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Sept. 12, 2022

The Mystic in the Float Tank - Spontaneous Awakening & Integration w/ Beni Summers

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So you’ve had a psychedelic or psychedelic adjacent experience. What comes next? This week we sit down with Beni Summers, Rabbinic Intern at Shefa: Jewish Psychedelic Supports, to discuss psychedelic integration, float tanks, Buddhist psychology, and Jewish mysticism as we cultivate a deeper understanding of ecstatic states and the fruits they bear.

"Something that floating taught me was that I have, or that we as people, have the whole keyring with every key attached to our being. I used to think that you had to go out and find the keys, in a book, in a pill, in a song - and yes, they're out there but they are already inside of us." - Beni Summers

Jewish Psychedelic Integration

  • Rachel intros Shefa and the Jewish Entheogenic Society and how it supported her during her psychedelic explorations
  • Aaron shares his early experience with floating and how it reminded him of his first mushroom journey
  • Beni explains Shefa’s origins in a John Hopkins study where high doses of psilocybin were given to clergy of different faiths


Beni’s Story of Awakening

  • Beni shares an early experience of spontaneous awakening that occurred after getting lost in the Sahara desert
  • Beni’s horrific experience with hash cookies and how it led to a deep curiosity around the nature of consciousness
  • How Beni turned to the contemplative arts of mindfulness and meditation in order to integrate his experiences of expanded consciousness


Floating into Revelation

  • Beni’s introduction to float tanks, his initial disappointment, and the opening he discovered after his third float
  • How Beni became interested in altered states of conscious through doing research on Dr John Lily, the investor of the float tank
  • How the Buddhist orientation to the mind describes what is happening to the self when we have spontaneous endogenous awakenings
  • How the sensory deprivation of the float tank allows the mind to focus on areas that are normally attention deprived areas and allow for personal revelation
  • Beni shares his advice on how to have a powerful float tank experience
  • Rachel and Aaron share their own experiences of spontaneous awakening


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Beni SummersProfile Photo

Beni Summers

Rabbinical Student

Beni is a fourth year rabbinical student at Hebrew College in Boston. He has worked in a wide range of Jewish organizations for the past ten years, most notably as a Moreh Ruhaniyut (Spiritual Teacher) for several congregations, camps and schools up and down the east coast of the US. Beni currently serves as the Rabbinic Intern for Shefa: Jewish Psychedelic Support, offering online Integration Circles and classes in the Torah of Expanded States. He hosts a contemplative community called Sit & Sing in his home, and studied contemplative neuroscience at Lesley University. He has taught meditation to teens on retreats, and in communities around the Boston area. He is a lover of electronic dance music and is an avid festival goer, and just returned from journeys at Lightning In A Bottle and Electric Forest.