TRANSCRIPT – Psychedelic Love, Surviving Burning Man | Julie Megler & Larry Norris

[EN25] Larry-Julie-Psychelic-Love-Burning-Man-YT-1280x720
This interview was originally produced as a podcast episode. We strongly encourage you to listen to the audio, which includes emotion and emphasis that’s not on the page. Transcripts are generated using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers, and may contain errors. Please check the corresponding audio before quoting in print.

0:00 Lorna: Hello amazing visionaries of EntheoNation. This is your host, Lorna Liana and we are here today with two fantastic guests that are going to share with us how to navigate a visionary partnership. So as you may know, exploring non ordinary realities can make or break a relationship whether you’re at Burning Man or in an  aya­huasca ceremony, harsh environments and difficult experiences and altered states can test even the strongest relationship bond.
0:26 So what do you do if you have the powerful experience and you have to know or hold that space for the processing of really strong emotions?
0:35 Well Larry Norris and Julie Megler who are the lead facilitators of ERIE, that is the Entheogenic Research Integration and Education organization based in San Francisco will share with us some of their best advice. They will share their tips on how couples can optimize their visionary experiences while staying healthy, playful and deeply connected even in extreme conditions.
1:02 So thank you so much for joining me on the show, Larry and Julie. How are you today?
1:08 Larry: Doing very well. Thank you very much for having us.
1:10 Lorna: I’m really curious to know because you guys are almost like a quintessential visionary partnership. I love seeing your photos at Burning Man. I love the fact that both of you are doing this facilitating work at ERIE. If you can help me understand what your backgrounds are and how you came to have this awesome visionary partnership in love and in work. How did that manifest for you?
1:35 So Larry, do you want to start maybe because you’re the founder of ERIE, correct?
1:41 Larry: Sure, yes.
1:41 Lorna: So why don’t give me some of the back story on how ERIE started and then how you ended up coming together and doing this work together?
1:47 Larry: Absolutely, yes. ERIE started about two years ago. We’re actually a group of students in Susana Bustos’ Entheogenic Shamanism class. We came together and came to the realization that there needed to be a stronger platform for this type of research and this discussion. There are a lot of people doing great work but we weren’t really having an opportunity to talk about it, to build community around it, to network around it.
2:08 So the idea initially started to create this platform and to bring speakers together. All of us were also doing this research so we thought what a great way to also get our feet wet and have an opportunity to meet the community. Through that process we came to the realization that integration was also a really important aspect. That a lot of people were having ceremonies here in the Bay Area or around the world and then left to deal with what was happening and not knowing what to do with it.
2:29 This also comes with the concept of Burning Man where we have this really intense week-long, two-week long experience and come back and how do you relate? So innovation became a really important part of our work.
2:38 Somewhere along the line about a year into ERIE, we had this Women’s Visionary Symposium, our Women’s Entheogenic Symposium and I invited Julie to come speak. We met through that talk and developed our beautiful relationship from there. We started connected on this deep layer and not just procuring our personal work with entheogens but also from an academic and scholarly standpoint. So it was really a beautiful connection.
3:01 Lorna:  Well that’s so romantic. So Julie, tell me how did you get involved in this type of work.
3:06 Julie: I’m both a family medicine and a psychiatric nurse practitioner. While I was in nursing school, I read this article in the MAPS – Multidisciplinary Associations For Psychedelic Studies about how to become a psychedelic researcher. So right in the middle of nursing school and the first thing they say was get your credentials.
3:25 So that was when I decided that I wanted to move forward and also get my Masters. Really felt that knowing your whole mind/body connection was an important aspect of this work and for overall health balance and how the biomedical model really separates those two things. Then once I got my credentials and some experience, I started pursuing different opportunities and was asked to speak at  psychedelic science a few years ago about the therapeutic uses of ayahuasca in post-traumatic stress disorder.
