Lucas Jackson – Breathwork, Ayahuasca, NDEs: Integrating Exceptional Experiences


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In this episode Kyle sits down with a close friend in the psychedelic space, Lucas Jackson. They have shared many experiences such as Near Death Experiences, leading breathwork workshops, and other similarities. They cover topics such as the Near Death Experience, Ayahuasca experience, Breathwork tools, and accepting death, finding meaning and integrating these exceptional experiences.

3 Key Points:

  1. Exceptional experiences are not always euphoric and light, they can also be dark and cathartic and make it difficult to transition back into ‘real life’.
  2. Lucas explains his Ayahuasca experience as his darkest and hardest. He felt alone with no help, no one to talk to to help understand it, he felt as if he actually died. But this gave him a realization and acceptance of death.
  3. The key to making it through and putting understanding to the dark experiences is having the right tools, such as a community of understanding people, practices such as breathwork, yoga, meditation and just simply coming back to the breath.

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Show Notes

About Lucas

  • Lucas’ interest in psychedelics started in high school, the books that he read then were influential
  • He had a near death experience at 19
    • He came down with a lung issue and was in the hospital for 2 months and in and out of different stages of consciousness
  • After that experience his interest for psychedelics and breathwork grew
  • Lucas describes it not totally as a single NDE but more as being so close to death for an extended period of time
    • He says it wasn’t mystical and great, coming back to ‘real life’ had some dark qualities

Revisiting a Dark Past

  • Lucas says he wrote stuff down when he was in the hospital with a breathing tube and couldn’t talk and one day he went through it all and it was very dark and cathartic
  • When he went through and read his past writings, he said that he felt sympathy for the ‘him’ that wrote it
  • He says it is hard to remember the person he was before his experience and illness

Breathwork

  • After he dropped out of school, he started up a farm in Vermont and then toward the end of that he started to feel restless and there were synchronicities that led him to breathwork
    • He heard that Stan Grof was going to be doing a talk at a local bookshop and he met Lenny and Elizabeth Gibson
    • He ended up doing breathwork training in New York
    • He explains the experience as more powerful than what he would have imagined
    • He said he wanted to tell everyone about it after the first breathwork experience
  • Kyle says its common with any exceptional experience, people want to run and tell the world
  • Lucas says the sitting was just as powerful as the breathing
    • It’s not often that you have someone sit at your side for 2-3 hours giving you full attention
  • Lucas says that his GTT training was supposed to take 2 years and he thought he was going to get through it in 2 years no problem and he is in his 5th year doing the program and he loves the pace
  • Kyle says that part of the training in breathwork is doing your own work
    • Lucas says with this kind of work, you don’t get through it and you’re done, It’s a continuous process
  • Robert Anton Wilson’s ‘maybe’ logic helps Lucas with being okay with not knowing
  • He had a few experiences where he went through a ‘death’ feeling, and then he would let go and blast through this ‘light’ and then feelings oneness and wholeness

Ayahuasca

  • Lucas went through the ‘death’ experience and thought it was actually real, he felt complete void and nothingness
    • That experience haunted him for years
  • His ayahuasca experience was really about the purge, letting go of absolutely everything
  • James Fadiman
  • The remoteness of the experience was what he was seeking, being so far removed from everything he had known, everything that made him comfortable
  • The shaman was known for his potency of the brew
    • There is no consistency among the dosage
  • He felt very alone during the experience, he had no help, but it was almost special because it taught him that he is alone always anyway so there was some comfortability with the realization
    • The shaman didn’t speak English and the messages that he received through the translator didn’t make him feel completely safe about his experience
  • It took him over 3 years of chewing on the content and the questions before feeling somewhat okay
    • Lucas’ advice to anyone wanting to do this is ‘take off, make time for this, you’ll need more time than you think’
  • “I believe that there is a collective pool to tap into, where you’re processing the suffering of all, and once you hit that, it’s an abyss and you have to surrender. It can be so freeing.” – Lucas

Spiritual Emergence

  • Lucas says there wasn’t any day or event where he felt like he was going to have to go to the hospital or harm anybody, but it’s because he has the correct tools and great community
  • For him, the first experience was fun and exciting and then you want to do more and then you get into the work and the hard stuff
  • “What is, waking up?” – Lucas
  • There’s the Ram Dass idea that the tool will fall away when its usefulness has been exhausted
    • Lucas says the tool is having a daily practice, and for him its a breathing practice
  • Grof’s framework was a lifesaver for Lucas
  • “What are you going to do with the reality you are presented with?” – a quote from The Truman Show movie
  • “Even if this is all an illusion, why not make this the best illusion, the best dream?” – Lucas
    • How are we showing up to the world after something so exceptional?

Final Thoughts

  • What is this world for?
    • Lucas mentions an Alan Watts video, it says life is like a dance, there is no goal, and then after the dance we sit down
  • “What is the particular thing that we are trying to achieve? General improvement of all humanity sounds like a good goal. Hopefully psychedelics can be a huge tool in moving towards that.” -Lucas
  • Lucas says that he isn’t a therapist, but he is available to talk with someone if they may need it. Having an open and welcoming therapist is great, but if they’ve never had an exceptional experience, it’s helpful to talk to someone who has, therapist or not.

About Lucas Jackson

Lucas has spent his life wandering through inner and outer landscapes, collecting experiences, and sharing those experiences with those closest to him. His outer wanderings have led him to working with earth and plants around the world, including starting a biodynamic/permaculture food forest in Central Vermont. Lucas has also spent time working with people who were experiencing extreme states of consciousness while at Soteria-Vermont and while volunteering with The Zendo Project. The galleries of his inner world are made up of psychedelic musings, astrological insights, and various constellations of esoteric traditions. Lucas holds degrees in Environmental Science and Psychology and is currently pursuing an MA in Religious Studies.

Lucas can be reached through his email address at lucasjackson24@gmail.com as well as on Instagram @biodellic. He is available for astrological readings and is happy to meet others interested in discussing the topics covered throughout this episode of the podcast.