Here are our responses to questions we receive most often from journeyers like you.
Psilocybin is the active ingredient in more than 200 species of magic mushrooms and truffles. Psilocybin-containing fungi are found in various environments such as tropical and subtropical humid forests, and are also cultivated indoors by professional and amateur mycologists.
Although psilocybin and the fungi that contain it are still illegal in many parts of the world, the stigma surrounding their use is fading quickly due to the recent surge of positive research studies, anecdotal accounts, and companies championing the use of psychedelics.
Psilocybin has been used by human beings throughout history for spiritual and personal growth purposes. Ancient rock art in Algeria and Spain depicting mushroom use are estimated to be thousands of years old.
According to the “Stoned Ape Theory” originated by Terence McKenna, an American ethnobotanist and psychedelics advocate, the discovery of magic mushrooms about 200,000 years ago was responsible for birthing language, strengthening community, and the doubling in size of the human brain.
Psilocybin is widely regarded by researchers and advocates as safe for human consumption. In a 2010 study that ranked the safety of various drugs based on measurements of the ways in which a drug harms the individual and others, psilocybin was shown to be the safest out of 20 substances. It was a full 12x safer than alcohol and more than 4x safer than tobacco. Safety during the psilocybin experience can be augmented with simple factors such as having a guide present and being in a quiet indoor space or a secluded outdoor area.
Research suggests that psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy can lead to improvements in symptoms of depression, anxiety, OCD, addiction, and other psychosomatic conditions. It can also produce mystical states in which journeyers experience other-worldly visions or feelings of unconditional love, compassion, and peace. In addition to the clinical research, there are plenty of personal stories from those who have experienced the benefits of psilocybin.
Many who are suffering from depression and anxiety have benefitted from using psilocybin in a safe setting with proper mental and emotional support. Those who commit to the process of sitting with and developing curiosity about difficult emotions may enjoy tremendous growth and healing with the support of psilocybin. Personally, we have worked with countless journeyers who have enjoyed significant improvements in their mental health by incorporating mushrooms into their lives.
Committing to a regular microdosing schedule for a few weeks or months can be a safe and effective start toward establishing long-lasting change. For some, positive results can manifest almost overnight, while for others, several days, weeks, or months are necessary for the benefits to become clear. Developing one’s capacity to practice faith, fortitude, and patience in the midst of difficulties is an important aspect of the work.
We recommend taking a holistic approach when working through depression and anxiety, seeking to understand and work with these conditions rather than attempting to rid yourself of them. Along with taking mushrooms, it’s vital to take steps to develop a strong support network, establish healthy routines, and practice gratitude and generosity.
Please see this Antidepressant & Psychedelic Drug Interaction Chart.
If you want to learn more about drug interactions or receive a personalized consultation, please consider exploring the work of Spirit Pharmacist and/or Dr. Emily Kulpa.
As a general rule, we request that you commit to tapering off certain medications as a prerequisite for working with us, as many pharmaceutical substances are contraindicated for psilocybin and can have adverse effects on your mental health.
Some people have used microdosing as a way to help them transition from certain medications, while others prefer to have completely tapered off previous medications before starting with mushrooms.
We suggest you consult with experienced medical and/or mental health professionals who are familiar with psychedelic substances, and can advise and support you during the often difficult process of replacing medication with mushrooms.
In most parts of the world, mushrooms and/or psilocybin are still illegal. However, thanks to the growing number of success stories and medical studies showing the efficacy of psilocybin, the stigma is fading quickly and some governments are moving toward legalization.
A few US cities (Denver, Oakland, Ann Arbor, Santa Cruz, Cambridge, Somerville, Northamptom, Easthampton, Detroit, Seattle) have decriminalized psychedelics, and one US state (Oregon) has passed legislation to legalize psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy. Several other cities and states are working on similar initiatives. To see a more complete overview of decriminalization efforts in the US, please see this page.
In Costa Rica, magic mushrooms and psilocybin are not mentioned in any law. Additionally, there is a law prohibiting prosecution for consuming something that comes from the earth. Costa Rica is one of the countries with the most relaxed rules related to psychedelic substances, with a number of retreat centers and facilitators working openly without issue.
For a more complete overview on the legality of psilocybin around the world, please see this page.
Our programs are tailored for individuals and couples who are willing and able to dedicate the time, energy, and resources necessary to realize optimum healing and personal growth. The ideal Mushroom Tao participant is humble, respectful, open, coachable, generous, and financially stable. Participants should be at least 21 years old.
We offer intensive private retreat programs that include a 3- or 7-night retreat in Costa Rica, along with at-home preparation and integration before and after the retreat.
We also offer flexible at home microdosing programs for those who wish to begin the mushroom journey in the comfort of their own homes.
If these programs do not meet your specific needs, please consider visiting psychedelic support, psychable, psychedelic experience, or tripsitters directory to explore other options.
We offer a free consultation to nearly everyone who reaches out with sincere intentions. Even if our programs may not be a good fit for you, we are happy to connect with you and help you explore other options.
No, we are not licensed therapists.
We have developed confidence in our capabilities as psychedelic professionals through our extensive experience organizing retreats and holding compassionate space for hundreds of journeyers.
