Ask A Death Doula #


How Studies of Magic Mushrooms are Proving Consciousness

 Released: 06/28/2022

 Guest: None

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Episode Show Notes

Big Ideas:


1.What Psilocybin is [00:27] – Psilocybin is the main psychedelic compound found in “magic mushrooms.” The talk of using this psychedelic at the end of life has been a hot topic and is being studied intensively. It is being looked at as having potentially effective medicinal/therapeutic properties in the treatment of fear, anxiety, and depression for those at the end of life. It is a naturally occurring compound found in specific species of mushrooms. It has been used for thousands of years all around the world as part of spiritual rituals and cultural ceremonies. In the 50’s and 60’s, Psilocybin started to be studied for its therapeutic properties in the use of treating a plethora of ailments and conditions. Everything from addiction, anxiety, depression, and other various forms of mental illness were treated in clinical studies with thousands of patients. In the 1970’s this research was abruptly ended. It has recently started up again with a renewed focal point on studying the use of this compound in those at the end of life.

2.The “Trip Treatment” [3:20] – In 2015, an article in the New Yorker was titled “The Trip Treatment.” It was all about the use and studies of Psilocybin and the promising results it has shown in treating those who had extreme fear, anxiety, and depression in their end-of-life journeys. Not only did they have great results overcoming these particular issues, but the use of Psilocybin led to incredible breakthroughs and a sort of spiritual understanding/awakening amongst those treated with it. There is now a growing movement for using Psilocybin for this purpose in the End-of-Life space. There is much debate over this issue, but there are new studies currently being conducted at NYU, UCLA, and John Hopkin’s University amongst other notable and well-renowned research institutions.

3.The Similarities Between the Spiritual Awakening at End of Life and Psilocybin Use [6:30] – Many of the things relating to the spiritual breakthroughs patients have in these various studies are remarkably similar to some of the things I have been sharing for years. As a former hospice and oncology nurse, I have worked at the bedside of over one thousand end of life patients over the last twenty years. My end of life patients say the same exact thing as those who have been treated with Psilocybin. I want to share that this experience is naturally occurring in people as they near their end of life. As their physical body is diminishing, their spiritual body is growing. There’s a time in their journey where they have one foot in this world and one foot in the next. In my opinion, many people go back and forth before they fully leave this world. I say this because I have had so many patients who suddenly wake up with a bunch of new information and a renewed and profound perspective on life. They speak of all being connected to one unconditional loving energy and this parallels what has been documented in these Psilocybin studies.

4.You Don’t Have to Wait Until the End of Life to Have Your Own Breakthrough [9:05] – The whole goal of life is the journey of evolving to find your spiritual self. To understand yourself and to be able to live authentically and true to who you really are. To overcome the obstacles and the suffering we deal with in our physical world. It is to get beyond your ego and to tap into what is in your heart and let it guide you. We all have two internal directional instruments we can choose to follow. One is our analytical mind that is shaped by our experiences, prejudices, and imprinting of other people’s views. Following this directional path leads to us living a fear-based existence. By contrast, our heart guidance system will lead us to our unique truth. If we understood this human journey for what it really is and that we are all connected to one unconditional loving energy with no judgment – that life is all about learning and growing – we would have so much more compassion for one another and shift the entire world into a better place for everyone.


1. “Death is having a rebirth and it is bringing back the sacredness of end of life and the sacredness of life. We have got to understand what this journey is about and how we can make it the best for everybody in it.” – Suzanne B. O’Brien RN


2. “Take the time to create a loving space in your heart and ask yourself, ‘Where does my heart want me to be of service?’ Find that internal place where you can love others, yourself, and everything and everyone on this incredible planet.” – Suzanne B. O’Brien RN



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Speaker 1 (00:02):

Hi everyone. And welcome to this episode of ask a death doula. I am your host, Suzanne O’Brien. Thank you so much for being here. I have to start out by saying this, that this may be the most important podcast that you ever listen to. And hopefully at the end of this, you’ll understand why today I’m gonna talk to you about the movement for the use of psilocybin at the end of life. And psilocybin is also known as magic mushrooms. And if you are in the end of life sphere, you know, the end of life is having a rebirth, but the talk of using psychedelics known as Sila Sabin, again, that’s also known as magic mushroom at the end of life is a hot topic and something that has been studied. I’m gonna give you the history of it. I’m gonna share with you what’s happening in my thoughts and lots of other information as well.

