[Transcript] – Microdosing Psychedelics, How To Use LSD, Shrooms, Iboga & Other Plant Medicines, Legal Psilocybin Retreats, Truffles & Much More With Third Wave’s Paul Austin.

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From: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/microdosing-psychedelics-how-to-use-lsd-shrooms-iboga-other-plant-medicines-legal-psilocybin-retreats-truffles-much-more-with-third-waves-paul-austin/

[00:00:00] Introduction

[00:01:42] Podcast Sponsors

[00:03:54] Pre-Podcast with Ben and Paul

[00:09:13] The Story Of The Third Wave

[00:19:56] Approaching Psychedelic Use Responsibly Through Microdosing

[00:32:38] Podcast Sponsors

[00:36:01] cont. Approaching Psychedelic Use Responsibly Through Microdosing

[00:41:23] A Typical Week For Paul When It Comes To Microdosing Substances

[00:48:34] Combining Substances And Technologies For Deeper Meditative States

[00:52:07] About Synthesis Retreat, The Legal Psilocybin Retreat Center

[00:59:51] The role of integration vs. the actual substance in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy

[01:05:56] The Third Wave Coach Training Program And Microdosing Course

[01:13:05] Closing the Podcast

[01:15:30] End of Podcast

Ben:  On this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.

Paul:  And, that's what happens when you try to fit these profound incredible substances into the typical medical models. The typical medical model is you're here for an hour, you pay for the hour, and then you leave. Whereas, with psychedelics, you're introducing, it's a model of care. It's a model of support. It's a model of love. So, all of these substances, when they're used, needs to be done in a setting, in a container that supports and nourishes the individual as they're moving through this. This idea of the Third Wave is this is the time where we can perfect how we utilize these substances.

Ben:  Health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.

Hey, what's up? It's Ben Greenfield. I can't wait for you to get ahold of and listen to today's episode with Paul Austin. Paul Austin is a pioneer in the psychedelic space. And, he came to my home to do a big podcast on microdosing and psychedelics, and plant medicine. And, that's what we're going to delve into today. So, Paul's been around the scene for a while, started at 21 years old in Michigan. He traveled all over the world, 60-plus different countries over span of half a dozen years, studying everything from plant medicine, again, the psychedelics to microdosing. He has a very comprehensive website called “Third Wave,” where he logs really good information about all of this. And, we're going to dive into all of that on today's show. So, I hope you enjoy.

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Dude, Paul, how did you like that carrot cake smoothie?

Paul:  Delicious.

Ben:  That's actually a shameless plug. That's actually a recipe in my cookbook.

Paul:  Is it? Now, I have to get the cookbook.

Ben:  It launches on Monday, actually, at the time that we're recording this. So, that carrot cake smoothie–I cheated. I used to actually use actual carrots, but I had some of that Farmer's Juice, carrot juice in the fridge that I use there. They're fresh, fresh carrot juice. And then, I use nutmeg and cinnamon and sea salt and vanilla stevia, all the things you'd normally used to spice up a carrot cake a little bit. All that goes in the blender. The carrot juice goes in the blender. A shit ton of ice, because as you tasted, I like it super, super thick.

Paul:  It's a bowl.

Ben:  Yeah, you eat it out in a bowl with a spatula.

Paul:  This isn't a smoothie. This is like [00:04:50] ____ all the time.

Ben:  Sometimes, you get to the bottom. It's so melty, liquidy. And then, you drink it. And then, what else is in there? A little bit of collagen, little bit of creatine.

Actually, I like creatine, too, because there's some recent research that came out. We always know creatine is good for strength and power and muscle-building and yadda, yadda, yadda, and mental function. But then, this recent study came out that also showed it really helps you when you are in a sleep-deprived state or when you just want to operate as though you've had a full eight hours of sleep and sometimes you're, like this morning, I got up super early.

And so, the two things that help you when you're in sleep-deprived state are creatine and NAD. That's why I took some NAD this morning. Put some creatine in the smoothie. And then, put a little bit of almond butter in there, about two heaping teaspoons of almond butter, which was enough for two people. Careful with the omega-6 fatty acids, but you got to get a little bit of almond butter smoothness in there.

And then, I'm trying to think what else was in there. A little bit bee powder, just to give it a little bit of extra kick, vasodilatory factor.

Paul:  [00:05:54] _____ bee powder.

Ben:  Make super, super smart-sounding for today's show. And then, blend it, blend it, blend it. I blend it for two or three minutes because I like to just get it. So, my biceps got a workout because I used a little stir stick, like you saw me with that blender. I go through a blender every four months, just smoke them out.

And then, the toppings are the key. You got to get the right toppings. So, for the carrot cake smoothie, what you do is you put it in the bowls. Then, you go unsweetened coconut flakes that I keep in the freezer because I like them cold and crunchy. We did a few little chunks of a dark chocolate. That was the Lily's stevia dark chocolate. I also keep that cold. Some people freak out because they say cacao loses its flavor when you keep it cold like wine, but I actually like, now I do my red wine a little chilled. I like my chocolate a little chilled.

And then, my friend and your new friend, Dr. Patrick Love from the Wellness Tree in Spokane, was over our house last night for a little party that we threw. And, he made us a keto chocolate pie. But the bottom of the keto chocolate pie was all of his gluten-free graham cracker crust. So, we broke little chunks of that graham cracker crust off, and if we hadn't had that, I would use a paleo granola or something like that, because basically we're taking what the crust would normally be on the carrot cake, or not really the crust but the filler of the carrot cake, and you're sprinkling that on top of the smoothie. And then, we munched it manja [phonetic].

Paul:  Manja, manja.

Ben:  It's pretty good.

Paul:  You did some email, read a book. And, now, we're here at the podcast.

Ben:  Yeah. And so, by the way, I'll apologize in advance for those you listening in because Paul and I might rocket-ship to the moon in terms of our intellectualization of today's show because Paul's rocking the Apollo. So, the Apollo is on you. What mode do we put that in?

Paul:  Social and open, 50%.

Ben:  Social and open, 50%. I always jack it up to 100%. So, social and open. David Rabin, who I interviewed on this show about the Apollo, he said that he thinks that most closely mimics MDMA. So, social and open, as the name implies, I would say maybe a little bit of a cocktail-esque effect, like an alcohol effect. But, it makes you more open. And then, what I am sitting on my butt right now because I'll bring it up to the mic and you guys will hear it because I can't wear it on my head. We'll hear a little staticky sound. So, I'm using the Hapbee, which is the one that uses more of a magnetic signal. The Apollo is more of a sound signal. Hapbee is a magnetic signal. And, I have that one set on focus, which is a nicotine, so simulating the effects of nicotine, like the wakefulness effects of nicotine.

Paul:  And, we also have nicotine gum.

Ben:  And, we also were chewing nicotine gum.

Paul:  So, this is just going to be–

Ben:  And, we punished a really good workout today.

Paul:  We did.

Ben:  On rounds. We did —

Paul:  And, a cold plunge.

Ben:  Yeah, we did 4-1-1 persons on the Airdyne for four minutes, all nasal breathing at maximum sustainable pace. While the other person for those four minutes does 15 burpees, 10 kettlebell swings, and 5 kettlebell goblet squats for as many rounds as they can do, while the other person jamming for four minutes on the bike, then you switch. And so, we did 32 minutes of that. It's four rounds each of that.

We hit the cold pool, had the carrot cake smoothie. Now, we're here. Now, we're ready. Are you ready?

Paul:  I'm ready.

Ben:  So, for those of you who wonder who Paul is. I'm going to put all the shownotes at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/PaulAustin. In a nutshell, there's probably one website that I think is probably the best website out there in terms of just a massive collection of audio podcasts, articles, and all the way down to, we'll talk about this later, books and coaching certifications all related to psychedelics, plant medicine, microdosing, but almost like you have the full guide to microdosing with LSD, the full guide to journeying with psilocybin, just any molecule that you'd ever want as opposed to any of these forums that a lot of people go to, like Reddit or Erowid.

Paul:  Bluelight.

Ben:  Yeah, or Bluelight, where people who are just so-called psychonauts are sharing what they experienced, what kind of stacks they found to be useful. Your website is more written from a professional content standpoint. I would say the best way I can describe it is it's a little bit more trustworthy in terms of not just it'd be like going to the library and getting a book on periodization for muscle gain versus going to a bodybuilding forum. Your website is like the book that's actually got the vetted information in there.

So, I appreciate that. I think that was how I originally found you, was just finding some good articles on Third Wave, and then I started following your feed. I forget how you and I actually wound up connecting in person.

Paul:  Podcast. I interviewed you for the podcast in 2017 or something like that. It's called Third Wave.

Ben:  Yeah, you interviewed me. Yeah, the Third Wave podcast. And, I want to hear more about your stories rather than laying out some extensive bio. I actually want to hear your bio in your words, but I would be remiss not to ask you before we jump in. What does Third Wave stand for? Why Third Wave?

