Hey. I attended a 7 day retreat at the centre in Treasure Beach on the south coast of Jamaica with twelve other participants. The amount of healing a saw happen and the way that we were all cared for and listened to exceeded my expectations. It was work but also filled with relaxation and a warm holiday vibe. The balance of care and being given space and time for yourself is perfect. i wold highly recommend visiting Mycomeditations if you are able. What a place and what a beautiful team. A positive, worthwhile and uplifting experience. Five Stars with mustard(yeah!)
After struggling through years of PTSD that have felt impossible to articulate, and 4 years on medications where the side effects were just as bad as the issues they were supposed to treat, I began searching for something beyond talk-therapy and pharmaceuticals to resolve my problems. I spent months reading about ways to try to understand mind-body connection that had landed me where I was: emotionally distraught, plagued by insomnia and experiencing neuropathic pain that worsened each time I was triggered by some event in my day to day life.
As I explored options beyond standard western medicine and delved into psychedelics, the benefits of which are being discovered again by the medical community, I found positive mentions of Mycomeditations in the news again and again. Reviews online bolstered my confidence that this was an option I wanted to explore. I listened to the Mycomedications podcasts and news articles that explored the efficacy of Psilocybin research: it resonated, and I was impressed that there was research to support what so many people were already talking about: the power of mushrooms. Many people facing the same challenges I had reported relief after tripping… plus a bundle of other benefits: a feeling of greater connectedness to others, a renewed sense of hope, an unforgettable experience…and even, I hoped: inspiration. As an artist, my day job (which is not artistic!) often trampled out my desire to be creative, and medications had done the rest of the work. I’d been desperate for the past 5 years to rekindle the intensity of artistic inspiration, intuition and empathy that has been such a huge part of my identity in the past.
From the first few conversations with Eric and his team I knew I had found something special: the judgement free conversations about my condition and goals quickly helped me understand I was being listened to by people who were ready to work with me. Before and during the retreat every time I shared anything about myself with the Mycomeditations team and fellow retreaters I was met with warmth, compassion and understanding and at times: challenged to dig into my emotional responses and really deal with their outcomes.
When it came to the group sessions after each trip, I struggled a bit as a shy person, but the reality of the group setting truly hit me towards the end of our time together: In the beautiful setting of Jamaica, with a group of all different ages, religions and backgrounds, I had met a collection of open and caring souls willing to explore and deal with our traumas together: this must be one of the most amazing group therapy experiences available today.
In general, the structure of our days during the retreat was ideal: I felt relaxed but engaged. The food was authentic and thoughtfully cooked by a staff that was sensitive to our dietary restrictions. Enough can’t be said also about the biodiversity and natural beauty that the setting of Jamaica brings. By day, our retreat space was filled with birds, flowering plants and fruit trees where we grabbed stray mangos. The gentle family who owned the land we were on made us feel welcomed, and we walked freely between our cains and the shorelines; swimming at random in the day and evening.
After Jamaica, I can’t imagine wanting to have a psychedelic experience like this in a closed room or near a city. One of my favorite nights after a trip ended with fellow retreaters and I in gazing dreamily at the Milky Way as shooting stars dripped by: something you can only do in a place like rural Jamaica where low-light pollution sets the galaxy ablaze!
A month after my retreat, I feel I have stepped into a phase of life where I am ready to be my authentic self: silly, funny, weird, laughing more easily and making more time to be with friends. Not only have I felt a huge relief from the neuropathic pain I was experiencing, but also lessened anxiety and insomnia brought on by PTSD. Lastly, as I had most desperately hoped, this experience has brought me a galaxy’s worth of starry ideas and inspiration— I have made art every day since my retreat.
Some people say that their retreats feel like years of therapy rolled into one week, but all the years of my own therapy don’t add up anywhere close to this outcome and it still feels like there’s more to come. For anyone who feels like the only solution is to increase the dosage on a medication that already doesn’t seem to work, for anyone who sits on a psychiatrist's couch and has the feeling that person only aims to quickly match you to a diagnosis and medication, for anyone who has ever been made to feel that they are worth less than that the moon and stars: I encourage you to try this option!
Let the mushrooms help you catch a glimpse of yourself in a frame of mind that is brutally honest, magical, frightful in its daring wonder: come experience something beautiful, and let it leave a mark on your heart.
-- Ally S., Artist, US
Life Changing experience that continues today.
I attended a 10-day retreat at Myco in 2018. At age 59, it was my first experience with Psychedelics. As a therapist working with trauma survivors, I had been reading the research on the efficacy of Psychedelics for PTSD and I wanted to see for myself. I felt safely held by the skilled and compassionate staff. I burned through a tremendous amount of grief and childhood trauma, reconnected with the Divine, and received clarity regarding the direction of my life, both personally and professionally. I can’t overemphasize the importance of doing this work in a group setting. Eric Osborne is a skilled healer and the facilitators were compassionate and understood how to work in the mushroom space. I made wonderful friends at the retreat and we continue as supports to one another. I am profoundly grateful I chose Mycomeditations as my first psychedelic experience!
My week-long MycoMeditations retreat was my first experience with psychedelics and I couldn't have asked for a more supportive environment or lovelier people and surroundings. I would absolutely (and, with luck, may!) do it again. But even if just once in a lifetime, it was unforgettable and has given me friendships I trust will last for a long time to come. Above all, the organizers' level of preparation and compassion helped me feel safe and cared for even as I dealt with strong emotions and physical sensations through the week. And Treasure Beach is a beautiful spot.
The daily integration sessions -- which, to be honest, I had dismissed in advance as a lot of "woo" -- ended up adding immensely to the "trip" experience. They drew our group of 13 people of all ages from all over the world into a mutually caring society of seekers; through these well moderated discussions we got to learn more about what we were experiencing and also got to know and care about one another's quests for greater happiness and self-awareness. And also have a lot of fun together. The group meals and outings enhanced the bonds, and the group is still in touch today.
The numerous helpful facilitators were extremely present -- physically and mentally -- and generous, friendly people. They either were already deeply knowledgeable about using mushrooms for healing or, in the case of trainees also joining us, were diligently learning.
Best week of my life. Can’t inagin a more supportive, safe, and spiritually healing environment for both the psychedelic novice and experienced user. Eric and his team of facilitators will tailor your experience to exceed your expectations.
I rebooked for the same week next year the day I left.
Check out Eric’s podcast: “The Psilocybin Chronicles” for interviews with participants.
Get over your fears and book a visit to Mycomeditations!!! It’s filling up quickly. I had my wife read Michael Pollans book and convinc d her to come with me. Best couples therapy ever!!!
I am a therapist, educator and long time psychonaut. I participated in a retreat with Myco with a group of colleagues and friends engaged in a subjective exploration of the psychedelic experience from the perspective of our group's shared theoretical framework of human change and transformation.
I greatly appreciate Eric and the team at Myco's ability to welcome our unique perspective and desires while also holding a strong container for our group, grounded in the strengths of what they do best - facilitate an open, inquisitive experience where each individual can maximize the value of their psychedelic journey.
The Myco team handled challenging logistics with aplomb and I felt well taken care of on all levels. Especially the team at Doranja House provided warmth and hospitality that connects deeply with the heart of this slice of Jamaocan heaven.
This retreat is everything a person could ask for. For the cost of a standard getaway retreat, I got an absolutely amazing experience. The location and local reputation of the retreat resulted in a warm welcome by the local culture, and a sense of safety. The staff were excellent. There wasn't any spiritual woo-woo, and there weren't any inexperienced "certified" trip siiters. This retreat is so extraordinary because it is run by extremely experienced mushroom experts/explorers. They were so genuine and passionate about each person's personal experience. I must mention the tremendous bonding with the other visitors, i made 14 bestfriends over the course of a week. Amazing
Unfortunately I attended a Myco retreat before they had any professional therapists on staff. The facilitators were all lovely, compassionate and caring people but there were no licensed therapists on staff and this was badly needed during one of our group sessions. Due to confidentiality no details will be revealed. Suffice it to say that while each group member navigated the situation in their own way, there was a clear need for a professional therapist experienced in working with psychedelics to heal emotional trauma. Without that, it is really just peer to peer. And that's okay, but it's not therapy which was the reason I went. In my case the experience resulted in a re-traumatization that I am still working through back at home. That said, I did receive some helpful insights and witnessed much healing among other members of the group.
