#34 When I Knew There Was More | East Forest

September 14, 2021
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East Forest is a multidisciplinary artist who has devoted his life to his music, spirituality and mindfulness. His records combine elements of electronic music and natural field recordings and are highly acclaimed for their meticulous intention and psychedelic influence. His forthcoming album IN: A Soundtrack for the Psychedelic Practitioner, Vol. II currently lives exclusively on the Trip app.

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[00:00:00] East: The psychedelic experiences have shown me and helped me see, uh, patterns that I have, and helped me, like, work through them on levels that I don't understand with my mind, like traumas or experiences I've gone through. They helped me have those experiences be less charged afterwards in profound ways. Uh, so they helped me kind of work through places I felt stuck. Like whether it manifests as a depression or- I had a really bad bicycle accident that was- then, it felt like I was really, like, stuck in the trauma of it and it was getting really bad, and I felt really depressed. I had one experience, one with mushrooms through that, that felt like then I turned the corner, and I've felt like, well, I don't really understand why that is, but it- my, my assumption was it's helping me somehow in like a body language level and maybe all sorts of levels of my unconscious. Like, it's helping me on lock things and release things that I don't fully understand right here in the top level of my mind.[00:01:00] 

[00:01:10] Ronan: Hello everyone, and welcome to Field Tripping. Today, we have an incredible artist on our show. Krishna Trevor Oswalt, professionally known as East Forest. But before we talk music, spirituality and more, let's hit up some news to trip over.

Throughout Canada, individuals have been successfully obtaining permission from the government to use psilocybin. These permissions, known as section 56 exemptions, have been given out slowly and on a case by case basis. Now, the city of Toronto is trying to obtain an exemption from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act that would decriminalize personal use of all drugs, not just for a few individuals, but for the entire city. As a Torontonian, it makes me proud to be living in [00:02:00] such a progressive city. Also the psychiatrist, Paul Grof recently published a paper that looks at where non-ordinary states of consciousness come from, including those states induced by psychedelic drugs. He says the experience suggests that these experiences arise from somewhere outside of the brain. He points to the fact that many people describe ancestral and perinatal experiences that are difficult to explain biologically. He also points to the fact that neuroimaging data is not able to explain nor predict the content of psychedelic experiences. While many researchers would like to chalk these observations up to an inadequate understanding of neurobiology and insufficient neuro imaging tools, Grof concludes that non-local consciousness is the source of such non-ordinary states. I'd be very curious to hear what you think about this. It ties back into some of the things that Matt Johnson mentioned on our podcast a couple of weeks ago, and it certainly seems to me that the more we seem to uncover [00:03:00] about the brain and consciousness, the less we seem to understand. It's so very cool.

And with that, If there is one thing that can help induce non-ordinary states of consciousness, nearly as well as psychedelic medicines, it is music. And today's guest knows exactly what I'm talking about because his music is featured in our own app Trip, whether for consciousness expanding experiences with psychedelics, or just to disconnect from the everyday, there's some incredible music on Trip that is worth listening to. So with that said on to our conversation with a multi-disciplinary artist who has devoted his life to music, ritual, spiritual retreats, sacred teachings, podcasting, connecting with nature and humanity, Krishna Trevor Oswalt, professionally known as East Forest. East Forest's albums are highly acclaimed for their meticulous intention and psychedelic influence, and his presence in the space of electronic music carries the torch for consciousness and divine arts. Krishna, thank [00:04:00] you for joining us today and welcome to Field Tripping. 

[00:04:02] East: Yeah. Hi Ronan, nice to see you again. Thanks for that introduction. I, I heard the line about, um, what was it? To, to, to like drop out of the day or something like that? I don't remember what you said.

[00:04:17] Ronan: I think I said disconnect from the day. 

[00:04:19] East: Oh, and I was thinking to myself, maybe it's more about like connecting more to the day in a sense, like, is my goal, in a way of, from a presencing perspective. Uh, and I always thought that's like the term "dropping out," like, what does that really mean? And is it pejorative or is it like, you know, is it inclusive? Is it make us feel more inclusive or is it about pulling us away. Anyway- 

[00:04:43] Ronan: It's [an] entirely fair point, and one that merits further discussion actually. Uh, you know, I think it's just, in the normal parlance of how most people live their everyday and define the everyday is in the kind of mundane [00:05:00] objective, physical reality, consensus reality kind of world, um, and so when I mentioned disconnecting from that or dropping out from that, that was the framework, but, you know, the, the everyday the more real, it could be very much in the spiritual metaphysical side of things. And so you're entirely on point and, um, it's a, it's a good way to start the conversation. Uh, curious to know what your thinking is around that. 

[00:05:25] East: Yeah. Well, if I may, I think this is actually really interesting. Um, you know, I was talking to Robert Thurman who's, uh, expert Buddhism, you know, but deep as it goes, being an expert on Tibetan Buddhism, and he's talking about reality is, is the thing. Like it, you know, the blissfulness of nirvana is like peeling back the onion to what reality truly is. And so in that sense, we really are like- it is about awakening further and further and further into the trueness of what is, of just this, of this now-ness, peeling [00:06:00] back those layers. And it is, it is sad for a lot of us that the thing that we find mundane is more like the surface levels of that reality, right? And that we, we, we dread Mondays, or we, you know, we, whatever it is, and it's not to say that there isn't a great deal of suffering in what it means to be alive in this world, because there is, it takes a lot of courage. But at the same time, uh, the substrate of that is like the prize, and it is something that's always there. And so I think that's kind of what all this work is about, is about not running from our experience here as human beings. It's if anything, like diving most fully into it. And how do we do that, you know? 

[00:06:44] Ronan: Totally. Two thoughts there. Um, one is, um, I remember- I talk about Tom Robbins a lot in this podcast. Um, uh, because he touches on themes like this, and I remember lying in my bed one day reading, [00:07:00] uh, I think it's a Jitterbug Perfume and there's this great quote. Uh, it may be Still Life with Woodpecker, about how can one person be more real than any other person? And then it goes on this beautiful soliloquy, which I'll, uh, record after the fact talking about, uh, you know, some people hide and some people seek and some people when they're seeking or hiding, avoiding experiences, not drinking Mexican water, not betting a long shot to win, maybe a such people are avoiding reality. And then there's some people who want to know. And so I think you're totally spot on with that. And it's. It's part of the purpose of this podcast is to enable a conversation that's approachable for people, because so many people, they hear this kind of stuff. They hear about the substrates of reality, and they're immediately tuned out being like, that is not my world. I don't want to hear anything about it. Um, and what excites me about the whole conversation around psychedelics is exactly that, that I think for a lot of people who are completely turned off of that conversation, but maybe open-minded to, you know, fun and interesting drug experiences, that can be the bridge to get people [00:08:00] talking about these things that they would never otherwise be open to. Um, so I think you're totally on point with that. Um, but my second point was actually going to be a question, which is, you said something and I'm paraphrasing right now, but essentially you said it takes a lot of courage to be alive. Um, and when did you mean by that? 

