Dennis McKenna — The Depths of Ayahuasca: 500+ Sessions, Fundamentals, Advanced Topics, Science, Churches, Learnings, Warnings, and Beyond (#523)

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” To my mind, science, properly pursued, just deepens the mystery. It does not take the mystery away. It shows you how mystery exists profoundly at every level.”
— Dennis McKenna

His doctoral research at the University of British Columbia focused on the ethnopharmacology of ayahuasca and oo-koo-he, two tryptamine-based hallucinogens used by indigenous individuals in the Northwest Amazon.

He is a founding board member of the Heffter Research Institute, and was an essential organizer and individual in the Hoasca Project, the first biomedical examination of ayahuasca used by the UDV, a Brazilian spiritual group. He is the more youthful sibling of Terence McKenna.

From 2000 to 2017, he taught courses on ethnopharmacology in addition to plants in human affairs in the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota. In 2019, in collaboration with associates, he included a new non-profit, the McKenna Academy of Natural Philosophy. He emigrated to Canada in the spring of 2019 together with his partner Sheila, and now lives in Abbotsford, B.C.

Dennis McKenna (@DennisMcKenna4) has invested more than 40 years investigating the interdisciplinary research study of Amazonian ethnopharmacology and plant hallucinogens. He has carried out extensive ethnobotanical fieldwork in the Peruvian, Colombian, and Brazilian Amazon.

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Get In Touch With Dennis McKenna:.

The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss by Dennis McKenna|Amazon.
Keep in mind to keep in mind: Take Away Lessons from My Interview with Tim Ferriss by Dennis McKenna|View from the Far Side.
Ethnopharmacologic Search for Psychoactive Drugs (Vol. 1 & & 2): 50 Years of Research Edited by Dr. Dennis McKenna, PhD; Professor Sir Ghillean T. Prance; Professor Wade Davis, PhD; Benjamin De Leonen|Amazon.
The Ethnopharmacologic Search for Psychoactive Drugs: Reflections on a Book that Changed My Life by Dennis MeKenna|American Botanical Council.
ESPD 50|McKenna Academy.
ESPD 50|Vimeo.
Heffter Research Institute.
The Hoasca Project|MAPS.
University of Minnesota.
The Yanomami|Survival International.
Herbaria & & Libraries|Harvard University.
Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors in South American Hallucinogenic Plants Part 2: Constituents of Orally-Active Myristicaceous Hallucinogens|Journal of Ethnopharmacology.
Agrostology; An Introduction to the Systematics of Grasses by James P. Smith, Jr. |
Digital Commons. Psilocybe Cubensis|Wikipedia.
Psilocybin: Magic Mushroom Growers Guide: A Handbook for Psilocybin Enthusiasts by O. T. Oss and O. N. Oeric|Amazon.
The Amazonian Travels of Richard Evans Schultes|The Amazon Conservation Team.
The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge by Carlos Castaneda.
Ethnopharmacology: Reflections on 50 Years of Research by Dennis McKenna|The Ethnobotanical Assembly.
Neuromuscular Blocking Drugs: Discovery and Development|Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.
List of Central Nervous System Agents (CNS Agents)|
Herbs Affecting the Central Nervous System|ASHS Press.
Kava Kava|Healthline.
The Controlled Substances Act|DEA.
Ayahuasca and the Amazon by Hernando Echeverri-Sanchez|The Ethnobotanical Assembly.
The Pharmacology of Ayahuasca with Dennis McKenna|EntheoNation.
Powerful Ayahuasca Plant Allies: The Shamans Treasure Chest|Kahpi.
Beneficent Spiritist Center União do Vegetal.
Religious beliefs of the Forest|Santo Daime.
Making Use Of Ayahuasca in Brazil by the Santo Daime Religion|MAPS.
Psychotria Viridis (Chacruna)|Entheology.
Diplopterys Cabrerana (Yahe Vine)|Entheology.
What is a Dieta?|
Psychedelic Empowerment and the Environmental Crisis: Re-Awakening Our Connection to the Gaian Mind|Bioneers.
Brugmansia and Datura: Angels Trumpet|Portland Nursery.
Devils Breath AKA Scopolamine: Can It Really Zombify You?|The Guardian.
The Serpent and the Rainbow|Prime Video.
Worlds Scariest Drug|Vice.
We Are Harvesting Ayahuasca at an Alarming Rate|Kahpi.
Ayahuasca Retreats|Soltara Healing.
Dennis McKenna at “The Event at La Chorrera: A 50-Year Retrospective”|View from the Far Side.
Real Hallucinations: Being an Account of the Authors Extraordinary Adventures in the Devils Paradise by Terence McKenna|Amazon.
Chiric Sanango|Gastro Obscura.
Lets Talk About Psychedelic-Induced Psychosis|Psymposia.
Set and Setting: Why Preparation Matters|DoubleBlind.
Bellevue Hospital|Atlas Obscura.
A Trip Inside the Schizophrenic Mind|Scientific American.
The Eleusinian Mysteries: the Psychedelic Cult That Thrived For Nearly 2000 Years|Gizmodo.
A Leading Center for Exploring Human Potential|Esalen Institute.
Amazonian Digital Herbarium Project|Botanical Dimensions.
Universidad Nacional de la Amazonía Peruana.
Company for Tropical Studies.
Mushroom Expert Exhumes the Stoned Ape Theory|Huge Think.
Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution by Terence McKenna|Amazon.
Michael Pollan & & Dennis McKenna: This is Your Mind on Plants|Second Home.
What is Epigenetics?|CDC.
When Do We Need Voucher Specimens?|PhyloBotanist.
Woven Science.
ACT Raises $35,000 for The Trio Indian Shamans Encyclopedia|Amazon Conservation Team.
Ensuring Equitable Benefits: The Falealupo Covenant and the Isolation of Anti-Viral Drug Prostratin from a Samoan Medicinal Plant|Pharmaceutical Biology.
Indians Are Key to Rainforest Conservation Efforts Says Renowned Ethnobotanist|Mongabay.
Dr. Mark Plotkin on Ethnobotany, Real vs. Fake Shamans, Hallucinogens, and the Dalai Lamas of South America|The Tim Ferriss Show # 469.
Plants of the Gods– Dr. Mark Plotkin on Ayahuasca, Shamanic Knowledge, the Curse and Blessing of Coca, and More|The Tim Ferriss Show # 508.
” Surely Youre Joking, Mr. Feynman!”: Adventures of a Curious Character by Richard P. Feynman|Amazon.
The Blind Men and the Elephant|Peace Corps.


