For some, psychedelic-assisted therapy helps treat depression, some seek a deeply embodied therapeutic experience to traverse major trauma or grief, and some seek a little magic-an escape from the mundane of the day-to-day 9-5 grind.
Whatever it may be, the depth of research proving the benefits of a well-integrated embodied psychedelic experience- is making the vision of psychedelic-assisted therapy becoming a recognised form of healthcare, a reality for the near future.
Today Mason chats with Tobias Penno, A government-funded psychedelic researcher and founder of ‘Psychedelic Healthcare’- a therapeutic service specialising in psychedelic integration work in Australia.
Tobias talks about the benefits of psychedelic-assisted therapy and its capacity to open up the mind/body interface for deep therapeutic work and mystical experiences that can evolve consciousness.
As with all journeys that crack open the psyche- The process of integration after any psychedelic experience (assisted or not) is an essential part of the journey.
Tobias explains what integration after a psychedelic experience looks like when done well, the holistic self-work it takes to integrate meaningfully and embody the changes in your life, and how we can benefit from this type of therapy both on an individual and societal level.
Mason and Tobias discuss the intersection of the Taoist herbs and a well-integrated psychedelic/plant medicine experience- And how these majestic herbs and plant medicines can assist us on the journey towards becoming an evolved elder that embodies health and love in mind/body/spirit.
Tobias Penno is a government-funded psychedelic researcher at the University of Western Australia (U.W.A.). His first academic publication titled 'How Ayahuasca Offers Psychosocial Wellbeing' won the social work research prize in the school of Medicine, Dentistry, and Health Science at U.W.A. in 2017. Tobias is the current chair of the Australian Psychedelic Society (WA Chapter) and his current doctoral research is titled 'Interpersonal Neurobiology in Psychedelic Healing’. Tobias is also the founder of ‘Psychedelic Healthcare’, a therapeutic service specialising in psychedelic integration work in Australia. One day he hopes to provide psychedelic-assisted therapy within an integrated model of emotional healthcare practices.
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Check Out The Transcript Here:
Hey, mate, how are you doing?
Tobias Penno: (00:02)
Hey Mason, I'm good. How are you?
Yeah, wonderful. I'm looking forward to this podcast. I've really lately been thinking about our podcast platform a lot, because me and Tahnee have a lot, just having very random conversations. Sometimes they'll seem very random at times when we were a Tonic Herbal Business.
We're tightening up a little bit at the moment. One could assume that we might not be talking about psychedelics that much, but on the contrary, the core of the podcast and SuperFeast for me isn't about adaptogens and medicinal mushrooms and just [inaudible 00:00:50] philosophy.
There's a few core things at SuperFeast that are underlying themes, such as the prevention of disease or as the Taoist would, the highest type of doctor... They don't use the word comic obviously, but the highest doctor can remove blockages so that we don't have to go through absolute shit storms in life and go and manifest disease and then have to overcome that disease to get our lessons.
Tobias Penno: (01:14)
Ultimately, yeah. So we can develop our shin and become a rad rockin and elder who is got [inaudible 00:01:21] together. And of course, for me, it's as well been on the Tonic herbal. And so from that context, a lot of people in our community at one time or another, maybe some extreme deep dive, sometimes maybe just a little bit, maybe just being aware of the psychedelic conversation.
It's there when this world is so crying out for spiritual development so that we can do the magnitude of integration of all of our various parts and become aware of our blind spots. So that we can hopefully be nice and free and have the capacity for spontaneous joy and capacity to take on responsibility when we're older and not project all our shit all over everyone. Psychedelics come in massively, [inaudible 00:02:08] into that conversation.
So that's why I think it's here, I'm super stoked to be having this chat. But more so than going, "Yay psychedelics." I want to really just go... And then yeah, it's really important to integrate after. I'm like that throwaway statement of it's important to integrate after, without actually understanding what the terrain and that ecosystem of integration really is.
And looking at perhaps the quality of usage of psychedelic and that doesn't just mean using it in clinic. The quality of usage in the jungle doesn't matter, but the quality of how that gets then into the [inaudible 00:02:52] of your system and really... Yeah, more is better.
I remember doing dieta’s and then my then having beautiful friends who sort going and then just come back and next weekend and we'll sit again with the mother and we'll integrate that way. And I was just like, "Jesus Christ." The [inaudible 00:03:12].
Tobias Penno: (03:16)
Yeah, man. Sometimes it takes a lot to integrate an experience. I have a friend, the friend I was just telling you about before, who did a journey over to South America. And his integration has taken the last five years and in the form of a book he wrote a book about it just to try and make meaning of what this experience meant for him. And so it's such a process of constantly unfolding and learning new things about yourself and the world and your body. And there's a lot to it.
Tobias Penno: (03:43)
And I think you are bang on that. It's not just about integration. You don't just go and have your psychedelic experience and then after the fact, you're like "Oh, okay, well I better integrate now, seriously." It's more like the whole process needs to be given that same diligence and care right from the get-go. And the most influential factor for a good integration process is good quality preparation, making sure that you're ready to go. Yeah.
Well, that's an interesting one. There's so much to unpack. I've probably got a lot of baggage. And so I've kind of got that personal tenacity when it came to personal development. When I was younger, I was able to go harder and faster through all of the courses than anyone else and completely alter my life to revolve around these principles. So I liked Peter Panning and flying off into the next thing.
Which is now something that I'm finally sticking in for me with consistency and therapy at the moment, very slow and steady staying with those themes. And I feel we're really getting some tread in what would for lack of a better word integration or the capacity to... I watched a beautiful mind the other day and I brought it up to my therapist and he was like, "Oh, it's so fascinating. You bring this up.
I think about it all the time." It's the end of the movie when in me, just the stories I developed, the personas I developed, the things I'm reacting to what I'm trying to run away from. They're real, but just like in the movie, he looks over to his psychosis-induced friends over there that he knows aren't real, but they're very real. And he can just great, I can acknowledge you, you're not going away but there you are.
And I don't think I'd be able to do it to the extent that I am. If I didn't have my massively psychedelic deep dives, interpersonal development into psychedelic, starting with DMT, but then going into my first journey, my nice big nighttime journey was within Australian Acacia concoction. And just from there just blew me into this place of my God, everything I ever wanted those times sitting at home when I was a kid watching Harry Potter movie and seeing that, wow, he's then sitting in Hogwarts and he's realising, "Holy shit, my magic is real and my life wasn't just that mundane and living under the stairs piece of that I would have."
And [inaudible 00:06:24] I felt like that. But then you just blow out of the water so hard and I see that. And I'm going to shut up soon to give you a complete platform to learn just, so everyone can understand where my baggage comes from. I do deep dive and I know so many people that deep dive into that scene and all then take on the mannerisms, take on the virtuousness of what it is to be in the integrity of working with that medicine and just have the shoddiest foundations, not everyone.
I know a lot of people who are kind of rocking it but to rock it within that alchemical scene is a fine line, but so many people are unable to actually land completely into reality because as the dowers say, dower shaman needs to be able to fly. But he needs to also be able to travel through the earth as well.
Tobias Penno: (07:21)
So I think about it a lot. So it's why I'm interested in talking to you about this whole concept.
Tobias Penno: (07:31)
[inaudible 00:07:31] these terms.
Tobias Penno: (07:34)
Yeah. Well, I love it. I think that that's one of the things that people are searching for psychedelics for is they're a bit feeling in the mundane of day-to-day life here in the West. And they are yearning for a little bit of magic and that is something that psychedelics can offer us.
Tobias Penno: (07:50)
But I think you're really speaking into something which I think is important, especially in the realm of [inaudible 00:07:56] and the traditional plant medicines that in the cultures that they come from, plant medicines are embedded into the framework of that culture.
