PT378 – Course Corrections, Preparation, and High-dose Experiences: “Who Are You Now?”

December 20, 2022
Featuring: Zach Leary

In this episode, Joe interviews Zach Leary: host of the MAPS podcast, facilitator at Evo Retreats, author, and of course, son of psychedelic legend, Timothy Leary. 

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In this episode, Joe interviews Zach Leary: host of the MAPS podcast, facilitator at Evo Retreats, author, and of course, son of psychedelic legend, Timothy Leary. 

Leary was last on the podcast four years ago, so this episode serves as a bit of a check-in and reconnection, and truly goes all over the map. He discusses his relationship with Ram Dass and reconnecting to psychedelics (and himself) after a 13-year spiritually-bankrupt career and not quite understanding his identity outside of his father’s shadow; why the psychedelic facilitation role shouldn’t be standardized; Dave Hodge, Kilindi Iyi, and super high-dose experiences; ancestor work; solo ski trips compared to the Vipassana experience; the ease with which people play Monday Morning Quarterback with the story of his father; floatation tanks and the birth of ketamine; why Ram Dass held a grudge against Dr. Andrew Weil; and critiques of Michael Pollan – how much How to Change Your Mind skipped, how little experience Pollan had before essentially jumpstarting a revolution, and how many people now think they’re ready for a psychedelic experience when they’re likely not.

Leary just recorded with Rick Doblin for the MAPS podcast, he’s finalizing his first book (tentatively titled And Now the Work Begins – Psychedelics in the 21st Century and How to Use Them), and launching an online 8-week course called “Psychedelic Studies Intensive,” which begins February 8. He will also be a guest at our first conference, Convergence (March 30 – April 2).

Notable Quotes

“I don’t believe that the psychedelic facilitation role or experience should be standardized. There are just so many ways to do it. There’s no one way to do it. Sure, there are some wrong ways to do it, there’s no doubt about that. But it shouldn’t be standardized. It shouldn’t be generic. It shouldn’t be one-size-fits-all. It really doesn’t matter to me if somebody has gone through the MAPS training program or CIIS; that doesn’t make them any more qualified than some of the amazing underground visionaries who are doing healing work as well. …No one psychedelic experience is the same. Why should the facilitation experience be the same?”

“It sort of becomes like a catch 22: If you have to ask if you’re ready for psychedelics… I don’t know, maybe you’re not.”

“If you look at every iteration on the war on drugs; every single one, going back to the late nineteenth century criminalization of opium against Chinese immigrants in the bay area, to African Americans [and] cocaine, to [the] Hispanic population and ‘Reefer Madness’ to white, long-haired, anti-authoritarian hippies dropping LSD, African Americans [and] the crack epidemic – every single time (I mean, this list is endless), it always goes back to a war against people [they] don’t like. And once you do that, you create an inherent system of corruption to fuel that, because it’s a civil war. It’s not a war against the drug. It’s a civil war against behavior [and] against consciousness.”

“This isn’t a political issue. It’s a human rights issue. Like it or not, every single society on the face of the Earth since recorded history has used mind and mood-altering chemicals. And that is never going to change, ever.”



Zach’s Psychedelic Studies Intensive 8-week course

MAPS Podcast


Psychedelics Today: Zach Leary – Trans-humanism, psychedelic use, over-use and taking a break

Spotify: The Joe Rogan Experience #891 – Zach Leary

The Wayback Machine: Maps.org

Zidedoor.com (Dave Hodge’s church)

Psychedelics Today: Remembering Kilindi Iyi


Goodreads.com: Lon Milo DuQuette’s quote

Floatworks.com: John C. Lilly: The pioneer of floating

Marijuanamoment.net: DEA Admits ‘Racial, Ethnic and Class Prejudice’ Led To Drug Criminalization And The Agency’s Own Founding

Thedailybeast.com: A Drug Kingpin, the CIA, and Prisoners: Freeway Rick Ross and America’s Mass Incarceration Problem

Newsweek.com: Two-Thirds of American Voters Support Decriminalizing All Drugs: Poll

Psychedelics Today: PT377 – Integrative Medicine: Health, Wellness, and Psychedelics, featuring Andrew Weil, M.D.

The Harvard Psychedelic Club: How Timothy Leary, Ram Dass, Huston Smith, and Andrew Weil Killed the Fifties and Ushered in a New Age for America, by Don Lattin

From Chocolate to Morphine: Everything You Need to Know about Mind-Altering Drugs, by Andrew Weil, M.D.

Zach Leary

In this Episode

Zach Leary

Over the course of the last 35 years, Zach Leary has found himself in the center of the psychedelic movement with a front row seat for the modern renaissance while also having first hand knowledge of the historical legacy of the counter cultures’ influence on psychedelic healing. After spending many years as a digital marketing expert for some of the worlds largest brands, Zach had a wake up call over 10 years ago that thrust him back into the center of the psychedelic cyclone thanks to the influence of his primary teacher and mentor, Ram Dass. Since then, he has found his own unique voice and method in being able to contribute to the revolutionary new psychedelic movement we find ourselves in. As a health and wellness facilitator, integration coach, guided session therapist, and seeker of all things mystical, Zach has worked with nearly 100 people one-on-one to help them heal with the assistance of psychedelic medicines. And as a teacher, Zach has taught over 50 people his unique approach to psychedelic studies, safe use and harm reduction, the history of psychedelics, and how to be a well-rounded, knowledgeable and safe practitioner. Zach currently hosts The MAPS podcast and has in-depth knowledge of the groundbreaking protocols from Johns Hopkins and MAPS, and is a trained meditation teacher, IFS coach, and expert in the history of psychedelic culture and methodologies. Zach is also a facilitator at the Evolution Retreat Center in Negril, Jamaica. Evolution Retreats is a beautiful retreat center that does legal psilocybin retreats using the most modern and effective methodologies available. As an author, Zach’s first book, And Now, The Work Begins – Psychedelics in the 21st Century and How to Use Them, will be published by SoundsTrue in late 2023.

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