Paul:  So, first wave was the indigenous used for thousands of years, like Amazon, Ayahuasca in the Amazon, the Eleusinian Mysteries in ancient Greece, Soma in the ancient India. So, there's this long historical context of humans and plant medicines. So, that was really the first wave of psychedelics. And then, the second wave of psychedelics was the '50s and '60s when LSD was invented in 1938 and then psilocybin came on the scene soon after that, when Gordon Wasson published on the front page of Life magazine. And then, of course, we had Leary and Richard Alpert and Ken Kesey, and that whole second wave that really burst onto the scene in the '50s and '60s. And, we as a culture are like, “LSD? Psychedelics? What is this?” And so, there was the backlash, the war on drugs that came after that in the Nix administration.

And so, the Third Wave is really the integration of those two. How do we combine the wisdom, knowledge of thousands of years of use throughout humanity with cutting-edge science about specific use cases in 2021 for how this can be applied? And, what is the integration of those two to ensure that these become responsibly integrated so we don't have a similar backlash as the second wave.

Ben:  Why was there a backlash? And, I ask that because–I guess, I ask it because I've heard that the whole, let's say, '60s flower child, what was the big–the conference? But, it's like the Burning Man type of thing that they had back in the '60s.

Paul:  Acid Tests?

Ben:  The big festival. What was the name of the festival?

Paul:  Woodstock.

Ben:  Yeah, Woodstock. That whole crowd was potentially posing a problematic issue for the US government because it was a bunch of people who were almost sticking it to the man or defying authoritarianism, or could potentially not be sheeple because they were woke due to the use of plant medicine. Is there something to that? Or, were there other reasons that the second wave got shut down, or that plant medicine, in general, was vilified during that time?

Paul:  Well, there's a few intersecting threads there. The first thing is it was the counterculture. It was the other right, so they positioned themselves as we are opposite to the mainstream. And so, whenever you position yourself as the other, as opposite, then there is naturally going to be a fight in that. So, I think that's the foundation of it, is we are the counterculture.

And then, the counterculture was associated with the Vietnam War. So, all the protests that are going against the Vietnam War, the left being like, “We shouldn't be in Vietnam. We shouldn't be doing this,” that was all associated with it, too. And then, of course, all the stuff that was happening in the '60s around race riots and all that sort of stuff just made it. John Ehrlichmann, who was in the Nixon administration, basically said in the mid-90s, “Hey, we couldn't make being a hippie illegal. We couldn't make being Black illegal. But, we can make the drugs that people were using illegal. So, we can make LSD illegal and we can make heroin illegal,” which is what the Black people were using. And so, this kicked off the war on drugs. So, I think that was core to it.

And then, if I get a little bit more meta, for hundreds of years, the core drugs that were used in Western civilization, in our industrial culture, were nicotine, tobacco, and alcohol. So, anything that wasn't within that paradigm: nicotine, tobacco, and alcohol, cannabis, psychedelics, whatever else it is, it posed a threat to the dominant culture and the dominant mainstream way of being. And so, since it was the other, the Nix administration was like, “We can't have this anymore. We can't have people waking up and realizing that they are God or they are part of this universal consciousness. We want to keep it.”

Ben:  Because that's the collective experience that a lot of people have, not necessarily when they microdose, although many microdosing protocols. I've used, for example, Wachuma or San Pedro, or something like that when microdosing. It actually does make you more social and open and communicative. And, it's great for date night or party or a time when you just want to be more open with other people, almost like, well, in a way, loving others more.

And, same thing with a microdose of psilocybin. For example, I've found myself to be more open, more honest, more transparent during discussions. But, when you do these deeper dives, these deeper journeys, you wind up having this. It's almost in the same way that we were talking in the sauna last night, help people who will use DMT often tend to see whatever, purple fairy or praying mantis. And, it's not as though it's something that is unique to that individual, like a whole bunch of other people experience the same thing. It seems like almost everybody will do ayahuasca or psilocybin or something like that come back out of it thinking more of humans as this collective race that's here to care for the planet and care for each other and love each other. And, it's totally antithetical to an authoritarian regime or a country that might be trying to dominate other countries. It's more almost similar again to that book we were talking about Charles Eisenstein last night, “The Sacred Economy,” and how money needs to be reinvented to be based on gifts and mediums of exchange is based around gratitude and caring for the planet, etc.

But, it is, if you think about it back to the second wave, a very hippie-esque type of psyche that you tend to create through these type of experiences, that you could see a government that wanted to dominate or someone who wanted people just lined up in a row and do what they were told might actually be a little bit fearful of in terms of that becoming a popularly used drug.

Paul:  We tracked this back. There's this book published, “The Immortality Key,” by Brian Muraresku.

Ben:  Yeah, Brian Muraresku.

Paul:  And so, he talked about how, when the ancient Roman Empire needed to basically create a political system that could be widespread, they also cut out plant medicine and made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire in AD 307 or something. So, for hundreds of years, before that, the Greeks and the Romans were doing these private ceremonies with plant medicine, especially, as part of early Christianity as this cult. And then, once it was like, “Okay, we really want this to be mainstream. We can't have everyone thinking that they have this gnostic connection to God. We need to keep it within the priestly class,” if you will. They cut down in it.

So, it also has something to do with–

Ben:  Meaning that plant medicines will be limited to the priests, to the inner circle of a religion, and not to the masses, that type of thing.

Paul:  Precisely.

Ben:  Like the Eucharist, for example, the taking of bread and wine as part of communion. I believe that Brian's argument was that the wine wasn't just wine. It was spiced.

Paul:  Infused.

Ben:  And infused with the type of things that would allow for, say, deeper connection to God or opening of the third eye or the ability to be able to, maybe not in a fully gnostic sense in terms of total disconnection from the physical body, but definitely being able to use those type of substances to get into an altered state of consciousness that would allow for more meaningful prayer or meditation or scripture or connection to God. That was all illuminated, basically, to just be something that the authorities had access to.

Paul:  And then, at some point, that no one had access to.

Ben:  So, then, it was marked as a sin or for example that nobody had access to.

Paul:  Exactly. Exactly. And, the ancient Greeks, what they said with the Eleusinian Mysteries is that, “Life would not be worth living without Kykeon,” which was the ancient beverage that they drank, the thing that was infused with ergot, which is the same thing that LSD is made from. So, they knew how central this was to feeling like life was worth living, to feel like there was purpose and meaning, to feel like there was a connection to something greater.

And so, for 1,700 years, since 300 AD, we've been like it's always been in the underground and it hasn't been fully accessible. And, that's why what's happening now in 2021 with the medicalization of psychedelics, with Oregon legalizing psilocybin therapy, with decrim happening. This is a massive experiment about what would it look like to have psychedelics once again in the mainstream, available and accessible to a lot of people.

And, this is why in my own thread, when I started Third Wave in 2015, almost six years ago now, I focused predominantly on microdosing as that public entry point, because frankly, these high-dose experiences are very disorienting. And so, not everyone can actually hold that space to have that connection. And yet, these substances are really profoundly useful.

Ben:  Isn't that traditionally the way that a heftier use of a substance like this was viewed, is that certain people who were called or qualified or able to, I guess, almost handle that type of dose responsibly where the people that would use it and then come back to the rest of humankind or their community with what it is they have experienced, what they've learned, shared that with everyone else, but that it wasn't necessarily something everyone used as much as what select individuals who had the responsibility and the proper care and training to be able to use would use and then come back and share what they'd experience with others, almost like an oracle?

Ben:  Right. So, in the Eleusinian Mysteries, the ancient Greek mysteries, they would do it once in their lifetime. Plato and Aristotle and all these major thinkers of Greek civilization would go, they would experience this. And, they would have that experience, but they could actually never talk about it. If you talked about the actual experience when you came back from it, you would be excommunicated from the Greek [00:21:01] _____.

Ben:  But, could you talk about what you learned during the experience?

Paul:  You could talk about what you learned, but what you–So, there's a philosopher, Peter Sjöstedt-Hughes, who talks about how Plato's core philosophy about non-duality was informed by psychedelic use. So, that was the bedrock for all of Western philosophy. We say everything is a footnote to Plato. And, he was informed through that by this psychedelic experience, so he could talk about. People would come back and go, “These are the insights that I have,” but they could never talk about, “This is what actually happened at the Eleusinian Mysteries.”

Ben:  So, in terms of, “This is what I use. This is what the dosage was,” so that was all a closely held secret.

Paul:  This is what the ceremony was like. It was all a secret. It was all a mystery. And, that was a huge part of it. And, that's I think, when we come back in today's day and age, this is the value that psychedelics bring to people, is they help them get back in touch with the mystery or source or God or whatever it is. And, so much of us, we can have this deep soul longing for faith and for what is the unknown because of the scientific method and because of tech and because we feel like we have all the answers. And, when we think we have all the answers, that's what often creates suffering because we don't have the ability to expand and really trust in this greater power that's watching over us and taking care of us.