I attended a 7 day retreat in December. I highly recommend this wellness retreat for everyone, however I want to specifically address my military brothers and sisters. We are not a trusting lot and more often than not, Vets only talk to Vets...it's just how it is.
I served honorably as Airborne Infantry with the 82nd Airborne Division, Ft. Bragg. I got out in 2003. I have suffered with major depression and PTSD for most of my life. I was at the end of my rope, the walls were coming in, I was gonna be "lights out" real soon. I had been doing the whole therapy thing with the VA and taking all my happy pills, nothing was working. On a whim, I decided to try out MycoMeditations...who am I kidding, I researched the HELL out of this operation! These people are legit, nuff said!
This is BIG medicine for anyone who suffers like we do. They treated me with dignity and respect the entire time. They respected my space and didn't try to push anything on me. I was exceptionally skeptical at first, but here is what sold me. 1. Eric's honesty and forthrightness. 2. Current research on mushrooms (psilocybins) and depression. 3. Mushrooms (psilocybins) are non-toxic, non-addictive, typically do not interact (contraindicate) with most drugs, you cannot overdose on mushrooms. 4. The love of everyone there. These are some of the things that sold me on this retreat. I can't O.D, it is non toxic and non addictive, worst case scenario is I have a great time in Jamaica and the shrooms don't work...however...
Best case scenario is that I am depression and PTSD free, don't have to take any mind numbing meds for the last 35 days (and counting), and I had a great time in Jamaica?...Really? is this even still a question? Get your passport, email Mycomeditations (Athena), and get your ass to Jamaica. I trust these people with my life, and that is not easy for a Vet...and now my life is completely different, for the better.
You can be as skeptical as you want to be, but in the end...if you are doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, and nothing is working. Give these people a chance. Give the process a chance. Be completely honest and vulnerable in group. Take that big, nasty ruck off your back that you've been carryin' around for far too long. It's tough for us to let our guard down, but it is totally worth it at this place. Give it a chance, you will be glad you did. Be well my brothers and sisters in arms, and welcome home...One love.
My retreat was for 7 days during July 2018. I stayed in the basic Non AC accommodations and it was great! I had a nice room and a nice fan to keep cool. The food was good and the people were great and it was just the environment I was looking for to try mushrooms for the first time. I am 51 years old and have been married for 30 years with 2 adult children just to give some background. On my last experience of the trip I wanted to do a large hero's dose and it was exactly what I was hoping for. It was challenging and incredible. They took good care of me before and after the experience. I am so glad and thankful that I had the foresight to seek out a place like Myco Meditations for my first experience and did not try to do this on my own. I would hate to think of how the last trip would have ended if I had not had them there to care for me. Could not recommend Myco Meditations enough.
I am a psychologist practicing in the US and traveled to Myco with a group of psychologists, therapists, and other professionals who are interested in using psychedelics in mainstream clinical practice. Overall, my experience was extremely positive.
First, Eric and his team do a spectacular job of orienting you to the experience (as much as that is possible) and creating a safe, encouraging space to be open and vulnerable. It was quite a luxury to not have to worry about anything- housing, food, transportation etc are all taken care of. During the sessions, this allowed me to fully let go to the experience. I completely trusted Eric's team- they have significant experience and are skilled at facilitating this process. Most of all, I appreciated Eric's attitude that he brought to the team- a great balance of confidence in the process of using mushrooms for healing and humility towards the mystery of this practice and of life in general. There is not a rigid structure or ritual or ceremony before or after each sessions which I liked. There are some basic guidelines, but it did not feel like Myco was imposing any principles or values on the group- rather, it was a more open, flexible, and humble approach, with great respect and deference given to the mushrooms and their potential for growth and healing.
Second, the focus on integration was extremely helpful. After each session, you listen to the experience of others and share your own. I actually found these sessions to be as helpful as the sessions! As someone with prior psychedelic experience, I know the importance of this part of the process and Myco does a great job at aiming to serve it.
Third, the overall environment is ideal. I stayed in "basic" housing which was fine. I actually preferred to stay at the place where sessions were held. There was no hot water, but for me that became part of the fun of living a more simple lifestyle while in Jamaica. Doreen prepared meals for us which was a special treat- she and her family (who live on the property) are so loving and great at caretaking. Doreen was approachable about any issues I brought to her (ex. requesting an extra fan). Food was amazing!
There were always sober sitters each session. I know that sitters taking mushrooms is controversial and I must admit I was initially a bit concerned about this. However, it became clear to me why this is actually helpful for sitters to be able to be attuned to the experience of the participants. All of the sitters were super experienced and you couldn't even tell who dosed and who didn't (those who did had very small doses). After the retreat, I actually now would prefer my sitters to be dosing along with me!
Each person in our group had a very different set of experiences with the mushrooms, but based on integration sessions and talking with individuals, it seemed everyone from our group found it to be beneficial. For me, it was extremely healing. Sessions helped bring up personal issues to work through and made it very clear the ways in which I limit myself in being the person I am. I also reconnected with a sense of spirituality or greater connection that I have experienced in psychedelic sessions many years ago. I also learned so much through the experience of others- testament to the power of group psychedelic sessions.
I would recommend Myco to anyone curious about psychedelic healing. There were really no significant negatives or complaints for me. I was anxious about the lack of access to food (based on recommendations to take snacks) though there are opportunities to visit the grocery store and local restaurants to explore for non-provided meals. Eric and his team are skilled, kind, caring, and passionate individuals doing something extraordinary. I feel extremely lucky to have been able to attend a Myco retreat and am committed to returning for future retreats!
I’m a clinical psychologist, yoga instructor, and (semi) retired chiropractor practicing in Portland OR, and have a well established serious meditation practice. In addition, I’m a long standing member of the clinical advisory board of a large, behavioral health managed care organization in the US, and have occasion in that role to weigh in on setting clinical care standards for depression, anxiety, substance abuse issues and end of life concerns nationally. During January 2019 I attended a MycoMeditations (MM) retreat in rural Jamaica as one of 13 participants (11 of us were psychotherapy professionals), and 5-6 supportive facilitators.
Overall I did benefit from the experience. The facilitators were generally supportive and caring. The setting was lovely. And the mother of one of the facilitators, Doreen, cooked some amazing food for us for our post tripping enjoyment. Our pre trip meetings were thorough, and our post trip debriefings usually helpful.
However, there were at least two significant down sides to the experience:
1- There were regular, repeated instances in which belligerent, and/or highly extroverted behaviors, both physical and verbal, significantly impinged on those of us who were having intensely introverted experiences. This felt both intrusive and threatening to me, and occurred on several occasions. To their credit, the facilitators attempted to contain these events, and to an extent succeeded, but the overarching rule of ‘trust the fungus’ seemed to fuel these occasions. While these intrusions were addressed in our debriefing sessions the next day, they then would occur again during the next lengthy trip experience, of which we had three during our 8 day stay.
2- Drug use. During our late evening, post trip meal sessions it was common place for members to be drinking beer and smoking dope. This is the opposite of the vibe and atmosphere, or context, in which I want to “hold” psychedelic experience, which for me is sacred and an occasion for ecstatic dancing as embodied movement.
When I brought up this issue, stating that I did not want to hang out in this atmosphere, the next day I was confronted and criticized as “judgmental”. Eric, the MM leader, made negative comments about my stated interests in holding psilocybin therapy sessions through my practice in Oregon, a state in which a group of us are in the process of attempting to legalize the use of psilocybin mushrooms for this express purpose.
Based upon these latter two issues I am unwilling to recommend MM for psychedelic experiences, at least at this time.
One of the best experiences of my life. The bonding of the group was total and quite frankly astonishing. Side adventures were awesome. The staff and location are simply amazing. If you’re thinking of going, go.
I had a lovely experience in a beautiful setting with caring staff surrounding us. I attended a retreat with other therapists who wanted to deepen their self knowledge. The lodging at Doranja House was rustic but beautiful and I took daily walks and swims in the ocean. Doreen and her family were warm and caring. The food was excellent! The mushroom experiences themselves gave me deeper personal insight. The integration sessions (which I thought beforehand— how will this be enhance the experience) were incredibly helpful. Eric has great insight and warmth. I loved this experience and hope to return!
