Mr. Boogie created a mind-boggling, capricious, utterly delightful new mural in Brooklyn thanks to the Bushwick Collective, and he put on the final touches during their Annual Block Party. The mural looked to me like someone ate a large amount of friendly psychedelics, then raided a candy store, and we are left with with the experience of psychic candy. I love it! Sometimes you just gotta have fun and stick our your tongue and get weird.
The gorgeous NY crowd flooded through the streets, celebrating life in their full-throttle way. Plenty of families and kids rolled by, taking fun pics in front of the mural and carefully studying Chor's techniques. A few kids even got their hands on some paint and tested out the medium. We had a visit from the young spray paint artist, Lola the Illustrator, and Chor happily shared some tips. The music rocked. It was a beautiful day of community and creativity. Much love & thanks to the awesome Bushwick Collective for making it happen!
Photo by Roman Akkerman
Photo: the sacred iboga medicine © E. Bast
Is it enough to bathe only once in a lifetime? Is it enough to practice yoga once? Meditate once? Go to the chiropractor once? Do an internal cleanse—only once? I suppose that all these, like the "booster dose," are ultimately subjective.
And what is a "booster dose?" This can be referred to a subsequent lighter dose of an entheogenic or psychedelic medicine, administered some time after an initial full ceremonial dose or "flood dose." The term "booster dose" is most often used in reference to iboga and ibogaine, the visionary sacred plant medicine from Africa and its pharmaceutical extract, respectively. Depending on the individual, a booster dose of iboga or ibogaine can be helpful or even critical to a person in recovery from severe drug or behavioral addiction.
My husband, artist Chor Boogie, and I first experienced the iboga medicine in a traditional Bwiti ceremony several years ago. We were initially drawn to the medicine by a terrifying healing crisis: Chor's opiate relapse. Once I started learning more about the medicine, it called to me to assist me with my own struggle with PTSD. Long story short, the medicine ceremony—as well as the highly skilled facilitation of our traditional shaman—rapidly helped to heal our primary issues along with much more than we ever anticipated. Six months after our first ceremony, we traveled to Central West Africa to immerse ourselves in the beautiful Bwiti culture, receive full initiation with the iboga medicine, and undergo a rite of passage. Six months after that visit to Africa, we were able to attend another Bwiti ceremony closer to home with the iboga medicine. Medical and therapeutic jargon might label these subsequent meetings with the medicine as "booster doses." Chor and I would simply call these being rerooted—to the iboga medicine as well as our Bwiti tradition. Though Chor did not need these booster doses in a critical sense after his first iboga healing ceremony to maintain his sobriety, they were extremely supportive for his continued well being—and mine.
Read the nutshell version of our process with the booster dose in this article in Rolling Stone magazine.
In Africa, the "booster dose" is what the tribe would regard as a regular part of village life, the medicine ceremony, held for a variety of purposes: healing, inspiration, divination, community relations, to celebrate special events, or to honor guests. These booster doses can be a healthy, occasional form of spiritual, mental, and physical cleansing and realignment. They may also serve as a deepening learning or initiatory process with the plant. They can reconnect our body and soul to the the ecosystem, that great web of life and Spirit.
In the same breath, we approach these "booster doses" with the medicine in a respectful way, as apprentices rather than entitled consumers. We inwardly ask the plant permission to partake of it, as our friends in Africa do, and then we listen intently for the silent answer. We wait for auspicious opportunities to commune. It's not just a matter of us humans deciding to take the medicine. It's the medicine calling to us as well. When we are fortunate enough to have medicine come into our lives, we infuse the sacrament with intentions, offer gratitude, and let go of our human ideas around how the medicine is doing it's work. Ultimately, we may become the full embodiment of our living prayer.
As our Bwiti teacher Moughenda says: We practice living without attachments, and we cannot even be attached to the medicine! If we are inwardly grasping at the medicine and choking it with the expectations of our limited minds, it can be disastrous rather than healing. Booster doses are a divinely timed gift of Grace.
Is a booster dose always necessary for people recovering from addiction? No. Some people have one flood dose of medicine, and that's all they need, for their healing and initiation, forever.