Ben:  And, that is basically scientific logical rationalism would be or scientism, is this idea that everything must be stripped down to its explainable parts. And, at the end of the day, we find the ultimate source of where everything came from, the quark or what's smaller than the quark, or what's smaller than that. Anybody who is, for example, or at least in my own experience in people who I've talked to who I have, for example, journeyed with something like DMT. You experience that. You can see individual particles and sound waves, and you're digging and you're digging and you're digging.

And, for me, personally, I got to the point where I could almost strip apart a tree down its individual constituents and see every last component of it. And then, at the very, very, very end, when I was like, “Wow, this is this. I'm about to see the source, where everything came from,” then it was just like, boom, blinding light, nothing. And, you realize it's coming out of that experience.

For me, personally, I already, based on my faith, my Christian upbringing, have a strong belief in God, have no doubt that God exists, and have no doubt that God is the source of the universe. And so, for me, it was more verification or almost a more beautiful understanding of that. But, for many people, and even my own facilitator who I've worked with for plant medicine says that, when he works with people, he's like, “I've had many, many atheists come to my facility and none leave.”

Paul:  Exactly.

Ben:  Just because you realize, “There is, at the end of the day, this unexplainable source, this unexplainable beginning that everything was founded from. And, that's where this clashes with science because it can't be explained.” And, when somebody goes down that road and has that realization, it stands in stark contrast to a lot of what you were just alluding to, that idea that everything must be explainable, when, in fact, it's not.

And so, Jamie Wheal is another author in addition to Paul he brought up. He just wrote a book called “Recapture the Rapture.” And, he talks about how human beings basically have these elements, these sacred elements woven into culture for eons of time, and it really is the things that are nowadays vilified, in a sense. It's sex, drugs, and rock and roll, which is in a way the sacred sexuality of two human beings being intertwined in a way that's nearly unexplainable in terms of the connectivity that occurs there on a deep spiritual level, right, which has now been just bastardize with porn and polyamory and cheapening of sex and prostitution, all the things that destroy that.

Drugs, which are in fact these amazing molecules that you and I are talking about right now that can be used for great good and for personal insights and even productivity and creativity, also vilified because of misuse or because of misinterpretation. And then, rock and roll. Music, when combined with sex and drugs used responsibly, sex, drugs, and rock and roll, and people joining together and engaging around that for good, not for evil, not in a vice sense of those terms, it's a magical combination and it's just something that I think scientific rationalism has driven us away from.

And, I don't know what you think about this, Paul, but Jamie talks about this a little bit in his book in that human beings crave that type of spiritual connection so much that agrarian economies were built around the concept of the agriculture being there for the fermentation capability of grains so that people could enter into altered states of consciousness and basically engage in things like the connection with God, seeking that deep abyss or hole, that eternal soul, or that eternal hole that wants to be filled by God, and the use of these substances to allow one to get closer to that state. If you step back and look at it, humans, actually, are really, really hard-wired, once we fulfilled Maslow's hierarchy of needs, to enter into that state using things like sex, drugs, and rock and roll.

Paul:  And then, it can get too out of control. That's what happened in the '60s. We had the Acid Tests, the Grateful Dead, and Ken Kesey, and even the Merry Pranksters, who were just dosing everyone on acid out in the West. And then, we had Woodstock.

And so, when you bring all those things together, it's almost like that's why the Greeks had this secret container for it because that way, that kept contained in this thing, and it did interrupt the normal everyday flow. But, once that comes up and interrupts the normal everyday flow, that's where we go, “We need to lock down on this because it's bringing up too much. It's exposing too much. There's too much chaos.” So, even if we talk about–Jordan Peterson talks about this, that balance between chaos and order, and in the '60s, it just got way too chaotic. And so, we had to bring the order back down.

And so, that's why, now, in today's day and age, MAPS, in particular, has focused so much on the medicalization of psychedelics.

Ben:  The Multidisciplinary–What's this association?

Paul:  Association for Psychedelic Studies. They're bringing MDMA through phase three trials for PTSD. They've raised tens of millions of dollars as a nonprofit to make that happen. And, the reason that's so critical is that, through that clinical trial methodology, that is the order through which we're holding the natural chaos that comes from these substances.

Ben:  It's like the MK-Ultra experiments done on the CIA operatives where, I think, in a nutshell, they would put them on LSD, where they're basically trying to get information that normally wouldn't be able to get out of a human being by shifting them into an altered state of consciousness using high doses of LSD.

Paul:  Well, they were trying to see mind control. Can we use LSD for mind control? And so, this is the dark side of psychedelic substances, is they are nonspecific amplifiers and they dramatically increased suggestibility. So, if you use psychedelics within a shadowy dark container, then you can easily manipulate people, which is where we see the shadow elements of psychedelics. And, that's why the container that we do these, it needs to be so clean and pure and sacred because when you're in that state, you're suggestible to whatever is coming in. You want to make sure that you are connecting to something that is divine and not some sort of guru that's trying to manipulate you into doing X, Y, and Z.

Ben:  Well, A, that's one reason why something like MDMA couples therapy can be so effective because you're essentially with your partner on truth serum. Looking deep into each other's eyes and sharing all your hopes and dreams and wishes and desires and fears and subtle annoyances that you might have with them, but in this very open space, and then the information just flowing in full truth. And, I think that can be effective for many couples to be in that space together, be in that altered state of consciousness together.

And then, when I was thinking about the MK-Ultra experiments and how this ties into this idea of the oracle, so if you watch, let's say, the movie, “300,” where King Leonidas is climbing up the rock and he gets those oracles at the top, and then they're on some kind of a substance and they are getting information about whether or not he should go to battle from an oracle that they've consulted, if you look at some of these medicines because I've certainly been given the privilege of partaking in some different combinations of plant medicines that almost turn your brain into 20X supercomputer, so not hallucinogens, but what would be called chlorogenic substances, where you are experiencing hyper-creativity, hyper-productivity, and literally seeing things years down the line that you should or could be doing from a business standpoint or a personal standpoint or relationship standpoint, and mapping out in a very productive way like years forward of your life. That's actually been a big game-changer for me in terms of my own personal and business success, is the use of those type of component.

Because, you'll see things like, “By this date, at this time, these are the six chapters of the book that you need to have mapped out. And, this is everything that needs to be included in them,” just crazy stuff. But, you can also see that being manipulated. What if the government, or let's say the CIA, were to hook 20 people up, turn their brains into supercomputers and literally trapped them in a room matrix style and try to harness a bunch of information that they could use for planning world domination or something like that? There's all sorts of ways that this could go wrong.

Paul:  And so, that's why these are tools. Tools can be bad, or tools can be good. And so, the orientation of everything that we're using them for is to help people connect to divinity, connect to themselves, and then integrate that experience so they can show up as better partner, so they can show up with more vision and inspiration for their team, so they can just, I mean, a lot of it's healing: healing depression, healing addiction, healing alcoholism. There's so many–It's a broad, broad use case. And, we want to ensure that it goes well this time.

So, that's the whole idea of this third wave of psychedelics. We've had the first wave for thousands of years. We tried it with the second wave. And, the number “3” is perfection. This is where the Trinity comes from. This idea of the third wave is this is the time where we can perfect how we utilized these substances, or what I call the skill of psychedelics to ensure that we use these responsibly, to ensure that they're used for purposes that help with morality, that help us to develop values and principles, that help us to come together and create community, as Charles Eisenstein talks about in “Sacred Economics,” using these substances to actually reconsider our core values around the meaning of being interconnected, stepping out of the story of separation and reinvesting our time and energy into rebuilding the communes to rebuilding community.

Because that's so much of what our despair and suffering and disconnection is about in today's day and age. It's feeling disconnected. It's feeling like we're just in this matrixy world and we can't step out of it. And, psychedelics help us to get above that parapet, so to say, and see, “There's this beautiful future that we can create in the midst of a lot of existential despair at this point.”

Ben:  Hey, I want to interrupt today's show, just in case you're sore. There is this concept that you don't necessarily have to spend oodles and oodles of money on a massage therapist. I love my massage therapist, Donna. She's amazing. But, I have to keep myself put together in between my massages from her. And, there's all sorts of these massage guns that you may have seen out there, but there's one that really stands out these days. It's called Therabody.

I found this guy way back in the day. I think he was basically a screwdriver with an attachment when his first working on it. But, Dr. Jason Wersland is the guy's name who developed this thing. He had a traumatic motorcycle accident. He developed the Theragun. It's a physician-created percussive therapy device.

So, it uses this cool combination of depth and speed and power. It's way different than a lot of the massage guns out there, if you've tried some of them. This one, you feel big time. And, it's a pretty sexy little tool. It takes all the guesswork away with this app that it comes with that shows you where to customize your intensity and your placement, if you want to use their electrical muscle stimulation feature, which is called a PowerDot. You get that separate from the Theragun, but it works really well also. They have this thing called a RecoveryAir, which is a compression therapy for your legs to flush out leg soreness.