[00:08:19] East: Well, that totally relates to what we're talking about, incidentally here. If you- let's be honest. Well, maybe it's a good guess, but all of our internal experiences of what it really feels like to look out our eyes and see the world is the same, you know? For all of us, whether it's Donald Trump to a worker or to someone who's in a horrible situation to someone who's in a lot of joy and bliss, like we all are the protagonists of an epic journey that is our life and it feels somewhat isolating inherently only because we're, we're told it's that way, you know? We're told where this isolated individual and we live in this- we've- these structures we've [00:09:00] built up like litigenous society where you have to protect yourself from the other, and all these different ways we do that, and ownership of things and, and so we kind of have to- like the real work is a kind of remembering about, uh, the ways we are connected, where all the teachings have told us how are all this one thing or you feel, and sometimes peak altered states of consciousness, there's this understanding of the connectedness and the oneness, you know, from, when you zoom out from it all. As if, as if we're like the fingertip of some tree. And then you remember, and you under- you feel the tree. And that- having those felt experiences are quite powerful but what I'm trying to say is for someone who feels alienated by, there's a psychedelic tribe or something that they don't feel like they're a part of, or they're like this isn't for me, it's not that they have to go that route or that doorway, it's to validate that the path that they're on is just as important and valid and [00:10:00] real as everyone else's path. And maybe it's actually really the same path, just wearing different clothing. You know, it's different flavors of ice cream, but all ice cream is good. And, and so it's to say like, yeah, it doesn't have to be through necessarily meditation or psychedelic exploration. I mean, it may, it's going to happen whether you like it or not. Like, all choices are valid. And as my friend says, you know, Cort Johnson, and we all graduate, so at the end of the day, it's like, you know, there's a, there's a wisdom to your process as messed up as it might seem, or as banal as it might seem. Uh, and there's now just like many, many, many options, and it's great to, to open those doors to lots of people, to let them experiment and try and play with those, but I would say we're all on our path, whether we like it or not. So you're doing okay. It's like everything that's happened, it's like, maybe what does it feel like to trust that [00:11:00] there's, there's a, there's a purpose to that? You, I'm not saying that's real. I'm just saying, what does it feel like to take that on for a second? It might just change the framing of your experience. 

[00:11:10] Ronan: Yeah, it reminds me of the quote from, I think it's Richard Dawkins, um, in one of his books where he says, We get to die and that makes us the lucky ones, um, because it means we get the experience of having life, whereas for so much- I don't know exactly what you described in the universe that's not conscious or not alive or not having the privilege of dying. Um, you know, they don't get that experience. Uh, so there's, there's definitely, uh, a joy in that and I'm just going to nerd out on this philosophical conversation, cause I'd really appreciate your insights. And I love, intuitively and emotionally, uh, the concept of, you know, we're just the, I think you said like the fingertips on the trees, right? We're all connected. We're all deeply connected. And even when you go into the, it's not even the metaphysics, the quantum physics of what reality is, [00:12:00] it's like, we're all part of space time. We're all inherently built into space time, which is a fundamentally physical conversation, even though this often drops into the metaphysical or the spiritual conversation, but then every once in awhile, I go back to like that part of my brain is like, there's something so beautiful about that story, and then I look at some of the, so inelegant things about this experience, you know, and like quite literally like sitting on the toilet, I'm like, in the grand architecture of everything that we go through, why did sitting on the toilet make it into part of this reality, however you want to define it? And it always pulls me back to a little bit of skepticism and stops me from leaning in all the way into that kind of blissful experience of we're all connected. You know, it's, it's just a wondrous experience to something that's a little bit more mundane. Curious to know your perspective on that. 

[00:12:55] East: Well, believe it or not, I've had these conversations about this very subject and, uh, you know, [00:13:00] my partner Radha, she's- I'm not throwing her under the bus, but you know, she pointed out that the next response to that is, if, if you sit on the toilet, if you're lucky enough for that to happen every day, it feels good, you know? Like, on one level it's like, there actually is pleasure involved with that kind of release. It's just another form of like tension and release. And like, there's an, there's an, there's this amazing elegance to the law of, of reality, you know? Everything we see, of cause and effect essentially, like, you're from physics, uh, to, uh, the energy of, of physics in the way that like, it's just playing out in this form where in essence, it allows you to make choices and for those choices to matter, because it will have a cause and it has an effect, and we see this all the time in our lives. And if anything, we're not fully taking a recognition for our role in that, because we often feel [00:14:00] like there's a victim mentality, things are just happening to us. And it's not, it's not less of a validation of what my choice plays in what's happening around me. Now that's different than saying I'm manifesting everything in my world. It's more to say, what if it's a form of conversation, uh, that, because everything works in this way in a universe of, of energy moving around based on other energies, you know? Even my thoughts are electrical firings in my brain just on that level, but you know, how far down can we take the levels where we see that we are in part of this conversation, and in that sense, everything that's happening, you know, and all, all that we could call us, call it, quote, horrible things going on, it's it's forms of freedom of choice and law, uh, and, but I trust that there's a kind of balancing to that. You know, these are cosmic timescales that we're talking about, but you almost see it evidenced in the cosmos. You know, we can see things [00:15:00] optically of billions, of years of timelines that have evolved in over those shapes in our earth is the same way. And we're part of that and this small way. So we're on this playing field, this campus, where we get to play in the world of law. And it is an incredibly, uh, rich and powerful place, you know? In some metaphysical circles that you've heard it talked about like, this, this universe of duality is considered one of the harder ones, but it's considered like, faster. And like you, you evolve faster and learn faster, but it's, it's a really tough one. And we can't even talk about what those other realities are because they're untalkable. We're inside this operating system of duality. I mean, it just does everything that is, but it's one of cause and effect of yin and yang, the engine of life. And so sitting on the toilet, it's an integral part of that, you know, it's the other side of that yin yang engine. And, uh, I mean, that's a bit of a, it's a [00:16:00] bit of poetry to describe what you're talking about as opposed to a definitive answer, because there's no other way to talk about it, you know? 

[00:16:07] Ronan: Totally, uh, I think that's right. I mean, uh, Matt Johnson, again, in that podcast, I think it was Matt, um, who talked about how we default into- and there's been a lot of wonderful things that have been generated from science and technology, don't get me wrong, but science can only measure interactions, right? It only measures either the interaction between the scientist and the observed, or, you know, the interactions between two things being observed, and, you know, there's such an inherent limitation to that level of understanding. And that there's so much more that we just can't because of the inherent nature of what science is measuring, possibly you measure it in that context. And so when you talk about different universes and different levels of consciousness, it totally resonates with me, but it always, always, you know, just like the ying and yang, sometimes I'm like, oh, this is beautiful and elegant [00:17:00] and wonderful. And other times I'm like, this makes no freaking sense to me. Like why, why are we on this tiny little planet in like this giant void of space, uh, you know, uh, it, it, the, these are the questions that sometimes vex me, usually at three in the morning when I can't sleep. But, um, well, 

[00:17:17] East: Well, let's, let's actually use this as a segue. This is a perfect way of talking about the science of psychedelics. 

[00:17:23] Ronan: Yep.