Tobias Penno: (08:07)
And there's a whole suite of implicit kind of understanding that they all have in those cultures of what these plant medicines mean, how they affect their lives. And also it's kind of integrated into their relationship with nature. You've done a [inaudible 00:08:22] before, right?
Tobias Penno: (08:23)
A Dieta is that process of drinking [inaudible 00:08:26] well, I'm not actually sure. There's a couple of different types of Dieta's One is just the dieting process that you do in preparation for the [inaudible 00:08:36] journey. And then there's the [inaudible 00:08:38] that you might do where you actually diet a particular plant. Is that the kind of one that you've done?
Tobias Penno: (08:44)
Yeah. I like to think of it as the OG herbalism or the OG naturopath. It's old school way of coming to understand a plant, not by objectifying it and cutting it open and measuring its effects on the physiology of the body using measurements and instruments, but rather by direct communion and relationship with nature, by imbibing it on a daily basis, really getting to know, "Okay, how does this impact my body?" And using [inaudible 00:09:13] to kind of open you to the more subtle effects of the plant on your body.
Tobias Penno: (09:17)
And also, I guess the more spiritual side of it, that the idea that the plant has a kind of consciousness or energetic imprint that you can form a relationship with. And in that tradition tradition- contains the language of all the plants. So it can kind of give you an introduction to whichever plant that you might want to get to know better.
Tobias Penno: (09:39)
But as I was saying in those cultures, they have that framework for understanding it. So say a person goes and drinks ayahuasca in the lead up to it, they've had chats with all their local community friends and people they've been brought up around people who've taken it. They kind of get it already. And then when they take it and they come away from that, when they're integrating it, they're integrating it in a community that just gets it.
Tobias Penno: (10:06)
Whereas in the West, we don't have that. And if anything, for a lot of people, they come back from this deep experience with something ayahuasca. And they're suddenly in the face of this very Western urban world, which is quite disconnected from nature. And they aren't surrounded by people who have experiences with plant medicines and they're kind of a bit at a loss. And so I guess there's personal integration of a plant medicine journey, but there's also this collective integration that I think is being asked of us, a demand to change the way that we live our lives.
Tobias Penno: (10:45)
And there are community structures that need to be built into the way that we do things in order to make that change. So I think a lot of people are like, it's they're taking this massive dive and they're kind of getting taken to this opposite end of the spectrum of how life could be lived. And then they're coming back into this Western life and they're like, "Fuck what do I do now? How do I find a middle ground between these two places that is functional and works?" And some people go into they can go into some dark places after that, where they're trying to reckon these different worlds, a kind of really deep culture shock. And so, yeah, that can be a process.
Oh, and it's definitely not just psychedelics. I remember the very first big, lots of personal development that I was discussing was the same deal I remember when it was a big full weekend course. It was kind of one of those classic ones that you learn, that you have stories blah, blah, which is you look at that, look at them do and get philosophy. And you're like, "Oh God, that's okay."
Yeah. That's [inaudible 00:11:58] that's yoga, that's the [inaudible 00:12:00] psychology without the cultural bed of holism. Because aspects of the Western culture are so beautiful. Some aspects are rupturing so bad, it's you can almost see that universal cutting away of a part of an ancient philosophy say maybe it's psychedelics or maybe that's the extreme looking what the personal development looks this is your story.
This is what actually happened and here's the crossover. And then you learn that you have these stories and you've built these identities and that you're sacrificing love and affinity in order to be right. Or avoid being wrong. And it blows you open and it's the same that happens in psychedelics. And you walk back out into the world and you're like, "Oh my God, I'm a light worker among drones." And I really empathise with that thinking. And it is kind of funny because you can ironically, that's a story.
And you can't say that's reality. Although some people maybe experience that as reality. And it's a good game sometimes, but exactly what you're saying there is I feel really hitting a note. That you go back into reality after experiencing lot of is just a psycho artwork behind you there. When you see it and you go "God." For me that first night travelling, surfing the waves through the universe and experiencing flowers completely of all flower a planet to all flowers and being I spent 10,000 years here being a flower and spirit. And it's just so ridiculous and so beautiful and just completely blows the lid off this incredible structure.
Of course, it's done horrendous things, but this Western culture that has this beautiful structure, that's allowed us to do these magic things that's in the world. But it's calling the actual magic back in now to bring harmony. The jarringness when you go back in and you go, "Right, I've experienced the right way of seeing reality. I've got to be against this rather than integrating with it and accepting your place with reality seems to be a real yeah." The point where it kind of the shit hits the fan.
Tobias Penno: (14:48)
Yeah. I think people can get hung up on that. And that is a difficult thing, but I think you are right. If you can accept your place and see it as an invitation or an opportunity to be a change-maker in the world for a better society, a better world, then great. Then use the lessons from the psychedelic experience to change your world and you don't need to change the world, you just need to change your world.
Tobias Penno: (15:17)
And for me, that was a lot of that started with just changing my diet, changing the way I live my life, changing my myself in order to be more healthy, because one of the lessons of many that I got from ayahuasca was how lucky you are to be alive and how grateful I am to have a body and be in it.
Tobias Penno: (15:36)
And so I transitioned into somebody who really wanted to nurture my body quite organically. Whereas before I dare say, there was a bit of neglect going on. My body was just a tool for me to use, to have the life that I wanted. Whereas now it's more of I guess there's a sacred relationship to my body that has come out of these experiences. And then of course I've taken it a whole lot of steps further than that in terms of my integration because I've decided to practise as a therapist in this way.
Tobias Penno: (16:08)
And I'm really eager to be a researcher in this domain. I'm writing my PhD on it. And I have this vision and I'm sure a lot of people, whether they're interested in psychedelics or any of these alternative kind of methods of working with health and wellbeing are interested in this.
Tobias Penno: (16:28)
It's a wellness centre that is a holistic place that has an interdisciplinary team of practitioners that all work together to support somebody's emotional health and mental health. And I kind of, sometimes I think about does the medical model of working with health, which I would call maybe the right arm of healthcare. And then there's this kind of left arm of healthcare, which is the more holistic lifestyle kind of stuff.
Tobias Penno: (16:57)
And in the world of mental health, I kind of use the word emotional healthcare to refer to that where mental healthcare is your classic DSM diagnostic and pathologizing based kind of approach to mental health, which has its place. And then there's the left arm, which is what I would call emotional healthcare, which is where you go and see a nutritionist who's pretty up to scratch with nutritional psychiatry and a naturopath and a herbalist who knows how herbs and supplements can support your mental health.
Tobias Penno: (17:30)
You work with a therapist who works with some more alternative techniques rather than the kind of slightly dry CBT approach. There's more deep work, emotional work, somatic work, things like that, that can be used. And then you've got your other practitioners on board as well, maybe some body workers and things like that. At a centre that becomes a hub for this kind of practice.
Tobias Penno: (17:58)
And that's the kind of centre or place that I think that psychedelics would go really well in because they support, they kind of can act as a catalyst and support for all of those other changes that people might be wanting to make in their life. So that's kind of, part of my integration is how can we bring these into our health practises?
Well, what is the sweet spot then? We're talking a lot about psychedelics here. For you, with that work that somatic work and everything you've discussed, I'm sure you see people who haven't worked with psychedelics and just have kind of working off the back of say a psychedelic experience. It isn't even required. They didn't even require any medicines maybe. And I definitely didn't meet it after my personal development, deep dive in my early 20s, I was off on another planet with that.
But then there are obviously, I'm sure there's people who have dieted several times maybe being ensconced in that community taken on that tradition, very that then had maybe had a hard time landing. What's the sweet spot? Not in how much psychedelics you take, but you mentioned preparation. What's the sweet spot of intention for you, if you see the holistic health and integration is the intention, what is that sweet spot of how localised are your intentions with psychedelics?
Is that important rather than it being about I'm going to go and save the world or what's the sweet spot of setup and then integration afterwards? What do you want to see? What are the patterns when you see that it's been used healthily or being integrated healthily?
