It appears that you could be interested in the benefits of psychedelics For Spiritual or Mystical Exploration.
All the data from clinical research, cutting-edge neuroscience, and scientist-led surveys at the Synthesis retreat point to the powerful, therapeutic and transcendent benefits of a guided psychedelic experience. Psilocybin has been shown to induce powerful, personally meaningful spiritual experiences that stay with you long after the session.
At Synthesis, our passion is providing the ideal setting for meaningful spiritual experiences which herald with them with lasting benefits. When administered in a supportive and guided environment, there is considerable evidence to support the power of psychedelics to induce a mystical experience, and the potential of this experience to have a cascade of sustained healing and transformational effects, such as transcending the parameters of what we know to be, increasing overall wellbeing, drastically reduced depressive and addictive symptoms and more.
Based on your responses, we have curated relevant scientifically based data and reports from our participants to give you a deeper understanding of the benefits of a professionally administered psilocybin experience.
While studies have shown the benefits of psychedelic usage in certain environments and in the treatment of certain conditions, this does not necessarily mean that a psychedelic experience is a curative treatment for your specific health condition. Synthesis retreat does not claim to be a treatment centre, and our team is not qualified to treat mental health conditions. If you have a serious health condition, check with your healthcare provider before attending Synthesis retreat. Additionally, the results shown below are presented as averages, and psilocybin may not have the same positive effect for everyone. The evidence suggests that most of our participants experience powerful benefits, however, individual experience may differ.
Here is some important data we think you should see.
BENEFIT 1: Facilitates Spiritual Understanding and Mystical Experiences
Psilocybin has been shown to induce powerful, personally meaningful spiritual experiences that stay with you long after the session. Psilocybin’s potential for spiritual transcendance is clear when administered in a supportive and guided environment. Profund mystical experiences with lasting benefits occur at Synthesis retreats, because we create the ideal setting.
Although it is inherently hard to define a mystical experience, scientists like to use the Mystical Experiences Questionnaire (MEQ) to explore whether people have had a mystical experience. This rates people on four subscales:
- Positive Mood (people often report feeling joy during mystical experiences)
- Ineffability (it’s often hard to describe exactly what the experience felt or looked like),
- Oneness (things often start to feel deeply interconnected, and the idea of separation becomes an illusion), and
- Transcendence of Time and Space (people may experience the concepts of time and location becoming meaningless).
Traditional wisdom has shown how powerful the spiritual and mystical properties of psychedelics can be. Alongside this knowledge, scientific research has recently come to the same conclusion. Roland Griffiths and his team at Johns Hopkins carried out a breakthrough study showing the relationship between psilocybin use and mystical experiences. This double-blind study evaluated the acute and longer-term psychological effects of a high dose of psilocybin relative to a comparison compound. The psilocybin was administered under comfortable, supportive conditions, much like the environment we create at Synthesis.
The participants were psychedelic-naïve adults reporting regular participation in religious or spiritual activities. Two or three sessions were conducted at two-month intervals. During the psilocybin session, study participants were encouraged to close their eyes and direct their attention inward. Immediately afterwards, study participants completed questionnaires assessing drug effects and mystical experience. They completed a similar survey two months after the initial sessions.
After the two month mark, study participants rated the psilocybin experience as having substantial personal meaning and spiritual significance and attributed sustained positive changes in attitudes and behavior to their psilocybin experience. When administered under supportive conditions, psilocybin occasioned experiences were very similar to spontaneously occurring mystical experiences.
In one study by the John Hopkins Psychedelic Research Project, psilocybin facilitated mystical encounters so profound that, over a year later, volunteers ranked their trip among the “most meaningful and spiritually significant experience of their lives.”
Furthermore, psychedelics like psilocybin can be complementary to many other spiritual modalities, such as meditation or journaling. One groundbreaking study found that giving a high dose of psilocybin to people who were undergoing a course of spiritual practices (mainly meditation and spiritual awareness) boosted the benefits they received from those practices, compared to people who took a low dose of psilocybin while on the course. People who’d taken the high dose were more likely to experience daily spiritual benefits from their practices, such as benevolence, transcendence, and gratitude.
Research carried out at Synthesis shows that our guests are more open to self-exploration following their experience, and this could certainly amplify the benefits of subsequent spiritual practices.
