Synergetic Symposium & Salon with METZNER, MCKENNA AND DOBLIN

Synergetic Symposium & Salon with METZNER, MCKENNA AND DOBLIN

This year we are organizing a series of events to deepen our conversation with pioneers and visionaries working in an array of fields of study about the world around us and within us. Our first event is in Santa Fe is next month, details are below. Future events will be held in San Francisco and London.

01SP-home-slider-EventSOLD OUT!  We will prepare webcasts of the presentations in the near future for those who missed this event. Please sign up for our newsletter to receive notice of when they will be available.


on Earth Consciousness & Lore of the Amazon

Conversations on Ayahuasca, Ethnomedicine, and the Biospheric Imperative with


4:00 – 11:00 PM

Talks • Dinner • Visionary Art • Poetry • Music • Dancing

Synergia Ranch

Santa Fe, New Mexico



Symposium 4:00 – 6:30 PM
Talks by Dennis McKenna, Rick Doblin and Ralph Metzner
Panel Moderated by George Greer
Dinner 7:00 – 8:00 PM (optional)
Salon 8:30 – 11:00 PM 
Earth Consciousness Roundtable with Ralph Metzner, Dennis McKenna, Valerie Plame Wilson, Gay Dillingham and others (TBA), moderated by Allan Badiner
Poetry with John Dolphin Allen
Music & Visuals by Lightlab with DJ Goz and other TBA
Dance performance by the Daughters of Lillith
A time during the program will be made for introductions and brief presentations from local leaders of communities and groups engaged in Earth awareness, in raising consciousness, spiritual studies, and frontiers in developing frontiers in medical research with entheogens.
The Symposium & Salon are designed to share the wisdom and inspiration of our speakers and artists, to generate ideas and insights, and to nourish our vibrant local community.
• Symposium  $40
Dinner  $25
Salon  $20
• Package  $75

Your hosts, Deborah Parrish Snyder and Michael Gosney, are happy to answer any questions, or provide further information at
deborah at
About the Speakers and Moderators
Dr. Ralph Metzner is author of many books, practicing psychotherapist and Professor Emeritus at the California Institute of Integral Studies including a book coauthored with Ram Dass, Birth of a Psychedelic Culture (Synergetic Press). Dr. Metzner has been involved in consciousness research for over fifty years, including psychedelics, yoga, meditation, and shamanism. He is co-founder and president of the Green Earth Foundation, a non-profit educational organization devoted to healing and harmonizing the relationship between humans and the Earth.
Dr. Dennis McKenna is an American ethnopharmacologist, research pharmacognosist, lecturer and author. He is the brother of well-known psychedelics proponent Terence McKenna and is a founding board member and the director of ethnopharmacology at the Heffter Research Institute, a non-profit organization concerned with the investigation of the potential therapeutic uses of psychedelic medicines.

Dr. Rick Doblin 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.

Allan BadinerAllan 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, 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.

john_allenJohn Dolphin Allen is author of Me and the Biospheres (Synergetic Press), poet, playwright who invented, conceived and co-founded the Biosphere 2 project – the world’s largest laboratory for global ecology. Biosphere 2 set a number of world records in closed life system work including, among others, degree of sealing tightness, 100% waste recycle and water recycle, and duration of human residence within a closed system (eight people for two years). Allen has also conceived and co-founded nine other projects around the world, pioneering in sustainable co-evolutionary development.

Dr. George Greer conducted over 100 therapeutic sessions with MDMA for 80 individuals from 1980 to 1985 with his psychiatric nurse wife, Requa Tolbert. Their review of this work remains the largest published study of the therapeutic use of MDMA. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and Past President of the Psychiatric Medical Association of New Mexico. He was also the Clinical Director of Mental Health Services for the New Mexico Corrections Department during the 1990s. He has been the Medical Director of the Heffter Research Institute since 1998.

Valerie Plame Wilson is a former career covert CIA operations officer who worked to protect America’s national security and prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Valerie sits on the boards of Global Data Security, a cyber security company that safeguards digital data, and Starling Trust, a predictive behavioral analytics company. She also serves on the nonprofit boards of the Ploughshares Fund, Global Zero, the Penn State School of International Affairs, the United Way of Santa Fe County, and Postpartum Support International. Valerie is affiliated with the Santa Fe Institute, a trans-disciplinary scientific think tank addressing the most compelling and complex problems in the world today.

dillingham_gayGay Dillingham is Co-Founder, former President and Chair of Earthstone International, LLC, an environmental IP company manufacturing recycled glass into an engineered “white foam glass.” Gay served as Chair of the New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board for six of eight years of her tenure and passed historic greenhouse gas regulations in 2010. Gay owns a production company, CNS Communications, and is an award-winning producer/director. Her latest film, Dying to Know, celebrates the unique friendship of Timothy Leary and Ram Dass, exploring their extraordinary lives and perspectives on death. She is executive director of the Livingry Foundation, served two years as board chair for the New Mexico Association of Grantmakers, and currently serves on the boards of Santa Fe Community College, New Voice of Business, and the World Security Institute.

