A Bursting Book Launch for Zig Zag Zen

Allan Badiner, Alex & Allyson Grey and Rick Strassman celebrating the launch of Zig Zag Zen to a packed house at the Collected Works Bookstore in Santa Fe, New Mexico, May 19th. Photo by Lisa Law.

Last Tuesday night, Collected Works Bookstore in Santa Fe, New Mexico was full of curious congregants who had gathered to hear a discussion on Buddhism, psychedelics and visionary art. Every seat was filled, and even the window ledges were occupied with eager attendants. Seated around a table at the front of the space the panel of speakers for the evening faced the crowd.

Publisher Deborah Parrish Snyder introducing the speakers for the evening. Photo by Lisa Law.

Publisher Deborah Parrish Snyder introducing the speakers for the evening. Photo by Lisa Law.

Allan Badiner, the editor of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics is also a contributing editor for Tricycle magazine and has edited two other books dealing with Buddhism and the environment. Alex Grey, the art editor of Zig Zag Zen is one of the most prominent visionary artists in the world today who co-founded the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors. Allyson Grey, a contributing artist to Zig Zag Zen focuses her work around geometric and esoteric principles of order, chaos and secret writing and cofounded the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors. Dr. Rick Strassman, a contributing author is clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and has conducted federally funded research on the DMT experience.

Allan began the conversation by recounting an experience he had while studying with Thich Naht Hanh at Plum Village. While sharing stories in a Dharma discussion group each of the participants revealed that they had experience with psychedelics and that those experiences paved the way to their later Buddhist practice. When many of the practitioners moved to Buddhism, they let go of their psychedelic use.

Allan then shared how he got the inspiration for creating a book around this issue. While on retreat at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, as he was reading through the guest book he found an entry with a drawing of a pack of Zig Zag rolling papers that read “Wow, I thought I’d miss these a lot more than I did.” Upon seeing the pack of Zig Zag papers at the Zen center, Zig Zag Zen was born.

While many American Buddhist practitioners share a psychedelic background, the intention for the book was to create a well-balanced examination of the subject. Not a book that would draw any conclusions for you. And some of the contributors who were included do not believe Buddhism and psychedelics should even be thought of together.

So, why create a new edition of this book? Because we find ourselves in a fairly unique situation in the history of humanity. We have the power to manipulate nature and affect the mechanisms of climate. And as we’ve gained this power, we find ourselves in the midst of another mass extinction. In much the same way that as people grow older they reach back to the religion of their youth to search for meaning, now we can see society reaching out to religions as a way to make sense of its growing fear. By shifting our consciousness through spiritual development, we can make the kinds of radical changes required for us to survive.

Allan shared the following quote from Dr. Albert Hofmann, which emphasizes the importance of consciousness change to enact the kinds of changes necessary to heal the planet.

“Alienation from nature and the loss of the experience of being part of the living creation is the greatest tragedy of our materialistic era. It is the causative reason for ecological devastation and climate change.
Therefore I attribute absolute highest importance to consciousness change. I regard psychedelics as catalyzers for this. They are tools which are guiding our perception toward other deeper areas of our human existence, so that we again become aware of our spiritual essence. Psychedelic experiences in a safe setting can help our consciousness open up to this sensation of connection and of being one with nature.
LSD and related substances are not drugs in the usual sense, but are part of the sacred substances, which have been used for thousand of years in ritual settings. The classic psychedelics like LSD, Psilocybin and Mescaline are characterized by the fact that they are neither toxic nor addictive. It is my great concern to separate psychedelics from the ongoing debates about drugs, and to highlight the tremendous potential inherent to these substances for self-awareness, as an adjunct in therapy, and for fundamental research into the human mind.
It is my wish that a modern Eleusis will emerge, in which seeking humans can learn to have transcendent experiences with sacred substances in a safe setting. I am convinced that these soul-opening, mind-revealing substances will find their appropriate place in our society and our culture.”
—Dr. Albert Hofmann
Thursday, April 19, 2007 (at age 101)

Alex cited Albert Hofmann’s influence in bringing him to the psychedelic dimension, and he shared the transformative power of his first LSD trip on Allyson’s couch 40 years ago while they were in art school together. He discussed the power that psychedelics provide artists to portray sacred dimensions. Visionary artists translate their ineffable mystical experiences by incorporating the archetypal elements of these visionary mystical experiences, such as the kinds of beings present, the temples and realms visited, the kinds of lights seen, and the sacred messages received.