If you are looking for licensed practitioners for private journey work, please consider visiting psychedelic support, psychable, psychedelic experience, or tripsitters directory to explore additional options.
We keep all personal information strictly confidential. If you participate in the retreat program, we only share your information with those providing care during your retreat for the purpose of optimizing your experience.
In terms of psychedelic substances, we work solely with psilocybin. During our in-person retreats, we also work with cacao as a heart-opening medicine to enhance your experience.
We do offer distance support for those who are microdosing on a regular schedule as part of the at home program.
We do not provide formal tripsitting services for those who ingest larger doses of mushrooms or other psychedelics without our physical presence. Of course, if you have an emergency and we are available, we will do our best to support you.
Please call the fireside project at 623-473-7433 for any psychedelic emergencies.
We have options for you to pay by credit/debit card or bank transfer. We will share this information with you on the Signal App once we decide to work together.
Our retreat programs are personalized multi-week journeys consisting of three phases, including at-home preparation (3-6 weeks), an intensive 3- or 7-night retreat in Costa Rica with two or three mushroom ceremonies, and at-home integration (8 weeks).
Our retreat program is for those who are willing to make a long-term commitment to personal evolution, which includes facing your emotions, shadows, and insecurities with compassion and courage.
Coachability, humility, openness, honesty, and curiosity are among the traits we look for in our retreat program participants. Participants should have a strong support network of people with whom they can discuss life’s most important questions.
Finally, because of the significant monetary commitment necessary to participate, journeyers should have abundant financial resources.
We endeavor to provide the ideal preparation and integration support you need, guided by our intuition as experienced facilitators. The amount and type of support you require may vary from day to day and week to week.
Some days you may feel like you are moving with grace and confidence, while other days you may feel down, confused, or frustrated. Some days, you may want to talk things through, and other days you might feel best in silence. We are here to flow with your process. You are the leader in many ways, and we are here to encourage you.
To best support you through the process, we are happy to engage through video calls, text messages, and voice messages.
During the preparation phase, we provide you with access to high-quality medicine and help you develop a microdosing protocol. Microdosing is a gentle and flexible way to start experiencing the benefits of psilocybin without making drastic changes to your daily schedule.
We offer emotional support and provide recommendations to helpful resources.
We can help you set or clarify your intentions, and remind you to develop a holistic view of your life, including diet, community, spiritual practice, environment, work, and relationships.
The preparation phase allows us to get to know each other and build trust so you feel increasingly comfortable to be yourself and release what is no longer serving you.
During the retreat, you will begin practicing integration in an ideal setting. After you return home, you will work to embody the insights you received during your mushroom journeys. Integration can be a lifelong process.
Just like the preparation period, we will be here to support you during your integration process. We will be available through text and voice messaging, as well as audio and video calls. We are happy to connect you with a community of journeyers and psilocybin professionals who may be helpful for you.
Your private retreat takes place at a beautiful retreat center or villa in the pristine nature of Costa Rica such as Thea Retreats. You’ll be surrounded by trees, flowers and wildlife. We will choose a retreat location that feels most aligned with your intentions and needs.
Your private chef will create delicious vegan meals made with local and organic ingredients to nourish you throughout the retreat. Meal times offer us an opportunity to share, connect, and practice gratitude together.
There will be two or three mushroom ceremonies held every other day on retreat, with a day in between to give you time to integrate your experiences and insights. These ceremonies will connect you with a wide range of human emotions, both pleasant and challenging. We’ll be here to help you process and make sense of your experiences.
During your integration days, you may decide to swim in the ocean, lay on the beach, hike, or visit nearby waterfalls. If you feel like being alone for a period of time, we are happy to accommodate your wishes.
To help you prepare for and integrate each ceremony, we’ll invite expert practitioners of different healing modalities, including massage, craniosacral therapy, sound healing, restorative yoga and meditation, to support your journey. These practices will help you relax and process your experience.
During the retreat, we are always available to listen, discuss, answer questions, and give all the hugs you need.
We consider the at-home preparation and integration program vital to getting the most from your retreat experience. Accordingly, we work with those who want to commit to a multi-week process, as opposed to only the retreat.
The energy exchange we request for the 3-night retreat program starts at $9,500 USD for individuals and $11,500 USD for couples.
The energy exchange we request for the 7-night retreat program starts at $19,500 USD for individuals and $23,500 USD for couples.
These figures may vary based on your needs and special requests, location availability, and the current demand for our offerings. The energy exchange must be received in full prior to getting started and is non-refundable.
As part of our commitment to sacred reciprocity, we automatically contribute 10% of the energy exchange to non-profit organizations such as Rainforest Trust, Oceana, Dhamma, and First Nations Development Institute.
If the retreat program is over your budget range, you may consider starting with the at home microdosing program, which is a more affordable and flexible option. For price-accessible in-person mushroom experiences, you can explore your options with psychedelic support, psychable, psychedelic experience, or tripsitters directory.