Nearly 70% of our guests, on average, say that the psilocybin experience has inspired new ways of thinking about themselves and their obstacles, and 67% say that they have been given new insights on how they could make meaningful change. 67% of Synthesis participants also say they have been made more conscious of aspects of themselves that they used to ignore.
BENEFIT 2: Long-lasting sense of overall well-being and life satisfaction.
Mental well-being is now largely accepted as covering two perspectives: (1) the subjective experience of happiness (affect) and life satisfaction (the hedonic perspective); and (2) positive psychological functioning, good relationships with others and self-realisation (the eudaimonic perspective). The latter includes the capacity for self-development, positive relations with others, autonomy, self-acceptance and competence.
As measured by the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS). The national average of positive mental health is 50.7.
WEMWBS is a 14 item scale of mental well-being covering subjective well-being and psychological functioning, in which all items are worded positively and address aspects of positive mental health. The scale is scored by summing responses to each item answered on a 1 to 5 Likert scale. The minimum scale score is 14 and the maximum is 70.
Four weeks after a Synthesis retreat, our participants go from 48.6 below the national average of wellbeing to above the average to 54.5. A significant and personally profound increase for participants!
The results include an improvement in happiness levels, sense of satisfaction, quality and strength of relationships, self-realization, desire for personal development, autonomy and skill-development.
Research has shown that the ingestion of psilocybin can dramatically boost your sense of contentment, delight, fulfilment, gratitude, happiness and peace of mind. Participants report feeling a propensity towards positive emotions. Additionally, it has been shown to increase goal-directed behavior. Fostering focus, and an awakening to the things that bring you joy and provide a sense of meaning and purpose.
As well as this improvement in mental wellbeing, people who have intensely meaningful psychedelic experiences, such as those created at Synthesis, experience positive changes in fundamental personality traits.
Studies show that a single dose of psilocybin breeds openness - meaning an increase in sensitivity, tolerance, and acceptance as well as boosting innate traits of agreeableness, emotional stability, compassion, empathy, and connection.
BENEFIT 3: Improved sense of connectedness to yourself, others and the world around you.
Experience meaningful connection in all relationships, including a greater sense of spiritual awareness, self-advocacy, esteem and purpose, alongside pride and powerful appreciation for humanity, and nature.
Under the proper guidance and within the parameters of a supportive setting, one of the most common reports from those who experience the enlightening effects of psychedelics is that of meaningful connection in all relationships, including a greater sense of self-advocacy, esteem and purpose, alongside a new or renewed sense of appreciation for humanity, and nature and the interconnectedness of all. In others words subjects experience an increase in receptivity, sensitivity, tolerance, and acceptance.
Research conducted throughout the world including the Synthesis Retreat Center has confirmed that in an appropriate setting, a Psilocybin trip can provide you with a new lens through which you see the world.
When our participants filled out a survey indicating the degree of connection they felt to themselves, others, and the wider world, we found their sense of connection was on average more than doubled during the Synthesis retreat; an increase of 118% compared to their pre-retreat scores.
BENEFIT 4: Reduction of fear, stress and anxiety symptoms
An aspect of the human condition that blocks feelings of transcendence and connection to source is the presence of normalized emotions such as fear, stress and anxiety.
Specifically, at Synthesis, our participants experience a palpable and measurable reduction of stress, fear, and anxiety symptoms over the course of the retreat and in some cases after only a single dose in a controlled environment.
We asked our guests to fill out the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Indicator (STAI), which rates things like insecurity, worry, nervousness, and discomfort. On average, Synthesis participants experienced a 15.9% reduction in anxiety, fear and stress immediately following the retreat, and this remained lowered by 13.8% four weeks later.
These results confirm those of other studies, which have consistently proven that monitored administration of a single large dose of psilocybin can reduce the appearance of such emotions, even in those suffering from intense psychological distress due to a terminal or life-changing diagnosis or those with treatment-resistant depression.
BENEFIT 5: Reduction of Potentially Depressive Symptoms
If you are experiencing any of the following: problems with sleep, mood fluctuations, irregularities in appetite, trouble concentrating, fatigue or consistently low energy levels, easily irritable, harsh self-criticism, relenting rumination – you might be surprised to know that these are, according to the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology (QIDS), potential symptoms of depression.