It's hard to articulate how much I love this place, but I'll try. I'm a psychologist who has been interested in psilocybin-augmented therapy for a few years. In mid Jan., I and a group (11 therapists, 1 poet, 1 mathematician) went to Myco for a 1 week retreat. I am a 51 yr old women who has never done more than microdose. I was very nervous about tripping - I don't like substances that make me feel out of control. I chose Myco because I wanted a safe setting in which to try a clinical dose of mushrooms. I'm so glad I did.
It was magical - a profoundly important experience. I came away from the week more aware, grounded, honest, relaxed and comfortable in my own skin. I feel much more connected to others and better able to face challenges. To be clear, psilocybin is not a panacea, but it can be an important part of making the changes you need to in order to move towards what you care about in life. I believe everyone in our group had deeply meaningful experiences.
Eric and his team were amazing. They create a wonderful setting and they were all very skillful during dosing sessions and integration sessions. We had 2 licensed therapists and a nurse among our sitters. The team really shaped my experience - they exude love and are all quite remarkable in their clinical skills.
The comfort accommodations were lovely - staff went out of their way to make us comfortable and everyone was really friendly. My friends in basic accommodations where very happy too, so you kind of can't go wrong on this point.
After this experience, I am all the more convinced that psilocybin is not a "drug" per se but a medicine - one with huge benefit, minimal side effects and no real potential for abuse/addiction. I grew up being told (and believing) that psychedelics were dangerous, etc. so this shift is substantial for me.
I plan on going to Myco again in a year or so. Maybe every year from now on. I cannot recommend Myco highly enough!
I attended a Myco retreat last summer and can say it was one of the best experiences of my life. Knowing from experience the profound and long lasting self-wisdom psychedelics can provide, I was seeking a deeper dive in a controlled setting. I wasn't looking for a recreational experience nor was I looking to heal a deep trauma in a confined medical setting; Mycomeditations was the perfect choice for me. The group setting appealed to me as did, obviously, the locale. As a forty-seven year old wife and mother whose life was in flux, I was hoping to reconnect with my inner strength and wisdom which had gotten away from me over the last few years as I struggled with coming to terms with living with cancer. I did my research, read reviews and felt well-prepared for the experience. It did not disappoint.
Regarding the criticisms that have popped up, what Eric and Myco are doing is groundbreaking and new; it's understandable that there be complaints, concerns and stories of things going off course. I mean, you're tripping, there is no map. But I can assure you. as people raged, laughed, screamed or sought solitude in the group setting during a dose, the facilitators were there to manage the boundaries and were very energetically in tune to what was going on and when an intervention was needed they did it in a non-obtrusive, subtle manner so as not to disrupt or alarm the others. As far as I'm concerned, that level of intuition and understanding trumps a specific degree in terms of ability in facilitating a group dose. The discussions that took place next day were helpful in sharing our experiences but also in voicing concerns and perceived threats; we empowered each other to speak up and stand up and in the end, the experience brought us that much closer together in not only self-acceptance but acceptance for each other. Everyone worked on what they needed to work on even it was in the unexpected places or time between the doses. We were all on our own journey but we all supported each other as we worked through our shit. Just be honest about your issues going in and definitely tell the staff prior to attending if you've got some serious mental health issues and are on meds.
I left Treasure Beach with a sense of purpose and a calling to my higher self (and a cat). Since returning home, I've put multiple balls into motion that have set me not only on a road to healing but also on the path to be the healer I've always known myself to be. Mycomeditations helped me reconnect to my own lightness of being and inner strength. I fell in love with Treasure Beach (the people and the place) and made new friends I'll have in my life forever. Highly recommend!
Having tried over 12 anti-depressants and gone to as many therapists, from MDs, PhDs to MFTs, I decided to travel to Jamaica, one of the few places on Earth where psilocybin mushrooms are legal. There are few options for those of us with treatment-resistant depression, and psilocybin, while promising, is illegal in the USA and unavailable to most of us. I was really scared, first as a woman travelling alone to Jamaica and second, as a novice taking psychedelics for the first time with people I had never met before. It turns out my fears were unwarranted. I was welcomed and taken care of by kind, compassionate people. Eric, the founder of MycoMeditations created an atmosphere that was warm, inclusive and safe. Our group bonded, supported each other, and left as close friends.
Our safety was paramount throughout the stay: our physical safety as well as emotional safety. MM picked up us from the airport, organized and transported us throughout our stay, and drove us back to the airport at the end of the stay. The mushroom sessions were similarly well organized. We had 3 mushroom sessions over the course of 7 days. We met as a group daily, to prepare for the sessions and to integrate the experience afterwards. I was not looking forward to group sessions and thought they would be a necessary evil, but instead found them to be an integral part of the experience. Perhaps it was the particular group I was fortunate to be in-- every single participant was honest, open and incredibly supportive and respectful of everyone else. No one was trying to usurp the leaders or create dissension, and I think this promoted a warm, congenial atmosphere.
The psilocybin sessions were held outdoors under a beautiful, starry sky, with the ocean and a bonfire nearby. Participants can lie on a reclining chair or a yoga mat. Some people chose to go inward, wearing earbuds and eye masks, while others were more social. I found that the mushroom effect wore off rapidly for me, and I was glad to have others to talk to. The participants who chose to interact with others were shepherded to a second location near the beach, a 3 minute walk from the main area, in order to respect those who wanted quiet. The facilitators were all kind, experienced sitters, acutely attuned to whoever might need help. Eric and Benedicte, in particular, are both gifted healers; and I remembered the adage that therapists are born and not made. Having been to many therapists, I‘ve found over and over that the academic degree someone has is always secondary to the humanity someone has inside of them. I felt safe and taken care of during one psilocybin session when I re-experienced a traumatic event in my life.
Several reviewers have mentioned that a few facilitators dose with the participants. Most of the facilitators are sober, but a few feel better able to relate to the participants when in a similar state, although their dosages are much smaller than that of the participants. Surprisingly, this worked out well and one of my most transformative sessions was catalyzed by the support from a facilitator who was dosing.
Overall, I had an amazing experience—not just the mushroom sessions, but the group interactions, the excursions on our days off to waterfalls, snorkeling, massage therapy, and restaurants. I chose to stay in comfort accommodations which included a private, clean room with air-conditioning and a hot shower. Breakfast and dinner were prepared for us at the hotel and the food was delicious.
I am glad that I overcame my fears of traveling alone because once I landed in Jamaica, I was enfolded in the arms of a caring, supportive team. The mushrooms did help my depression, but after returning home, the effect faded and I realize I probably need repeated exposure, so I’m considering another trip to Jamaica with MM. Others in the group, however, had revelations that propelled them into incredible life changes. We all stay still stay in touch. I am really grateful to Eric for envisioning and creating MycoMeditations, and for caring so unfailingly for the safety and well-being of everyone in the group. He is the real deal—a person who genuinely cares about others.
I had an amazing experience at Myco and plan to return in future. The many positive reviews of Myco are spot on, and I echo their sentiments. Specifically:
• Accommodations: I stayed at Basic and loved it. Our hosts -- Doreen, Sidi, and Kanga -- were warm and welcoming and so much fun to spend time with. We dosed on their property in a lovely fenced yard surrounded by beautiful trees and centered on a huge firepit. Gorgeous sunsets too...
• Facilitators: Our facilitators were warm, attentive, and skilled; they took great care of us. (Three of the six facilitators were practicing psychotherapists, readily available throughout the retreat for private conversations, processing, etc.) On each of the nights we dosed, three or four of them dosed as well (low doses). Some in our group were in initially concerned about this, but in the end, we all agreed that this was one of the best parts of our experience. Our facilitators were able to share the "mushroom space" with us -- they "got" where we were coming from -- while still able to attend to our needs quickly and effectively. We agreed that we wouldn't have it any other way.
• Eric Osborne: Eric was an outstanding leader -- open, curious, flexible, engaging, and clearly devoted to the well-being of each of participant. We had a handful of unwelcome events during our retreat (e.g., rain soon after we'd dosed and set up our mats), but he and his team handled those situations with aplomb. From start to finish, I felt safe and attended to.
