What are Magic mushrooms?
Magic mushrooms are also known as psilocybin mushrooms a name given to these fungi that contain psilocybin. Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychedelic compound. Psilocybin is a hallucinogen that works in the brain by activating serotonin receptors that affect the prefrontal context. It further affects mood, mental cognition, and perception.
Recent studies showed that psilocybin mushrooms have been used in therapeutic settings. It has treated a wide variety of illnesses including obsessive-compulsive disorders, depression, and addiction. According to researchers, the benefits of the controlled usage of psilocybin and spiritual practice on a person’s well being, last long. Thus, it’s making Magic Mushroom and Meditation a perfect combination.
How does Magic mushroom work?
This fungus which can be found in the wild or cultivated has the ability to open you up both physically and emotionally. According to researchers, psilocybin mushrooms work by decreasing the activity in the key areas of the brain instead of increasing it. The blood flow decreases as it flows to the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC)and the posterior cingulate cortex or PCC. The overactivity in this area of the brain can lead to depression. That is why magic mushroom or psilocybin is also associated with antidepressant effects.
Magic mushrooms are one of the most popular and most widely used substances in the psychedelic pantheons. According to researchers, psychedelics are decreasing the blood flow to the area of the brain that controls our sensory experiences of our environment and our self-identity.
What exactly is meditation?
Meditation can be defined as a series of techniques that are intended to heighten or enrich a state of awareness. It involves focus, relaxation, and awareness. Meditation is like exercise to the mind.
Meditation is practiced in three modes:
- Concentration – focusing one’s attention on a single object either internal or external.
- Observation – paying attention to whatever is predominant in your experience at the present moment without letting your attention stuck in that particular thing.
- Awareness – allowing your awareness to remain at the present without any distraction and not engaging in either focusing or observing.
There are also different forms of meditation:
- The concentrative meditation – this is when you are focusing your attention on a specific object not minding anything else. The goal is to really experience whatever it is that you have set your attention to. It could be your breathing, or a certain word or mantra.
- Mindfulness – this includes mindfulness-based-reduction or MBSR and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy or MBCT. Mindfulness may target several psychological and behavioral issues such as depression and anxiety attacks. It is also a state of being aware of and being involved in the present moment by making yourself open, opening your awareness, and accepting it.
The Effects and Benefits of Meditation
Studies proved that meditation has both psychological and physiological effects. Some of its benefits are increased self-awareness, improved emotional well being, and better management of different behavioral symptoms such as depression, anxiety disorder, sleep disorders pain issues, and high blood pressure.
A study showed that after two (2) months of forty-five (45) minutes of daily meditation, there was a measurable deactivation of PCC and mPFC centers in the brain during meditation. This shows that the interval produces the experience of oneness breaking from the traditional being of the body apart from its environment.
It should be noted as well that Meditation also corresponds to the same or exact area of the brain -the mPFC and the PCC where the magic mushroom works.
Magic mushroom and Meditation
Magic mushrooms contain both psychoactive and hallucinogenic ingredients known as psilocybin and psilocin. Hallucinations under the influence of magic mushrooms are transient, overwhelming, and mostly unreal. For most, these hallucinations have opened a new way of thinking or ideas. Many people who have undergone this experience interpret it as a form of “enlightenment” wherein they feel that they are able again to connect to the real world.
Researchers from John Hopkins University School of Medicine conducted a study to see how ” quantum change experiences” induced with the aid of psilocybin combined with regular spiritual practices such as meditation resulted in the overall well being of healthy volunteers for a period of six months. Quantum change experiences are defined by psychologists as distinctive, sudden, benevolent meaningful experiences that result in personal emotions, cognitions, and behavior.
In their study, these scientists tested three different scenarios which include twenty-five (25) respondents in each group. The setups were different from each other according to the dosage of psilocybin and the participants’ spiritual practices. The setups were distinct from each other: low-dose/standard support, high-dose/standard support, and high-dose/high support.
The volunteers in this study have not taken psychoactive substances and do not have regular spiritual practices. The volunteers were given a set of questionnaires throughout the experiment to see the changes in their behavior. Also, the volunteers must have at least three (3) people in their life to also assess them and see the changes in their behavior meaning there should be a third-person perspective.
To tell that a participant or volunteer is having a mystical experience as a result of the psilocybin, the participant must be able to achieve a certain score in the four different areas or types of measures.
The four different types of measures are:
- Mystical, comprising items assessing the internal and external unity, noetic feelings, and sacredness.
- Positive mood
- Transcendence of time and space
The results showed findings that are in contrast to previous researchers showing that psilocybin has only short term effects. The recent study showed significant long term effects of psilocybin across the range of longitudinal measures. These include a person’s attitude towards life, towards himself, his moods, social behavior, and increased spirituality.
Why is Magic Mushroom and meditation a perfect combination?
Well, the answer s simple.