Community, Diversity, Governance, & Scholarships

“As we begin together – acknowledging our shared purpose and desire of coming together to more deeply understanding healing from a holistic perspective, while recognizing and honoring that we are each unique and different in terms of our profession, culture, country of origin, race, religion, neurology, sexual orientation, gender, language, training and more and everyone is coming to this with their own unique perspective and experience.”

-A statement of acknowledgment often shared before classes written by a student

Notice of Non-Discrimination and Prohibition of Harassment

Committed to equity of transformational opportunity, the Center for Medicinal Mindfulness does not discriminate in offering access to its programs, activities, or employment on the basis of race, color, gender, age, national or ethnic origin, caste, religion, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, responsible psychedelic medicine use, or any other status protected by law.

 

We Are a Multicultural, Multifaith Community of Professional Psychedelic Medicine Practitioners.

The Center for Medicinal Mindfulness is a family owned “Legacy Lifestyle Company,” LGBTQ+ and woman led, with a strong commitment to ensuring that our teams are representative of the communities we serve. As “Legacy Practitioners,” meaning we’ve been psychedelic practitioners for a long time, we understand to a degree what it means to live under systems of oppression. A “Lifestyle” company is a business term denoting a company that is managed differently than a typical startup or a corporation seeking exponential growth. In that regard, we remain fiercely independent from corporate interests, live with our roots in mainstream progressive politics and work every day for social and environmental justice. We strive to be good neighbors, locally and globally, and to be exemplars for ethical and moral action, acknowledging our sacred differences of lived experience, as well as our interconnectivity, oneness and familia.

The Center for Medicinal Mindfulness is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, with all clients, students, staff and practitioners feeling respected and valued for their intersectional identities. Racism, homophobia, antisemitism and gun violence (among many others) are public health crises that result in significant trauma for millions of people around the globe. 

The use of “They/Them” pronouns for those who request them in our community is common and accepted etiquette, and we also recognize and accept that not everyone uses them correctly every single time.

While we hold a very important trauma-informed clinical orientation, and value science and research, we choose to work with both licensed mental health providers as well as competent guides from other professional practices and spiritual traditions. This orientation supports greater inclusion within the field of psychedelic medicines, while simultaneously honoring the sacred as equally important and real.

As an organization, we believe in and trust the innately sacred, ceremonial and spiritual nature of psychedelic medicine experiences. We take the professional stance that ethical guides are required to know the inner terrain through their own medicine practices, and we oppose constraining psychedelic experiences within a solely clinical or medical model of practice. Spiritual and aesthetic practices are equally essential.  Professionally, we take the stance that psychedelic medicines do not exist separately from the history of their lineages. 

We meet our clients and students where they are and honor the spectrum of beliefs, both secular and religious, that our members personally hold. As a program orientation, however, we hold an animist and Earth-centered worldview, and recognize that the sacred spaces we enter into are in some way very real experiences, and those we meet even in this innerspace can become deeply meaningful transpersonal relationships.  We honor the lineages that we hold as a community, show gratitude for our elders, all of our ancestors, the land and Earth, and acknowledge the Spirits of these medicines as important allies and equal members of our community. 

 

Concrete Steps We Are Taking – Reciprocity & Paying It Forward

The Center for Medicinal Mindfulness and Psychedelic Sitters School support our commitment in the following ways:

  • Our Need Based and Diversity Scholarship has provided over $250,000 in scholarships to our students. 
  • Our core training courses and live classes are available in an online format to increase accessibility for students with limited financial means, who are full time or working parents, or have disabilities that limit their ability to travel.
  • Our program was one of the first organizations to regularly donate to Chacruna Institute (chacruna.net), and we continue to support their work. 
  • We have helped an indigenous team member build an independent private practice to work in an underserved region of Colorado and we are providing our services at a sliding scale rate to residents of this area, particularly migrants and indigenous community members.
  • We are currently establishing a relationship with the Last Prisoners Project specifically to support an organization who helps those injured or incarcerated by the War on Drugs and cannabis prohibition.
  • We commit to having a diverse team that is representative of the communities we serve, and we commit to providing specialized, culturally appropriate care to marginalized communities through ongoing professional training.
  • We created a work trade program to support our younger students who live locally to work at our Center as a trade for their training. This has become an apprenticeship program where all of our work trade students are now paid as assistant guides to support our center’s practitioners and their clients during personal use psilocybin mushroom support sessions and when needed for cannabis and ketamine sessions. 