• Beer and marijuana: Most of the people in our group enjoyed a beer or two during our late-night, post-trip dinners. A handful of people shared a joint. Ordinarily, I would consider this unremarkable, but a member of our group demanded that we all refrain from alcohol and marijuana in observance of his spiritual practices, so I wanted to make a point of saying that Eric handled this member's concerns with respect and compassion, offering him an alternative space to spend his post-tripping time. Following this gentleman's second bout of incendiary remarks aimed at other participants, a good portion of the group was understandably fed up; Eric did a great job defusing the situation. In the end, I agree with this gentleman that if you are not comfortable being in the presence of beer -- if you want a perfectly quiet, sanitized experience -- Myco is probably not the right place for you.
• Other participants: This is a group setting, and the other people in your group will have an impact on you. During our 3 trips, some cried; some wailed; some groaned. Some laughed with joy; some wept with ecstasy. Some expressed themselves loudly and powerfully. We discussed this repeatedly as a group and most agreed that being privy to these deeply personal moments was a privilege for which we were grateful. Hearing the sounds of sorrow, grief, anger, and joy reminded us of our shared human experience and deepened our experiences. Did it distract us too? Sure it did! But I'd rather be surrounded and embraced (and distracted) by the amazing humans I tripped with than undisturbed and alone.
Myco offers exactly the atmosphere in which I want to hold psychedelic experience, which for me is sacred. I cannot recommend Myco highly enough.
I went to MycoMeditations interested in the possibilities of healing and a new perspective on my life. The experience far exceeded my expectations.
I stayed in Doranja house (basic), run by the inimitable Doreen – warm, funny, smart, kind — who fed us amazing meals, made sure we had what we needed, and charmed us with her wit and wisdom. It was comfortable and the food was great. Her daughter Sidi is equally wonderful — she helped me during one of the sessions with her calm demeanor, humor, and ability to understand whatever is happening on a deep level.
We were a group of 13, and Eric and his team took great care of us, handling logistics and unexpected needs with generosity and warmth.
Eric’s depth of experience with psilocybin is as useful/helpful as it is fascinating. He is also wise enough to say, when it is true, “I don’t know!” – a refreshing and rare humility. He watched over all 13 of us during the trips, making the rounds in his calm and comforting way, or participating in post-peak conversation with a terrific sense of humor, and his love and enthusiasm for life and the people in it. He dealt with some of the more intense trippers during our second session, and the other facilitators were there for the rest of us. I felt completely safe and cared for by all of them. They understand what you’re going through, and know just what to say and how to respond. Psilocybin can be a scary teacher at times, and I knew I was in good hands.
It has now been almost three weeks since my trip, and I just had my follow-up integration call with Eric. Like many others, I underestimated the importance of integration sessions, in Jamaica and then back home. It really helps to review how one’s life has been since- Eric remembered things I had said during integration sessions in Jamaica and asked about them. (I am impressed with Eric’s ability to remember what 13 people said at different times during a very intense week.) I’m still feeling the benefits of the sessions: more connection with others, more clarity, more peacefulness.
I highly recommend MycoMeditations to anyone who seeks freedom from the various ways we confine ourselves. Eric and his team are truly wonderful; I trust them completely. I hope to go back!
I came to Myco after 2 years of severe depression, PTSD, and trauma. I also was struggling with anxiety and panic attacks. Western medicine had made things much worse and it became apparent to me that they that were treating me had no education to actually understand mental illness as there is no understanding in the first place, there are simply methods that may or may not help symptoms to some degree. As a last resort and having read many articles about the efficacy of mushrooms this seemed like the best place to give this a try. Mushrooms saved my life, and they continue to save my life. The quality of being alive is almost at 100 percent now and I'm getting better everyday. It's apparent that increased neuro plasticity does take place, and this allows the mind to re expand beyond the trauma stepping out of the embedded neurologic freeze of looping thoughts, both conscious and unconscious that seemed for me to propagate this illness. Everything in my life has changed since my visit and I'm so deeply touched by the ability of this magical plant to heal others. I could relate to all of the staff, and the owners were folks that I had felt I'd known for years. The founder himself felt like a childhood friend, someone I had known my entire life, and I shared one of the most sacred and healing moments that I have ever had with him. The support he personally provided was filled with understanding and all of my needs were fully accommodated. The healing potential of this medicine actually dates back to before society became disconnected from it's spirituality and core of existence, back to indigenous tribes that provided similar support as myco does. I've seen 7 phychiatrists and 2 nuerologists and can honestly say they are too far behind the curve of life's great mystery to help heal folks like myself, and so when working with this sort of medicine it is simply outside of their wheelhouse despite their PH.D. which absolutely proves irrelavent in regards to the facilitation of this plant medicine. It is however in the wheelhouse of the Myco team because that is what they do, and the proof lies in my wellness, a wellness in which there was little to no hope that I would ever reach. I cannot stress enough the bond that I felt with the founder as well as the other owners. My relationships still continue with these folks and lives are being saved through the use of this medicine, mine certainly was. Lastly a great bond has been created between not only the staff and myself but our entire group that was visiting. I have stayed in touch with many attendees and we are now all supporting each other with love, understanding and have now formed a collective thanks to attending Mycomeditations. This was a 100 star experience for me and has again, both saved and changed my life.
I am a licensed professional counselor in private practice and experienced psychedelics user who recently attended a 7 day retreat with Mycomeditations in Treasure Beach. Our group was mostly composed of therapists, and we did quite a bit of background research on MM prior to committing to doing the retreat with them. We were aware that the concept of a psilocybin retreat center is relatively new and untested, so while we were suspected that the experience might be rough, there were definitely some issues that we were concerned about and planned to keep a sharp eye out for. Namely, safety and careful treatment of guests were top concerns.
It was good to see that there was a trained nurse on staff 100% of the time in which participants were using psilocybin. While psilocybin has an almost unbelievably good safety profile, if felt reassuring to see the presence of a health professional. Additionally, the setting was very, very good, enclosed but open and secure.
The professionalism of the staff was high. They were abundant with care and compassion, and it was clear that all attending staff held their roles with great reverence and care. One woman in particular reminded me of a great lake, calm and unperturbable. That was the general sense of the staff as a whole. We were warned that the use of other substances might be a problem, but did not turn out to be the case at all. No other drug was used during the sessions, save hand-rolled loose leaf tobacco, which was used medicinally as a way to help a psychonaut who might be struggling a bit- and this particular non-smoker will vouch for its effectiveness. After the trip ended, many participants and some facilitators enjoyed a beer or two and some marijuana. There was no intoxication or any untoward behavior that resulted from this very modest use. If you are uncomfortable with this, this might be important to keep in mind. Additionally, I found that the group experienced was definitely enhanced by about half of the facilitators on any given trip ingesting mushrooms themselves.
Finally, Eric was outstanding as lead facilitator and "master of ceremonies". I use this phrase tongue in cheek, as there was a very modest amount of ceremony at all. We all took our dose together in a circle- that was about the beginning and end of ceremony. Eric held the space with a wonderful and paradoxical mix of reverence for the mushroom experience and complete irreverence. It worked. As an experienced psychonaut and professional therapist, I was probably most watchful for the professionalism and conduct of Eric. In my opinion, there is no more important quality in someone taking responsibility for conducing these experiences than that of humility. Amazing and totally weird things are bound to happen during psychedelic experiencing, especially in a group. A good facilitator must establish a strong and safe container while simultaneously taking personal credit for none of the experiencing that unfolds within it. Eric was humble, willing to learn, clear about his own limitations, and appropriately vulnerable, while at the same time projecting confidence in the process. Additionally, the exquisite vulnerability of someone under the influence of psilocybin was always held with care and protected by Eric and his staff.
I learned a ton. As always, I learned from the experience itself, but I also learned lots about dosing (it really blew my mind to see how people responded to different- even radically different- doses). Additionally, the most powerful aspect of the experience was the group aspect, which is not what I expected. This is where Mycomeditations absolutely shines and provides an extraordinarily valuable service. In our world of disconnection and disillusionment, providing participants the space to have such an intense personal and interpersonal experience is vitally important and deeply healing. I recommend Mycomeditations for anyone interested in connecting deeply with other people and exploring the use of psychedelic mushrooms for personal development or healing, as long as they are comfortable being around others who will have their own likely very intense experiences.
