Peak states, such as can be experienced during psychedelic journeys, are non-ordinary states of consciousness often characterised by feelings of heightened presence, freedom, wholeness, and creative flow, to list but a few. By shifting us out of our everyday perception, they help open us up to a larger perspective, as can be seen from the peak of a mountain, from which new insights can arise.
These experiences, especially when supported by ongoing inner work, can be extremely valuable. On the physiological level, they can facilitate a rebalancing of our nervous system and neuronal patterns. They can bring about profound psychological healing, and put us in touch with a deep well of inner resources. The insights gained can serve as a guide and compass, helping to realign us when we have lost our centre. For many, psychedelic journeys are also a first glimpse into 'the Great Mystery', and the more spiritual dimension of life.
In a landmark study by the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 94% of participants who received psilocybin said it was one of the five most meaningful experiences of their lives; 39% said it was the single most meaningful experience. For more information about psychedelics and their therapeutic potential, please visit our knowledge section.
The psychedelic used at the retreats is the psilocybin-containing truffle. The retreats take place in the Netherlands, where psilocybin truffles are legal. More commonly known are psilocybin-containing “magic” mushrooms, mushrooms themselves being the fruiting bodies of fungi. The central part of the ‘body' of the fungus sits below the ground and is called the mycelium. To survive harsh conditions and prevent the mycelium from drying out, some species of fungus have evolved to form tight knots of mycelium underneath the ground, called sclerotia. It is these sclerotia that are sold as ‘magic truffles’ in the Dutch smart shops today as they contain identical psychoactive compounds to magic mushrooms. However, unlike magic mushrooms, which have been banned in the Netherlands since 2008, psilocybin truffles are entirely legal.