Zendo Project Psychedelic Harm Reduction

Published on September 1, 2017 under altered states

I found a video for training in Psychedelic Harm Reduction put on by the Zendo Project.



Why is this interesting to me? Because they talk about how there vision is to have a Zendo, or safe space to go through difficult ‘psychedelic’ experiences, outside every hospital. This means that one day, people having non volitional altered states or involuntary Psychedelic experiences (going into altered states of consciousness WITHOUT taking any kind of mind altering substance) may have a chance to go through some of the difficult inner spiritual-emotional material without immediately being given psychopharmeceuticals.


In the Zendo model, a person in crisis has access to a ‘sitter’ (someone who witnesses the process without guiding and keeps the other safe) while the energy is allowed to move. The person in crisis is allowed to process, which could include ‘strange behavior’ and acting out by yelling and whatever all needs to happen. In this way, the person in crisis could potentially avoid being permanently labelled with a mental illness for a temporary manifestation.


Right now this approach is offered at burning man and other festivals. One day perhaps it will be common understanding that our bodies can make the same ‘Psychedelics’ on the inside, with our own natural pharmacy when necessary so we can process stored energies and emotions, just as can happen if we consciously take an exogenous substance.


The way these experiences are received, interpreted and translated is largely responsible for the trajectory of a life after the fact. Received with space, love and understanding of its temporary nature, the unfolding trajectory can be different.


For more information, see there website. They have an amazing training manual. Here is the link:


Here is the training video where they mention how they see the Zendo Project is related to mental health in a wider context.  The whole video is really great but I’ve set it to start up where they talk about how the work they are doing extrapolates as wide as mental health in our communities.

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