I'm both curious and very skeptical. I work for a US medical school and I have never used psychedelics or participated in group therapy before. A knowledgable friend suggested that to experience, and potentially benefit from psilocybin, MycoMeditations would be a positive and safe first experience. She was right.
Given the importance of mindset to psilocybin's effects, I wanted to be relaxed, prepared, and in a trusting environment. Treasure Beach, Jamaica covered the *relaxed* part of that equation instantly. The blissfully slow pace of life is infectious. There isn't a ton of time between arrival and your first dose, but the team mails reams of information in advance and packs a lot of prep into the first 24 hours. And of course, given how far ahead you'll probably need to book, you'll have 3-6 months to read and prepare before you even get on the plane.
As for trust, that was earned slowly. Everyone starts with a low first dose and if you decide you aren't comfortable the first night and just want to watch that's fine too. If you're the kind of person who feels more comfortable with some form of western medicine around, there's an RN on site during doses. If you're someone who's most comfortable with a Myconaut who's been past the outer edge of the universe, conversed with aliens, lived a thousand lifetimes during a single trip, or watched 100s of people dose, there were some *very* experienced facilitators around who speak your language.
The team goes out of their way to manage group dynamics and make the experience flexible enough to work for everyone. That's no small task given that there were many people looking to heal deep, stubborn psychic wounds. If you want to be sociable during that process, you'll probably find someone else in the group who feels similarly. If you want to be alone, set yourself up on the edge of the circle, strap on your eyeshades, and travel solo.
Lastly, if you do visit, try to come without too many expectations. Some people seemed to change and heal in front of my eyes as oppressive mental health symptoms just melted away. A couple of people experienced very little at all. Some people didn't notice much on their first trip only to report major realizations later in the week. Try to stay open-minded. You don't have to do anything on this retreat, but it's pretty hard to avoid being amazed and having a great time.
Wow.- visited 8 months ago
I'm still processing my recent visit to MycoMeditations from last week. I don't feel up to narrating the experience in extreme detail right now - please see other reviews for some really detailed descriptions. For the moment, suffice to say that I went as a long-time recovering alcoholic with long-term depression which (fortunately) has responded well to treatment. I was, however, seeking a better solution to depression that did not involve the kind of loss of creativity that I experienced with Prozac. Of course I was also hoping I would have some sort of mystical union with the universal energy I had read about, but did my best to let go of any expectations. In a nutshell, I feel like - in my mind - I had signed up for a pleasant little stroll on the beach (my bad), and what I got was an intensely grueling and ultimately satisfying, life-changing marathon. If you are looking for something "fun" to do, my advice would be to take your money and head to Disneyland. If you are looking for some deep insights into your own nature and the nature of the universe, and you are willing to possibly come face to face with some of your biggest fears and anxieties while doing so, then book your stay with Myco; for me and at least a few others it was like therapy on steroids. It was also frequently "fun." Bear in mind that the experience is different for everyone. You may talk to "God," but you may have to go through the Devil to get there. In any case, I would not trade the experience for ANYTHING, difficult as it was for me at times. And If our group was any indication (11 people from around the world), this experience will bond you together like very few others. Staff was knowledgable, insightful, caring, reliable and vigilant. A few caveats: 1) Anti-depressants can interfere with your experience, so consider talking to your doctor about stopping your meds at least 6 weeks prior to your visit, and 2) if you have a history of substance abuse, bear in mind that being "under the influence" of psilocybin, or being around others who have dosed, may trigger some strong emotions. These, I believe, are "red herrings," but I would advise you not to book a retreat until you have discussed the idea with someone (e.g. a psychiatrist) knowledgable about BOTH psilocybin treatment in a therapeutic setting, and substance abuse recovery.
For about half my adult life I have struggled with alcohol addiction; the other half I have struggled with the born-again crypto-religious evangelism of the 12 Steps. I am 67 and have tried everything I or my counselors could suggest without achieving permanent or happy sobriety. Clearly, one week after attending a Mycomeditations retreat I can;t predict the long-term future, but I can say the experience has given me a new and more positive starting point. What I realized through the holistic interaction of the mushrooms, the great staff, my fellow attendees and the setting was that I am a person, like everyone, who has great power and beauty in me and that it can't be taken away -- so why do I give it away?? I came to see that I judge my life, not by direct contact with who I am, but by the way I see myself reflected back from other people and things in my environment - or worse, I tell myself distorted, negative stories about what I see reflected. This retreat helped me get directly in touch with myself and I learned that if I can stay in positive contact with myself, I want that feeling more than I want a drink. I drink when I come to feel worthless and useless and want to numb the negative feelings...I'm sure this sounds to any addict like what they've heard from recovery programs and counselors, and it is. The difference is that this experience caused me to FEEL my worth and that makes all the difference. It hasn;t been a magic bullet (there aren't any), but if I can make the insights of my retreat week an ongoing part of my life through a regular reflective and behavioral practice, I can stay in a mental and physical space that I want more than I want alcohol. I had read that psilocybin therapy has shown great promise in helping with addiction, but I really thought my expectations for the retreat were unrealistic. They were not only met; they were exceeded. I am grateful more than I can say to Eric, the staff and my fellow participants.
An amazing experience with much growth and realization that I have a lot more growth to experience.
My initial purpose for going to the Jamaica retreat was to experience spiritual awakening. Yet I came away with much more than I had ever imagined or could have hoped for. Below are a few of the things that allowed my journeys to be so life altering.
• The guided meditations before each of the sessions were surprisingly and incredibly effective in helping me navigate my journeys through a safe passage! In fact, I am rather ashamed to say that I had purposely been an uncooperative meditator with a wondering mind. Nevertheless, my journeys were still fully influenced by the pre-session guided meditations!
• Eric’s depth and wealth of knowledge of mushrooms and easy going demeanor was reassuring. It made me feel that I was in safe and capable hands.
• The facilitators’ knowledge, compassion, relaxed and calm presence made me feel in the moment and took away all my anxieties and trepidations. I felt very safe and cocooned.
• Through various activities, the facilitators encouraged group bonding at a deep level. The group experience was incredibly healing and rewarding.
I would highly recommend this retreat.
I attended a retreat with MycoMeds in April of 2019. The entire experience was new to me, and I can safely say that it exceeded my expectations in every aspect. I joined 13 others on a 7-day group journey. During this time I felt safe, cared for, and free to unpack years of personal issues. The supportive staff and retreat attendees combined with the beautiful setting in Jamaica created a space where true personal progress could easily be made. The years of experience that the Myco team draws from is clear to see in the details. It was a fantastic experience that I would highly recommend to those looking to heal!
Attended a 10 day retreat July 2018. I went into this wanting to get away for a little bit have a different experience, some beach and then go home. I never would have thought I would come away with a new family that I feel just as close to them as I do my own family. I have a new lease on life. I now focus on myself, love myself before anyone or anything else. I don't have enough words to describe the mushroom experience other than purely amazing. So instead of continuing to fight the waves of life, they taught me how to ride them. The people were great, the accommodations were great. And the food......SO GOOD..... Love Doreen!! Thank you Eric, Danlinois, Sidi, the other facilitator who's name I can't remember, Courtney, Doreen and the main man of the retreat Theo. This place will forever remain a home for me. And a trip that I'll be making at least once a year if not more.
Transformative experience, literally beyond words. Eric and his team of professionals provide a superb, safe environment in a wonderful location. My meditation practive has been forever transformed, I will be back
I am so thankful for my entire experience at MycoMediations. The facilitators were uncanny in their ability to sense when people needed help and, equally important, when they were content to be left alone with their experience.
The place is beautiful and a worthwhile vacation in its own right, but it was the preparations for and then the actual tripping itself that made this so profoundly eye-opening and joyous.
I want to go back.
Optimal, profound experience. The support prior, during, and after dosing was excellent, and the people you meet are just so lovely, and the conditions are setup well to have the group bond in a really nice way. The trips themselves were healing for me (PTSD / developmental trauma related), and so far upon my return have resulted in increased well being.
I attended a retreat last week and can say it was a great decision. In a safe, caring environment I confronted difficult issues and am better for it. Eric, Mike, Justin, their staff, and the other attendees were just wonderful. My heart is filled with gratitude. Much to build on, but the haze of depression has lifted. Heartily recommend.
