December 20th, 2021

Episode #41

OF THE PSYCHEDELIC LEADERSHIP PODCAST

The Joy of Grief and the Ceremony of
Living & Dying with Dream Mullick

Laura Dawn drops in with Death Coach and Founder of Entheowheel, Dream Mullick, about death, the joy of grief, inspiration, flow, creativity, somatic embodiment, and the paradox of what it means to be human..

When we make peace with death, we learn how to fully live.

Dream Mullick

Listen:

About This Episode:

It’s when we learn to cultivate a relationship with our death and make peace with the fact that one day our lives will come to pass that we can learn to lean into living life more fully and more wholeheartedly. 

Founder of Entheowheel, Dream Mullick is a death coach. She leads people through what she calls the ceremony of living and dying, guiding you through the portal of death into rebirth, allowing your awareness of death to become a powerful catalyst for living life more joyfully right now. 

In this conversation, we explore the intersection of psychedelics, death, and eastern philosophy. 

We explore the paradox of what it means to be human and how to hold space for opening to feeling the full spectrum of what life has to offer us, from joy and inspiration to grief, pain, and suffering, while learning how to hold our center through it all. 

We talk about creativity and what it takes to anchor big visions, and the necessity of slowing down and finding stillness, opening the channel to receive guidance that comes from a higher place, so we can create from that space.

Core Themes

Explored in this episode:
  • Death
  • Grief
  • Joy
  • eastern philosophy
  • Creativity
  • Slowing down
  • paradox

Links &

useful resources
  • Join Me at Entheowheel this January!
  • Dream Mullick’s Website
  • Episode #4 of the Psychedelic Leadership Podcast
  • FREE 8-DAY Microdosing course
  • 4 MUSIC PLAYLISTS FOR PSYCHEDELIC JOURNEYS & BEYOND
PSYCHEDELIC PODCAST

Episode Transcript

Episode #41: Dream Mullick Psychedelic Leadership Podcast.

Length: 2:00:23

Laura Dawn: My name is Laura Dawn, and you are listening to episode number 41 of The Psychedelic Leadership Podcast, featuring my conversation with death coach and founder of Entheowheel, Dream Mullick.

Clip

Dream Mullick: And what had really stripped me and cracked me completely-open with the back-to-back deaths of my father and my husband and the way that death had become an incredible teacher for me in the way that it can when we get stripped, which I think that is also something that psychedelics sometimes can offer us. I say that he died so that I could learn to fully live, what it is to walk with the fullness of life, the beauty in death, the grief in death, the joy and how precious everything is and I think that’s the place that we met you and I, at that intersection at that moment in my life, where I was really deep in that unpacking of that experience. There is no life without death, there is no joy without grief; everything is interwoven.

When we drop into the reality that this could be our last conversation, yours and mine, and when you live from that place, when you move from that place, it changes everything. There’s a reason why the Tibetans began practicing for death from birth because it teaches us how to live and I think that psychedelics can open that doorway, they certainly did for me. I really encourage people to create the space, to feel, to create that spaciousness to slow down enough, to create a safe space within themselves, to really root down, like to root down and to know that they’re grounded, that they’re held, that they’re anchored to the earth and then create that internal space to feel.

Many, many, many of us in that question between meeting the urgency that we feel around what is collectively happening and a desire to be of service and a desire to fully show up, and then to find that stillness and to actually move from that place of stillness and allow that to inform what we create. When Entheowheel came it was like a huge vision and my mind just likes to create big and that’s one of my edges; one of my edges is to actually slow down and create from a space that is generative and create from a space that I can actually fully manifest in a good way. When I’m coming from a place of love, when I’m coming from a place of service, I can’t fuck it up.

Laura Dawn: It’s only when we learn to cultivate a relationship with death and make peace with the fact that one day our lives will come to pass, that we can lean in and live life more fully and more wholeheartedly. Dream Mullick is a death coach, which as she explains is not quite the same thing as a death doula that works with people at the end of life. But rather she leads people through what she calls the ceremony of living and dying, guiding people through the portal of death into rebirth so that you can make peace with death as a catalyst for living more fully in your life right now.

