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(Please note that all of our events will be in-person this term except for Autism & Psychedelics)

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Events

Start of Term Party

Sunday 23 January, 19:00 - 0:00

It is with great pleasure that we invite the OPS family, new and old, to the Bullingdon (front room) on Sunday the 23rd of January 2022 from 7pm - midnight for our Hilary welcome party!Come along to find your people, socialise with like-minded individuals, and listen and dance to some great music.Don't worry if it is your first OPS party; the committee members will be wearing name tags and would love to chat with you. Please just come and say hi if you’re unsure who to talk to!There will be an opportunity to buy our merchandise including new designs created by our Merch Officer Nina Mangion.Please note that ID and NHS COVID Pass or NHS-registered negative LFD test result (text or email) will be required for entry.We look forward to seeing you there!WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING
- ID
- NHS COVID Pass or NHS-registered negative LFD test (text or email)
- Good vibes 😉
SCHEDULE
7pm: Doors open
7pm - 9pm: Meet and mingle with fellow psychonauts!
DJ SETS
9pm - 10pm: A·meal - breaky ghetto house
10pm - 11pm: Soren Mind - energetic house and disco
11pm - 12am: Spacial K & kyrkpvtryk - TBC
VISUALS
@possuminside
See you soon!Please note that Oxford Psychedelic Society follows a Zero Tolerance Policy in order to keep our events as safe and inclusive as possible. This includes, but is not limited to, not tolerating: ableism, antisemitism, biphobia, classism, harassment, homophobia, islamophobia, misogyny, queerphobia, racism, transphobia and xenophobia. We reserve the right to ask any individual to leave an event.

This event is free

Healing with Ketamine Therapy

Tuesday 25 January, 19:30 - 21:00

Online

Q&A with Ronan Levy (CEO of FieldTrip).

This event is free

Psychedelic VR

Sunday 30 January, 15:00 - 16:00

Location TBD

Legendary, award-winning VR artist Ben Outram designs VR experiences that are inspired by psychedelics. These include full-body immersive haptic psydub sound visualizers, juggling and flow toy simulators, and his latest critically acclaimed game Squingle, which features irridescent otherworldliness and DMT-inspired beings with Buddhist themes. In this event, you will have the chance to play Ben's VR games on VR headsets provided by Ben and the Oxford Psychedelic Society. Ben will also talk about the inspiration and creative process behind his work in VR.You must bring a negative LFT or PCR result, taken no more than 48 hours before the start of the event.

The art of self-inquiry

Saturday 5 February, 15:00 - 17:00

One of the deepest questions each of us can ask ourselves is: Who Am I?We seem to know ourselves really well, but, do we really know who we are?Self-Inquiry is an ancient technique that investigates this very question. Just as a mirror allows one to see one's face, Self-Inquiry allows one to see one's 'inner' face.Rupert Spira is an internationally recognized teacher of nonduality and the Direct Path. You can find Rupert's work on Youtube where he has many videos on Self-Inquiry, nature of consciousness and the nature of reality.Rupert has also written many books including Being Aware of Being Aware, Being Myself, and the Transparency of Things.This event is organized by On the Verge, a podcast(on Spotify and iTunes) run by Oxford students/alumni: Ali-Reza Omidvar, Kenneth Shinozuka & David Leon. Their mission is to explore the edges of consciousness and spirituality. They also organize events and talks for students/alumni at the University of Oxford.

Ayahuasca Shamanism

Friday 11 February, 19:30 - 21:00

This event, which will also be OPS' first in-person talk since the start of the pandemic, will be a moderated dialogue between a shamanic practitioner, Ricardo Assis Rosa PhD, and a psychiatrist and researcher, Dr. Simon Ruffell. Ricardo is a practising Shaman with initiations in the Amazonian Shipibo traditions and Andean Q'ero healing methods and is a practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism. A doctor at King's College London, Simon has conducted extensive research into the use of ayahuasca in adapted traditional settings in the Peruvian Amazon. The event will focus on the ceremonial use of ayahuasca to enrich contemporary, Western psychiatric practices with the profound healing that it cultivates. We will also discuss the role of ayahuasca's ritualistic and psychedelic qualities in mediating its therapeutic potential, whether it is possible to accommodate notions of ayahuasca "spirits" and "energies" within the framework of Western science, and more. The event will consist of 60 minutes of moderated dialogue, followed by 30 minutes of Q&A with the audience. This event is free and open to the public.