Although not everyone who experiences such symptoms is apart of the more than 320 million suffering from diagnosed clinical depression, many live with a wide-ranging assortment of avoidable depressive symptoms - that are just that, avoidable.
Psilocybin has been repeatedly shown to be an effective therapy for significantly reducing depression scores on the QIDS test, as well as lessening or in some cases eradicating feelings of anxiety, irritability, forlorn etc. in people with life-altering or terminal illnesses.
Around 70% of the people in such studies reported being in full remission from their depressive symptoms after six months, whilst other patients went into complete remission from their severe depression, after years of being non-responsive to various other treatments.
In accordance with these clinical studies, our own research at Synthesis confirms that psilocybin reduces depressive symptoms in our participants. Running our own QIDS test, on average our guests experienced a 42.4% reduction in depressive symptoms after the retreat, compared to their baseline pre-retreat scores.
How Does it Work?
How and why might we be getting these incredible results with psilocybin? There are several theories about why psilocybin has a transcending effect.
Research suggests a dissolution of the ego. During a guided experience subjects express a breaking down of the walls in their psyche inviting in the capacity to identify not with the limited understand of the self but as a connected part of a unified whole.
In other words there is less of a distinction between you and everything else and as the doors of perception open, what flows through is a powerful sensation of love and connection.
Participants report experience a revealing of a universal truth. There is no longer a duality between them and the other.
Scientifically, psilocybin is very similar in structure to important neurotransmitter humans naturally produce called serotonin. Serotonin regulates things such as mood, sleep, and appetite. Traditional SSRIs and antidepressants seem to work by increasing the amount of serotonin that’s available in the brain.
However, simply, increasing the amount of serotonin in the brain isn’t enough to treat depressive symptoms for most people, since typical antidepressants relieve symptoms for approximately 50% of people afflicted.
Which is why, in addition to increasing serotonin, the other major effect that psilocybin has in the brain is to increase the amount of entropy in neural connections. This means that psilocybin allows the brain to become more flexible, making connections it usually wouldn’t make. It’s this increase in flexibility that is thought to help the brain restructure itself to break free of a depressive state.
Specifically, one key aspect of our brain is restructured - the Default Mode Network (DMN).
The DMN is a tightly linked set of structures in the midline that connects the cortex to older areas of memory and emotion, time travel, self-reflection and more. In other words, if the ego has an address in the brain it is somewhere in this network.
The DMN has been proven to be overactive in people with depression and is thought to be linked to the negative rumination that is often a symptom in anxiety and depression.
Research data shows that psilocybin offers the ability to “reset” the DMN - in essence temporarily disintegrating their ego and all they associate with as “Self” and in doing so allowing them to gain perspective and become aware of the bigger picture.
Additionally, psilocybin has been shown to reduce the activity in the amygdala, a part of the brain involved in the processing of emotions. This is thought to be related to why people react less negatively to pictures of angry faces during a psilocybin experience, suggesting that psilocybin could help people with depressive symptoms deal with negative emotions in less harmful ways.
Psilocybin Does Not Cure Depression
Psilocybin on its own is not necessarily a cure for depression, but the data shows that a large dose psychedelic trip administered in a proper set and setting is the ideal formula to engender a positive response.
The environment at Synthesis is crafted to maximize this potential – but we do not claim to treat depression.
However our passion to ignite change comes from the fact that depression is an ever growing global epidemic. One made increasingly more frustrating due to the fact that traditional SSRIs, antidepressants and other ‘band-aid’ medical solutions fail to provide relief, hope and freedom to those in need. We are excited to be a leading provider of a natural, safe, non-addictive and non-toxic experience that continually proves to elevate people to improved states of wellbeing.
Experience Your Own Transformation With Synthesis
We hope you’ve found this information to be relevant and inspiring.
We are optimistic about the growing global use and modern understanding of psychedelics as a transformative, exploratory and healing modality. Ours and others ongoing research helps us continuously optimize the psilocybin experience for our guests.
At Synthesis, we’ve developed an environment curated by experts and guided by world-class facilitators.
We are proud of our role as pioneers in transformative wellness.
And make it a top priority to ensure a world-class experience for our participants including a luxurious private apartment complex surrounded by rural beauty, 24/7 medical supervision, a dedicated vegan chef, and one-on-one sessions with your facilitator. Each detail has been intentionally designed to complement the carefully guided workshops and psilocybin session(s) that will occur on your retreat.
