2017 November 16: Dear friend, Merrill Ward, joined us back at the Psychedelic Awareness Salon to share a both informative and entertaining talk with the community. Watch Merrill's previous talk on Cognitive Liberty HERE.
TALK TITLE: "Holding Space" for Sacred Ceremony with Psychedelic Sacraments
Whether informally “sitting” for a friend in assisting to guide them through their first psychedelic experience to working with small or even larger groups in crafting a more formal ritualized ceremony with psychedelic sacraments; there exist effective and time-tested techniques that can be utilized and employed to more effectively influence “mindset” and craft solid sacred space, or “setting”, that can provide a significant impact on the successful outcome of psychedelic & entheogenic experiences. What are the various techniques that can employed to influence these optimal outcomes? Join us for this engaging presentation and discussion where we will explore some of these techniques, both ancient and modern, in deepening our awareness and understanding of how to effectively hold space for ourselves and each other within these powerfully transformative experiences and assist us in their practical integration in our lives.
Merrill Ward is a staunch proponent of cognitive liberty and a passionate advocate for the safe and responsible use of entheogens for engendering direct spiritual experience. He possesses the rare gift of exquisitely articulating deep esoteric wisdom and transmitting this wisdom through ceremony, ontology, noetic experiences and profound metaphor. Merrill has been deeply involved in the Western Mystery School tradition and comparative world religions for over 22 years. He is an ordained gnostic priest, ritualist, teacher and student of the spiritual philosophies of Thelema and Hermeticism, as well as the disciplines of Transpersonal Alchemy, Raja Yoga, Hermetic Qabalah and Ceremonial Magick; with a special emphasis on the Mystical Unitive Experience and the practical application and uses of entheogenic techniques and sacraments for exploring and expanding human consciousness for attaining direct access to the Divine. His work over the past 10 years serves as a transformative catalyst, effectively guiding individuals and groups into deeply profound states of Unitive consciousness. Providing them with a richer and deeper integrated understanding of their innate power, love, wisdom, creativity and spiritual abilities while aligning them with their True Will, purpose and mission in life. Merrill has offered presentations and spoken on entheogenic spirituality at a wide variety of venues including Burning Man, Mystic Garden Party, Beloved, Inlakesh, and Peace Village music and arts festivals, the 2013 National O.T.O. Conference (NOTOCON), the 2014 Science & Non-Duality Conference (SAND), The Aware Project Los Angeles (2016), the Portland Entheogenic Exploration & research Society (2016) and Exploring Psychedelics Conferences in Ashland, Oregon for the past three years. He is the founder of Awakening Divinity Ministries (ADM), serves as the Chief Enlightenment Officer of the Abundance, Wellness & Enlightenment Institute (AWE) in addition to being an ordained Bishop of the Gnostic Catholic Church (EGC) and a conscious and loving father.