So, if you go to their website, you don't just have to get the Theragun. You can get the full-meal deal, like home therapy suite, and just set up your little den in the basement, like I do, and make love to this stuff a couple of times a week. Oh, my gosh, it's so useful to keep your body put together without the hassle having to schedule a therapist to come work on you or get in the car and drive somewhere.

So, anyways, tons of professional athletes: Cristiano Ronaldo, international soccer star, bunch of people in the NBA, the NFL, Maria Sharapova, tennis champion, world-class surfers, they're all using these Theragun things now, and so are the LA Dodgers, the LA Clippers, Red Bull Racing, Real Madrid Soccer, the list goes on and on. So, this stuff is obviously working.

You get a 30-day money-back guarantee on your Therabody purchase. You go to Theragun.com/Ben. That'll work for anything I just told you about. Theragun.com/Ben, 30-day money-back guarantee. And, this stuff just works. So, check it out, Theragun.com/Ben.

This podcast is also brought to you by something else which is actually really good for body repair, Organifi Gold. So, Organifi does all these crazy cool vegetables and superfood powders, but their Gold literally tastes like a golden milk latte, especially if you'd blend it up with a latte frother and some coconut milk or some nice almond milk or goat milk. You can even put it in just hot water, if you're one of those calorie-counting people who doesn't want to drink a can of coconut milk before bed. But, anyway, it's got turmeric ginger, reishi, turkey tail, lemon balm, coconut, cinnamon, black pepper, acacia fiber. And, it's like the perfect done-for-you recovery drink that actually tastes like those overpriced golden milk lattes you get from the coffee shop, but with none of the crap in them.

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You are correct, also, that it is difficult to be selfish or to at least develop selfish tendencies as readily when you are in a state in which you are seeing human beings as part of a collective race there for each other is good. It's like, in the Bible, it says the two greatest commandments are to love God and love others. And, certainly, for the second component of that, and I guess, arguably, the first component as well, it seems that many of these compounds help to shift you into that state more readily. And, honestly, I think that's one of the reasons that God put them on this planet in the first place, is for that type of use, and just like anything. Even the book of Proverbs in the Bible, it lauds the values and the virtues of honey and how great honey is, and how sweet it is, and how wonderful it is. And then, later on, it tells you, “Yeah, honey makes you vomit. Too much honey is going to make you sick or fat or lazy.”

And so, there's this idea of temperancy of mastery of desires, of mastery of passions. Yet, it's almost, and this is the way I describe myself, as a hedonistic Christian, meaning that I enjoy, well, a temperate hedonistic Christian. I enjoy all God has to offer on this planet and all that He has created in a hedonistic sense, in that, like last night, we're partying. We're in the sauna. We had a little cannabis. We had the cold pool. We had keto chocolate pie and slow-smoked pork ribs and wine. And, we played music. And, we did some meditation.

Paul:  We played some eggs as well.

Ben:  Yeah.

Paul:  [00:37:45] _____ 11-0 in bags.

Ben:  We played some corn hole.

Paul:  Which is good.

Ben:  And, those are very hedonistic experience. And, it was not an amoral hedonistic experience. We weren't having an orgy and sacrificing babies to some unknown god. We were just enjoying God's creation. And then, this morning, we were out there sweating out in the driveway and shivering in the cold pool when I was doing my meditation, prayer, and journaling, and all those things that you might consider to be temperancy and master desires, fasting for at least 12 hours after the feast last night.

And, I think that both can be had, to a certain extent, using the same type of, I guess, almost like the hedonistic calendaring approach that Jamie Wheal talks about in a book like “Recapture the Rapture,” but I personally get off after that, dude, being a Christian who also embraces with responsibility the fact that God created all for good and that you can responsibly engage with just about any of these things.

And, I would, at the same time, say that heftier doses of some of these substances, it's not for some people. I do agree with the idea that some are called and some are not; some are chosen and some are not. Not to sound haughty or narcissistic, but some people from either a genetic standpoint or a serotonin standpoint or where they're at in life in terms of responsibility and addictive potential, I think this stuff can be dangerous for a lot of people. And then, I think there are others who can engage with these substances and then come back and share some really good shit with the rest of the world that they've discovered through their use of such compounds.

Paul:  Yeah, and some people are in the archetype where they're really in that orderly phase, that orderly sense, and so to throw something in it, like a huge dose of a psychedelic, will just totally interrupt that. And, it's not necessarily for them. And, yet, those people can benefit from, for example, microdosing. And, you and I have both done microdosing extensively. So, even doing something like microdosing, if you're not going into the super-high doses, can still be beneficial for that.

And so, I think this is all about–this gets back to how we, as individuals, develop an intuition for what is best for us, because so much of our conditioning is around, whether it's diet, exercise, sleep, relationships, we're supposed to be doing X, Y, and Z. And, what psychedelics help us to recognize is how much can we honor that inner intuition about what is best for us, and slowly start to open that more and more and more so that we can really live in a way that's free, in a way that we feel aligned with this inner truth? That we have all of these things as well that psychedelics help with.

Ben:  Yeah. We've got a very esoteric discussion this far, but I want to do some brass tacks, too. Did you microdose with anything before our podcast?

Paul:  I did not. No, just the smoothie bowl.

Ben:  You did not? Because we talked about doing it maybe later, if we're going to go play frisbee golf.

Ben:  Frisbee golf [00:40:31] ____.

Ben:  And, do a little bit of–So, I think, this afternoon, for example, we'll take a little bit of psilocybin; maybe, a little bit of lion's mane, something to open up blood flow, like beetroot or something along those lines. And then, our plan is to go play frisbee golf or to hike or to paddleboard in nature. And, the reason that we might use something like that prior is increase sensory perception. Colors become more vibrant. Sounds become more audible. Smells become better. Or, sometimes, your visual acuity is better when you're throwing the frisbee. Or, the joy and the dopaminergic response to seeing that paddle into the water and feel the rush of water pass the board as it sweeps through. It's not to over-quote this fellow, but as I think Jamie it is who says anything you can do high can do better.

And, I, in no way I am saying that to enjoy life, you must have substances in you. But, that's an example of how you and I would responsibly use a microdose to enjoy our afternoon, or for example, this Monday, I told you my cookbook launches this Monday, so I'll probably have a 14-hour workday on Monday, just jamming away, replying to emails, fostering the team, making sure everything goes right. So, that's a case in which I would take something to really enhance productivity and focus. I might do a microdose, like 10 to 20 micrograms of LSA or LSD on Monday morning.

And, those are just a couple of examples. But, for you, personally, I'm curious to hear as a guy who's steeped in this, what a microdosing protocol would look like for you, if you would care to walk me through, let's say, a week in the life of Paul when it comes to the use of such substances?

Paul:  So, the way that I started microdosing was, in 2015, I heard about it on The Tim Ferriss podcast. Jim Fadiman who's been, I guess, on the show, and he talked about it. And, I had previous experience with psychedelics when I was 19 and 20, had high doses of LSD and psilocybin, and noticed that after those experiences, I always had that afterglow effect, when things just felt easier, I was more in flow, I was more connected, I was even more disciplined about meditation or diet or exercise.

Ben:  Not during, but the days after?

Paul:  In the week or two-week after having those high-dose experiences. And so, when I heard about microdosing and some of the benefits that people were experiencing from it, I thought back to that afterglow period. And, I thought, “Hey, microdosing seems like a really interesting tool to elongate that afterglow feeling, so that, instead of it just being a week or two weeks, it could be a month or two months or three months.”

So, the way that I first started microdosing was twice a week on LSD, anywhere from 15 to 20 micrograms, just as a way to get this feel for it to, see how it helped with. And, I had two core intentions for that time. One was to help with flow and productivity, so to wake up in the morning and get into the zone in things that I was working on, and the business that I was building at that time, just to cut out distractions and be really in it, be more articulate, be more refined about what it is that I wanted to create.

And then, the second core intention was around social anxiety, and just, instead of using something like alcohol when I was going out and spending time with friends, I would instead microdose with LSD, in particular, LSD, to help with that sense of feeling connected and feeling like I could be vulnerable with people. And so, those seven months went phenomenally well.

Ben:  And, quite notably, with far less toxicity.

Paul:  Far less toxicity.

Ben:  Far less liver damage.

Paul:  With no hangover.

Ben:  Far less–yeah, way cleaner than, say, alcohol.

Paul:  And, it's not far less damage. It's also a ton of benefits as well. And, microdosing is anti-inflammatory. It helps with neurogenesis. It helps to increase BDNF growth. It helps with general mindfulness and being able to direct attention in certain ways and places.

And so, now that I've been microdosing almost six years on and off with LSD, with psilocybin, with San Pedro, with cannabis, I've tried iboga a couple of times, typically, my microdosing way is now two or three times a week. If I'm with LSD, it's usually twice a week, because LSD is more dopaminergic. So, LSD typically has a bit more of a manic effect. It can be really intense. And so, only twice a week if I microdose [00:44:38] _____.