And part of the work that she does is also exploring the intersection between psychedelics and death, which is also a topic that I really appreciate since as we discuss, plant medicines really show us how to make peace with the true nature of reality, which is fundamentally impermanent and always changing. And we both share a very deep love for the Shambhala teachings and the way of the Bodhisattva, which is so deeply ingrained into the foundation of everything that I teach. So, a big part of this conversation explores the intersection between psychedelics, death, and grief, with the wisdom teachings of Eastern philosophy, and exploring this intersection is a topic that is so near and dear to my heart.

And just in case you haven’t tuned into it yet, I released an entire solo episode about bowing at the altar of impermanence all the way back at episode number four, if you feel like checking that out. And so, Dream is an incredible woman, she’s a dear sister, and I just adore her, as I share in this episode, we initially met at Burning Man a few years ago, and I had one of the most hilarious experiences of my life together with Dream out on the playa that will forever be etched into my memory as one of my most favorite Burning Man moments.

And at that Burning Man, the more I got to know Dream and what she was going through and we were sort of having this parallel process of processing some pretty deep levels of grief in our lives in very different ways and the more I heard her story, the more I respected and admired her. And so, Dream was actually born in India to an East Indian dad and a Jewish-American mom and she’s just full of so much wisdom and I just knew that this was going to be such a powerful conversation.

So, this episode is framed more like a conversation and a little less as an interview, it’s almost as if Dream and I are just catching up over the phone and you are listening into a real-time conversation that I’m having with a sister who’s also on the medicine path. And so, the core thread of this conversation is essentially exploring paradox; the paradox of what it means to be human and how at the core of it, we are energy in motion, that brings with it the utter bittersweetness of what it means to be alive, living and loving, and also watching what we love eventually come to pass and holding space for so much joy and inspiration and creativity, and also grief and pain and suffering and learning how to hold our center through it all.

So, the joy and beauty that is fundamentally inherent in grief is a central theme here and we also talk about creativity and what it takes to anchor big visions, especially on this path and the necessity of actually slowing down and being still, and just creating space to listen and opening that channel, to receive guidance that comes from a different place, so that we can create from that place, which is honestly so much easier said than done. And it’s a delicate balance, especially when we’re also on this path of really creating in a big way that does actually require a tremendous amount of dedication and focus, and effort.

But what I’ve learned time and time again, is that self-care and slowing down to tune in is absolutely foundational to creating on a really big level, and so we talk about being able to really tune into that place, so that we don’t force things, but rather allow things to unfold in the right timing and move at that speed of trust and create from that very aligned and centered place and aligning with our center really does require dropping into that stillness that lives within each of us. And in this conversation, we talk quite a bit about cultivating a deeper connection to this earth, and I share some of my experience of what it’s been like for me to make this transition from the big island of Hawaii to Austin, from off the grid to a more city-oriented living.

Although I’ll still always have a base in Hawaii, it’s just been such a huge adjustment and it’s required more intentional focus to maintain that sort of embodied connection to the earth here. But I am finding my new rhythm with it all, but it’s really just provided me with this deeper sense of awareness of how it requires more intentional focus and practice, and so we talk quite a bit about this towards the second half of the conversation and Dream leads us through just a one-minute mindfulness practice where we connect to our root into the earth.

So, when we hopped on the call together, Dream wanted to share something with me before we started that she had just read before our call, so I decided to just leave our entire conversation in because the whole thing honestly, was just so good. There was so much depth of wisdom shared in this episode and it’s definitely one of my favorite conversations so far, Dream is also stewarding and anchoring a really significant project called Entheowheel and she shares about it towards the end of the conversation.

And I’m honestly just so fucking proud of Dream, she is just such an incredible powerhouse and as many of you know; holding a significant vision for something that we want to create in our lives is one thing and transmuting that vision into reality is another thing entirely. And she’s really stepping out and leading in the space and I also asked her what she’s been learning along the way, where she’s meeting her growth edge, and how anchoring this vision is shaping her into the woman that she’s becoming, and everything that she shares about this and the evolution of her path was just so inspiring and so insightful.

