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Changing Our Minds
Psychedelic Sacraments and
the New Psychotherapy

Many people are not waiting for government permission. Rising numbers of consciousness explorers
– including many in Silicon Valley – have begun experimenting with microdosing, taking subliminal or nearly subliminal amounts of LSD or psilocybin in an effort to foster creativity and improve cognitive function.

At the same time, growing numbers of medical doctors and psychotherapists have begun using ketamine, a prescription drug with psychedelic properties, to treat depression and promote psychological insight.

Meanwhile, at clinics south of border, heroin and pain pill addicts are healed with ibogaine, a psychedelic compound derived from a West African shrub that is illegal in the U.S. but not in Mexico. Some of these rehab centers also use 5-MeO-DMT, a powerful, short-acting psyche-delic derived from the venom of a Sonoran desert toad.


Psychedelic plants and chemicals are not for everyone. They affect different people in diverse ways, depending in large part on one’s intention and the setting in which these drugs are taken. But, in sometimes subtle and other times dramatic ways, they often inspire awe and wonder, providing the heightened insight and meaning-fulness one may also find in dreams or religious excitation.

In Changing Our Minds – Psychedelic Sacraments and the New Psycho-therapy, author Don Lattin builds on his two previous works, Distilled Spirits and the best-selling Harvard Psychedelic Club, which charted social movementsand early scientific research fueled by these compounds. His research for this new book took him to Mexico, Brazil, Switzerland, and a variety of research labs and shamanic circles across the United States.

In an effort to better understand these states of consciousness, the author had his own mind-altering encounters with ayahuasca, psilocybin, MDMA, ketamine and 5-MeO-DMT – taking them as a participant observer in contexts that mirroredthe various therapeutic and spiritual settings in which they are used today.

“As someone who came of age
in the 1960s and 1970s, I lived through the first wave of psy-chedelic exploration and the ‘Just Say No’ backlash against personal use and scienific research in the 1980s,” said


Lattin, an award-winning journalist who covered religion and spirituality at the San Francisco Chronicle for more than two decades.

“There really has been a changing of minds over the last decade by government regulators, university administrators and the mainstream media,” he said. “There is a sudden openness to studying the potential benefits to psychedelic-assisted psycho-therapy. There’s also a new acknowledgment that churches and other spiritual communities have a right to use peyote and ayahuasca in their religious rituals.”

Changing Our Minds – available this spring from Synergetic Press – is the essential primer for understanding and navigating this new consciousness-raising territory.

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