2023 Conference Tour!

I’ll be in the following cities in ’23, check back often for new additions. 

January – July: Evolution Retreats, Negril Jamaica. In residence. Please visit evoretreats.com for exact dates and details. Evo Retreats is a legal psilocybin retreat center set at the magical Tensing Pen in Negril. I’ll be facilitating, giving talks and teaching.

March 30 – April 2: Psychedelics Today presents CONVERGENCE. Please visit www.psychedelicstoday.com/convergence/ for more info. 

April 28 – May 1: The Science of Psychedelics in Phoenix. A plant medicine conference that’s gathering some of the finest minds in the field. 

June 19 – 23: MAPS presents Psychedelic Science in Denver. The world’s largest psychedelic conference. 

Evolution Retreat Center

I am SO honored to be a facilitator at Evolution beginning in January. This is dream come true for me and I couldn’t be more humbled and excited!
 
The Evolution Retreats program utilizes a holistic and individualized approach to psychedelics. Our methods include elements of psychology, mindfulness, neuroscience, and wisdom traditions. Each client is guaranteed a personalized experience that transcends a single ideology, and is appropriate for their life situation and personal development. With the natural elements of our host resort Tensing Pen in Negril, our program lets you escape from the stresses of everyday life.
 
To ensure the sustainable results of our practice, we emphasize the processes of preparation and integration – providing opportunity for real change.
 
Please visit the Evolution Retreat Center website for more info.

NEXT Psychedelic Studies Intensive COHORT - FEB 8th - April 29th 2023

I’m happy to announce that the next cohort will begin on Feb 8th and end on April 29th, 2023. Over 60 students now have gone through the course and have come through it inspired and passionate about the ever changing world of psychedelics in the 21st Century!

Please click here for more information on the course and to enroll! 

I hope to continue to share my journey and knowledge with you. Thank you!

New Book Announcement!

I’m thrilled to announce that my new book “And Now The Work Begins” will be published by SoundsTrue in late 2022 or early 2023. The book serves as a manual for psychedelic integration while taking an exploratory look at set and setting and how it can be re-examined for use in the 21st Century.

My observations over the past few years has shown me where the psychedelic renaissance has succeeded and where its fell short. While the experience of psychedelic journeys can be profound, they can also form escapist patterns if work isn’t put into post-journey integration.

Partnering with SoundsTrue is a dream come true and I’m humbled at the opportunity to share my voice with a larger audience. Please continue to visit my site and listen to the MAPS podcast for updates on the project.

LAMPS 2021 – May 21-23!

I’m honored to be invited back to the LAMPS conference on May 21-23. I’ll be speaking as part of two panels. One on integration and the other on the role psychedelics can play in substance abuse recovery. This event features some of the great minds within the modern day psychedelic movement and is not to be missed. This year is entirely virtual so you can beam in from wherever you may find yourself. Get your tickets now!

event.lampss.org/zachleary

Zachleary.net 2021

After a long hiatus of not having any online presence, I’m back. I was somewhat flattered that zachleary.com is now considered a premium domain and is for sale for a considerable sum. Sadly, that’s not in the cards right now so I had to let it go. This dot net domain name should work though.

For those that know me personally, you know why I went dark for so long. All I can say is thank you for sticking with me and for encouraging me to get healthy and start fresh. It took some time, but I’m feeling good and ready to re-emerge.

For those I harmed in 2019, I can’t even begin to express my regret and embarrassment. That said, I ask for your patience in doing whatever I need to do to make the situation right. It will take time but I promise you that I haven’t forgotten you and am doing everything that I possibly can.

For new friends in my new city, Austin, know that I’m here and am available for a variety of things. Kirtans, talks, psychedelic consults, etc…please feel free to email me at [email protected]

with love

-zl

The Landscape of Being on Team Human

As you traverse the landscape of this thing we call life there are an endless amount of activities to take note of. Some of that activity manifests in a way that takes on physical shape – energy and matter are made of the same stuff, that sort of thing. Other activity takes form in how you see other humans living their life and their own personal lila.

Very quickly – the word lila comes from the sanskrit language and translated it means “divine play” in the context of ones own life. So you’r entire life is a play of divinity in which all the ingredients that make up a play thus make up your life. Success, love, tragedy, heartache, all of it. That’s your lila.

When observing someone elses lila why is that most of us fall into the mode of judgement and ridicule? Why is it that we simply can’t create a world in which literally everyone can live in peace and prosperity without active judgement and persecution?

There may be logical answers to this question. Morality and values comes mind. For instance, someone like Sam Harris can make a very articulate and thoughtful case that in order for our society to evolve that we must take note of ISIS and break down why their entire theosophical way of living is completely fucked up and thus a detractor of progress. I’m certainly not going to spin any new age anti-intellecualism and suggest that who are we to say that our morals are better than theirs? Certainly, I agree that it’s impossible to form a world that abides by a doctrine that says you must kill those that leave the faith. There is a certain barbaric aspect to much of the radical tenets of Wahhabism. I agree.

