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Spiritual Lessons from Plant Medicine

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Spiritual Lessons from Plant Medicine

Plant medicine and psychedelics are used in the culture for combating mental illness precisely, because these are medicines of spirit. They communicate with the body that the soul permeates, and speak to the higher parts of us that usually lay dormant and silent. In retreat, when the body is prepared with a special diet, meditation, and yoga, it becomes physically and emotionally relaxed enough to receive information of a higher consciousness. Below are a few of the most common and poignant spiritual lessons from the inherent wisdom of the plants. 


There is a great play happening, and it is called life. In this life we try to make meaning of that which has occurred in its contents, and we flounder. The things that are not so important, we take heavily. We are programmed to feel self conscious, to feel offended, and harden around our ideologies. There is a mechanism in the mind that judges to protect. But what if there is nothing to protect?

During many ceremonies, attendees are laughing while crying, this eludes to what Ram Dass, refers to as “the cosmic giggle”, the utter absurdity that is life, and lightly living within the questions it proposes. The soul transcends all suffering, but the ego is attached to it. The ego is what feels hurt, envy, spite. These are simply mental constructs of the personhood and life on the modern plane. But the soul feels universality, and it is light and ephemeral. These are states of universal love, joy, divine bliss, oneness. They do not come from thoughts, but from a visceral feeling, a knowing. 

We are often disconnected from this knowing because the society preys upon the lower level emotions and uses them to their advantage, predatory capitalism, unworthiness, self hate. In lower states of consciousness people’s emotions are weaponized, people’s heightened feelings play out in the polarization of politics. People who take life lightly, with ease, cannot be manipulated into feeling the weight of that which is trivial. 


Most mental illness comes from a strong sense of self, and feelings this self has about right and wrong. We have mental models of reality and when they are broken, we feel betrayed. We create stories around what happens to us and we suffer tremendously not necessarily from the reality of what has happened, but from our thoughts around it.

As Aldous Huxley said in The Doors of Perception, “All that the conscious ego can do is to formulate wishes, which are then carried out by forces which it controls very little and understands not at all. When it does anything more - when it tries too hard, for example, when it worries, when it becomes apprehensive about the future - it lowers the effectiveness of those forces and may even cause the devitalized body to fall ill. In my present state, awareness was not referred to as ego; it was, so to speak, on its own.”

This smaller self takes everything personally because it is trapped in only the personhood. Psychedelics allow us to see the infinite, the side of us that the world cannot put its fingers on. This is the state of the observer, watching the play of the human and allowing the humanity and the divinity.

We can watch with non attachment the things that have happened to us, without being so deeply involved. This is the birds eye view, the witness, the higher version of yourself that just sees life as it is. 

In less heightened emotionally reactive states, the emotions are balanced and a neutrality comes upon us. We do not need to push away sadness nor cling to joy. As Mooji says “Feelings are just visitors, let them come and go.” In this letting go process, we can stay equanimous and peaceful even in the chaotic muck of life. The lotus then blooms from the mud. 


Because most people are not connected to their inner nature, they are easily swayed. We have created whole institutions to govern us because of our lack of trust in life. We have driven ourselves to paranoia, our neighbors, no longer being “us”, but “them”.

We are fed news that stimulates our distrust in ourselves and other. We cannot agree what truth is, as there is no solid ground to walk on. But trust is the foundation of love. Trust is what allows us to surrender to the intelligence of life. Trust is what allows us to fully give to another person.

As Alan Watts said, “To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don't grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.”

When you are able to see your interior, you can trust it, it is pure and ever present. It is beyond intuition, it is the part of you that holds all the information you need. When you can tune in to this energy you can trust life because you trust yourself. This trust is your guidance on choosing the type of livelihood you want to live. What you want to give your energy to, who you choose to devote your life to. 


Programmed to do, to produce, to be effective members of society, we have forgotten the joy of being. You sit by a stream and you do not need to do anything, and you see the easy way water moves through rock. You look at a flower and you see its inner light, its luminosity, the fact that it is sentient, as alive and feeling as you are. You listen to music and allow the body to move and channel whatever comes through. Being-ness is allowing the present moment to unfold exactly as it needs to, and knowing you are a part of it.

Plant medicine eliminates all that is untrue, and when you see you cannot unsee. You cannot go back to sleep walking through life. Your eyes are open to the sheer beauty of existence, life becomes a celebration of being-ness. You can still have your goals, achievements, and desires, but simultaneously you can appreciate all that is. You learn with the lessons from the plants to say “yes” to all the shades of a life well lived, you can be in all of it enjoying thoroughly, without attachment or aversion. 


You have felt it in the moment of orgasm, when the external world falls away and there is only vibration, energy, the climax that blurs everything else. You have felt it when surfing, transcending the separation between you and natural forces, until you merge into one. You have felt it when looking into a child’s eyes, the humanness, the purity. You have felt it when you enter flow state, and one hour of creation becomes five. 

The joy plant medicine gives is all of these combined. And all of these states, have one simple ingredient, it is transcending yourself. It is going beyond your pleasure system, and into the moment. Excellence stems from this, this complete dedication to whats in front of you, whether that be a task or a person. 

Joy is a state of being readily available to us, but we are seduced by futile pleasures. The joy plant medicine gives is not what you feel when you eat cake, or do a line of cocaine, or watch a funny movie.

It is not about purely  bodily sensation, it is the joy of all, the senses and the spirit meeting. It is the knowing that you came here to experience the good things. And when you are in joy for them, life picks up on this, and gives more. Joy is the gift that keeps giving. We are better humans when we are happy and healthy, this is our work, this is our duty, this is our birthright. 

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