Mushrooms, Meditation and Mental Illness: A Talk on Breaking Free from PTSD with Michael Matania
Michael’s personal journey from South London gang culture and complex PTSD to rebuilding his entire identity through mushrooms and meditation has lessons for us all.
You only have to taste the sea once to know it’s salty.
“Psilocybin allowed me to experience myself without any of my cultural conditioning. After that all bets were off, I had to revisit everything.”
In this talk Michael, a psychological resilience specialist with the national Mental health Charity ‘Mind’ and founder of meditation company ‘Tough Cookie’ shares his incredible journey; a first-hand account of how integrating meditation with psychedelics can help overcome extreme mental health problems, and lead to powerful life lessons on the nature of existence.
“After that first experience with psilocybin mushrooms I began to question all of my previously unexamined assumptions about life - about myself, the world and the things I held to be ‘absolutely true’.
I read and read, searching for answers, but this felt insufficient. In the end, I sat down, closed my eyes and began to watch my own mind - for literally thousands of hours - and discovered that many of the thoughts that arose in my experience, on closer inspection, weren’t even in my own voice! They were other people’s voices – some familiar, some vague - the internalised narrative of the culture.
Through Mindfulness & Psychedelics, I began the process of untangling myself from what I had previously thought to be ‘me’. I began to realise that what I had previously meant by that word was a hallucination that was at complete odds with reality."
Building a true mindfulness practise is no picnic, it is deeply subtle, full of paradoxes and dead ends. Michael will explain how psychedelic substances can help us taste the thing mindfulness is pointing at – it provides a cheeky peak at the transcendent – and meditation can prepare us for those transcendental experiences on substances… but also provides a deep and meaningful experience of life without them.
"The universe leaves clues in how to live everywhere – right in front of our very noses! Even our breathing, we must be prepared to let go of one breath before the next one can come, it is fundamentally an act of trust.”
We look forward to hosting Michael and the tale of his extraordinary journey of integrating psychedelics and meditation.
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