3:56 What was interesting about Larry and I’s connection also is there’s a whole bunch of factors that really equates for us, one of which being that we both hold very different sides of the visionary work. I come from a more clinical, biomedical healing side of things and he holds a lot of the creativity. So it’s a beautiful balance. On top of that when we first met, I was very much in the beginning of a very large integration process for myself. So we got to build the foundation of our relationship really looking at how to support each other while we’re navigating this states.
4:31 Larry: We practiced the tools right away.
4:33 Lorna: Wow! That’s absolutely beautiful. So when you guys first met, was it love at first sight?
4:37 Larry: Yes. I’d like to say yes, right?
4:43 Lorna: Wow! Well it seems like you guys are at an awesome journey together. I completely commend you on that. I do want to ask you. Given that you both are in a romantic relationship and also have a scholarly and professional relationship in the work that you do with ERIE, what are some of your best advice on how to make a relationship that involves shared visionary states work in such a way where together the union actually creates a greater good and a bigger impact than the work that you do individually?
5:23 Julie: I think it’s just on how in the business side is a huge reflection of our intimate relationship, right? So, in the same ways that we balance each other in our relationships, I come into things that are more scientific way of doing my own personal work. Then Larry helps me by bringing in creativity and painting and various things where I had to integrate. It also helps in our business model as well. So I may be thinking about things more clinically. Larry may be thinking more about how do we bring in the cultural perspective and the education around the indigenous practices. So we take a look at how each side can be not only in balance but really strengthening each other as well.
6:09 Larry: I’ll say also maybe on top of that, it’s like an automatic sounding board. We get a chance to really explore these techniques and tools of each other. So when Julie was going through a really strong integration process, for example we tested out symbolic integrations. So we put a big canvass up on the wall. We both painted together. As we were painting, we just had conversations and dialogues about the experience. Each of us individually could have done that but it really shows the efficacy when you’re able to do it with somebody else and see the result.
6:35 On top of that too, we also just recently were able to put together a couple of talks. We talked at an ERIE event at CIIS, California Institute of Integral Studies and then at the Detroit’s first entheogenic conference and found out that what we’re talking about was really well-received by both the communities.
6:50 Basically it’s like again just how do we work together within these experiences. So being able to bring it back to the community and sharing our techniques. What do we do? What things worked? What things didn’t work? What implementation? We’re talking earlier by implementation, how do we take these experiences back from these other realities and apply the insight here. How do we take the next step instead of just having visions but actually take the next step.
7:12 That’s another thing in partnership. You’re able to hold each other accountable to take that next step. You’re not just visioning into the future without anyone saying, “Hey, did you manage to do that? Remember that thing we’re talking about. ” So, that’s also a really important aspect holding each other accountable for our visions.
7:25 Julie: Yes, it’s like this fun little balance where the work we do personally together helps us more in what we’re creating in the works of ERIE and professionally. Then at the same time as we’re formulating  things, as we’re either talking at conferences or working and putting together events, we can then use that to then reflect back and help us evaluate how we’re doing at our personal dynamic either individually in our work or our together as a couple.
7:53 Lorna: So what was your first visionary experience together as a couple?
7:58 Larry: We don’t encourage these experiences. I only do them in places that are legal.
8:02 Lorna: It’s all hearsay!
8:05 Julie: You know what it was, it was…
8:08 Larry: We were hiking?
8:09 Julie: No, no, no, no, it was at Psychedelic Science on Bicycle Day, very appropriate. It was just a month into dating and it was just very playful and fun and stayed up until sunrise.
8:26 Lorna: Did you operate the bicycles without getting into a gnarly accident.
8:30 Larry: We realized Bicycle Day is really about bringing our bike to the place that you lock it and then walk from there.
8:35 Lorna: Great. That’s good! That’s very good, much safer that way.
Wow! Okay and so then is sharing visionary states now a regular part of your partnership?
8:49 Larry: Yes absolutely, I think what’s been really great is the exploring and seeing which visionary experience has worked well together, and which ones are maybe perhaps better to just solo journey with, which ones are really great at exploring different layers of intimacy. So that’s been a really fun exploration as well because there are some experiences that sometimes it is I found for example DMT type of experience. It’s hard to be in direct contact because all of a sudden when you blast off and had this body to body experience or something that’s driving you still in this reality.
