Religion and Psychedelics Forum

April 22, 23 and 24, 2022

Chacruna Institute has organized 7 unique conferences in multiple countries. Each year we focus on different themes at the cutting-edge of psychedelic culture that are largely absent from the mainstream conversation. The Religion and Psychedelics Forum will feature two days of panels and discussion exploring the role psychedelics may have played in the history of religion, as well as the role that religion now plays in the modern psychedelic renaissance. As with our previous conferences, we will take a multidisciplinary and intercultural approach to these issues, examining important questions around mystical experience, Indigenous spirituality, religious freedom and drug policy, and how psychedelics intersect with both Eastern and Western religious traditions.

SUPER EARLY BIRD TICKETS NOW ON SALE. REGISTER HERE.

More info coming soon!

Sponsorship Opportunities Available

Sponsorship helps Chacruna to make this conference affordable and accessible to the public and ensures a diversity of speakers and voices are heard. Sponsors receive recognition for their support at the event, on our social media channels, on our conference website, and in the video recordings of the event. All sponsorship donations are tax-deductible. Please email [email protected] for more info about sponsorship.

Scholarships Available. Apply Here.

Advisory Committee to the conference: Bia Labate, Erik Davis, Celina de Leon, Adriana Kertzer and Josh Meadow

Conference Presenters

More speakers coming soon

If you are interested in applying to present at this conference, please complete this application to be considered.

Schedule

Click the > arrow to read the description

ALL TIMES IN PST/PDT

Friday, April 22, 2022

ALL TIMES IN PST/PDT

9:00am – 10:00am

Sacred Plant Alliance: the Mission and Vision of Self-Regulating Religious Fellowship – Brian Anderson, Allison Hoots, Moana Meadow, Rob Heffernan

Since 2019, the Sacred Plant Alliance (SPA) has grown as a self-regulating organization and professional association of religious and spiritual practitioners dedicated to the advancement of the ceremonial use of psychedelic sacraments within the United States. Its mission is to facilitate the collaboration of spiritual communities across the United States in developing and upholding best standards of practice with these sacred medicines, and in advancing legal protections under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). SPA was originally incubated by Chacruna and in many ways has grown out of Chacruna’s efforts in community organizing and education around best practices. In this panel, representatives from SPA will discuss SPA’s vision as an alliance of churches invested in mutual support, accountability, and strengthening self-regulation in the larger plant medicine community

10:00am – 11:30am

Questioning the Mystical Experience Questionnaire –  Tehseen Noorani, Alex Belser, Sam Shonkoff, Erik Davis

One of the most famous studies of the psychedelic renaissance remains a 2006 paper from Roland Griffith’s lab at Johns Hopkins. “Psilocybin can occasion mystical-type experiences” confirmed Walter Pahnke’s work from the 1960s, arguing that peak psychedelic experiences were substantially “similar” to spontaneous mystical experiences. While the paper has been criticized by secular scientists for dabbling in matters of faith, scholars of religion and psychology have also raised questions about the Mystical Experience Questionnaire, the qualitative assessment form that lies at the heart of the study. Where does the MEQ come from, and what ideas about mysticism and religious experience does it assume? Who gets to say what “authentic” mystical experience is, and how did mysticism become the most important feature of psychedelic encounter? This panel will explore these questions, particularly in light of psychedelic experiences — theistic, indigenous, animist, queer — that do not feet neatly into the official mystical box.

11:30am – 11:50amBreak

11:50am – 12:50pm

Psychedelic Buddhism – Kathryn Devaney, Galia Tanay, Erik Davis

Of all the major world religions now established in the West, Western Buddhism is without doubt the one most influenced by modern psychedelic culture. Many Beats, hippies, and seekers interpreted their peak trips through Buddhist and Vendantic lenses provided by Aldous Huxley, Allen Ginsberg, Ram Dass, and Timothy Leary. Scores of psychedelic users were drawn to Buddhist practice, and many went on to help formalize and establish Buddhism in the West. As the Western dharma grew more legitimate, the legacy of “Zig Zag Zen” went largely underground, and today many Buddhist leaders and practitioners insist that psychoactive drugs have nothing to do with dharma. But today a more contemporary psychedelic Buddhism is growing more visible. What do psychedelics offer contemporary dharma practitioners? What about the fifth precept against taking “intoxicants”? And what role will psychedelics play as Buddhism continues its rich engagement with neuroscience and the brain-based understanding of experience and altered states?

12:50pm – 1:50 pmLunch

1:50 pm – 3:20 pm

The Psychedelic Religion of the Counterculture. Christian Greer, Maria Mangini, Nicholas Powers, Erik Davis

As psychedelics continue to enter the mainstream, many thought leaders are justly calling for the greater recognition of the indigenous cultures that maintained these sacred medicines for millennia. But there is another tradition that kept faith with psychedelics during the more recent era of prohibition and the War on Drugs: the bohemian countercultures of the West. While these currents are often seen as hedonistic, individualistic, or at best, anarchically “spiritual,” the counterculture can also be viewed as a loose religious tradition in its own right, with its own evolving but collectively held values, social practices, and shared beliefs (including an interest in science and botany). This panel will focus on “psychedelic religion” from the Beats of the 50s through the hippies of the 60s and 70s and the Burners and neotribal travelers of today.

3:20pm – 4:20pm

4:20pm – 4:40pm Break

4:40pm – 6:10pm

6:10pm 6:40pm

Saturday, April 23, 2022

ALL TIMES IN PST/PDT

9:00am – 9:30am

9:30am – 10:30am

10:30am – 10:50amBreak

10:50am – 12:20pm

12:20pm – 1:20 pmLunch

1:20 pm – 2:20 pm

2:20pm – 3:50pm

3:50pm – 4:10pmBreak

4:10pm – 5:10pm

5:10pm6:40pm

Sunday, April 24, 2022

ALL TIMES IN PST/PDT

9:00am – 10:00am

10:00am – 11:30am

11:30am – 11:50amBreak

11:50am – 12:50pm

12:50pm – 1:50 pmLunch

1:50 pm – 3:20 pm

3:20pm – 4:20pm

4:20pm – 4:40pm Break

4:40pm – 6:10pm

6:10pm 6:40pm



Wednesday, June 9th, 2021 from 12-1:30pm PST REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT HERE There is growing enthusiasm in Jewish communities about possible ancient use and modern applications of plant medicine in Jewish spiritual development.  Psychedelic Judaism introduce new potential modes of  healing...