Psychologist and author of 20-Minute Retreats: Revive Your Spirit in Just Minutes a Day with Simple, Self-Led Practices
Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics is an annual forum that examines the role of psychedelics in science, healing, culture and spirituality. Website: HorizonsNYC.org
In recent years, a growing community of scientists, doctors, artists, activists, seekers and scholars have orchestrated a renaissance in psychedelic thought and practice.
Horizons brings together the brightest minds and the boldest voices of this movement to share their research, insights and dreams for the future.
ABSTRACT: 81 subjects who used ayahuasca at least once in North America answered a lengthy set of open-ended questions and completed the 81-item "After the Spiritual Experience" Questionnaire. An additional 50 ayahuasca users were interviewed in person. The data for this study represent ayahuasca experience based on more than 2,267 ceremonies. A comparison group of 46 people attending a Catholic spiritual retreat weekend also completed the "After the Spiritual Experience" Questionnaire. A factor analysis of this questionnaire yielded three factors: Joy in Life, Relationship to the Sacred, and Toxic Feelings. Although the ayahuasca users had significantly higher scores on the first two factors, the two groups had modest mean differences indicating a similar response to two very different spiritual experiences. This key finding strongly supports the view that ayahuasca users are engaged in an authentic process as spiritual in nature as that of the retreatants. The qualitative data revealed that ayahuasca users reduced their alcohol intake, ate healthier diets, enjoyed improved mood and greater self-acceptance, and felt more loving and compassionate in their relationships. 74% of the ayahuasca users said they had a relationship with and received ongoing guidance and support from the spirit of ayahuasca.
BIOGRAPHY: Rachel Harris, Ph.D., is a psychologist with both clinical and research experience. She received an NIH New Investigator Award early in her career as a Research Scientist in the Miami VA Hospital and the Psychiatry Department at the University of Miami School of Medicine. Dr. Harris has published over forty scientiﬁc articles in professional journals. Her clinical experience began as an Esalen Residential Fellow and she has been in private practice as a psychotherapist for over 35 years. Rachel is the author of 20-Minute Retreats: Revive Your Spirit in Just Minutes a Day with Simple, Self-Led Practices and co-author of Teenagers Learn What They Live and the best-selling Children Learn What They Live.