 

Safety and Consent

We take the safety of our students and our community very seriously and skilled cultural awareness is a dimension of that safety. Due to the profound effects of psychedelic medicines, and our primary organizational identity and purpose being a “professional psychedelic guide association,” anyone is invited to apply to and participate in the Psychedelic Sitters School training program, regardless of their professional identity, if:

  • They agree to and comply with our safe community guidelines, informed consent agreements and other waivers, which include a non-discrimination and anti-harassment policy
  • They are physically, spiritually, psychologically and cognitively well enough to use psychedelics safely and to practice as a professional psychedelic guide safely, ethically and skillfully within a community that supports personal growth, accountability and oversight

 

Our Commitments

We are committed to anti-discriminatory practices and to providing equal opportunities for everyone. We respect and value diverse lived experiences and commit to ensuring all voices are valued and heard. The Center for Medicinal Mindfulness is committed to modeling diversity, equity, and inclusion and to maintaining an organization that ensures equitable treatment for all. Our staff and practitioners recognize how white supremacy, patriarchy, and exploitation can occur in psychedelic spaces and we are committed to turning towards this through radical self reflection for transformation and healing. Showing up for social justice in psychedelics requires leveraging our positions of privilege, critical self-awareness, allyship, and cultural respect.

Therefore, the Center for Medicinal Mindfulness actively works to:

  1. Understand diversity, inclusion, and equity as connected to our mission and critical to our work and stakeholders.
  2. Acknowledge and work to dismantle inequities within our policies, systems, and services;
  3. Challenge operations and policies that create or sustain inequity, oppression, and disparity;
  4. Explore potential underlying, unquestioned assumptions that interfere with diversity, equity, and inclusion practices;
  5. Address the systemic inequities that impact our work and in a manner that is consistent with our mission;
  6. Improve our diversity in leadership by identifying and supporting practices and policies that foster leadership reflective of the diversity of our communities;
  7. Commit time and resources to expand the opportunities for education around these issues with clients, practitioners, staff, and contractual relationships; and
  8. Practice and encourage transparent policies and clear communication in all interactions.
  9. Remain open to a path of continual learning and humility.

As a community of healers, the Center for Medicinal Mindfulness is committed to transforming society with inclusivity, diversity, and empowerment. Ending the war on drugs is merely the one step on a long journey to equity.

Cultural Considerations in the Ethical Use of Mushrooms in Nontraditional Setting

Psilocybin is a hallucinogenic alkaloid found in nearly 200 strains of mushrooms that grow on almost every continent. The body converts psilocybin into psilocin, which is the main psychoactive compound. There is significant evidence to suggest that this compound has been used for ritual, medicinally, and recreationally for at least 12,000 years.  We can find depictions of their use on murals in Australia that archeologists have dated to 10,000 BCE and in Spain in 4,000 BCE.  There is a history of their ceremonial use in Central America by the Aztec and Mayans, in Siberia, in ancient Greece, ancient Egypt and across Europe. 

Since their popularization in the 1950s in Western culture, they were nicknamed “magic mushrooms” and became synonymous with the counterculture movement of the 1960s, along with LSD and cannabis.

Psilocybin and psilocin have been thoroughly studied for their potential benefits to mental health by reputable universities such as Harvard, Stanford and Cambridge and are actively being studied at John Hopkins University and the Imperial College of London.