So, the first Entheowheel event that was in collaboration with Esalen was incredible, it was so amazing and now Dream is launching a five-part live stream salon series, that’s called Exploring the Ceremony and Modern Science of Psilocybin. And that begins January 16th, 2022 and I am so honored to be speaking at this online event alongside some of my favorite people in the psychedelic space, including Paul Stamets, East Forest, Grandmother Jyoti, who I just adore, Rosalind Watts, who is doing such incredible work in the space and who I would love to get on this podcast at some point in season two.

So, if you choose to join us in January for this five-part live series, you’ll also receive immediate access to an exclusive video library of recordings that has over 10 hours of content that was filmed at Esalen for the first Entheowheel event, so all of that content will be included in this five-part series as well. You’ll get access to all of that and that content is really focused on preparation, the ceremony itself, and then integration as well and that content includes lectures from very prominent people in the space, including Dr. Jim Fadiman, Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris, Millana Snow, Justin Boreta, amongst many others.

I’m going to include a link to the trailer in the show notes and I highly recommend checking out this video, it’s so beautifully done, and if you’re listening to this and you are, or someone who’s a part of the BIPOC community, there are visionary scholarships available for this event and I’ll include a link to that application in the show notes as well. And in the show notes, you’ll also find links to Dream’s website, if you feel inspired to work with her directly or attend one of her online death meditations, which I highly, highly recommend.

And for this episode, instead of leaving you with a song, Dream suggested that we leave this episode off with this beautiful and short Dharma teaching channeled by the one and only Alan Watts and put together by Boreta and Super Position and you can find a link to listen to that again on Spotify if you so choose. And if you’ve been enjoying this show, I would so appreciate it if you could take a moment and leave me a review on iTunes, and as per usual, in the show notes, you’ll also find links to my free playlists for psychedelic journeys and beyond as well as my free eight-day microdosing course, if you are feeling called to start an intentional microdosing practice.

All right, without any further ado, all right, that is all from me for today, thank you so much for tuning in to The Psychedelic Leadership Podcast, it means so much to me; without any further ado, here is my powerful conversation with death coach Dream Mullick.

Podcast

Laura Dawn: Okay, great.

Dream Mullick: Good morning.

Laura Dawn: Good morning, hi, love, it’s so nice to see your face.

Dream Mullick: Hi, love so nice to see you too, before we start, can I share a morning inspiration with you? Because I just read this Mary Oliver poem that I was just like, yes.

Laura Dawn: Yeah, let’s hear it.

Dream Mullick: And the whales are migrating here right now and so earlier this week I saw a full pod, and so sometimes I just like to open up my books and see what wants to be read and this one, this morning it was humpbacks. There is, there is all around us, this country of original fire, you know what I mean, the sky, after all, stops at nothing. So, something has to be holding our bodies in its rich and timeless stables or else, or else we would fly away, off Stellwagen, off the Cape, the humpbacks rise, carrying their tonnage of barnacles and joy. They leap through the water, they nuzzle back under it like children at play; they sing too and not for any reason, you can’t imagine.

Three of them rise to the surface near the bow of the boat, then dive deeply their huge scarred flukes tip to the air. We wait, not knowing just where it will happen and suddenly, suddenly they smash to the surface, someone begins shouting for joy and you realize, you realize it’s yourself as they surge upward and you see for the first time how huge they are as they breach and dive and breach again, through the shining blue flowers of the split water, and you see them, you see them for some unbelievable part of a moment against the sky.

Like nothing you’ve ever imagined, like the myth of the fifth morning galloping out of darkness, pouring heavenward and spinning, then they crash back under those black silks and we fall back together into that wet fire, you know what I mean. I know a captain, I know a captain who has seen them playing with seaweed, swimming through the green islands, tossing the slippery branches into the air. I know a whale, I know a whale that will come to the boat whenever she can and nudge it gently along the bow with her long flipper.

I know several lives worth living, listen; whatever it is you try to do with your life, nothing, nothing will ever dazzle you like the dreams of your body. Its spirit longing to fly while the deadweight bones toss their dark mane and hurry back into the fields of glittering fire, where everything, even the great whale throbs with song. I fucking love that so much, like, listen, whatever it is that you try to do with your life, nothing will ever dazzle you like the dreams of your body, its spirit longing to fly while the dead-weight bones toss their dark mane and hurry back into the fields of glittering fire. Ah, come on, if that’s not psychedelic, I don’t know what is.

