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.
Number of Participants in ceremony: 13
Follow up integration