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.
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For info on the CSP please visit www.csp.org/about.html
Trevor stopped by the kitchen table for this truly inspiring episode of IAH. Trevor’s gift to the world is his song but what transpires through his music, being and soul is so much more. Like so many of the great artists who came before him, Trevor is thoughtful, smart, intuitive, aware and you get the feeling when talking to him that he’s seeing the world in the way that others are not. Our conversation ranged from his early days and upbringing, spirituality in life and music, why love really does heal all wounds and the quest to constantly explore and be a seeker. I’m somewhat of a late convert to Trevor’s music and am so grateful that I get to discover this well of brilliance at this point in life.
INTRO RANT – When did anti-intellcualism and the celebration of ignorance become the norm?
As an eleven year old, playing harmonica beside his father in South Carolina, music quickly became Trevor’s most intimate companion, guide and creative outlet. In his elementary years, he began to write his own songs and perform them locally. At sixteen he recorded his first record, and the following year he left South Carolina to study classical guitar at Idyllwild Arts Academy, an international boarding school east of Los Angeles. There, Trevor was introduced to yoga and certain spiritual practices found in India, which greatly influenced his music and his life journey. During his senior year, Trevor signed a record deal with Geffen Records and his career as a musician formally began.
Trevor quickly broke through the music scene, with such early accomplishments in his career as having a song recorded on the Shrek the Third soundtrack, as well as joining a series of sold-out tours with artists such as Steel Pulse, The Wailers, Jimmy Cliff, Matisyahu, Michael Franti, SOJA, Brett Dennen and Colbie Callait. Trevor’s quick rise on the scene, however, was ripe with challenges that conflicted with his spiritual life and devotional practice. In order to parallel his life’s path with the messages in his music, Trevor moved into a traditional Hindu ashram in Southern California in 2008. When not on tour, he lived as a monk and devoted his days to spiritual practice and service. His involvement with the temple affected his music and his music quickly became his practice.
Chris and Zach hang out in a very thought provoking, heart centered common ground that explored many topics. Chris shares his insights into modern spirituality, a little bit about his story, thoughts on his new book “Everything Mind” and an all around great insight into how to apply spirituality to ones life without dogma or labels.
Rants include: Not very much!! Just a thought on how and where the Trump phenomena all began!
Chris Grosso is a public speaker, writer, spiritual director of Tovio by Advocacy Unlimited, teacher with the Worldwide Insight Organization, and author of Indie Spiritualist: A No Bullshit Exploration of Spirituality (Beyond Words/Simon & Schuster) and Everything Mind: What I’ve Learned About Hard Knocks, Spiritual Awakening and the Mind-Blowing Truth of it All (Sounds True). He writes for ORIGIN Magazine, Huffington Post, and Mantra Yoga + Health Magazine, and has spoken and performed at Wanderlust Festival, Celebrate Your Life, Yoga Journal Conference, Sedona World Wisdom Days, Kripalu, and more.
Chris is passionate about his work with people who are in the process of healing or struggling with addictions of all kinds. He speaks and leads groups in detoxes, yoga studios, rehabs, youth centers, 12-step meetings, hospitals, conferences, and festivals worldwide. He is a member of the advisory board for Drugs over Dinnerand hosts The Indie Spiritualist Podcast on The Mindpod Network.