"Ask a Death Doula" Podcast is a weekly show hosted by Hospice and Oncology nurse Suzanne B. O'Brien. Ask a Death Doula will chronicle the Death Doula movement. We will interview leaders in this progressive movement from around the world as well as patients, families and Death Doulas. Please visit www.doulagivers.com for more information
Monday Jun 27, 2022
Monday Jun 27, 2022
Monday Jun 27, 2022
1.What Psilocybin is [00:27] – Psilocybin is the main psychedelic compound found in “magic mushrooms.” The talk of using this psychedelic at the end of life has been a hot topic and is being studied intensively. It is being looked at as having potentially effective medicinal/therapeutic properties in the treatment of fear, anxiety, and depression for those at the end of life. It is a naturally occurring compound found in specific species of mushrooms. It has been used for thousands of years all around the world as part of spiritual rituals and cultural ceremonies. In the 50’s and 60’s, Psilocybin started to be studied for its therapeutic properties in the use of treating a plethora of ailments and conditions. Everything from addiction, anxiety, depression, and other various forms of mental illness were treated in clinical studies with thousands of patients. In the 1970’s this research was abruptly ended. It has recently started up again with a renewed focal point on studying the use of this compound in those at the end of life.
2.The “Trip Treatment” [3:20] – In 2015, an article in the New Yorker was titled “The Trip Treatment.” It was all about the use and studies of Psilocybin and the promising results it has shown in treating those who had extreme fear, anxiety, and depression in their end-of-life journeys. Not only did they have great results overcoming these particular issues, but the use of Psilocybin led to incredible breakthroughs and a sort of spiritual understanding/awakening amongst those treated with it. There is now a growing movement for using Psilocybin for this purpose in the End-of-Life space. There is much debate over this issue, but there are new studies currently being conducted at NYU, UCLA, and John Hopkin’s University amongst other notable and well-renowned research institutions.
3.The Similarities Between the Spiritual Awakening at End of Life and Psilocybin Use [6:30] – Many of the things relating to the spiritual breakthroughs patients have in these various studies are remarkably similar to some of the things I have been sharing for years. As a former hospice and oncology nurse, I have worked at the bedside of over one thousand end of life patients over the last twenty years. My end of life patients say the same exact thing as those who have been treated with Psilocybin. I want to share that this experience is naturally occurring in people as they near their end of life. As their physical body is diminishing, their spiritual body is growing. There’s a time in their journey where they have one foot in this world and one foot in the next. In my opinion, many people go back and forth before they fully leave this world. I say this because I have had so many patients who suddenly wake up with a bunch of new information and a renewed and profound perspective on life. They speak of all being connected to one unconditional loving energy and this parallels what has been documented in these Psilocybin studies.
4.You Don’t Have to Wait Until the End of Life to Have Your Own Breakthrough [9:05] – The whole goal of life is the journey of evolving to find your spiritual self. To understand yourself and to be able to live authentically and true to who you really are. To overcome the obstacles and the suffering we deal with in our physical world. It is to get beyond your ego and to tap into what is in your heart and let it guide you. We all have two internal directional instruments we can choose to follow. One is our analytical mind that is shaped by our experiences, prejudices, and imprinting of other people’s views. Following this directional path leads to us living a fear-based existence. By contrast, our heart guidance system will lead us to our unique truth. If we understood this human journey for what it really is and that we are all connected to one unconditional loving energy with no judgment – that life is all about learning and growing – we would have so much more compassion for one another and shift the entire world into a better place for everyone.
1. “Death is having a rebirth and it is bringing back the sacredness of end of life and the sacredness of life. We have got to understand what this journey is about and how we can make it the best for everybody in it.” – Suzanne B. O’Brien RN
2. “Take the time to create a loving space in your heart and ask yourself, ‘Where does my heart want me to be of service?’ Find that internal place where you can love others, yourself, and everything and everyone on this incredible planet.” – Suzanne B. O’Brien RN
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