In this episode, Jonathan talks about what the Thank You Plant Medicine campaign has accomplished so far, the challenges they’ve had to overcome, and the vision they are holding for the future. He shares transparently about what he’s learned about leadership as they have built a team of incredible human beings and have coordinated efforts from thousands of volunteers from around the world to support this campaign.
He shares his viewpoints on navigating challenging situations, especially when they need to address people in the community who have received feedback of malpractice or inappropriate behavior in the psychedelic space. He also touches on his thoughts around cultural appropriation.
We also talk about Jonathan’s meditation practice and his multi-faceted and open-minded approach to working with psychedelics, and his perspective on how psychedelics can be a catalyst for change in many domains of life.
Episode #1 Full Transcript -Lessons Learned Launching the #ThankYouPlantMedicine Campaign with Jonathan Glazer
Laura Damn [Intro]: My name is Laura Dawn, and you’re listening to episode number one of the Psychedelic Leadership podcast. Because what the world needs is a new kind of leader.
Jonathan Glazer: “I look at psychedelics and psychoactives as a practice, and just as I utilize meditation to let go of fear or to envision, you know, the next year, or to relax my mind. So there are many, many uses that I use meditation for. It’s the same approach I have for psychedelics. I think the art of leadership is to be able to know how to come in and come out, how to come in and then fade away, and where to support and who needs help. And being able to move from different positions, sometimes to be in the front, sometimes to be in the back, sometimes to be in the middle, sometimes to be in the sides. And mastering that art and knowing when to support auto has to go into front and when I need to carry on in the front because somebody else who’s a little bit, you know, tired. I think that’s the mastery of it all.”
Laura Dawn:This episode features an intriguing conversation with co-founder of the thank you plant medicine campaign, Jonathan Glazer, I am so thrilled to be launching this podcast with Jonathan as my first guest. He has become a really good friend over the past year as I’ve watched him and Dave Grio launched the thank you plant medicine campaign and online community. And I’ve dipped in and out at various moments throughout their journey to help support the movement in different ways. And also, through my friendship with Jonathan, I’ve been able to get a glimpse of just how much effort is required to get a vision like this off the ground and we’ll be talking about that in this episode and what he’s been learning through this process along the way. But gratitude for plant medicines just feels like a really appropriate place to start.
So I would like to officially open this podcast by expressing my gratitude for all the plant teachers in my life. Just giving so much thanks. I mean, words can’t even fully describe how grateful I am for my entheogenic allies and how much they have taught me and how much I continue to learn and grow from these incredible plant teachers. I also want to offer respect and gratitude for all the medicine makers, medicine carriers, wisdom keepers, and all the different indigenous traditions who have worked with such a wide variety of medicine ways for thousands of years, and who have been graciously willing to offer their knowledge and wisdom to so many people. And my prayer is that this offering is fully reciprocated. And giving thanks to the thousands of people around the world supporting this psychedelic renaissance and this plant medicine movement. May we all hold space for this great unfurling with mindfulness and awareness, grace, integrity, and good intention.
Okay, so before we dive into this conversation with Jonathan, I will always encourage you to listen to this episode and all future episodes with an open heart and an open mind. There are infinite ways that we can step up as leaders in this space and I guarantee that we are not always going to share the same opinion and that’s okay. There’s beauty to be found in our differences. Let’s learn from each other. And I encourage you to listen to this episode right until the end. For those of you who receive my emails, you know how much I love to share the joy of music. And so I’ll be leaving this episode off with a song from my dear sister Mary ISIS called “Are you listening”. And if you’d like to get on my list, and you’d like to receive my full eight-hour music playlist for psychedelic journeys and beyond, you can swipe that list from my website, www.livefreelaurad.com/freebies or just click the freebies tab at the top of my website.
And that’s where you’ll find my free eight-day microdosing course that covers just about everything you need to know to start cultivating a mindful microdosing practice. Okay, without any further ado, here’s my conversation with Jonathan Glazer.
Welcome, Jonathan Glazer. How are you doing, brother? Good to see you. Welcome to the psychedelic leadership podcast. Good to have you on the show.
Jonathan Glazer: Thank you so much Laura D. Pleasure to be here and see you.
Laura Dawn: Hmm, well, you are such a great example of what one aspect of psychedelic leadership can look like, and I’m so excited to share your story. You’re the co-founder of the thank you plant medicine campaign along with Dave Grio. And it’s just been amazing to watch what you guys started, what it’s becoming, and I’m excited to see where it’s going. So let’s just start there. I want to know more about how this all started.
Jonathan Glazer: Okay, great. Well, you were there at the beginning, we just didn’t know each other back then but it started in the World Ayahuasca Conference and that happened in Girona in 2019, in June, and I was on a personal search for my, you know, second part of my career. And I just graduated doing psychology and, as you know, I had a lot of interest in meditation for many, many years that I’ve been practicing. I was looking for a program that includes neuroscience, and psychedelics. And that’s really the reason I went to the World Ayahuasca Conference, and Dave is a good friend of mine, so I invited him. We both have had our experiences together, sitting in with different psychedelics, different psychoactives and we really took interest in Iosco specifically. And during that conference, and we were amazed to see how many amazing people around the world are part of the community and specific part of the community of that practice and work with substance of the very legal in many countries, and not only illegal, but also perceived as dangerous and perceived as addictive and perceived in many, many ways that are completely In contrary to our personal experience.