I highly recommend MycoMeditations if you are looking to experiment with Psilocybin as part of your psychedelic journey.
I myself was skeptical about psychedelics but wanted to try Psilocybin after reading a recent book on the subject by a well-known author. My main goal was to grow spiritually and expand my consciousness beyond what I could in my day-to-day meditation practice. Though the end result wasn't exactly what I was expecting, the experience was no less intense, profound and revelatory.
Eric, Justin and Mike are thorough professionals in this field, and they know this stuff inside out. They and rest of the facilitators are always there to help us through the journey, and they provide valuable insights along the way. We'd do good to let go of our inhibitions, trust their instincts and let the mushrooms do the rest.
The group setting of the retreat allows you to meet people from varied backgrounds, share your deepest vulnerabilities and develop a special bond with everyone around. I met some amazing people with whom I developed a special bond that I hope will last a lifetime.
Facilitators: Before and after the trips, there were numerous people that I was able to turn to if I needed support. And I put them all through the test during that week. I can tell you that these are authentic, genuine people, that really, really want you to have the best experience possible. The mushrooms may also bestow super powers of intuition, and that is what they told me.
All of the ground rules are in place for your protection, so that you get the best experience. The facilitators have also very likely “been there“, and quite likely beyond, wherever it is that you trip to. Between them they have hundreds upon hundreds of combined trips, and have likely seen hundreds more. They’ve read esoteric texts and modern research on the subject. As such, it is unlikely that your case will be so unique that no one will be able to relate to you. Instead, expect much understanding and wise words.
Accommodations: if you’re picky, know thyself and book the comfort. If you don’t care all that much, then do basic. I did basic, and there was no air conditioner, and I had a roommate. Didn’t mind, enjoyed myself.
The mushroom: I like Paul Stamets idea of re-classifying psilocybin as a vitamin...a vitamin that was present in the human diet for millennia, and now is deficient. It is beyond question that for most people, this experience is a must-do. In light of having had the actual experience, challenges and all, the idea of avoiding it for any reason whatsoever, including moral or legal reasons, becomes utterly laughable. We made a rash decision based not on facts, but moral panic, to criminalize this most important medicine. Therefore the Mycomeditations team goes out of their way to avoid the exterior trappings that bogged down the progress of psilocybin so many decades ago (think hippie culture, et al.).
The participants: Lest you think that you will encounter a gang of weirdos, rest assured that most people that attend Mycomeditations retreats could easily be your next-door neighbor, and that they are seeking solace and therapy, having thoroughly done level-headed research. Of course this is a generalization and there is a spectrum, and I can only speak to the 12 participants that were with me at my particular retreat, all of whose company I enjoyed, without exclusion. This was facilitated by a willingness to be open and share the often bizarre underbelly of our psyches with one another.
On one hand there’s a spiritual aspect to it (despite one's inclinations), and it becomes obvious that all religions came from this (or DMT). On the practical side, the tangible mental/physical/emotional benefits are undeniable. I've become more at peace with myself, and as a result I'm able to connect with people in a genuine, non-fear-based way like never before. A very happy outcome.
I am a retired family physician that runs a free primary care mental health clinic. This doc knew that a lifetime of experiences had left scars and weights. On and off counseling for over 30 years and more recently years of an antidepressant was needed to make it through an incredibly stressful academic careers and the scars of an overly religious upbringing. I researched over 20 hallucinogen therapy centers after Poulan's book came out. I knew there was a lot of indescribably painful stuff stored up inside. I choose Mycomeditations as the best. I had NO IDEA! No idea about the wonderful quality of the organization/people and NO IDEA of the amount of pain I had to exorcise.
This was the most meaningful, painful, soul clearing experience I could have imagined.My trips were intensely therapeutic. My stated goal for the experience was a soul flush and reset. THAT was exceeded big time. I learned more valuable stuff about myself in one week than in over 30 years of on and off counseling and antidepressant treatment. I am still revealing in the understandings and changes in my core self. No more meds. No more depression. Living in the moment becomes so much easier. Awareness of negative thoughts/rumination immediately and easily block the thought/replacing it with a sense of peace. It is hard to describe the transformation for me personally or some of my friends in my group. This was an astounding experience. Life change on a core level. This is what I wish for every psychiatric patient I see - but it is illegal in my state. That is the real tragedy here. Psilocybin is the most amazing psychiatric tool I have ever studied - or experienced. Wow.
I attended the 22nd – 29th June 2019 Mycomeditations retreat in Treasure Beach, Jamaica with two good friends (we all came from the UK, where we live). I have a certain amount of experience with psychedelics, but my two friends had literally never taken any drugs other than alcohol in their lives.
I’d listened to Tim Ferriss interview Michael Pollan (who wrote “How to Change Your Mind: The New Science of Psychedelics”) and Stan Grof (pioneer of using psychedelics for psychotherapeutic purposes and inventor of Holotropic Breathwork) and was keen to try psilocybin therapeutically. However, I’d also realised the critical importance of set and setting and so was very keen to go to the best place I could find.
I looked at some places based in Amsterdam - psilocybin truffles are legal there and it is much closer to us. But from my reading and previous experience of ayahuasca and holotropic breathwork I was keen to go to a place with a minimum of two dosing sessions – and preferably three (so that the first one could be lower to judge potential difficult reactions). There is such variability in the psychedelics - even in the same person taking the exact same dose in the exact same setting - that I think the chance of not getting some sort of “breakthrough” is too high in single (or even two) dose retreats.
I also liked Mycomeditations’ no nonsense website and the background I read about the founder (Eric Osborne) in the Guardian newspaper in the UK. I told my friends (who largely went with my recommendation re: the place) that it seemed pretty close to the “ideal” design of retreat in terms of length, dosing, etc. I still think that after our retreat.
My friends, Sarah & Laura, were referring to our upcoming retreat as the “trip of a lifetime” – which left me a little worried their expectations were so high there was a real chance of disappointment. Fortunately I needn’t have worried. I would describe our actual experience (and we all felt the same) as either meeting – or even exceeding – even that high bar!
Shortly before we left for our retreat we came across Psychedelics Today’s withdrawal of support and endorsement for Mycomeditations (on the Psychedelics Today website). I contacted Mycomeds to ask about that and was immediately offered a pre-retreat call with Eric to go over any concerns. I don’t really know the real reasons why Psychedelics Today took this step, but I particularly wanted to mention it in my review, in case there is anyone reading this who is worried by that and may not go because of it.
Our experience was that the set up was excellent. All of the people we dealt with at Mycomeds were efficient, friendly and very caring. All the way from lovely Doreen (owner of the basic accommodations and cook), Athena, Courtney and the facilitators Matt, Dan, Rushien, Zoe and Nikisha (the resident nurse). And Eric, the founder and ringleader provided a sort of comforting (as he’s so clearly experienced), positive, non-comformist energy that just topped the whole thing off perfectly. But I can see that if you come from a more standard, “white coat”, conformist medical background it might make you uneasy. However, we all loved it and thought it was pretty much perfect!
There were eleven of us on the retreat and six facilitators / sitters for each dosing session (including Eric and Nikisha, the nurse). Each time some of the sitters also dosed (at lower amounts) except for Nikisha and and at least one facilitator. I think this might be another reason people / organisations like Psychedelics Today might feel uneasy (again, as it doesn’t “fit” with standard medical practice). But I’ve now been on three ayahuasca and this one psilocybin retreat - and at least some of the facilitators dosed along with the guests at each place. I am now literally 100% certain this is significantly beneficial. Things happen in these group psychedelic experiences that I don’t think our western model of the world can explain properly. There seem to be important interactions and support that occur that need the facilitators to be able to enter the psilocybin and (and ayahuasca) “space”.
All three of us had profound and healing experiences at some point during our week and we’d all like to return in the future. If you’re reading this review and considering going on a Mycomeditations retreat, I urge you to go!
If anyone would like to contact me I’d be very happy to discuss Mycomeditations with anyone thinking of going – and also provide proof of who I am, that I went when I said I did and that I paid full price for my trip and flew out from the UK in a group of three.
