The Mindsight Intensive is more than a program. It is a statement of intent put into daily practice, aiming at mustering the courage to stand as uncompromisingly as possible in truth and learn to speak it, no matter the consequences or how uncomfortable it may be. Truth as opposed to the truth is honesty with oneself and others in evolution. Truth evolves and deepens, and is not an immutable authoritative decree. There is no end to the development of honesty, as there is no end to the unconscious conditionings that interfere with it. Truth being a process, it arises from the ashes of the examined present moment, and cannot be prepared, prepackaged, or planned. It is a spontaneous creation coming from the deep dive into the rubble of one’s pretensions. Uncompromisingly, through one’s very own uniqueness it takes its needed space to give voice to what’s inconvenient. Truth can never come from the adoption of someone else’s or a social collective’s voice. We have only lived our lives if we have lived in truth, for only in truth can we find our true, authentic identity.
This audacity of voicing one’s truth requires quite a bit of thick skin with regards to the unconscious conditionings that try by any means possible to resist their demise. As useful as our sense of an efficiently functioning self is, we cannot forget that it is a narrowly constructed psychological process that shields us from the vast expanse of our true potential, including our healing potential. Our familiar, socially accepted self is but a small part of our truth, and it cuts us off from our organism’s vast living potential, and thereby also from our healing potential. To fully touch our authentic Being with its vast healing potential, we need to break through the blinders of our dearly held conventionality. More specifically, given that the chatty default mode network in the brain is responsible for this familiar sense of a restricted storied self, it is this network that requires to be quieted down to allow wider contexts of our Being to emerge and manifest.
Psychedelics do just that, among other things. One of the most frequent and fundamental psychedelic experiences is the frightening dissolution of the self, often experienced as a real death and physical dissolution, following which an exhilarating rebirth into an incomparably freer life occurs. This process of breaking out of the prison of narrow self-definition is profoundly healing. Through psychedelics, this process of one’s old self dying to allow an expanded version of one’s being to emerge is passively induced by a substance, quite dramatic, and requires ongoing post-ingestion work to implement the insights gleaned through this transformative experience.
Psychedelics are not the only path to developing expanded awareness traits. Without using psychedelics, in the Mindsight Intensive, we follow the same principle of discovering the limitations of ordinary waking consciousness in order to access our full awareness potential. We start by examining the ordinary world of waking consciousness, exploring its limitations and cracks, and then penetrating those cracks into nothingness and emptiness. That’s when infinity becomes a hot topic with regards to its relationship to the confines of everyday living. The access to nothingness is akin to the psychedelic effect of self-dissolution as the default mode network quiets down and the right brain receives more space to shine. Liberated from the confining exclusivity of the prison of ordinary waking consciousness, one can then access reality in its vast context that was inaccessible before. This redefines our sense of self in new, creative, and healing ways. The difference between the meditative and psychedelic paths, which by the way are in no way mutually exclusive, is that our meditative path taken in the Mindsight Intensive is active, slow, gradual, and methodical. At every step of the way, transformations get solidly anchored in our personality structure, giving space to new healing ways of Being and living our lives.
Mindfulness meditation was traditionally developed eons ago without particular knowledge of trauma. Trauma is a particularly deep and damaging reconfiguration of brain functioning, making it much more challenging to deeply penetrate one’s mind. Consequently, many people with trauma had likely no access to meditation. Nowadays we know so much more about the brain and the mind that we can refine our approach so that the examination of one’s mind for the purpose of healing through meditation becomes available to many more people. Interestingly, though, it turns out that the dissolution and contextually larger rediscovery of self through psychedelics are very effective for many in overcoming trauma. I find the same principle applies to the work we do in the Mindsight Intensive as we learn to penetrate nothingness and discover emptiness. In both cases, it is as if all these conflictual emotional entanglements take on a sense of irrelevance compared to the vastness of the new context of reality we gain access. It is as if the spoon of salt that keeps salting the cup of water, now suddenly is thrown into a lake – the salt becomes irrelevant.
Two new Netflix movies are strongly recommended for anyone, but particularly those intending to take the Mindsight Intensive:
1. How to change your mind (limited series about psychedelics in medicine)
2. A trip to infinity (inspirational reflections for everyday life)
Copyright © 2022 by Dr. Stéphane Treyvaud. All rights reserved.