Michael Garfield writes music for the head and heart – intelligent, emotional performances that captivate attentive audiences and reward repeated listening.  Alternately tender and apocalyptic, simultaneously chill and energetic, his intensely technical yet vulnerable music reimagines folk and psychedelic rock alike, updating “solo artist with guitar” to suit an age of existential wonder, cybernetic systems, and emerging planetary consciousness. Michael’s music has been featured in the award-winning PBS documentary series Arts in Context, as well as on numerous podcasts (including Expanding Mind and The Psychedelic Salon).  Passionate about interdisciplinary collaboration, he frequently co-improvises with fire dancers, aerialists, live painters, and visual projectionists. 

Synergetic Press is proud to support and collaborate with Rick Doblin and his team at The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) This membership-based non-profit research and educational organization has been working for three decades to develop medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana. We are honored to introduce Rick to our community here in New Mexico at this event. Here are just a few of the ways MAPS is working —
MAPS supports research into the safety and effectiveness of ayahuasca-assisted treatment for drug addiction. They also support conferences, meetings, and publications about the scientific, therapeutic, sustainable, and spiritual uses of ayahuasca, and serve as non-profit fiscal sponsor for organizations that support these uses. They completed the first North American observational study of the safety and long-term effectiveness of ayahuasca treatment for addiction and dependence. The paper describing the results of the study was published in June 2013 which you can download by clicking here: Current Drug Abuse Reviews

MAPS Anniversary Event in Oakland and Psychedelic Dinner Salons

MAPS will celebrate it’s 30 year anniversary on April 17, 2016, Oakland, California. Addresses from leading psychedelic researchers, participants in MAPS-sponsored research, forward-thinking philanthropists, acclaimed visionary artists Alex and Allyson Grey, and others. Keynote from MAPS Founder and Executive Director Rick Doblin, with a multimedia performance by  Android Jones and Phadroid, a visual musical performance by DJ Spooky. Tickets and information at: 30 Year Anniversary. More information on their series of Psychedelic Dinner Salons at, a community outreach effort to support MAPS program of medical research with MDMA for treatment of PTSD.

 Forthcoming Titles

AYAHUASCA READER, Edited by Luis Eduardo Luna and Steven F. White, Second Edition (JUNE)
JOHN C. LILLY READER, Edited by Gerard T. Houghton and Craig Ingles
Making the Planetary Personal

Making the Planetary Personal

Dear Friends,
Reflecting on this next turn around the Sun and this auspicious moment in human and planetary history, brings to mind some of the key ideas that drive me and our work here at Synergetic Press:
  • We live in the ANTHROPOCENE: The Age when humans are recognized as the dominant geological force of the planet;
  • BIOSPHERICS is the interdisciplinary science essential to understanding planetary and cultural dynamics;
  • The NOOSPHERE, a sphere of intelligence around the planet that is emerging to determine our evolutionary future.
The concept of the noosphere was developed in the 1920s by Vladimir Vernadsky, Édouard Le Roy and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Nearly 100 years ago, in scientific, philosophical, and artistic circles people were discussing the idea of the noosphere, a world in which all of humanity become responsible stewards of the biosphere. I heard about the noosphere in 1984 when I was working at the Biosphere 2 project and published the first English translation of Vernadsky’s theory of the biosphere. Thirty years later, the noosphere has become an essential concept for understanding today’s ecological and culturological crises.

Humanity is undergoing a process of “planetization” becoming a truly global culture and entering a new era of the human journey.

        -Teilhard de Chardin

In the Guardian recently, David Suzuki applauded the landmark Paris agreement on climate change as an indication that “the Age of the Humans won’t necessarily lead to an age of destruction.” But, to change course, we humans must act swiftly and on a grand scale.
However, I’ve been exposed to countless BIG IDEAS about sustainability, consciousness … what practical changes have I made as a result? Christian Schwägerl’s book The Anthropocene, made me really question everything I think I need to live, what I throw away, and how. I began to examine each purchase and found ways to recycle as much as possible. Tony Juniper tells us in What Has Nature Ever Done for Us? that we produce enough food on the planet to feed everyone, but upwards to 50% of the food now produced is wasted. Staggered by this statistic, I have since paid close attention to what’s in the fridge, saving money and produce. Working on Zig Zag Zen with Allan Badiner and Alex Grey inspired me to reenergize my body and brain through meditation and seek to be more conscious of my actions and daily choices in life.
Every book Synergetic Press publishes contains ideas to help us understand how to be better to the planet, better to ourselves. The time is now to think, innovate, regenerate … make the planetary situation personal.
We have an exciting year ahead.
Deborah Parrish Snyder, Publisher

