Meditation and Magic Mushrooms Can Restore People’s Will to Live, Study Shows

The journal Nature recently published a study about combining meditation with psychedelics to reduce depression and anxiety, proving what the pro-psychedelic camp has long maintained: combining mediation with psychedelics can help restore people’s will to live. The study followed 39 expert Buddhist meditation practitioners on a five-day silent meditation retreat (the kind that are uber-trendy among Silicon Valley elites). However, the retreats for this study were considerably groovier than most, because on the fourth day at approximately 10:30 a.m., half of the participants received strong doses of psilocybin mushrooms. The other half received placebos. Neither researchers nor participants knew who got which, though we suspect it was probably pretty obvious after a couple of hours.

The results shocked researchers. Those who ate the magic mushrooms reported more meaningful experiences on the retreat. Half ranked it as one of the top 10 most meaningful experiences of their life. The meditators who received placebos reported it as only the most meaningful experience in the last month, and even then, only 37 percent ranked it that high. The psychonauts also experienced more intense meditation sessions, with many of the positive impacts still in effect four months later. Most exciting, the mushrooms not only enhanced the quality of meditation, but meditation helped prevent bad trips. If you’re looking to lose or find yourself, hallucinogens might be the right tool for the job.

Photo: Juzant (Getty Images) 

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