Psychedelics, when used the right way, are a great way to put some of life’s problems in the back banner, but what if you could combine them with meditation? Think about it. Shrooms improve your mental well-being, while meditation helps you relax and is known to improve your physical and emotional health. Combining the two creates a win-win situation. The only drawback is we don’t all have the skills, and possibly even time, to practice meditation. So how do we approach this activity?

Vishen Lakhiani, a personal growth expert, says the common mistake people make when meditating is they think it’s about consciously trying to empty their thoughts, which it isn’t. According to Vishen, mediation is about “engaging your mind and asking yourself a series of questions to get you to reflect on some things”.

He advocates a form of meditation known as mindfulness meditation where you’re fully focused on the present and you accept your thoughts and feelings without being judgmental.

The beauty about mindfulness meditation is you don’t need any props like candles and oils, or even any elaborate preparations to get into it. In fact, you can do it in a 15 minute meditation and mindfulness hack. Of course, this doesn’t mean that it’s the only way to meditate, but it certainly makes it easier if you’re a beginner in the practice.

Here are 7 tips for beginners in meditation that can improve your psychedelic experience:

 

Tip #1: Get comfortable

Find a comfortable and welcoming place to sit. Playing some background music can help create the right ambiance, though this isn’t a must.

 

Tip #2: Start with a smaller dosage

Cut down your dosage to less than what you’re used to. If you normally take 1 gram of magic mushrooms, make it half a gram during your first session. Up the dosage gradually as you continue to practice meditation. Alternatively you can first try meditating with a less potent substance like marijuana and see how that works out before doing it with psilocybin mushrooms.

 

Tip #3: Check on how you’re feeling physically and mentally

Do you feel tired, anxious or busy? Being fine with your feelings as you begin the meditation session is quite acceptable. The point of meditation is to be at peace with yourself and not being judgmental. This is what helps you to relax.

 

Tip #4: Control your breathing

Once you’ve settled in, turn your focus to your breath. Try and concentrate on the sensation of air moving in and out of your lungs. Practice counting your breaths. Count “one” as you take in your first breath, and “two” as you breathe out. Do this until you get to 10, then start all over again. Controlled breathing will help release your tension as well as any anxiety you may feel. If you find your mind wandering at any time during the session, go back to your breathing and focus on the present.

 

Tip #5: Think about love and compassion

Focus your mind on feelings of love and compassion towards yourself and the other people in your life.  Be grateful for your life and for the people in it. Take a moment to let these feelings engulf you.

 

Tip #6: Visualize happy memories

Think of past happy memories and more recent interactions with your friends and family. Think about how you want your life to unfold in the future.

 

Tip #7: When you’re done, remember to smile

After your meditation, smile and thank yourself for committing to do it. Be grateful for this amazing opportunity you’ve just had to get to know yourself better.

 

Foot note: What researchers say about shrooms and meditation

Researchers in the University of Zurich studied how combining meditation with psilocybin impacts the brain function and alters self-consciousness after the psychedelic experience. Using fMRI brain scans, as well as a survey on the changes participants underwent in terms of their mood, behavior and attitudes, the study came up with some interesting conclusions.

Apparently, those who meditated while on shrooms reported feeling less self-conscious and said they experienced more illusions and hallucinations than those who didn’t use magic mushrooms. Experienced meditators who took shrooms reported their social functioning had improved four months later.

 

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