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The quiet room is something I picked up from friend and New Moon colleague Tuk a few years ago and is something I always try to arrange for group sessions whether it’s in a house or an apartment.

The Quiet Room

The quiet room is basically a designated room in which there is no talking and no music playing. It functions as a place anyone can go to for some quiet or solo time and is normally used as a secondary room to the main room where people will be together.

Quiet space is very useful when:

  • Being in a group or in a sociable setting is too much or becomes uncomfortable
  • If someone doesn’t want to or is finding it very difficult to talk
  • Anyone wants some time to themselves
  • Just want some peace

What I love about the quiet room is that you can still have a recreational style trip with friends and still have an opportunity to get introspective. At any time you can head to the quiet space and find some time in the session to do that.

For example, if you are taking truffles with friends then you could at some point head to the quiet room to spend half an hour journaling answers to some questions you have prepared for yourself. In this way you can still get some good introspective and reflective work done without having to devote a whole session to it and without having to choose between either a solo inner work style journey or a recreational style journey with friends.

Setting Up & Guidelines for a Quiet Room

To set up a quiet room all you need to do is suggest the idea to your friends and make sure everyone agrees on it beforehand. I would say its a good idea to agree that there is no talking in the quiet room and have this clear from the outset. This helps to prevent someone coming in and disturbing another while they are wanting some peace and quiet. This type of innocent mistake can happen for different reasons whilst tripping; it could be that someone is extremely excited and wants to share that with everyone, or that someone is worrying about another person who has been quiet for a while. Both scenarios can lead to someone unintentionally bothering another who is fine but just wants to be on their own for a while.

Having the quiet room clearly defined makes it clear that anyone who is in there will not be spoken to and it is fine for two or three people to be in there at the same time, each minding their own business and doing their own thing. It’s useful to remember to keep the door closed to stop noise from spilling in.

Creating Setting

Once you’ve decided which room you will use then the first thing you need is some comfortable places for people to lie down. Mattresses on the floor work perfectly, but otherwise any mats or even floor space for people to lie down and get comfortable. Cozify with blankets and pillows. Creating a cozy space with your fellow journeyers can be a fun activity in itself and building the set together is a great way to begin connecting before journey.

It’s also nice to leave a couple of music players and pairs of headphones in there. Load the music players up with a nice selection of music beforehand and if they are phones, make sure they are on airplane mode or even better, with SIM removed. It can also be nice to leave some pens, papers and art supplies in there for people to use for journaling or getting creative. Finally, equip with some basic supplies like water and snacks.

As with general setting space I would recommend a low lighting and cozy ambience. I would not recommend any open flames such as candles, but rather some nice lamps. With lamps, be careful not to use ones that heat up if they are left on a long time as these can also start flames if certain materials are left on them.

Allowing Space to Check in

The quiet room acts as a kind of designated safe space for group sessions. It can promote feelings of safety and relaxation for everyone involved, knowing that they can retreat if at any time they feel anxiety, social or otherwise. It can give you a chance to step out from the group dynamic, a chance to check in with yourself and really take a look at and see how you’re feeling. It can also be used to step out and actively investigate some things going on in your life that you don’t want to share with the group but would like some time to think about and reflect on. It can also be useful to maybe do some problem-solving by yourself.

A quiet room is definitely a key aspect to creating the setting and I would say it’s useful even if the group session is not a recreational or sociable one. For example, even if the main room is used as a formal ceremony room where journeyers are not speaking to each other, the quiet room can still be very useful because the energy of a group ceremony can be quite intense. Although a being in a group ceremony can be enlightening and a great way to learn about how we relate to others and our own social insecurities, it can still be quite a lot to take in and it can be nice to have the option of stepping away from that. It is something we arrange for retreats with New Moon and it was also nice to see a quiet room put in place when I worked on retreat with Truffles Therapy.

If you are unsure of whether you would like to do a group trip with friends I encourage you to suggest having a quiet room and ask them what they think about that.

Viel Glück!

trip home session checklist

The headphones/eye-mask direct-your-attention–inwards whilst–listening–to–a–playlist–of–music method for psilocybin sessions is the standard in psychedelic research but becoming increasingly popular outside of clinical studies too.

Looking for music for your next experience? See my post: 6 Music Playlists For Psilocybin Journeys
headphones eye mask psychedelic therapy equipment

Two key pieces of equipment for a standard therapeutic journey

Whilst this is certainly not the only way of having a fruitful psychedelic session, it is an excellent one and one that I myself use regularly. It is also the basis for how we conduct our psilocybin truffle ceremonies with New Moon Psychedelic Retreats in the Netherlands.