Tobias Penno: (19:50)
That's a good question. I mean your intention, ultimately, that's up to you and if you are somebody who's really passionate about making changes in the world, then not sure you can bring that intention in. But I do think there's some wisdom in that kind of idea of cleaning up your own backyard before you start going to anyone else's. And that lesson is not specific to psychedelics. So in terms of the sweet spot, when I work with people, what tends to be the first thing that happens is we put the breaks on.
Tobias Penno: (20:28)
People come to psychedelics, really looking for this silver bullet, thinking that it's going to just suddenly change their life. And I think that, yeah, it's important to slow that right down, because they're not a silver bullet. They're not right for everyone.
Tobias Penno: (20:45)
There are some people who probably don't need psychedelics and might even come out worse for where some people are already so open, so connected or they're kind of inner psychedelic state if you will already through other practices or just by nature of their personality. And for them, it's kind of well, throwing psychedelics in the mix is probably just adding more chaos than what we really need.
They might not be seeing the same visuals, the depicting behind you. But nonetheless, the state is somewhat is yeah, the states somewhat the same. You don't need to get flown into that dimension a bit anymore.
Tobias Penno: (21:29)
That's right. Yeah. And yeah, and if they're sort of in a period of instability in their life it's probably not always a good thing to be taking psychedelics when there's instability in your life. Because they're kind of like they do add a little bit of chaos or entropy into the system and for people who are stuck, really stuck, that can be great.
Tobias Penno: (21:53)
But sometimes people who are already in the chaos that can be not as helpful, but it's very personal and it depends exactly on what we're talking about. But yeah, the sweet spot for me is to put the breaks on and to encourage a person to really start just doing some quote unquote normal therapy. And I like the word mapping. Let's do some mapping together. Let's map a bit about your personality.
Tobias Penno: (22:21)
Let's map a little bit about your core beliefs. Let's do some sematic mapping. Let's look at how your nervous system regulates you in day-to-day life. How do you manage big experiences? What happens to you on a day-to-day level with your nervous system and what tools do you have to resource yourself to come back to your body and to regulate that the nervous system arousal and map what are your triggers and things that.
Tobias Penno: (22:52)
And maybe mapping some of your developmental history so that you've got this kind of sense of yourself. Because psychedelics can blow that open, they can also show you parts of the map that you didn't know existed. But hopefully, if you've done some good preparation, you won't get too surprised and it will make more sense to you. So, yeah.
And then just move very quickly on that, something really ringing true is if you've done somewhat of that mapping and you've gone, "Okay. Actually, I forgot about that part of myself I'm going to become aware." And you go through that work becoming aware of the map and you acknowledge those parts of yourself and your agency develops.
Then when you do get shown those other parts of the map, it's not this massive buildup of the kind of the incoming pile on the desk and just beyond all that shit you haven't got to yet and you are just bored with that going, "Yeah, I've got all kinds of patchwork over the top of that. But I can ignore that."
Bang, you pile up a bunch more on there. You just maybe really remember that feeling sometimes of coming out of ceremony and it was always great that it was always relevant for myself. Because I wasn't stuck in anyone else's story. I was completely, always in my own story.
So I could flow into my integrated paths and I could turn my business into something that allowed me to be the dojo where I integrated so on and so forth, but only just. And then it did get to a point after my first dieta, I was like "Ooh, that inbound pile is massive."
And the things I felt and saw about purpose, who I am, who people in my life, all the infinite nature of myself, the insights I got about why I'm here on this earth and so on. And they're all very personal and it's so mammoth and you think, "Great. Now I know that that's it."
But it's taking it from that in pile to that and going well, where does this live in the fabric of reality and takes a lot to build a life and build that into a family and build that into a business and career and a passion. So yeah, that's what you just said there really struck me, apologies to everyone. If you want to just [inaudible 00:25:19] talk and I'm just taking [inaudible 00:25:21] my therapy session. Just the other thing that might be used.
I've heard a lot in the psychedelic communities and I get it when you're ensconced and you're in love with it. And I get throwaway comments like this, but I also find they're very... I don't know what the word, I don't want to say it going. They're just very unhinged comments that anyone who is truly masterful would clearly pull themselves up on and had any capacity for nuance in this conversation.
Is that there a few people just going a few websites about new people coming up and just going there's just certain things when that you can do in a psychedelic experience that you were just never ever it's going to take 10 years of therapy. It's just no point not using them because therapy's just so slow and psychedelics can get that work done and we don't have time to waste. And I'm like, "I get that's very true ."
But my God, what a throwaway comment to oppose yourself to something like that slow burn, just talking to someone and slowly moving through a terrain and going, "Yeah. I can see that again. There's that part of me again. How do I work that with that?" And that somatic stuff, the mapping stuff, we all throw it under the banner of therapy, which is really therapy's got that reactionary kind of people think it means something.
A lot of people, it means something, I think it's very beautiful space that doesn't just mean one thing obviously and obviously you're talking to it. So I think that how huge that just that mapping, so you don't get smashed in the face with all this new stuff. And you're kind of in a space, I guess of welcoming.
Tobias Penno: (27:12)
[inaudible 00:27:14] interesting.
Tobias Penno: (27:15)
Yeah. I think it can be, it can be a lot of the time people do come away from a psychedelic experience and they say it was like doing 10 years of therapy in one night. And I think what they're speaking to is that a lot of the time we have that desk of paper that you mentioned, that's in the backlog. Unconscious material, implicit material stuff that happened to us when we were young and we didn't have kind of our narrative memory was not that well-formed.
Tobias Penno: (27:46)
And a lot of the memories are kind of implicit nonverbal kind of relational stuff with our primary caregiver that stuff's hard to access verbally and in normal therapy processes. Although I do think it is accessible. It's just that a lot of the therapy that we do in Australia is very heavily cognitively focused.
Tobias Penno: (28:09)
And I was speaking to a therapist about this just the other day. And I almost think if you think about really cognitive therapies as being a basic tool, a screwdriver. And then you could imagine that psychedelics are a jackhammer, right? But there are all these other tools in between those two that exist that you can draw on. I think somatic work, like some of the deeper psychotherapeutic kind of work, internal family systems is a great one that you can use to access those deeper parts and that unconscious material.
Tobias Penno: (28:45)
So I think for a lot of people who might have only ever experienced cognitive-based therapies or who have not done a lot of deep self-exploration already, they have a psychedelic experience. They go, "Oh my God, it was 10 years of therapy in one night." And that's because they were able to access those deeper places that seemed unreachable beforehand.
Tobias Penno: (29:08)
And that isn't to say that sometimes a psychedelic experience does give you access to things that are pretty much unreachable without them. And I think that is true, but I'm just kind of contextualising that 10 years thing in a framework of different modalities.
Sweet spot there a very intentionally used psychedelic journey could be the preparation work for a deep dive of therapy that isn't just so cognitive.
Tobias Penno: (29:38)
Yes. I think that's exactly it. There are some researchers who did some research on the synergies of mindfulness for psychedelics. And they came up with a great analogy, which I like that on the path to wellbeing, with respect to mindfulness, psychedelics could be conceived of as the compass and your mindfulness practice as the vehicle. So and I think that analogy goes broader than just mindfulness.
Tobias Penno: (30:12)
It's like the psychedelics can deepen your experience of the somatic. It can deepen your experience of mindfulness. It can give you a mystical experience. It can kind of show you parts of the map that you didn't know exist, but then you can more easily revisit those places afterwards. And ultimately you still kind of need to walk that you still need to drive the car.
Tobias Penno: (30:34)
You need to travel that land of your inner world outside of the psychedelic experience to actually lay it out properly and make meaning of it properly and have a relationship with it. So, yeah, I think that's... I love what you said. Psychedelics are great prep for good deep therapeutic work. And I do find that in my experience that once people have had their psychedelic experience.