News & Events

Biosphere 2: World’s Largest Laboratory for Global Ecology Documentary Short on YouTube

Pioneer in biospherics and Synergetic Press author, John Allen, with Mark Nelson and other project co-founders and directors, talk about why they built the world’s largest laboratory for global ecology, Biosphere 2, and how eight people lived and worked inside it for two years (1991-1993) growing their food, recycling their air, water and wastes. This experiment, built to put Vernadsky’s theory of the biosphere into practice, defined many aspects of the metabolic connection between humans and the environment that sustains them, while greatly advancing the field of space habitat design. The project has been noted as the first experiment to examine the value of natural ecosystems services in this man-made world.


Photo of Christian Schwägerl and Tony Juniper by Jonathan Greet

The Anthropocene at the Royal Society of Arts and Royal Institution in London

The Anthropocene: The Human Era and How it Shares Our Planet, by award winning environmental journalist, Christian Schwägerl, was launched in London last Spring at the October Gallery, and joined by Tony Juniper in a talk on the subject at the Royal Society of the Arts. CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON THE RSA CHANNEL

And for a brilliant overview on the Anthropocene, see this talk at the Royal Institution in London with Leicester University professor, Jan Zalasiewicz and Christian, moderated by Robin McKie, scientific editor of the Observer. CLICK HERE TO VIEW

Vladimir Vernadsky’s Essays on Geochemistry and the Biosphere Now Available in EBook

Vladimir Vernadsky’s complete, unabridged Essays on Geochemistry and the Biosphere, his two seminal books in one. Translated from the Russian 1944 edition.

Read the Introduction by Alexander Yanshin, VP Emeritus, Russian Academy of Sciences for FREE.

Click Here

Dialogue About Buddhism, Psychedelics and Visionary Art in Santa Fe and London

In April we celebrated publication of the new edition of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics, edited by Allan Badiner and Alex Grey, with events in Santa Fe where editors Alex and Allan were joined by Rick Strassman and Allyson Grey for an engaging discusion of the topics.
In July, Zig Zag Zen released in London with events at Breaking Convention conference and legendary Watkins Bookstore. Zig Zag Zen is a unique collection of wisdom from scholars, teachers, and artists on the best practices for spiritual exploration and the interface with psychedelics.

Forthcoming titles include the Ayahuasca Reader and The John C. Lilly Reader. Click on the covers below for more details. Sign up for our mailing list to keep informed of new titles and events.

Let’s Get Social
Help us regenerate people and planet by liking and sharing our facebook page. Follow us on Twitter @synergeticpress.
Check out our YouTube Channel.
Remembering Ornette Coleman

Remembering Ornette Coleman

Our dear friend Ornette Coleman passed away on June 11. Our condolences go out to his son, Denardo, and extended family in this time of loss. We will always remember the delight and inspiration that he and his music brought us over the years.

The video below is a clip from the award-winning documentary Ornette… Made in America, featuring the opening celebration for the Caravan of Dreams Performing Arts Center  in the city of Coleman’s birth, Fort Worth, Texas. The city of Fort Worth welcomed back their native son with a mayoral proclamation of September 29, 1983 as “Ornette Coleman Day,” and Coleman was presented with a key to the city. On that night, Caravan of Dreams opened with Ornette and Prime Time on stage, while dancers twirled around the cameras in this film directed by Shirley Clarke. (Courtesy of Global Ecotechnics)

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And we leave you with a poem by his friend, Johnny Dolphin.

Ornette Coleman’s Manhattan

Ship searching out cross-currents,
Myself stalking this big city
Ornette and me circling higher in simple talk
Until words turn prayer flags
Whipped into tatters on passes between peaks
While music shatters into microtones
Leading captured melodies into ancient slavery.
My poems are your saxophone
Your sax reads my reading;
Words and music make mad lucinations
Navigating existence into pulse.
You threw away keys,
I threw away logics,
We honed our intuition
Rapping in an old warehouse pad.
Our Apollonian attractors dive,
Nitroxed in gaudy Dionysian reefs.
Trip of trips
Stately fandango
Cold sober in every drunken gene,
While sweet potato pie
Concentrates our eye.


From: Off the Road: Poetry 1989-2000


Spring 2015 Newsletter

Spring 2015 Newsletter








Launch of The Anthropocene at The Royal Institute of Arts in London, The Book Most Likely To Save the Planet (Hint: we published it!) and a Sneak Peek at our upcoming titles.

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John Allen’s Birthday on Biosphere 1

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.

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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!

Vajra Hotel Still Standing on the Roof of the World

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.


On April 25th, 2015 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.


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.

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You can aid their efforts by donating here:
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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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