Colorado legalized the personal consumption of psilocybin mushrooms as well as the regulated access for therapeutic purposes. 

The community of Medicinal Mindfulness recognizes the nearly universal use of psilocybin mushrooms throughout human history, particularly in ancient times, and acknowledges that some indigenous communities have a direct, unbroken lineage to these ancient histories. We also can’t help but openly wonder about Terence McKenna’s “Stoned Ape Theory” and the possible relationship of psilocybin containing mushrooms and the evolution of humanity in Africa. However, even with the profound beauty of this history and our personal experiences, what we don’t want to ignore is the more recent history of this medicine and how it came to be popularized in the 1950s and 1960s.  

In 1955, CIA operative and banker, R. Gordon Wasson, on an expedition covertly funded by MK-Ultra, tricked a Mazatec healer named Maria Sabina into providing a healing session for Wasson using a mushroom strain now scientifically known as Psilocybe mexicana. After the experience, Wasson wrote an article for Life Magazine about his experience, and, as a result, beginning in 1962 an influx of hippies and other spiritual seekers left Maria Sabina to deal with unwanted police harassment, imprisonment, community ostracization, her house being burned down, her son murdered, and Maria dying in poverty in 1985. This wasn’t that long ago. 

Collectively, the members of the Center for Medicinal Mindfulness acknowledge and grieve this painful history. As inspired stewards for the ethical use of this medicine, in our own way, we have a very alive and ongoing community conversation about how to ethically work with psilocybin mushrooms in the context of Mindfulness-Based Psychedelic Therapy without culturally appropriating and furthering the harm caused by colonization.  We are actively exploring these questions and will continue to invite members of traditional lineages to speak about this harm and to do our part and work with whomever we can to help all communities heal from this collective trauma. 

We recognize that certain traditional communities will never consider our practice as ethical because of our non-indigenous practitioners. We understand this too. If you would like to learn more about the Mazatec lineage, we recommend exploring the advocacy of one of our friends, Chacruna: Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines, and consider joining us in donating to their work. You can also learn about Maria Sabina by watching this documentary, or reading this book. 

While many on our team have a diverse range of previous trainings, cultural backgrounds, experiences and initiations, and we have listened to our elders and actively practice Earth-based philosophies and ways of living, recognize the sacred nature of our human experience, and honor our ancestors, we make no claims to being members of these lineages, and respect their legal right to practice their tradition in accordance with their teachings. More information about the journeys and identities of our practitioners can be found on their profile pages.

While the Center for Medicinal Mindfulness community acknowledges the near universal use of psychoactive mushrooms and other psychedelic substances in ancient and indigenous cultures across the planet, we choose not to whitewash our history. For this reason, we recognize the real suffering caused by how this medicine was introduced to mainstream America, and we acknowledge Maria Sabina in our prayers as a healer and guide. 

Governance & Accountability

As an above board psychedelic organization, the Center for Medicinal Mindfulness, Psychedelic Sitters School and the MM Foundation navigate a number of regulatory and government agencies, from local zoning ordinances to state and federal laws, as well as insurance companies, property owners, other psychedelic organizations and many other community stakeholders. Accountability is central to what we do. Therefore, we hold the highest standards of care possible. 

In addition to this, the Psychedelic Guild Agreement, provided in the Student Handbook, provides the legal framework to support ethical accountability and the ability to enforce appropriate service and safety protocols. This document provides conflict resolution procedures and restorative justice practices.

Not only are our staff, clinical teams, trainers and other members agree to the accountably of this agreement, our leadership team, managers, non-profit board of directors and owners also agree to this accountability as well. 

The teams of each of our departments meet regularly for staff meetings that include ongoing trainings and collective decision making. While in many ways we are still building some of these decision making structures, our approach is inclusive, where all voices are heard, and taken into consideration when decisions are made.

