The imbalances of power within our society are glaring at us more and more. With the backdrop of the #metoo and multiculturalism movements, we see that same issues facing our psychedelic/entheogenic subculture and we are in need of taking a deep self-reflective look at how we may be perpetuating these problems.
How are we conducting ourselves?
What are our blind spots?
Why do we continue to support shamans and practitioners who commit sexual abuse?
Why are straight, cisgender males generally the ones that get main speaking spots at conferences?
The answers to these questions are easy to uncover through a historical lens, but how can we now cultivate truth and reconciliation, healing, and create lasting changes?
Join us as we heal, learn, grow, and create together!
Community Dialogue #1 June 26th - Culver City
We will focus this discussion around sexuality, sexual dynamics, and power in psychedelics/entheogens. The national and international community has been embroiled with conversations around abuses of power and sexual misconduct. Recent events in our own Southern California community show similar patterns. Let us come together to discuss what is needed to provide healing spaces for victims, council for perpetrators, and a vocal culture of zero tolerance for abuses of power.
Community Dialogue #2 July 18th East Side
Facing the Shadow: Community discussions on diversity, race, and privilege in psychedelics psychedelics/entheogens
SITARAMAYA SITA, who has traveled and worked in the Amazon for the past 17 years, is a spiritual herbalist and plant wisdom practitioner formally trained in the Shipibo ayahuasca tradition. Founder of PlantTeachers, dedicated to cultivating entheogenic awareness, and Producer of the Visionary Convergence conference, she lectures, teaches, and works with individuals and groups in ceremonies and stewarding plant dietas. She currently trains, teaches and practices to heal personal, institutional and cultural trauma. PlantTeachers.com
LIANA SANANDA comes to us from a diverse background that spans across anti-war and drug reform activism, event design and production, film production, artist representation, and art curation. She spent several years working in the cannabis industry at the ArcView Group and now is the Development Officer at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS.org).
TONY MOSS is a visual and recording artist, event producer, and founder of I.AM.LIFE, a non-profit event production company focused on interconnectivity. His work is a synthesis of passions in art, spirituality & science, with emphasis on the evolution of human consciousness and potential. From 20 years experience working with ayahuasca, he is a public advocate for "right relationship" use of all plant medicines. tonymoss.me
ASHLEY BOOTH is founder of the Aware Project: Rethinking Psychedelics and co-founder of InnerSpace Integration. She has a background in environmental science and is currently working towards a Masters in Social Work. Her work blends her background in the sciences with a deep spiritual core ignited through the use of entheogens. She currently works as a study coordinator for a MAPS clinical trial. AshleyBooth.net
FEATURED MUSICIAN, SKYE WEAVER: Skye is a Ceremonialist of the body, mind and soul through body work, yoga, facilitation and Integration Coaching. Her songs have come to her through honoring the Great Mystery and listening to the elements flow through her. She's a member of I.AM.LIFE and manages the tea lounge at their many events in the southern CA area.
If you are a woman that has suffered sexual misconduct by a shaman or facilitator, Katherine MacLean (katherinemaclean.org) on the East Coast created this email to gain council and report abuses: email@example.com
See Sita's notes from the conversation at the bottom of the page...
Synergistically Co-Created & Presented by:
*** I.AM.LIFE. ***
I.AM.LIFE combines life-affirming art, music & media to create immersive, transformational experiences of interconnectivity. We create and nurture connections with the natural world, each other, and indigenous peoples to support a more thriving, just, and sustainable world. To foster and nurture a sense of value and respect for the importance of “native wisdom” in the modern world. https://www.iamlifeproject.org/
*** PLANT TEACHERS ***
PlantTeachers support the preservation, conservation and stewardship of land in Peru which is held as a global resource where Medicinal and Master Teacher Plants are cultivated and old growth trees, waterways and rainforest flora and fauna are protected. Collaborations with Nihue Rao promote the development of integrative medicinal practices, utilizing multiple healing disciplines for people all over the world. www.plantteachers.com
*** AWARE PROJECT ***
Our aim is to balance the public conversation about psychedelics, spread accurate information, and give a new face to psychedelia. We feel that this change will occur through connection and relationship, one individual at a time.We are calling on everyone whose lives have been improved through the mindful use of psychedelics to educate themselves and become ambassadors for the psychedelic experience. Show those around you that people who use psychedelics mindfully cross all social, racial, economic, and political boundaries.