9:18 So there are certain elements of how close can we be without also impeding on our exploration but still want to keep that connection. In other journeys where you want to touch the whole time and you really want to get engaged with the somatic senses that each of us are feeling. So I think this exploration has been beautiful too because we’re getting different nuances.
9:36 And to the previous question you asked, different nuances are the medicines.
9:40 Lorna: So it’s interesting. There are certainly the different nuances of the different medicines and all. Then there’s the journey that you’re taking together as a couple. I personally found that with regular work with visionary medicines, that continuous and very subtle yet profound opening of two hearts and two souls together. For me it’s such a sacred space to share with another person.
10:06 And So I believe, in my opinion that relationship can be a really powerful container for spiritual growth like a crucible for spiritual birth that will allow each other to really evolve into their most magnificent selves. In order for that to happen, you really need two people that are completely committed to holding a sacrosanct relationship container. Otherwise it will break.
10:29 Especially if you’re working in visionary medicines and you’re holding that relationship container of vulnerable openings can occur. A lot of difficult emotions can arise especially dating from your childhood or the person’s childhood or something that might be going on at that time. Like a really difficult traumatic experience involving other people can really come into that space that you’re holding with the other person. Even if it doesn’t really involve the partner in that scenario, which is something that I experienced not too long ago where there was very traumatic experience that my partner was dealing with and it was very much coming into our entheogenic work together. It was really intense. Actually it tore our relationship apart.
11:13 So I’m curious from your experience doing this facilitating work and being a visionary couple, what is your advice on how two people can really hold that container especially when really powerful, strong emotions are coming up that can be difficult to process.
11:30 Julie: We’ve got a couple of answers to that. I think the first thing that comes to me was your mentioning how it can really open up new areas to explore and travel in. An example that I have is that Larry and I were exploring the visionary state. We were walking to the center of a labyrinth and at the center of that labyrinth where I’m saying some prayers to the recent passing of Sasha Shulgin and a friend of ours from the Bay area, both really incredible visionaries. We started doing an eye gazing exercise. For me in that moment, it brought up a tremendous amount of fear and vulnerability and I almost couldn’t hold it. Larry was just such a solid rock and really just like held me through that vulnerability.
12:14 As a result, what happened was that all of a sudden it opened up, a visionary state that was completely new to both of us. It was something that we’ve never experienced in all of our years of exploring these different realms. So I think there’s really getting to know each other’s vulnerabilities and how to hold that both in your day to day lives and when you’re in those states is really important.
Then there’s also this idea of just like we have our guides and allies in our individual work, whether or not it’s a plant guide or ally or it’s a practitioner that you work with, it’s really knowing your resources and tools as a couple as well. And not being afraid to call on them and access them because sometimes when we’re in the thick of our really challenging places, each of your challenging places can actually sometimes clash with each other. Then that’s where miscommunication happens and that’s where tension in the relationship develops.
13:06 So it’s about recognizing that that’s what’s happening. That you’re both coming from a place of love for each other but there is something internally that you’re working through. So what is the resource or guide that you needed that moment and that can come as an individual or keep calling whatever it is you may be working in on that realm. It’s a very personal process and unique to each individual and each couple what these resources are. But again, not necessarily feeling like you have to muscle through it all in a row and then you’re failing if you’re not doing it. Just you by yourself or you as a couple but there are resources to institute and working through those challenging places and miscommunication at times.
13:43 Larry: I think communication is such an important part and also just remembering perhaps too that both of the partners are working through challenging stuff and not to take things personally, sometimes when things come through because sometimes they can come through with a little bit of a charge or a little bit of emotion behind them. In certain situations, it’s always difficult. Sometimes people will have mother work that needs to be done. There’s nothing wrong with being in a relationship and saying, “Hey tonight I’m going to journey by myself and do something at work,” and that’s part of the process too. So not just necessarily need to rely upon the other partner but also to know that we’re all doing our inner work as well and then we come together and to share what’s happening with each other.
