Greetings again all. This is the third in our series of blog posts with updates and information on the fourth annual Spirit Plant Medicine Conference (SPMC), scheduled for the weekend of October 24-26 at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver BC, Canada.
Events continue to move fast. Tickets for the conference have been available for a couple of weeks as of this writing and are selling well. It’s looking like we’ll have our largest gathering of the clans yet. Tickets can be purchased at spiritplantmedicine.com or by phone at 604-435-5555.
Several pre-conference events have been added since the previous post. We now have radio interviews on Andrew Rezmer’s weekly show on Co-op radio (CFRO 100.5 FM in Vancouver) lined up with several of our feature presenters. If you can’t catch them live they will be quickly posted on www.consciouslivingradio.org.
Radio Interview Schedule
Here’s the schedule for the radio interviews. Except for September 24, interview begins at 6 pm Pacific Time and will last 20 to 25 minutes, although the show itself continues with other interviews until 7 pm.
September 24: Stephen Gray, co-organizer of the conference, will be on at 6:30 to give an overview of this year’s event and the invited presenters, or as they’re described on the website, the “Guides and Visionaries 2014.”
October 1: Dennis McKenna – Dennis was featured in our first post on September 10, including a link to an excellent personal essay by him.
October 8: Andrew Feldmár – Andrew is a brilliant and highly experienced psychologist and expert on various entheogenic plants and substances. He’s also a very entertaining speaker. Andrew will also be doing a live pre-conference evening on Oct. 15. See below for more details about the event and about Andrew and his work.
October 15: Joshua Wickerham – Joshua is an expert on an extremely timely issue, that of the overall sustainability of our beloved plant medicines around the world. He is the founder of the Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council.
Dr. Andrew Feldmár
Wed. October 15
1025 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
Title: The Rainbow States of Consciousness.
Synopsis: Some thoughts about reality, dreams, hypnosis, and altered states of consciousness, from Samadhi to Saint Vitus Dance.
Tickets will be available soon at SPMC or by phoning 604-435-5555.
With these two upcoming events involving Andrew Feldmár, we’d like to introduce him further. Andrew has been close to the centre—if such a concept exists—of this kind of medicine work since his first experiments with altered states of consciousness in 1967. He has worked closely with some of the leading figures in psychotherapy and psychedelics, including legendary figures like R.D. Laing, Stanislav Grof, and Francis Huxley. Among his many involvements Andrew has had a private psychotherapy practice for 45 years. He is a treasured elder statesman and guide for those learning to work with entheogenic medicines as participants and practitioners.
Here’s an excerpt from a fascinating and revealing essay Andrew has written on his history with the psychedelics and the deep and lasting experiences and insights that have come from such committed and courageous exploration.
Leading up to this indescribable moment, one meets oneself, with all one’s doubts, pretensions, heroics, defenses, habits, hopes and paranoias. Entheogens, carefully used, in the right setting, in the right frame of mind, allow your heart to fill with compassion. Towards yourself, as well as others. One learns to become more and more feminine, receptive, relaxed and balanced. It is most difficult to learn that there is nothing to be afraid of. Not even fear needs to be feared or avoided. One becomes no longer the victim, but the spectator of one’s own fate. One realizes that the only proper function of the will is not to will. The task is to turn the will back upon itself, like the Ouroboros, the snake who eats its own tail, making room for surrender. “Nothing burns in hell but self-will. Therefore it is said, ‘Put off thine own will, and there will be no hell.’” (Theologia Germanica).
If a trip goes bad, this is where it happens: willing anything other than what is happening precipitates one in hell. An experienced guide or sitter who is unafraid, because (s)he is familiar with the territory and has gained the trust of the one who struggles, can midwife one into surrender.