[00:17:23] East: And I would argue that probably the motivation for a lot of people, and I'm curious what your motivation is, is, has usually something to do with some kind of like feelings they felt in these states of non-ordinary consciousness. Like they're, where they start to sense the, the bridges between, uh, you know, our mind and these greater forms of oneness and meaning, and there's some kind of motivation there to explore this, you know- that's kind of like the engine perhaps, that's pushing all this psychedelic revolution into form now. And myself as a, as a musician and the role music [00:18:00] plays in the psychedelic experience, I have found from my own experience, and I also believe, that it is not just central to the experience, in many ways it becomes the experience and the actual psychedelic journey. And it's been a bit of an afterthought in a lot of the studies and the conversations going around. It's like this role of ritual and music and what it can do, and in importance it plays. And that's something that's very difficult for, uh, to be studied or quantified or qual-, you know, it's like the scientific model. It's hard for it to nail down, the music part. And I think that's why it's been a bit of an afterthought, because it's not something we can just put our finger on and say, Well, it needs to be like this ABCD F and then it will work. It won't work like that. You know, there's an art to it. And that's what's so beautiful because it's kind of, we're bringing the science into the psychedelic experience into something that is ineffable and to something that ultimately can never really be harnessed and grasped, but we're using that [00:19:00] as like the propeller to push the boat forward, which is so beautiful and cool.

[00:19:05] Ronan: It totally is. And I think you're on point. One of my questions was that had written down is why, why do you think music plays such a, an essential role in, in the psychedelic experience, maybe not in the psychedelic- the scientifically articulated form of it, but music, I think if you look at all spectrums of the historical use of psychedelics, what is it about music in particular, um, that, that makes it so, so, so powerful? And expanding it, and I'm just going to throw out my theory, uh, before you answer, which is, you know, just to draw an analogy. I remember watching a movie, I think it was watching LA LA Land on a plane flying back from LA, coincidentally. Um, and I remember being just totally sucked into the emotions of, you know, that, that movie, cause it, it- highs and lows and all that kind of stuff. And then I got angry for a second about how [00:20:00] I felt like I was being manipulated into feeling emotions that weren't real. And then I stopped myself again and, um, realized, those emotions are real, you know? They're no less real than any other emotion, just because it happens to be being elicited from a movie, uh, that is a play, doesn't make it any less real than having it elicited from a piece of music or an interaction with a person. Like all of these are real and all of them give more texture to what it means to be alive, right? It's just a different level of emotion. It's a different feeling. It's like, what a wonderful thing, actually, to be able to give people these unique sensations that they've never had before, regardless of the format. And it really shifted my perspective back to like, this is actually wonderful, even though it feels like manipulation on somehow on some levels on, on, in that lens, all of it's manipulation just to reduce different emotions that may have different experiences. And certainly music has a as a powerful paradigm for, for that as well. But particularly in psychedelics, music seems [00:21:00] essential. I'm curious to know why you think that is? 

[00:21:03] East: Yeah, and manipulation is not inherently pejorative, of course. Um, I- and music is something we use to manipulate, facilitate our emotions and our feelings all day long and in so many disparate ways in our lives. It's most certainly you find it in entertainment because in movies and film, without it, it's sort of the carrier of the emotion, it's, it's an amplifier. And so if we look at it in the psychedelic space, it's doing a similar thing. It's kind of rescoring the experience, but it goes much further in the psychedelic space, and it really- or I should say, can. So historically, uh, in an ancient use of music and ceremony almost across the board, you know? Every ceremony is basically driven by song or rhythm. Uh, there's probably a reason [00:22:00] why, over thousands of years of experimentation, and you could look at the, uh, icaros in ayahuasca where, uh, they often say in, in the proving traditions, at least from shamans I've spoken to that the, that the, the songs, the icaros actually are the ceremony. That is, what's calling forth the spirit for them. It's not the medicine, it's the songs kind of asking everything to come forth, and they have to have it. And they've developed a specific words, uh, sort of like, uh, in, in, in Hindu and, and Sanskrit words where it's not just the meaning of the word, it's the actual sound of that word is a kind of technology, that mantra. It's again, a way of using sound. But what's amazing about music is that it has this trans dimensional ability because it's the way it plays with rhythm and sound. It goes, it's sort of like it takes a side door straight to the emotional content without us having to go through the [00:23:00] meaning of the other symbols, like words and ideas. It just, it skips around all of that. And the way it plays with, uh, relationships with harmony, you know, without getting too [into] like the musicology of it, it's just like, you know, harmony and rhythm are the two things. These are kind of like the building blocks of our, of our universe. And so it's, it's using like the base ingredients to, uh, essentially, because of that, it's all metaphor in a way it's dancing around exacting the exact meaning. And because of that, it's much richer and it, now it can start to play in that non-dualistic non-ordinary space. So it's amplified works very way. It's a psychedelic language music. So when you mix it with that space, it starts just, um, create additional levels of meaning that are really not possible with other forms. You know, even, even really with light or sight or, you know, it [00:24:00] is an extremely powerful tool. And because we're able to manipulate it in infinite ways, if you think about just this piano behind me, you know, one octave- like C to C and there's mult- you know, one of those is 12 notes and every song you've ever heard has been written. And with those 12 notes, it's a kind of math that gives you nearly infinite combinations. And so, because of that, it gives us like, uh, you know, palette to paint with. That's just, just like the psychedelic experience. It's infinite. And so I've discovered that the marriage of those two can become extremely interesting and, and what it can do to, uh, guide the experience and really midwife the experience to allow it to be deeper, richer, uh, to sort of create a sonic architecture for you to have the experiences in where in many ways in a synesthetic way. The music, it [00:25:00] becomes the experience, it can when it's done right. And there's many ways, I think it's being done wrong in this psychedelic renaissance, but I think it will be one of the next vanguards for us to start exploring. 

[00:25:13] Ronan: A lot of the stuff, a lot of stuff I really liked in that. One of the things that came up, um, as you were talking about is how you know, talking about sight. Sight is much more, um, It's more affable, uh, to be quite honest, right? I can describe what I'm seeing with a great degree of accuracy in a way that can convey that to another person, but particularly with sound as well as smell I would think, and I don't know if anyone's really looked into the role of smell in psychedelic experiences. My guess is it's probably equally or nearly as potent as sound. It's much more ineffable. It's so much harder to articulate exactly what you're hearing, because words do an inadequate job of it. It is so much more on a, on a, an emotional resonance than, than anything else. Um, which is, which is super cool. [00:26:00] How do you find the inspiration to create the, the music you've written? You know, you, uh, provided you, you released your album IN on Trip, which was awesome and such a cool experience to do with you, even though I was only kind of peripherally involved. The first time we got to listen to it, I was totally blown away and I there's no psychedelics involved. It's just on the musical level- 

[00:26:21] East: Oh, you should. You should definitely experience it like that. It will awaken a whole new level- 

[00:26:26] Ronan: So I guess two questions there, which is like, um, how, how do you find the inspiration for your music? And then secondly, uh, you said some music is not right or less right, or not suited for psychedelics or cost effective. Uh, and what, what does that, what makes it less effective? 