These decisions can also be reviewed through our Safe Community Council. While we are still a business, and many of the core business decisions are made by the owners and managers of the program as a form of stewardship for this work, as a “lifestyle business,” we are not solely constrained by profit centered motivations because we do not have investor shareholders. Therefore, our decisions are based on our values of ethical entrepreneurship and our calling as legacy practitioners to the best of our ability.  

Our community governance structure is primarily provided through the Medicinal Mindfulness Foundation, a religious non-profit and professional association. Members who wish to participate in community activism through the program are invited to be active in the Foundation. 

 

Codes of Ethics for MM Practitioners

Codes of Ethics for Medicinal Mindfulness Practitioners are provided here for our members to study and integrate into their practice. These codes are mentioned in our Training Agreements as foundational principles. Ethical codes are currently being developed by many psychedelic organizations and regulatory agencies and are rapidly evolving. The Center for Medicinal Mindfulness is committed to working within our means to hold the highest ethical standards of practice and care that we can. 

Medicinal Mindfulness Safe Community Policy

The MM Safe Community Policy has been substantially incorporated into the Student Handbook, the Community Guidelines, The MM Code of Ethics and the Psychedelic Guild Agreement for Credentialing. Questions and requests for additional information can be sent to the Safe Community Council by emailing safecommunity@medicinalmindfulness.org.

NEED-BASED DIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIPS

We officially initiated our need-based diversity scholarship program in 2019 to increase the accessibility and inclusivity of our psychedelic services and training program, and since that time have provided over $250,000 in scholarships to our students. These scholarships provide a 10-40% discount on any program tuition or group participation fee. Scholarships for individual sessions are also regularly available and are based on an hourly flat fee discount. Medical evaluations and membership applications are already reduced to the lowest rate possible, and ketamine administration and medical oversight are discounted additionally through group rates. (Cannabis sessions are more accessible and very effective.) Payment plans are also available to increase accessibility. Scholarships renew annually.

We would like to reaffirm our organization’s commitment to racial equality and social justice. We are fully committed to ensuring that everyone in our community is treated fairly, and with dignity and respect.

We would also like to ensure that the communities who need psychedelic healing services the most actually have access to them. There is something very personal about healing and self-actualization, and it is often important to recipients of a psychedelic session that they have a shared identity with their guide. The Center for Medicinal Mindfulness would like to do whatever we can to support access to transformational experiences for all people.

We believe that everyone deserves access to the healing that we offer and we work hard to make these programs financially accessible. Our scholarship program is not based on any sort of donation limitations. If you need a scholarship, and you qualify for our services or training program, you’ll get one for the duration of your time with us.

We acknowledged that marginalized communities have too often been left out of receiving access to essential psychedelic services. This scholarship is designed to give access to people who are marginalized and who experience systemic oppression. The
scholarship is also available to help people who financially need it and would not be able to participate otherwise.

We specifically aim to lift up those most marginalized and therefore prioritize people who hold multiple identities in this application process, especially if you have limited financial means, are a student, a veteran, or disabled. Our hope with this scholarship is to create space for those who have been most often denied access to this type of transformational experience and training by a lack of accessibility or discrimination.

The scholarship is for the duration of your time with us, and includes all tuition costs and group session fees. We also offer a scholarship rate for individual psychedelic therapy services.

What the scholarship does not yet provide a discount on is travel, lodging and meals during our training retreats or visits to our center. We have a partnership with the hotel next door to reduce lodging costs. We have also created online training and psychedelic therapy options.

The application to receive a scholarship is simple and takes less than ten minutes. It is part of the general application process for both our training program application and our membership application for group experiences

Notice of Non-Discrimination and Prohibition of Harassment: Committed to equality of transformational opportunity, the Center for Medicinal Mindfulness does not discriminate in offering access to its programs, activities, or employment on the basis of race, color, gender, age, national or ethnic origin, caste, religion, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, responsible psychedelic medicine use (as defined in the Medicinal Mindfulness Safe Community Policy), or any other status protected by law.