Fliter Forge @Flickr for UBC Spirit Plant Medicine Conference Oct 24-26, 2014Greetings all. The energy is rapidly building as we get closer to the dates for the fourth annual Spirit Plant Medicine Conference (SPMC) scheduled for Oct. 24-26 at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver BC.

A lot is happening, not least of which is that tickets for the SPMC have just gone on sale and can be purchased here or by calling 604-435-5555.

We have two pre-conference events in the planning stages, one with the renowned psychologist Andrew Feldmár and the other with a delightful and wise wachuma (San Pedro) shaman from Peru. Specifics about these events will be forthcoming soon.

Keep an eye on the Conscious Living Radio website. Between now and Oct. 24 Andrew Rezmer will be interviewing a number of this year’s presenters on his weekly radio show, live at Co-op Radio (CFRO 100.5FM) in Vancouver. The interviews will also be posted on that site as podcasts.

Many now sense that work with these remarkable medicines is reaching a new stage of development in the modern cultures and that it’s time to deepen the conversation about how to move this field of work forward in effective and sustainable ways. We feel we have our strongest roster of presenters yet to elaborate on that vision and intention.

Over the next several weeks we’ll be posting frequent blogs with news and information, including mention of and content from a number of our presenters.
Dennis McKenna at UBC Plant Spirit Medicine Conference Oct 24-26, 2014
Today we want to draw your attention to Dennis McKenna. Dennis was here for our first conference in 2011 and we’re excited to have him back. Many of you know of Dennis and his work in the spirit plant medicine field. He is one of our strongest advocates and educators for the wise and beneficial use of the medicines. Dennis has been a leader in this work for many years as a teacher, field researcher, ethnopharmacologist, and frequent conference presenter. Last year he published a book, Brothers of the Screaming Abyss, about his life, his work, and his relationship with his brother, the well-known psychedelic philosopher Terence McKenna.

What follows is an excerpt from a very interesting and somewhat personal article Dennis wrote in 2005 for the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs called “Ayahuasca and Human Destiny.” A link to the complete article (it’s not that long) is included at the bottom:

On a personal level, ayahuasca has been for me both a scientific and professional continuing carrot, and a plant teacher and guide of incomparable wisdom, compassion, and intelligence. My earliest encounters with ayahuasca were experiential; only later did it become an object of scientific curiosity, sparked in part by a desire to understand the mechanism, the machineries, that might underlie the profound experiences that it elicited.

To read more go to this link at ayahuasca.com.

~ Stephen Gray has been a lifelong student, teacher and music-maker in areas of spirituality, healing and awakening. He is also an accomplished author of feature articles for leading magazines in the field and of his first book, “Returning to Sacred World.”