Laura Dawn: Oh my God, I also just love you, Dream, I love you so much and I admire you and respect you and also just that you wanted to open with that because when we were pinging each other on WhatsApp, like 15 minutes ago, and I was like, okay, I’m going to go into a meditation, you go into a meditation, we’ll meet here. And then actually, I sat for a second and then I was like, I really just want to dance and I put on this song that I’ve been listening to, and just channeling that feeling of like, have fun, let’s go into this and just have fun for the joy of it.

And out of this seriousness of like, oh, I really want it to be this like impactful conversation and bringing that levity of joy into my body and that’s what I was going to open with, with you was let’s just shake and have fun and bring that really, that frequency of inspiration into the body. And I think that there’s so much sort of seriousness around the work that we do and contributing to the psychedelic space and I feel like what the plants are teaching us is how to laugh and how to laugh in ironic amusement at the absurdity of everything that we’re facing right now on the planet. So, I’m just like, oh, that it just really speaks to that.

Dream Mullick: Yeah, well, I went into singing, I was like, yeah, yeah, I went into chanting and singing, I was like, I want to move my energy. I think that play, laughter even in the face of terror if we can be fully present and not like drop out of the reality of some of the extremes that we’re in because they’re real, but like how can we be fully embodied and present? I’ve been thinking a lot about this, I don’t think that spirit created us to be weighty and heavy and that’s a doorway that we have to go to get to this next, like remembering of the gift of everything and that’s part of what trauma does, it’s like we go through the shame and the weight of that. And then we come into the gift of the fullness of everything because there’s just no way, there’s no way that we were created to be heavy pain bodies.

Laura Dawn: Which is kind of where I was thinking I wanted to start this conversation with you, was just by sharing how we first met and just how some of my best memories at Burning Man, you’re really right up at the top with one of like the most hilarious moments of laughter in my entire life. And that’s just the beauty of events like that and gatherings like that and working with medicines in all sorts of different settings and how we found ourselves in this whole hilarious moment where your jacket was caught in the bike and it turned into this like hilarious, just real guttural laughter at just how funny life can be.

And during Burning Man, you also shared with me just a lot of profound wisdom around, I was actually processing a lot of grief at that Burning Man, letting go of our land in Hawaii and you had opened up and shared quite a lot about the grief that you had been processing in relation to a lot of events that had unfolded in your life. And so, it’s funny that we find ourselves at the beginning of this conversation where we’re really holding that juxtaposition of being alive and laughing and being able to sing and dance, enjoy and also really hold space for the processing and healing of trauma and grief. And maybe that’s just a good place for us to start to share some of your story of what you’ve been through in the past that has allowed you to be where you’re at now.

Dream Mullick: Yeah, I love that memory, I love that memory so much, I can go right back into it and I can see, it was like more than my jacket, it was like my cloak, this was this like sacred and I still have it, this is a sacred garb that I had that I felt was protecting me from everything that needed protecting from, which is nothing, and I refused to let it get torn off in the bike. And I was standing there stuck completely and I could have peed my pants, like really, it was like that both funny and ironic and you didn’t leave, which was also really beautiful, you stayed and we didn’t know what to do, but you stayed and I just want to honor that and appreciate that in this moment because that was a gift.

And wow, let’s see, that’s a big question, Laura, there are lots of different doorways to open with just this lifetime of experiences around lots of early childhood traumas. But I think that what I was sharing with you at Burning Man and what had really stripped me and cracked me completely-open with the back-to-back deaths of my father and my husband and the way that death had become an incredible teacher for me in the way that it can when we get stripped, which I think is also something that psychedelics sometimes can offer us.

But I was, gosh, let’s see, that was what, three or four years ago I think, the Burning Man, it was maybe three years ago, so I was about five years into a journey of, I would say waking up to life when my husband died suddenly of an accidental pharmaceutical overdose, but my story goes like much further back in my life and in many lifetimes with my experiences with death. But I would say like that particular kind of back-to-back, my dad dying and then a year later, my husband dying, cracked me open in a completely different way to what was important in life and I got this just really fast experience of everything that mattered and everything that didn’t matter and what didn’t matter just started to fall completely away.