And so through that conference, which was one of the best week of our lives, because you know, the 1500 people from 40 something countries, and we were looking for, you know, what we can do what we can assist, help support, and we didn’t really know what it was, you know, it was like, there’s so many amazing people here, you know, what can we do? Yeah, that was kind of the feeling and the conversation we’ve had during that week. Specifically, there were a lot of people from the science and a lot of people from and I’d say that actually coordinate us, you know, people that work with Madison, and people that have experience with telemedicine, but we didn’t really get what will be our angle. And in the last hour of that conference, in a breakout room, an idea came up, actually to David. And he said, Hey, why don’t we organize these people here and share our stories, you know, just tell the truth about our experiences, what would happen, then, we’ll do something similar to what the LGBT movement did, or other movements of coming out of the closet. And we tested that idea quite quickly. And we had an opportunity to present it at the last talk of the World Ayahuasca Conference, actually the question section and because we felt it’s a good opportunity to see what everybody thinks. And it was accepted with a warm acceptance. So a lot of people contacted us and said that they want to be part of it. And that’s how it all started. Just with an idea in a breakup room at the end of the World Ayahuasca Conference. And what was new about it was, let’s try and connect everybody around the world that worked with antigen psychedelics. So coming out of the closet is not a new idea. People in different parts of the world already did that. And you know, with famous people like, you know, Sting and other famous people coming out and telling their stories about their experiences. But what we brought, as it could have been viewed as innovative, is coming together and uniting everybody.
Laura Dawn: And so up until this moment in time, and I know so much is going to unfold and continue to unfold from this movement. But what has the thank you plant medicine campaign accomplished so far?
Jonathan Glazer: Right. So, the campaign was first off surrounded or focused on one day, which was February 20th and the idea was to concentrate the energy of as many people as possible for that day. And when I say energy, I mean, you know, people sharing stories online, with their family, with their friends, and telling them the truth behind, you know, how they healed from or how they transform their life working with psychedelics and psychoactive. And so you helped us out, actually. And we created a beautiful event in Costa Rica and bringing representatives from native cultures from people that like Atossa Soltani. That is the president of Amazon watch. You know, Paul Stamets was one of the most famous mycologist around the world. For his science, his books, and his ongoing trailblazing of psilocybin and mushrooms to be recognized in society. We had his doctor named Pam on the panel. And we created a beautiful event, it actually was a few days event that celebrated healing, transformation and growth, working with psychoactive agents. And the idea was to show the beauty of it, show the science of it shows the tradition, and show how magnificent through our experience, the healing transformation that we can have working with plant medicines. So that was one thing and we were successful in in in gathering about hundred and 20 organizations from all over the world. So the Beckley Foundation, MAPS, different psychedelic societies of Denmark, of Australia, of New Zealand, people in London, in Scotland, in Israel, in Dubai and in all over the world, in India came and shared stories, online shared stories through their families and friends.
And what I think what we have achieved is creating a safe container for people to come together and that’s kind of the main achievement that we had. And since then, our Facebook group, which is we call it thank you plant medicine community has been a resource for people to ask for advice to connect, to ask specific questions about certain ailments, you know, back pains, headaches, PTSD, depression, alcoholism, addiction to amphetamines, etc. And we’ve created a super tight, respectful, kind, loving conversation, where naive people can come in and interact, experts can come in and be of service. And I think it was our biggest achievement. And we did a lot of other things that after we created the “Coming Out Day” for us was kind of production of the launch of the movement. And today we regard it as an ongoing movement.
So we’re looking to be more active and bigger and more influential, for the better in creating safe, responsible space for people to interact and come to information about psychedelics and psychoactive. So we have the ICEARS with fundraisers, and we collaborated with MAPS and Dr. Bronner’s with online events and with Chakruna. And with all our partners, anybody that come and ask, can you help us out with this or that, we always say yes, for example, now the Native American church is having an elaborative preservation project. And they, they need visibility, they need support, they need their community to know about them. So for example, we are working on a movie screening with them and to support their project. So our attitude is all-inclusive, and let’s help each other. So for example, I see you as a sister, and I see other people in the movement as brothers and sisters, and mothers and uncles and aunts and it’s a big family. And it’s our responsibility to help each other and create a different kind of vibe than what we’re seeing outside in the big world, where there’s a lot of conflict and a lot of aggression, and a lot of and I’d say, tension and stress and fear.
Laura Dawn: I know you guys had a goal for how many people you wanted to inspire to come out with their stories. Do you have a general sense of how many people shared their stories across the world?
Jonathan Glazer: Yeah, I think it’s anywhere between five to ten thousand.
Laura Dawn: That’s amazing.
Jonathan Glazer: Our goal was to get to 100,000. And today, I think that in the next “Coming Out Day”, we can engage between two 20 to 30,000. And it’s interesting because the first goal that we put out there, when Dave presented it to the World Ayahuasca Conference with 1000 people, and we way surpassed that goal. And then some friend of ours said, Hey, why don’t we, you know, shoot for a million. And he said, that’s a little bit too much. So we kind of compromised and 100,000. So that’s where we are going to. And currently, the Facebook group is about 15,000 people, and Instagram has about 10. So we’re looking to build up and ramp up the amount of people joining and sharing and coming together.
Laura Dawn: And I have no doubt that you guys will reach 100,000. And I’m proud to be a supporter of this movement. So there are a lot of people who have the vision of launching communities, you know, so much is moving online these days with the pandemic, let’s just talk about moving from holding the vision to transmuting that vision into reality. What were you surprised about in terms of what this really takes? What have you learned? What are some of like, the key nuggets of really getting this off the ground?
Jonathan Glazer: Right, I think that one of the key items is perseverance, you know? What happened for both Dave and I, we had great healing, through working with the medicines. So for us, it’s a way to give back and I think that was the common denominator. With most people that have worked with psychedelics and psychoactive that have received a tremendous healing, there is the sense of gratitude. And gratitude and that sense of feeling, and kind of wanting to create reciprocity, and give the interesting motivation to spend, you know, all the extra hours that we have in a day, on a mission that we believe can change the world.