Tobias Penno: (30:57)
Because I like to set up a therapy session where I try not to stay cognitive too much. it's as we get more and more trust in our therapeutic relationship one of my oldest clients, we have a two minute chat and then he just drops in. Sometimes he closes his eyes and he is just like, "All right, this is, what's coming up for me. This is what's alive."
Tobias Penno: (31:21)
And we do a deep dive and I think that after a psychedelic experience, I often find a client's capacity to just sit in their body and be with what's alive is heightened. And that allows for deeper therapeutic work.
And what a skill. And I think there's a lot of this just basic terminology or capacity to see that we're not pinning two different therapies up against each other. Take a bit more of a macro lens and look as this massive multi financial, multicultural, global society, we're trying to find some wisdom and we're all trying to stumble our way forward through different types of therapy, more very holistic therapy, university based kind of cognitive psychedelics.
So it's all the same ecosystem. It's the same in the mushroom world, everyone's like, "Yeah, my mushroom, brand's better than what you do." It's no we're in an ecosystem and we need to be able to have very mature conversation about the merits that I have versus the merits that you have.
And who's actually not working within integrity. It's the same with approaches to all right, well what are we trying to do here? Heal our traumas, ignite and embrace the triumphs from childhood, both of those figure out what stories we made up because of what parental stuff and blah, blah, blah, all that kind of stuff. So we can be like, "Oh cool. I feel some real self agency here. And that's not going to become unhinge, when I'm 70 and I'm going to start because I've got so much authority and power and I don't give a shit anymore.
I'm just going to make it everyone else's problem that I haven't sorted all that stuff out." It's all the same. So yeah and so just what you were saying then about that, all this client means that just that almost as a defined skill set, it's why I like [inaudible 00:33:19] because it's very Jing.
It's a very hard thing to describe, but also that term nails it and it's a obscure concept. People are what are you talking about? And then they get six months down the track and they maybe do some Jing herbs and have some simple lifestyle basics put in and they're like, "Oh yeah, I can see when I'm protecting that thing and when I'm not protecting it and I'm being blase about it."
Yeah, that's real. That skill that you just mentioned there I think that's what perhaps there's an attempt to overdevelop that and live just within the drop in. I can drop in and I can explore the cosmic realms of my internal world and be aware of those traumas and those things. It's like, "Okay, cool. That's not being a Shaman."
What are you doing with that? You have that so that you can facilitate in your meditative practise or with someone facilitating with you as you said. And I thought about this two weeks ago. When I sit with my [inaudible 00:34:24] guy and as a high awareness and taoism as well, which I find really useful. I just [inaudible 00:34:31] okay. And that's the same and I drop and I can feel what wishes to be talked about. And it animates for myself and I don't have to put too much meaning into it.
And now that I'm getting a little bit feet on the ground a little bit more, I'm let's explore that and see where that goes. And don't make too much meaning about what it is. It's the right time for this. But you can drop in so deep without recoiling in fear or thinking you're special because you can... It's all not and just having terminology around that, we want you to develop this.
Tobias Penno: (35:12)
Yeah, it's such an important skill and no it's not really anything special. I think it's actually in innate human skill that should be there, but which in the West, we've kind of drilled out of people that capacity to drop in a lot of the time, it's really hard for people. Sometimes it's hard because they've been systematically taught to suppress their emotions and their body.
Tobias Penno: (35:37)
But also we kind of live in a society that lives from the neck up and we celebrate the mind above all else, ways of knowing. And so something that happens for me whenever I... Because I get therapy for myself as part of my practise to learn. And because I was raised in quite a scientific family, dad's an engineer I've got a very kind of mathematical scientific frame as my original frame.
[inaudible 00:36:05] engineering as well? Science engineer?
Tobias Penno: (36:07)
I did. Yeah. That was my first degree before I got into social work. And whenever I do an internal family system session, it takes a bit to get past what I call the part of my mind, which I call the fact checker and basically that part, which is filtering-
[inaudible 00:36:28] don't do that to yourself. You better [inaudible 00:36:34].
Tobias Penno: (36:33)
That's right. Don't say that, no. And so to let go and actually just dive into something without worrying where it's going to go and whether it's some kind of ultimate truth or not just being, "Hey, this is interesting and this is what I'm feeling right now and talking into it without filtering." And I think that's a really important skill for somebody to develop in the lead into a psychedelic experience because essentially one of the things that psychedelics do is they kind of reduce that blood flow to the default mode network.
Tobias Penno: (37:08)
The part of the brain responsible for those really high levels of abstraction to do with the ego self-referential thinking. And so as that happens, our ego kind of starts to dissolve and the mind starts to let go or it doesn't or it fights back.
Tobias Penno: (37:25)
It's like, "No I'm not letting go. That's not okay." And so people can get into this kind of battle in their psychedelic experience with themselves as the mind struggles to let go, but you can do that. You can prepare for that. If you do these kinds of therapeutic sessions, what you have that relationship you have with your Jungian therapist.
Tobias Penno: (37:48)
If you've learned to kind of let go of the mind a little bit and sink into your body and your felt experience, that's going to serve you really well in a psychedelic experience, because that's kind of what's happening as well there.
Yeah. I feel for my own history that dropping in feeling, I mean that kind of just seems to be a stop point for a lot of the world that comes out of whether it's the yogic scenes, the psychedelic scenes that it's the just these little spiritual arenas, in Byron Bay and Bali. And places I love that I think are necessary in order to develop this maturity. Some of it's crude, but we've all been there and it's going to be cringe and there's [inaudible 00:38:41] but that you get that feeling and you go, "My God, this is my calling."
There's just that skill, which you said you've alluded to it. It's a basic human skill and yes, we need people to stop and facilitate people getting to that place. But just kind of think it's... But you'd hope that an appropriate is appropriately someone's then moved on from that just been where their skill set is developed and they remember what it was to get there, but then they've gone and landed. So hardcore in reality, rather than just thinking, this is my world now just travelling through.
Tobias Penno: (39:24)
Always being in process, always kind of trying to unpack this trauma or that experience or yeah, kind of healing culture. There's a Facebook page actually called healing from healing, I think. And it's all about this kind of healing culture and addiction kind of to being a hero that's going on this journey to hear my trauma always and never actually stopping and creating space. And I think that's something that for me is speaks to that sweet spot you're mentioning.
Tobias Penno: (40:02)
And I find that people who are finding the sweet spot, are the kinds of people who might have a psychedelic experience or a few and then they'll hit the pause button. And sometimes they'll hit the pause button for a couple of years and then they might think about coming back, but they kind of they wait for a new normal to set in where they feel kind of stable and integrated before they then go diving into a new experience.
Tobias Penno: (40:30)
Yeah, there's a great author who wrote a book? I can't remember his name right now about this kind of need for balance between the mundane and the sacred in life. And he made this comment that really landed for me, which is that in seeking that balance, if we live a life with too much of the mundane and not enough of the sacred, then life will crush you. But if you live a life with too much of the sacred and not enough of the mundane, then life will burn you.
Tobias Penno: (40:59)
And I think that for me, that's really true. If you're constantly drinking ayahuasca, taking psychedelics, then you might find yourself very confused and lost and emotionally overwhelmed. But if you live a life that's just purely in the rut of monocity and repeated kind of activities and you don't sort of seek out novel experiences or you're not able to recognise the sacred in the mundane, then life can get a bit of a bore.
Tobias Penno: (41:31)
And so the question really or the thing that we're really looking for is the balance between those two. And so I think that sweet spot, I think it's helpful to use that frame of reference to find a sweet spot with psychedelic use.
All the conversations I've had with Tony, my wife about this, just when we first met, a lot of her yoga trainings and talk about a lot of her teachers were just that it would be really amazing for you to experience. Go and experience a psychedelic of course not of course, but just if you feel called definitely it's really, it's something you really could benefit.
