take preparation seriously
The mushrooms are part of a living spirit (that also lives within you and of which you are a part). Like any encounter, you will benefit from preparing your heart and mind before a journey to make the most of your time together with the mushroom and the spirit.
By setting intentions, you prime the mind with your main objectives, motivations, and questions — the whys — of your exploration with psilocybin.
Setting intentions before a journey can help you to cultivate the proper mindset, and establish a framework and lens through which you can understand and integrate your experiences. Intentions set the tone for the journey, acting as a purposeful bridge into the unknown. They reflect a commitment to work on yourself. Intentions can range from:
You can also frame your intentions as gentle, humble requests to the medicine: “could you please show/teach/guide me…?” You might perceive the medicine as a living guide that can help you reconnect with your Inner Healing Intelligence. To heal and better understand various situations and perspectives, it’s necessary to face whatever comes to the surface during your journey. The medicine works in ways you cannot expect or imagine, so it’s wise to keep an open mind and let go of specific ideas of how you think the journey should unfold.
Some people prefer to go into the session without a stated intention -- to surrender to whatever the medicine has to show them. In these cases, an intention may feel more like an attitude or state of mind than a goal or objective. The attitude or state may be: "what do I need to see?" or "teach me, I'm listening."
It is beneficial to meditate on the above and examine feelings that arise when you ask these questions (instead of merely thinking about these questions). The practice is to move from the head to the heart, and from the intellect to intuition.
You may want to write down and review your intentions before a journey to solidify them in your mind and deepen your commitment to persevere through even the most painful or challenging moments.
Prepare one or two intentions per session. The idea is not to create a rigid agenda or a checklist of things to achieve, but to be curious and open the mind to new ways of perceiving, relating, and being.
Planning a journey in advance can give the body and mind time to settle and enter a more contemplative mood. Progressively wind down unnecessary activities and create the time and space to explore and investigate your inner world -- an infinite vortex of complex thoughts and feelings. You can plan days, weeks, or a month or more in advance.
Sleep may be difficult while under the influence of psilocybin, as the medicine tends to stimulate energies that have been suppressed, stuck, or blocked. Therefore, for a moderate or high dose, set aside 7 to 11 hours for the journey and post-journey reflection period, and assume you will be awake during this time.
If possible, you may want to give yourself an extra day to recover and integrate your experiences before diving straight back into your obligations. Give yourself as much time as possible to allow new perspectives to settle. In the days, weeks, and months after your journey, insights will continue to emerge. Following a journey, make time every day to reflect on your experience, and cultivate practices that support a healthy integration.
The amount of mushrooms you decide to take depends on a number of factors, including:
You may feel more comfortable taking a higher dose in a relaxing setting with a trusted guide. On the other hand, alone in a less familiar environment, you may decide to stick to a smaller dose, so you can retain more control over your body.
For additional questions about dosage, consider browsing online forums like shroomery or erowid, on which many people share their personal experiences with various doses. You can also ask experienced psychonauts for advice about your specific inquiries. One general guideline to keep in mind: “Start at a low dose and work your way up; you can always take more but you can never take less.”
If you have a tripsitter, be sure to let her know what dosage you’re taking.
Having someone trustworthy with you during a journey can provide a sense of comfort and safety. You will be able to talk through and express thoughts and emotions. You may find it easier to let go of control when you know you can rely on somebody to take care of any emergencies that may arise.
Take adequate time getting to know the sitter or guide before your journey. It’s best to work with someone you know well. Trust, rapport, and therapeutic alliance are the most significant factors in determining the success of a guided journey, and your ability to let go.
If the person who is accompanying you is completely sober or takes a microdose while you take a larger dose, she is a “sitter” or a “guide.” The sitter’s main priority is to be a non-judgemental presence and ensure your psychological and physical safety. Her role may resemble that of a babysitter, nurse, listener, or a parental figure. The best sitters are gentle, spiritually mature, generous, and compassionate.
If you are with a companion who will also ingest a substantial dose, understand and accept that you will each be on your own journey, and may not be able to support the other fully. You may want to separate and come back together repeatedly during your journey. Expect to have completely different types of experiences, because each individual has a unique mental, emotional, and physical makeup. This recognition will help you to avoid misunderstandings or conflicts about anything that happens or doesn’t happen during the journey.
If you journey with either a tripsitter or a companion, it is highly advisable to discuss and agree upon a few basic ground rules regarding touch, boundaries and privacy. Get absolute commitments from all those who will be present with you during and immediately after your journey. Take into consideration how the tripsitter’s or companion’s gender may affect your mindset.
You may want to share your intentions with your companion or tripsitter so they can better understand your motivations and remind you of them if necessary.