And we don’t see ourselves as a satellite, isolated entity, there are so many beautiful organizations out there, you know, just like AYA visionary, and many others that are working together to create the change to create a world we want to see. So I’d say perseverance and having a very strong motivation to do it. And now, the challenge in the beginning was if you’re a few people, you know, and how do you multiply to 100 and to multiply to 500, and to multiply 2000 people. And one of the things we learned pretty early on was that our values are very important. So for example, inclusivity, meaning we include everybody that has had that head and healing process with psychedelics or psycho actives, that were very important, because then we didn’t need to decide who is in without, if you’re healing and you’re, you know, willing to adhere to respect everybody else, you’re part of it. And that created a kind of an understanding that everybody is invited. And it allowed us to bring people from, I think, so far about 80 countries. It allowed us to bring in and psychedelic organizations and communities around the world. We also did not deal with politics, and avoided dealing with, you know, taking sides and that allowed us to be able to interact with everybody, if it’s the, you know, students for Sensible Drug Policy that’s SDP does have a certain way of seeing things or the creme nature that have their way of seeing things, we could benefit both organizations and they and they, for example, could join us, so being and our political in a sense. Another item that was very important for us is that we own in the second psychedelic you know, intergenic plant communities around the world, we almost all of us, we have had some form of healing somehow some form of positive transformation. So the idea of coming out and the idea of sharing it together is based on this common thread that we all have in our hearts, common experiences. So when I speak to somebody in the Philippines or someone in India we understand each other. So it’s really easy to collaborate and coordinate in that sense, so that was also a very powerful item. And another thing is that we did, we kind of experimented.
So we didn’t have any, we didn’t know where it’s going to go. But we say, let’s try it out, let’s experiment and see what the feedback is going to be. And that’s the notion that we have throughout the movement today, we just experiment with stuff. And if it hits, if it clicks, then we get good feedback and then we provide more of the same or we make it better. So that’s another approach and we could move fast. So we didn’t have to produce amazing high quality videos we created, you know, we created content that was authentic and real and to touch people’s hearts, the message was there and it wasn’t fabricated, it was an authentic message. So that’s another thing that we did is we move fast, we didn’t think so much and analyze too much, we just did it, you know. We needed to make a two minute video, we did a two minute video. We needed to do this, we did that. We were focused on action and practice more than, you know, theory and strategy and stuff like that. But that was back in the day, we were very few people today, we are way more people and there is maybe a need for growth and think about a little bit further and deeper and have more strategy and that’s what we’re doing today.
Laura Dawn: How many people do you think are supporting you from all over the world, I mean, that, to me is one of the most amazing parts that I’ve witnessed. With you and Dave, it’s like you have attracted a solid amount of people who have just dedicated their time to, you know, supporting this cause without pay, and really, because they believe in it, which, you know, is really quite incredible. So why do you think so many people have come together from all over the world to support this movement? And how many people are sort of on your general team these days?
Jonathan Glazer: Yeah, what we did, then last year that we had is, you know, volunteer signup forms, and we so far, we have probably 2000 people sign up on that. And it’s people that, you know, are willing to help in, you know, different types of functions. And in reality, as we moved into the last Coming Out Day, we’ve probably had a core team of about 100 to 200 people that collaborated. So, you know, 30 people in LA and Belgium and, you know, Denmark and France. And so we had an event, a big chunk of people helping out with the local events, we did, like 30 local events that happened last year. And then on the inner teams, you know, the graphic design,the social media, the leadership team, probably had between 20 to 30, we have a documentary team and stuff like that. And the reason people wanted to collaborate, first of all, it was fun. And there was an important part of it was enjoyable most of the time. And it was successful so we saw the growth and we saw that people are wanting to do this and it was an upward spiral, you know, so look at what happened to our relationship for you know, since we got to know each other, and it’s true for the relationship with Murray sisters, from listeners, you know, and so many other people that truly interaction and co creating something together that is fun, that is beautiful, that is you know, heart centered, that doesn’t care about money and capital at all. And was a great adventure to be part of. And I think that was true for many other people. And we also use the time to envision what well we want to live in and can we create that world that we want to live in, and we actually creating it within our own spaces, like, for example, you with your company, you’re creating a certain part of the world you want to live in, and us with our activities and what we did together, we’re creating a pint of the world we want to live in and we’re kind of putting the building blocks for that world. And that’s I think inspiring, you know, instead of you know, dealing with what we don’t want to be part of and actually dealing with what we want to be part of was inspiring to people. And I think also we treated everybody super nice and you know, with great energy and very welcoming and I think that also made a big difference. And you say today for example now we have a team of 10 people mastermind masterminding the 2021 event and it’s super high quality, high energy high, you know, driven people that are part of it. And again, it’s because we want to see a world where you and I can practice freely and legally what we believe in. So…
Laura Dawn: So this has really put you in quite a leadership position. You know, you’re also a leader in your, you have another company that you’ve built with many, many employees. But now, it’s like you’re really at the forefront of leading a lot of people and so as Dave, I’m curious, what have you learned about leadership, specifically, as you’ve launched the thank you plant medicine campaign?