He described the cover of Zig Zag Zen, which features the Tibetan Guru Padmasambhava displaying the rainbow-body. This wavy light-body is one of the first things we start to see on psychedelics. We start to notice the light-body in people as our higher perception takes over, whether that be through spiritual practice or the use of entheogens; and as our materialism reverses we see the light underlying all beings. This allows the revolution to happen quickly so that we can stop the self-destructive suicidal tendencies in ourselves and in society. As we see ourselves careening towards a self-destructive end, this medicine is our last best possibility to change ourselves and our planet.

Allyson described the similarity between psychedelics and religions. She said that religions are here to teach and to heal, which is what psychedelics do as well, they teach us. She told about her early, casual psychedelic use as a teenager, leading to a time when she took a heavy dose intending to see the White Light, and she understood God, and the sacredness of symbols. This trip led her to pursue meditation practices and follow a spiritual direction.

Rick shared his scientific perspective on the biological basis of spiritual experiences. After practicing for decades with a western Zen Buddhist order, he became interested in exploring the overlap he noticed between the states produced by psychedelic drugs with the states attained by eastern meditation techniques and the underlying biology they may have in common.

After each member of the panel had shared their inquiries and inspirations around these topics, Allan opened the discussion for questions and answers by stating that “now the audience can pretend to have questions, while the panel can pretend to have answers.” After a knowing chuckle from the audience, a few questions emerged from the captivated crowd, and the panel reassembled to greet the members of the audience and autograph their copies of Zig Zag Zen.

Even if you weren’t able to attend this exciting event with us, you can still keep up with the world of Zig Zag Zen by checking out what else we’ve been up to:

Alex Grey shared the inspiration for his painting "St. Albert and the LSD Revelation Revolution."

Alex Grey sharing the inspiration for his painting “St. Albert and the LSD Revelation Revolution.”

 

 

 

Lightlab and Synergetic Press joined forces to host Alex Grey and Allyson Grey in the geodesic dome at Synergia Ranch, home of Synergetic Press. Inside of the spherical space, they told the psychedelic story of the influence of sacraments in ancient cave paintings, the role of sacraments in modern indigenous cultures and their future in transcendental visionary art.

 

 

 

 

Allan Badiner and Dr. Rick Strassman were interviewed
on Santa Fe Radio Café by host Mary-Charlotte on May 21st.

You can listen to that interview here:

Allan Badiner and Dr. Rick Strassman before being interviewed by Mary-Charlotte.

Allan Badiner and Dr. Rick Strassman before being interviewed by Mary-Charlotte.

 

Allan Badiner,  Alex Grey and Allyson Grey were interviewed on the Camp Lovewave show by Terran and Bari on May 23rd. You can listen to that interview here:

Allan Badiner, Allyson Grey and Alex Grey being interviewed by Terran and Bari Lovewave.

Allan Badiner, Allyson Grey and Alex Grey being interviewed by Terran and Bari Lovewave.

You can also purchase your own copy of the new edition of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics! Zig Zag Zen is full of more interviews, round table discussions, public dialogues, academic inquiries, personal stories, and visionary art to open your heart, expand your mind and squeegee your third eye.

 

 

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Zig Zag Zen: Rubin Gallery NYC Launch

rubin_museum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics Book signing and Discussion

with Alex Grey & Allan Badiner with Julie Holland, MD

Rubin Museum of Art, New York City

Wednesday, June 17, 6:30 – 7:15 PM

 

A presentation and discussion launching the new edition of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics with editors, Allan Badiner
and Alex Grey, and moderator Julie Holland, MD. A book signing in the shop will follow the program.

