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Path of the
Golden Teacher

Mindfulness-Based
Psilocybin Experience
(MBPE)

Many people describe their psilocybin journey as being one of the most significant events of their lives.

The impact was so profound that many of them only did it once in their life because it gave them everything they needed.


Heartfelt, mindful preparation within a small community can increase the likelihood that you too will see your journey as one of your most significant events.

This program also teaches you how to embody you experience after your journey, for the rest of your life.

The spring program (Jan-Apr 2024) is FULL.
If you would like to be notified about the summer 2024 program, please sign up for the mailing list.

What is this program?

The Spring 2024 program includes:

  • small groups (12 participants)
     

  •  discussion and guided group meditation (in person and over Zoom)
     

  • three months of meditation training with a variety of recorded guided techniques specifically designed for preparing to use psilocybin and for integration afterward
     

  • fun "field trips" for journey preparation
     

  • harm-reduction education
     

  • thorough orientation to the psychedelic experience
     

  • training to be an assistant (sitter) for a journeyer
     

  • post-journey integration session
     

  • microdosing education
     

  • materials and assistance for easily growing your mushrooms at home

 

The program culminates in the option for you to experience a psilocybin journey from both the perspective of a journeyer and as assistant (sitter), and/or to beginning a microdosing protocol.

 

In essence, this is preparation to make use of Colorado's "personal use" laws in a way that is educated, safe, healing, and constructive.

 

It is your choice to use of psilocybin in conjunction with this program, but it is not required for participation. You're welcome to engage the program purely for the meditation training and to be part of a community, or with the intention to be a sitter for your friends and family.

 

This program is open to people registering by themselves. Journeying without a sitter will be discussed.

 

It is also open to people registering with a friend, loved one, or professional colleague with whom you'll create a training-partnership (triads can also work). You and your training partner(s) will be prepared to be sitters for each other.

A special aspect of the program is that participants can train in pairs or triads within the group. Your training partner should be someone you trust and have confidence in to be your sitter. You and your training partner(s) will register individually yet work together throughout the program.

You should trust your partner not only to provide you with basic assistance during your journey, but also as someone you can be emotionally vulnerable/expressive with. Exploring this type of trust is part of the program, but if your partner is someone you already know, that is the optimal type of pair.

 

You will take take full responsibility for supporting the journeyer (your partner) in the role of sitter. Then, you will switch roles and your partner will take full responsibility in supporting you on your journey on the following day or sometime afterward.

 

Your training partner could be a spouse, romantic partner, or close friend. Keep in mind that a boundary that will be set is that regardless of the relationship in each pair, sexual contact will not occur during the journey. This will be discussed more during the program.

 

This program is intended for well-established, mature, secure training-partnerships, whether platonic, professional, or romantic.

 

This program is also ideal for two colleagues or peers in the mental health field, such as counselors who trust each other and want to experience psilocybin as part of their professional development. 

If you do not have friend or loved one willing to do this program with you, you can still register. There is a possibility of developing a trusting relationship with another unpaired participant or pair of participants (and forming a triad in that case).

However, there is no guarantee that another participant will be willing to partner with you. Training partners will not be assigned, so if you register by yourself, it is up to you to find someone willing to work with you, and it is possible you might not. 

 

It is not recommended that you journey by yourself. You might choose to wait to take psilocybin until sometime after the program when you've found someone who can be your sitter. Remember that taking psilocybin is not a requirement for participating in this program.

Group discussion is a large part of the program. The sharing of participant's unique insights and experiences will offer tremendous depth, meaning, and the potential for new friendships.

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Who is the "golden teacher?"

Hint: It's not a person.

The golden teacher isn't a person. It's a name of a classic strain of psilocybin mushrooms with a reputation for being easy to grow. Because of that, its name is used here as a gesture of welcome to people interested in experiencing a full psilocybin journey or a microdosing regimen for the first time. Those who've experienced it before are also welcome to participate.

But there is another reason the program is named "path of the golden teacher." It is possible that at some point, either in the meditation training or during your psilocybin journey, you will understand the ultimate golden teacher is your own mind, inherently precious and wise.