Where I get lost however, is the suggestion that the entire muslim faith is out of their minds (and then list reasons) much like Harris and Bill Maher do on a regular basis. When one side elevates themselves into a realm of superiority based on logic and reason it gets into the game of separation. No one benefits from saying that 1.6 billion people are out of their minds and need to change the way that live. With the modern world the way that it is that sort of dialogue will do nothing but result in more war, finger pointing, name calling and political escalation that ends up being a policy based excuse to escalate the war machine.

I’m tellling you – this method will not work. I think the doorway in needs to be far more compassionate and systemic.

Until we learn to not install our values on the entire world, no matter what, we will never know peace. I’m not suggesting ISIS gets a free pass but I suspect that if the US didn’t conduct so many foreign policy blunders in the first place that combined with the US idea of manifest destiny that ISIS would be in the forefront of the current conversation. ISIS just didn’t rise out of nowhere, out of nothing. It didn’t just appear because there were such a surplus of radical Islamic practitioners that needed to form their own state, an Islamic State.

If you forgot what the concept and mission of “manifest destiny” is and how it is defined, I encourage you to look it up and revisit it. It is so brazen and arrogant that it may shock your sensible values of the spiritual aspirant.

I initially got worked about this topic because of some podcast that Sam Harris rambled on about when trying to get everyone to read Dabiq, the magazine of ISIS. I too posted the same quest on Facebook thinking that it’s a good idea to understand how everyone is thinking, even if they are mad. It really pissed me of that Sam Harris called Chomsky and Greenwald “dangerous” for suggesting that US foreign policy played a part in ISIS’s hatred to us and that in fact George W. Bush was correct when he said “they hate our freedom.” First of all, Bush was not talking about ISIS when he said that – the landscape was so different back then that’s it not fair to say this was in fact true.

Many dozen global economic chess moves were played for decades that allowed that soil to get so fertile in the first place. Again, these things don’t appear out of nowhere. The basic problems of the US middle east policy still remain true – the presence in Saudi Arabia (the holy land), the support for Israel and the destruction of Iraq that split the country into warring tribal factions that we don’t understand.

Foreign policy dissection aside, I do come back to the idea that the attitude that exists  that suggests being a muslim sympathizer isn’t morally correct is also faulty. I realize that it’s often not so simple but I’m a human being sympathizer. I think we all have a place here to worship, exist and govern in the way that makes sense to ones true nature. The fact remains that a large portion of the global Islamic population enjoys being Islamic. It speaks to their heart and path. Yes, I find many of their extreme dogmatic instructions to be slightly insane –  however, I wish to leave them alone and let them figure out their own karmas. Again, a very powerful coalition of governments telling them that they are dangerous only makes them more dangerous. This is a fact. Instead, if we lead by example and make the opposite of their lifestyle attractive, calm, wise and loving that that will follow by attraction.

A few days later, Harris once again sent something out to his people, a speech that he thinks Hilary Clinton should make in regards to the muslim faith and how her position is different than her opponents. He was right on in saying that “Every religious community must interpret its scripture and adjust its traditions to conform to the modern world.”

That may be the best thing he ever said. The rest gets a little murky because he’s once again making Islam the hyper-focus here when it is not. It’s a symptom of the world not getting along and a symptom of dogma once again leading the left foot along the path.

For as long as we’ve recorded history we have known war. It haunts us like a virus that can’t be killed. What will change? I don’t subscribe to the philosophy that some war is just and therefore we must arm ourselves and constantly prepare because the enemy is near. That is a hallow and empty way to live. That is akin to settling for less. I’d much rater accept that peace is the only option and war is a strange anomaly that happens from time to time, but must be extinguished as quickly as possible when it does. And until we start changing our attitudes in how we see each other on the landscape of life nothing will ever change.

I’m on Team Human. I’m not on Team America, or Team Christian or Team Democracy. I’m on Team Human. I’m not going to go point by point on why 1.6 billion people need to change their way of life. Even if they probably do. But so do the people we now call the “alt-right” (Trump supporters) or so does a country that throws out 50% of it’s food. Think about that. This amazing nation of bounty and progress throws out 50% of the food it makes. Are we that fucked up and self destructive to think that’s ok? To me – that’s just as twisted as Islam extremists murdering women in these so called honor killings. Some people may find that offensive and I don’t mean it to be. I don’t think it’s ok to engage in these honor killings at all, obviously. But the point is no one here is getting out free of charge. No one can turn the lens on the other and place blame entirely on them.

Once again – I’m on Team Human. We all need to collectively view our part in this lila and take accountability for what we can immediately fix within our own sphere of influence. We need to do this while we simulatneously stop pointing fingers at others and what it is THEY need to do. If we could all exhibit a little humility here and admit that we’re in this together and we’re all complicit in the insanity, then we may have a chance in fixing all this.

Reality and Practice

Real time excerpts from my upcoming book “Who Are You Now? Technology, spirituality and the search for our very own identity”

Whatever you think reality is. That’s not it. That’s why these practices are so important. They are methods which can pierce the veil which then allows us to view things as they really are. Yoga, meditation, kirtan, psychedelics, making art, whatever..they all reveal the same a-ha moment. It’s just that those moments are short and fleeting. That’s why we do them regularly.The true value in any practice is the remembering, the taking it with you in everything you do. The Gita defines it “as remembering Krishna in every action you perform.” When you do that, this thing we call reality has more meaning and can certainly be a lot more fun to play around in.