However, with COVID-19 bringing our retreats to a screeching halt, I’ve realised that if I’m to continue my mission of increasing access to psychedelic experiences, I need to get back to handing over the tools and techniques needed for them out to the world through that incredible medium whose potentialities and capabilities are now being rediscovered and ever expanded; the internet. So, expect a rekindling of this site and a growing database of resources coming your way whilst retreat work takes a back seat.

trip home session checklist

Today, I’ll share a simple checklist for things you’ll need to have ready for a psychedelic therapy session at home. I use this list myself every time I do a session, so you know it’s good to go 😉

If you’re new to psychedelics, Tripsafe’s How To Take Shrooms is worth your attention.

Use wisely, be safe, don’t break the law, and all the other usual disclaimers and warnings.

I wish you the best on your journey.

Simple Home Session Checklist

The material

Water (2x bottles)

Snacks (Fruits, nuts, chocolate)

Notepad & pen

Tissues / handkerchief

Headphones (charged if wireless and/or noise cancelling)

Charged music player with music/playlists downloaded offline and ready

Eye mask

Extra blankets/sleeping bag ready

☐ Vomit bucket

Food/meal for afterwards

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Printable PDF version available for download here (Follow link then click download button towards the top right)

psilocybin magic truffles microdose

Interested in microdosing with psilocybin truffles? Want to know more about it? This is a guide covering all the basics you need to begin your exploration.

Contents
What Is A Microdose? | Benefits | Negative Effects | Short Term vs. Long Term | Psilocybin vs. LSD | Microdosing Psilocybin | How Much Is A Microdose? | Finding Your Sweet Spot | Microdose schedule | Tolerance Buildup | When & How | Drying & Storing Truffles | Self Blinding Study

What is A Microdose?

psilocybin magic truffles microdose

A microdose is a sub perceptual amount of a psychedelic substance. This means that the effects are very subtle and are barely noticeable, if at all. Generally a microdose is approximately 1/10 – 1/20th of a medium dose, so you won’t see any walls melting.

Benefits Of Microdosing

As well as a generally improved sense of wellbeing, there are many reasons why people are microdosing psychedelics and, despite my concerns on the trend, the list of benefits people are reporting is impressive and includes:

Improved mood, alleviation of anxiety and depression, enhanced creativity, productivity, problem solving, improved energy levels, quitting nicotine and other addictions.

Interested in experiencing psilocybin in a legal and private setting? Contact me to find out more and set up a discovery call.

Negative Effects

There is the other side of the coin too, and negative effects reported include: increased anxiety, impaired focus, and cognitive interference.

Below is an image from a survey study by The Conversation which asked microdosers about their main benefits and challenges that gives a good general overview at a glance. Visit their summary article on the study here.
microdosing benefits challenges

Note: If you drink coffee and experience anxiety, try stopping or at least reducing your coffee intake. Something about coffee combined with microdosing seems to increase the chances of anxiety.

Short & Long Term Effects

The benefits of microdosing are reported over two time spans: short and long term. Short term is seeing an improvement or benefit directly and immediately; on the days one microdoses and maybe a residual effect on the day after. Long term is seeing a general improvement over time, a cumulative effect after weeks and months of regular dosing.

Psilocybin vs. LSD

psilocybin shrooms lsd

A survey study found that people microdosing psilocybin (magic mushrooms or truffles) were less likely to report anxiety and other unwanted side effects than those on LSD. The same study found that those who microdosed LSD were much more likely to report cognitive enhancement and effects such as focus and creativity.

You can see a presentation of the study on youtube here.

Microdosing Psilocybin

Psilocybin truffles, AKA magic truffles, are legal in the Netherlands and you can walk into a store and buy a pack or order them online. There are now even special packs with pre-measured microdoses. 

psychedelic microdosing pack psilocybin magic truffles

Smartshop Zamnesia sell a ‘psychedelic microdosing pack’ with pre-measured doses. Click on picture to visit their site.

For more info on psilocybin truffles:
Explorers Guide: Taking Magic Truffles in Amsterdam

How Much Is A Microdose?

Generally, a microdose of magic truffles will be:
0.5 -1.5 gram fresh truffles
0.3 – 1 gram dried

psilocybin magic truffles microdose scales

Finding Your Sweet Spot

As everyone is different, I’d recommend trying different amounts over a trial period to find your personal sweet spot.

For example, trying doses at various weights within the scale, for example:

0.5, 0.7, 0.9, 1.1, 1.3, 1.5 grams.

It’s probably wise to try higher microdoses on days when you have no professional obligations or can work from home.

Compliment With a Journaling Practice

Keeping a simple journal during this period will help to track the effects and find your personal sweet spot. It will also enable you to compare microdose days with non microdose days.

journal

Take 5-10 minutes each day to check in with yourself, writing down, without judgement, feelings and thoughts (rather than simply what you’ve done each day). Similarly to meditation, this practice can be of great help in increasing awareness of your internal state. Its not exclusive, and can be an excellent companion to a meditation practice alongside your microdosing protocol.

