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From conditioning to conscious embodiment

written for 10-year anniversary of De Nieuwe Yogaschool


More than a year now I have been offering ceremonies in De Nieuwe Yogaschool with a small dose of psilocybin truffles, combined with yin yoga and ceremonial cacao. This ancient “natural medicine” can greatly support our yoga practice. How? A big part of the answer lies at the core of personal development and spiritual unfolding: re-patterning.

Yoga: remembering our union

The word yoga means “union”. However, when you ask different practitioners what yoga is, you will likely receive a different answer from everyone. And amidst a myriad of traditions and practices within the umbrella of yoga, which sometimes contradict or even disagree, perhaps grasping its essence is a matter of perspective. However, despite their different ways, what all traditions of yoga seem to agree on is its reason for being: a practice to realise the nature of reality and of our true self. 

This begs the question: why don’t we already know this? After all, we are being our self and experiencing reality all the time. How come the “union” that yoga points to is not an obvious and conscious experience for most of us? A big part of what obstructs our perception lies in the word “conditioning”. And this is where psilocybin truffles have something to show us.

Conditioned into separation paradigm

Before we dive into the magic realm of psilocybin truffles and their gifts, let’s get clear on what is meant here with “conditioning”. From the moment we take our first breath, our hyper-sensitive and pristine nervous system starts learning from the stimuli around. (Actually, this starts already in the womb and perhaps even in our ancestry, but to keep it simple let’s begin with our first breath.) As we grow, some stimuli may be meeting our needs as a human being and our body relaxes. The sun shines in our mind. When stimuli do not meet our needs, the body contracts. Clouds gather in our mind.


Looking back into our lives, we can see the conditions that affected our conditioning. Over time, our internal landscape grew into a dynamic balance of patterns that keep each other in place: a system. Contractions that happened early on or that were prolonged over time, became imprints (in yoga called samskaras). With modern-day science we can see that this is quite literally so: the impactful experiences became densities (tension) in our fascia (connective tissue) and neurological structures in our brain. 


The denser these patterns become, the more it filters our view of reality (and therefor also of our true self). For most of us, this collection of patterns can become our sense of identity, our persona in relation to a world outside. As a result, we become full-time distracted by the objects of experience and the narrative our mind creates to make sense of it all. We have come to believe that we are separate selves, and live to some extend according to the separation paradigm. 


This is a story that almost each of us knows personally and it is a collective story. It’s also a story that in our time is running into its limits. Experiencing life as a separate self just never really satisfies our deepest longing and can lead to subconscious, destructive behaviour. On a personal level we see the burn-outs, depressions, anxieties and restless seeking to “get there”. Intuitively we sense that something is not quite right and we start looking first outside and then within to find out what we have forgotten or overlooked. On a collective scale we also see the effects of the separation paradigm and the needs of systemic transformation to regenerate peace, harmony and the very conditions for life on earth. 


Come-back of psilocybin truffles

In this light, it makes sense that psilocybin truffles (and other plant medicine) are making a comeback into our collective awareness and practice. It’s a comeback after a pause (actually a going underground) of some centuries, which are relatively brief in the history of its use by people everywhere. Not many people know that psilocybin fungi (and many other plant medicine) have been an integral part of cultures on all continents, including Europe, for thousands if not tens of thousands of years. From prehistoric times to ancient Greece to the Nordic Sami and peoples spread throughout Europe, people always have worked with the fungi and other plant medicine for deeper insight and understanding.


Having no danger of overdosing and very few contra-indications, the psilocybin truffles have a very interesting feat that supports us in our endeavour to free ourselves from old conditioning and to remember our true nature and re-align our inner patterns accordingly. How?



Re-patterning with psilocybin truffles

One of its major effects is that psilocybin tunes down the activity of what’s called the default mode network of the brain, nicknamed ‘the seat of the ego’. This is the part of the brain where we hold our set ways of thinking, our set beliefs and our sense of separate identity. It’s the brain part that fits everything we experience into a narrative that is aligned with what we already know and believe. When this brain part tunes down, other brain parts activate and communicate (much) more. 


When this happens, our conscious mind can dive into the deep waters of our subconscious where it normally doesn’t reach and experience life in a new way. In these depths of ourself, we can have insights and experience that profoundly shift something in our inner architecture, bringing it more into alignment with who we are and want to be. Also, when this brain part holding our sense of separation tunes down, we can have a direct experiences of what yoga invites us to realise: our union with all of life. 


What’s more, the truffles enhance our capacity for neuro-plasticity and neuro-genesis during and after the experience. This is our ability to build new neurological pathways and change old ones. Read: re-patterning.


Summarised, experiences with psilocybin truffles can give us insight into the subconscious conditioning that is filtering our clear seeing of reality and they enhance our ability to create new neurological structures to re-pattern our body and mind accordingly.

Not a quick fix

For most of us, this process happens step by step, layer by layer. And the experiences people have with psilocybin are as diverse as people are diverse. This is the “magic” part. Being itself a highly complex organism that is almost as old as life on earth itself, psilocybin truffles seem to understand our human being easily and give us experiences that are appropriate for us in the moment. Oftentimes beautiful and sometimes challenging while helping us find ways of how to deal with such challenge. 


Plant medicine like truffles are not a pill or quick fix. They can better be likened to a wise teacher that does not do the work for us, but inspires us to do the work ourself while reminding us of our strength and capacity, lovingly encouraging us to open our path. One that may so far have been beyond our imagination.


Mini-dosing & Yin Yoga Ceremonies

To enable people to explore how the psilocybin fungi can support our own yoga practice, I offer ceremonies with a long yin yoga session, cacao and a mini-dose of truffles. These “three medicines” work beautiful together. Yin yoga allows us to turn our attention within and melts tension in the fascia while re-balancing the meridian system. The ceremonial cacao enhances the effect of psilocybin and works as a tonic for the heart and vascular system. The psilocybin opens our body-mind to deeper feeling, deeper wisdom and greater insight. Body, heart, mind.


Such a ceremony can be a step for us to move beyond the set structures of our conditioned mind and open to the possibilities of experiencing our self in a new, more truthful way. When our intention is, like that of yoga, to uncover our true nature, then the psilocybin truffles assist us to clear up the misunderstandings that filter our experience, while offering us direct experiences of our union with all of life.


Yoga works best when you do it. Just so, the value of psilocybin truffles can only be understood by experiencing its effects. You are most welcome to find out what psilocybin can mean for you in one of my Mini-dosing & Yin yoga Ceremonies. May it support you in your deepening into yoga.



Note of caution: psilocybin truffles are a strong force of nature and are to be worked with in a setting and with people where you feel safe. Set and setting are important factors in the quality and beneficiality of one’s experience. This is why a ceremonial setting is very conducive to a meaningful experience. If you consider trying a medium or high dose of psilocybin truffles, it is strongly advised to have a guide or trip-sitter with you. Also, please check the contra-indications in advance.


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