14:19 Just really keep that communication line open because that way when we’re in these states, it’s really easy to sometimes hear things from a different way than they’re meant or whatever. That also causes things to explode. So again, keeping communication lines open, keeping the trust lines open and really doing what you to sort of be allowing of their vulnerabilities without taking it as a personal approach or anything.
14:41 Julie: Yes, I just want to reflect back again what Larry just said in that there’s a dedication to the relationship and there’s a dedication to you, yourself in doing your own personal work. Because if you’re not maintaining a dedication to that, there’s no possible way you’re going to be able to bring that into a partnership or relationship.
14:59 Lorna: I completely agree with that. Yes, I absolutely. So there is the spiritual work of one as spiritual being walking their own path. And then there’s the shared spiritual path that you might be walking with your lover and how you can cultivate the lessons and the learning or wisdom that both parties bring to that union or partnership.
15:19 I also think that there are some medicines that tend to be a lot more effective around conflict resolution than others. One of the comparisons I like to make is the difference between LSD and ayahuasca.
So LSD tends to be an amplifier. It will show you the huge potentiality. The limitless possibilities. It can be really an exuberant experience. But in my experience with LSD, there just really isn’t much of a guiding teacher spirit involved. It was just like wow! This is the potentiality. Anything is possible. But then of course, it’s the challenge of like okay, you’ve seen this amazing vision of everything being possible and working out for everyone given what they want. Then there’s the personal responsibility of what do I need to do to move forward with that goal.
16:08 I think the ayahuasca really shows to people what those next steps are. She’s like that gentle but a stern chiding mother who’s like okay, “Here’s the potentiality but this is what you need to work on to get there.”
16:23 One of the things that I really enjoyed seeing in the Amazon, I spent a large time in the Brazilian Amazon. I was in the community of Céu do Mapiá. It’s deep in the jungle in Western Amazonas. At that time it was eight hour motorized canoe ride through submerged trees and of these tributaries and it really took a long time. Now they have a road.
16:47 But it was really great with those. Again I’m out there for a couple of months and going to the community. One of the things that some of the elders would do in the community, if they had a kid that was really misbehaving and going to difficulties and creating problems especially adolescents and teenagers. They would be someone that would take the teenage boy out to a place in the forest with some medicine and just be like, “Here drink.” Then will sit with the kid and during that period of five or six or eight hours, the kid is going through some inner experience where pretty much almost always at the end he was just like, “Oh my God! I’m so sorry. Thank you. I see how I was being such a total jerk and this was wrong and I disrespected my mother. I’m just going to try my best to understand what the other person was going through.” I think ayahuasca does a great job in showing you how the other person experiences you.
17:46 So personally I think that around difficult experiences that are really hard to resolve like choosing the right medicines to achieve certain goals like with MDMA, it might be like that sense of intimacy. That sense like, “I really love you”. Then ayahuasca can be like okay let’s figure out what is truly getting in the way of our relationship and to figure out what those blocks are and resolve them within ourselves and also together.
What are your thoughts?
18:17 Larry: I think first and foremost, it’s such an interesting question between like where’s the plant wisdom, and does fungus wisdom matter, and does LSD being a semi-synthetic drug from ergot, is there something lost in the process of a laboratory concoction. Whereas ayahuasca has a sort of old, traditional plant wisdom feel, the brood I spent around for so long. So I’m always really curious about that question like where is sort of this dynamic lie.
18:41 But I also agree, I do find that to be the case with all these people that I’ve run across, the people that are really strong with those LSD experiences are having a different experience. Oftentimes you don’t hear about the concept of plant teacher or plant wisdom or a guide or an ally or things of that nature. It still happens occasionally but not as often whereas ayahuasca that’s really very prominent. So I think that’s really interesting question.