This event is free

What Can We Learn about Consciousness from Psychedelic Experiences?

Tuesday 15 February, 19:30-21:00

Online

The word ‘psychedelic’ literally means ‘mind-revealing’. This word is also often taken to mean ‘mind-expanding’. Rupert Sheldrake will explore what psychedelic experiences can tell us about our minds and about our connections with other minds, including more-than-human forms of consciousness. They have been used in several cultures for many centuries, and have also been used in initiatory rites. Their ceremonial use today is spreading through neo-shamanism and psychedelic churches, like Santo Daime in Brazil, where ayahuasca is used as a sacrament. They also seem to play and important role in the spiritual awakening of many people in modern secular societies, and are part of a general revival of interest in direct spiritual experience.

This event is free

First Kundalini Yoga

Midterm Party

Sunday 20 February, 19:00 - 0:00

This event is free

Psychedelics: A Shortcut to Enlightenment?

Wednesday 23 February, 19:30 - 21:00

Psychedelic drugs are used widely in both spiritual and therapeutic practices. But can psychedelic drugs really change your mind? And can they impart genuine spiritual knowledge? This debate brings together two world-leading experts in the field of neurospirituality, Dr. David Yaden of John Hopkins University and Dr. Michael Ferguson of Harvard Divinity School, to discuss whether psychedelics are or aren’t beneficial in advancing someone’s spiritual worldview from both a theological and neuroscientific perspective.

This event is free

Gong Bath

Saturday 26 February, 16:00 - 17:30 and 18:00 - 19:30

The Sound Sanctuary is a place to rest, reflect, integrate, imagine and dream. We weave original songs from The Butterfly Wheel into meditative soundscapes created by gongs, singing bowls, chimes and other percussive instruments.The session starts with us introducing a theme based upon the seasonal and astrological energies, and offering a chance to set intentions. We will then share techniques for waking up to the vibrations in our own bodies and tuning-in using simple toning exercises. Following this, we invite participants to rest during an extended sound bath, where the vibrations of the gongs, songs and sounds wash over you like a touchless massage.What to bring: a yoga mat or blanket to lie on, warm layers and blankets to keep you warm during the workshop, and water for hydration. An eye pillow, cushion, or any other props to make you comfortable are great additions!If you require financial assistance in order to be able to attend the event, please email Anna Oldfield, who is co-facilitating the event: annaoldfield@icloud.com

Painting Psychedelic

Saturday 5 March, 12:00 - 17:00

Pinky Vision, the extraordinary psychedelic artist who has designed a lot of the Oxford Psychedelic Society's iconic merch, will teach you how to make psychedelic art. You'll paint psychedelic designs over a totem, talisman, mask, or some other craftwork. Everyone who participates in the workshop will come away with their own piece of psychedelic artwork.Notes:- If you a buy a ticket, you don't have to attend all five hours of the workshop. Feel free to drop in whenever!
- To access the venue, please enter the main entrance to University College on High St. Someone from OPS will be there to guide you to the venue.
- If you are unable to afford a ticket but would like to attend, please email us at info@oxpsysoc.org

Second Kundalini Yoga

Symposium on Psychedelic Science

Our speakers include professors and research students from Imperial College London and Cambridge, as well as representatives from psychedelic companies. In addition to covering the neuroscience of psychedelics and recent progress in developing therapeutic applications of psychedelics for mental and physical health disorders, the researchers will be speaking about a wide variety of other topics, ranging from the perception of interconnectedness during psychedelic experiences to the indigenous use of psychedelics and the implications of these drugs for the scientific study of consciousness.Our current list of confirmed speakers is:
- Emmanuel Stamatakis (Cambridge)
- Andrea Luppi (Cambridge)
- Morten Kringelbach (Oxford)
- Carl Hayden Smith (Ravensbourne University London)
- Jakub Vohryzek (Pompeu Fabra University)
- Leor Roseman (Imperial)
- Meg Spriggs (Imperial)
- Julia Bornemann (Imperial)
- Rayyan Zafar (Imperial)
- Kirran Ahmad (Imperial)
If you are a student involved in psychedelics research, and you would like to present your work at this symposium, you can apply by submitting an abstract here.

