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.
Number of Participants in ceremony: 13
Treasure Beach is a beautiful town with small, locally owned stores, restaurants and hotels.
Follow up integration