But also a lot of because she's got very, I guess responsible teachers, they would always say, "You can't you just be blase about..." Well, first of all, what are you going to practises going to bring up and what it's going to do? So I feel all of these to throw in a yoga process and psychedelics and starting to move yourself from mundane structures, it's a kind of a recipe for disaster.
And that's why a lot of her teachers would say while you're doing this, if you want to operate in this world first of all, you've got to have therapy going alongside your meditative practise. And I always thought about it because back then I was I don't need that. And I was on my high flying journey.
I probably just wouldn't have... I needed to be on my journey then, but now I'm like, "Oh wow." How incredible to have that kind of structure, if you're going so hard and fast. It is as you said, just a Jack hammer and just know it's so nice to have a nice gentle methodical integration process going on there. And I guess for me, what really grounded me was having a business that was starting to grow. [inaudible 00:43:40] with having conversations with bookkeepers, having conversations about contracts and accounters with my accountant, so on and so forth.
Which now I embrace, it's one of my number one grounding practises, which the sacred goodness is just absolutely blooming through all of it at the moment. Because I have a capacity to understand what's possible, I guess in terms of perception. So just, yeah. So many, I guess I'm putting so many little warning signs on it.
But what how incredible to be able to have access to these beautiful medicines and therapies and to see that there is a capacity for them to integrate as well. Yes. Cultural appropriation and appropriation of plants and taking them out super valid conversation needs to start, continue to happen.
But it is happening one way or another, whether you like it or not, it's all happening and far out. When you get these sweet spots, [inaudible 00:44:49] oh gosh, the gratitude is almost, it's overwhelming. Just what we get to work with in this lifetime. What abundance.
Tobias Penno: (44:58)
Yeah, how lucky are we to have access to these medicines? And I think the warnings are good they're really aren't for everyone. And also you really want to be prepared because they can bring up old traumas, they can definitely make matters worse for you. They're no silver bullet, but yeah. But when they do work, it's quite astounding how lucky we are to have them.
Tobias Penno: (45:23)
Yeah, I was thinking, as you were talking about sort of spiritual teachers and the sort of common thread that there is between these two and with respect to the need for therapy, because some spiritual teachers will advocate for deep practises almost at the expense of everything else. Almost you go to the teacher and you're like "Oh, I've got this problem with my life, blah, blah, blah."
Tobias Penno: (45:45)
And they're just like, "Yeah, but who is you? Who are you?" Who is it that has the problem and just kind of go straight to that, "Who am I?" question. That deep kind of [inaudible 00:45:56] philosophy. And it's total spiritual bypassing. And it's people try to do that at the expense of having therapy and a stable life with a family or some sort of arrangement where they have consistency and stability in their life. That's kind of out of balance. And that's not going to work well.
I tried to get therapy after we'd had our daughter and I was like, "God, it's really time." And I was kind of struggling a little bit. There was just so much coming to a head in my life. So much coming to a head and I was like, "Oh God." All right, I'm going to go and get my six free sessions at that time to go and get therapy. And I went and found someone in [inaudible 00:46:41] and I was like, "Great, I'm so stoked that I've done this."
And then he was like, "I do something new every year and I've just gone through all this shamanic training." And I was like, "Okay." I was like, "That's the opposite of what I feel I need. I'm coming away from shamanism a lot." And the first thing I told him, all this unloaded how I'm feeling towards my mom and my dad.
And just how so complicated at the moment with what was going on. And he goes, "Think about this on a universal level, they are on their universal journey. Why would you want to get in the way of their universal journey?" And I was like, "Oh my God, dude."
Tobias Penno: (47:18)
This is not what I need.
[inaudible 00:47:22] for 10 years I've lived in what you are trying to say right now. Don't try and too charm in me right now [inaudible 00:47:31] how irresponsible that was of him to go there, to experiment on me.
Tobias Penno: (47:45)
Yeah, I get it. Yeah. So I mean, all I'm really saying is that there's a need for balance hey, between those two. And I think a good therapist, or just even a person who's wanting to heal and grow as a person in a balanced way is going to attend to both of these things. They're going to attend to that mystical side of things, to some extent, if they feel the calling.
Tobias Penno: (48:10)
And they're going to attend to this life, this grounded life and their relationships and their work and their purpose and what it's like to be alive in this body right here and right now. And their diet and it's going to be a balanced approach. And I think it's the same with psychedelics. You can kind of use them to spiritually bypass where you are constantly chasing the [inaudible 00:48:34] or a mystical experience of some kind or perhaps you are obsessed with these kind of realms that exist.
Tobias Penno: (48:44)
It appears outside of the normal conscious awareness, the DMT realms and the ayahuasca realms and people deify these substances and start to treat them they're a God or something that. And so that you can kind of get lost in that process of bypassing into another place and not coming back to this world. And so I think it's the same as the guru. Same with your plant medicine teacher, you can't always be bypassing, you need that balance. Yeah.
And I think you nailed it there, coming back into the reality of life, it's such a lighthouse. And I've been fortunate enough to have some teachers, some are completely off the planet in their own [inaudible 00:49:33] in their own believing that their stage persona is what's real. And then they can live there forever.
But I had a lot of teachers, especially in the medicine realm where it was your barometer is how deep and loving your relationship is and how much utility your relationship has. And if you are truly on a path to have a strong family that where you are absolutely being the man of the house and you are absolutely honouring your wife. And so that was really embedded into me then, especially when just a few.
Yeah. And then to hear that call to arms being like, "Yeah, now go back and land in the world and do what's necessary to bring that vision through your business to life." Go in and learn financial optics, whatever it is go and learn management, that's for me. And that's for a lot of people [inaudible 00:50:37] how do I go and manifest things in the world without actually allowing that lighthouse to be go and do the gritty work now.
It's just such a great reminder that you mentioned backyard just localise. You localise, it seems to be such a sweet spot, such a core element. You just can't go wrong. And then before you know it you do enough of that and it mushrooms out and has a huge impact on the world, but just almost, you don't have your eyes on it, on that.
Tobias Penno: (51:11)
Yeah. I'm just giggling at your maybe unintentional pun, it mushrooms out. But yeah, totally and I think it's kind of, there's a holding capacity that you can develop for life. And once you've got your own sort of shit together, then you can maybe start thinking about mentoring or supporting other people or doing things for the community and things like that. But that will happen naturally once your system is kind of at full capacity and maybe overflowing.
Tobias Penno: (51:42)
So, yeah. And that theme is kind of the story of my experience with psychedelics. I went and had that far out there experience with ayahuasca and then afterwards I was trying to make sense of it and integrator. And I came across a teacher here in Perth who was doing some kind of cool embodiment work and teaching somatic work and group settings and things like that.
Tobias Penno: (52:10)
And he created a whole school called heart school. And, and I learned so much about embodiment and coming back to this, this place that is my body and coming to terms with what, what is held in this system. And for me, that was such a fundamentally important part of my integration from psychedelics that I then decided to go ahead and research that.
Tobias Penno: (52:39)
So that's my PhD at the moment is kind of asking the question, what is the role of embodiment in psychedelic therapy? Which seems after this conversation, I think people can kind of tell that's a pretty important part of it. And so, yeah, I'm trying to answer that question. Mine is a bit of a specific one. It's not just broadly embodiment with psychedelics. It's more what skill set does a therapist need in respect to the embodiment in order to do this work well and that's both for the integration, but as well as for different types of experiences.
Tobias Penno: (53:16)
Because sometimes people take psychedelics in a more that middle ground way where it's not the blast off, ayahuasca it's maybe what they call a threshold dose. Where you take... You could do it say with your Jungian therapist. If it was legal, you could take one or two grammes of mushrooms or something that and actually do the work with him live. And that's more you're kind of integrating as you're going in that instance.
[inaudible 00:53:42] what work is holotropic breath works, what they're kind of using in place.