Speaker 1 (00:55):

So recently there has been a rebirth again of end of life and doing studies on the use of magic mushrooms at the end of life for people with, you know, just crushing fear of end of life, anxiety, um, depression, all of that. So let’s start out by what is psilocybin. Psilocybin is a naturally occurring compound that is found in mushrooms. And it also the history of it it’s been around for thousands of years. From the beginning of time they’ve been used in ceremony and the Mayans and, and in Greece and different places around the world. These magic mushrooms have been used in ceremony and for awakening for opening up again, the heart center part of us. So for thousands of years, they have been used throughout the time. Now this is an interesting fun fact in the fifties and sixties, there was a huge movement for this being studied for therapy reasons in the United States, for people with, um, a plethora of conditions, addiction and anxiety and depression and mental illness and, and all of this.

Speaker 1 (02:09):

And they really did vast extensive studies in the fifties and sixties with thousands of patients and documentation. And then in the seventies, it stopped. I feel like, and again, there could be more exploration here. I feel like it really started to catch on, um, people were using them recreationally. I think that was a big problem. There was, you know, a lot of talk in, in those days and, um, Timothy leery and different. And one of the books written was Aldos Huxley talking about, um, his experience with taking a magic mushroom and his awakening. And there was just lots of movement there. So in the fifties and sixties, it was being studied for therapeutic reasons in the seventies, it stopped. So they stopped funding it and all of those studies were stopped kind of put on hold. Well, that started to come back. And so there is again, a new rebirth and end of life, which is so beautiful, cuz you bring back the sacredness of end of life and you bring back this sacredness of life.

Speaker 1 (03:15):

And we have got to understand what this journey is about and how we make it the best for everyone in it. In 2015, Michael pollen wrote an article in the new Yorker and the article was titled the trip treatment, okay, catches your attention, doesn’t it. And it’s about psilocybin and it’s about the studies that you know, are being done and the great results that again, patients were having that had extreme fear, extreme anxiety, extreme depression with end of life and the complete, um, opposite of what that emotion is that they, they were having these breakthroughs and that article garnered a lot of attention and started again, we started, you know, it’s been studying again and there’s studies going on right now with the use of psilocybin at the end of life. And there’s a big push and movement as you know, that many things that come about today, especially garner a lot of energy, a lot of debate, a lot of, um, I don’t, I wanted to say healthy, you know, anger or healthy, uh, opposition.

Speaker 1 (04:31):

And it really isn’t healthy. It’s not healthy at all. Actually the way that we live our life right now, it’s, it’s fighting to the death. It’s proving we, we all wanna be right. And so right now there is a lot of ground swell for the use of this being an option for people to end of life. And I can understand why, and we’re gonna talk a little bit about this, but I have some of the most exciting information to share with you on this. So in 2015, Michael poll wrote an article in the new Yorker called the trip treatment. And there are studies in the NYU, the studies in UCLA there’s study in John Hopkins, they’re all doing studies with patients with psilocybin and they’re all having incredible results with them. This is what I want you to know that these studies, why they feel that they are so incredible and they are, the results are really wonderful is because somebody who walked into that session and it’s only one session that they have has what you call this awakening, this breakthrough, this birthing of their consciousness of their soul self within that session. And with your soul self fear goes away. You are now aware that we are all connected to this one, unconditional loving energy. And that’s what they talk about in these studies. They talk about

Speaker 2 (05:56):

That. There’s no, um, time as we know it. So space and time disappears, totally beautiful, right? That everything is about love. And these are what the studies are finding. Not only that, but after this session, this, this breakthrough, this awakening stays with those patients. So it’s not like during or under this, um, trip or whatever they’re having with this medication. That’s the only time that they have relief. It stays with them. So they have this newfound perspective of life. Now here’s what I wanna share with you. There’s so much talk about how magnificent this, this ma magic mushroom, this medication is at end of life and what it’s doing. I wanna share with you that I have been saying the same exact thing for years. My name is Suzanne O’Brien. I am a former hospice and oncology nurse. I have for two decades, worked with those at the end of life.