[00:26:49] East: Okay. Okay. Well, the first, the first question's a little easier to answer. From an inspirational point of view, uh, I really just open myself up [00:27:00] to things beyond myself. So it, improvisation is the way I do that. And that's just a form of practicing over the years to feel comfortable in that playful state of unknown. But in that state, something larger than just the ideas in my head can come through. Ideally, and musicians have done this, you know, forever, uh, but it's something I've found can be really fertile ground for, um, and especially in the psychedelic space, you know. All of the albums that I've released, it's really sort of two kinds of music. I release- there's studio records and then there's what I call basically ceremony records. Now until recently they were not labeled that way. Uh, there's IN, A Soundtrack for The Psychedelic Practitioner, volume Two, and Music for Mushrooms, Soundtrack for the Psychedelic Practitioner, which is essentially like volume one. Those are quite overt in their titling. And that was very intentional because I thought it was, is like it's time, it's time to start offering tools in a more specific [00:28:00] way. But before that I recorded them in the same way. I just did normal titles. And the, where they're recorded is, I'm, I'm in a ceremony, guiding people. Uh, these are psilocybin ceremonies. I'm improvising. And I also have a, essentially a microdose or whatever, you know, a small, very small dose, so I feel like I'm opening myself up to that same energy in the room and the energy of that. So in that way, that's a very different way of creating versus when I'm making a studio record where I may start with improvising ideas, but it's over various days, there's that discursive part of your mind, you keep coming back to it and thinking like, should I add this? Should I take that out? Should I edit this, you know, um, different, very different, and different musical things you can put in. 

[00:28:48] Ronan: I have such awe for any music creator. Um, and, and particularly of this, you know, niche, um, where it's, it's so much more relevant and maybe that's a [00:29:00] great segue into the second question, uh, which is, because it is so paradigmatic, paradigmatic, uh, in, in the experience, uh, curious to know what separates the more effective from the less effective?

[00:29:14] East: Well, hey, you know, one thing to notice, we both experience music the same way, like emotionally in our bodies, you have an inherent understanding of music. It's like a lock and key to your heart and your emotions. It just is whether you like it or not. And so that's really interesting. It's just as interesting as like, why is it that these particular chemicals, uh, link up with our brains to do such fantastical thing? Why is that? Why does that exist? Why does music exist? I find that in the same way, why does humor exist? It's really cool that it does like, thank God, thank God it does. But really why, you know, what advantages there to that? Or how did that develop? And it's not even, it's very [00:30:00] difficult to describe too. So that's a side conversation about, uh, I feel like comedians are sort of the shamans of our time today, but, what makes it like work versus work less effectively in the psychedelic space? There's I wrote a little article about this in Flood magazine where I was really trying to spell it out because there's a lot of different things that I'm doing musically, but some of the larger things that can help, um, most fundamentally, if you think about a lot of the playlists that are being made to guide experiences, one, all of those songs, I'm going to say all, but probably all, were not written for the psychedelic experience. So they're already being used off label. So it's not to say that they don't work well, but could they work better if they had that intentionality? And maybe it's a sense of design. Like, you know, I might have a screwdriver that's pretty big and it gets out a small screw, but if I had a smaller screwdriver, it would just be easier [00:31:00] job. It would work better. It's a different kind of tool. In the same way, most people, almost all, have not experienced a journey where there's one person or artistic voice carrying them through that journey. When you have a playlist it's many different opinions and cooks in the kitchen and every time a new one comes in, you kind of have to reorient a little bit. It's a new musical language, just on a practical level. The mixing is different and the volumes and the, the instrumentation, but let alone the creative vision. This is the soul that has taken you from start to finish. And in the past before recorded music, which is really only a hundred or so years, of course, it was always just one person essentially, or a small group, but one entity, one shaman, start to finish carrying you through with probably a kind of instrumentation. There was a glue and a through line to that. So I think that's a very strong advantage. And there aren't many [00:32:00] tools out there, or I should say albums or artists that are offering that, or have that kind of experience to even know how to go from start to finish. That doesn't even take into account the idea that we could consider things- now that I'm taking you from start to finish, I have the ability now to follow the arc of the experience to do that musically energetically. Uh, there's things I can add into the music. I could of course add in various sound healing elements, but even on a scientifically, I could do things that have been done that we know work, like how to entrain the brain at the beginning and get you into relaxed states and how to work you through, like, depending on the medicine, you know, certain, uh, arcs and plateaus of the experience. I can make the songs much longer. That gives you time to like ease into a room, essentially have the experience you need to have, and slowly ease out of it, have these sort of breaks in between the songs- that I use field recordings, you know, a lot in my music because we all know how [00:33:00] nature is really like this wonderful mirror, uh, in the experience. But now it's in the music and you start to hear like the merging of the music and the sounds of wilderness and nature and yourself reminding yourself that you are this too. And there's many other musical techniques, but these are like some small examples that like, I now have the ability to even play with these, whereas in a playlist, it's like you're, you're, you're at 10% of potentiality. And so for those of us who are out there have been working in the underground for a long time, and for the musicians who have explored it from a music perspective as a tool of guidance, um, and there's only a few that I know of, um, that's something that needs to start be shared. You know, share these different flavors of ice cream again, as it were, but it's like, see which ones work for different people. It's not one way to skin the cat. And, um, but it's, it's really time to recognize how much further we can, we can go with the tool of music. [00:34:00] 

[00:34:00] Ronan: IN, uh, say IN or Music for Mushrooms, was there a particular narrative, a particular experience, particular- I don't even know what the right words are. A particular lesson, um, and that you were trying to convey, um, on some level? 

[00:34:16] East: Yeah. There's not a single agenda other than, uh, you know, my me trying to be as open as possible and let something larger to speak through. So, and especially because they're, they're improvised in that moment, that that's all I'm kind of thinking in my head is just how well can I listen essentially? And th the IN album was particularly unique because it was actually virtual ceremonies, which I had never done before. But with the pandemic, it kind of pushed forth. This- I've always been invited into these spaces and I was invited into, Hey, you know, we, we, our community, you would like to have, we're going to try a virtual ceremony. I was like, I've never live-streamed before. I dunno. I mean, we'll give it a shot. [00:35:00] It's I don't know if this will work, but we approached it the same way mechanically and, except I was just here in this studio with this computer. And it was a very odd feeling at first. Like, there's nobody here, but you know, I guess they're on YouTube live, different parts around the world doing their journeys. And it did work. It was just a different flavor. And I did five of these and I took songs from those five ceremonies. And that's what became the IN album. So it's very much of the moment of this last year and a half, two years of the pandemic. And that's just another like, gift that came to me that was completely unexpected. And so I like to curate these into albums as a way of then kind of letting other people play around with it and use it and see if it's a useful tool for them, for, for, for the psychedelic experience or otherwise. 

[00:35:56] Ronan: Still on the topic of music, uh, and then I want to talk a little [00:36:00] bit about your experience through the pandemic. Two questions. One is, what's just on your playlist right now, um, for music that you just listened to for the sake of listening to, and if you were going to say, um, for someone who's like, okay, I've done East Forest, um, Music for Mushrooms and, and IN and, you know, really hit up that, that music for my psychedelic experiences. I want something different. Who would you point to as being here's someone's music you should be listening to as part of your experiences? 