Jonathan Glazer: Yeah, I think one of the, it’s a good question. I think the art of leadership is to be able to know how to come in and come out, and how to come in, and then fade away, and where to support and who needs help. And being able to move from different positions, sometimes to be in the front sometimes to be in the back sometimes to be in the middle sometimes to be in the sides. And mastering that art and knowing when to allow others are not allowed. But men are meant to support others to go in the front. And when you know, I need to carry on in the front, go somebody else is a little bit, you know, tired. And I think that’s the mastery of it all. And we learned, you know, again, how important our values are, and how important it is to be able to communicate transparently and honestly, with people and being able to say things directly in order to save time. For example, last year, we spent a lot of time talking to a lot of people that were not really motivated to push. So we ended up in a sense, wasting time on that. But also learning that if we create a core strong team, that’s all we need. You know, if you have, you know, 10 to 20 people that are super motivated, that’s all you need to to move things and shake it. And I’d say the challenge of that we were presented as leaders is when you know, we interacted with people that had, you know, potential sexual allegations about them, or people we didn’t know, and how to solve it, you know. Somebody is going to hold an event is hosting somebody else that has a past history, or suppose past history of abuse and what do we do in that case? You know, and that’s for close people to us that they came to us to say, hey, that person, you know, had an abuse or abuse me in the past, and now he’s going to be talking on our event, and somewhere in the world? And these I think are the most challenging parts and what to do and what is our responsibility was the extent of our responsibility here. And I think in most cases, we handled it well, we pass the information on which we have a really good network that support us and protect us. So a lot of people tell us what we need to know when we need to know it in order to not make mistakes and stuff like that.
Laura Dawn: Can we talk about that for a second, I’d like to to actually dive into this, I don’t envy your position, this is really a challenging area to deal with in the psychedelic movement in the community, especially with allegations or some people running retreat centers or ceremonies or, you know, malpractice, and it is, and you guys are really setting an example actually for how to navigate this and deal with it. And so people are looking to you for how you are navigating it. So let’s say for example, you know, I think that recently happened, someone posted something on the thank you plant medicine community page. What’s your motto around censorship? You know, let’s just run through an example and how you actually handle that? So if you feel open and transparent about that, because I think that this is a really important conversation to be having.
Jonathan Glazer: Yeah, I agree completely. So I’ll take a few. I take one example that happened recently, and again, without naming names. But somebody asked for recommendations within the Facebook group, for where he or she can practice or have the experience. And there was a gentleman or let’say gentleman that posted there among many others and that gentleman was flagged to us. That case was quite simple, because we have some prior knowledge from many, many other sources about the validity of the claim, and that that gentleman should, you know, should not be advertising in the group basically. So we gently said, you know, we deleted his post and we notified him.
Laura Dawn: Are you addressing a conversation directly with him?
Jonathan Glazer: To be honest, in that case, it just happened a few days a go, I did not have time to talk to him yet, but I am going to talk to him. And in other situations, we had the person that was supposed to be on one of our live streams, and we got the notification about it that he also had past history and in that case, we contacted him, we contacted his friends, we talked to the person that put the claim on that. And we explained our position, as well, we, our goal is to keep the movement as clean as possible, and not get. First of all, not that we don’t want to be the judge. But we also don’t want to affect negatively the progress of the movement. Because the movement is a global movement, we don’t have any other agenda than making it good for everybody. And opening these channels of communication, we eventually actually recommended, and that’s that person to contact the person that made the claim and for them to communicate with each other directly. As far as I know, it didn’t happen because there was not enough interest on both sides to resolve whatever conflict was there. But we see our responsibility all the way to that point where one we cannot, if we have a doubt to the our issues, we cannot live you within and then the face of the movement or in the moment itself. And two, you need to talk with each other and you need to solve it between you if you want it to be solved. And this was how we dealt with it but every case is a case by case every situation is a case by case matter. And what we do really well is talk to people and talk to them directly and explain to them. And we have not had a situation where the person did not understand it. People involved either the person that is accused, he or she understand that this is not the place to quarrel about this kind of stuff or too…
Laura Dawn: I think this approach is actually really beneficial because I’m sort of, of the camp that public shaming isn’t the way forward for us as a community and that direct conversations are really, at least the first step, you know, that maybe public announcements can be made on a certain level but the over the internet, you know, social media attack and shame, I don’t think anyone is going to transform or grow or heal through shame. I just don’t believe that.
Jonathan Glazer: I absolutely agree with you. And moreover, shaming is extremely detrimental, for the conversation for a conflict resolution. For in any perspective, you look at it, if you look at it from a nonviolent communication perspective, you know, shaming is never going to be the solution. And direct communication and private conversation and you know, working with mediators, people that are experienced is the right way to go.
Laura Dawn: Yeah, that’s so interesting. I mean, so that seems to be like one of the biggest challenges that you guys have faced. Are there any other challenges that you’ve really had to overcome some hurdles along the way?
Jonathan Glazer: I’d say one of our challenges was to break through to mainstream media. And we were not very successful with it, you know, except some articles in Italy, France, Brazil, Portugal. We didn’t really break that barrier, even though we inform the different media channels and we had a person working on it a lot. And that’s a challenge that we hope to break through this year and we actually saw it changing. So for example, you know, I don’t know if you saw that different friends in the movement, you know, got on Forbes, got on the guardian. So it seems like psychedelics and psychoactive are in the mainstream already. But we want the stories to be on the mainstream and the reason we want the stories to be in the mainstream because the stories they really communicate to other people that are suffering from same illness or same difficulty that there is a solution. So that’s a challenge we have not overcome yet and we’re looking to overcome this year.