Yet, booster doses or seasonal ceremonies do have the potential to be good medicine for anyone, when the medicine calls, because we are all essentially "in recovery" from the human condition, every day. We are precisely wired with the receptor sites to receive the teachings of these sacred medicines. According to the Bwiti, sacred medicine is essential for most people to become fully realized human beings. Though sacred medicine might not be appropriate or necessary for every individual, they are right for humanity as a collective, and they work through some for the benefit of all.
Will a booster dose be needed or helpful? Again: We practice listening to our soul—and to the call of the medicine. And, hopefully, we are paying attention to the delicate issues of sustainability, ethical sourcing, and social impact on indigenous communities. We don't ever want to take more than we need or more than the earth can produce in a good way.
Sadly, the iboga medicine, along with all other psychoactive medicines, are currently highly illegal in the United States, even for qualified medical professionals and traditional practitioners, despite evidence of tremendous healing benefits and safety with good protocol. This is not only an issue of drug policy reform, but also one of of religious freedom. We pray to someday see the medicine made regularly available to all those who are called, in a way that is not only safe and responsible, but also culturally sensitive.
Cheers to the booster dose—and the rerooting of the soul.
Photo: Bwiti temple in Gabon © E. Bast
It was an honor to interview Dennis Hunter, founder of Care By Design (high CBD) & Absolute Xtracts (high THC) cannabis medicine products in Northern California. I found his level of commitment to plant medicine beyond inspiring. Despite facing some fierce challenges—and a society that is scientifically and morally still in the dark ages in regards to plant medicine—Dennis endured to create his superb all natural cannabis medicines. We met in Santa Rosa while Chor Boogie was creating his mural at Cutting Edge Solutions, a natural fertilizer producer favored by award-winning cannabis growers. You'll see Chor in action behind us here in the video.
• Learn about the differences that make Care By Design & Absolute Xtracts products exceptional and highly medicinal.
• Despite going through six years in federal prison and a recent unwarranted raid on his facilities, Dennis remains devoted to the cannabis plant medicine.
• Activism for plant medicine works! Speak up!
• Cannabis medicine is helping patients with cancer, epilepsy, PTSD, pain, arthritis, and much more.
• Exciting scientific studies are in the works!
MENTIONED IN THIS VIDEO:
Care By Design
Traditional Bwiti ceremonial music.
This is my kind of party... Milling about with thousands of glowing vegetarians, tasting all kinds of decadent delights that are actually good for me! There was even a yoga zone. Somebody apparently read my mind. I have been wishing for yoga zones in every public and private space. This fest is definitely an essential annual destination...
Seed Food & Wine Festival in Miami is the nation’s premiere plant-based food event of its kind, gathering an unparalleled group of more than 60 plant-based notable chefs, athletes, authors and celebrities for the festival’s third year. For 2016, event were held on Nov. 2nd-6th, including upscale dinners, fitness events and the nation’s first Plant-Based Burger Battle™. SEED celebrates delicious plant-based foods, fine wine, craft beer and spirits, lifestyle products, and companies, all while raising awareness about conscious and sustainable living.
Many thanks to JLPR marketing & public relations firm for the invite and positive vibes!
There were so many treasures, it was impossible to capture or fully experience all of them, but there are a few snapshots...
This super hero has been vegan for 30 years! Hardly the scrawny, pasty vision of common misconceptions. This is Geoff Palmer, CEO of Clean Machine Natural Sports Nutrition, and he must be doing something right. I was super impressed with their Clean BCAA natural food-sourced branched chain amino acids & electrolytes. It helps me to feel instantly hydrated, focused, and replenished post-workout. Oh, and it's super yummy. CLEAN BCAA™ delivers a 4gm daily dose of L-leucine, shown in a clinical study to increase 5-rep max strength by over 40% in just 12 weeks! I can't wait to try all their other products.
CLEAN BCAA features:
This is Nina, founder and visionary behind Sugar & Oats natural artisan made Vegan soaps, creams, scrubs, and skincare in South Florida. She carefully formulates all products with the purest plant based oils and 100% natural skin loving ingredients. Sugar and Oats promises to stay away from harsh chemicals, parabens, sodium laureate sulfate, and palm oils. Everything is cruelty free (not tested on animals).