[00:36:35] East: Um, I just collaborated with Jon Hopkins, who's an artist that I've admired for many years and he's releasing an album that's called Music for Psychedelic Therapy that, uh, there's a track on there that I helped him with. Or I should say I contributed to, that- and he's a real master in someone who has spent a lot of personal time exploring a lot of what we're talking about and like what actually works in that space. And [00:37:00] on top of that, he's a master musician. So he's bringing a level of musicianship and his producer knowledge to create, um, I've, I've experienced the record and it's, it's an hour, eight minutes, I believe in, and particularly in the ketamine space- I was working at my partner's ketamine clinic- and it's great, you know? It's different than mine, but fantastic, you know, fantastic level of craftsmanship. So when that comes out, you know, there's a single out right now called Sit Around the Fire, that also features Ram Dass, that's just stunning, uh, piece, but he also is opening himself up to that improvisational state. And a lot of that record, he describes how it really just flowed out of him, um, in an extremely different way than his other process processes in the past of making music. Um, I've got a few other, uh, brothers and sisters out there have been making some really interesting music with this kind of work in mind. You know, there's Superposition, as you know, our friend, Justin Boreta and his, his [00:38:00] partner. Um, they're very dedicated at work and, uh, a brother named Porangui who, I know the way he's walked his own life is been, um, so much authenticity for, um, you know, he's done the sun dance and the way he grew up and it's, he's, you know, he's the real deal in that sense. So, you know, it's really about people who are creating things. I think from that level of authenticity and truth from themselves, that isn't a kind of pandering, like in the moment that you're making it, you have to kind of allow that thing to speak through, because it's not so much an idea. I that's why I haven't released a studio record and said like, oh, this is music to trip to, cause I don't feel qualified to decide all of that. I feel like it has to come through on a certain level. And I know for some of those artists I mentioned that's, that's how they would approach that [00:39:00] space. You know, I don't know, to be honest, I mean, he may or may not if Porangui has made a record that's specifically for that use. I wouldn't be surprised if he has, but I know that's part of his walk and I know like his level of musicianship and it just comes down to a matter of taste, of like what works for people. But I think you're, you'll start to see more artists come out of the closet as it were, and start to explore this space and it just becomes like, how dedicated are they? Like how much can they strip away in order to allow something to channel through them that, you know, will be filtered through their abilities and techniques and artistic, creative predilections. But at the same time to a point, and you really have to open yourself up to that vulnerability of not knowing, you know, what's going to come through, or is that interesting or is that on brand. It's like, I just took that leap from the beginning, as far as branding. You know, back in 2008, this was not, [00:40:00] there were not podcast talking about this. They're not companies like Field Trip. This was, this was, um, judged, um, and quite risky, um, and I just did it because I had had experiences myself that were so important and true to me, I felt I was doing them a disservice by not dedicating and gifting from those experiences. And it just kept going in a way that I never envisioned or planned on like identifying in this way with the psychedelic experience. And it's really not part of my life in that way, like on the ground level, but it's, I can't stop talking about it. And it's probably the thing, you know, people think about the most when they think about me, and I'm very, very interested in I'm fascinated by it because it showed me on a personal level, you know, I was someone who was very reductionistic and grew up in, in just a materialistic kind of [00:41:00] mindset. The way a lot of us are kind of told reality is, and like, that's it. And I was deeply depressing to me and it wasn't until I'd had my first strong, psychedelic experience that was positive, thankfully, it had showed me that there's more. There was nothing to argue with. I felt like it just was, it just was. And now it's like, what do I do with this? You know, and how do I translate that into, into this experience on the ground and recognize their connection. And that has taken a long time to unfold. 

[00:41:32] Ronan: There's so much on there- in there I want to unpack, but we'll, we'll start with the last piece. Um, which was your first psychedelic experience. Uh, I think if there's one thing I want to achieve through this podcast, it's trying to normalize the conversation around psychedelics. That psychedelics are not just for hippie weirdos who moved to India and, you know, totally give up their life and change everything, that it's something that could be integrated into a very normal, for lack of a better word, modern [00:42:00] Western existence in a way that can be very meaningful. And it doesn't mean having to give everything up of you are in which you stand for. Uh, but it can make your day-to-day better. It can make your relationship better. It can make you happier. It can make you feel more secure and less anxious and all that kind of stuff. Um, and so the whole platform is speaking to people who, uh, you know, have used psychedelics in a way that's enhanced their lives in a, in a, in a positive way, uh, and really trying to make it approachable and being like, Oh, okay, you know, maybe I'm not going to change my name to Krishna, um, but you know, that guy-

[00:42:36] East: [I'm] not the poster child maybe, but- 

[00:42:37] Ronan: Yeah. Uh, but like that guy, like East Forest, like he sounds like a normal guy, a normal existence, and that he had some pretty cool experiences and learned a lot from his psychedelic experiences. Um, maybe I'm more open to this. I'm so curious to know, how you discovered psychedelics that first experience, what inspired it? And then I think importantly, like what are the things, if you can articulate them that you've taken [00:43:00] away, what are the maybe most important things, uh, that you've taken away from, from your work with psychedelics that may be meaningful to someone who's sitting on the fence being like, yeah, this sounds kind of interesting to me, but I'm not sure what I'm getting myself into. Um, you know, what, what kind of, what, what have you taken away that may be meaningful to a person who's listening? 

[00:43:20] East: Well, the psychedelic experiences have shown me and helped me see patterns that I have and help me like work through them on levels that I don't understand with my mind, like traumas or experiences I've gone through. They helped me have those experiences be less charged afterwards in profound ways. 

[00:43:39] Ronan: Yeah. 

[00:43:40] East: So they helped me kind of work through places I felt stuck, like whether it manifests as a depression, or I had a really bad bicycle accident that was- then it felt like I was really like stuck in the trauma of it and it was getting really bad and I felt really depressed. I had one experience, one, with [00:44:00] mushrooms through that that felt like then I turned the corner and I've felt like, well, I don't really understand why that is, but my, my assumption was it's helping me somehow and like a, a body language level and maybe all sorts of levels of my unconscious. Like it's helping me unlock things and release things that I don't fully understand right here in the top level of my mind.

[00:44:21] Ronan: Yeah. 