 Buddhism and psychedelic exploration share a common concern: the liberation of the mind. This new edition of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics (Synergetic Press) has evolved from the landmark anthology that launched the first inquiry into the ethical, doctrinal, and transcendental considerations at the intersection of Buddhism and psychedelics. A provocative and thoughtful exploration of inner states and personal transformation, Zig Zag Zen now contains new original essays by such luminaries as Ralph Metzner and Brad Warner; exciting interviews with James Fadiman, Kokyo Henkel, and Rick Doblin; and a discussion of ayahuasca’s unique influence on Zen Buddhism by David Coyote. All of these new essays have been carefully curated to extend the original inquiry of authors Joan Halifax Roshi, Peter Matthiessen, Jack Kornfield, Ram Dass, Terence McKenna, Rick Fields and many others. Complementing these new essays is an expanded display of stunning artwork including pieces from Android Jones, Sukhi Barber, Ang Tsherin Sherpa, and Amanda Sage, as well as the original brilliant work of Robert Venosa, Mark Rothko, Robert Beer, Francesco Clemente, and many others, including more work by the pioneering visionary artist Alex Grey. Buddhism and psychedelics are inevitable subjects encountered on the journey to wisdom. Examined together, the reader may understand more deeply the essence of each.

 Zig Zag Zen is a must read for anyone who is concerned about the future of Buddhist practice.

Robert Thurman, Chair of Indo-Tibetan studies at Columbia University

 

Category: Consciousness Studies, Religion, Mind, Body, Spirit

ISBN: 978 0907791 62 1

Softcover $26.95 304 pages, 7 x 9 inches, 40 Color Plates
(Also available in Hardcover and eBook)

Available through Deep Books, Ltd.

http://www.deep-books.co.uk/

 

About the Speakers

Allan Badiner is a contributing editor at Tricycle magazine, and the editor of the new edition of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics (Synergetic Press). He also edited the books, Dharma Gaia: A Harvest in Buddhism and Ecology and Mindfulness in the Marketplace (Parallax Press) and his written work appears in other books including Dharma Family Treasures, Meeting the Buddha, Ecological Responsibility: A Dialogue with Buddhism, and The Buddha and the Terrorist. Allan holds a Master’s degree from the College of Buddhist Studies in LA and serves on the boards of Rainforest Action Network, Threshold Foundation, and Project CBD.

 

Alex Grey is best known for his paintings that portray multiple dimensions of reality, interweaving biological anatomy with psychic and spiritual energies. Grey’s visual meditations on the nature of life and consciousness, is contained in five books: Sacred Mirrors and Transfigurations, The Mission of Art, Art Psalms, and CoSM, co-authored with Allyson Grey, and in Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics. Grey’s work has been featured on the Discovery Channel, the CBC, and in Time, Newsweek, and on numerous multi-platinum record albums and is on permanent exhibition in the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors in Wappingers Fall, N.Y.

 

Julie Holland, MD, in private psychiatric practice in NYC since 1995, authored the book Weekends at Bellevue (Bantam, 2009), which chronicled 9 years of night shifts at the psych ER. She edited two non-profit books helping to fund clinical research: Ecstasy: The Complete Guide, A Comprehensive Look at the Risks and Benefits of MDMA and The Pot Book: A Complete Guide to Cannabis, and is a medical monitor for MDMA/PTSD and cannabis/PTSD studies. Moody Bitches: The Truth about the Drugs You’re Taking, the Sleep You’re Missing, the Sex You’re Not Having, and What’s Really Making You Crazy is her latest book.

 

Testimonials

 

Zig Zag Zen is a treasure trove: inspiring, frightening, powerful, funny, eye-opening, and a source of great wisdom on a subject that our society finds endlessly confusing.

Mark Epstein, MD, author of Thoughts Without a Thinker and Going on Being

An extraordinary ride and guide down the corridors of the mystical psychedelic inward journey that will be of great interest and value to any serious explorer of spiritual insight. The zigzag is not for the straight and narrow.                                       Ganga White, author of Yoga Beyond Belief, founder of the White Lotus Foundation

Psychedelics opened my Doors of Perception, and Zen Buddhism has helped to keep them open.

John Densmore, author of New York Times bestseller Riders on the Storm and The Doors: Unhinged

 

Zig Zag Zen challenges Buddhists to acknowledge their psychedelic legacies, while confronting the duality undermining any chemically dependent spiritual path.

 Douglas Rushkoff, author of Ecstasy Club, Exit Strategy, Playing the Future and Coercion

Zig Zag Zen shines by its fairness: it faces the Zig and the Zag. That’s Zen at its best.