Tobias Penno: (53:47)
Yeah, well, holotropic is kind of its standalone modality that was developed by [inaudible 00:53:52] and his partner as a replacement, I guess for psychedelics when their research was shut down many years ago. And so that is kind of a method that's intended to use instead of psychedelics. Although I could imagine people might use a small, a very small amount of psychedelics alongside holotropic breath work. But that is still fundamentally inexperience where you do a deep dive within yourself, right.
Tobias Penno: (54:23)
And you go in completely and then you come out and then you talk to someone, but there is a kind of different type of experience, which is one where you remain relational throughout the whole experience, right? So you might take a one gramme of mushrooms or a two gramme of mushrooms or even a half gramme of mushrooms and you sit there with a therapist and you do exactly the kind of work that you might normally do that you've described.
Tobias Penno: (54:48)
Say with your union therapist, you might do internal family systems work. You might do different kinds of somatic processing work. Mushrooms is okay for a kind of relational work, ketamine at low doses can be good for relational work. And same with MDMA. MDMA is particularly good for relational work. So there's that? Yeah, there's this whole other branch of psychedelic work, which is a subset of psychedelic-assisted therapy where a person takes a relational dose and they can actually do the work mid-session.
Tobias Penno: (55:25)
And it's kind of it's almost they're live integrating as they're going rather than having that deep end experience that they then have to kind of put the pieces back together afterwards. So that's something that I'm really interested in. And what I'm kind of discovering is that in terms of somatics, the skillset that a therapist needs to work with somebody during a relational dose is more or less a very similar skill set as what they need to do good preparation and good quality integration work.
Tobias Penno: (55:59)
It's that kind of deeper somatic skillset, right brain psychotherapy, that sort of capacity to hold space and be with somebody so that they can feel felt and provide reparative, relational experiences that support their sort of growth. So yeah, I think there's a kind of a seamless skill set that exists for all of those domains that I'm trying to kind of define in the literature, by interviewing therapists who are trained somatically and trained with psychedelics and asking them, "Okay, what are you noticing?"
Tobias Penno: (56:36)
And so yeah, at aptitude with boundaries, really skillful use of touch, that capacity to drop in themselves and do that work on themselves so that they can then support another person dropping in and noticing what is happening in this inter subjective field between therapists and clients. So they can kind of maybe yeah.
Tobias Penno: (56:57)
Reprogram or do some repair work if there's been relational damage in their history. And yeah, so I'm kind of trying to develop a set of heuristics for therapists who are interested in psychedelic work for the somatic aspect of that skill set. Okay. So what do you need? Because there's whole modalities out there, [inaudible 00:57:21] or sensory motor psychotherapy or somatic experiencing that are three, four year programmes to learn how to be a somatic psychotherapist.
Tobias Penno: (57:29)
But I don't really think that you kind of need that full fledged training to be able to work with psychedelics effectively. It'd be great if you did it, how amazing, but I think that it could be condensed and filtered into which parts of that work are useful for psychedelics. And that's essentially, my PhD is to come up with that set.
When you were talking about boundary, then that just then were you talking about in relation to what the therapist needs to have in place for themselves to facilitate effectively?
Tobias Penno: (58:02)
Yeah, totally. So one of the things that psychedelics do is they dissolve boundaries, boundaries of yourself, all sorts of boundaries. And so clients kind of enter a very vulnerable state and it's important that a therapist knows how to attend to them in a way that is sensitive to their needs, but not overstepping right.
Tobias Penno: (58:25)
And clients will ask for, "Oh, please hold my hand," or this or that. Sometimes they'll ask for things that are not appropriate. So a therapist needs to have an aptitude around that, to know when to step in and when to hold back without causing more harm to support that person. Yeah.
I got to bring up for anyone listening. I know some people might be new here, so it might not be as obvious that we might assume that we are not going to, the psychedelics are illegal in Australia. So if you are not asked to bias or you ask me, is there anywhere that we can source them or someone that's facilitating that, we're going to say, no. We're talking about countries where it is legal to do this kind of therapy and to go and have these experiences with client medicine.
And there are places where it is legal and can and again I don't know about, I'll hand it over to you. But if you ask myself, where should I go to drink [inaudible 00:59:26] in a really good spot, I'm not going to be able to tell you right now. I'm not in that world at the moment. So yeah. I don't know, but for yourself, do you have any partner anywhere?
Tobias Penno: (59:40)
Yeah. I'm similar, people still get confused. They come to me and they're like, "Oh, so where can I go and have a psychedelic experience?" Or they think that I offer it just because of the name of my business, psychedelic healthcare. And so I tell them that I can't tell them... I can't give it to them nor can I provide them the details of somebody that does.
Tobias Penno: (01:00:01)
And even with overseas stuff, it was such a long time ago. It was back in 2015 that I was in south America that I don't feel really that confident making recommendations for centres. There is a place that I went to the sacred valley in Peru where I sat with ayahuasca with a place called the sacred... What's that?
With Diego is that?
Tobias Penno: (01:00:28)
Yeah, the sacred valley tribe, they were really good. And I did enjoy that and found that meaningful.
[inaudible 01:00:36] tribe, is that what's the... Oh, they just I know few friends of mine have gone and sat with that crew. And I know he had a bit of a health challenge, but I think he came through it a few years ago and seeing a picture of him. But yeah, he's definitely an institution.
Tobias Penno: (01:00:56)
Tobias Penno: (01:01:00)
But with that one, that's an example of a place where you would go and you would sit with big groups usually, because often the ceremonies have 30 people in them. And so I'm not too sure what kind of work they do outside of that and how much individual one on work they do with people.
Tobias Penno: (01:01:17)
But I would definitely suggest to someone, if they're listening that to check in with yourself, to speak to a therapist and get clear around what would be right for you because that can come with its own risks being in this big group where it's a bit uncontained. That's hardcore stuff. I did it when I was this young traveller that didn't know better. And I just was like, "All right, I'm going to do this thing called ayahuasca."
Tobias Penno: (01:01:43)
But if I'd known what I know now, I probably wouldn't have done it in that way. And I would've gone for something a bit more small scale, intimate, deeper work with somebody who's going to hold me through it a bit more. And one place I can recommend without hesitation is the Hummingbird Retreat Centre also in the sacred valley where they offer San Pedro [inaudible 01:02:07] ceremonies.
Tobias Penno: (01:02:08)
And they hold a really imaculate space, beautiful place to go and do some healing. So those are the places that I could recommend for now, yeah.
Yeah. Don't get me wrong. It's amazing and part of a facilitation have done well, the concert aspect of an ayahuasca ceremony when the prayers are blasting and gosh, the peace act tribe song that are it's spirals, I think is one of the threads. I really like. It's just and you bloody spiral to the centre-
Tobias Penno: (01:02:47)
To the centre-
Of the light. [inaudible 01:02:52] and journey to the centre of my soul. You're like, "Oh." You it's amazing and facilitate so much. But it's okay, to what extent is this somewhat ornamental? Yes. Love, it would never trade the experiences I've ever had, sitting with some incredible artists who can sit in a small love group and see that perhaps there's a collective facilitation here now.
But a lot of it as you said is silence with just some [inaudible 01:03:31] and that's the vibe. And so it's understanding that terrain I think is not them say anything's bad or good, but if you're going to go in now understand what the different offerings and levels are. Yeah. And check your intent and [inaudible 01:03:48].
Tobias Penno: (01:03:47)
Yeah. Choose what's right for you. Yeah. Because there's the sort of pseudo spiritual kind of Western versions of the ayahuasca ceremonies. Where yeah, there's often guitars and live music and it's beautiful. But then there's the more kind of maybe traditional [inaudible 01:04:05] style ceremonies, which are often filled with lots of silence.