Ben:  And then, also tolerances to build for that, as well as potentially a dopamine desensitization, which is honestly why this is quite trendy these days. People do dopamine fast, where I'm just going to potatoes for three days, and then food all of a sudden is way better, or I'm not going to use any substances for a couple of weeks, or watch funny movies or do anything that really induces pleasure in a very stoic sense of the word, not in a form of masochistic self-denial for life, but in a way that allows you to reset some of those dopamine receptors–

Paul:  Absolutely.

Ben:  –the same way you might quit drinking coffee for week out every month to keep your adenosine receptor sensitized.

So, yeah, something like microdosing with LSD, you wouldn't do it every day.

Paul:  No, twice a week at the most. With microdosing psilocybin, I'll usually do it three times a week, every other day. And then, the intention is simply do it in the morning, first thing when I wake up, on an empty stomach with a probiotic or with Rhodiola or with some other supplements. I usually fast in the morning, so I don't eat anything. So, it's almost always on an empty stomach.

And then, sometimes that's on a day off. I'm going hiking. I'm spending time with friends. I'm going for a bike ride. I'm doing what we're going to do later today, which is just a tuning my sensitivity through sensuality in the world around me. And then, there are other days where it's like, “This is a brainstorming day. This is a day to have that sense of stepping back and seeing what the bigger picture might be.” And, this is where we get into microdosing versus mini-dosing versus museum dosing. And, there's different ways that we can calibrate.

Ben:  Museum dosing.

Paul:  There's different ways that we can calibrate our dose level based on our intention for the day, because if we're wanting to have more of a flow state, a microdose is going to be better for that because it allows us to maintain focus and attention and stay grounded. But, as you know, the difference between, let's say, 200 milligrams of psilocybin and 500 milligrams of psilocybin is significant. When you're on 200 milligrams of psilocybin, or true microdose, it's easier to stay grounded and focused. But, if you have more than that, let's say 500 milligrams of psilocybin, you tend to feel a little bit more like the 50,000-foot view.

And so, I love those dose levels for going for a long hike, having a journaling session, and being able to zoom out and go, “What does the next month look like?” What does the next three months look like? What does the next six months look like?” Maybe, in the next three years, five years, depending on the dose level, getting that sense of getting back in touch with a higher level of vision and just aligning that north star about where is it that I'm heading, personally and professionally, as the two intermingle and intertwine. And then, the microdosing helps with just the day-to-day of doing the tasks that need to get done to accomplish or reach that larger vision of what I've set out for myself.

Ben:  That's a really good description. I don't think I've heard such a good description before of the subtle nuances between a small microdose and a larger microdose because, in my own experimentation, I've certainly found that to be the case but wasn't really able to explain it the way that you just had. It's as though the larger microdose, let's say, 500 milligrams of psilocybin, it's not as though you're tripping but you do turn into wanting to engage in very big visionary tasks.

And, sometimes, it can be disappointing if you've realized that you've taken too much and you're supposed to be, let's say, working on the nuts and bolts of an article. But, instead, you're more in a mindset where you're able to map out the idea for the next 10 articles but not work on the one you're supposed to be working on. Whereas, a microdose, you're turning out amazingly creative sentences in that one article. And, I'm obviously explaining this from the perspective of someone who's a writer. And so, that's what I've certainly experienced.

But, the way that you've just explained it is perfect. If you take a little bit too much, it's not as though it's destroyed your day but you may have to reinvent the way that you approach that day, as far as what you choose to be productive in, based on big vision versus smaller tasks, smaller more focused tasks.

So, another thing I wanted to ask you was, you said that you've used a lot of different such substances from microdosing. You mentioned that iboga, for example, which I've also used as almost a pre-workout, this South African bush extract, that in large doses is probably one of the more–

Paul:  Intense, if not the most intense.

Ben:  –intense trips that one can engage in. What other substances have you microdosed that, perhaps, fly under the radar, or that people may not be aware of?

Paul:  DMT is–

Ben:  In other words, or stacked together.

Paul:  Yeah, DMT is an interesting one. So, in 2017, I was giving a talk in Bushwick in Brooklyn after a conference with Hamilton Morris and Duncan Trussell, and a few other folks, and talked about microdosing DMT in that session. And then, someone came up to me afterwards and was like, “Thanks for mentioning DMT vape pens. Here's a free vape pen.” And so, then, for the next three or four months, every now and then, I would start my morning meditation with a microdose of N,N-DMT, not 5-MeOa. 5-MeO is the unity consciousness, [00:49:40] ____ that's much more intense. But, N,N-DMT is where we see aliens and praying mantises and those sorts of things.

So, I would start with that. It was just a 10 to 15-minute thing, but it would “whoosh,” instantly align all my chakras and send me into deep, deep meditation. And then, I would come out of that really refreshed and rejuvenated.

Ben:  How long would you meditate with something like that? I'm actually asking because I have an NDMT pen downstairs, just sitting down there somewhere with all my food and pantry full stuff downstairs but I haven't really even messed around with this. So, how did you use it?

Paul:  20, 25, 30 minutes, depending on how long you want to stay in that state, would be one or two hits that you would take with that. And then, you can instantly drop into a deep meditation, combine it with the Apollo Neuro on the meditation and mindfulness setting, and then just get into that state really, really quick.

Ben:  I'm going to have to show you the BioCharger later on because I often will meditate with the BioCharger, which is light radio frequencies, rife frequencies, and PEMF. You probably saw it downstairs when you were in the sauna room. That thing, when you meditate in front of it, you literally feel just sweeping up and down your body.

And, now that you filled me on the Apollo Neuro, what I'll do is I'll try a little bit of that in NDMT pen at some point. Next week, I'll do the Apollo Neuro, but I'll probably do it in front of BioCharger and I'll —

Paul:  See how it goes. See how it goes.

Ben:  Fill you in on how that goes. That's interesting. I actually really like to combine technology, like the NuCalm, the hyperbaric chamber, breathwork, the sauna, sometimes the cold pool, the Apollo, the Hapbee, with some of these substances, and even for example the massage that I get once a week. I'll use typically a little bit of ketamine, often with little bit of THC prior, to relax the body. But, it's on a full sound acoustic table with pulsed electromagnetic fields under the table, and typically, an oil diffuser at some point around the table, so you're getting the aromatherapy.

And then, I've also got what's called a Qi underneath the table. And, the Qi, Q-I, is designed to emit a signal very similar to the type of signal that you might get if you're barefoot on the planet Earth or absorbing much of negative ions. We'll stack all that stuff together.

But, honestly, I don't know about you. I like the combined use of the so-called ancient technologies with the modern technologies. And, I think that's something that has yet to be really heavily tapped into or systematized in the use of any of these medicines for microdosing protocols.

Paul:  2018, as one of the projects that I did, I started Third Wave in 2015, which is the platform and the podcast and the guides and everything that you have mentioned before, but, I also, in 2018, started this legal psilocybin retreat center and then other one that's called Synthesis.

Ben:  Really?

Paul:  And, we did experience it for 750 people with psilocybin truffles because it's legal in the Netherlands. We rented out this beautiful church that was built about 100 years ago that have been renovated into a modern wellness center with attached apartments and a sauna, and a beautiful ceremonial space. We would host 15 people there at a time for these high-dose experiences.

And, the way that I came up with that name, “Synthesis,” was precisely what you mentioned—how can we create an experience, a container, for people where they can combine cutting edge technologies, like, let's say float tanks or let's say being in a church, that sort of thing with these age-old practices of psilocybin and breathwork and meditation, and what are the synthesis of those two coming together to inform this new way of being? And, now, even what Synthesis is doing is they've rolled out a medical program.

Ben:  So, it's still there, this retreat and wellness?

Paul:  Well, we put it on pause because of COVID. But, we've pivoted and rolled out a clinical training program where we're training 100 clinicians to be approved to have licenses in the state of Oregon to be able to do psilocybin therapy when that becomes legally feasible. So, we're looking at closing on a certain place there in Oregon to host experiences and retreats, and essentially, looking at how Synthesis can combine those to create even new models of clinical care, where clinical cares, so far, has been in a psychiatric office or in a hospital or something that is not, even what your brother was talking about last night. It's just not that conducive for real healing.

Ben:  My brother, Zach, he's like, “I did ketamine, and I didn't really get much out of these things.” So, I told my first ketamine experience with Dr. Matthew Cook, a wonderful physician who's been in this podcast multiple times down in San Jose. And, it was a two-hour dinner with him the night before talking about what to expect and how the entire experience went, and then going to his office in the morning and doing breathwork and getting NAD IV and cleaning out the whole body. And then, you're shifted into this room with special Chinese lanterns and a rug and meditation cushions and a wonderful bed to lie down in and a face mask, and then two noise-blocking headphones that you put on, and then a slow ketamine infusion overseen by a nurse. And, there's a voice recorder in the room. And then, after the ketamine, you're still there for another two hours just laying back, and there's little journal beside you to write things down in.