A Synthesis experience is an idyllic rest from the mundane routines. It is a powerful antidote to disconnection and a sense of numbness to ourselves and of the world around us. We make it our mission to be; the perfect place for your psychedelic transformation.
If any of the above information has resonated with you, Synthesis is waiting!
Hear from a few Synthesis participants who found that the psilocybin helped them transcend their ego and become acquainted with a profoundly, powerful spiritual experience.
“I went into this experience, not just believing there is nothing beyond life itself, but knowing it, deep inside me, without a shadow of doubt. And I returned from this journey, not just believing in something else, but knowing it's there, right underneath the veil, breathing in all its glory.”
“For those of us searching for meaning or redirection, Synthesis and its facilitators can help you self-guide to what is your higher calling or purpose.”
“My trust has deepened that what has happened (and always happens) is what is most helpful at the moment, even if it is not what I imagined or what I expected. The more I trust in it, the more I can be in peace with what is / what is happening, inside and outside. This peace leads to joy and love.”
“I have learned that my ego, itself, is not a bad thing and that I need to have the same compassion for it that I have for other people. I have also learned to live in the present moment and embrace life as it comes to me.”
“Prior to this experience I was feeling a lack of direction, purpose, and connection with others. I was stuck. I knew I needed a change but I just didn't know how or where to turn. After reading several articles regarding transformation and the process of discovering meaning and purpose I decided to seek a retreat that specializes in his field of work. Once I found Synthesis I knew that it was exactly what I needed.”
“I could not have designed a better experience and highly recommend Synthesis as a step on your journey of personal exploration.”
What else is Possible?
Support Addiction Treatment
It has long since been understood that Psychedelics are helpful in treating various degrees of addictive behavioural patterns.
Peyote has been used by Native American Churches for years as an effective treatment of alcoholism. Additional studies have also shown that LSD can effectively reduce alcohol dependence, and users of ayahuasca have been shown to have fewer drug dependencies (including alcohol) than non-users.
Psilocybin too has been shown to significantly improve abstinence in substance-dependent individuals such as alcohol and smoking.
Researchers took 15 people with serious smoking addiction, who had on average been smoking 19 cigarettes per day for 31 years, and gave them two doses of psilocybin as part of a smoking cessation course. They found that 12/15 of the participants were abstinent six months later, and after a year 10/15 were still abstinent. This is much more impressive than typical smoking treatments, that usually show around a 17-35% success rate after six months.
Although at Synthesis we do not claim to treat addiction, and do not have the medical expertise to support cases of serious opioid dependence, we do offer a Smoking Cessation track that offers psilocybin experience curated for people looking to cut down on their smoking. You can learn more about it here.
Experience Expanded Consciousness
As a result of our highly guided and extremely safe setting, our participants experience a sense of true ease and calmness as they explore greater dimensions of themselves making Synthesis the perfect place to explore the healing potential of psychedelics.
Our team of highly qualified guides make sure you are supported throughout the entire experience regardless of what you as an individual bring to it. Our onsite, 24/7 paramedic ensures that everyone is as safe as possible, the facilities are luxurious, and the ceremony is carefully crafted to work for you. Really, there is no better way or place to experience an expanded state of consciousness.
Boost Creative Performance
There is a long history of psychadelic substances such as psilocybin being used as a way to facilitate and enhance one’s creativity and expression.
Research indicates that subjects who partake in a professionally guided psychedelic experience exhibit enhancements in creative (convergent and divergent) thinking.
Convergent thinking refers to the process of taking in lots of information to come up with a single solution to a complicated challenge, while divergent thinking involves inventing a multitude of possibilities from a small amount of information.
Interestingly, the results of experiments show that participants' capacity for divergent thinking was significantly increased the day after their psilocybin trip, while improvements in convergent thinking became noticeable after a week.
The reason that psychedelics can boost our creative side is likely related to their effects on our fundamental brain circuitry. Psilocybin and other psychedelics been shown to dismantle the brain’s control mechanisms, such as the Default Mode Network (DMN), that usually keep us focussed on tasks. Reducing the control of these mechanisms helps our brains become more “entropic” – basically, we make more connections between areas of the brain that don’t usually talk to each other.