Tobias Penno: (01:04:08)
And if there is sound, then it's only music that can kind of be spontaneously produced. It's never a prerecorded song. And ideally it's [inaudible 01:04:17] which are essentially the gifts that the people have gained from doing Dieta's with different plants. They get a gift at the end of their [inaudible 01:04:28] and in their tradition, it's kind of I think your listeners might like this. That the idea that if they haven't heard this already, that when you diet a particular plant using ayahuasca, that at the end of your diet, when you close the diet, you drink ayahuasca one more time.
Tobias Penno: (01:04:45)
And then the spirit of the plant, this is in their tradition will give you a gift. And that gift is often a song or an [inaudible 01:04:52] and that [inaudible 01:04:54] or song, it's not something that's always the same, but rather is a kind of particular tone and vibration and frequency, which carries the energetic signature of the plant. The idea being that once you've dieted a particular plant, you then have been given that gift.
Tobias Penno: (01:05:10)
And when you sing that song, you can kind of confer some of the effects of that plant to somebody else just by singing that song in ceremony and things like that. And so in that tradition, it'll be more of those kinds of spontaneous [inaudible 01:05:26] and songs of the plants and things like that, you would experience intermingled with silence.
I might just to... Sometimes it's when I do a herb talk, I get two and a half hours in and I realise I haven't actually mentioned to herb and I'm like, "Oh crap." And so I just... I think just this is especially I think been a podcast where we've specifically spoken about ayahuasca than the other and it's something it's very... Yeah, I have a very personal connection there, but just been superfeast podcast.
I will tie in a few things that I have observed. And I remember after my first sitting, I just brought mushrooms out. It was [inaudible 01:06:15] wasn't in really anywhere where in terms of recognition, but I just brought the mushrooms out and I was like, there's get a really strong feeling to share this with everyone.
And the person who was serving was were this were just having one after ceremony. And they were like and I was just going through my experience. And they were wow, it was really incredible, you're able to actually make so much sense of what's happened and you weren't just been blown around. And I was, "Yeah." And I started talking about mushroom mycelium and how I really get a sense that there's some sort of fashion connection, my mycelium connection that can be really useful.
And they were drinking it. They were like, "This is insane. I can feel the ally." There's an allyship there, especially with the [inaudible 01:06:58] was land of the dragon, land of the condo. And then that land of the [inaudible 01:07:03] the two can there, it's you can feel there's a real beautiful collaboration there.
And having those mushrooms as a part of the... Just having your system being somewhat in harmony and having resilience to go through those experience really important. They're very [inaudible 01:07:21]. And so the mushrooms just are generally good in that area.
And then likewise, there's been a lot of people who have been in deep dives or people who have become friends who serve and then getting them onto the Jing herbs have been such... It's not natural to sit up that late and be up all night in ceremony, it's really bad for the body.
Tobias Penno: (01:07:47)
It's tough, yeah.
It's hard. And so having people just like, "Oh yeah, it's just one night." It's just like, "Don't underestimate." It's being on those Jing herbs and making sure your kidneys are resilient ahead of time.
Or I remember just introducing Jing herbs to a few of them and then they were just, "Oh my gosh, this is bringing me back to life." And it's like, "Yeah, you're going to need to rely on them for a couple of months because you've gone so far [inaudible 01:08:17]."
Tobias Penno: (01:08:17)
The tonic herbs do fit into this conversation there. And I feel everything is relevant even in the absence of psychedelics, we're not talking about something that only psychedelics can deliver, even though people will tell you that. They are unique and they need to get their props and their uniqueness and what they're specialising in. But yeah, even without them, there's so much here that it's the same journey for a lot of people listening to this.
As I said, towards becoming an elder in having the capacity to integrate many aspects of self and life and that prevention of degeneration of mind and degeneration of love in your heart, so on and so forth. That's what we mean by that preventing that degeneration. And so, yeah, you can see why it's relevant to have these kinds of conversations to bring some more colour and see where they lap over the herbs and the psychedelics and it's worth.
Tobias Penno: (01:09:16)
Totally psychedelics are just a tool, one of many tools in the toolkit of resources that you might use on this path to eldership. And yeah, for me and for a lot of people, they were just the beginning of the journey really, coming from that scientific kind of Western background, I kind of was not very open to naturopath herbalism and all of this kind of left arm of healthcare that I mentioned before.
Tobias Penno: (01:09:46)
But now that I've had those experiences being opened, now I am prepared to and open to and I'm right into all of that sort of stuff. And psychedelics are not as really relevant as they once were in my life. And so, yeah, they're just... I guess they're just a tool and... Well, I don't want to say they're just a tool actually, because I think there's more to it than that.
Tobias Penno: (01:10:14)
There's a kind of consciousness to the plants and that they are, we are entering into a relationship with nature when we take these plants, whether it's herbs or psychedelics in a way you could think about psychedelics as just being sort of on the spectrum of herbs. It's just a herb that happens to change our consciousness in a really obvious way.
Tobias Penno: (01:10:42)
But the other herbs do that too. And you've got to kind of be really paying attention to the subtleties to see how they change it, but they all do it. It's just psychedelics seem to do it in a really powerful way. So yeah, there could be an ally in your repertoire of herbs maybe.
And then just, where tools do come into it. Is, the mapping it's [inaudible 01:11:07] for someone myself, having the capacity to stop and take just look back at where what's happened since say an experience of what I have developed where have I overdeveloped in some way.
And then looking at where, what the roadmap is going ahead, it's that kind of stuff that is... That's the slow, methodical planning that lands... In [inaudible 01:11:36] and the liver hun, that liver horn it lands in reality and can plan a really conscientious path towards the manifestation of what we are choosing through our agency or what our highest division is. But when you can't plan that methodically, the hun just flies and you're off and you can't plan without really surveying the terrain.
And that's what that kind of slow practise really does. It brings that [inaudible 01:12:11] really into the fold. So that you can bring a little bending of the... It's not just a torrent of blood [inaudible 01:12:21] to that flow of blood, to the arteries and to the walls. And so that there's a couple of babbling brooks of how your spirit moves through the body.
And there's enough patience and time for it to really integrate in the sense of it integrates into your flesh. [inaudible 01:12:50] that much love. It's like, just because you experience that much love and infinite wholeness at once doesn't mean that's in your flesh. That's a lot of [inaudible 01:13:00] repetitious work.
Tobias Penno: (01:13:03)
That's right. Yeah. It's the first chapter in a book of practises that you can get around. And it takes years. And for me, it's just a constant unfolding and often the same lessons come back, just in a slightly different form. And I've learned from it, but it's still the same thing coming back to me.
Tobias Penno: (01:13:31)
I've got to work on this, I've got to work on that. So yeah, it's a constant unfolding and it takes a while to embody it into your flesh and bones and it's slow. But what a privilege, what a joy to be doing this.
Absolutely. And your practise looks awesome by the way, psychedelic healthcare.
Tobias Penno: (01:13:54)
[inaudible 01:13:55] you just doing in person?
Tobias Penno: (01:13:59)
Yeah, I do. Well, no, I do Zoom online chats with people as well as face-to-face. Yeah.
Cool. So you've got a wait list at the moment. Is that right?
Tobias Penno: (01:14:08)
I do. Yeah. I do have a bit of a wait list, but I'm trying to get through it and hopefully build the business eventually so that it has more capacity to see more people, maybe train some other people up who want to kind of work with me and ideally eventually be part of a wellness clinic that has the whole interdisciplinary kind of team of practitioners. That'd be the dream, because I really think that psychedelic integration done well involves all of it.
Tobias Penno: (01:14:35)
Like we just said, it's just the opening chapter. And then from there, there's all of these practises and tools and herbs that you can start to learn that can do the more subtle shifts that are more kind of more integrated and more wholesome and more sustainable. It's not sustainable to be taking big dose psychedelics regularly, but it is sustainable to have a practise with your Jing product, for example. You could take that for a few months in a row and watch how that affects you and things like that.
