Welcome, Friend. Join Us.

There is a common perception out there that if a person uses a drug, or goes on a retreat, it is out of a desire to escape from reality. And often, that is true. But there are some substances and practices, in some settings, that offer a way of doing exactly the opposite; a chance to change our consciousness in order to help us engage with reality more thoroughly. Those of us pursuing the latter aren’t trying to tune out; we’re trying to radically improve our ability to pay attention to the world around us.

When someone does expand their consciousness, and feels that they have been given important new insights, what are they supposed to do with that gift? How do they hold onto it, and not let the richness of it wither in the light of day? How do they bring that learning into daily life, and use it wisely?

The answer is a process called integration. Unlike the rush of a peak experience, it’s slow going. And unlike a peak experience, which requires mainly just that you surrender to it, integration requires you to take active responsibility, and do your homework. And it’s a funny kind of homework, that encompasses all of existence. No one else can do it for you. But it does help to connect with fellow seekers who can talk through problems, share notes, and keep up morale. You know, like, study buddies, but… cosmic.

Who’s running this joint?

My name is Solana Joy. Mushrooms are my mind-expanding mode of choice, though I’m interested in meditation, breathwork, and dream exploration as well. My framework for engaging with the world is an unruly and still evolving mix of paganism, pop songs, and psilocybin. I grew up in Alaska, but have wandered widely since, and currently reside in Berlin. Here I have the happy responsibility of looking after one young son and one old cat. I write books and articles, and have another Substack that was also inspired by mushrooms, called Mama Dentata.

Why join?

I set up this Substack to be a place for myself and others to talk about the integration process, and how we’re getting on with this strange yet vital work. The majority of folks you meet just don’t understand, and it’s very gratifying when you finally connect with ones that do. However, I’m finding that doing the actual work of integrating, on top of my commitments to my family and my primary writing work, leaves me with no time spare to speak of. So for now, Cosmic Study Buddies will feature rather irregular posts from me, as and when I feel I actually have something to share that is of quality and will hopefully generate interesting exchanges in the comment threads.

Substack of course also has a Chat function now, so we can check in with each other there, too. That I would like to be more regular - at least once a moon.

And if, as we go, there is a sense of interest and need for more, we can expand as we see fit. Interviews, Zoom sessions, reviews, playlists, meetups… I don’t presume to know, but will look forward to seeing.

If this sounds at all intriguing, then please do Subscribe. And if you have any friends you think would like to join, please invite them, too. I’ll do all I can to be a good cosmic study buddy, but one person can’t be a whole gathering. So I need and appreciate your help here.

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a friendly space to share integration homework


Writer Rambler Mother. Alaskan Berliner.