Psychedelic Science 2023 – Movie Competition Day – Steve Pavlina


I really like how pleasant and open the vibe is right here at Psychedelic Science 2023 in Denver.

As we had been heading down the elevator in our lodge yesterday, we acquired to chatting with an enthusiastic attendee on the way in which out. She instructed us they needed to cap registrations at 11,500 and switch away 70 distributors. That doesn’t shock me. We’re clearly in a wave of surging curiosity in psychedelics. I’m right here as a result of I’m keenly to study extra concerning the potential for utilizing psychedelics for self-development. I’ve solely completed a couple of psychedelic journeys to date, and I’d say there’s a 99% probability I’ll do extra this 12 months.


For the reason that fundamental convention doesn’t begin until this morning, the one factor we had entry to yesterday was the Psychedelic Cinematheque, which was a one-room movie competition on the Colorado Conference Middle. Rachelle and I watched 5 movies yesterday, and each one was packed, some with individuals sitting on the ground and standing across the perimeter. At one movie individuals had been even sitting on the stage to assert a spot. There have been vibrant and supportive Q&As with the filmmakers after each. We noticed:

  1. Descending the Mountain – This was a zen-like and peaceable movie about psychedelic experiments at a zen monastery on a mountain in Switzerland. The stunning quantity of humor and cute animations acquired a number of laughs from the viewers.
  2. We Are the Medication – This was a brief movie concerning the BIPOC perspective on psychedelics. I cherished the road about how white individuals’s medication doesn’t serve white individuals effectively both. There have been some emotional moments with the forged and author / producer afterwards. I actually want this movie had higher sound because it was laborious to make out what individuals had been saying in some elements, particularly the opening scene the place individuals had been conversing in a busy restaurant. Maybe they might improve the audio high quality with Descript’s “studio audio” filter.
  3. Eskawata Kayawai: The Spirit of Transformation – This was an insightful deep dive into the Huni Kuin indigenous individuals within the Amazon Rainforest and the way they’ve been rekindling their long-term relationship with ayahuasca after shedding contact with it for many years. The placement was so distant that it took the filmmakers almost every week to journey to those villages, together with 4 days on a riverboat. The director mentioned it took six years to make this movie – wow.
  4. Wider Than Our View – This was a three-minute, digitally hand-drawn animated quick, representing a mystical expertise throughout a psychedelic journey. I discovered it a delight to look at and acquired to see it twice. I did a double-take after I noticed the filmmaker’s title: Sasha Frost. Rachelle and I had playfully completed Wordle whereas having lunch shortly earlier than seeing this, and the phrase was FROST. We’ve been operating into synchronicities like this all week.
  5. Higher Dwelling By means of Chemistry – This documentary explored the life and work of Sasha Shulgin. He labored for Dow Chemical after which arrange his own residence lab, the place he developed virtually 200 psychedelic substances. First he examined them on himself; then he invited a gaggle of associates and colleagues to partake and doc their experiences. For the previous 12 months and a half, a gaggle in Berkeley has been persevering with his work, they usually declare to have a few new substances that needs to be beginning medical trials quickly.

Extra movies will likely be proven all through the remainder of the week, however I’m not planning to see any of these for the reason that fundamental convention kicks off at present, and there are tons of of reside periods to select from. Earlier than arriving in Denver, I mapped out my schedule for the following three days fairly effectively (permitting for some choices as I am going). That was powerful as a result of there are such a lot of overlapping periods of curiosity. This convention has tracks on science, remedy, plant medication, research, medical trials, coverage, society, veterans, and extra.


There’s additionally an experiential zone right here name Deep Area. I’m going to attempt to weave in a while there as effectively, however I actually really feel like I’d need to clone myself 5-6 instances to see and expertise every little thing right here that I’d like to see. Throughout breaks I’ll strive to take a look at the Expo too, which has a pair hundred exhibitors.

I’m wanting ahead to beginning the principle convention at present with the opening keynotes, together with one by Colorado Governor Jared Polis. Then I plan to attend no less than one morning periods on microdosing, adopted by quite a lot of different periods all through the day. Paul Stamets is talking this afternoon, so I wish to catch his discuss on shrooms too. You could have seen him within the movie Improbable Fungi.

The son of a great buddy of ours is internet hosting a panel tomorrow morning on sports activities medication with gamers from the NFL, NHL, and NBA, sharing about their psychedelic journeys. We’ll make sure you attend his session and say hello.

PS2023 actually goes all out with the emotional and religious assist. One room within the conference middle is put aside as a quiet room. Throughout from that may be a meditation / reflection room. Why do they want each? Maybe the quiet room is for individuals who simply need quiet however with out the reflection.

There’s even a room the place individuals can play with canine for additional consolation and connection. I famous that the doggie room is fairly near the opposite two rooms, so hopefully the canine gained’t be too loud. :dog:

Along with the convention, we signed up for a few associated night social occasions / events, one on Thursday evening (which fits until 4am) and one on Saturday evening. I’ll do my finest to tempo myself, however a part of me additionally needs to take in as a lot as potential whereas I’m right here.

We arrived early so we additionally had slightly time to squeeze in some touristy stuff, together with exploring the beautiful Denver Botanic Gardens. Right here’s a pic I took there:

I figured that spending a number of hours round vegetation can be a pleasant option to gear up for the convention.

We additionally maintain noting that the vibe in Denver (and the final look of the areas we’ve seen to date) retains reminding us of Canadian cities. There are some elements that remind us of Winnipeg, others of Toronto, Calgary, or Montreal.

Set and Setting

These days I’ve been pondering how the psychedelic ideas of set and setting (i.e. mindset and surroundings) additionally apply to our broader lives. As an example, I used to be in a terrific place to write down this submit this morning, feeling conscious round 5am, taking a scorching bathe, and feeling impressed to share concerning the expertise of being right here. I wrote this on a comfy sofa in our lodge suite whereas Rachelle slept within the bed room (so I wasn’t disturbing her). I really like to write down from a mindset and heartset of openness, curiosity, reflection, and connection.

So I’ll go away you with this as one thing to ponder for your self. How’s your set (mindset) proper now? How’s your setting (surroundings)? Are these conducive to your experiencing the type of circulation you need? If not, the place are your leverage factors for making some constructive modifications or upgrades? Bear in mind that you’ve the facility to maneuver your physique to a special location, to vary your social circle, and to shift your psychological focus and your emotional state.

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