so that I could describe what I was seeing, that I saw all of Eternity ringing to his music and that every little thing he did was pleasing to God beyond his comprehension. So it is with all of us- the thought of being able to displease such a being is absurd.

* Food is heaven. Late in the day, I felt hungry and asked for food. The guide brought me a small bowl filled with nuts and berries. Rafiki was delighted. He said, "People worry themselves if there is food in heaven. Do they not understand food is heaven? Do they not realize that they can hold heaven in a bowl?" Then he laughed and resumed savoring the food.

and on and on...

The experience drew to a close about six hours after it began. I felt exhausted and perfectly satisfied.
The experience drew to a close about six hours after it began. I felt exhausted and perfectly satisfied.
I felt like I understood something I could have scarcely imagined before. The guide and I hugged as brothers; he had been there to help me through the whole thing, giving a portion of his life to enrich mine.

I walked home in a bit of a daze. The world appeared the same and my ego had returned to me largely unchanged with the same judgements and worries as before. However, now I knew something more than I did just a few hours ago, and this knowledge decorated my thoughts in new and fascinating wisdom. Appreciation was the predominant feeling in my mind as I walked. Upon returning to my place, I contacted loved ones, ate some delicious things and went to bed.

I woke up early the next morning in bliss, reflecting on the experience of the previous day, the most significant day of my life so far. I wondered what happened to Rafiki now that the mushrooms were well on their way out of my system, and to my delight he was still there, ready to talk, to answer questions and dispense wisdom. We savored a brunch together then had a wonderful chat as we walked to the train station. On the train ride home I tried to write down everything I could remember from the day before. I wrote most of what you see above as well as some more personal memories.

Now that a week has gone by, I can still say that this was by far the most significant spiritual experience of my life. I have essentially received a new book of scripture for myself and I see many new doors to open in my spiritual seeking. Rafiki remains accessible and I call on him from time to time for perspective. My ego remains largely unchanged, but willing to listen to the wisdom and make some changes in due time and I can already see some benefits in my relationships – more love, more patience, more laughter.

Would I recommend that everyone take mushrooms or other entheogens? Not necessarily. I think there are many factors of time, place, and preparation that can significantly affect the experience. I made sure to mention here my extensive preparation because I feel certain in made a difference for me. I have talked to others who have taken similar doses, but with less preparation and they had very different results. If you feel any resistance to taking this type of medicine, I recommend holding off for a while to work on letting go of all resistance, then wait for the medicine to come calling. It took me several years to get to that point.

[Proper names and locations have been redacted at the time of publishing.]

Exp Year: 2022ExpID: 116141
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: 50
Published: Mar 1, 2022Views: 3,068
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Mushrooms (39) : Therapeutic Session / Clinic (55), Personal Preparation (45), Guides / Sitters (39), Entities / Beings (37), Glowing Experiences (4), First Times (2)

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