 David Steindl-Rast OSB, author of Gratefulness: The Heart of Prayer

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A Bow of Gratitude for Zig Zag Zen

Ebb and Flow, Sukhi Barber, 2014

Ebb and Flow, Sukhi Barber, 2014

Sitting quietly in Santa Cruz, above a gentle ocean under a crisp spring sky, the cover of Zig Zag Zen  gently undulating beside me, or so it seems.

     This book illuminates facets of a serious and often contentious argument in both Buddhist and psychedelic circles, and, as such, could have easily fallen into moralism with both sides’ rantings thinly disguised as New Age faux nonjudgmental acceptance. Instead, the chapters are more like panes of colored glass, the whole collection forming a satisfying and illuminated whole. Moreover, it is rare when any book can be so much fun, especially when it is about psychedelics or Buddhist practice. For openers, it is filled with splendid art. Who but the editor and the folks at this press would assume that wonderful art should be part of the dialogue, and who better then Alex Grey to curate those sections?
                 It used to be a big deal when an artist acknowledged that psychedelics had influenced their work. Thank goodness, we’ve moved past those days. The better question, posed here, is how does this art affect the viewer? As Alex says, some of the artists have not taken psychedelics and some have not ever meditated; yet each artist has made a descriptive commentary about the interaction between inner mind and outer reality.
       As for the interminable argument of the proper place and understanding of psychedelics in contemporary Buddhism, almost all the contributors show far more interest in grappling with real concerns rather than grandstanding for the inherent rightness of using psychedelics or the equally inherent rightness of not using them.
      For me, listening to Buddhists declaiming that the fifth precept is a strict prohibition against using these substances feels like lecturing to teenagers that they should not be sexual till marriage. Lecturing on how to use psychedelics wisely and well (which I do) is like asking a five year old with a bean in his hand not to stuff it up his nose. Very little of either of that here—a deep bow of gratitude.
         What the Zig Zag Zen contributors make clear is that each individual has a responsibility, if they wish to better understand their own mind, to determine what are the best practices for them at any given time. It’s very hard not to push whatever we feel works for us on to everyone else. However, here, since both positions are well represented, readers will have no alternative but to think for themselves.
        I love this book! I was fond of the earlier edition but this one, riddled with beauty, flecked with wisdom and containing an amazing number of relevant deeply personal stories is likely to remain recommended reading for the next few generations.
       Thanks Allan, thanks Alex for putting together this feast and festival of eye-candy, mind-candy and heart-candy.
  
Note:  Near the end of this book there is a dialogue with Zen teacher, Kokyo Henkel, a very lively audience, (primarily serious practicing Buddhists, almost all with psychedelic experience) and me. When someone suggested Kokyo and I had opposed points of view, we both laughed. Perhaps that’s why they let us in this book.
  
James Fadiman, PhD, has been involved with psychedelic research since the 1960s. In his guide to effects of psychedelic use for spiritual (high dose), therapeutic (moderate dose), and problem-solving (low dose) purposes, Fadiman outlines best practices for safe, sacred entheogenic voyages. He is the author of The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide.
 
Here is a link to his video Sane Society.
 
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Zig Zag Zen Launch in Albuquerque

zig_zag_zen_front_coverAllan Badiner, editor of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics will host a launch/booksigning of the New Edition on Thursday, May 21st at 7pm at Bookworks in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This new edition, just released, features new essays on ayahuasca’s unique influence on Zen Buddhism, a recent interview with Rick Doblin, founder of MAPS, Ralph Metzner’s New Look at the “Psychedelic Tibetan Book of the Dead,” and a public dialogue on mixing dharma and psychedelics with James Fadiman and Zen monk, Kokyo Henkel. Bookworks is a local, independent bookstore that is known for its author events, and is located  at 4022 Rio Grande Blvd NW, in Albuquerque’s North Valley, north of Griegos, in the Shops on Rio Grande next to Flying Star.

 

 

“I love this book! I was fond of the earlier edition but this one, riddled with beauty, flecked with wisdom and containing an amazing number of relevant deeply personal stories is likely to remain recommended reading for the next few generations.”
James Fadiman, Author of The Psychedelic Explorers Guide

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John Allen’s Birthday on Biosphere 1

May 6th, 2015 marks John ‘Dolphin’ Allen’s 86th solar orbit as a crew member aboard Spaceship Earth. On his birthday, we reflect on the exceptional life of our inspiring friend.

