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July 11, 2022

Connectors: Psychedelics as a Gateway to Mystical Experience w/ Scott Vineberg


In Tantra Yoga, the left-hand path provides a means to access deep spiritual wisdom by engaging in the use of substances and practices often considered taboo. Specifically, psychedelics like LSD, mushrooms, ayahuasca, DMT, and iboga can provide similar insights as years of disciplined meditation and spiritual practice if approached with the proper attitude and intention. 

In this episode, we sit down with long-time psychedelic facilitator, qigong practitioner, and social entrepreneur Scott Vineberg to discuss his unique perspective on psychedelic journeywork informed by his practice and study of various spiritual traditions. Plus, we explore the emerging consensus that psychedelic-assisted awakenings need not be as difficult and confronting when aided by temperance and thoughtful preparation.

Whether you are a newcomer looking to dip your toe in the waters of psychedelic therapy or a practiced sadhu already walking the path, this episode delivers wisdom and unique perspectives.

“It’s fascinating to me that we can even just puff something to get these shortcuts to what many of the Kabbalistic mystics and mystics in all the traditions talk about as generally only the fruit of significant meditative labor. And then you might or might not get it at any point in your life. And here, whether you've done the work or not, you can take a couple of puffs, and you get a taste." - Scott Vineberg


Awakenings on the Left-Hand Path

  • Rachel and Aaron share their inspiration for the podcast.
  • Aaron’s background of awakening as mediated by substances and how that set him on the left hand path.
  • Rachel’s background in modern Jewish orthodoxy and how meditation changed her life.


Scott Vineberg - Seeker and Psychedelic Facilitator

  • Scott’s Jewish upbringing and how it supported an early interest in wisdom traditions.
  • Scott’s observation that academic study is no substitute for spiritual practices like yoga and meditation.
  • Scott describes his LSD-mediated breakthrough and how drugs like LSD and mushrooms exposed him to spiritual and mystical experiences beyond conventional religious practice.
  • Scott tells the story of his first Ayahuasca ceremony and how that led to ten years of hosting Ayahuasca, San Pedro, and Peyote shamans in Los Angeles.


Psychedelics, God, and Religion

  • Iboga as an enabler of conversations with the Divine.
  • The western concept of God as an angry, masculine, judgmental force and the idea that God is a reflection of the culture we are raised in.
  • Using psychedelics and Sufi wisdom to access “God as friend.”


Tips for Psychedelic Experiencing and Awakening

  • Objective realities in journeywork and how we can access shared states through energy work and qigong.
  • Challenging the idea that psychedelic experiences need to be intense and confronting and the value of doing smaller doses in comfortable environments.
  • Scott's personal experience of achieving breakthrough on 5-MeO-DMT with gentle doses.
  • How Kabbalah, Tibetan Buddhism, Tantra, and other mystical traditions serve as frameworks for facilitating subtle endogenous DMT experiences.
  • The importance of intention, preparation and integration to support breakthroughs achieved on psychedelics.
  • Using sex, food and other substances as tools to further integrate spiritual awareness into everyday life.
  • Exploring and deepening subtle awareness in waking states with San Pedro and microdosing.
  • Using mushrooms and cannabis as gentle introductions to altered states and journeywork.
  • How to find the right shaman, guide or circle for exploring psychedelics.


“You get the God in the interface that you’re capable of handling and that you project into.” - Scott Vineberg

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Scott Vineberg Profile Photo

Scott Vineberg

Social Entrepreneur / Psychedelic Facilitator / Qigong Practitioner

Scott is father to two young women and has been a versatile social entrepreneur for 35 years: starting & leading restaurant, hospitality, fashion, retail, e-commerce, data coop and real estate businesses, non-profit start-ups in youth mentoring and integrative health, and start-up social enterprises including board-shops that employed at-risk youth. Scott is a regular qigong practitioner since 1998, lifelong mystic philosopher, nondualist, and Chassidic Jew. He has hosted and led hundreds of community gatherings, council circles & ceremonies including Ayahuasca & Huachuma based at his community spaces in Topanga. Currently co-founder of Eden.CoOp - a democratic & soulful community cooperation dedicated to discerning and activating the top ‘trim tabs’ (or: ‘key force multipliers’) to make the world work for all.