• Mia Cosco

What Microdosing Feels Like In 2020

Lets break it down into three components:

How can someone make a microdose experience amazing?

You want to make sure that set and setting is accounted for.

If you haven’t heard about set and setting, this is a great time to learn it because I have done a lot of research online and in books and research papers about this term. When I talk about that, I am referring to mindset.

Mindset that is key for a microdose experience or any medicine journey is a mindset that is ideally free of clutter and well controlled or at least well-managed. Now this may seem a little bit contradictory to you especially if you are a meditator like myself, but bear with me. Even though an experienced seeker knows that we really cannot control everything and we’re in control of very little actually, what we are in control of is our behaviors, our emotional reactivity, and our actions. A well-managed and clutter free mind that denotes a mindset that is really calm under pressure, able to switch off the stress switch when things get challenging, and also is able to calm down, whatever the challenge may be whether it’s a level 10 grief situation or just a level one "I tripped over my own shoelace" situation. A mindset that is clear and ready for a brilliant microdose experience is a mindset that, and I’m actually inspired by Tim Ferriss when he spoke about this, is a mindset that has been prepared with at least 30 days of meditation practice under its belt to help it with the thoughts when things come up that are very challenging. Whether or not you’re microdosing or macrodosing, and any experienced psychonaut will agree with me here, is that trauma can totally come up and that a blissful experience can sometimes warp into a really unpleasant experience or can at least sometimes turn very challenging. We are not in control of our mindsets most of the time especially when we’re not tapped into the subconscious or unconscious layers of our psyche and this only gets tested when we experiment with radical healing modalities like psychedelics as medicine or entheogens.

By the way, if you’re curious as to why I keep using the word 'entheogens' and you don’t know what I mean by that or what that word even means because maybe you’ve never heard it before or you’re just confused, I actually address the difference between the two terms psychedelic and entheogens in this video here so be sure to check that out if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

So that’s mindset, and I would recommend a meditation practice for the most part, however I would also recommend making sure to keep yourself on a healthy diet, prepare by making sure you’re protecting your energy with positive friends and social situations around you, keeping external distractions or drama and violence around you at a minimum, and really engaging in some sort of active intentional practice like journalling or goal-setting or even just enrolling in an online course so that you are focussed and healthy and preparing yourself for with an amazing mindset.

Now, when I talk about setting, I am talking about the physical location or environment that you are in when you are microdosing. What I would recommend for this is somewhat different based on each and every different type of medicine so allow me to break it down here.

For plant-based entheogens that you are planning on microdosing with such as psilocybin, Ibogaine, even DMT like those weird DMT vape pens that I hear about, I highly highly highly recommend a plant-based or natural environment such as a forest or park. Now I don’t mean the forest or park that’s gonna be frequented by a lot of people on a Saturday afternoon when it’s super sunny outside by the way. Even if it’s your favourite park, I would highly recommend an incredibly peaceful situation where there’s going to be again very little distractions and not a whole lot of people even because if you’re feeling very self-conscious at one point or if you are having an incredibly challenging situation, you may run the risk of just repressing that anxiety and really scurrying all of that worry underneath the surface of your own mind and not actually dealing with it in a way where a calm uninterrupted dojo like situation with say a guide or a sitter with you that’s experience to handle that could do for you. Find a natural environment that is relatively peaceful and you can guarantee it will not be frequented by other people in the duration of time that you plan on spending there. Unless you’re incredibly comfortable navigating this world in an altered state or you have people or at least one person around you that you totally and completely trust when things get challenging, you’re probably going to be annoyed by a crowded environment. I recommend a natural environment because the beauty of nature and really the connection and grounding to non-synthetic and non-man-made structures and conditions around you is going to be really helpful for an amazing experience where you’re thriving and not just gritting your teeth the whole time.

For less synthetic antigens that you’re microdosing with, like LSD or MDMA even, your pace is going to be incredibly much more frenetic or fast-paced. You’re not really going to take a lot of pleasure in the slowness or peacefulness of a situation like you will be with a plant-based microdosing experience and you may even really prefer being in motion like being on a sailboat or lying down at the beach or even hiking or working out. I have heard of many experiences both in person and virtually when I volunteered for Erowid and there were lots of experiences where, especially experienced microdosers, would sometimes go for a huge hike or start working on a novel they always wanted to write or an album they’ve always wanted to record in the span of time. I would never suggest operating any sort of machinery which includes driving or being in a situation where there are a lot of risks and consequences around you like a really not well ventilated concert hall or dance club or being near the edge of a cliff even if you are in a natural environment.

With that said by the way, I am not opposed to recommending a wonderful night out with friends while you decide to microdose! I have heard of experiences that are amazing in these types of environments.

What do I mean when I talk about the work to do on themselves?

Okay, so now I want to unpack what I mean by the work to do on yourself. I brought it up very briefly with the mindset shift to make a microdose experience amazing, however I’m going to go into it in a bit more depth right now. Now, knowing that our logical brain needs to be satisfied with research, I would ultimately recommend that you actually do research beforehand and don’t go into a microdose experience blindly. While you may not be thrusting yourself into a full heroic does like a microdose experience, you are still ingesting some portion of medicine and medicine is the same no matter what dosage it is. It’s going to be an internal journey and it may make you feel out of control at times. Similar to when people say that they still feel stage fright or nervousness even if they’ve publicly spoken on stages over 1000 times, it’s very similar to a psychedelic experience. I advocate for research 100% every time someone is trying something new especially for the first time, even if they have microdosed before but this time it’s with a new type of medicine. Great resources are Erowid and plenty of other psychedelic research organizations like MAPS or The Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies and even institutions like Imperial College London or Johns Hopkins.