A poet, playwright, savant, and inventor and co-founder of Biosphere II, Allen emerged from modest beginnings in Oklahoma during the dust bowl to become one of the most productive and eccentric personalities of the 20th century. An expert in mining and metallurgy, as well as high finance, this restless graduate of Colorado School of Mines and Harvard Business School simply could not accept the state of civilization ‘as is’ and took to a life of adventure, exploring the cultures and biomes of our planet and returning to spearhead work groups that would develop the foundations for what he calls, “synergetic civilization.”

Building on the experiences and esoteric transmissions acquired through his world travels, Allen and his cohorts began in the Haight Ashbury district of San Francisco in 1967 with the ‘Theater of All Possibilities’ acting group and would go on to develop ‘eco-technic’ enterprises, referred to as ‘synergias’ all around the world. The short list includes:

Synergia Ranch (organic farm, orchard, adobe construction company and more) in Santa Fe, NM, the Research Vessel Heraclitus (a ferro-cement ship, based on the design of a Chinese Junk, that has seen 18 expeditions), the October Gallery in London, UK (home of the ‘transvangarde’ art movement), the Vajra Hotel in Katmandu, Birdwood Downs ranch in Australia, Las Casas de la Selva sustainable forestry project in Puerto Rico, the Institute of Ecotechnics (which has held annual conferences on pressing ecological concerns at the highest level since the early 1970s), and more; all culminating in the massive Biosphere II closed systems experiment in Oracle, AZ that took place in the early 90’s.

John is currently based at Synergia Ranch in Santa Fe, NM. And though he spends the majority of his time writing, he still travels Spaceship Earth yearly to visit and inspire the synergias that he worked so hard to seed. Happy Birthday Johnny- we will always be grateful for your tireless work and living inspiration!

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Vajra Hotel Still Standing on the Roof of the World

Vajra Hotel

Vajra Hotel, Kathamandu, Nepal. A project of the Global Ecotechnics Coporation, using reinforced earthquake-resistant construction techniques.

 

Last week Nepal was struck by the most powerful quake the country has experienced in 80 years, 7.8 magnitude. The epicenter was just 50 miles west of Kathmandu, and devastated much of the city with death tolls in the thousands and many still missing.

We send our hearts and prayers to the people of Kathmandu Valley, and our friends who run the Vajra Hotel and Project Tibet. Located on the slopes of the Swayambhu Temple in Kathmandu, The Vajra Hotel was one of the Institute of Ecotechnics’ early projects. The hotel, built in 1981 was designed by ecological/cultural entrepreneur, John Allen, working with Margaret Augustine, project design manager, and chief architect Phil Hawes, who synergized the traditions of Nepal’s great architects with modern earthquake resistant techniques.

Swayhambunath above Vajra Hotel, circa 1980.

Swayhambunath above Vajra Hotel, circa 1980.

We have learned that the Vajra Hotel is still standing. Although books flew off the shelves in the library, and art fell from the walls, the main structures of the buildings are in good shape, including the newer wing which was built circa 1990.

Many of the surrounding buildings have fallen or been badly damaged. There are 300 to 400 people who are reported to be taking shelter in the garden and are being provided with food and water as much as possible, and one pregnant woman has been given a room. There is a generator, making electricity available, but internet access is extremely limited.

As we pause to take in the full impact of what has shaken the roof of the world, we reflect on some of the words of the man with the original vision to build Vajra Hotel as a cultural hub in Kathmandu, John Allen, from his memoir, Me and the Biospheres:

Vajra Hotel’s opening in 1978 realized one of my fundamental objectives in life of bringing together in one place representatives of East and West, culturally, and North and South, politically. This synergy of the Vajra Hotel and the ongoing expeditions of the Heraclitus gave the Institute of Ecotechnics and its friends and associates remarkable portals into ethnosphere and biosphere. Explorers, anthropologists, ecologists, dancers, the World Wildlife Fund, and other creative individuals and development groups used Vajra Hotel’s premises for encounters, conversations, meetings and performances. Rinpoches, swamis, depth psychologists, top Asian art experts, Baul singers, European yogis and philosophical teachers reserved its great rooftop pagoda, with its ceiling paintings by Rinchen Norbu and his school of traditional Tibetan muralists. . .