Speaker 2 (06:56):

And I have been with over a thousand patients at the end of life. And I have to share with you that they say the same exact thing. I have been trying to share this with as many people as I can, that would like to hear this because it changes everything. So what I love about this movement and this, this, um, real focus on this psilocybin and the potential that this medication has is that, wait, wait, everyone, I wanna share with you that this is a naturally occurring experience at the of life. And I wanna share with you why I feel that this happens when we look at quantum physics and we look at now the quantum physics model of reality, everything is energy. And when I’m sitting bedside with patients as their physical body is diminishing, their spiritual body is growing. And there’s a time in that journey that they have one foot in this world and one foot in the next.

Speaker 2 (07:55):

And in my opinion, they go back and forth before they fully leave. Why do I say this? Because they wake up with all this new information and it is exactly what they’re talking about with this breakthrough. With SIL Sabin, they say, I get it. Now. Everything was meant for a reason, everything was so that I could learn to love. We are all connected. There is no such thing as death. It is incredible. The parallel to what my end of life, patients, by the way, in all, from all different backgrounds and cultures and religions say the same things I’m going home, they talk about this one energy that we’re all connected to. So this is so important. Yes. As a study, yes, as an option for those that are in these extreme suffering states at the end of life. But this has such a, a major meaning that we can do this. Now we can understand that this is a naturally occurring experience

Speaker 3 (08:55):

As our physical human personality, part of us, ego, mind diminishes and our heart spiritual center grows. Now I have even more exciting news for you that you do not have to wait. You do not have to wait till the end of life. And of course you shouldn’t right. The whole goal of life is this evolving to find your soul self, your heart self, to let that be your directional, to let that be your truth. That that should be your authentic part of you to get over the hurdles of what we go through in this human journey with, you know, the painful experiences and the imprinting and the people telling us what to do in society and all of the things that are in our ego mind to override that, to get beyond the ego mind and get into your heart mind, because you have two directional that direct you always, you have the ego mind, the analytical, the mental mind, which is very, very small.

Speaker 3 (10:01):

And it’s also gonna be based on all your input. It’s only your input, how you were raised society, <affirmative> society, your family, your schooling, um, all of those imprinting is gonna be what’s the output. And that’s what has us spinning in circles because the ego is always going to want you to feel separate, to have you be fearful, um, on all fronts. And you can see that the chaos of the world today, in my opinion, is greatly related to the ego mind, the collective ego mind, and the lack of this information, because if we knew this information and we understood this human journey, and we understood that we’re all connected to one unconditional loving energy with no judgment, that it’s all about learning. If I knew that, and I believed in my heart that we are all connected, I would want the best for you.

Speaker 3 (10:57):

I would want to have compassion for you. I would not judge you. And so you can see how just that perspective will shift this whole world that we live in. There was a book written and I have, um, just so many things that I wanna share with you about this, uh, Aldo Huxley who wrote, um, and I wanna get his title, correct. The, and it’s about the shifting in perception. Yeah, here it is. Um, it’s all about the change in perception and he talks about, and again, he had a, uh, session that was, you know, um, done, not in a therapeutic legal space and there’s no judgment here, just, it was in, in that timeframe and talks about the shift in perception and how

Speaker 4 (11:52):

That journey for him, again, changed his perception. The doors of perception opened the doors of perception, changed his perception to his whole life moving forward. And I wanna share this with you is that most people have not been with somebody at the end of life and end of life are not going well today for the most part, because we deny it. We don’t talk about it. We really don’t know anything about it. So when it comes up, it’s so full of fear. That’s paralyzing that we just are having these complicated end of lifes, complicated grief, everything around it. Let me ask you this. If we brought back death as a natural part of the life’s journey, if we brought back the teachings like we’re talking about right now, that deaths can offer us, we’re all connected to one loving energy, that there is no death, that there’s a conscious continuation, always that it doesn’t end.