Laura Dawn: Yet, I like you adding that. Yeah, I totally believe that this movement will hit the mainstream media in a big way. And we’ll close the conversation with what you’re working on next. So we’ll get to that in a moment. But I want to sort of shift gears here and one of the things that we like talking about is, you know, we’re seeing the ways that plant medicines and psychedelics and entheogens can be used within a certain set and setting to help heal depression, anxiety, PTSD, and then I feel like both you and I have an affinity for the conversation about really being at the forefront of creating a different kind of set and setting that leverages mediation amongst teams, you know, group dynamics, creativity, creative problem solving, you know, you know, that I’m, you know, in a graduate program right now studying creativity research that I’m really wanting to bring to an apply it in these ways. And so I just kind of wanted to have a sort of back and forth about how you are exploring plant medicines amongst your team as well in your own life as a real Launchpad for creativity, for working together more effectively in teams, whatever you feel like sharing transparently.
Jonathan Glazer: Yeah, so yeah, I look at psychedelics in psychoactive practice. And just as I utilize meditation, to let go of fear or to envision, you know, the next year or to relax my mind. So there are many, many uses that I use meditation for, the same approach I have for psychedelics is no limits into what we can use them as I would say, use them, but engage with them.
Laura Dawn: Exactly. Work with them,
Jonathan Glazer: Work with them, engage with them. And specifically, one of my own biggest, you know, eureka moments was, when I sold a huge issue in my company through working with a psychoactive. And for the very specific moment, where I use both meditation and working with psychoactive to solve issue that could have led me to bankruptcy, after 10 years of owning my company, and through that experience, I could look at the problem from different angles and different perspectives. I could develop a plan that was practical. I could then after the experience itself integrated and work on it and make it happen. So that was in the business kind of area, relationship. Relationship with a loved one or relationship with oneself relationship with friends. Just recently, in a group of four or five people that were creating this very unique events, we had a lot of conflict, and there were a lot of things that were not laid out in the open because there was no people in in that group didn’t feel that they’re safe enough to express themselves honestly, indirectly. So we open up and you know, in that case, Ayahuasca where we drank together and we interacted of course respected respectfully and kindly and with gentleness and we could work through very deep resentment and anger and frustration about one another, and also show ourselves and talk about past traumas, and why am I reacting the way I’m reacting? And how do I want to react and in a better way, and how to be better in that specific group. And coming out of those two day experience, you know, it’s like, washed away a lot of our sorrows and a lot of far frustration and anger and actually got us closer. So that was in practice, you know, conflict resolution for a team building experience. And yeah, these are two instances but music, as you say, art and creativity, it can be used to anything basically to you know, make better politics and create better social systems and devise solutions for world hunger. It just allows us to we will activate our brains in way that we are normally can’t. And allow us to access spaces where many more possibilities are in eyesight than we saw before?
Laura Dawn: I have a question for you.
Jonathan Glazer: Yeah
Laura Dawn: I’m curious what you’re going to respond to this. But let’s say someone expressed to you, “Hey, I think that’s really irresponsible and disrespectful to the medicine and you shouldn’t be doing that in that way”. How would you respond to a comment like that?
Jonathan Glazer: I would ask them, first of all,to know why they feel that way? You know, what’s the feelings that they have? That brings them to view this in that way? That’s my first question. Second, I would try to understand where they come from and also express how I look at it. You know, so I go back to meditation. People view as many you know, in meditation, a very, what I perceive a very narrow part of what’s possible to do with meditation. So they gear their practice to that narrow path and there are many different practices and many different traditions in meditation, you know, practice.
However, I practice a tradition that sees no limits, working with meditation. So when you see no limits, you can now broaden then I’d say the aspects of what you’re able to achieve with meditation specifically. So coming back to plant medicines, and the traditional use of plant medicines. I respect people that want to practice the traditional way and that’s also not a one thing, you know, the Traditional Bwiti, Traditional Oaxaca, the Traditional Ecuador, the Traditional Brazilian so I respect that and I interact and sit with people that practice in that way.
However, I believe in evolution, I believe in growth, I believe in exploration , so I think as long as you do things, from kindness, from heart centered, from caring to other people, from being responsible for yourself and others, from a sense of integrity, a sense of reciprocity of reverence, if those things are part of what you do, then we can paint with any color that there is available to us. And why limit ourselves to just work on Biographic Healing or Physical Healing? , why not use it to envision and work on the world, we want to see? Yeah, so that would be my answer. But I’m also very respectful to anybody that has a different view than me, and I respect their view. Doesn’t mean I will apply to myself, just respected it.
Laura Dawn: I really appreciate that answer and that response, and if anyone feels triggered by that, I think it is such a good indication to just look at that within yourself and where is that coming from, and I love that you lead with wanting to understand where other people are coming from. And I think, you know, even just hearing you describe that sit that you did with the medicine with a small group of people, and I think, you know, when safety and consent are at the forefront of what you’re doing, and the intention is to bring healing, and the outcome is healing for everyone, I mean, I just respect that choice that you’re making, and support people who want to make a conscious decision in terms of how they want to work with the medicine in that way.
Jonathan Glazer: Yeah. And I learned something else through this. This feeling of, you know, indigenous compared to other races on the planet , and that’s my point of view then it’s related to tradition, that we are all indigenous people to this planet. You and I, we represent 200,000 of Homo sapiens evolution, millions of years of primate evolution and it’s true for anybody on the planet. So, from that perspective, we all have the right to spiritual practice, we all have the right to access the inner worlds that we have inside ourselves. And as long as we maintain respect and listen and integrate. Yeah. So that comes to the same item of, are you practicing in a traditional way or no, you’re not practicing traditional way?. Hey, I’m practicing Tibetan meditation for 15 years, the practice is not from my home country. My grandmother is from Ukraine, my grandfather is from Poland. Their ancestors , who knows where they’re from? So, in this day and age we are all mixed races.