The Ecotechnics Library

The Ecotechnics Library at the Vajra Hotel, Kathamandu.

Connoisseurs of travel considered the Vajra Hotel an architectural gem and ‘in’ place. . . . The Vajra quickly became a sought after destination by travelers to Kathmandu. Many locals, artists, intelligentsia, and business people came for conversations in its dining hall, or climbed up to the rooftop where you could see into Durbar Square, the heart of medieval Kathmandu. Scholars from the West and East sought out our Institute of Ecotechnics library for which I handpicked over a thousand volumes. Its shelves contained the Tibetan canon, approved by the Dalai Lama, and the Hindu canon, approved by my friend, Swami Dharmjyoti, the head of the Nagarjung Order, who became our librarian. I selected an approximation to a Western canon, in literature, anthropology, history, management, and philosophy.

From the Vajra Hotel, you can walk straight up to Swayambhunath (the Self-Realized) Hindu-Buddhist temple complex, rising on a twenty-thousand-year-old artificial platform topping a small mountain. It had been a center of the Naga cosmogony and religion that still exists in Nepal. You’re supposed to count the steps as you go up and down, and you have to do it all over again if you lost count. Exoterically, vajra (dorje in Tibetan) means lightning bolt, but esoterically it means an ‘indestructible diamond point’ of attention where a human can realize dharmakaya (the reality or cosmic decision body). I used to go up to Swayambhu every week while the Vajra Hotel was under construction and sit in silence with Sechu Rinpoche, while, telepathically united, we gazed at the Vajra and Durbar Square.

vajrapagodapuja

Tibetan monks from the Sakya lineage lead a puja in the Pagoda at Vajra Hotel (circa 1981).

While we are happy that the structural integrity of Vajra has allowed this cultural center to continue into the future, many of the surrounding buildings and their inhabitants were far less fortunate. In keeping with the notion of the ‘diamond point,’ which is an unbreakable foundation that becomes the opportunity for metamorphoses and transcendence, let’s get help to where it is needed the most. Aid can be given through various agencies. One in the immediate area is The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), which is prepping resources from its hubs in New Delhi, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. The federation is releasing funds from its Disaster Response Emergency Fund to support vital services including food, shelter, water and sanitation.

You can aid their efforts by donating here:

On behalf of all of us, godspeed to all at the Vajra Hotel and the Kathmandu Valley as they rebuild their lives on the roof of the world.

John Allen, Chairman, Global Ecotechnics
Marie Harding, President, Global Ecotechnics

Mark Nelson, PhD
Chairman, Institute of Ecotechnics

Deborah Parrish Snyder
Publisher, Synergetic Press

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Buddhism, Psychedelics and Visionary Art—Discussion and Book Launch of Zig Zag Zen

grey_event_blogAllan Badiner and Alex Grey with Allyson Grey and Rick Strassman will lead a discussion on Buddhism, Psychedelics and Visionary Art celebrating the publication of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics (New Edition), Edited by Allan Badiner and Alex Grey.

Tuesday, May 19th
6:00 pm
Collected Works Bookstore & Coffeehouse
202 Galisteo Street
Santa Fe, New Mexico
(505) 988-4426
collected_works

 

 

About Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics

zig_zag_zen_front_coverBuddhism and psychedelic exploration share a common concern: the liberation of the mind. This new edition of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics (Synergetic Press) has evolved from the landmark anthology that launched the first inquiry into the ethical, doctrinal, and transcendental considerations at the intersection of Buddhism and psychedelics. A provocative and thoughtful exploration of inner states and personal transformation, Zig Zag Zen now contains an expanded display of stunning artwork including pieces from Android Jones, Sukhi Barber, Ang Tsherin Sherpa, and Amanda Sage, as well as the original brilliant work of Robert Venosa, Mark Rothko, Robert Beer, Francesco Clemente, and many others, including more work by the pioneering visionary artist Alex Grey. Complementing these new images are original essays by such luminaries as Ralph Metzner and Brad Warner; exciting interviews with James Fadiman, Kokyo Henkel, and Rick Doblin; and a discussion of ayahuasca’s unique influence on Zen Buddhism by David Coyote; all of which have been carefully curated to extend the original inquiry of authors Joan Halifax Roshi, Peter Matthiessen, Jack Kornfield, Ram Dass, Terence McKenna, Rick Fields and many others. Buddhism and psychedelics are inevitable subjects encountered on the journey to wisdom. Examined together, the reader may understand more deeply the essence of each.

