Preparation Support for Mystical Experiences
Non-Ordinary States of Consciousness
Who might benefit from this therapeutic service?
➢ Anyone who is considering a modality to induce an altered state
➢ Anyone who feels they need support in understanding the scope of states available in journeying outside of our ordinary consciousness
What is a N.O.S.E? This is an umbrella term used to describe a range of states outside of what we currently consider normal. Some of these are listed on the image above.
What is a N.O.S.E really like? Without having investigated any other state than your everyday way of being it can be very difficult to describe an altered reality in advance. It is almost like trying to describe the taste of a strawberry or an apple to someone who has never tasted fruit. The intensity of the experience can also play a role, or the modality used, or the depth of the trauma endured (you might be projected into a non ordinary state of consciousness as a result of a traumatic experience, e.g. a prolonged sense of pain, a surgical investigation, an attack, being trapped, an accident or some form of torture) –if this last piece is familiar you may wish to read through the Integration section for support.
We have been considering the nature of consciousness, and non ordinary states for some time now. Cosmic consciousness and its role in the universe can be accessible in a transpersonal experience. Our ordinary understanding of who we are can change considerably as a direct response to a N.O.S.E.
Helping individuals work with these non-ordinary states involves acknowledging the importance of preparation beforehand (if solicited) as well as integrating it afterward. This can involve setting intentions, create a plan that includes scheduling time afterward (to let the experience sink in), and processing the experience in a way that will facilitate understanding and growth.
Planning on a journey into the unknown?
Depending on your issues, a N.O.S.E can support therapy for some but not replace it. It must be stressed that experience with non-ordinary states should only be undertaken in very carefully constructed situations, and that this technique of self-exploration is not suitable for everyone. But for the vast majority of ordinary seekers – people whose pain and confusion has led them to get help, or those who wish to Q – Who Am I? – this method of self-exploration holds great rewards and the possibility of profound transformation (I reference a respected Shamanic Practitioner here, Martin Duffy, on a paper he wrote with colleagues). Navigating your normal everyday reality, afterwards, making use of the material that comes up, and moving into a new sense of self awareness means putting new practices into place after the experience, over a period of integration time.
We can support you towards preparing for a N.O.S.E,
but cannot advocate certain entheogenic ceremonial practices
as they are currently not legal in Ireland.
Why would someone consciously approach a non ordinary state experiences?
More recently people have begun searching for answers to a deep seated suspicions that something is missing in their lives. Feelings of disconnection and depression are driving people to choose modalities that allow them to expand outwards and meet a part of themselves yet unknown. As religious beliefs drop away, people are drawn to collective creative experiences that offer an opportunity to meet a version of Spirit or the Divine that makes more sense to them directly. These modalities can include meditation, breathwork, medicinal herbs, dance (movement medicine, 5 rhythms), shamanic practices (drumming, soul retrieval, fasted long dances). There are other ways people can create altered states of consciousness, less common, like taking an entheogen (a class of psychoactive substances that induces a type of spiritual experience aimed at development or sacred use). If used in a ceremonial way, with supportive teams of people, these methods can be very revealinng and life changing.
So now you think you are ready to be a Psychonaut or a Sailor of your own mind?
Being Prepared Versus Being Ready for an Awakening
It is important to make a distinction between being prepared for an awakening and being ready. I’m defining readiness as something that only your spirit (some call it a soul, others higher self) can decide. If you ego defense system is impenetrable, i.e. your narrative around Who I Am and your sense of identity is too tightly woven, you can feel ready to approach an alternative method of healing but without preparing the ground you might experience a blockage or a misinterpretation of the information, This can produce the opposite objective – e.g anxiety outcomes.
Positive reasons to consciously consider other states
Beyond providing remarkable journeys through the ´mind´, exploring or experiencing a non ordinary state can provide shifts in creativity, problem solving, and cognitive ability.
A recent study showed a cross section of people, dying of chronic illnesses, reduced their fear responses as direct result of a solicited altered state experience. Johns Hopkins clinical pharmacologist Roland Griffiths talks about a major new study where participants voluteered to experience a non ordinary state, and how the overarching positive results showed a massive change in their attitude of Death. Such methods could be suggested in the future as a tool of therapeutic intervention for people presenting with a deep seated fear of letting go or surrendering to dying- yet to be legitimised (interview).
What does this system of therapy consider?
This Preparation system is designed to suit your needs. You are a unique person, with a unique script & story. You might be experiencing a sense of urgency to do things differently. It can be difficult to translate that need first. During a N.O.S.E, parts of our story that have been buried away through lack of expression, numbing, shyness, bullying etc., can come to the surface and find a voice. We live in one of the most connected times on earth but never before have we been so lonely, so alienated from each other, from ourselves, and from the natural world. Whether this manifests as having difficulty finding community, feeling anxious about your worthiness and place in the world, or simply feeling disconnected, the absence of belonging is the great silent wound of our times. A N.O.S.E can offer you a window into removing ego structures, which means your narrative, or who you are in the World, becomes less important. This, believe it or not, creates a sense of freedom. It is important to prepare the terrain for these new understandings before you crank open the doors of perception. Using a set of self inquiry methods to give you a deeper sense of peace before you take the leap into unknown territory can help free up the constructs of identity and make room for the updates to come through. What is hidden may astound you but it can also sometimes shock you!