Laura Dawn: And how do you navigate those conversations on, specifically in the community platform around Cultural appropriation? Has that been really at the forefront of some people’s conversation? And when someone makes a comment about that, how do you respond?
Jonathan Glazer: I feel it’s more and I said it in the past as well. I think it has to do more with U.S based conversation, rather than a global issue. We don’t get in the community, so much of those comments from other parts of the world. So the way we say it is a more local, and geographically local conversation rather than a global. You know, I live in Costa Rica, and never had a situation here and I’ve been here for 17 years, with somebody telling me hey, you’re unwelcomed here because you’re inappropriate in culture [inaudible ] , you know, actually not said, hey come this is our culture, shared it with us. I think when we do go to other people’s countries, it’s super important to do things their way. Yeah. So when people go to Peru, go to Brazil, or go to Ecuador, it’s not about your way, it’s about their way, and it’s learning to do things in their culture in their way. So that’s, that’s my recommendation. But we try to avoid that kind of conversation when people talk about cultural appropriation because it doesn’t make sense in a global level. Yeah, if we have something good to share, let’s share it. If we have a healing to share, let’s share it, if we have knowledge to share, let’s share it. And by sharing it, we can work better together.
Laura Dawn: Thanks for sharing that perspective. Do you feel like diving into a little bit of your philosophy around meditation? You have a really interesting take. Do you have time for that?
Jonathan Glazer: Yeah, of course.
Laura Dawn: Okay great.
Jonathan Glazer: Favorite subject?
Laura Dawn: Yeah, great. And so, I don’t actually even really know like, the best question to really get the, what I’m trying to get at here. But just in terms of like, your practice, your conceptual framework around meditation, what have you? What is your meditation path?
Jonathan Glazer: That’s a good question. So, I started with Yoga style meditation and that kind of initiated me to work with a certain lineage from a Tibetan style meditation. So, my take on meditation, and it’s just my personal view. We have components in our body that are inner to us; our Brain, our Heart, inner Organs, all our physics and when we were born, normally we’re not taught how to interact with them.
We know how to move physically, we know how to walk, we know how to talk, we learn a lot of external stuff we learn to memorize using our brain. But there are many aspects of our hidden potential, that are not taught to us not because our parents didn’t want to, they didn’t know. Yeah. And that a hidden potential can partially be trained and worked on through the practice of meditation. And there are many people writing about this from different perspectives about what is possible with meditation, and how we can change the frequencies in our brain to access altered states of consciousness, and how we can heal our body using the power of our mind and many other things that relate to meditation.
So , my take on it today is that through the practice of meditation, you overtime unlock some aspects of yourself that have no limits of space and time and capacities and [inaudible]. And I am in that process. So when somebody, and again, that’s my personal view, put some finite point on the practice of meditation and call it enlightenment or waking up, to me, that doesn’t mean much, because the more you go inside yourself, the more you discover that there is just no end to where you can go and what you can do with your consciousness, with your presence , with your energy.
So our practice is a practice that is not sold, it’s not marketed. And it’s done so to protect itself, because what you should see what’s happening around the world, is that a lot of spiritual practices are being sold to people. And in a sense, that exchange of money creates a confusion in the eyes of the student, because the student says, I paid, now I don’t need to, I did my due. And it’s like when you go to a ceremony…
Laura Dawn: I was just going to say that goes for people who go and do two weeks Shamanic Trainings who pay for it and think I paid for it so now therefore, I am a shaman.
Jonathan Glazer: Exactly.
Laura Dawn: Gosh!
Jonathan Glazer: Or for example, and you see it very much in ceremonies, people go pay, $150 or 200, or $300, $500, whatever it is, to the healer, and they go through a plant medicine experience, and it completely changed their lives like that , and they think that with $200, that’s, actually enough. Whereas, what really is the payment, I’d say, or the reciprocity is what do we do in the world? You know, how can we improve our family, their friends, our society. So our practice in that sense, look at reciprocity in that way. So okay, I’ll teach you but then I expect that one, you’re going to pass and share the knowledge and two, you’re going to be effective on your community, on your society, on a, you know, whatever, way you choose to do it. But that’s the true reciprocity. Because what we gain in spiritual practice, in a certain way, we gain happiness, we gain, peacefulness, we gain beauty, because we can see the beauty and more things and see the beauty around us more often. And these are things that once we gain them over time, they become permanent. So it’s an amazing gift. And, you know, $200 or $1000 are not worth that gift, what’s really worth it is that now you dedicate your life and you work with other people and with your community, and you do better for the environment, for humanity, and for the animals on our planet. And so from kind of to summarize it, you know, meditation practice is not for meditation. Meditation practices for helping, to transform the world, through working on oneself.
Laura Dawn: And so you’ve had a teacher, you’ve had a teacher for how many years and it’s all been through, donation based or not, no pay, just exchange of energy. What does that look like? How long have you been with your teacher? Now, you’re also taking on students as well.
Jonathan Glazer: Right? So, I’ve been working with my teacher for 15 years and I cook for every week. When I come I make a great meal.
Laura Dawn: That’s wonderful.
