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image_zendoprojectThe Zendo Project is a team of trained volunteers that provide a safe space for festival attendees who experience difficult psychedelic sessions or other psychological emergencies. These services are often referred to as “harm reduction”. Where a presence is offered at these festivals, volunteers develop their ongoing therapeutic training while actively sitting with people in need. This project shows the public that the psychedelic community is capable of dealing with the inevitable psychological emergencies exposed by potent entheogens such as LSD, psilocybin (mushrooms), and MDMA (ecstasy).

NORML Athletics is well suited to provide harm reduction volunteers. Our members are often experienced with intense non-ordinary states of consciousness and, by virtue of their constant athletic training, have grown psychologically. The necessary understanding, focused attention, and compassion have been cultivated so that the basic principles of harm reduction can be offered. Those principles involve creating a safe space, offering nurturing support (not guidance), communication, and assistance with enduring difficulties as neuroses and inner conflicts are grappled with.

Each year, millions of people will ingest powerful psychedelics. Some of these people will be trying the plants and manufactured chemicals for the first time and will have no frame of reference for what arises. Sometimes “bad trips” occur, and the person will need support in working through the multi-hour difficulties. These intense experiences, while painful, offer opportunities for inner growth as well.

If you are interested in learning more and potentially becoming a volunteer for the Zendo Project, please send an email to jon@normlathetics.org.

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