And I walked for a year in this field of love, but also between the worlds, like not super grounded and embodied, but just in this place of knowing what was important, watching the grass grow, being so present. And also being completely stripped and opening up to all the experiences that I hadn’t felt in my life, all that I had pushed down to busy myself, go to business school, do all the things that I thought that I could do to kind of hold life together when you’ve had a lot of lived experiences.

And that all fell away and, I say that he died so that I could learn to fully live and that’s been my journey and that’s kind of the process that I was in when I was at Burning Man with you was really cracking and peeling back some of those deeper layers of understanding, what it is to walk with the fullness of life, the beauty in death, the grief in death, the joy and how precious everything is. And I think that’s the place that we met, you and I, at that intersection at that moment in my life where I was really deep in that unpacking of that experience.

Laura Dawn: Right, and it just so speaks to the way that grieving and actually bowing at the altar of death so fully that I really feel like that’s such an invitation that psychedelics and plant medicines give us is to really face that. And it’s actually incredibly painful to fully bow and acknowledge at the altar of our own death at the death of the loved ones in our lives, and yet it’s so fueling towards living fully, there’s so much beauty in that grief and in that bowing and acknowledging, and it’s really just this complete juxtaposition of the pain and the bittersweetness of what it means to be alive.

Dream Mullick: Well, that’s it exactly, there is no life without death, there is no joy without grief, everything is interwoven and the story that we’ve bought into in this culture that they’re actually separate and that we gravitate only towards the desired body of happiness and that’s just a story. When we drop into the reality that this could be our last conversation, yours and mine, and when you live from that place when you move from that place it changes everything. There’s a reason why Tibetans began practicing for death from birth because it teaches us how to live and I think that psychedelics can open that doorway; they certainly did, for me.

Laura Dawn: I’m kind of curious to ask you about this experience, I was also grieving so much, just the transition from owning this beautiful retreat center in Hawaii that I actually felt like my identity was so wrapped up in and really shedding that skin and shedding that identity and having this experience of sort of going into the suffering and the grief of it. And then after being there for some months and it was kind of like a dark night of the soul over the period of some years and that feeling and that recognition of, okay, there’s a place to continue to be present for it and sort of kick that wheel of suffering.

And then having that acknowledgment at a certain point of like, oh, actually I don’t need to fully go into that right now, speaking to this place of how to know when to continue to hold space for the full experience of grief and how to know when to say, okay, I’ve grieved, I’m going to allow that to be, and not actually continue to sort of fuel it with the mental storyline of loss, for example, and just say, I think that I’m complete on that at this moment.

Dream Mullick: Yeah, that’s a beautiful inquiry because I’ve actually gone quite deep into that because the death of my husband started to become an identity so then I was like that would be my storyline, I would kind of lead with that because I was so in that experience and what I’ve come to, I love this idea of titration, which I think is more of a somatic term, but I think that it applies to everything in life that we right now we’re experiencing so much collective noise. There’s so much coming at us in all different ways and how do we be with the fullness of experiences without being debilitated?

And that’s this idea of allowing in like fully allowing in what we can actually process and being with that experience and then growing from that kind of capacity, I had a year to grieve when my husband died. I took a year, I traveled around the world, I held ceremonies, I had no practice like that in my past, none whatsoever, I had no training, I had no tools to be with death, I had nothing and then my dad died, I called it death 1 0 1 because it actually brought death into our household, into the conversation, to the dinner table.

And we started talking about things like whether we wanted to be embalmed or these different things that just, you never would’ve had conversations about, but I had no training and then when he died I was just channeling, it was like channeling and I had permission for the first time to openly grieve and I was grieving for everything. I was grieving for the collective planet, I was grieving for the loss of every being that I had felt my entire life and not grieved for, not just his, and then what it really came to was like metamorphosis and transformation that I experience actually through an Iboga journey. And from that, I started to mourn the death of the dreams, the future projections, all the ideas, but they weren’t really tangible because nothing had died, nothing had actually died.

