Dharma gates are boundless, I vow to enter them….
Since the start of the pandemic, I have been hosting a monthly virtual gathering called the San Francisco Psychedelic Sangha. These gatherings included a short talk from me, a guided meditation or visualization, and then an open discussion (which was never recorded) on matters mystic, neurologic, and psychedelic. A couple dozen mutant seekers usually showed up, and a friendly sangha got cooking.
The SFPS started out as a flesh-meet at the wonderful SF Dharma Collective in the Mission, and was inspired by my good pals in NYC’s Psychedelic Sangha, who continue to put out media and put on Happenings on both coasts. But this summer I decided to change things up a bit, and head in a new direction.
This Sunday, September 5, at 6pm PT, I will start up a new monthly virtual group called the Dharmanaut Circle. The Circle is designed to be a safe and supportive place to explore and discuss experimental and heart-felt approaches to meditation, sensory awareness, psychedelics, and other modes of waking up in these dizzying times. The format will be largely the same as the SFPS: I will gab a bit, lead a guided wander through the sand-box of meditation, and host a healthy conversation. Figure two hours. Suggested donation is $33. You can sign up here.
The name change came about because I realized that I had become less interested in the significance of psychedelic experience, and more in the sensibility of psychedelic people. How do such mutants move through the multitudinous world, in and out of ceremony or the dance floor or the mystic mountain-top? Healing is crucial, but I continue to hold fast to the values of the old-school psychonaut: courage, playfulness, comradery, openness, and, yes, critical intelligence. But I felt like these values could be translated into a broader context.
In Buddhist tradition, word dharma has many meanings. It can describe the most profound spiritual teachings, and also the myriad concrete things of the world. Dharma can refer to cosmic design, or to best practices, or to your unique stumble-bum path through life. Dharmanauts explore all these dimensions in a spirit of experiment, exuberance, and razor-sharp discrimination. If this sounds fun, consider joining the Circle.
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