You could do this 1-3 hours after taking the microdose, or if easier, as an end of day review.

You could also include some simple data collection, depending on how much you’d like to track. Some ideas for simple measures you could give a 1-5 score on are: mood, tranquility, focus, creativity, presence. If you are hoping to quit something, such as nicotine or sugar, you could also rate the strength of your cravings, or if starting a new habit, the level of ease in which you were able to do it e.g. sit down to meditate. These will make it easier to review the effects at a glance. Keep it simple so it doesn’t become a chore.

If you’d like to take part in a self blinding microdose study, read more at the bottom of this post or visit the site here

What Is A Good Microdose Schedule To Follow?

There are differing opinions on this so I’ll share a few.

Fadiman Protocol: 1 Day On, 2 Days Off

James Fadiman, the current grandaddy of microdosing and author of The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide (which includes a chapter on microdosing), recommends a schedule of one day on, two days off. Something like this:

fadiman microdosing magic psilocybin truffles

The following week would then begin with 2 days off.

You can see Fadiman and his colleague Sophia Korb’s talk on youtube: Microdosing – The Phenomenon, Research Results & Startling Surprises

Stamets Stack: 5 Days On, 2 Days Off

Mushroom maestro Paul Stamets has spoke of a heavier approach; 5 days on a 2 days off. However, the microdose of psilocybin he recommends has a lower bottom dose (something equivalent to 0.03g fresh truffles) and his protocol isn’t exclusively with psilocybin; it also includes lion’s mane mushroom and niacin.

paul stamets psilocybin nootropic vitamin stack

Stamets calls it a nootropic vitamin complex

You can watch a video from James Jesso about his experience on this protocol here: My Experience On The Paul Stamets Microdosing Nootropic Stack

Alternate Days: 1 Day On, 1 Day Off

There are also many people microdosing one day on, one day off.

microdose schedule

Initially I would recommend to try microdosing one or two days a week with days off in between so you can track your progress and compare how dose days compare with normal days. It is generally recommended to try a microdose schedule for a period of a few months and then taking a break.

Tolerance Buildup?

Generally with the ingestion of psilocybin there is a tolerance buildup on consecutive use within a two week period. This means that taking it on consecutive days will give you less effect from the same amount. However, it seems to be the case that tolerance buildup is more pronounced with larger doses. With microdoses, there isn’t really much, if any, tolerance buildup. When using psilocybin as a supplement with an eye on long term wellbeing benefits rather than psychedelic effects, tolerance buildup seems less relevant.

When & How?

I’d recommend to microdose first thing in the morning or with your breakfast. Chewing will mean you digest them more easily. Or you can weigh them out beforehand and even encapsulate them. One option would be to pre-weigh them and put them in a capsule box. Then you can chuck them down with your morning coffee like you would any other supplement. 

microdose schedule

Drying & Storing Truffles

If you have a box of truffles but are microdosing them over a long period, its a good idea to dry them for storage. You can find out how here.
Bonus tip: Place packs of silica gel near to your drying truffles to help speed up the process.

Self Blinding Study

self blinding microdose study imperial

A great way to prepare and track a microdosing period complete with schedule would be to do a microdosing protocol via the Imperial College Study. Though it takes a little time to set up, once set up, you’ll have a full protocol ready to go, and you’ll be contributing to science whilst getting honest data for yourself.

Find out more by visiting selfblinding-microdose.org

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Have you tried microdosing psilocybin? How was it for you? Did I miss something? Please share your experience and leave a comment below 🙂

headphones eye mask psychedelic therapy equipment

Music can play a huge role in psychedelic sessions and knowing how to use sound to shape and influence an experience is extremely valuable. If you’re looking for pre-made music playlists for a therapeutic psilocybin journey geared towards introspection and personal growth, welcome, you’re in the right place.

headphones eye mask psychedelic therapy equipment

Two key pieces of equipment for a standard therapeutic journey

This post has links to six playlists that have been made specifically for use with psilocybin (magic truffles or magic mushrooms) with a little info on each of them and their creators. 

Playlists:

1. Psychedelic Therapy Playlist 1 – Mendel Kaelen
2. Psychedelic Therapy Playlist 2 – Mendel Kaelen
3. Sacred Knowledge – Bill Richards
4. A Playlist For Psilocybin – Kelan Thomas
5. Psilocybin2 – Kelan Thomas
6. A Playlist For Psilocybin – Matthew Baldwin

About These Playlists

Phases

These playlists are specially designed so their the lengths are matched to that of a psilocybin journey and take into account the various stages of a trip such as onset, ascent, peak, return. There are variations on this depending on the creator of the playlist.

psychedelic music playlists phases journey baldwin therapy psilocybin beyond prague presentations

The phases of a psychedelic trip according to Bonny & Pahnke, the length of LSD is compressed 33% for psilocybin

Playlists are extremely useful in that you can press play after eating/drinking/ingesting your magical fungi and then not have to think about selecting music for the rest of the session – you just let it play out and ride the journey. Although exploring different types of music intuitively and in the moment can be great on psychedelics, having to get up and try to find suitable music can be very difficult on higher doses and detract from the experience.