I think you also talk about bringing someone out to the wilderness to have an experience and then again that’s something that we in the west can definitely use and that’s what maybe Burning Man is. The rights of initiation or rights of passage to bring that humbleness back to each of us individually, to let us know like hey we’re not the only people here. That’s what we work through as adolescents is our narcissism where like we’ve been our whole life as children, the most important thing in the world. Our parents are at our back and call, et cetera, et cetera. Now we’re going through this transitioning to the community and we need to have this rite or passage to realize that hey we’re actually part of something bigger and we’re not the only person here. Again, I think that’s a really interesting way to help people improve or grow is to have these rights of initiations, these passages, these definitely birth experiences, things of that nature.
19:49 Julie: Two medicines that are immediately coming to mind right now and how they can be used differently are MDMA and mushrooms.
19:56 MDMA is great in the sense that it creates the connection which can sometimes be very tactile. What it can also do is open up a doorway of communication because it can bring this pure bringing up your projections or conversation topics. If you’re a little too edgy maybe, so that you can write down a list of things that have been challenging to talk about or even afraid to talk about and then sit in that space and actually then have the dialogue. So I think in a very practical way, MDMA can be really useful.
20:27 Then I think mushrooms do a lot of the same things as what you described with ayahuasca but a couple of things that – I’ve been an ayahuasca drinker. It’s in my main medicine for the last probably five or so years. But then in the last probably six months or so, I’ve been working more so with the mushrooms. What I find very unique and wonderful about the mushrooms is that sometimes ayahuasca can be a little too stern. So the messages that may come across are going to be possibly pretty similar but sometimes you get really overwhelmed by the intensity of ayahuasca. So then you get preoccupied with your own internal work in that process.
21:08 What I find is that the mushrooms, it can be just as intense of an experience but maybe not have that same level of sternness to it. So that then you’re not as preoccupied with just oh my God what do I have to do. But then you’re aware of what that lesson was and where the issue to have arisen. Then and a little less fragile of a state afterwards so that then you can really communicate in that partnership afterwards, if you know what I mean.
21:33 Then also they’re decomposers. So they really compose things and clear things out. Ayahuasca is a purgative too, so I think they accomplish that same thing through the purge, decomposing in a similar sort of way but it feels slightly different. You have to see what might be a little more appropriate or just different benefits of both.
21:52 Larry: It’s also interesting. As we keep growing, we have for example these alphabetamines and all these Shulgin molecules. So what types of things work really well in partnership there? I think hopefully as decomposition happens in the future, we can really get into the nitty-gritty of those explorations.
22:08 Lorna: What are alphabetamines?
22:09 Larry: Alphabetamines would be the tryptamines and the phenethylamines that were produced by Alexander Sasha Shulgin here in the Bay area. He basically took a few different molecules and then tried different variations of them. These two different books THIKL and FIHKL which stand for Tryptamines I Have Known and Loved, T-I-H-K-L or Phenethylamine I Have Known and Loved.
22:29 Basically he goes through and says I developed this one. My wife Ann and I tried this number and this number. This number is good for museums. This number is more just at home and kind of explore… He actually went through and explored it with his wife. It was a really beautiful dynamic of all these different ways that these experiences can happen. Again, being able to have that sounding board bouncing off your partner and really knowing each other well to explore that. But again, those are dealing a little bit more with chemicals from the laboratory and not necessarily plants or fungus themselves. But once we get to place where the legal status changes a little bit, I think we can hone which are really great tools for different activities and partnership.
23:05 Lorna: You refer to Burning Man and I’d love to ask you this question because Burning Man’s an amazing experience especially to enjoy with a significant other. But I’ve seen so many cases of people showing up at Burning Man as a couple and just like leaving Burning Man as separate or without the partners even.
23:27 So I’m curious to know from your experience, what makes Burning Man a challenging experience for visionary people?
23:34 Julie: I think there’s so many ways to answer that question. You could answer it as an individual or what makes it specifically challenging for visionary couple? So just a default first to the couple aspect of it and I think a lot of it has to do with pacing. It’s that our need for sleep and food and hydration are different for each other. Our ability for dosages and quantities are different than each other. Whether or not we have more fun at night or during the day time is slightly different from each other.