Please fill out the application form at the end of this page with your motivations and personal information. If we feel like we can support your journey, we will respond with an invitation to the Signal App, where we can set up a video call to connect. This first conversation will allow us to get to know you better and understand your intentions, while giving you an opportunity to ask any questions you may have. We use Signal because it is encrypted and safe for sensitive communications.
Yes. Sharing this journey with your partner can be a transformative and bonding experience.
Still, every couple differs in their relationship trajectories. While some couples may feel closer than ever during the mushroom journey, others may feel like they need some time apart to process as individuals. Psychedelic experiences magnify the underlying qualities of the relationship, often strengthening the connection among couples who are already in relatively stable, healthy, and harmonious relationships.
Whether you decide to journey alone or with your partner is ultimately a personal decision for you and your loved one to consider.
We request that loved ones do not come to the retreat simply to observe. Instead, they need to be full participants from start to finish, which means filling in an application form and having a video consultation with us. You may have your initial call together or separately.
Before each ceremony, we prepare you for the experience with a session of sound healing, massage, yoga, or other therapeutic modality. At the start of the ceremony, we gather together in a circle, sit in meditation, connect in prayer, share our intentions, and review ground rules.
After you consume the mushrooms in your preferred manner (either eaten whole or ground up in lemon juice, which intensifies and accelerates the onset of the journey), we invite you to lay on a mattress indoors with eyeshades on or your eyes closed.
After a few moments in silence, we will turn on a curated playlist of healing music to accompany your journey. We sit with you and support you during the entire ceremony. Afterwards, we will share a nourishing meal and talk about what we experienced.
We work with you in a personal and holistic way to determine the proper dosage. We take many factors into account, such as your level of preparation, comfort, past use of medications or substances, and body weight. In general, we offer dosages of 1 - 10 grams of dried mushrooms.
We take a microdose while we sit with you. This helps us drop in to the experience and feel more connected to you and your journey.
We are fortunate to source our mushrooms from trusted local growers who tend to the mushrooms with love and organic care.
We have developed several playlists to include a wide variety of tracks from a number of traditions and cultures (Native, Sikh, Buddhist, Western Classical). Playlists feature a mixture of chanting and instrumental tracks with the predominant sounds of flute, piano, violin, drums, and rattles. You can preview our playlists on Spotify.
Private retreats will always have at least two full-time facilitators. We also bring on a private chef, sound healers, massage therapists, and other skilled practitioners to optimize your experience.
We do not have formal dietary restrictions for those coming on retreat, but we do recommend that journeyers eat as clean as possible while reducing consumption of animal products, processed food, alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, cannabis, and other substances. Each journeyer is different, and we are happy to discuss your specific dietary situation on a video call.
On retreat, all meals are prepared vegan.
In order to participate in a retreat with us, we request proof of a negative PCR test result dated within 3 days prior to arriving at the retreat location.
Yes, before starting a retreat program with us, we request that you sign a standard medical and liability waiver.
The at home microdosing program begins with an initial video consultation through Signal App, where we get to know you and your intentions, while giving you an opportunity to ask any questions you may have.
You will receive access to our favorite quality-sourced mushroom products.
Throughout the program, we will support you with personalized coaching through text and voice messaging, along with connections to psilocybin support guides, psychedelic communities, and educational resources.
The at home microdosing program is for anyone who wishes to develop a relationship with psilocybin in the comfort of your own home, with the support of experienced coaches who can provide you with a consistent and trustworthy supply of high-quality mushroom products.
This program is ideal for those who are looking for a psilocybin retreat or personal tripsitter, but want to get started right away.
The at home microdosing program is a meaningful way to begin integrating a past psilocybin experience while staying connected with the mushroom spirit.
We also work with healers, therapists, and coaches who want to experiment with a different modality, either for personal use or to share with their clients.
Yes, we can help you access high-quality mushroom products from a trustworthy source.
Great! Please fill out the application at the bottom of this page with a bit of information about yourself and your intentions. If we feel like we can support your journey, we will respond with an invitation to the Signal App, where we can schedule an introductory video call. We use Signal because it is encrypted and safe for sensitive communications.
You can get started with the at home microdosing program for $180 USD. This is the most flexible and affordable way to start working with us.
We are happy to explore collaborations with service professionals and retreat locations, as well as individuals who have experienced the benefits of psilocybin and/or other psychedelics and wish to work with us.
We are especially keen on hearing from collaborators who:
• Own or manage a retreat center or property and want to offer the space for mushroom retreats. The ideal space:
- is secluded in nature
- has a ground-floor ceremony space (platform, deck, maloka, large room) with nearby restroom access
• Support coaching or therapy clients and would like to introduce them to psilocybin
• Specialize in a therapeutic modality (equine, art, massage, craniosacral, sound, yoga, breathwork, watsu, somatic, etc.) and want to share their offerings at a retreat
• Are a professional vegan chef and want to offer services at a retreat
If you resonate with any of the above or have other ideas for collaboration, feel free to reach out using the form on this page. At present, we do not offer regular volunteer opportunities directly through Mushroom Tao. However, if you want to direct time, energy, and resources to a volunteer project in the psilocybin / psychedelics space, we may be able to offer volunteer research or writing opportunities for tripsitters. If you would like to explore these opportunities further, please reach out using the form on this page.