[00:44:21] East: And so I'm really grateful for that. It's like a tool. Um, and I, it seems to help me, um, on a level of, uh, mental fitness, like it's kind of like an antidepressant that can work a lot longer from a lot lower doses and with extremely less regularity. So I find that interesting, but on the spiritual level, It's given me the primacy of like a direct experience that no one else gave me, that I don't have to like earn or even really learn. It's more about [00:45:00] peeling back an onion to what's already there. And so it showed me how that we all- sort of what we talked at the very beginning of this podcast- like we're all just it. And instead of that, being an idea, it was a felt experience. And you can't argue with felt experiences. If, you know, if you have a few of those over and over again, eventually like you get it, you get the message at least. I mean, I don't grasp it and get it. I mean, like I receive that gift and it doesn't make life, uh, any less confounding or difficult at times, but it, it, um- my ex partner had this phrase that stayed with me about loosening the grip. You know, it's not that I'm letting go. I'm just loosening the grip. And it's like, kind of allows the water to move through my fingers that, you know, which is the, all the things that happen, all the law that goes on in life. And it's still sometimes, I feel at all, but it has a different perspective, you know? I'm able to sit [00:46:00] back and witness things in a different way, as opposed of being the things and mean so attached to the things. Um, and then on a practical level, like it really has become my life in such a way that I don't- wouldn't say that would happen to most people- but, you know, it's, I, I give full credit to the mushrooms for guiding my process and my music and my life and my career and it's, it's a lot of fun to be on the, you know, having these kinds of conversations. And there's an excitement for like, It's a feeling of hope hopefulness and solution-based as opposed to like looking at the face of all the problems that we're looking at as people. That's massive, you know? And so it's a kind of way of engendering faster, effective change in people. And I've seen it in myself, and it's not to proselytize and say like, this is any kind of panacea for everybody, but it's to say, Hey, this is [00:47:00] one tool out there. It can be quite powerful for at times for some people in different ways. How can I help play my part to make that experience as positive and powerful and rich as possible.

[00:47:13] Ronan: Totally. Thank you for sharing that. Um, I think that was a, a perfect answer across the spectrum, you know? Um, in the, on the practical level, for example, for me, it's like, even though I can't articulate how or why, uh, you know, in, in my relationship with my wife, with Stephanie, you know, she may have said things that may have been laced with judgment, may have not been. Who knows. But I reacted in such a way that like, you know, uh, even if someone can't understand exactly what that knowing kind of all them body knowing feeling means everyone can relate to like feeling super anxious or like triggered or angry by virtue of something that someone said, and not fully comprehending why. And coming out of my last couple of psychedelic experiences, personally, [00:48:00] those comments that once used to like, cause my stomach to like tie up in knots for no articulate, no reason I can articulate it doesn't happen anymore. That level of like trauma or whatever I was holding onto just doesn't get triggered in the same way and, and it's, and it's really cool. So thank you, uh, for sharing it. One thing you had talked about before, you said that when you create your music, you know it to some degree you're channeling, you know, whatever it is. And it kind of ties back to, uh, one of the things that we touched on a news to trip two, which is about, uh, how Paul Grof thinks that non-ordinary states of consciousness actually start outside the body, uh, as opposed to being a function of the brain. Curious to know where your thoughts on that. I know no one has a definitive answer on that. And even if you do have a definitive answer in your own head, I'm not sure everybody would agree, but I really like to wade into people's experiences and beliefs around this. 

[00:48:56] East: I think these experiences help you be more you at the end of the [00:49:00] day. So it's not about you can't change your name and Krishna, which has gifted to me, but, uh, regardless my point is it's, it's really about becoming more authentically who you actually are already, and sort of taking off the stuff that's in a way that masks, the trauma. Uh, and that's really beautiful for all of us. I find that to be empowering. 

[00:49:20] Ronan: Totally. 

[00:49:21] East: But to answer your question about channeling, you know, it's actually a word I don't use intentionally because I'm also very much working to build bridges to, uh, of accessibility and inclusiveness. And so, uh, I take great pains, or I should say great intention, in the way, in the words I choose to use and don't use because a lot of them have become co-opted or this baggage of this is a natural process, certain words, they, they have different meaning they're changing meaning over time. And I think what I don't want to do is create the sense of a tribe where I say, you know, it might be [00:50:00] something else, other new age tropes where like, people are like, well, that's, that's ah, he said, dolphins, I'm out. You know? Uh, I like to say things- like when I play these ceremony, concerts, uh, live, I want to make it where anyone could walk in that room and there's nothing that I say or do that they can argue with. So the, really the only thing that'd be stopping them from the fullness of that experience is just their choice to say, like, I'll give this a shot, which is really just like, I'm asking you to breathe and listen. And the rest is like, we'll see what comes up and you, and only, you know, anyway. So, um, for myself, channeling to me implies like some kind of grandiosity. Like I have some special power. I don't think I have any special power that isn't in anybody else. I just have had a lot of willpower to rehearse and keep at it. And like, I remember, I remember a long time ago when I was in high school- and [00:51:00] you said something like, you didn't understand much about music- like I liked music and I was in choir and all that stuff, but I remember thinking about a band and I was like, I have no idea how a band would make a song or like, what do they do when they rehearse? Like, what do they do? I don't know what you do. How does it all happen? I had no idea. And then like, eventually I started a band and eventually I started- I became a professional musician. But you just learn these things and they're just things you learn about different processes. And so, you know, opening yourself up or, uh, channeling, whatever you want to call it, it's something that we can all do, and it's just another way of saying, you follow your excitement and get out of the way, and don't judge what's coming through. Like ideas, like where does any idea come from, you know? You could call that from God or the ether or from inside your brain. I mean, but either way, I don't know, it comes out of nothing. And so improvisation is like this proof in the pudding. You just keep following ideas and like, Ooh, it'd be fun if [00:52:00] we had this cricket right now and oh man, oh, I'm sensing, oh, let's reverse it. You know, drop it an octave. Yes. Let's get down there. Ooh, I can feel that guy over there on the right is going through a hard time. I'm just sensing, like, we needed it to be uplifting. Now we're going to bring in some strings, let's build it's intention. I mean, you're just, you're following the signposts of excitement. It's this Joseph Campbell idea of following your bliss. And I feel like that is the north star. And that is totally not unique to me or one person that's- we all can do that. I think we just kind of turn off that compass, and we're like, oh, well, that's nothing. That's just like silly ideas I have. It's like, no, that's, that's creation. That is- and that's who you are, you know? And it's about clearing away the noise so that we can really hear what's always there. And so that's why we do things like prepare for experiences by maybe not having so much caffeine or sugar, or preparing our diet for a few days or not [00:53:00] watching a lot of screens the day of a journey or even longer, because it's all about clearing up that antenna, getting all the junk off it so they can re you can really pick up on the things that are coming through, whether you're facilitating a journey or experience a journey of yourself. I think that's a super important aspect to consider. 

[00:53:20] Ronan: Totally. And I hear you, uh, on the word channeling, it implies a, uh, it implies something that most people are going to be turned off- not most people, some people are certainly going to be turned off by because it a, it suggests- 

[00:53:34] East: It's kind of an othering, right? You know, I mean, uh, but that's not to, you know, put down people who- it's just a word, but like someone like Paul Selig or, most of these folks who, who do do that work, they say like, anybody can do this. You know, they all, I think almost all of them say it. They don't say like, well, I'm special. I have the, you know, the channel open. They're like, I just learned how to like, trust this, essentially, and it just it's [00:54:00] just there. Uh, but I think for a lot of, that's a leap that's hard to take in our minds. 

[00:54:06] Ronan: Totally. I mean, it comes back to that again, that concept of that embodied knowing. It's just, you know, sometimes- I think most people have had that moment where they just know something. Maybe it's not intuitive, maybe it's not logical, but there's got that like, ah, this is going to happen. And I think, you know, when you talk about that level of inspiration of like, I don't know what I'm doing here necessarily, but I'm going to trust it because it feels good. It feels right. There's a knowingness inside me that that guides it. Uh, it can be super powerful. And I think, you know, in the, in the language of biohacking or modern parlance, it's kind of flow states, right? That's how a lot of people would describe it, uh, as opposed to maybe using the word channeling. But I think we're talking about the same thing. 