I had more communication, I had a deeper connection with the divine, with spirit, with my husband’s soul than I had ever had, we didn’t have the drama that we had in this lifetime. So, I think that in terms of when we come to how much we can hold, what we can grieve, how deep we go into this story, there’s an invitation on one hand to feel everything and then on another hand, it’s to be with what we can actually process so that we can stay embodied, not check out and be with the joy of life at the same time, as we’re holding the grief and neither want to be diminished because they both coexist If we didn’t love it so much, we wouldn’t be grieving.

Laura Dawn: Right, yeah, and in my experience of working in ceremonies where I felt like I was drowning in grief and drowning in this feeling of just the depths of suffering from grieving loss, and then having this realization that also a lot of the narratives and the stories in my mind, and the thoughts were actually fueling the grief. And when I started recognizing places to shift the narrative, that it’s actually not loss, that it’s transmutation, that it’s this evolution of change, it actually allowed me to sort of stop drowning in the grief and just hold space for it, to then transform into something else.

And that was really helpful in sort of completing some of those cycles of grief and really it came down to how I was relating to it and the story that I was telling myself about quote-unquote loss, and that it actually really wasn’t loss as I’m coming out of a 10-year long marriage with Noah. It’s like, I haven’t lost Noah, he’s still in my life, our relationship has changed, it’s transformed but the way that we sort of talk about loss, I think is a really big part of this conversation around grief.

Dream Mullick: That’s right, exactly because there’s nothing lost if you look at the natural world, everything is in constant transmutation, everything is in constant transformation, it doesn’t mean that we don’t mourn, like when we have a big fire, I live in Big Sur and we had a big fire, it started across the street from me actually. And I watched it burn down the hill and watching the redwoods burn, my heart was hurting, my heart was hurting even knowing many of them need fire to regenerate and there is transmutation and there is Serotiny.

There are these like little bits bursting out from the ash, all these new sprouts that are coming and yet there still is a loss, there is a loss of that tree, but there is not a loss because it hasn’t gone anywhere, all of the experiences, all of the stories that are contained in that tree are now in the ash and back in the soil and in everything. And so, I think that there’s a collective story that has been told around what is loss, what is death, and the role that plays in the way that we move through life that isn’t true and I think that psychedelics can reveal that, they can open up, death did that for me, but so did the plants and so did psychoactive plants and psychedelics, so I think that’s spot on.

Laura Dawn: Yeah and I think that for people listening, and I’d be curious to ask you, Dream, any advice for people who are moving through, I feel like we’ve been collectively moving through this time of grief, as many of us are shedding identities from pre-pandemic times, the world around us is fundamentally different. It’s changed, we’ve had to let go of old ways of being, which actually is a portal of transmutation and grief and letting go and I know that you’re doing death doula work now, and you’ve been doing these incredible meditations of dying into the now I love that framework.

And I think that a lot of people are really interested in actually exploring the intersection between psychedelics and death and psychedelics and grief and just anything that you can share about what you’ve learned along the way or practices that maybe could be helpful for people who are listening to this, who are like, okay, I’m opening to the processing of grief in a healthy way.

Dream Mullick: Yeah, give me a minute here, Laura, so we might end up pausing for a minute, but I’m just going to drop in for a minute and really digest that question. I’d say that fundamentally one of the great challenges with this time that we’re in is that there aren’t the containers to even process some of these experiences, when I first got that grief, like the invitation to be with grief, to be with everything that was happening, to feel everything, I started to facilitate circles, in the way of counsel, like grief counsels.

And I was really wanting everybody to be with the collective grief and what I found was that a lot of people were coming in just with their individual experiences, like their divorces or their losses in their lives because before we can process for the collective, we need to process for ourselves. And I think that there’s a misunderstanding of self-care, like at the depth level of what it is to actually tend to oneself, to tend to our own nervous system so that we can reregulate with the collective nervous system.

And so, what I feel is that there’s a really important balance, what you brought up is like, how do we feel pain and even reframe pain, like the pain body, I’ve been working with a lot of pain as I got quieter, as I’ve gotten more still during this pandemic time, I started to feel a lot more of what is in my system, which is pain. And I started to recognize that I get to reframe my relationship with pain, like pain is my emergency systems saying, Hey, something’s out of balance here, something’s out of regulation.