Speaker 4 (12:51):

It just changes that there’s no judgment, that it’s all about love that everything is about love, how much different would our world be? So one of the things that I wanna share with you is the importance of not only in the practical sense, teaching people about end of life and what they would want or not want, and the skills of how to care for somebody they live at the end of life, but also the implications on a spiritual level of a level that is universal. A level that is far beyond this very small lens in which most of us are looking through. And again, if you parallel what the outcome of these studies by UCLA, by NYU, by Johns Hopkins, by so many Harvard, they’re all doing them and they’re coming up with the same incredible results. And that I share with you that you don’t need to take a pill that I have seen this over and over and over again with my end of life patients, as they get closer to the time that they’re leaving.

Speaker 4 (14:03):

And now here is something really beautiful is that you and I can work towards that energy and get super close right now today, it’s the practice. It’s our practice of getting beyond the analytical mind, getting beyond the ego to get into the heart. And that again is your knowing. So I talk about this story all of the time, about my journey to hospice. And this is extremely important to just validate this point about two directionals that you always will have, um, in your experience here. And it’s very important to know which one is talking and when, when to follow and why, when I was a nurse, um, I kept hearing I was in the medical center and I kept hearing go to hospice, go

Speaker 5 (14:50):

To hospice. And I was like, why am I feel getting called to go to hospice? I have no end of life experience. If I left the job that I was in currently, I would be taking a job with less pay more hours and less benefits. It made no sense, analytically, analytically. I kept hearing this. And when I thought of going to hospice, there was just this comfortable feeling like I was meant to do it, even though I had no end of life experience. So I said, I’m just gonna trust this. I’m just gonna see what this is. And the very first day that I went out to see hospice patients, I knew I was in the exact place I was supposed to be in, in my life. And I said, that’s what this is. That’s what this is. It is not being able to analyze it or see it or even know it.

Speaker 5 (15:35):

But it’s to trust in your feeling in your gut, in your knowing in that higher guidance system. And even when you can’t see it to trust in that anyway, and that’s when the magic happens, that’s your heart, that’s your spiritual wisdom. That’s your all-knowing connection to purpose and to what you’re doing here. And at that moment, I said, I am never gonna make another decision. Um, other than not, what do I think it’s gonna be? What do I feel? So every time there is a decision that I have to make, I look at it, but it, I don’t, I don’t say from here I say from here, and it has led me if you’ve been following me and you’ve been part of the doula givers movement, it has led me on a path of purpose. That’s a global movement with so many incredible people that just keeps unfolding.

Speaker 5 (16:25):

And I only just say yes to where the universe is asking me to go. So I wanna share with you that you can learn to do this. You have to learn the chatter of the mind. You have to learn what the ego is doing. And also the ego is always gonna have you feeling separate and lost and confused and depressed or anxious and your heart when it’s guiding you is always gonna feel at peace and joy and connected, even when it doesn’t make analytical sense. So what we have here is one of the most exciting pieces of information with psilocybins at the end of life, not just because of the use that it can be for those at the end of life, which is wonderful. And I know that are veterans are having success with it and people with really, again, deep levels of anxiety and fear at the end of life, that is wonderful, but the much bigger picture that those studies validate exactly what I’m sharing with you, that I have experienced with my patients at the end of life and that we organically will be going through that process. And also that we can start to incorporate that type of energy frequency vibration here today.

Speaker 6 (17:48):

Why wouldn’t we want to, why wouldn’t I wanna stop and again, take time to create that loving space in my heart and to say, where do you want me to go today? Where does my heart want me to be of service? Um, and just be able to love one, another, myself, everything and everyone on this incredible planet. So this today, the ASCA death doula podcast, again, in my opinion, is probably the most important podcast you ever listened to because it has the potential to allow you to understand how you get past the ego, small part of this existence and access that wisdom, all knowing unconditional love that we are all connected to. I wanna thank you so very much for being part of this podcast. Please leave a comment below. I wanna hear from you. If you have any questions on that, we’re gonna do more education on this, for sure. You can. You can count on that because we are in this together. And again, we are here to make this the best, not only end of life, but life for each and every person in it. I love you so much. Have a fantastic day, everyone. This was ask a death doula. I will see you in the next episode.

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