Sita's notes from the Discussion
How do we know we are getting reliable info regarding practitioners?
Should there be standards, guidelines?
Liana – Can we create a list of male allies to go to when needed, calling people in, not out. Calling people in to council/counsel. Council of men and women.
Ashley – Shadows are coming to the surface to be healed.
Audience member #1, female:
Woman from audience, brought up by Tony. (Could not catch her name)
BM Ranger – sense of “we got you” important.
Before calling “out there” what can we do withi our community. Need to be able to say, as information that a place or person is not safe..
Ceremony S’s via Timothy White:
Set, setting, service, song, safety, support, sacrament
Audience member #2, female:
Important to recognize what is and is not sex. Erotic wellness – cultivating as a culture.
Ashley – What is a healthy masculine, feminine?
Tony – Why is there so much sexual abuse? Sexuality has been pathologies.
Aya may invoke awareness of sexual self and give rise to sexual feelings in ceremony and those feelings may be directed to people in the ceremony.
Aya facilitates sexual healing.
Liana – We must be in conversation, communication, talking to each other, be honest about our experiences, how we have been imprinted and how we have unhealthy conditioning.
Audience member #3, female:
What does it mean to ask for permission? What is consent?
Abuse is not only sexual but abuse is domination.
What is the structure for consent?
Audience member #4, male:
Sexual urges can be diffused and dissipated when talked about. Before ceremony starts, to speak that sexual urge may come up, talk about it ahead of time creating a safe(safer) container.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center ahs policy of 90 days of no contact with anyone who was a student if contemplating/exploring a relationship.
Audience member #1, female (Ranger):
Having a code of conduct, ethics. Hers/ is 6 months from date of first contact for considering relationship with participant/practitioner.
Creating a way to hear from people who believe there is/was abuse when it happens, not three months later. having a way to talk about it in place.
Ashley – When seeking out ceremony/transformation work, ask, “Do you have a code of ethics?”
Liana – Instructing people if they feel they have been abused or taken advantage of, how to “report.” If the person is facilitator/practitioner, what is alternate mechanism for reporting?
Tony – Issues of confidentiality.
Ashley – Katherine set up an email system for people who feel they have something to report or who are seeking support:
from Katherine: email account for people who want to reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note from Sita – ICEERS also provides no cost support services:
Audience member #5, female:
Providing information/education about ceremony in advance.
Audience member #5, male:
Ten core “rules” for ceremony, practitioners adhere to core rules, bare minimum?
Stating a Standard of Care.
How does that get out there?
Sita Note – Aya Health Guide - http://www.ayahuascahealthguide.com/
Liana – We cannot count on participants to have all the info, duty falls on facilitator to provide info, come together, “What are the ten core principals/practices?”
Ashley – Book, “Facets of Ayahuasca”
Audience member #6, female:
Having a data base, survey, feedback on internet, self reporting system?
Tony – Some way for someone to report and how are we going to respond.
Liana – Tech tools with privacy embedded, info reports to centralized location
Tony – Needs to be fair, not like a “Yelp” because of people who might report that the facilitator was “horrible” but it is what the participant was/is working out.
Ashley – Encourage facilitators to look at what is coming out of the community dialogue. Get info out to facilitators.
What other spaces need to be created? Working group?
Discussion – What is needed?
women’s group, healing spaces, meeting to educate men, skill share as safe facilitators?
Audience member #7, female:
Standard, code of ethics, integration, post each ceremony. Personal follow up rather than data base.
Audience member #7, male:
Mediation (parties in communication)
Audience member #8, male:
Psychedelic Mediation Council, a neutral party, someplace people can go like BBB