Jonathan Glazer: So I improved my cooking skills over the years. And Yes! as I said, it’s a relationship for life. Because just like Endogenic, Intergenic plants and psychedelics, you every time you go there is new things you discover about yourself , about life, about the world, we change every day, right? It’s true for meditation. Meditation is always different and there’s always new spaces to go through because the universe is unlimited. Like this, if you look at that energy and where we are in the universe and what’s going on, there is no limits. So the practice itself has no limits as well. And I yeah, it’s a weekly practice and I practice daily as well. And in the last two, three months, I started taking on students that and that kind of seemed to me that they can be a force of good in the world. One of them is actually a Curandero; a facilitator of plant medicine, and a musician, beautiful, son. Another person is a Physical Therapist. He trains people, works with people on getting healthier and better. And he also specialized in flow state, which has some relationship to meditative spaces and meditation spaces. I started working with my mom on a weekly basis, she’s a longtime meditator, but not with this style of meditation, and she has knee pain. So I’m working with her on a weekly basis. And then there is a friend that is buying a retreat in Costa Rica, and I wanted to give her skills that she can then use when she worked with plant medicine and people, so give her other skills,
Laura Dawn: Is there a name that this style has?
Jonathan Glazer: Not really and that’s the point of it. People identify with names, then identify with styles that they start to getting, green belts and blue belts and black belts and it’s a combination of breath work and specific postures and moving off energy in the body and unlocking different energy centers in the body, but it doesn’t make sense and until you practice it. Actually, what’s meditation style that’s been quite popular recently, which is the Wim Hof style of meditation. I haven’t practiced but a friend gave me some reports and it’s has a few initial aspects of Wim Hof style of meditation, just a different type of breathing. However, if you look at mindfulness meditation, or you look at Eckhart Tolle or Deepak Chopra or other spiritual , meditative teachers. And I’d say that what the practice itself has thousands and thousands of places to go to and levels and that’s what’s special about it, is that there is a surface and then there is under the surface, and then there is 1000 levels more. And yeah, that’s, that’s about meditation.
Laura Dawn: I personally practice open focus awareness. And when I hear you relating your meditation style, to tapping into this limitless quality to life, that’s so much of what I get out of open focus awareness, it’s like training the brain to pay attention in a different way. And so yeah, I’m just so curious. And I love to hear what other people are doing. And, you know, I think, when I’ve really seen you in action, like in the moments where, you know, we were putting together all the details for the launch day, and I witness you as very centered, you’re the cool, calm and collected. So if you need some, if you need someone to stress out, we can appoint that person over there, because I’m not going to stress myself in this moment. So I love that about you. And I think that that’s just a testament to years of practice and the way that you show up.
Jonathan Glazer: And thank you so much. Appreciate that comment. It’s, interesting, you know, for people that do Psychedelics and Psychoactive, I would say there are meditative states that feel like a little bit like MDMA, and some meditative states that feel like suicide, and some of them feel like DMT. And, all of those are accessible through breathwork and practice. So I encourage people to take on meditative practice and one day take on psychoactive and psychedelics, they work together really well.
Laura Dawn: I’m curious. Your perspective on how psychedelics can influence real change in different domains and if you think that, that is the future of the psychedelic movement, you know, really influencing different domains of life, whether it’s politics, economics, business,
Jonathan Glazer: yeah, it’s, it creates tectonic shifts in every place it goes to, and it’s not really every place it goes to, but when you have people from those domains, interacting with psychedelics, you know, through beautiful invitations that the community can do. And we do it all the time to our friends, to family, to people we know that are suffering from that element or another. Through those invitations and people from those and these places, they come and interact with the medicines. Usually what happens is, you know, hopefully the first or second experiences are good. They change their perspective about their own profession. So by changing by changing their minds and their attitude, change, the action change behavior change over time, as well. And possibilities are now different. A great part of Apple, great part of Tesla, and many other successful companies around the world have been inspired by psychoactive and psychedelics. And these are, just a few examples, but the shift can be tremendous, I do think, we need to invite people as much as we can to join the road with us into the road to join the path and to learn about it. Yeah. There are no limits, in medicine, inventing, technological solutions, software. And there’s, there’s absolutely social systems, you know, how to live together communities, how to plan cities, and how to interact with the animal world. There’s so many things we can we can do through opening our minds with psychoactive and intelligence.
Laura Dawn: What are you most excited about in terms of what the thank you plant medicine campaign is working on right now right now and maybe you want to share a little bit of visions of your future?
Jonathan Glazer: Okay, interesting. So, I’m very excited for the teams we’ve gathered this year to work together, like we have the Art Director of London real on our team. beautiful soul that helped us out last year and London real event, you know, if it’s listeners know, it’s a 2 million subscribers on YouTube. So this is just one person, we have some, you know, producers from Hollywood, and we have an amazing group of people working together to create the biggest celebration. So I’m really into celebrations and producing beautiful events that transmit beauty and transmit heart and transmit kindness and, upward spiral experiences. So I’m very excited about the 2021 coming out. And we already have partners and organizations contacting us to want to do events, before, during and after, and kind of in conjunction with their with their celebration that we are going to do. I’m very excited about that. We are also working on side projects. One of them is a news channel that we want to bring into the psychoplant medicine, social media, where we tell stories from around the world. And we tell it,how things are on the legal aspect, some research on the different, you know, communities that are gathering around the world and working with plant medicines. So kind of a space where we can give a beautiful perspective of what’s going on around the world. Because we are all about global. I’m also excited about creating events. I think over time, we are going to be involved in creating events in physical space. As you know, I love sitting with friends and you invited me to one of your events in Costa Rica was a beautiful experience. I love creating music and soundscapes and you know, weaving together the things I’m passionate about, which is plant medicine, sound and meditation into creating a transformational experiences. So I’m excited about that. And yeah, there’s so many things going on that another thing we’re working on is a leadership school. And I don’t know if you know that, but it’s a a Leadership School for the people who want to be facilitators and want to work with spirituality and healing. Of course, we don’t do that alone. We do it with you know, a lot of experienced people. But we are kind of working now on the first phases of the project because what’s happening and it’s appropriate here for the leadership podcast, as
Jonathan Glazer: As legalization medicalization are going to roll out, they’re not going to be enough leaders to lead events ceremonies, and we want to be part of that team that form and interact and create. Yeah, more people that can lead the experiences themselves. From a very grounded place from a very heart centered place. And that’s another project actually Dave is masterminding and I’m helping out with, with a few other people because the worst thing that can happen is that, psychoactics become legal. And then we have endless amount of casualties because they need to be handled with care. You know, it’s not like any other substance, there are very powerful. So they’ve had a few.
