How to Navigate a Psychedelic Journey

Adam Stansbury
4 min readOct 17, 2022

If you’ve prepared properly for your psychedelic experience then there’s not much else you can do, you are in the hands of ‘la medicina’, although with experience you can learn to direct the experience with more grace but you never really know how things will go, these tips will stack the odds in your favour.

I wrote the following blog and recorded the video below as I was getting ready for my first San Pedro (Wachuma) ceremony last Wednesday.

It was the first time I had taken a ceremonial dose of this plant medicine but I approached it as I do with all psychedelic experiences. Using the following road map has always helped me to navigate my own journeys.

In turned out the San Pedro experience was a beautiful one but even though the ceremony ended at 10:30pm I was still wired and at 4am still wide awake. I chuckled to myself when I found myself repeating my bonus tip below ‘this too shall pass’.

These are insights I’ve gained through my own experiences navigating psychedelic journeys.

You will also draw distinct comparisons with these tips along with the metaphorical lessons we learn in life. This is why psychedelics can be such an effective tool to help you in navigating your life with more grace.

In the video I explore the following points in more detail.

1. Stay Humble

Approach each ceremony or journey as if it was your first, be a humble student ready for class. I learnt quite early on in my plant medicine journey that no matter how experienced you are, there is always the possibility that you’ll be put on your butt by the plant if you don’t approach the experience with reverence and respect, it can always go one or two ways and maybe even both!

2. Expect the Unexpected

Insights will come in shapes and forms you never dreamt of. Look out for and listen to how the psychedelic allows you to join the dots in your life and see all the people and circumstances that you’ve found yourself in, with a deeply profound perspective and understanding. The most important lessons can often be relayed to you in the simplest form.

3. Trust

That you are exactly where you should be and you will receive exactly what you need, not always what you want. Let go and be guided by the intelligence that exists inside nature and inside you, you are going to be ok.

4. Surrender to the Experience

If you feel resistance or fear that is a sign to let go and surrender more, resisting what is, will only create more suffering. I use this as a sign to let go more if I ever feel that I’m becoming fearful or resisting what I’m feeling or being shown. You are no longer in control of the ship, so let go and enjoy the ride.

5. Try not to Judge

Going into a ceremony without any expectations is very helpful to your experience although I recognise that is also quite tricky when you know what you’re about to embark on. Always remember no matter what you’re going through the person next to you isn’t experiencing the same thing, although it can feel like everyone is sometimes. If you’re having a wonderful time be respectful of the person next to you, who may be going through a difficult journey. On the flip side if you see others having a wonderful time don’t take it personally, your journey is unfolding exactly as it needs to, just like your life when compared to others.

6. BREATHE!

Coming back to your breath will ground you back in your body and this reality. In fact your breathe may be the only thing you can connect with consciously for a while, especially if you are having a very powerful journey. Deep belly breaths will help to calm your central nervous system and reduce any feelings of panic or anxiety.

7. Focus on your Heart

Sometimes you can get locked into infinite thoughts loops about the experience; Why am I here? What even is this? Why did I just have another drink? Is this even working? What’s the point? Whenever you feel like you’re stuck in a mental loop place your attention on your heart for 5 minutes as you breathe, this will guide your awareness away from your thoughts and if that fails, ask someone to serve you some rapé, this will surely get you out of your head in a dramatic way.

8. Gratitude, Awe and Wonder

The psychedelic experience will likely create the above feelings no matter whether the experience is dark and challenging or joyful and expansive.

BONUS TIP: Use the mantra ‘This too shall pass’ whenever you are stuck in a challenging moment, everything ends and everything will return to normal, even if at the time you’ve forgotten what that looks and feels like.

Enjoy and Bon Voyage!

If you’re looking for help in Preparing, Navigating and Integrating a Psychedelic experience then click here to visit my website for coaching options.

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Adam Stansbury

Helping to shine a light on your path, so that you may see the way more clearly.