Linkages between Psychedelics and Meditation in a Population-Based Sample in the United States

This survey (n=536) showcases a possible synergy between meditation and psychedelic use. Those who experienced ego dissolution also found meditation to be more effective, which also served as lowering the barrier to meditation and motivation to practice it. Those who meditated (about half of the original larger survey) also were more likely to use psychedelics and experience ego dissolution.

Abstract

“There are neurophysiological and phenomenological overlaps between psychedelic and meditative states, but there is little evidence on how exposure to psychedelics might be associated with meditation-related variables. We assessed lifetime classic psychedelic use, ego dissolution during one’s most intense experience using a classic psychedelic, and exposure to meditation in a representative sample (n = 953) of American adults. Those who reported experience with meditation were invited to complete a follow-up survey (n = 536, 92.1% response rate) measuring meditation-related variables. Models controlled for a range of potential confounds. Exposure to meditation was associated with lifetime classic psychedelic use and ego dissolution in covariate-adjusted models. In addition, among meditators, greater ego dissolution was associated with more frequent meditation practice. Both lifetime classic psychedelic use and ego dissolution were associated with enlightenment as motivation to practice meditation as well as lower likelihood of overall perceived barriers to meditation practice. Ego dissolution was positively associated with finding meditation more effective. Neither lifetime classic psychedelic use nor ego dissolution was associated with greater likelihood of meditation-related adverse effects. Taken together, results support potential synergy between psychedelics and meditation, but randomized controlled trials are necessary to establish safety and evaluate potential causal relationships.”

Authors: Otto Simonsson & Simon B. Goldberg

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Linkages between Psychedelics and Meditation in a Population-Based Sample in the United States

https://doi.org/10.1080/02791072.2021.2022816

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Published in
Journal of Psychoactive Drugs
January 9, 2022
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Study details

Topics studied
Creativity

Study characteristics
Survey

Participants
536 Humans

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