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.
Number of Participants in ceremony: 11
Fairly basic (but nice and clean) - but we did choose the cheaper basic accommodation option!
Follow up integration