The Tim Ferriss Show is among the most popular podcasts worldwide with more than 600 million downloads. It has actually been chosen for “Best of Apple Podcasts” 3 times, it is frequently the # 1 interview podcast throughout all of Apple Podcasts, and its been ranked # 1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on lots of events. To listen to any of the past episodes free of charge, take a look at this page.

Want to hear another episode with someone whos not scared to tread Amazonian jungles in the puddles left by Richard Evans Schultes steps? Provide your ears to my conversation with ethnobotanist Mark Plotkin about Schultes proclivities as a trickster in the shamanic custom, how a shaman in the northeastern part of the Amazon cured Marks foot pain immediately when no one else could, the “holes” in Western medicines understanding, hallucinogenic frogs, the risks of ayahuasca and other Amazon-derived hallucinogens, and far more.

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Dennis explains his very first meeting with famous ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes, the taking place correspondence, and how it started a journey he wasnt quite anticipating. 06:53
After spending 15 years in the sweltering Amazon, can Richard Evans Schultes be blamed for the disarming state in which Dennis first encountered him at Harvard?
What made Sanford Siegel such a special, innovative scientist, and why is science such a crucial framework for serious explorers of the psychedelic ecosystem?
What is Dennis “tortured” definition of ethnopharmacology? How many of the medical substances we take for granted today have a cultural back story?
On the government-subsidized 1967 Ethnopharmacologic Search for Psychoactive Drugs collecting, its 50th anniversary (and corresponding volumes modified by Dennis), the intervening Controlled Substances Act, and current, surprising findings associated with ayahuasca. 30:58
What is the UDV?
Does the UDV distinguish between different types of brews for different functions? What is the organizations view of ayahuasca as a medicine, and why have its adherents allowed outsiders to investigate its mysteries with scientific interest?
Theres not just one kind of ayahuasca. What has been Dennis experience with a few of its other varieties, and what practical purposes might be served by finding out more about them? Why has additional study been elusive so far? 44:01
What is Brugmansia, and what makes it so frightening? How is it used, and what should you do if you discover that some has ended up in your ayahuasca?
Reasons to be mindful with sight-unseen mercenary “shamans” providing to assist you on psychedelic journeys in strange lands from which you might not return. 51:17
The advantages and disadvantages of how ayahuasca tourism has actually changed its traditional use recently. 54:24
If ayahuasca is something that can change your life after just one use, how does Dennis validate taking it over 500 times in his life, and what has it taught him? 58:14
What circumstances might determine Dennis decision to take part of ayahuasca, and why does he think microdosing ayahuasca might really be of benefit– even if hes hesitant of the efficacy of microdosing other substances? 1:02:54
That time when things went extremely askew: the experiment at La Chorrera (as narrated in Terence McKennas True Hallucinations), and why anyone undertaking such an exploration needs to be gotten ready for this possibility. 1:08:13
Was it just an uncommonly plentiful and constantly consumed supply of psilocybin mushrooms over a long duration of time to blame for sending out the experiment at La Chorrera off the rails?
When is it appropriate to let things play out– as they ultimately did for Dennis at La Chorrera– or devote somebody having this type of experience to a professional psychiatric intervention? 1:17:16
What is The McKenna Academy of Natural Philosophy, why was this nonprofit started, and what projects is it presently facilitating? 1:24:22
Is The McKenna Academy a 501( c)( 3) tax-exempt organization?
Who else is associated with The McKenna Academy? 1:30:03
What projects would be on Dennis shortlist with the appropriate resources, and whats on the plate? 1:31:09
New thoughts on the Stoned Ape Theory as Terence McKennas Food of the Gods will be reprinted. 1:32:38
How much financial backing will The McKenna Academy require to achieve its present lineup of objectives, and whats its greatest concern? 1:36:15
What is a voucher specimen?
The number of plant types are approximated to exist in the Amazon today, and how numerous have been completely investigated? What are we doing to increase this percentage, what might we expect from forthcoming discoveries, and what can we do to safeguard the bounty from these discoveries for the people who have been their stewards for centuries?
How quickly can our tax-deductible donations fill The McKenna Academy of Natural Philosophys coffers to $600,000? Lets find out together!
Dennis billboard and parting thoughts.

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In 2019, in partnership with colleagues, he incorporated a brand-new non-profit, the McKenna Academy of Natural Philosophy. What is The McKenna Academy of Natural Philosophy, why was this nonprofit begun, and what tasks is it presently helping with? Is The McKenna Academy a 501( c)( 3) tax-exempt company? How much monetary assistance will The McKenna Academy require to achieve its present lineup of goals, and whats its highest concern? How rapidly can our tax-deductible contributions fill The McKenna Academy of Natural Philosophys coffers to $600,000?

What was your preferred quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me understand in the remarks.

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