Allan Badiner is the editor of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics (Synergetic Press), as well as two other books of collected essays, Dharma Gaia: A Harvest in Buddhism and Ecology (Parallax Press, 1991) and Mindfulness in the Marketplace: Compassionate Responses to Consumerism (Parallax, 2002). Allan is a contributing editor of Tricycle magazine, and serves on the board of directors of Rainforest Action Network, Threshold Foundation and Project CBD. He has been a student of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh for more than 25 years.

Alex Grey, a renowned American visionary artist specializing in spiritual and psychedelic art, is the art editor of Zig Zag Zen. His work spans a variety of forms including performance art, sculpture and painting. He is a member of the Integral Institute, on the board of advisors for the Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics and is Chair of Wisdom University’s Sacred Art Department. He and his wife Allyson Grey are co-founders of the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, CoSM, a non-profit church supporting Visionary Culture in Wappinger, New York. www.alexgrey.comwww.cosm.org.

Allyson Grey is an artist and co-founder of the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, CoSM. Her abstract works have been exhibited at Stux Gallery in New York City and the Museum of Fine Arts, and is a contributor to Zig Zag Zen. She has been a partner to Alex Grey since 1975. www.allysongrey.com/ & www.cosm.org

Rick J. Strassman, MD, is clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. He is the author of DMT: The Spirit Molecule, co-author of Inner Paths to Outer Space, co-producer of the film, DMT: The Spirit Molecule, and a contributor to the new edition of Zig Zag Zen. His most recent book is DMT and the Soul of Prophecy. www.rickstrassman.com

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Zig Zag Zen Launches in London 9 July @ Watkins Bookstore

Join Allan Badiner, Rick Doblin, Robert Forte and Daniel Pinchbeck in a rare London gathering for a book signing to celebrate the UK launch of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics.


zig_zag_zen_front_coverThis new edition of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics  has evolved from the landmark anthology that launched the first inquiry into the ethical, doctrinal, and transcendental considerations at the intersection of Buddhism and psychedelics.

Featuring original essays by Ralph Metzner and Brad Warner; exciting interviews with James Fadiman, Kokyo Henkel, and Rick Doblin; and a discussion of ayahuasca’s unique influence on Zen Buddhism by David Coyote; all of which have been carefully curated to extend the original inquiry of authors Joan Halifax Roshi, Peter Matthiessen, Jack Kornfield, Ram Dass, Terence McKenna, Rick Fields and others.

Zig Zag Zen also features artwork contributions from Android Jones, Sukhi Barber, Ang Tsherin Sherpa, Amanda Sage, as well as Robert Venosa, Mark Rothko, Robert Beer, Francesco Clemente, and the pioneering visionary artist Alex Grey.

Zig Zag Zen is a must read for anyone who is concerned about the future of Buddhist practice.
Robert Thurman, Chair of Indo-Tibetan studies at Columbia University

watkins_booksWATKINS BOOKSTORE
19-21 Cecil Court
London WC2N 4EZ
Nearest Tube:
Covent Garden/Leicester Square
Thursday, 9 July
6:30 pm

 

Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics
ISBN: 978 0907791 61 4

Hardcover $38.95 304 pages
7 x 9 inches
40 Color Plates (also available in eBook)
Available in the UK through Deep Books, Ltd.

Zig Zag Zen is a treasure trove: inspiring, frightening, powerful, funny, eye-opening, and a source of great wisdom on a subject that our society finds endlessly confusing.
Mark Epstein, MD, author of Thoughts Without a Thinker and Going on Being

 An extraordinary ride and guide down the corridors of the mystical psychedelic inward journey that will be of great interest and value to any serious explorer of spiritual insight. The zigzag is not for the straight and narrow.
Ganga White, author of Yoga Beyond Belief, founder of the White Lotus Foundation

Psychedelics opened my Doors of Perception, and Zen Buddhism has helped to keep them open.
John Densmore, author of New York Times bestseller Riders on the Storm and The Doors: Unhinged

 Zig Zag Zen challenges Buddhists to acknowledge their psychedelic legacies, while confronting
the duality undermining any chemically dependent spiritual path.