 

The program leader, Sean McNamara, is a long-time meditation teacher and consciousness researcher. Based on decades spent on the meditation seat and his personal experiences with psilocybin, he curated and adapted traditional meditation instructions specifically to prepare people to experience the psilocybin journey and for integration afterward.

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Is this program right for me?

Who is a good fit?

Please note, this program is offered only to people 30 years of age or older.

 

The path of the golden teacher might be a good fit for you if you are looking for the following:

  • A thorough, mindfulness-based preparation to experience a psilocybin journey for the first time, or to experience it in a fresh, productive way.

  • Techniques one can use after the psilocybin experience to continue developing oneself without the mushroom.

  • An affordable program.

  • An experience without cultural appropriation, religious overlay, or exotic rituals that are not part of your background.

  • Psychological insights and/or healing.

  • Spiritual insights from within oneself, without external influences from others' beliefs.

  • An experience outside of a clinical setting.

  • Small group for a strong sense of community.

  • A combination of in-person and Zoom meetings to balance convenience and personal contact.

  • An individual, private, and safe psilocybin journey.

  • Guidance about microdosing.

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Can I do this program without the intention
to use psilocybin?

Yes! You might solely be interested in the meditation training. Or, your intention is to be a sitter for your training partner, and not be a journeyer yourself. During the registration and screening process, you will state whether your intention is to use psilocybin at the program's culmination, or not.

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Who should NOT register for this program?

  • This section is primarily for your safety.

  • Harm reduction begins with considering potential risks.

  • Sometimes the most responsible choice is to not move forward.

Please do not register for the program if you are interested in using psilocybin yet meet any of the following criteria:

  • You are under the age of 30 (the riskiest developmental period for the onset of schizophrenia is during young adulthood).

  • You have been diagnosed with psychosis, schizophrenia, bipolar 1 or 2 disorder, or similar conditions. 

  • You have a family history of the above conditions.

  • You are pregnant or nursing.

  • You are currently taking any of the following: Lithium, tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline (such as Elavil), Haloperidol (antipsychotics), SSRIs such as fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft), MOAIs such as linezolid (Zyvox) or rasagiline (Azilect), or St. John's Wort. 

  • Suicidal ideation or attempted suicide.

  • Dangerously high blood pressure (ask you physician about your risk).
     

  • Romantic couples who are in the earliest stages of their relationship should not register for this program with the intention to be sitters for each other because the extreme vulnerability during a psilocybin journey may be inappropriate or too soon for one or both partners.

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What if I live too far away for the in-person events?

You are still welcome to register for the program if you live too far away to attend some or all of the in-person events in the Denver/Golden area. Most of the program is comprised of weekly Zoom meetings and recorded, guided meditation practices that you do on your own schedule. Please take a careful look at the dates and locations before deciding to register.

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A Secular, Self-Empowering Approach

Non-clinical, non-shamanic.

This approach is being offered in part as a response to the seemingly limited choices being offered today.

 

On one hand, the mental health industry promotes a medical approach, designating psilocybin as an evidence-based clinically-delivered therapy. But you may not be interested in therapy, or in being diagnosed. And the clinical approach tends to be extremely expensive. Although your experience may indeed be therapeutic and/or healing for you, this program does not represent itself as a form of therapy. It is self-exploration.

In the clinical approach, the therapist is implicitly placed in a role of authority over your experience before, during, and after your journey. They might be operating under the assumption that the journeyer cannot benefit as much from psilocybin without their clinical expertise or beliefs.

Another consideration is that you may already be seeing a counselor and would prefer to keep those sessions separate from your relationship with psilocybin.

The widespread perception that clinical settings are the only good access to psilocybin experiences can potentially disempower the public over the long run. We may see individual laws around personal use taken away or severely limited, while more power is granted to the medical industry in the coming years.

On the other hand, many facilitators present psilocybin in a spiritual context often related to shamanism or other ritualized belief systems from cultures different from yours. You may see that approach as a form of cultural appropriation (unless the facilitator has been properly initiated by an authentic lineage of shamans or cultural group), and seek another way of experiencing psilocybin.