And, my brother is like, “I just sat down and they would just inject me with a bunch of stuff, and just left me in this medical room. And then, I couldn't stand up that well, but then they sent me out to the parking lot because they were about to close. And, I had to stand out there in the parking lot, figure out how to drive away in my car.”

Paul:  Terrible.

Ben:  I'm like, “No, that was not ketamine. That was basically a medical malpractice, not a ketamine experience.”

Paul:  And, that's what happens when you try to fit these profound incredible substances into the typical medical models. The typical medical model is you're here for an hour, you pay for the hour, and then you leave. Whereas, with psychedelics you're introducing, it's a model of care. It's a model of support. It's a model of love. So, all of these substances, when they're used, need to be done in a setting, in a container that supports and nourishes the individual as they're moving through this.

So, it's a total re-framing of how we're viewing health care of we're viewing psychiatry, where it's not so much of a focus on the substance itself, if you will, but it's about the preparation. It's about the container in which you're doing the substance. It's about the integration afterwards with the support of a therapist or a community. We really have to look at the holistic integrative picture when we're working with these substances because so much of what they're bringing up is stuff from the subconscious, in the unconscious that we just–It's not the typical biomedical model anymore that we're looking at.

Ben:  Yeah, I invested in Field Trip Health. They rolled out a bunch of ketamine clinics in Canada and they're also opening in New York and in LA. And, they have a podcast. You can go and learn more about what they do field trip.

Paul:  Field-tripping.

Ben:  Yeah, Field-tripping.

Paul:  You were on that one.

Ben:  Yeah. I really like that approach. And, during COVID, they had to pivot a little bit, and I think they created an app where you can actually, with your own ketamine, you'll follow all the instructions in the app with special musical sequences, and you have a coach you walks you through the whole process in your home. And so, I think there are ways that you can combine enabling someone using technology and app. It's almost like a telemedicine approach, along with these type of clinics. But then, you were telling me, last night in the sauna, about another clinic. You said it was Entheon.

Paul:  Entheon.

Ben:  And, they're doing a DMT.

Paul:  Intravenous.

Ben:  Yeah. Talk to me about that. And, as you're explaining, just opening the kimono for folks, I'm going to walk over to the fridge and grab a Zevia. My voice gets faint. You want anything?

Paul:  I would like some.

Ben:  Alright, so fill us on Entheon. We're listening. Go ahead.

Paul:  So, Entheon Biomedical is a company that's out of Vancouver, Canada. And, they're looking at intravenous DMT for addiction, in particular. So, the CEO, Timothy Ko, who we had on Third Wave podcast, he started it, maybe, about 18 months ago because he had his own DMT experience. N,N-DMT, not 5-MeO, N,N-DMT, and realized that it could be a profoundly useful way to treat addiction because unlike a psilocybin or an LSD, which can last for anywhere from six to 12 hours, with DMT, you can bring someone into that deep state of healing for addiction, and it might only last 20 or 30 or 40 minutes.

And, if you can titrate that through an intravenous constant–And then, you can actually calibrate how deep someone goes into–

Ben:  Similar to what you do with ketamine. You can open it up or back it off a little bit more if you're using intravenous instead of oral-administered. Cheers, by the way. This podcast is brought to you by–

Paul:  Zevia.

Ben:  –Zevia Cream Soda.

Paul:  Ginger root beer?

Ben:  Which I established last night is wonderful with the mezcal tequila. And, you've got ginger root beer, which is really good with coconut vanilla ice cream for a root beer float. Oh, my God, that is good. Wow, zero calories.

Paul:  Zero calories?

Ben:  Brought to you by Zevia. They're actually a pretty good company. They use a really good form of stevia. They don't mix it with a bunch of maltodextrin. I had somebody analyzed the cans. It's actually got low metals. It's clean stuff, so I don't know. I'm sure someday they'll find something wrong with it. I'm calcifying my pineal gland or something like that, but it's not bad.

Paul:  Yeah.

Ben:  So, this Entheon, basically, they're letting you infuse DMT. So, rather than getting that blast off to the universe type of inhalation that a lot of people experience often freak out during, you're getting a lot of those same type of benefits but with a slow infusion.

Paul:  The parallel or the analogy is psycholytic therapy versus psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. So, these are the two core ways that psychedelic had been used in a therapeutic modality. Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy is the typical, the thing that Johns Hopkins and NYU have studied, which is high-dose of psilocybin, mystical experience, and the stronger the mystical experiences, the more profound healing someone has for depression, addiction, and these other things.

The psycholytic is more like a mini-dose level, where the ego is still present but it's relaxed. It's not near as rigid. And so, you can do actually therapeutic sessions while you're on the DMT. You're not just totally in another space. And so, I think the balance between those two, the psycholytic is much less intense and probably better for someone who's overly neurotic or doesn't have a lot of prior experience with psychedelics. Whereas, the psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy is great for people who have significant deep issues that need to be worked through. And, it can often accelerate that path really quickly because the experiences are so intense.

Ben:  Actually, I want to ask you something about this whole idea of the psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy because I often wonder how much of it is the psychedelic or the substance or the medicine, and how much of it is the integration. And, what I mean by that is, when someone goes through a process like this, especially if they're using, let's just say, let's call this, let's say you're using a drug to fix a problem that you have, the mere nature of the fact that you're going to a clinic, working with a professional, taking this huge leap into the unknown, who perhaps used some substance that you've never used before, to go after some problem or addiction that you're experiencing, and then if you're in the right type of program, engaging in, often, weeks of therapy and talk therapy, and sometimes, weeks going in beforehand, dictates that there's a lot going on in addition to the drug or the psychedelic, both psychologically and logistically, throughout this entire process. When I interviewed Dr. Matthew Johnson about the extremely successful nicotine addiction and nicotine withdrawal program that they did using their psilocybin-assisted therapy at Johns Hopkins, he sent me the entire package that every participant had to go through. I have it all printed off down in my office. And, it's extensive. It's like aromatherapy and logging and journaling and multi-hour meetings with a therapist.

And, yeah, there's also psilocybin. But, I sometimes wondered, and I wish there were more control trials where they say, “We're doing all this [BLEEP], but without the psychedelic, without the drug.” And, I'm just curious how much of it actually is the psychedelic. I question that sometimes.

Paul:  It's a significant portion, especially now that this is a new substance, a new way of looking at things, and what MDMA can do, for example, with the amygdala in terms of helping to mitigate its fear response allows for those people who struggle with PTSD to be able to have this catharsis of the trauma that happened.

So, there's definitely an element of the psychedelic plays a key and central role in accelerating that process. And, there's no doubt that the support before and after, particularly after, plays a really critical role to help ensure that people can integrate those experiences. So, it's not just another drug experience that you're having, but it's something that becomes solidified in part of your new self, or whatever that may be.

Ben:  That's the hardest part for me is explaining this to people who are stuck in almost that first wave or second wave phenomenon of, I guess, would be second wave, of vilifying a lot of these things because they do view it as just doing substances or doing drugs and not doing the work or using the drug as a crutch or yet another addiction to replace an addiction that you've had. It's almost my gut response, is always, “Don't knock it till you've tried it, bro.” Really until you've been in that altered state of consciousness and combined it in a responsible set and setting with the type of integration that's necessary afterwards, until you've replaced that association that you have of cannabis being a high school parking lot taking a hit on a joint with, let's say, a microdose to enhance creativity for the day, or a couple of hits on a vape pen prior to sacred sex with your lover. It's just this idea that, when I try to explain that to people, especially people who grew up in the '60s or who have had bad experiences with this type of drugs used in improper setting, it's so difficult to explain. It's almost like the people who have done ayahuasca and come back with all these wonderful ideas but they just vomit it all over their whole family who had no idea and just can't understand it, almost wind up driving them farther away from their family than closer because the other people just don't get the experience. It's been problematic for me, personally, just trying to explain to people who don't get it but also have no interest in even trying or using it because of the fear that they associate with it or the responsibility that they associate with it.

Paul:  One thing that speaks to people who need to come into this in their own time. You don't want to have to pull anyone or overly evangelize people to come into this because these experiences are so profound and often so challenging and difficult. It takes a lot of courage to go into your deepest sense of self to face a lot of the things that you hadn't previously faced.

In fact, they did research in Imperial College that showed exactly this, that they compared typical antidepressants to psychedelics. And, what antidepressants do is they activate the 5-HT1A receptor in the brain, which essentially numbs you to things which could be helpful in the short term but clearly not in the long term. Whereas, what psychedelics do is because they activate the 5-HT2A receptor, it actually is a catharsis. It forces you to go into your subconscious and unconscious to face that trauma or that difficult experience that you had that's informing your behavior without your knowledge. And, in facing that and going into that and having that catharsis, that's how you actually heal it.

It's like you got to face the dragon to get the gold. So, you got to really, really go into these deep parts of yourself, this shadow, the filth, if you will. And, it's not for everyone, back to what we said before. This is certainly not for everyone. It requires courage. It requires a really strong reason and belief into how this can help. And then, if you have that courage and then ability to go there and you have the support, the prep, and the integration, then it can be incredibly healing and incredibly beneficial.