Please contact Mycomeditations and ask for Andrew B’s contact details from the 22nd – 29th June 2019 retreat. I will give them a copy of this review so they know they may get contacted and I’m happy for them to give out my details. I think Eric and Mycomeditations are doing very important work and I’ll take great pleasure in providing any support I can.
The minute I arrived at the Mycomeditations, I was immediately struck by the elegant beauty of the properties that are all part of the Mycomeditations retreat experience. Soon after arriving, I met several Jamaican Nationals and quickly felt a very strong connection to them and those connections became deeper as our week progressed. The buildings themselves were perfect Caribbean getaways, older homes but very comfortable and functional. Great open spaces in each of the homes that open to sweeping panoramas of the Caribbean!!!! .
I have had the opportunity to experience food from many different countries and at some of the world's finest restaurants. The fragrance of Jamaican cooking wafting through the area in late afternoon was beyond description and I can honestly say that Jamaican food is now among my favorite foods and it is possibly my very favorite food.
I honestly cannot convey how important my fellow retreat guests became to me as the week progressed. The education and professional backgrounds of my fellow attendees was astounding. The truth is, I felt many of them were truly brilliant people and far more importantly, they were and are good human beings. This, like many other experiences during our retreat was truly not anticipated but so appreciated.
Arriving at Mycomeditations was the result of many years of awareness and study regarding the potential benefits of certain types of psychedelic therapies for a variety of mental health maladies. Many of these maladies have profoundly impacted my profession so I have always looked for emerging therapies that might ameliorate the suffering of others. My experience during this retreat was personally transformative and transcendent and I will return I gained much insight and understanding concerning some of my struggles.
Saving probably the best for last!!! Eric Osborne and the team he has put together at Mycomeditations was one of the most impressive groups of people I have ever been associated with and over a 40 year career, I have been exposed to many "teams." These folks placed our safety and comfort as their #1 priorities during our stay. The insights, compassion and empathy displayed by these wonderful folks was something to behold.
Eric Osborne is the consummate professional with a very deep understanding of the utility of this form of therapy and I could not imagine a better guide and teacher. He and his lovely wife Courtney have truly created a magical place where miracles do happen. If my children did their own research and decided on their own that they wanted to participate in this therapy, I would trust Eric and his team with the health, safety and welfare!!!! I guess that says it all!!!!
Weeklong mushroom 🍄 retreat in Treasure Beach, Jamaica (three dosing sessions)
I recently attended an MM retreat, and it is with a profound sense of disappointment that I say that the experience was largely negative for me. That being said, I did certainly observe a number of my fellow participants having strong experiences with the mushrooms. I, however, was not one of them. Statistically speaking, I fully recognize that not everyone will respond to the mushrooms in the same manner, and this is fine. It was actually the response I received for not having a great experience that not only made my retreat disappointing, but, on a more serious level, emotionally unsafe. The MM retreat format is solely organized around the assumption that everyone who attends will have a powerful experience. However, if one falls out of these categories and really has little to no response to the mushrooms, Eric, the owner and primary facilitator of MM, feels threatened and goes on the defensive. His response was to blame the client and insist that it was “my fault” that the mushrooms were having little effect. The dosing of the capsules is arbitrarily done with Eric pulling from a giant bag of capsules, and, after ingesting them, clients have anywhere from 4-6 hours to experience the effects. There is also a lot of time devoted to hours long group discussions of said experiences. Other than this, the retreat offers little else. Anyone who does not have much of a response gets little benefit from the way the days are formatted. In addition, the retreat offers nothing in terms of therapeutic monitoring from a licensed professional, i.e. psychologist, counselor, or physician, so clients do not have an outlet to effectively and properly process their psychedelic experience. Despite this, the owner in particular freely and dangerously engages in armchair psychology and assessing/diagnosing/labeling clients without any proper training, knowledge, or authorization.
Highly questionable/dangerous practice also comes into play with dosing. On my first dose, I was given 4 g of mushrooms. While I was very relaxed, I experienced no bodily/cognitive response. Two days later I was given 9g worth of capsules. Not much happened. What did happen was that Eric came up to me during this time when he was well under the influence of mushrooms and, most likely, cannabis (some of the facilitators dose along with clients). Then, while I was waiting for the psilocybins to take effect, Eric shared that he did not know what to do with me in terms of dosing, and then minutes later proceeded to make a lot of culturally/racially based assumptions and comments about me that culminated in him crying and laughing and telling me that he feels I was not allowing the mushrooms to work because of my race and gender. My sense of relaxation instantaneously dissolved and was replaced with a deep sense of being judged and mislabeled. At that point I knew that continuing to stay at the retreat would be detrimental to my own well-being. Eric went on in this diagnostic vein for sometime---all the while under the influence---and then did his best to avoid me in the hours after he made the comments. Then, in an effort to preserve his ego, he fixated on the “it’s your fault” mindset for the rest of the time that I was at the retreat. He then proposed giving me 20g worth of capsules to see if that would work, but it was all very much guess work. Moreover, 20g sounds like a dangerously high amount of mushrooms to give someone who is new to psychedelics. It also sounds unsafe. Eric continued to engage in pop psychology and make therapeutic pronouncements about me despite having no psychological training whatsoever. His judgmental nature really only reveals itself when things are not happening as he wants them to. He is very upbeat and personable when things go according to plan, but the darker, more petulant side of his personality comes out in instances when he encounters an outlier. There is no plan in place for when this happens. There is also nothing in place for people who have devastating or difficult trip experiences. Ultimately, I did decide to leave the retreat early, knowing that it was the best choice for my own safety and emotional well-being. On the morning of my departure, I had wanted to Eric to say thank you and say goodbye, but he avoided me. Then, minutes after I left the property, I received incendiary texts repeating that it was my fault the mushrooms didn’t work and that I was choosing to “run away.” Biggest factors for anyone considering MM: The retreat has very little structure aside from dosing and talking about the experience, there are no trained therapists on hand, the owner freely makes uninformed psychological assessments about clients, and, aside from blaming the client, the format is such that there is no plan for people who have limited to no response to the mushrooms.
My wife and I attended the 2019 August 10 - 17 retreat.
As someone who has had decades of some relief from clinical depression and PTSD via fluoxetine (Prozac), I stay current in mental health research as best I can. Having seen the recent resurgence in psychedelics for the treatment of these disorders, I looked into participating in such a study. The age limit for participants is 65. I am 66.
Fortunately, I also discovered this retreat. I researched Eric’s (the founder of MM) history and read several reviews from those who went before. The few negative reviews I found were from people who wanted to run the retreat their way (exotic dancing, “certified” clinicians, blah blah blah).
Well, this retreat is run in a caring, safe environment by people experienced with the use of psychedelics and in facilitating the psychedelic experiences of others. A nurse is also present at each psychedelic event.
Each of my three ‘trips’ were on my terms. For one, I mimicked the John Hopkins study by using a blindfold and the music playlist they used. Another was sans music while walking around the grounds. Finally, one was without blindfold and my own playlist of music I love.
Perhaps my most significant trip was the (lowest dose) walking around trip. The point is that I was free to explore the best ways to make beneficial use of my experiences. An experience that I believe should be available to anyone in a free country.
I am again taking fluoxetine. My experiences did not ‘fix’ me. Eric told me (and everyone else) ahead of time that shrooms are not a magic bullet. While I had hope, I had no expectations from my experiences.
My journey continues. I have new friends to whom I can reach out. I am very happy that I found and experienced MM. Best to you and your journey. Oh, and it’s hot in Jamaica. I found short sleeved button down shirts to be more comfortable than tee shirts.
Because of length limitations, I reduced my review. I posted a more verbose version at: https://retreat.guru/centers/6666/myco-meditations?utm_source=Unknown+List&utm_campaign=1309f6e2c0-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_03_19_02_28&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_-1309f6e2c0-&utm_source=Aug+24-31%2F19+Guests&utm_campaign=d20c8fde64-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_09_01_05_08&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_18aaab0846-d20c8fde64-86087379
One of the biggest takeaways that I got from this experience was a sense that I cocreated a mental model within the trip space that was applicable to me outside of the trip space in my everyday life. While this mental model may be abstract if I tried to describe it to others, it makes perfect sense to me through all of the semantic hooks that I was able to generate during the trip. I cocreated these hooks and the mental model by querying the abstractions in my minds eye with the problems and the constraints that I felt in the real world. This process enabled me to generate a construct that stitched together all three trips into a single cohesive experience that provided me with a sense of wisdom. The sense of meaninglessness and injustice of the world now seems a naïve way of interpreting my experience. Instead, I realize the ebb and flow of the universe in a way that makes sense to me. And, I feel more capable of grappling with reality in a way that makes me feel light and fluid. This is a true blessing and one that I was not able to anticipate prior to the experience.