 

Or, perhaps you simply aren't interested in having that type of spirituality overlayed onto your experience with psilocybin. You might prefer to reserve space for your own religious/spiritual background and preferences, or keep spirituality out of your experience altogether.

 

This section is not meant as a criticism of clinical or shamanic approaches. They are highly valuable and effective for certain people. This program simply offers an alternative approach.

In this program, you will retain your authority. It will be assumed that your mind is fully capable of receiving what it needs from the psilocybin experience without a medical setting or from rituals and beliefs that you don't already identify with.

 

Yes, screening, helpful guidance, harm-reduction training, and the voice of experience are helpful and important, and these are provided in this program.

 

But ultimately, you will be trained so you and your training partner feel confident and competent enough to hold your own spaces during your journeys.

 

You will be prepared in a non-therapeutic way. If you are seeking psychedelic therapy, that is outside the scope of this program and you can find resources by doing an online search for psychedelic-assisted therapy in Colorado.

 

If you are interested in a shamanistic approach, that is also outside the scope of this program. However, this program can make an excellent complement to those approaches for journeyers who would like to experience various ways of using psilocybin.

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Program Structure

The program is composed of events spanning twelve weeks (actual dates for the next program are further down on this page).

 

Group A will have Zoom meetings on Wednesday evenings.

 

Group B will have Zoom meetings on Thursday evenings. Both groups will experience the Saturday retreats and field trips together.

Attendance policy: It is understood that "life happens" and you may not be able to attend every event offered in this program. Only you can determine how much you can do. Please keep in mind that no adjustments to your tuition will be made based on your attendance.

 

Week 1: Zoom event

Welcome, orientation & discussion, and first guided meditation (2 hours)

* Participants will also use online videos to practice meditation on the days between meetings.

Week 2: In-person event - in Golden (30-45 minutes from Denver)

First full day meditation retreat and journey prep (approximately 6.5 hours with lunch break)

Week 3: Zoom event 

Online guided meditation session, group discussion, journey prep

Week 4: Zoom event 

Online guided meditation session, group discussion, journey prep

Week 5: First in-person "field trip" (special prep for journeying), in metro Denver

Week 6: Zoom event 

Online guided meditation session, group discussion, journey prep

Week 7: Zoom event 

Online guided meditation session, group discussion, journey prep

Week 8: Zoom event 

Online guided meditation session, group discussion, journey prep

Week 9: Second in-person "field trip" (special prep for journeying), in metro Denver

Week 10: In-person event - in Golden (30-45 minutes from Denver) 

Second full day meditation retreat and journey prep (approximately 6.5 hours with lunch break)

Week 11 (two consecutive weekends, actually):
THIS IS OPTIONAL: Psilocybin experience taking turns over two weekends as journeyer and assistant/sitter (this is assuming you have a training partner(s) in the program). On the first weekend, the journeyer will experience psilocybin on a Saturday and they training partner will serve as their sitter. The next day, Sunday, should be a day of rest and reflection for the journeyer.

This is repeated one week later with each training partner switching roles.

This will occur at a location of each journeyer's choice, ideally the journeyer's home, in their own bed or couch. This is the most comfortable, safe, and predicable setting, and it also the most affordable. Since the psilocybin journey is primarily an experience within one's mind, expensive or exotic locations are unnecessary for having an optimal experience.

 

Note: There is no requirement for both members of a pair to take psilocybin. If only one of you wants to have a journey, that is completely fine as long as the other member agrees to be their sitter. Only you and your training partner (as sitter) will be present when you have your journey.

Week 12: In-person event - location within 1 hour drive of Denver

Post-journey group sharing and integration (3 hours)

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About the Meditation Training

The meditation instructions are non-religious. They are given in plain English without any exotic catch-phrases or terminology. We do not bow or chant. A bell is rung only to announce the end of a meditation session in a gentle manner.

 

Participants can meditate in a regular chair or a cushion. Comfort, approachability, and practicality are the highest priorities during the meditation training.