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TALK ABSTRACTS

Healing Trauma with Neural Annealing:
Is Annealing the Key Condition for Successful Psychedelic Psychotherapy?

A talk by Andrés Gomez Emilsson

Mystical-type experiences mediate the therapeutic benefit of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy (Griffiths, 2016; Ross, 2016). In this talk we will explore why this may be the case and how we might improve this effect. On the one hand we can interpret the effect of mystical-type experiences through the lens of belief and attitude change (Carhart-Harris and K. J. Friston, 2019). But beliefs that are not deeply felt are unlikely to have much of an effect. Why would mystical-type experiences in particular cause deeply felt belief changes? On the other hand, one can interpret the effect of these experiences to be healing at a low-level: they allow the reconfiguration of the microstructure of our experience in beneficial ways. The first lense suggests that these experiences change what we believe and think about, whereas the second lense suggests that the experiences change how we feel. In this talk we will unify these two lenses and argue that neural annealing (Johnson, 2019) underlies high-level changes in beliefs and attitudes as well as low-level microstructural healing of internal representations. This paradigm ties together the puzzling effects of mystical-type experiences by interpreting them as uniquely strong versions of neural annealing. We suggest that traumatic memories are indeed implemented with low-level microstructural dissonance in the internal representations (Gomez Emilsson, 2017). Not only are they about something bad, they also feel bad. In turn, neural annealing targeted towards these internal representations can heal and transform them from dissonance-producing to consonance-producing. More so, neural annealing also enhances the information propagation fidelity of the nervous system, allowing the healed representations to update the state of the rest of the nervous system. This insight, along with careful study of annealing dynamics under psychedelics, can allow us to target the annealing process in order to heal these internal representations more effectively. We conclude with empirical predictions for what to look for in order to identify the signatures of successful neural annealing under psychedelics and suggest methods to piggyback on the natural well-trodden paths of beneficial annealing (e.g. meditation, yoga, music, creativity) to optimize such experiences.

DMTX as a 21st Century Mystery School

A talk by Carl Hayden Smith

'This talk will focus on the prospects of being one of the first participants in the world to try DMTX (X=Extended) at Imperial College London (ICL). After being part of the DMT phase 1 and phase 2 trials (over the last 5 years) this research now moves into a whole new level of immersion. During this experiment the peak of the DMT state will be extended thanks to a continuous intravenous drip feeding of the entheogen. This arguably turns this ancient medicine into a new form of technology. Early findings of the research from Chris Timmerman (ICL) suggests that nnDMT produces the same brain signature as the dreaming state. During the extended state we may be better able to explore the hypothesis from Andrew Gallimore that nnDMT actually opens up an entirely novel, orthogonal reality.The DMTX experiment potentially means that nnDMT could become the base layer of our subjective reality, being combined, exponentially, with everything in life. What are the implications of this? Is there a danger that the psychedelic state is being overly romanticised and that DMTX could be regarded as a new form of bio chemical VR? How will DMTX help with the integration problem? Maybe the problem of bringing our insight back from the liminal space isn't that these experiences defy verbalization, but that our languages are not yet sufficient enough to describe these experiences.

Increased cortical signal diversity during psychedelic states and visually realistic neural network models of hallucinations

A talk by Michael Schartner

Global states of consciousness - such as general anaesthesia or REM sleep - can be characterised by metrics of signal diversity, showing that diverse cortical activity is a hallmark of consciousness. We found that signal diversity is elevated in classical psychedelic states, possibly explained by a larger repertoire of brain states - which would be in line with reports about openness, novel associations and levelled salience of all experiences during psychedelic states. This coarse description of the brain as a dynamical system with various degrees of diversity in activity is only one dimension to characterise such global states of consciousness. Neural network models of visual perception and its pharmacological perturbation may provide a more mechanistic model, showing how the balanced integration of prior and sensory information into conscious perception is regulated by serotonin.