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Kate Amy

Workshop One

Title: Psychedelics, Meditation, Self and Consciousness

Recently, the scientific study of meditation and psychedelic drugs has seen remarkable developments due to advanced neuroimaging methodologies, and also the renaissance of research into the use of psychedelicsubstance in the treatment of mental health conditions. Cognitive neuroscience has led to a cross-culturalclassification of standard meditation styles validated by functional and structural neuroanatomical data.

Meanwhile, psychedelic research has shed light on the neurophysiology of altered states of consciousnessinduced by classical psychedelics, such as psilocybin and LSD, whose effects are mainly mediated byagonism of serotonin receptors and also by functional capacity changes in areas of the brain activated andthe level of activity.

This presentation explores the possible bridges between these two domains of inquiry by drawing from theintriguing evidence of overlap between the phenomenology and neurophysiology of meditation practiceand psychedelic states. In particular, many contemplative traditions explicitly aim at dissolving the senseof self by eliciting altered states of consciousness through meditation, while classical psychedelics areknown to produce significant disruptions of self-consciousness, a phenomenon known as drug-inducedego dissolution.

Buddhism, in particular, draws attention to the Jhana states of absorption as a guide for these experiences. This presentation explores the Buddhist discourse on Jhana states as a map for the understanding of thelevels possible of both meditation experiences of self-dissolution and psychedelic induced ego deathexperiences. There will be opportunity for the discussion of the practical application of this knowledgeand awareness in personal journeying and in facilitating altered state integration therapy.

Workshop Two

Title: Embodied self-compassion seeding global compassion.

The biggest resistance for people in experiencing more love and compassion for themselves, others andthe world as a whole is usually unprocessed and uncomfortable feelings of shame and fear of rejection.What if I am too much? What if I am not good enough? To metabolise these emotions and experiencemore freedom and joy in life we need to practice getting in touch with what we are feeling moment-to-moment, from the neck down mainly! EMBODIED MINDFULNESS This way we can become aware ofthese feeling states, which are often tucked away in the shadows and also linked to bigger stories than us,involving not only our past, but our ancestry, our culture and our perceived purpose.

What holds us back can live in the SHADOWS and also the SHADE cast by our inherited DNA and thelegacy of forgotten trauma- think here back for 1000s of years of your forefathers and mothers. When weCONSCIOUSLY bath our emerging resistance to compassion and love in SELF-COMPASSION, theblocks dissolve and our access to the OCEAN of compassion and love that we are all AFLOAT in isrevealed.

This workshop is about increasing the biome of self-compassion inside each individual so that our globalbiome can be infused with compassion for all our relations.

Kate Amy
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