Over three months, you will learn and practice a variety of techniques specifically intended to prepare your mind and heart for the psilocybin experience.

 

The preparation will help reduce fear, anxiety, and address pertinent issues. It will also help you determine and refine your intention for your journey.

Some of the techniques are done sitting upright. Some are down while lying down. And some sessions will include both ways. You will be provided with online videos of guided sessions to use in between the Zoom sessions each week. You will be given continued access to the meditations for use after your journey for further self-development and exploration.

 

Ideally you will set aside time several days each week to meditate, but please do as much as you can without disrupting your daily life in a way that causes stress or problems.

You will need to obtain a blindfold to wear during each meditation session and during our two, in-person, full-day retreats. The use of a blindfold during meditation may seem unusual, but their use is important because of the context of preparing for a psychedelic journey.

You will spend time strengthening mental qualities such as stability, awareness, presence, allowing (letting go), and flexibility.

 

You'll also identify unhelpful mental patterns and opportunities for forgiveness. These are all experiences of mind which may enter your psilocybin journey in a powerful, meaningful way. Therefore, it can be immensely helpful to prepare for those possibilities ahead of time so you can better respond when they occur during your journey.

Meditation can sometimes be challenging because it is a form of training. It takes commitment and effort. It requires you to pay attention in ways you may not be accustomed to, and this can sometimes require sustained effort. Boredom is also a common aspect of meditation. The practice can also make room for unexpected or unwanted emotions or memories to enter your conscious awareness. Psilocybin does the same thing, so this is just another way the meditations prepare you for your journey.

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How will I obtain psilocybin?

At the start, those who intend to use psilocybin will be given a fully-prepared kit for growing psilocybin mushrooms in your own home, in time for you to harvest them for your journey near the program's conclusion. The kit is the size of a shoe-box and will require the same effort as is needed to keep a gold fish alive, meaning it's very easy. And you'll receive all the support you need in order to have what you need.

You will also receive an at-home potency-test kit for using after you have harvested and dried your mushrooms. Potency-testing is a harm reduction practice and highly recommended before consuming mushrooms. This will be explained during the program.

If your home is not suitable for growing mushrooms, perhaps because of a risk to curious children or pets, you should ask your training partner if they might be willing to grow your kit in their home instead.

 

The only equipment you will need to obtain is a spray bottle for water (while growing), a food dehydrator (for after harvesting), and a coffee grinder (for after dehydrating). The last two items can be shared between training partners.

There are three reasons for this approach:

First, it is still illegal to sell psilocybin. But it is legal to grow in your home for personal use. By growing your own mushrooms at home, you will be operating under the "personal use" laws in Colorado. This program is not selling you psilocybin. It is only providing you with meditation instruction and harm-reduction training services. The kit will not contain psilocybin until the mycelium has matured to the point of producing mushrooms, which will occur in your possession, at your home.

Second, this empowers you to continue providing psilocybin for yourself, should you desire, after the program is completed. For example, you may want to begin a microdosing regimen sometime afterward, or grow enough to gift it to your friends and family. Home-growing is an important skill because without it, you are forced to acquire mushrooms from dubious sources, which is unsafe and expensive.

 

Home-growing is also a political force, protecting private citizens' rights to grow and use psilocybin. It also demonstrates personal responsibility.

Third, you will develop a special relationship with the mycelium and mushrooms during the growing process. As you will discover, that relationship will enhance your experience of the program and of your journey.

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What do I need to bring in order to participate?

You will need to provide the following:

  • A blindfold for use during your meditation training.

  • A notebook and pen for use during training and individual exercises.

  • A yoga mat, blanket, or anything to lie down on the floor with during the meditation training.

  • A laptop and proficiency using Zoom for teleconferencing. A laptop's large screen makes it possible to look at the other participants during group discussion. Mobile phones are limited in this regard.

  • Your own food for eating during the full-day retreats and the in-person field trips.

If you choose to grow the mushrooms from the kit you'll be given, you will also need:

  • A spray bottle and ideally, water (filtered, ideally) for use with your grow kit.

