Sep 1, 2023
"There was no specific place, or a safe space at these events for someone who was having a challenging experience and hold them as the experience unfolded" - Ben Halper.
Isra Garcia interviews Ben Halper at the Psychedelic Science 2023 conference about psychedelics, mainly on applying harm reduction principles to support individuals exploring psychedelic states, recognizing that challenging experiences can be opportunities for self-exploration and healing. Ben is the Event Service Manager at Zendo Project. This platform provides professional, comprehensive harm reduction education and support for communities to help inform and transform difficult psychedelic experiences into opportunities for learning and growth. He's also a Sanctuary Coordinator and yoga instructor and works in plant medicine, facilitating in private practice.
"Over 90% of psychedelic usage happens outside a medical context."
In this interview, Isra and Ben go deeper into the four principles for psychedelic peer support and harm reduction: safe space, sitting and not guiding, challenging is not necessarily difficult and talking through and not down. Ben also talks about psychedelic best practices and how the Zendo project has shaped his life and has impacted people's psychedelic experiences. Other topics include challenging psychedelic experiences, rituals, meditative and awareness practices, odd habits, motivations, biggest lessons or creating the proper set & setting, and many more wisdom bites.
"This work breaks my heart - Ben Halper.
Ben is also a founding board member of the Pittsburgh Psychedelic Society and co-produced the MAPS-sponsored Sleeping Octopus Assembly on Psychedelics conferences in 2018 and 2019.
"Prayer through sound is a technology that allows me to connect."
Index of contents - and what you will learn in this episode:
"Safe space is a well of being."
Podcast show notes, resources and links:
"We are not here to provide any modalities other than a grounded meditative presence is the anchor that somebody can be with as the experience unfolds."
This is Ben Halper's podcast interview: Zendo Project by MAPS, Psychedelic peer support and harm reduction, psychedelic best practices and how to use psychedelics responsibly, consciously and mindfully, how to make the most out of a festival using psychedelics responsibly.
"I don't want to compare myself to anybody else or judge their path as if they're successful. I am proud of myself."