I came away with a strong sense that mushrooms are misunderstood and as what usually takes place in history is that what is misunderstood is prohibited and taboo. This is unfortunate. I didn’t just see healing in myself. Those who had the same ceremony experience with me had healing and revelations as well. I watched those that struggled with sexual identity, fibromyalgia, trauma from sexual assault, depression, and a feeling like they didn’t belong in the world. After each trip, each one seemed more alive and congruent with themselves. From my experience, I finally felt comfortable in my own skin. I owe mushrooms, the facilitators and all of the supportive people in Jamaica a deep debt of gratitude. The world looks so much different now.
I sought this experience out in the hopes of healing my heart, mind and soul and walked away with that and so much more. I am forever grateful to the Mycomeditations staff, facilitators and to the wonderful friends I met while on retreat at Doranja House on Treasure Beach. I’d like to take use this opportunity to give a special thanks to Ms. Doreen and her family for opening up their piece of heaven on Earth to us. I’d also to like to thank Ben, Justin, Danny, Ruschiene and Matt for being amazing facilitators and for providing a safe and comfortable space for our group to heal and learn more about ourselves and each other.
I went to this retreat alone and always felt protected and safe. For anyone, looking to reconnect with themselves and others, to gain a greater appreciation of nature and of life as a whole, this retreat is highly recommended. Bring insect repellent and anti-itch medicine if you are allergic like I am.
I look forward to my next visit to the Doranja House on Treasure Beach, Jamaica. Love you and miss you Lolo!!
My trip to Jamaica for one of the Mycomeditations retreats was a great experience for me. Unfortunately, I was one of the rare ones that didn't have any mystical or spiritual experiences or profound insights. I am confident though that the psilocybin was and still is changing the neural pathways by re-wiring some of the connections between different parts of my brain. The people that run Mycomeditation retreats were very professional and very knowledgeable. There were 10 of us "guests" and 6 staff members during the sessions. A couple of the staff members were licensed counselors, 1 was a nurse and all seemed very knowledgeable in the way psilocybin effects the body and brain. During our dosing sessions (there were 3) all 6 staff were very alert to what was going on in the group (we all dosed at the same time and in the same outdoor area under shaded porches or pavilions). Each session was 5-6 hours and the staff never appeared bored or seemed to just be babysitting us. There was someone always available to sit and talk or just be with you if you felt like you needed it. I felt very safe and watched over, I knew they wouldn't let me do anything that might cause harm to myself. They were all very sensitive to what each of us were dealing with and were there to help us in anyway we needed. I felt they were all very present with us and focused on us the entire 5-6 hours. That really impressed me because I hadn't expected that level of care from the staff. I'm really glad I went. The other participants were a great group of people, all of them were there for mental or physical healing. Some had been through pretty traumatic events in their past that they were dealing with. Several had drinking or drug problems. We had group counseling sessions everyday and developed a very close bond, I consider everyone of them a friend. We have our own group on WhatsApp and so everyone is still connecting through it. I highly recommend MycoMeditations and hope to return at least once a year.
For me, MycoMeditations created a safe, supportive, beautiful place where I could look at past, current and future possibilities. With compassion, experience and great food, the organization strived to nurture me, as I looked inward and healed. I feel very fortunate to have found them and the time I spent there. The experience was invaluable to me and I'll continue to build on what I did there.
For those wondering about choosing between comfort and basic, I can tell you I stayed in basic, due to the fact that was all that was available at the time (they book out months in advance it appears). Thankfully, AC had recently been installed in many rooms and I was fortunate to have one of these :) It was mid September and the sun strong. Beyond that there was little that was "basic". Traditional delicious food was prepared with various needs respected (vegetarian, gluten free, etc). I was even able to order an organic smoothie from close by farm/restaurant. We went out as a group to some great restaurants, as well. Whether comfort or basic, you will be well cared for.
I've struggled with treatment-resistant depression and anxiety my entire adult life. After a workplace trauma 2 years ago that resulted in a PTSD diagnosis, this spiraled into clinical depression so debilitating that I stopped showing up to work and subsequently lost my job.
I tried several antidepressants and half a dozen therapists, all of which provided little to no relief. 6 months ago I found a top-notch therapist who employed a combination of EMDR and CBT that finally helped some, but progress was slow. After reading some promising, albeit preliminary, research about the potential of psilocybin to treat PTSD, depression and anxiety, and after researching the risks (come to find out mushrooms are safer than many legal substances including alcohol, SSRIs, etc.), I looked into options to try this.
I signed up for MycoMeditations merely hoping it would create some neuroplasticity and catalyze the work I was doing in therapy. In the end this turned out to be the single most effective thing I've done for my mental health. I would describe it as 2-3 years of therapy bundled into a single week.
They base their approach on the latest findings in neuroscience and psychology research, as well as their experience guiding hundreds of guests through their psilocybin journeys. Nothing shamanic or airy-fairy, no "ceremonies". They did employ meditation, visualization and relaxation techniques, which helped set the tone for all 3 psilocybin sessions.
As someone with a lot of social anxiety, I was initially dreading the group work. But it turned out to be key to the experience. Justin is the perfect retreat leader and fostered an open, authentic and supportive environment where all group members were rooting for everyone else. Exchanging experiences with others throughout the week helped me integrate my psilocybin trips and gain additional insights. And post-retreat the group served as a key support system while I integrated back into "real life" and got back into full swing with a new job.
Justin was very thorough asking about my history, medications, personality type, experience with psychedelics and goals for the retreat. This helped participants get the appropriate dose, which varies considerably from individual to individual, and it helped everyone get the individual support they needed throughout the week. If I had decided to go it on my own, which was an option I was also looking into, I would have gotten the dose completely wrong and gained little benefit. This support has continued after the retreat, as they've remained available for an integration call, questions, advice, etc.
Facilitators are very attentive and experienced. Justin and Ben have especially amazing skill and intuition, and knew exactly what I needed, often before I even knew. They appeared by my side at the perfect time to support me through difficult phases of the trip, or to talk/process what I had just experienced. My 3rd experience was what some would call a "bad trip" (others say challenging and I agree) related to my past trauma. Due to the excellent support and guidance I received during that experience, I was able to reframe the trauma in a way that it didn't disturb me as much anymore and I was gradually able to feel strong, absolved of guilt, and loved/accepted by those around me. This has greatly reduced my PTSD symptoms (fewer and less intense flashbacks, improved sleep).
I felt like an entirely new person when I returned from the retreat. More energy, better sleep (I've had terrible insomnia the last 2 years), productive (able to make plans and execute on them, which was a struggled before), reduced social anxiety, improved meditation, etc. It also seemed to spark newfound creativity... a few days after returning home, I bought a new wardrobe and decorated my home with art and house plants (much to the surprise of my husband!) because my surroundings felt so dull and I felt compelled to liven things up.
6 weeks after returning home, I'd say ~60% of the effects still remain. The effects do wane with time, but it's still stronger and longer lasting than anything else I've tried (and I feel like I've tried everything!). After 2 visits with my therapist, we decided I was ready to reduce sessions from weekly to biweekly and we recently reduced it to monthly check-ins.
I would encourage anyone struggling with depression, anxiety or PTSD to give this retreat a try, especially if therapy and/or medication just isn't cutting it. It's certainly not a panacea, but it markedly improved my mental health when nothing else helped.
Our Psychedelic mentors talk about the importance of set and setting. Setting first. Our seven day retreat was housed in three lovely villas right on the beach. The food was superb, the staff vey friendly, and Eric and Courtney have assembled a terrific crew including two therapists and a numner of local woman who are very attentive and all created a very safe environment. The set part refers to mindset. before and during the retreat, all 13 participants were encourage to deeply examine their motives for coming and their hopes for the experience. Of the 13 participants, at least 10, including me had experiences of profound and transformative insight. How to change your mind indeed!