24:07 So how do we figure out what each other’s pacing is and be okay that the other individual has a different pace than we do. Because just because we’re paced differently doesn’t mean that we’re not going to have a lot of fun playing together and growing out and getting out there. It’s about being understanding and compassionate for what the other individual’s pacing is. And maybe to push him a little bit outside of their comfort zone because that’s what Burning Man is all about.
24:31 But also recognizing you look like you need dinner and to sleep for three hours right now. Like, “Hey, have you had any water all day today?” There are so many easy little ways at Burning Man for people to get into conflict.
24:46 We have perfect example. This year at Burning Man, first day on the playa after driving all night long, we decided to set up our shade structure in the middle of the day. There was this shade structure that we designed ourselves that didn’t have instructions.
25:01 Larry: The instructions were up here.
25:03 Julie: And we had the difference of what would be the most effective way to do it. So we were already dehydrated because it’s our first time in elevation. It was the heat of the day so it was hot. We’re doing it for hours already and so it was like that could have led to a huge fight. It did lead to some bickering but then it’s also a matter of how do you recognize hey we’re tired. We’re exhausted. The conflict here isn’t worth ruining our week.
25:31 So then what we did was we stopped what we did and we ate some food and then we headed up to the playa and sat by an art piece and just talked it out with each other. So just really paying attention to the little things that can become a big thing and how to nip them before they get turned into something that you blow a little bit out of proportion.
25:49 Larry: Another thing too and that’s the challenges of Burning Man is we actually saw firsthand probably three different relationships that fell pretty strong. That maybe was a little bit shaky by the time the weekend finished. So definitely it’s happening.
26:04 But I think another thing that happens at Burning Man is you get (well for lack of a better term) creative ADHD. There’s so much to do. There so many things happening at all times. Each of us as visionary people have different ideas, different visions even though there are some areas that are very much similar. So maybe I want to go see so and so at the same time something else is happening over here.
26:22 So also know to find areas that you’re really both excited about but allowed for there to be time for people to explore on their own. Actually I heard that from quite a few of the couples that had challenges. One of them has actually really surprised me because usually in real life, I’m the one that always was being super attached. But here at Burning Man, one would like to explore and see all these new things.
26:41 So really how do we balance that? How do we balance giving ourselves an opportunity to have fun and let our playful child explore all the fun things that they see out there? But then also play together and find things that you want to do.
26:51 Lorna: I think a good approach too is as a couple figure out what it is that each other is good at. So one person takes care of the food, the other person takes care of navigation, figuring out how to get across the playa on burn night. One person rolls the medical marijuana. The other person breaks it up. One person is a little more experienced navigating moving landscapes with bright flashing lights and others. Just watching out for each other like, “Oh, where’s your backpack?” or, “Where is your jacket?” And stuff like that.
27:27 I know for me, my experience is just pretty much in the jungle. So when I’m aiming at a landscape that’s constantly shifting and moving, I tend to lose things that I get really disoriented. So, just to figure out okay who’s responsible for what is a great starting point as well.
27:45 Yes, exactly making sure that each other are taking care of their bodily needs because it’s very easy to just get really blown away by everything going on and you forget to drink water.
27:57 Julie: Yes, for us I’m really good at making sure that I have my CamelBack on at all times and be like, “Sweet, could you use a little water right now?”
28:05 Larry: I’m really good at doing self-care appropriately.
28:08 Julie: Being the nurse practitioner that I am, I’ m really good at staying on top of those things.
28:14 Lorna: Oh good. It could really just straighten your partnership right there when you figure out who’s responsible for what and how to really care for each other in those ways. So there are other things too that happen as well. So it’s like there are physical impact to being in an extreme environment like Burning Man. This dehydration and then there’s also possible dips like real dips in serotonin level and stuff like that.
28:40 So how do you get past the two-day hangover, cranky, on the edge phase and get back into loving balance after the five days of poor sleep and being up until sunrise? It can really have a toll on you. So what are things to consider in terms of not letting those and minimizing traumatic experiences either just with psychedelics oneself and of course with your partner.
29:11 Julie: I think two things: One – the best you can, take your responsibility for yourself. But then also recognizing that we know each other’s blind spots really well because we spend so much time with each other. Also, taking the responsibility of helping somebody through some of those blind spots and reminding them.
