Meditation and the use of sacred medicines have a long history together, all the way back to the dawn of culture up to the present day popularity of Meditation in the West. Many of todays Western Buddhist practitioners and teachers acknowledge the central role these substances have played in their lives.
The formality of the peyote ceremonies of the Native American Church reminded me strongly of the formality of a Zen Sesshin. Both Settings have evolved over long periods of time as save containers for deep, transformative experiences. In 2015 and 2016, we conducted at Felsentor, a very remote Meditation Center on Mount Rigi in Central Switzerland, several sessions with long term meditators that had no or very little experience with Psychedelics. On the forth day of a more or less traditional Sesshin, half the group got a fairly high dose of Psilocybin (0,315mg / kg bodyweight), the other half a placebo. Participants got into the MRT right before and right after the retreat and had to fill out questionnaires several times a day. This study under the auspices of Franz Vollenweider from the University of Zürich investigates the desolution of the ego and the experience of mystical states, building upon and continuing the good Friday experiment of Walter Pahnke in the 60ties and the ongoing work of Roland Griffiths and his team at the John Hopkins University. The combination of these ancient technologies of consciousness, both fairly new to modern western thinking and society, is an exciting and promising field of investigation.