From a harm reduction perspective, I feel that it makes sense to consider that sometimes extreme reactions can occur. Those who are already suffering weak resources, fragile nervous systems or disorganised identities can be left with a sense of overwhelming dread that is uncomfortable to manage. How innately resourced a person is has a great deal to do with the degree of secure attachment received in infancy and childhood. Individuals who lacked secure attachment are more likely to develop responses in circumstances that might disturb a securely attached person but not create the same a strong impact. It is evident that some people are more robust than others. Life runs more smoothly. Challenges are fewer. This is very much to do with the resources that we inherited and learnt. Our Preparation system will endeavour to guide you into making the right decisions about how ready you are to take the leap into the unknown.
But why prepare? I have been told an expansive non-ordinary-state experience will heal me!
There is no one experience that matches another. Everyone´s perspective is different. Your reaction and how you engage with the journey will be very specific to you. Someone who has never done any self process work, therapy/counselling, bodywork, or meditation would be advised to try out these methods of self inquiry before diving into the arena of N.O.S.E., by choice. Why, because using these techniques will bolster your psychical mental and emotional body so that you are in the best condition you can be in to accommodate the potential shock that an expansive ego dissolving non ordinary state journey. Each of those aforementioned methods can bring themselves offer you awareness’s and alter the field of consciousness in themselves, but at a pace that your body is able for. Meditation, for example, can offer you to the potential to develop a capacity to alter your consciousness in a gentle way, and support you by taking the time out to reduce the constant thinking, and busy mind, minimizing thoughts that reflect discomfort. Acknowledging your need to develop a foundation of self understanding before pushing yourself into unknown terrain might not be the most fun step but it is the most intelligent step.
Grounding your life experience and building a foundation is all part of the Preparation!
What part does integration play, and what do I need to consider before the experience?
There can be a period of time after a N.O.S.E where you feel elated or invincible (often a welcome state after a lifetime of discomfort for some). It is suggested to give yourself time to digest new information. Rather than jumping ahead and making dramatic life changing decisions, after a N.O.S.E, it is best to let the new revelations settle. We prepare people to understand this concept in advance. You know that time is required and have a plan in place. A system of self tracking gives way to making space for any revelations that are yet to appear. A Time To Gather was setup to support you to plan your journey to include an integration in a way that will suit your storyline.
N.B: We cannot setup an N.O.S. experience, or recommend outside facilitation methods. This service was developed to support YOU to make your own decisions relating to how or where you will choose to explore your mind.
THE SUPPORT SYSTEM
What can I expect from this therapeutic support system?
In considering working towards a N.O.S.E many factors are considered. Firstly we have you fill out a carefully formulated questionnaire, to get a sense of your history and current state of health. This is relating to Mind, Body and Spirit.
Evaluating your responses might result in a referral for a different therapeutic approach. If we decide to work together, where your state of well-being has been positive enough to use our model, we move forward to Stage 2.
Stage 2 is a person to person online session which allows us to go over together the criteria for this modality, the contract between us and the way the therapy will flow. This is a Getting To Know you session. From here we will either agree or disagree to work together.
Stage 3 is delivery of your personalised directive for this journey. This can involve the following principles:
With the conscious traveller, deciding to move into altered states, we need to look at the potential of anxiety, and how it can be avoided using the correct methods of preparation and evaluation. Checking that the landing pad is secure and strong and giving yourself compassionate leave is one aspect. Gauging your timing maybe something a consultation could assist you on. This system of therapy offers systematic steps to help you evaluate your readiness, using an integrative system of C.BT., Dreamwork, Nervous System Assessment, Photosynthesis, Archetypal Awareness, Re-parenting concepts, Re-identification methods and other techniques.
So what does a transpersonal psychotherapeutic approach look like? Increasing numbers of licensed mental health professionals incorporate diverse healing methods into their clinical practices. Within this practice no assumptions are made or directives involving specific worldviews. This perspective tends to recognise the multiplicity of the human experience from a peri-prenatal training system.
Individual therapy sessions online, to include pre and post experience. In helping individuals work towards considering a non-ordinary states, I believe it is important to prepare for the experience beforehand as well as integrating it afterward. This is a directed systematic self awareness programme which includes somatic enquiry, tools and tasks to look inwards and methodology on self tracking. Here you will discover your own willingness to self education on the meaning of consciousness and a collaborative approach to considering the areas of your narrative that may need re-scripting. This includes considering your own identity through persona assessment and wondering if there are parts of yourself that you are willing to retrain.
Is it the right time?
Looking inward means that before you fall into the illusion that a N.O.S.E will cure all, you are willing to clean out the wound before putting on the bandage. This model involves
- Proving your capacity for self tracking
- Having a sense of your own awareness – who are you really?
- Demonstrating an ability to keep a journal of behaviors beforehand
- Processing experiences in a way that will facilitate healing and growth.
- Education on the different N.O.S.E
- Re-parenting concepts
- Book and theory reviews
RE-IDENTIFICATION – In order to navigate some of the changes and challenges that may come your way, as a direct result of an -awakening- this system looks at the concept of mis-identification with a view to re-identifying. Confused? It is something like Unbecoming in order to Become with the suggestion that over time, as you start to wonder more about who you are, you can begin by deciding who you are not. Together we will move through your history as a person, where things were sent underground and what became hidden.
‘Last year, a friend of mine recommended Tanya to me.After an initial phone call we agreed to a series of video phone callsspread over several weeks. Tanya listened very carefully and compassionately to my combination of symptoms. She very quickly used her experience and training to point me in the right direction. My symptoms were physical, emotional and psychological.
Tanya put a lot of time between sessions on putting together a combination of treatments tailored for my issues/problems. I felt she was very genuine in her efforts to help me and that my well-being mattered to her, that I wasn’t just another client.’