Douglas Rushkoff, author of Ecstasy Club, Exit Strategy, Playing the Future and Coercion

 Zig Zag Zen shines by its fairness: it faces the Zig and the Zag. That’s Zen at its best.
David Steindl-Rast OSB, author of Gratefulness: The Heart of Prayer

 About the Speakers

badinerAllan Badiner is the editor Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics (Synergetic Press), as well as two other books of collected essays, Dharma Gaia: A Harvest in Buddhism and Ecology (Parallax Press, 1991) and Mindfulness in the Marketplace: Compassionate Responses to Consumerism (Parallax, 2002). Allan is a contributing editor of Tricycle magazine, and serves on the board of directors of Rainforest Action Network, Threshold Foundation and Project CBD. He has been a student of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh for more than 25 years.

 

doblinRick Doblin, PhD, is founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). His undergraduate thesis at New College of Florida was a twenty-five-year follow-up to the classic Good Friday Experiment. He wrote his doctoral dissertation (in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government) on the regulation of the medical uses of psychedelics. His professional goal is to help develop legal contexts for the beneficial uses of psychedelics and marijuana and eventually to become a legally licensed psychedelic therapist.

 

Untitled-2Robert Forte, AMRS, is an independent scholar, writer, and editor, who studied the history and psychology of religion at the University of Chicago Divinity School. He is the editor of Entheogens and the Future of Religion; Timothy Leary: Outside Looking In, and the twentieth anniversary edition of The Road to Eleusis, by R. G. Wasson, Albert Hofmann, and Carl A. P. Ruck. He is currently a faculty member of the California Institute of Integral Studies, Transformative Studies. He served on the board of directors of the Albert Hofmann Foundation and has been president of the Church of the Awakening since 1985.

 

pinchbeckb&waDaniel Pinchbeck is author of Breaking Open the Head and 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl. In May 2007, Pinchbeck launched Reality Sandwich. He is the executive producer of Postmodern Times, a series of web videos presented on the iClips Network, and co-founder of Evolver.net, an online social network. His life and work are featured in the documentary 2012: Time for Change, featuring interviews with Sting, David Lynch, Barbara Marx Hubbard, and others.

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Celebrate Bicycle Day with Alex and Allyson Grey

On April 19th, 1943 Albert Hofmann accidentally took the first LSD trip in history. After ingesting a dose of 250 micrograms at his lab, he went for the strangest bicycle ride of his life.

Here’s an excerpt from Mystic Chemist: The Life of Albert Hofmann and His Discovery of LSD on the history of how Hofmann’s psychedelic cycling changed the world:

His spectacular bicycle ride from the Sandoz factory through the outskirts of Basel and on beyond the city limits to his house became the stuff of legends. Since 1984, April 19th has been celebrated as “Bicycle Day” among pop-culture LSD fans. It was initiated by Thomas B. Roberts, emeritus professor of educational psychology. Americans in particular found the idea of a bike ride on LSD amusing and admirable. Back then, hardly anybody in that land of boundless possibilities used bicycles and certainly not in the condition Hofmann was in on his original trip.

Looking back, Hofmann thought about the circumstances and significance of his discovery: “From a personal perspective, without the intervention of chance, I think the psychedelic effects of lysergic acid diethylamide would not have been discovered. It would have joined the tens of thousands of other substances that are produced and tested in pharmaceutical research every year and are relegated to obscurity for lack of effect and there would be no LSD story.”

You can commemorate this momentous event in the history of psychedelics with live painting by Alex and Allyson Grey and other visionary artists in San Francisco, CA. Tickets are available here: http://www.axs.com/events/268841/bicycle-day-tickets.

Even if you can’t make it to San Francisco for Bicycle Day 2015, you can still celebrate at home with Mystic Chemist: The Life of Albert Hofmann and His Discovery of LSD and get ready to read more psychedelic stories and see more visionary art by Alex Grey, Allyson Grey and others by pre-ordering Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics.

Wherever you are on that day and whatever state you may find yourself in—go ride a bike!

zig_zag_zen_front_cover hofmann_example

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