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***See below for a complete topic breakdown.***
Why does our sense of connection matter?
This is the central question that guides the conversation you will hear today, another session in our Psychedelic Café series, where we featured a curated selection of guests to explore how “whether or not we feel connected affects everything”.
We also explore the neurobiological origins of our sense of connection/disconnection with each other and how that is wrapped up in personal and collective traumas; our sense of connection with nature and the consequences that our lack of it is having on our lives and all life on this planet; as well as strategies and pathways of increasing our sense of connection with ourselves, each other, and the natural world.
We also talk about connecting with spiritual energies and our dead loved ones; ancestry in general; the importance of being able to grieve together; and the value of learning to turn towards pain.
I, personally, hold this episode as amongst the most important ones I have recorded for the podcast. I hope you feel the same way.
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Our Guests For This Psychedelic Cafe
Darcia Narvaez is Professor Emerita of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame (Indiana, USA). She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Educational Research Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She studies moral development and human flourishing from an interdisciplinary perspective, integrating anthropology, neuroscience, clinical, developmental and educational sciences. She has published hundreds of papers and over 20 books. She serves as president of KindredWorld.org, blogs for Psychology Today (“Moral Landscapes”) and hosts the webpage EvolvedNest.org.
Listen to Darcia Narvaez’s interview on ATTMind: Reclaiming Our Humanity with The Evolved Nest | Darcia Narvaez PhD
Or her other interview on ATTMind: Primal Parenting and The Evolved Nest.
Sky Otter–formerly known as Bill Pfeiffer–is the founder of Sacred Earth Network (SEN) which continues to implement leading-edge visions for over 25 years. In that time, Sky has made Russia a second home having traveled there 44 times assisting the environmental and indigenous movements through SEN. This has given him a rare cross-cultural perspective. He has also led hundreds of spiritual ecology workshops, including men’s and breath work. He has 25 years of experience in Re-evaluation Counseling and Vipassana meditation, and has undergone extensive training with Siberian shamans. Sky has partnered with and designed experiential workshops with Joanna Macy, John Perkins, Llyn Roberts, Cathy Pedevillano, and John Seed. He has also spent much time in the US Southwest learning about Native medicine ways and the crucial importance of the petroglyphs and pictographs.
His book Wild Earth, Wild Soul: A Manual for an Ecstatic Culture is a beautiful read and is what inspired the interview you are about to hear. You can find more of Sky’s work on his website here.
Listen to Sky Otter’s interview on ATTMind: Deep Ecology, Earth Connection, and The Miracle of Life | Sky Otter/Bill Pfeiffer
Raised by Hungarian refugees, Rita Bozi is a Somatic Relational trauma and psychedelic-informed Facilitator, a multidisciplinary creator, playwright and retired professional actor and dancer. For 25 years, her co-written play 52 Pick Up was staged in Canada, the US, England, Australia, France, Iceland and New Zealand and translated into French and Icelandic. Rita has been published in The New Quarterly, FFWD Weekly, WritingRaw.com, and Unlikely 2.0. THIS Magazine awarded her 3rd Prize in their Great Canadian Literary Hunt in 2012. Her travel stories have been broadcast on CBC Radio Calgary. She is an Alumna of The Humber School for Writers and a graduate of The National Ballet School. Her life practice is kindness and her life partner is Ken Cameron.
Listen to Rita’s interview on ATTMind, under the pseudonym Tooth Fairy: A Somatic Relational Approach to Psychedelic Therapy | Tooth Fairy & Curlz
Or hear her other interview on ATTMind, under the same pseudonym: Psychedelic Psychotherapy: A Conversation With Three Underground Providers
Charles Wininger, LP, LMHC, is a licensed psychoanalyst and mental health counselor specializing in relationships and communication skills. Recognized as “The Love Doctor” by the New York Times and Newsday, he’s been treating couples and individuals in his Manhattan and Brooklyn offices for 30 years. He sits on the board of advisors of the Psychedelic Education and Continuing Care Program at the Center for Optimal Living in New York. He lives with his wife in Brooklyn.
He is also the author of the recent book, Listening To Ecstacy: The Transformative Power of MDMA.
