Recorded live from Psychedelic Science ’17! Duncan Trussell and I sit down for part 6 of our mutual podcast discussions. It’s hard to say what topic one really talks about when you’re with Duncan but I can assure you many juicy corners of the multi-verse are explored! Ranging from spiritual wisdom in complex times, to the mutation of our species and value systems that must change in order for our survival. And the intro was recorded live in India!!
Duncan is a comedian, a resident of the multi-verse and host of the wildly popular Duncan Trussell Family Hour podcast.
There are many great stories of the Eastern spiritual renaissance taking hold in the West. There’s Richard Alpert to Ram Dass, Yogananda’s revolution in Los Angeles, Swami Vivekananda bringing Vedanta to the States. And then there’s the story of Srila Prabhuphad and the Hare Krishna movement. It’s one of the most extraordinary stories of human manifestation in the 20th Century. Really. He arrived in America in 1965 at age 69 with $20, a type writer and a mantra. That’s it. And in the front row for the entire phenomena was Shyamasundar Das who was “the Swami’s” private secretary for seven years. His new book “Chasing Rhinos with The Swami” chronicles his life, times and adventures with him from 1967 until 1975. Our podcast talked a lot about the early days of the movement, how it took hold in the Haight Ashbury in the Summer of Love, what Krishna Consciousness is and a few amazingly intimate stories of life with A. C. BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI. No matter what you may think of the Hare Krishna movement, I urge you to put all that aside and listen with an open heart and mind. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did, I hung on every word!
About Shyamasundar Das:
I was born in the body of Samuel Speerstra, in Salem, Oregon in May,1942. From early childhood I thrived on adventure and risk. After graduating from Reed College in 1965, I met Bhaktivedanta Swami in San Francisco in January 1967, and immediately became his disciple Shyamasundar Das. The Swami wed me to my girlfriend Melanie (Malati Devi Dasi) in a smoke-filled storefront in Haight-Ashbury we called the Radha-Krishna Temple.
In 1968, to please Swamiji, I traveled with five chosen devotees to London. There, we witnessed firsthand Krishna’s magic display; we befriended the Beatles and, courtesy of Apple Records, spread Hare Krishna Mantra around the world. In October 1970, the Swami took twenty of his Western disciples to India, and together-as Prabhupad and his Dancing White Elephants–we barnstormed the country. In June 1971, Prabhupad accepted me as his Personal Secretary. I was by Prabhupad’s side, day and night, in Europe, USA, Africa, Asia, Australia-even behind Brezhnev’s Iron Curtain. I never saw him sleep, I never saw him make an error of any kind. How did I get this lucky, to observe close-up the life of the Perfect Person? Srila Prabhupad, the Magic Man himself!
To buy the book click here or visit chasingrhinos.com
I’ve had a few yoga teachers on the podcast but there was something about this conversation with maha yogi Steve Ross that really sparked my contemplation and imagination like I hadn’t felt before. Sure Steve teaches “yoga” in the form of a pretty challenging asana class but he is really a portal into an entire world of knowledge, humor and very profound wisdom that come from his over 40 years of practice. We spent an hour talking about the differences between the western and eastern maps of consciousness, how to make sense of these confusing times, free will and the very essence of our place in the universe. Sounds pretty deep, right? It was. Steve is truly one of the great yogis practicing in the west today.
“Named “guru of LA by Vanity Fair, Steve Ross has practices and taught various styles of yoga and meditation for over thirty years. Host of the wildly popular yoga show on the Oxygen network, Inhale, Steve is also the author of the best selling book “Happy Yoga: 7 Reasons Why There’s Nothing to Worry About.”
His diverse and unique background as having been both a vedic monk and professional rock musician, brings an authenticity and fun filled atmosphere in his classes, meditations and workshops.
Most of those who have engaged in the psychedelic experience can attest to some sort of mystical experience taking place. Even with that happening it doesn’t always bring one close to religion. Why is that?
Walter Houston Clark has defined “religion” as an individual’s inner experience of a Beyond, especially as evidenced by active attempts to harmonize his or her life with that Beyond. The Johns Hopkins experiments suggest that a large fraction of mentally healthy people with spiritual interests can have a profound experience of a Beyond—a mystical-type experience—with the aid of several hours’ preparation and a supervised psilocybin session.
Furthermore, most of the study volunteers report that encounter as among the most spiritually significant of their lives and as bringing sustained benefits. How do we get from such experiences (however occasioned) to “religion” in Clark’s sense, and in the sense of a group pursuing spiritual ends? Perhaps that transition is, as Brother David Steindl-Rast claims, inevitable. The talk will address that process, and will argue that some social organizations have strong but unacknowledged religious aspects.