[00:54:46] East: Yeah. I mean, we're just getting out of the way and that has to do with just, you know, repetition and, and having a good time and having that sense of playfulness. So, that's totally, you know, a [00:55:00] human trait and it's a privilege as well, but it's something we can drop into. 

[00:55:05] Ronan: Totally. Um,, speaking of your name, Krishna, I'm curious to know the experience. I mean, as far as I understand that was something that Ram Dass had gifted to you. So, A, I was curious to know what it was like to hang out with Ram Dass and spend some time with them. Uh, and then secondly, what was it like incorporating that into your identity? Because I think psychedelic experiences and one's identity are often very closely inter- interrelated or interact very closely, and, and I think psychedelics help people become more connected to their real identities, like you said, sort of shuffling off the traumas and the experiences and all that kind of stuff. But, uh, I imagine it's a, it's a pretty significant shift to do that. And I just, uh, a friend of mine, a guy named Sol Orwell, uh, who is the founder of examine.com, I just learned actually that he adopted a [00:56:00] whole new identity when he moved to North America, and he just posted on, uh, on Facebook. I think it's like his 10 year anniversary of being Sol Orwell. Uh, and someone asked him what his old name was and he said, What it was? Well, that's lost in the sands of time. Why? It's a bit multi-faceted, but at the end of the day, my name is me, and I never got to pick my original name, which is ridiculous. So I changed it. Um, and I'm like, well, there's a lot of logic in that, you know? If, if I was [inaudible] who I work with quite a bit, he's like, No, you did choose your name. You chose to, you know, perinatal state, uh, and it kind of came to your parents. If you believe that or not, doesn't really matter, but wondering what the experience was like to adopt Krishna into your name and what it was like to spend time with Ram Dass.

[00:56:43] East: Well, East forest is, uh, a translation of my last name, Oswalt, not to confuse things. But that's definitely how I try to work, just go by as my public persona, only because I mean, it's on one level, it's a project, but in another name it's a kind of identity, for better or worse. [00:57:00] And it's just kind of keep the message clear on like who I am and what I'm doing, but in my private life, um, I don't go around, introduce myself as East Forest. I'm just, you know, Krishna is my first name. And it takes a lot of chutzpah, what Sol is saying like, to change your, your, your first and last name, in some ways, it's like, well, that makes more sense because- I mean, yes, of course you can change your name anytime you want. There's no laws. I mean, you can do what you want. I guess you can- there's legality to it. But the point is. There's no reason why you can't. And for some reason, we think we're stuck with these identities. And I give myself less credit because Ram Dass, when he offered that name to me, all I had to do is accept it. And then from that, I will take credit for adopting it in my private life. And that was a choice, but I only did my first name. It's not like I changed my last too. I kind of was like, it's kind of a halfway measure in a sense. I've still kept- you said Krishna Trevor at the beginning, cause that's- I've said that my emails, but I'm like, what a [00:58:00] mess, all this is. He's like, East Forest, blah, blah, blah, yada, yada, all these names. It's like, I really try to stick to just East Forest publicly for simplicity, but happy to talk about this because it's germane, but Ram Dass, um, I worked with him in 2018 to record, uh, him for a record we produced called Ram Dass. And it was an amazing experience, of some- I was an admirer and a fan of his for many, many years. Never thought I would have met him, let alone, uh, work with him. But it was a- there's so many things he gifted me in that experience. I mean, I've talked, talked to many different stories on my own podcast about this, but one of them, you know, at the end of this, when I had heard that- I was hanging out with someone in the Sangha, the community, and [he was] like, You, you know, you could ask for a name. I was like, what are you talking about? He's like, well, you can, if you want. And it just kind of stuck in my mind and, [00:59:00] uh, it was the last moment we were meeting together and I, I knew that this was kind of, it. He was very old. I thought on one level, he might not be around anymore in his body. On second level, I don't know if I'm coming back. I did come back several more times, but he died about two and a half years later. And I asked him, and it was a mess of an ask, but- self-deprecating and all these qualifiers and, and he really took it in and he thought about it for a while. And I, I thought he had forgotten about it. And then he, he offered the name Krishna, and he named my partner Radha. And, and, you know, I took that with me and afterwards I thought, well, what would this be like? You know? And I had recently kind of moved to Boise, Idaho with Radha and nobody knew me. So it was real easy, you know, just like, Hi, what's your name? I'd say, Krishna. They're just like, Okay. And so everyone started calling me Krishna. And then I started to get used to it to the point where, when I went to- when I talked to an old [01:00:00] friend, I went back to a town I used to live in and everyone's calling me Trevor. It felt weird. Like, and I was like, this is, this is a very strange feeling. And what, what the, what Krishna offers me the most is that when someone says it after they get used to it, they're probably not thinking about it anymore. I mean, certainly when I first meet people, it is a barrier to overcome. Some people just accept it. Most people eventually ask me about it and it is kind of like, they want to know like, what the hell, why I don't understand why this white guy has gone himself Krishna. And I have to explain at least my story, but when, when someone says it, it's kind of a call to arms for me to be something fresh and new in the moment where I can say like, oh, I don't know, I can drop all the baggage of who I think I am. And then I can't overcome in this moment who I'm supposed to be, and rather say to myself, who do I want to be, uh, in this very moment in response to whatever it was just said to me. So it's a, it's a kind of freshness and an awakening it provides me to start [01:01:00] anew, and in that way, I'm very grateful for it. But it's also, uh, it hasn't fully integrated in my life and I still have some old friends who call me Trevor and, um, my parents, you know, of course. But, um, I'm not strict about it at all. It just feels like the gift. 

[01:01:17] Ronan: And did Ram Dass explain, uh, the meaning of Krishna? Um- 

[01:01:21] East: No.

[01:01:21] Ronan: -and another question just before I forget is, um, uh, you know, is, is there a different, a truly different identity between East Forest and Krishna, and what are the differences between the two, or is that just like a professional stage name and otherwise your work and your life are kind of perfectly blended?