And, this again gets back into our conversation. Not doing psychedelics at all, I don't think that's necessarily great. But, also, doing psychedelics too often can be dissociative. You have to find that middle way in working with psychedelics and thread that needle to ensure that they become responsibly integrated and you're not just dismissing them but you're also not overly reliant on them. You're able to integrate those experiences and move forward with them as a tool in the toolkit but not being dependent on that tool.

Ben:  And, with Third Wave, are you training facilitators? You have some kind of program where you're training people or training coaches to actually walk people through this kind of stuff.

Paul:  So, a lot of the programs that are now rolling out in the psychedelic space are specifically for the clinical use of psychedelics because of all the research that's coming out: psilocybin for major depressive disorder, MDMA for PTSD. MAPS has their own training program for clinicians. Synthesis rolled out a training program. There are several others. Because, we have to train thousands, tens of thousands of clinicians in how to work with these substances in the next three to five to seven years, as this becomes approved by the FDA. And so, that's a very clinical model. We're helping people with depression, addiction, things like that.

With Third Wave and the program that we've rolled out, there's clearly a lot of use cases for clinical, but there's a lot of non-clinicians, executive coaches, wellness coaches, life coaches, even medical doctors, counselors, therapists who are not necessarily focused on a healing perspective but are looking at a mind expansion or human potential. How can people integrate these substances to become their best selves, to reach self-actualization, to reach their greatest potential?

And so, what we're bringing folks through–

Ben:  To run a marathon faster.

Paul:  [01:07:10] _____.

Ben:  That's actually what Jim Fadiman told. [01:07:13] _____ microdosing with LSD and had some dude increases marathon performance by 20%.

Paul:  Which is great, right?

Ben:  Yeah.

Paul:  These are tools for everything. And so, what we're training coaches in is the non-clinical use of psychedelics. And, a lot of these folks already facilitate but we're not necessarily focused explicitly on facilitation. It's much more the general context of psychedelic substances, how you prepare, how you integrate, what's the usefulness for leadership, for flow, for optimal wellness, how do we set up ritual, how do we set up an experience in a container that we bring, how do you even communicate to clients that this is something that you're aware of, that this is something that you're skilled in, that you're trained in? And, we're rolling out the first cohort in July 9th, so it's very soon.

Ben:  And, these are called Third Wave coaches?

Paul:  Yeah, and then what we're building for Third Wave, in the back end of that, is a directory. So, right now, in Third Wave, we have the guides, the podcast.

Ben:  Coach directory?

Paul:  It's a coach directory. It's basically a provider directory. We have coaches. We have clinicians. We have retreats. And, we have clinics.

And, we're rolling out the directory as the best of the best. If you're going to have a psychedelic experience, here's an individual, a coach or a clinician that you can work with. Here's a retreat that you can go to. Here's a clinic that you should go to, so we're partnering with on this.

Ben:  That have been vetted and trained by going through your guys across.

Paul:  Some of them, some of them, like the coaches themselves, yeah. So, the people who then go through our program, not only are we providing the training for them, but we're also providing some of the marketing about, “Now that you've gone through this, how can you communicate to the public that we're trained and working with these really, really powerful tools?”

Ben:  So, that's actually–It's similar to what I did with the Ben Greenfield Coaching Program. Different–Not plant medicines. We're more hormones and endocrine system, and gut and brain function. But then, also, what we do is a coach directory. We have a coach liaison who connects the different clients that come, to which coach is going to be appropriate for them.

Paul:  Precisely.

Ben:  And then, the coaches, typically, are required to be a personal trainer or a nutritionist or a registered dietitian or a physician. But then, we dress up their knowledge with a working knowledge of basically everything I've got in “Boundless” and just my whole flavor of training and coaching and advising. And, it sounds like you're doing something similar but in the plant medicine sector. So, I could say, “Well, if I really want to work with a coach who I know has been trained using a lot of Paul's ways and some of what you see when you go to Third Wave website, I can just go to this Third Wave coach directory.”

Paul:  Directory and find a coach.

Ben:  And then, similarly, let's say I've got somebody who's a personal trainer or a physical therapist and they want to amp up their resume to be able to, not only coach people fat loss but also be able to get people working knowledge of how to microdose effectively for productivity, they could also go through a cert like that.

Paul:  Yeah. That's what we cover. We cover microdosing. We also cover higher doses. And then, we're covering non-psychedelic modalities, breathwork, meditation, diet, sleep, leadership, all these things that support the experiences that we have when we're microdosing and when we're on higher doses.

And, we're going to say, “Hey, you're a coach. You have all these tools that you're using as part of your toolkit. Psychedelics can be the most impactful one that you use to optimize client outcomes.” Because so much of coaching is getting a clear sense of where the client wants to go, helping them to understand what objective they want to reach, and then guiding them through that path to reach that objective. And so, if you have a tool like psychedelics that are shown through clinical research to improve neurobiology and to help with adaptability and to help with learning and to help with behavioral change, how can you then integrate them into your set of protocol that you're using with the client, in addition to other things, to optimize those outcomes?

And, of course, because they're accelerants, you need a container, you need to be trained in it. And, this gets back to what we talk about with what is the third wave? Well, it's the responsible and intentional use of psychedelics. And, if we want to avoid the same mistakes of the second wave, then we essentially need to train an entire professional network of folks who can work with these substances in a really profound and meaningful way.

Ben:  I'm looking at this other thing. You have microdosing course. Is this for coaches? Or, is this one for just general public?

Paul:  That's more on the general public. So, we've had that for about four years, and we've said, “Hey, we were talking a lot about microdosing.” And, microdosing is not just simply you take a little bit of LSD twice a week and see what happens. There is so much more around the microdosing itself.

Ben:  I'm reading this. It says, “The science behind microdosing, the shifting legal landscape, the wide world of microdosing applications and benefits, how to dial in your optimal state of being, preparing for a liftoff, getting started with microdosing, your microdosing experience, your first month of microdosing, integration with daily life, and then macrodosing, bonus modules,” much like videos. And, you have tracking templates. So, this would be for somebody who's not necessarily a coach but just somebody who wants to just learn everything there is to know about microdosing.

Paul:  We have a lot of coaches and therapists and doctors and other professionals psychiatrists who enroll in that because they were having clients come to them who are interested in microdosing, but it's also for an enthusiast who has heard about microdosing and about the benefits of it. Maybe, they've tried microdosing once but they didn't see a lot of outcomes from it, and they're like, “I really want to dial this in. How can I make sure that I'm as dialed in as possible with this tool?” And so, that's what that course is specifically for. Again, teaching that skill of microdosing, how we calibrate the dose levels, what different substances we use, what intentions are we going with that, what are other supporting modalities that can help to nourish us while we're going through a microdosing protocol, all those sorts of things are.

Ben:  Ten-day money-back guarantee, huh? Look at that. Did you learn how to make a carrot cake smoothie?

Paul:  Have I learned?

Ben:  No, do you learn during that course?

Paul:  Well, we can add that as a bonus module.

Ben:  You'd add it as a bonus module.

Paul:  We'll add that as a bonus module.

Ben:  We'll do a video tomorrow morning. Dude, you got so much going on here. This website is really cool. I'm going to link to it in the shownotes, and I'll link to this coaching cert too, and also, this microdosing course. What do you guys–You'd give me a discount, or 10% discount code?

Paul:  For the certification program, there's a 10% discount for anyone who's [01:13:24] ____.

Ben:  Just Ben Greenfield?

Paul:  Yup. And, I think for the microdosing course, I'll double-check on that, but it is 10%.

Ben:  I know we got. Our teams [01:13:33] _____.

Paul:  We'll figure that out in the shownotes.

Ben:  We're supposed to sit around and–

Paul:  Talk about bullshit.

Ben:  Get in a cold pool.

Paul:  Exactly.

Ben:  And drink Zevia and play frisbee golf while everybody else go behind the scenes. But, what I will do for you all listening, if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/PaulAustin–That's BenGreenfieldFitness.com/PaulAustin, just like it sounds, I'll link to Paul's Third Wave website, and also this Synthesis Retreat that he's created over in Amsterdam. But then, I'll link to all these coaching certs, and also some of the other podcasts that we talked about, like my podcasts with Jamie Wheal and with Jim Fadiman. And, Paul's actually got a book called, “Microdosing Psychedelics.” And, now, you're working on a new book now.

And, dude, I really love this stuff you're putting out. And, I think it's super helpful. And, also, the reason I want to interview you was because there's just a lot of crap out there and because I eat my own dog food, like we were talking before, like why we don't do a video podcast. I'm like, “I don't really watch video podcasts. I listen to podcasts.” That's mostly what I do. Same thing, I'd love to open people up to the same type of advice that I rely upon for my own microdosing protocols and what I've learned in your websites. It's way up there, as far as one of the best resources I think.