Robert Jesse is Convenor of the Council on Spiritual Practices (CSP; csp.org). CSP’s interest in non-ordinary states focuses on the betterment of well people, in contrast to the medical-model treatment of patients with psychiatric diagnoses. Through CSP, Bob was instrumental in forming the psilocybin research team at Johns Hopkins University, and he has co-authored three of its scientific papers. He also lead the writing of an amicus brief for the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the União do Vegetal’s use of a sacramental tea containing DMT, a controlled substance. A unanimous Court upheld the UDV’s right to its practice. Bob has long participated in the development of the Bay Area spiritual community that draws liberally from the non-creedal, non-hierarchical ways of the Quakers (the Religious Society of Friends). His formal training is in electrical engineering and computer science.
Please visit www.maps.org for more information
For info on the CSP please visit www.csp.org/about.html
Human sexuality and the extremely fascinating yet complex rabbit hole that encompasses is one of the most fascinating topics to explore. My good friend Zoë Kors and I spent an hour barely scratching the surface of our cultures relationship to sex, our hang ups, the politics around it and most specifically women’s issues and why they are so important. Zoë is an expert in helping women to get in touch with their core divinity that allows them to be the most potent manifestations of their incarnations. I really enjoyed this topic and wonder why I don’t talk about it more on IAH, so I’ll be sure to have Zoë back on. Enjoy.
Zoë Kors is committed to transforming the way we hold our sexuality—both individually and culturally—and to creating a compassionate, loving world through the cultivation of a sisterhood of wildly-expressed women.
Zoë is the former Senior Editor and Creative Director of LA Yoga Magazine and Origin Magazine. She is a frequent contributor to Elephant Journal, MindBodyGreen, and Aloha.com. Her article, “6 Ways to Have Radically Intimate Sex”, quickly went viral and is currently at nearly 2 million views with 20,000 Facebook shares.
She is a certified Co-Active Coach with the prestigious Coaches Training Institute in San Rafael, CA, and has a thriving private practice. Zoë’s work reflects her extensive study of Tantra, Zen Buddhism, meditation, yoga, breathwork, and other Eastern disciplines, which she blends with more process-oriented modalities of Western psychotherapy and Co-Active Coaching.
Many variables factor into the diseases that afflict our lives that go beyond the obvious medical symptoms. Complex unconscious psychological stresses underlie and contribute to all chronic medical conditions, from cancer and addiction to depression and multiple sclerosis.
Therapy that is assisted by psychedelics, in the right context and with the right support, can bring these dynamics to the surface and thus help a person liberate themselves from their influence.
Gabor Maté, MD is a Canadian physician, speaker, and the author of four bestselling books published in nearly 20 languages on five continents. His interests include the mind/body unity as manifested in health and illness, the effects of early childhood experiences in shaping brain and personality, the traumatic basis of addictions, and the attachment requirements for healthy child development. He has worked in family practice and palliative care, and for twelve years he worked in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, notorious as North America’s most concentrated area of drug use. He currently teaches and leads seminars internationally
Please visit drgabormate.com for more information
Live from the MIND/WAVE event in downtown Los Angeles comes this very special episode on the topic of “Spiritual Materialism.” Myself, Daniele Bolelli, Cory Allen and Michael Philip sat atop gloriously high pulpits adorned with emeralds and holy water to instruct all of you on the virtues of sacred practice! Really, we sat on wooden chairs talking about the pitfalls of spiritual materialism and how western influences can make for strange bedfellows with eastern modalities. The other guys on the stage are wonderfully sharp and thoughtful and are all great podcast hosts in and of their own right. I highly recommend you check them all out. Also, I hope we get a chance to do more of these live events that get all of us in the same room. We only started to scratch the surface.
I’m so thrilled, honored and humbled to announce that the MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) Podcast is now live. It’s been in the works for some time and took a little crafting to get it just right. Myself and the good people at MAPS are finally ready to release it to the world!
The intention of the podcast is to take the very rich and valuable MAPS audio archives and to curate them in a way that can target not only researchers but also the general public that is looking to learn more about the vast landscape of modern psychedelic research. Some episodes will feature some of the great talks by many of the great minds that have spoken at past Psychedelic Science conferences, breakout panels and keynote speeches while others will be original content that tap some of the great modern luminaries, scientists, journalists and even comedians.
My role, as the host, is to give each episode context and flavor stemming from my life long admiration and association for the community, the research and culture. Without getting into too much personal melo-drama (because the podcast is not about me) I do want to say that I am very humbled to be able to contribute to this community in any sort of official capacity. I spent many years keeping a distance because of the ever looming presence and brilliance of my dads work. Being too close to it simply felt too nerve racking and not authentic to my own path. Time does pass and it’s afforded me wisdom in the form of being granted confidence in my own voice and knowing exactly what I have to offer. With that, I am beyond excited to find a little niche that works for me.
Thank you to the MAPS family for including me in this adventure!
These two episodes are now available:
Episode 1 – James Fadiman, Scientific Problem Solving with Psychedelics
Episode 2 – Stephen Ross, MD – Psilocybin, Addiction and End of Life Anxiety
To listen and subscribe on iTunes please click here
To get more information on MAPS please visit their site at www.maps.org