More of Charley’s work can be found a https://www.charleywininger.com
Listen to Charley’s interview on ATTMind: MDMA for Couples | The Love Doctor, Charley Wininger
Or his other interview on ATTMind, with his partner Shelly: Group MDMA for Grief And The Recently Bereaved | Shelley and Charley Wininger ~ ATTMind 150
Born in Toronto, 1942. Jean Robertson. is an interdependent scholar and context artist, busking for world change and collaborative wisdom generation. She is founder and context holder/convener of Upstart Collaboratory for Collaborative Culture Designing, which is a social lab as Zaid Hassan has evolved them (see social-labs.org), “putting the creativity and knowledge of the people of the community to work to design the institutions we don’t presently have and can’t yet imagine ourselves needing.” (from our vision statement.) She is also the Wisdom Anchor in Zendo56, a grassroots zen learning context, one of those institutions we ’can’t yet imagine ourselves needing’.
More of Jean’s work can be found at https://upstartcollaboratory.org
Or via her session on The Stoa The Liminal Space Agency: Taking 100% Co-Response-Ability w/ Jean Robertson
Listen to Jean Robertson’s interview on ATTMind: Humanity 3.0 and the Collaborative Mindset
Trained as an astrophysicist, Dr. Robert Gilman decided in the mid-70s that “the stars could wait, but the planet couldn’t.” He turned his attention to global sustainability, futures research, and strategies for positive cultural change. His on-the-ground sustainability efforts have included developing the Context Institute, co-founding the Global Ecovillage Network, Citizen Diplomacy with the former USSR, serving as City Councilman in Langley, Washington, and working nationally with the American Institute of Architects on issues regarding sustainability and the built environment. He is currently leading the worldwide Bright Future Network and its Bright Future Now “adventure tour to the future.”
Sam Gandy has his Ph.D. in ecological science from the University of Aberdeen and an MRes in entomology from Imperial College London. He has a lifelong interest in nature and wildlife and has been fortunate enough to conduct field research in various parts of the world including the UK, Kefalonia, Almeria, Texas, the Peruvian Amazon, Vietnam and Ethiopia. He also has experience of working in the psychedelic field, as past scientific assistant to the director of the Beckley Foundation, and currently as a collaborator with the Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London.
More of Sam Gandy’s can be found by following Sam on Twitter
- (5:37) Cafe begins; Introducing our guests
- (12:00) Introducing the question “Why does our sense of connection matter?”
- (26:58) Whether we feel connected or not affects everything
- (29:42) The neurobiological origins of our sense of connection/disconnection
- (31:36) The path out of early life trauma – our birthright is to live in a safe healthy state — learning to lift ourselves and each other out of trauma
- (35:22) A brighter future is available to us through our reconnection with our origins
- (38:24) Wondering about connection forged through war/displacement-based trauma
- (40:40) Various ways/techniques that we come back into connection
- (51:13) Increasing connection with nature, increases the sense of connection more broadly
- (54:57) Longing is the first step to coming back into connection
- (56:49) How to do a neurological reset (a technique for resetting the nervous system)
- (1:02:42) Building relationships of deep connection with each other
- (1:08:23) Connection with ancestry, dead loved ones, spiritual energies, and different generational perspectives
- (1:20:14) Our shared ancestral trauma of war
- (1:24:23) Grief, grieving in community, and turning towards pain
- (1:30:59) How we respond to a stubbed toe as an example of moving through pain
- (1:35:00) Calling in “Reverence”
- (1:36:37 ) Closing thoughts on the conversation from each guest
What Is The Psychedelic Café?
The Psychedelic Café is a structured conversational space exploring various, deep questions about the nature of mind, life, and reality.
Each cafe features a curated selection of 4-5 people to explore a question according to a specific structure. This conversational style modelled after Vicki Robins and Susan Partnow’s Conversation Café. I first learned this form from Jean Robertson, forged in The Liminal Space Agency
Why this style?
The cafe structure creates a quality and dynamic of conversation, idea sharing, and mutual learning that is incredibly ripe and valuable for not only the people involved but the listening audience who will be able to listen to it afterward. In the current times of uncertainty, complexity, and change, I believe the psychedelic cafe will offer content not otherwise available in a time where it is deeply needed. If you want to try doing your own cafe, instructions on how to do so can be found here.