Yeah, that has been... When we always know, it's like when people go, "I want my business to be..." I don't know, use an extreme example. And they would relate to my Tesla or either a social media platform person related to Facebook. It's these are outliers. These aren't the bulk of the bell curve where you most likely will.
So when you meet people kind of where I was at or where I met with a lot of people, I knew they were doing high doses, they were going through deep dives and there was a lot of additional ceremony going on around. But if you look at how their lives were set up at the time, it was a very open life that were revolved around them being able to go and take a few days off if needed to, to go into their process that were revolved around personal practise.
There wasn't generally... There was also people who were doing it well, they're in a strong relationship of someone who is also on that path, that is in a bit more of the outlier or I don't want to use the word extreme. But in relation and it's not realistic if you can't do that. If there's kids at school and you are tied to that reality. Maybe for someone it's okay, well we're going to take the kids out of school and become a travelling gypsy tribe, while we do that possibly.
But it's not just all gravy. It's a lot, there needs to be those anchors in place, still that do tether you. If you are going to go into that extreme usage of psychedelics, it's not just really look at the reality of how it's set up and everything we've talked a lot about it today.
Tobias Penno: (01:16:52)
There are a lot of people going and I know like this guy, didn't got my God, he developed so quickly. It's yeah, well look at what else he would've had to sacrifice and attune to because he can.
Tobias Penno: (01:17:05)
You know what I mean?
Tobias Penno: (01:17:07)
Totally. Yeah. It's a whole book that you are opening. With the first chapter is the psychedelic and it's gone to take work if you're going to integrate it meaningfully and embody the changes properly in your life. I'm a bit like you. I think I can be a bit gun-ho, especially when I was younger and I first decided to take ayahuasca. I just went for it.
Tobias Penno: (01:17:31)
And it's been a gradual process of learning for me to get more sustainable in the way that I deal with life. And a big part of that is my beautiful partner, Lara who actually is responsible for setting up this podcast interview with you in the first place.
[inaudible 01:17:51] email.
Tobias Penno: (01:17:52)
Yeah. It was a surprise. I only found out last week, because my birthday was a week or two ago. So she was like, "Happy birthday. Here's a podcast with SuperFeast." I was like, "Cool, thanks babe."
When is your birthday?
Tobias Penno: (01:18:07)
[inaudible 01:18:08] okay. Yeah. I'm 3rd of June.
Tobias Penno: (01:18:11)
Yeah. Oh nice, similar. Are you also Gemini?
Yeah, you're Gemini.
Tobias Penno: (01:18:16)
Yeah. Also Gemini.
[inaudible 01:18:17] when I'm around all astrology except of my own sign.
Tobias Penno: (01:18:24)
Yeah. But yeah, my partner, she's where I am the one who's a bit more like will go for things and can be a bit ungrounded maybe. She's very grounded and she's study naturopath and learning the way of the herbs and the slow kind of path and the more sustainable path.
Tobias Penno: (01:18:46)
So I'm learning a lot from her around how to integrate using herbs and transitioning away from coffee and alcohol and replacing it with Jing and cacao and things like that is really helping me to integrate.
Beautiful. Oh, that's nice. It's nice to have a good collaboration. In life a loving collaboration.
Tobias Penno: (01:19:09)
Totally. Yeah, on a similar path, but offering kind of complimentary pieces, it's nice.
Yeah. I mean it can't just can't be [inaudible 01:19:21] enough. Just how in just how powerful it is.
Tobias Penno: (01:19:25)
That's very... Yeah. Man's sweet and your work, so yeah. I'm loving yeah. Hearing about your work. And it's like I was as I said, I'm kind of on a potentially peeling back a little bit from doing so many of these big open ended podcasts and really diving into keeping it really close to home.
But this is yeah [inaudible 01:19:48] this one felt good and yeah, I've definitely spoken about it enough on the podcast that it felt right to give everyone access to this work and your work. And is your podcast going? Yeah, you've said you've got a couple of [inaudible 01:20:00] to continue one.
Tobias Penno: (01:20:02)
Yeah. There's a couple of podcasts that I'm working on, but I haven't released yet. So I guess if you're interested, follow me and eventually you'll see.
You haven't got a newsletter sign up?
Tobias Penno: (01:20:19)
I don't at the moment, but if you jump on my wait list, you could even just write on there that you want to be on the newsletter. Because there is going to be one coming soon. I just haven't developed that yet. There's a lot of events that are happening over here in Perth in the psychedelic scene. Kind of at the moment I'm running the Perth chapter of the Australian Psychedelic Society.
Tobias Penno: (01:20:42)
And yeah, we've got some really exciting events coming up. So if you just want to be aware of what's happening on the psychedelic scene, then just sign up to their APSs newsletter and that'll keep you abreast of what's going on. Integration circles, we've got a book launch coming.
Tobias Penno: (01:21:00)
A friend of mine has just finished his book that I mentioned the one that I said that his integration process involved writing a whole book is kind of a jungle dank fiction loosely based on his experiences, travelling through South America and drinking ayahuasca and his pen name is Alejandro Twama and the book is called A Glimpse of Eternity.
Tobias Penno: (01:21:26)
And so that's going to be coming out and launched in Perth pretty soon. I'm pretty excited about that. Yeah. So just jump on the APS newsletter, if you want to hear about upcoming psychedelic related events or if you want to work with me, then the wait list would be the way to go
Beauty. Well, thanks for today, man. Really great today. Yeah. I like the sounds of integration groups on and so forth. There's a lot of people wandering around not realising that they [inaudible 01:21:57] actually, that's what I'm really yearning for.
Tobias Penno: (01:21:59)
Yeah, totally. Yeah. What an exciting place to be in at the moment as this field is blowing up and our culture is recognising, or at least a big part of our culture is recognising all of the important work that you are doing in the health and healthcare kind of alternative space. So thank you for the work that you do. And I really appreciated being on the podcast and connecting
Oh, thank you [inaudible 01:22:27] that really appreciate it. And [inaudible 01:22:28] absolute pleasure. We'll, stay in touch and I'm positive you'll get a few people joining the wait list and yeah, it's nice to know that, that service is there. I'll definitely be sending some people your way because it's amazing. Even though I don't really talk about psychedelics ever [inaudible 01:22:51] in my Instagram is just been in a scaly waggon and yet and I always have so many messages.
It's like, I'm in that place of psychosis and I've been blown so far open and I just don't know how to get back into reality. And I know that feeling, I remember walking around and all of a sudden walking into my house and just been like... Just all of a sudden, another dimension and literally be in another dimension and it's then just a falling and ah, it's no joke. I really think [inaudible 01:23:33].
Tobias Penno: (01:23:34)
Yeah. It's very real and yeah. So I think it's nice. It's just nice to know that there's a little funnel there for along the water slide for the top and go, "Cool. Yeah, head in that direction and there's resources."
Tobias Penno: (01:23:53)
Yeah. That's right. And if I can't see people, I also have recommendations of other practitioners around Australia who work in this space as well. So yeah. Cool.
It's so important, not to just I'm sure medications at times go really far is it comes into the conversation and not doing it, but to not just be, to have someone with an understanding
Tobias Penno: (01:24:19)
[inaudible 01:24:20] shoulder it's far out who understands the terrain rather than someone who's just I think it's just a psycho [inaudible 01:24:26] you don't get what I'm saying. It's not made up [inaudible 01:24:31]. Anyway, thank you. Happy birthday for 25th.
Tobias Penno: (01:24:40)
Yeah, happy birthday for you too.
[inaudible 01:24:42] very much. Yeah. Had a lot of fun and everyone I really encourage you to go up to the newsletter. And are you on social media?
Tobias Penno: (01:24:44)
Tobias Penno: (01:24:46)
Facebook and stuff.
All right, well go follow on all the links down in the bio. Go follow all the platforms and have a beautiful day.
Tobias Penno: (01:24:57)
You too, bro.