29:30 A lot of times when you’re already cranky, you don’t want somebody to explain it to you because you just immediately react, right?
29:38 Lorna: I’m feeling cranky today honey!
29:41 Julie: It’s not a matter of sweetie did you drink any water because then he’s going to be like stop acting like my mom. As much as just like here is the coconut water and then walk away.
29:54 Lorna: Tactful and slowly. Oh gosh I love it.
What about supplements and things like that, things that will help you rehydrate more quickly?
30:07 Larry: One thing that I would say is like camp with a nurse practitioner and a naturopathic doctor which is I was like enough to do. So between Julie’s supplements and things to help me feel better and then you’re camping with Dr. Natalie who had B12 shots for the re-optimization of body and 5-HTP and all these other types of supplements and things that she knows the word [30:27 Inaudible]. Again, she was just like here just take this. So okay.
30:31 I think Julie might know a little more about the names of the supplements but I think they really helped a lot because it just puts you at a base level and gets your body straight up to where it needs to be and explore further.
30:40 Julie: My biggest things for toolkit are electrolytes and things that are easily digestible. So making sure that you’re having enough salt in your diet so salty foods or if you’re putting in neutral neuro electrolyte mixed into your water. At least making sure two or three times a day, you’re drinking one full glass of water with the electrolytes on top of the liters of water that you need to be drinking.
31:04 It’s really swell and then food that’s easily digestible. So for me that means stuff that you can eat when you’re not even aware that you’re hungry. So a smoothie in the morning for breakfast because you can’t necessarily actually get yourself to eat breakfast or lunch. Late in the evening, when everyone are coming down, I can’t eat solid food but a banana and almond butter because that has a lot of packed calories in there.
31:31 Larry: Coconuts are also really nice.
31:33 Julie: And coconuts. In terms of supplements and stuff, there’s 5-HTP. It works really, really well to help with the serotonin dips. It’s best metabolized when you take it with the B complex. So you can take up to 100 mg of it three times a day and then you want to take one B complex along with it at least in the morning. I myself have a really sensitive stomach. So a tip that I learned was tossing some spirulina into my smoothies because spirulinas are really high in B vitamin and that just helps you metabolize with 5-HTP.
Dr. Natalie has  great YouTube video that are plugged for her. It’s called Optimizing…
32:13 Larry: Entheogenic Experiences. Optimizing Entheogenic Experiences and it’s on our YouTube page for ERIE which you could just look out ERIE vision or E-R-I-E-V-I-S-I-O-N on YouTube you’ll find it.
32:25 Lorna: Fantastic! So we’re coming to the end of our conversation here which I’ve been enjoying immensely. I would love to wrap up with the last two questions. I feel like as a visionary couple, one has a responsibility to oneself of course as with self-care and with honoring your own spiritual and emotional needs. But then are there any responsibilities that you would say that the visionary couple have towards each other as well as to their community?
32:53 Julie: The biggest thing is bringing it back to the community. Larry and I both grew up in the Detroit area for example. It’s actually one of the selling points when we first met each other. We came up from the same hometown. Detroit had their first entheogenic conference this year. We actually went back together and we gave a talk about integration and about how to navigate integration as a couple. We had a lot of really amazing feedback. People coming back from various plant and fungus communities local to the Midwest being like, “This is the conversation that nobody’s having out here.” So what can we do to take the lessons that we’ve learned and share that knowledge with the people around us?
33:36 Larry: I’d also say other things that I would say would be to remember as a visionary couple, I know this is sometimes hard for all of us because it happens very consistently, where sometimes we’ll see a place that used to be magical and then you hear oh it’s been taken over. Oh it’s too main stream now. Oh it’s too popular or there are people that are mad finding the secret nature of this place. Just to remember to keep going back to those places and to bring magic back into those places. These places are popular for a reason because there was magic there at one time. For us to not get frustrated or jaded or feeling like a sense of oh this is no longer any good because it won’t be as great as it once was if we all leave and don’t bring magic back into those places.
