Buddha Mlac 2, Hedy Klineman, 1995. Courtesy Hedy Klineman & Bridgewater/Lustberg Gallery.
Buddha Mlac 2, Hedy Klineman, 1995. Courtesy Hedy Klineman & Bridgewater/Lustberg Gallery.

Psychedelic use is on the rise again, yet there are unanswered questions from the periods of heavy use in the sixties and seventies. The conversation wasn’t even possible in the political climate of the eighties, and now, in the nineties, we hope to do some truth-telling. Buddhism and psychedelics share a concern with the same problem: finding that which frees the mind. While psychedelics lurk in the personal histories of many (perhaps most) first-generation Buddhist teachers in Europe and America, today we find many teachers advising against pursuing a path they once traveled. Few Buddhists make the claim that psychedelic use is a path itself; some maintain that it is a gateway, and others feel strongly that Buddhism and psychedelics don’t mix at all.

This special issue explores psychedelics, particularly those derived from plants, and asks if they are a help or hindrance to the Buddhist path of liberation. Should young people with an interest in Buddhism explore psychedelics? Should veteran practitioners revisit them? Whatever one’s inclination may be, it is indisputable that psychedelic use is an issue for many contemporary Buddhists, as well as those interested in the dharma.

– Allan Hunt Badiner

Domains of Consciousness: An Interview with Jack Kornfield

Liberty and LSD by John Perry Barlow

Results from the Tricycle Psychedelics Poll

A High History of Buddhism by Rick Fields

The Death of a Philosopher by Rick Fields

Entheogens: A Brief History of Their Spiritual Use by Robert Jesse

To the Source by Simone Garrigues

On the Front Lines: An Interview with Michele McDonald-Smith

Yage and the Yanas by Allan Hunt-Badiner

A Peak Experience by John Schrei

Sitting for Sessions: Dharma & DMT Research by Rick Strassman

A Psychedelic Journey to the Zafu by Nina Wise

Sacred Antidotes: An Interview with Terence McKenna

Leaning Into Rawness by Trudy Walter

Roundtable with Ram Dass, Joan Halifax, Robert Aitken, Richard Baker 

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