Paul:  Thank you.

Ben:  So, good on you, as they say, [01:14:46] _____. And, I guess, at this point, we have to gear up for me to kick your ass and frisbee-golf.

Paul:  Is that what we're doing?

Ben:  Yeah, I think frisbee golf is going to happen. And, for those of you listening in, again, BenGreenfieldFitness.com/PaulAustin is where you can learn more about Paul. And, check out his course. Check out his microdosing course. If you're a coach, check out the microdosing Third Wave coaching certification, I guess microdosing and macrodosing. Third Wave Coach certification, I'll link to all that. And, Paul, dude, give me a cheers with the Zevia.

Paul:  Cheers.

Ben:  Cling, cling.

Paul:  This is great.

Ben:  Thanks for coming on the show, man.

Paul:  Thanks for having me.

Ben:  And, thanks for visiting Spokane.

Paul:  This is tons of fun.

Ben:  Alright, folks, I'm Ben Greenfield with Paul Austin. Have an amazing week.

Well, thanks for listening to today's show. You can grab all the shownotes, the resources, pretty much everything that I mentioned over at and over BenGreenfieldFitness.com, along with plenty of other goodies from me, including the highly helpful, “Ben Recommends” page, which is a list of pretty much everything that I've ever recommended for hormones, sleep, digestion, fat-loss, performance, and plenty more. Please, also, know that all the links, all the promo codes that I mentioned during this and every episode helped to make this podcast happen and to generate income that enables me to keep bringing you this content every single week. So, when you listen in, be sure to use the links in the shownotes, to use the promo codes that I generate because that helps to float this thing and keep it coming to you each and every week.



Paul F. Austin is a 21st-century pioneer in the field of the responsible use of psychedelics for healing, leadership, and personal transformation. He has been featured on the BBC, in Forbes, and in Rolling Stone for his accomplishments in entrepreneurship regarding social awareness of the benefits of microdosing psychedelics. Paul is the author of the book “Microdosing Psychedelics: A Practical Guide to Upgrade Your Life” and the founder of two companies in the emerging psychedelic space, Third Wave and Synthesis.

It all started with Paul's personal 7-month microdosing protocol. Through it, Paul experienced the tangible benefits of microdosing LSD, including an acceleration of learning ability, easier access to flow states, and an improved sense of presence. His experience with microdosing inspired him to push for legitimizing psychedelic substances via the topic of microdosing.

Most importantly, intentional psychedelic use helped Paul to further uncover his own truth, enabling an alignment of purpose and mission with a contribution to community and society. Paul’s unconventional path has now placed him in a position to serve the lives of many millions through psychedelic education and literacy. Two companies have been born of Paul's mission: Third Wave and Synthesis.

Paul's experience led him to found Third Wave in 2015. Third Wave explores pragmatic ways to change the cultural conversation around psychedelics, focusing on the intersection of science, psychedelics, and self-actualization.

Within Third Wave, Paul leads his team in building an educational platform to ensure psychedelic substances become responsibly integrated into our metamodern cultural framework. Currently, Third Wave offers long-form psychedelic guides, online training focused on the skill of microdosing psychedelics, and an industry-best network of clinics and retreat providers, creating a space for individuals to come fully into their own agency, power, and autonomy.

In 2018, Paul co-founded Synthesis, a legal psilocybin retreat outside of Amsterdam. For many clients, attending Synthesis is a profound and meaningful experience, one that leads to improved well-being and significant clarity on purpose and direction. Paul led several high-dose psilocybin truffle retreats, directing branding, marketing, and public relations before stepping back to focus on Third Wave full-time.

Setting off at the age of 21 from West Michigan, Paul lived in five countries and traveled to 60+ more over the span of six years before moving to New York City in August 2017. Propelled by an insatiable curiosity for the unknown, Paul's travels led to an incredible expansion of being and growth, setting the stage for his professional career in psychedelic leadership and advocacy. Paul is often seeking a balance between city and countryside: the unrelenting energy of big city life pared with the tranquility of nature. When not working, he loves to read, camp, drink espresso, steam himself silly in eucalyptus, and laugh at the irony of life.

Outside of Paul's entrepreneurial endeavors, he speaks about the intersection of psychedelics, personal transformation, and professional success.

During this discussion, you'll discover:

-What Ben and Paul did before the podcast…07:33

-All the cool gadgets that Paul and Ben are using today…10:50

-The story of the Third Wave…12:50

  • Paul's websiteis the most comprehensive psychedelics, plant medicine, and microdosing guide site
  • The Third Wave Podcast
  • First wave: ancient indigenous use of plant medicine
  • Second wave: '50s and '60s use of LSD and psychedelics
  • Third Wave: integration of the two waves, combining the wisdom of thousands of years of use with the cutting edge science of the second wave
  • Counterculture during the '60s was set as the opposite to the mainstream; associated with the protests against the Vietnam War and the race riots
  • The backlash of psychedelics use during the ’50s and '60s was the start of making drugs illegal
  • Core drugs used in western civilization until the '60s were nicotine (tobacco) and alcohol; anything else (cannabis, psychedelics, etc.) posed a threat to the dominant/mainstream culture
  • Sacred Economicsby Charles Eisenstein
  • The Immortality Keyby Brian C. Muraresku
  • People in the ancient Roman and Greek empires were taking plant medicine as part of early Christian rituals
  • “Life would not be worth living without Kykeon” (ancient beverage infused with the same thing LSD is made from)
  • Now, in 2021, the medicalization of plant medicine is looking at mainstreaming psychedelics


-How to approach psychedelic use responsibly through microdosing…23:25

  • In ancient Greek civilization, one person would be chosen to try psychedelics and come back to tell the community about the experience
  • How to use psychedelics was kept a secret from the many
  • Plato's core philosophy about non-duality was informed by psychedelics use
  • The value that psychedelics bring is that they help people get back in touch with the source
  • Recapture the Raptureby Jamie Wheal
  • Beyond Orderby Jordan Peterson
    • The balance between chaos and order
  • MAPSis raising awareness on the medicalization of psychedelics; bringing MDMA through phase-3 clinical trials for PTSD
  • The dark side of psychedelic substances (non-specific amplifiers) dramatically increase the suggestibility
  • Users are easily subjected to manipulation and mind control
  • The CIA's Appalling Human Experiments With Mind Control
  • Trinity is perfection, Third Wave is perfecting the skill of psychedelics
  • Ben talks about being a “temperant hedonistic Christian”
  • Ben's and Paul's responsible psychedelics plan for today: Psilocybin, Lion's Mane, beetroot before frisbee golf or paddleboarding in nature
  • The goal is to increase sensory perception and gain a deeper respect for nature and enjoy their afternoon

-A typical week for Paul when it comes to microdosing substances…45:35

  • Microdosing For Sports Performance, Microdosing Stacks With Psychedelics & Plant Medicines, The Best Microdosing Protocols & Much More With James Fadiman.
  • Started microdosing in 2015
  • Had previous high dose psychedelic experiences and really enjoyed the ‘afterglow effect' after the high dose
  • Twice a week on LSD 15-20 micrograms
  • Two core intentions:  to help with flow and productivity and to decrease social anxiety
  • Microdosing benefits
    • Anti-inflammatory
    • Helps with neurogenesis
    • Helps with BDNF growth
    • Mindfulness
    • Direct attention in certain ways
  • Currently microdoses 2-3 times per week, LSD only twice per week, psilocybin 3 times per week every other day
  • Do it in the morning, on an empty stomach with a probioticor with Rhodiola
  • Microdosing vs. mini-dosing vs. museum dosing
  • 200mg vs. 500mg dose level based on the intention for the day
    • 200mg psilocybin for daily productivity, staying grounded and focused
    • 500mg psilocybin for taking a long hike, journaling, and aligning with that “north star”

-How to combine substances and technologies for deeper meditative states…52:05

-More about the Synthesis Retreat, the legal psilocybin retreat center…55:40

-The role of integration vs. the actual substance in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy…1:03:20

-The Third Wave coach training program and microdosing course…1:09:30

  • Upcoming Third Wave Coaching Certification Program(use code BENGREENFIELD to get a 10% discount)
  • The psychedelics industry is currently training tens of thousands of clinicians on how to work with substances
  • Third Wave incorporates a lot of non-clinicians that help with self-actualization and mind expansion to help people reach their greatest potential
  • Not focused specifically on facilitation, but on the general context of psychedelic substances, preparation, integration, usefulness, ritual setting, etc.
  • Rolling out Third Wave provider directory July 9th (including coaches, retreats, and clinics)
  • Third Wave also has a Microdosing Coursethat teaches the skill of microdosing (use code BENGREENFIELD to get a 10% discount)
  • Microdosing Psychedelicsby Paul Austin

-And much more…

Resources from this episode:

– Paul Austin:

– Podcasts And Articles:

– Books:

– Gear:

– Food And Supplements:

– Other Resources:

Upcoming events:

Episode sponsors:

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