I think as a visionary couple, one of our responsibilities is to keep things alive even if they feel like they’ve lost their essence.
34:23 Julie: And one quick thing that I also wanted to add was not only bring it back to the community but actually help create the community. Like here in the Bay area, ERIE has done an incredible job of bringing people together. A lot of times, people who are exploring these states were pretty lonely because they can’t find other people they relate to, they share these experiences with. So by creating a place where people can come to and meet other people who are exploring these realms and more friendships, more bonds and more support is also an important aspect.
34:50 Lorna: So with regards to the most important part of the visionary experience in my opinion which is the integration. How can a visionary couple support each other through the process of integration and getting out of Burning Man or coming out of your ayahuasca ceremony or whatever it is and getting back into the rhythm of the “real world”?
35:17 Julie: Being in a visionary partnership is that we’re both really dedicated to our own personal learning and hewing and growth. So all of that is part of integration or what integration is how do you bring the symbols and the teachings back into your day-to-day life. That’s actually where the real transformation happens because we need to develop our practice and bring all of that with you.
35:41 So that can come through some simple techniques like setting intentions together. Helping you partner set an intention before one of their journey is afterwards helping them create see what the themes were and what it is that they wanted to take. How they related to their intentions and then helping them develop their practice for those intentions. And help them re-evaluate how that practice is going. But in our talk that we gave in Detroit, one of the things that we really mentioned being important for a visionary couple is just these three basic words which are protection, permission, and connection.
36:14 So the protection aspect – how do you create a safe environment for your partner to be exploring these realms because they are very vulnerable places. So how can you allow them to feel safe to go through those emotional ups and downs for themselves but then also how do you hold that together. Because again as we talked earlier, sometimes if you’re both growing into your emotional ups and downs, it can be hard to hold back. It’s a full unit. And through the communication, whether it comes in giving them permission to go through those all the phases, happy, joy, sadness, fear, just telling them that that’s okay. Maybe even sharing some of your personal stories so that it can help normalize the experience for them if it is challenging.
36:56 Then connection, like I said earlier that in the end of the day when you’re working in the visionary state, it’s very much about you and your relationship with the medicine that you’re working with. So they can feel lonely. So in a partnership, how do you maintain the connection so loneliness isn’t there whether or not it’s with you or also helping connecting each other to different aspects of the community?
37:16 Larry: Take for me, education plays an important part because if you could just imagine what our world could be if all these beautiful insights that people are having all the time are actually put into action. Such a great example of integration of Burning Man would be something like burners about orders. People are going out into the communities doing community work, helping people and actually implementing some of the strategies in the plans and the creativity that they felt at Burning Man. So I think that’s a really important aspect of how do we go out, how do we apply things to the world and what ways can we make our world better through these insights.
37:46 We had at this Detroit conference that Julia’s mentioned that there was somebody there who were in also a unique state right now being able to created things out of just imagination or vision. So he actually is creating instruments from his mushroom experiences but using a 3D printer to come up and make all the different attachments. So now we have these 3D printers which you can actually just take a map of what you thought about, put it into a computer screen, do it all up and print that.
38:10 So I think we’re in a really unique stage actually not only just to have these abstract experiences implemented through the routine or transformation or whatever but actually take some of the images and the ideas and make something out of them. So I think it’s really awesome to see this evolution of both technology and plant technology if you will, team technological memes and plant memes.
38:33 Lorna: I love it. Thank you so much for joining us today. How can we best stay in touch with you guys?
38:38 Larry: If you want to check out ERIE, we’re and there’s a contact site there. Otherwise would be the best way to contact me.
38:48 Julie: Best way to contact me would be by email. My email address is juliemeglernp for nurse practitioner. So its julie and then M like Michael,
39:02 Lorna: Awesome, thank you so much and I hope one day I get to run around with you guys on the playa.
39:07 Larry: I look forward to it.
39:08 Julie: Yes, thank you so much for the good opportunity. Good luck.
39:09 Lorna: Have a good one.
39:09 Larry: Thank you. Good night.