Nina shared with me the touching story behind the inspiration of Sugar & Oats... She's a mama! And she wants the absolute healthiest soaps for her family.
I was blown away by the lavender bar soap. This is was the silkiest, most luxurious bar soap I've ever found (and I have tried all the good vegan major brands). The natural lavender scent was a perfect intensity. Also worth mentioning, the bar is a work of modern art, making it a great gift.
Recently I had the pleasure of visiting the Santa Cruz flagship store for Synergy Organic Clothing. Here I found a thrilling selection of clothing for women that is fashionable, luscious to wear, and ethically produced. The elegant designs hug curves in all the right places, creating a tailored appearance, yet they allow for a delightful range of movement.
I've been disappointed to find that most fashionable women's clothing is binding, fragile, and often created in poor conditions with exploitative wages. Thus, most fashionable women's clothing is literally disempowering—and a burden to the earth.
I want gorgeous clothing in which I can run, dance, go to a fancy party, AND practice yoga or martial arts—all made with sustainable materials and fair wages. I thought that was too much to ask until I found Synergy.
In addition to being invested in ethical production and fair wages; Synergy is also a Green America Certified business, which means its textiles are spun with organic fibers and employ non-toxic dying methods. Synergy also partners with the San Lorenzo River Alliance and the Waterwheel Foundation to protect local and international communities.
Synergy was recently featured in this article on Refinery29.com:
A few of my favorite items...
This is a favorite warming winter recipe! Satisfying & delicious! Like a HUG in my tummy! Make a double batch to feed the family for several days. Leftover stew can be easily frozen and reheated.
This recipe is inspired by the kitchari recipe shared with my by my friend Janice Craig of AlohaNamaste.com.
The DoTERRA black pepper oil is a powerful catalyzer for the medicinal properties of turmeric! It's also super tasty!
1 TBSP FENNEL SEEDS
1 TBSP MUSTARD SEEDS
1 TBSP CUMIN SEEDS
1 TBSP CORIANDER SEEDS
1 TBSP CUMIN POWDER
1 TBSP CORIANDER POWDER
1 TBSP GARAM MASALA POWDER (OPTIONAL)
1 TBSP TURMERIC POWDER
1-2 TBSP FRESH GRATED OR MINCED GINGER
1 CUP MUNG BEANS - RINSE & SOAK IN WATER THE NIGHT BEFORE
6 CUPS WATER (MORE IF YOU PREFER A MORE LIQUID SOUP)
2 TBSP RAW ORGANIC COCONUT OIL
1-2 CUPS CHOPPED VEGETABLES THAT SUIT YOUR AYURVEDIC CONSTITUTION
2-3 DROPS DOTERRA BLACK PEPPER OIL
SAUTE THE SEEDS OVER MEDIUM HEAT IN THE COCONUT OIL ABOUT 2-3 MINUTES UNTIL THEY POP. THEN ADD THE OTHER SPICES.
ADD THE MUNG DAL AND SALT. SAUTE FOR 1 - 2 MINUTES.
ADD BOILING WATER, BRING TO BOIL, THEN SIMMER FOR APPROX. 45 MINUTES, STIRRING OCCASIONALLY, UNTIL THE DAL IS ABOUT 2/3 COOKED.
COOK FOR 15 MORE MINUTES, OR UNTIL VEGETABLES ARE COOKED.
LET STAND 10-20 MINUTES BEFORE SERVING.
ADD BLACK PEPPER OIL JUST BEFORE SERVING, TO PRESERVE THE MEDICINAL BENEFITS.
*FOR VATA OR KAPHA CONSTITUTIONS: ADD A PINCH OF GINGER POWDER.
*FOR PITTA: LEAVE OUT THE MUSTARD SEEDS.
ADD A DASH OF FRESH LEMON & A TABLESPOON OF RAW COCONUT OIL JUST BEFORE SERVING.
SERVE WITH FRESHLY COOKED QUINOA OR RICE!