As I continue my series of interviews with the “Psychedelic Elders” with Wisconsin-based psychologist, Dr. Allan Ajaya.
Allan received his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. He followed this with a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Wisconsin, in the Psychiatry Department.
Early experiences with psychedelics led him to discover how transcendent experiences can free one from identifying with his contracted personality. He reports having taken over 150μg of LSD on more than 900 occasions, and once accidentally ingested a mega-mega-dose of 5,000μg (Warning: do NOT try this at home).
However, he discovered that the ability to see beneath the veneer of consensual reality, to the archetypal realm, and to experience the underlying unity of all that exists, using psychedelics (even very large doses) is short lived.
He turned toward spiritual practices as a way of remaining in transpersonal awareness. He studied with with Eastern spiritual teachers, notably, Chogyam Trungpa, Swami Satchidananda, and Swami Rama. He was initiated as a swami on the banks of the Ganges, in Rishikesh, India. For the next twenty years he periodically travelled to India, for further study, to teach, and to deepen his meditation.
Allan is also a mentor for professionals who are learning to be psychedelic therapists. He is interested in how entheogens (another word for psychedelics), psychotherapy, and self-inquiry compliment one another in opening us to the intelligence that manifest as all that is. He is author of Healing the Whole Person and Yoga Psychology: A Practical Guide to Meditation.