  • A vegetable dehydrator and coffee grinder for after harvesting. These can be shared between training partners.

  • An air-tight jar or zip-lock bag for storing. You'll be provided with dessicant packets during the program.

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Program Dates and Locations
(below is from the spring 2023 program,
left here as an example to help you plan for the summer 2024 program)

The Zoom sessions will occur on Wednesdays at 7:00 pm. Specific locations will be provided to those who have completed their registration.

 

The one-day retreats and the in-person events will occur on Saturdays. The schedule of in-person events is subject to change due to weather.

Full schedule:

Week 1: January 3, Wednesday, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm: Zoom orientation, discussion, and guided meditation

Week 2: January 13, Saturday, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm: First full-day retreat in Golden (30-45 minutes from Denver))

Week 3: January 17, Wednesday, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm: Zoom guided meditation and discussion

Week 4: January 24, Wednesday, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm: Zoom guided meditation and discussion

Week 5: February 3, Saturday, 11:00 - open ended: First in-person "field trip" (special prep for journeying) in metro Denver

Week 6: February 7,  Wednesday, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm: Zoom guided meditation and discussion

We skip a week because Wednesday, February 14 is Valentine's Day.

Week 7: February 21, Wednesday, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm: Zoom guided meditation and discussion

Week 8: February 28, Wednesday, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm: Zoom guided meditation and discussion

Week 9: March 9, Saturday, 11:00 - open ended: Second in-person "field trip" (special prep for journeying) in metro Denver

Week 10: March 16, Saturday, Saturday, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm: Second full-day retreat in Golden (30-45 minutes from Denver)

Week 11: (Optional) March 23 & 24 (first weekend) and March 30 &31 (second weekend, roles switched): For those who choose to have their psilocybin journey with their training partner over this weekend, at your preferred location. You and your partner may decide to wait until another date.

Week 12: April 6, Saturday, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm: Post-journey group sharing and integration over Zoom. Open to all participants whether or not they journeyed the previous weekends.

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Tuition and Cancellation & Refund Policy

Over three months, you will participate in:

  • Two full-day meditation retreats which will include segments for journey preparation & education.

  • Two in-person, fun "field trips" for special journey preparation.

  • Six guided group meditation and discussion sessions over Zoom.

  • Access to online, video-based guided meditations specifically designed for weekly use as part of your journey preparation and post-journey integration.

  • Post-journey group sharing and integration.

  • Education on microdosing.

  • Trust-building exercises.

  • Self-inquiry exercises.

  • Community! These are small groups, limited to twelve participants, which offers a high level of engagement and cohesiveness.

  • A kit for easily growing your own mushrooms in the privacy of your own home, with ongoing support. We will discuss backup plans in case your mushroom crop fails for any reason.

  • At-home potency-test kit.

Tuition Fee: $3200 (a special scholarship option is available, reducing the cost to $1600)

Refund Policy:

Refunds are granted per the following schedule:

  • $3000 is refundable if you request it anytime between when you register and before the Week 2 event (the first full-day retreat.

  • $2900 is refundable if you request it before the Week 3 event.

  • $1600 is refundable anytime between Week 3 and the Week 6 event.

  • No refunds will be given for cancellations made on or after Week 6 regardless of the reason for cancellation.

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I'm interested! What are the next steps?

Your next step is to schedule a Zoom Q&A/Screening session with Sean McNamara using button below.

 

This is your opportunity to meet with Sean and see if he's someone you'd like to work with, and for him to do the same.

 

The Code of Conduct will apply to all Q&A/Screening sessions.

 

It is important that you read the program description completely before scheduling a Q&A/Screening session. 

 

Notice the program is only for people age 30 or over.

Registration for the full program will include signing a liability waiver and a form stating you agree to the Code of Conduct and Cancellation & Refund Policy.

Payment for the three-month program will be taken after your Q&A/Screening meeting.

If you have a training partner who will also be participating, you must both register for a meeting. You can attend separate meetings if necessary.

The spring program (Jan-Apr 2024) is FULL.
If you would like to be notified about the summer 2024 program, please sign up for the mailing list.

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