Can the use of psychedelics have a beneficial effect on meditation practice?
In recent years, the research on meditation and on psychedelic drugs have both seen remarkable developments, yet, few attempts have been made at bridging these two domains of inquiry, despite consistence evidence of overlap between the phenomenology and neurophysiology of meditation practice and psychedelic states.
Hallucinogenic doses of psychedelics, when taken in the appropriate context, have been shown to enhance mindfulness, which is one of the basic elements of meditation practice (Soler et al. 2018; Smigielski et al. 2019; Murphy-Beiner et al. 2020). When is comes to microdosing however, evidence for a beneficial effect on mindfulness have been harder to find (Szigeti et al. 2021, Polito et al., 2019), despite ‘Enhancing Mindfulness’ being reported as the most widely endorsed motivation for microdosing in the largest microdosing study to date (Rootman et al. awaiting publication).
This study was conducted by researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in collaboration with Quantified Citizens, who developed an app to collect data in over 10,000 microdosers and non-microdosers (Microdose.me V1.0) between 2019 and 2020.
The Beckley Foundation is collaborating with Quantified Citizens and UBC on the next iteration of this microdosing app (Microdose.me V2.0). In this new version, if participants report engaging in a regular meditation practice (at least 3 times a week) , they will be offered to join a ‘sub-study’, using the same app, to evaluate in more details the effects of microdosing on their meditation practice.
In this study, our aim is to explore the effects of regular microdosing on meditation practice by remotely collecting data in meditation practitioners.
Taking part to this study will help meditators engage in a useful self-reflexive process, where they can evaluate, through a protocol carefully designed by a psychology researcher and meditation expert, the ways via which microdosing affect (or not) various aspects of their meditation practice.
There are also indirect benefits to the participants: They will contribute to a better understanding of the relationship between meditation practice and psychedelic use. This knowledge could, for instance, be used to develop controlled studies in clinical settings.
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