[01:01:41] East: Yeah, I, I, my goal is that my public life and private life, there's no- well there's boundaries- but there's no, uh, difference between my representation of who I am. Now, that's of course not totally true. I have the- this is a public facing of who, my identity, [01:02:00] and there's all sorts of things I'm choosing not to say, you know? Not to offend people and, of course, politeness. And stories that are just aren't relevant. But nonetheless, I that's sort of just decorum, but that's different than authenticity and honesty. And you know, I've still got a lot of work to do on that level, but it is a big part of my intention because I know at the end of the day, the way I walk my walk in my life is not different than the work and the, the ideas I'm presenting through my work, because then there are about living your life, essentially. And with authenticity. It's like, I can't have it both ways, you know? There's no free lunch on that level. So in some ways, my life is the testing ground, where I basically- all, all East Forest really is, and all it has ever been, is me exploring my own problems and confusions and pain. And then translating that into work that's [01:03:00] helping me or process that's helping me. And then eventually I just release things or I'm doing things. And then I kind of let it go and I'm now doing something else. And it has another life like, you know, IN being on the Trip platform, I mean, that was my process, and because it's recorded, then I can go- it's like kick a boat off to sea, and then it just has its life out there. So I find that really beautiful, but I think the real work as Ram Dass says is in the privacy of our own hearts and- for all of us. And so all the other stuff is really extra. I know that the real work I'm doing is on that internal level, just like you are and everyone who's listening is, and that's where the rubber meets the road. And that I want to say to everyone who's listening, like that work matters. Everything comes from the inside out, like the way you treat yourself and the way you think and the way you heal and the way you, you, you, you do that work in your heart. That's the work. And so I want that to be a manifestation through like my public work, [01:04:00] ideally.

[01:04:00] Ronan: That is such an elegant, beautiful note to end on, that I actually want to stop right there. Um, so thank you Krishna for, for being a part of this podcast. Uh, as always, it's been a pleasure. I've enjoyed all of our conversations. Uh, thank you for dropping that beautiful, uh, elegant thought at the end of this conversation as, as a great way to close it, keep in touch. This was awesome. 

[01:04:23] East: Thanks man.

[01:04:29] Ronan: "How can one person be more real than any other? Well, some people do hide and others seek. Maybe those who are in hiding, escaping encounters, avoiding surprises, protecting their property, ignoring their fantasies, restricting their feelings, sitting out the pan pipe hootchy-kootch of experience. Maybe those people, people who won't talk to rednecks, or if they're rednecks, won't talk to intellectuals, people who are afraid to get their shoes muddy or their noses wet, afraid to eat what they crave, afraid to drink Mexican [01:05:00] water, afraid to bet a long shot to win, afraid to hitchhike, jaywalk, honky-tonk, cogitate, osculate, levitate, rocket, bop it, sock it, or bark at the moon. Maybe such people are simply inauthentic. And maybe the jacklet humanist who says differently is due to have his tongue fried on the hot slabs of Liars Hell. Some folks hide and some folks seek, and seeking when it's mindless, neurotic, desperate, or pusillanimous, can be a form of hiding. But there are folks who want to know, and aren't afraid to look and won't turn tail should they find it. And if they never do, they'll have a good time anyway, because nothing, neither the terrible truth, nor the absence of it, is going to cheat them out of one honest breath of Earth's sweet gas." I apologize for the extremely long quote from Tom Robbins, but Krishna could not have teed up a more perfect conversation to engage that quotation. And truthfully it's probably the single most [01:06:00] important lesson I've taken away from my experiences through meditation, metaphysics and psychedelics, that if nothing else, life is to be experienced. The good, the bad, the ugly, the divine, it's all here, essentially as an educational toy for us, maybe as I've often alluded to, we create these experiences for ourselves. Maybe life just happens to us. Truthfully, it doesn't matter. All that does matter is that we always have the choice to take from these experiences what we want. And to quote Tom Robbins again, " If Woden or Shiva or Buddha or that Christian fellow- what's his name?- cannot respect that, then I'll accept their wrath. At least I'll have tasted the banquet they have spread before me on this rich round planet rather than recoiling from it like a toothless bunny. I cannot believe that the most delicious things were placed here merely to test us, to tempt us, to make it the more difficult for us to capture the grand prize: [01:07:00] the safety of the void." Thanks, Tom. I couldn't have said it better myself.

[01:07:10] Caller: Hey Ronan. Just curious, what do you do to prepare for a psychedelic journey? Thank you. 

[01:07:16] Ronan: When it comes to preparing for a psychedelic journey, uh, these are two words that you'll hear me mention quite often, and something that we focus on a Field Trip and Trip the app, uh, is set and setting. Set, referring to the mindset you bring into the experience, and setting being in the actual place that you have your psychedelic experience. In terms of what I do to get myself in the right set or mindset, you know, it's, it's really just trying to tune into myself, um, trying to meditate beforehand, turning off your phone, trying to get rid of the distractions, or not necessarily get rid of them, but more accurately process any really sticky things that are coming up, whether it's anger or nervousness or exhaustion or whatever it is. Just kind of [01:08:00] tuning into yourself and listening to what's going on, just like you would do with any kind of meditation or I guess, break from the everyday mundane aspects of of modern Western life. Uh, in terms of, uh, the setting, you know, just making sure I'm comfortable. That's really what it comes down to make sure if I'm lying on a couch that the pillows are aligned properly, or if I'm sitting down, uh, that I'm in a position where I can stay for a long time, because in my old age, sitting cross-legged four hours at a time is not something that's going to fly. Uh, so I want to make sure I'm comfortable in an environment where I'd like to be. Personally, I prefer to do psychedelics- psychedelic experiences on my own, uh, or with a therapist, not in a group setting. Simply because, uh, I tend to self-censor, um, to me antithetical so when I'm hoping to get out of most psychedelic experiences. For other people, it enhances their experience. So at the end of the day, do what is right for you, but it really comes down to just having yourself in the right head space for the experience and making sure you're [01:09:00] in a place where you feel great and comfortable. 

As a quick reminder, you can record a question for us and we'll answer it on the show. Go to speakpipe.com/fieldtripping, or you can send us your questions, comments, or any episode ideas via email to fieldtripping@kastmedia.com. That's Kast with a K. Also, please rate, review, and subscribe to our podcast and sign up for our newsletter at fieldtripping.fm or wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks for listening to Field Tripping, a podcast that's dedicated to exploring psychedelic experiences and their ability to affect our lives. I'm your host Ronan Levy. Until next time, stay curious, breathe properly, and remember: every day is a field trip, if you let it be one. Field Tripping is created by Ronan Levy. Our producers are Conrad Page and Harley Roman, and associate producers are Sharon Bhella, Alec Sherman, Macy Baker, and Tyler Newbold. Special thanks to Kast Media. And of course, [01:10:00] many thanks to East Forest for joining me today. To learn more, check out eastforest.org for info on his music, podcast, retreats, and more. You can also check out his album IN on our app Trip, which you can download from the App Store or Google Play.

About Ronan

An entrepreneur and a visionary, Ronan is one the founders of Field Trip – with a mission to bring the world to life through psychedelics and psychedelic-enhanced psychotherapy. Concurrent with his work at Field Trip, he is a partner at Grassfed Ventures, a venture capital and advisory firm focused on the cannabis and biotech industries and is Chief Strategy Officer and Member of the Board of Directors for Trait Biosciences Inc., a leading biotech company in the hemp and cannabis industries. Prior to his current roles, Ronan co-founded Canadian Cannabis Clinics and CanvasRx Inc., the latter of which was acquired by Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) in 2016, after which he served as Senior Vice President, Business and Corporate Affairs for Aurora. A lawyer by training, Ronan started his career as a corporate lawyer at Blake, Cassels Graydon LLP and Legal Counsel at CTVglobemedia Inc. (now Bell Media Inc.) He holds a Juris Doctor and a Bachelor of Commerce degree, both from the University of Toronto.