Check out our recent article: How To Set Up Music for Psychedelic Sessions (+ 6 More Playlists)

Language

These playlists all contain music without words in English (bar a couple of reasoned exceptions); this is the general standard in psychedelic therapeutic work to avoid ‘hermeneutic contamination’, to use Matthew Baldwin’s phrase; ‘to discourage the rational mind from following the content of the words’, as Bill Richards puts it. There seems to be a general consensus in the field that understandable lyrics can be distracting and limit the experience.

Without further ado, let’s get into them.

Mendel Kaelen

Mendel Kaelen is probably the biggest name in the world when it comes to created playlists for psychedelic work (admittedly not the largest field, but still). A neuroscientist and music nerd, Kaelen created these playlists, which contain ambient and neo-classical music, for the groundbreaking psilocybin for depression study at Imperial College London.

mendel kaelen psychedelic science music

Kaelen presented at Psychedelic Science

Though they were created for the depression study, they can also work magic for non-depressed people too; I and many I know have journeyed to these amazing playlists, powerful stuff. The second one is an excellent playlist and would be my first recommendation.

You can read more about how he created these playlists in an article on Vice here.

Psychedelic Therapy Playlist 1 – Mendel Kaelen

Psychedelic Therapy Playlist 2 – Mendel Kaelen

Bill Richards

Bill Richards is a founding member of the Johns Hopkins psychedelic research team in the US and one of the most prominent names in the world when it comes to psilocybin research. His psychedelic psychotherapy research is wide ranging, from treating addiction to inducing mystical experiences, and Richards values music as a way to support a person’s experience.

“I make the best musical choices I can, trying to separate the ‘very good’ and the ‘excellent’ on the basis of years of experience with many different people”
Richards on compiling the playlist

There’s a lot of classical music in this playlist (Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi, Brahms) and a few tracks that I have to say are just inspired choices towards the end.

You can read more about Richard’s choices and how he compiled the playlist here.

Kelan Thomas

  • A Playlist For PsilocybinSpotify | Youtube (make sure there are no ads if listening through youtube)
  • Psilocybin2Spotify

I first heard of Kelan Thomas in an article about his first playlist and was excited to see Mogwai (awesome Scottish post rock) and Dirty Three (violin, guitar and drums together in rumbling, flowing rock) on there – familiar names I didn’t expect to see, as well as some other stuff that falls somewhere between ambient and post rock; one of my all time favourite genres that I’ve long wanted to make a psychedelic playlist to, feeling its epic and instrumental style would lend itself perfectly to cosmic journeys.

music concert

I tried the first playlist to a classic therapeutic style journey (setting intention beforehand, using eye mask and headphones, with a sitter) and had a beautiful journey, finding peace, contentment and joy on the journey and in the musical choices. I was moved in that I wanted to thank all the musicians who made the music on that playlist, and to Kelan himself for creating the playlist.

As it happened, a couple months later, whilst setting up a room at Insight conference in Berlin, I noticed the name tag on an early comer in the room – it was Kelan Thomas! I  told him I’d used his playlist and was able to thank him personally for putting it together before chatting a little about it and his choices; interestingly he described it as a ‘decolonising’ playlist in the world of psychedelic therapy.

He also told me he had made a second playlist which I could find on his spotify. I tried it recently and had one of my most beautifully expressive journeys to date. 

A Playlist For Psilocybin


Psilocybin 2

Matthew Baldwin

Matthew was a fellow student of Kelan Thomas in the Certificate in Psychedelic Therapies and Research Program at CIIS in San Francisco, and is clearly a scholar on the topic. He presented one of the talks I found most interesting at Beyond Psychedelics last year which you can watch here:
The Art Of Creating Musical Playlists For Psychedelic Work

music playlists psychedelic

Matthew presenting at Beyond Psychedelics 2018

Myself and co-retreat maker Tuk tried this playlist out during research for our retreats with New Moon and I was very surprised by a lot of the choices, this is certainly the most divergent of the playlist here on this list. This playlist emphasizes organic (instead of sequenced electronic) types of music.

Safe And Wondrous Journeys!

The relationship between music and how it affects consciousness and mood is something I find super interesting and consider creating playlists to be an art.  Do you have any tips? Personal preferences? Favourite music to use for a session? Would love to hear others thoughts on this. If you know of any playlists I’ve missed or have your own to contribute, leave a comment below.

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