Now, in addition to preparing your logical brain, I highly suggest preparing your emotional brain and with this, I suggest the supplement as a ritual around your experience. It’s important for you to know exactly how long the medicine will be in your system and the effects that you should expect to experience. In addition, it’s important to have some sort of ritual and my personal ritual is actually available in a checklist and a few things that I put on that checklist are journalling to set my intention using pen to paper literally, some sort of meditation before hand, setting the space to be very comfortable and relaxed, and usually some sort of spiritual ritual because I would consider myself a very spiritual person like a sage smudging or lighting incense.

And how do you prepare yourself to start microdosing?

Like I said, when you’re microdosing with plant-based medicines, you’re going to really want to appreciate slowness and have a contemplative or spiritual ritual in place. This is because a lot of plant-based entheogen microdosing experiences of which I commonly hear of with psilocybin or magic mushrooms and cannabis are a very grounding and centring experience. This is because the nature of these medicines are going to make you appreciate stretching more meditation deep breathing maybe some light bodywork or somatic healing or even prayer and gentle chanting. You’re not going to be looking to dance probably or move your body or be engaged in some sort of high energy situation.

If you’re microdosing with synthetic psychedelics or chemical molecules and compounds, like LSD or MDMA which is very common at festivals like Burning Man or Coachella, you’re likely going to be wanting more activity! You’re probably going to want to have more movement, you’re going to feel more energized, and you are going to want to move. I have heard of people being inspired to dance, right furiously, be productive and even do a few errands, or even just pick up the guitar that they haven’t picked up in five years and play a song or two. Whatever happens, it’s totally OK and that’s what the medicine is all about. Make it your own, feel empowered with it and flow with it. Now, I wouldn’t head your bets on or guarantee that you’re going to be productive with this synthetic medicine in your system, so don’t plan to microdose on a day when you’re supposed to get something very crucial done. If you have an assignment due or a deadline and you’ve allocated a day for it and you’re hedging your bets on microdosing LSD or something to get it done, that’s a big red flag and I would not recommend that because if you subconsciously want to go in a direction where you instead want to play music or talk to friends on the phone, you may end up doing that for the majority of the day because a microdose experience can take the whole day or at least a significant portion of it if you’ve allocated that time for other things. The last thing you want is guilt or regret that you microdose instead of having that time to integrate and heal and learn from the downloads that you got in your microdose and experience.

Another note I’d like to put in here is that I have heard a lot of stories of people mixing substances for a microdose and taking a very little bit of LSD and a very little bit of magic mushrooms in a combined microdosing experience. This is a hybrid experience and I would only recommend is if you are experienced with at least one of these medicines or ideally both of these medicines standalone are by themselves. Call me a purist, but I highly advocate for making sure that you can master or at least get acquainted with and develop a healthy relationship with whichever medicine you were deciding to experiment with another.

Also, you really want to watch out for the pharmacology here because if you’re potentially mixing one known medicine with another medicine that has combined effects of toxicity when combined, this can provide a serious drop in one of your hormones or natural chemicals produced by your body that’s going to make integration very difficult and you’re probably going to have an incredibly challenging and steep drop off when you come down and you’ll come down hard.

Now, if you’ve only experienced microdosing, you’re going to compare microdosing to a very strong cup of coffee or like a runners high. If you don’t know what those experiences feel like and you can’t find a lot of microdosing testimonials to go by, I would recommend looking into altered states of consciousness and even trying out some practises like breathwork or achieving a runners high if that works for you. It’s going to be gentler, smoother and more manageable than a microdose experience for sure, however I would not underestimate it and my guess is that if you’re here, you’re still a little bit nervous or you have some questions.

Now, if you’ve never experienced psychedelics or psychedelic medicine at any point in your life, and you want to start or ease into the process with microdosing for any specific purpose or reason, firstly, I want to hear what it is so drop it into the comment section or direct message me somehow on here or on my socials that I link to. I completely applaud you for wanting to start the easy way with this consciousness medicine and I am super in honour and in service of your journey. I would say that you’re probably in more of a position to do some research more than an average experienced psychedelic adventure would so that you are completely equipped and know exactly what you’re in for basically, still leaving a little bit of room for curiosity and adventure into the unknown. It’s not going to be nightmarish and there are likely going to be no hellish experiences as long as you do your research on the correct amount of dosing and you adhere to it. You will likely, if you follow a ritual correctly, not experience things like hallucinations or visualizations or her nausea even. If you do experience any of these things, they will be so late that, like when you get food in your teeth or you step on gum on the street, you can just easily fix it or dislodge it consciously without it having to take total control of your psychology.

By the way, if I didn’t address something completely or if I completely missed a question that you actually had in your mind, be sure to comment down below in the comment section because I do respond to any and all comments and I will take the time to articulate a response exactly to a question that you have.

Lastly, I would always recommend a sitter or a guide with you, even if you are experienced. I know this might damper some spirits or expectations of having a solo and very deep individual journey with a given medicine or two, however it’s only a precaution when you already have a person in your life that you know, like, and trust to provide a safe space for you and help you, if say you start to feel emotional or want to bond with somebody or want someone there to talk something through that you haven’t talked about in a while.

If the person you’re looking to microdose with is someone that you really love and know and trust like a relationship partner but that you’re a little bit worried, even 5%, that there may be some trouble or drama or fighting that could potentially happen in that state, I highly recommend a third person to be there who is neutral and can provide support to both people, even if you are the only person microdosing. You want to basically plan for this experience like your welcoming a newborn home and you just want everything to go right and take whatever precautions or insurance possible to make sure that you are going to have a great experience, not even just a good experience.

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