Laura Dawn: It’s so amazing that you’re saying this, because like all in the span of one week, so synthesis Institute just launched their nine months, psychedelic facilitator training, and just in contact with another woman who is launching her psychedelic facilitator training, I think it’s also nine months. So it’s, it’s at the forefront right now.
Jonathan Glazer: Yeah, think about it, you know, if it’s going to go global, it’s going global.
Laura Dawn: it is.
Jonathan Glazer: You’re going to need to have 10s of thousands of people that are trained. Now, because it takes so long to train somebody, you know, it’s like, maybe nine months is a good beginning, but it takes years to become a good space holder, and experienced enough. And depending on how you’re working with substance you work with, like you have your own experience on that. So it’s not, again, it’s my opinion about it. It’s, you know, it can start with one year, but it’s a lifelong occupation. So there’s a big need for that. So we have a responsible usage and responsible application. And yeah,
Laura Dawn: Thank you for sharing. I’m really excited about the news channel. I think that that’s going to be amazing and bringing a lot of different voices, I’m so excited for that. I’m just thrilled that you guys are doing that as well. So just in closing, I don’t know if you’ve heard of Abby Wambach. She’s a retired Olympic athlete, and she wrote a book on leadership called Wolf Pack. And she lays out the old rules and new rules of leadership. And the old rule. And I mentioned this in the introduction for this podcast, she says old rule, lead with dominance, create followers, new rule, lead with humanity, cultivate leaders. And I think, you know, for me, that’s really at the forefront of what’s leading this podcast. And I really think that that’s at the forefront of how you and Dave are both choosing to lead this entire movement. And that’s something that I just really respect about both of you, you know, you’re not like, hey, follow me, you’re rallying a team behind a movement where a lot of people believe in that and you’re cultivating more leaders in the space. And I think that this in, in and of itself is contributing to the way movements happen to the larger social change that needs to happen right now. And so I just wanted to close with that, that I love that about what you guys are doing.
Jonathan Glazer: Thank you so much. It’s all about empowerment, empowering people to believe in themselves. Really, like we are many to many of us are many people are not brought up to believe we are powerless, and you know, we should follow and it is so much not so you know, so inspiring. The magic in each person and recognizing the magic in each person we meet is a key to you know, to our successes of humanity.
Laura Dawn: Thank you, thank you for dropping in with me. It’s so good to see your face. I really appreciate you Jonathan so much I cherish our friendship, it’s been a delight to get to know you and see this movement unfold in real time is really just amazing. So thank you for having the courage to step out and take the risk and go for it because look at what’s happening as a result.
Jonathan Glazer: Thanks so much and thank you for walking the path together with me.
Laura Dawn: Hi, friends. Thank you so much for listening to episode number one of the psychedelic leadership podcast. I’m your host Laura Dawn, my friends also call me LD or Laura D. I go by live free Laura D on social media. So if you’re on Instagram Please connect with me on that platform. I’d love to get to know you. Please drop me a line and say hi. And if you haven’t yet checked out some of my free offerings like my eight-hour music playlist for psychedelic journeys and beyond, you can swipe that list when you go to live free Laura de.com forward slash freebies, or just go to my website and click on the freebies tab. And that’s where you’ll also find my free eight-day microdosing course that covers pretty much everything you need to know to get started with a mindful
microdosing practice. I’m going to leave you with this song called “Are you listening by my dear sister” Mary Isis. Enjoy.
I was born in Israel and since 2003 I live in Costa Rica. I am 41 years old. I have been an entrepreneur since my early 20’s and today have a 13 years old security company. In parallel to my professional career I have developed a meditation practice over 22 years. Initially through Yoga style and in the last 15 years with a teacher for Tibetan Healing Meditation. I graduated in psychology and I have interest in Neuroscience and mind-body connection.
Meditation was my main spiritual practice until late in 2016, when I had my first entheogenic plant experience. One of my meditation students with whom I had six months classes felt he is not advancing fast enough in his meditation practice. At that time I was aware that people that experienced ayahuasca had in some sense similar experiences to deep states of meditation, including the sensation of being one with the universe, ability to go deep inside oneself, a form of ego dissolution, greater connection to nature, access to long forgotten biographical memories as well as access to what seem as past generations memories and experiences. I offered my student to go with him to our first entheogenic plant experience in the context of an ayahuasca ceremony.
Since then, I have combined meditation and entheogenic plant medicine to further my own practice, to make changes in how I manage my company, to improve how I relate to people and the world, to create music and expand my instrument literacy, and to better understand my purpose in life.
Since the beginning of my experiences with entheogenic plants, I felt that they are greatly misrepresented, and it did not make sense to me that such beautiful and healing experiences are banned by western society that claims to be modern and open. In 2019 I went to Girona for the World Ayahuasca Conference and to Horizons in NY, with the goal to find out what I can do to help bridge the gap. I was also looking to learn about education opportunities within the Neuroscience – Psychology – Psychedelics sphere. Since then, together with Dave my co-founder of Thank You Plant Medicine, I have been busy creating a global movement to destigmatize entheogenic plants and psychedelics.
For aspiring Bodhisattva’s on the plant medicine path.