I’m not trying to resist that pain, I’m trying to understand what’s out of balance and restore that balance, and so I think that the same holds with the grief, the contraction in our culture, we have been contracting from the contraction, we’re in this birthing process and in birth, there is an expansion and its vast and then there is contraction. And if we don’t have both, we don’t birth the baby, we have a Caesarean, which is not necessarily what’s going to serve us, and so I really encourage people to create the space to feel, to create that spaciousness, to slow down enough to create a safe space within themselves, to really root down, like to root down and to know that they’re grounded, that they’re held, that they’re anchored to the earth and then create that internal space to feel some of what they’re experiencing.

And to know that, that capacity to feel is so directly connected to their love, their heart, that heart that breaks open, as some of our teachers in the Buddhist traditions will share, that heart that breaks open is the heart that can hold everything. And there’s no fear in cracking open but allowing oneself to let in what they can hold and even simple practices like here gone, one of my teachers in the death meditation practice was just simple practices, like here gone, just recognizing this moment, that ever-changing, we can no longer change this moment from any other moment, it’s just in constant flux. And so, why would we want to hold on to that?

Laura Dawn: I love those simple practices and one of the practices that I actually bring up a lot in the programs that I do, in the work that I do with people is similar to here gone, but it’s just, drop the storyline connect with the underlying energy. It’s like a two-sentence instruction around something that’s actually incredibly profound, like drop the storyline, just notice the storyline connect with the underlying energy and that’s why there’s such a beautiful convergence between Buddhism.

These different lineages of Eastern philosophy, I feel like converge and overlap so perfectly with the psychedelic experience because when you look at the three marks of existence, one of them is that everything is impermanent, everything is always changing and I think that when we learn that everything is energy, always in motion, we stop fearing it so much. And instead, we come full circle to what we opened with, and we learn how to dance with this energy of life and how we move in conjunction with it.

We can channel it, we shape it; we can actually mold it into a work of art that really becomes our life, and so it’s this way that we can hold both ends of the spectrum of joy and pain and for people who listen to this podcast regularly, they know that I like to think in Venn diagrams. And so, we’re overlapping this circle of Buddhist philosophy with psychedelics, and I think that psychedelics really help to facilitate the capacity to hold space for what we feel, and so to put another sort of circle in this overlapping Venn diagram would be somatic awareness.

And you use these words around contracting, and I think that there’s also this other really key piece is that I think we’re so conditioned to move away from pain, to shut down and contract and pull away from feeling difficult emotions, which there is a huge body of wisdom teachings in Eastern philosophy that really fully just point to that. Like broken down instruction on how to hold space, stay open and not contract, open heart, open mind, like full open channel, and being able to really meet the difficulty of the present moment with an open sense of equanimity of non-judgment, of the calm nervous system.

It’s incredibly hard to do actually because when we feel that pain of the grief and the suffering it’s like this place of like, no, I don’t want to feel it and learning actually how to somatically just open in the middle of it without completely losing our center and completely losing our shit.

Dream Mullick: Yeah, well, I think that I want to acknowledge a couple of different things, I want to acknowledge that being disembodied or disconnected or disassociated is a defense mechanism that serves us in certain situations and has served us to survive and so acknowledging that, that is real, while at the same time saying, Hey, that which has helped us to survive may be inhibiting us from actually thriving. What our body system, what our nervous system either believes or in truth has helped our ancestors to survive, has helped us individually in our lives to survive is also what may be killing us, that may be that exact pattern.

And so, to work through that, to create that foundation of safety, to be able to feel from and that’s internal, we don’t necessarily always all have the external circumstances, but we can create that place inside of us because we are that, that is our birthright. That embodiment is our birthright, that place of knowing that we have that much capacity, that we are that held exists within us and so I just want to encourage and that’s, I think part of what psychedelics can show us, they open up that doorway and then we get to integrate all that beautiful work into our lives, into the daily, into restoring that memory of who we already are.

Laura Dawn: Right, if I was going through another major grief portal, I would actually really want to be held by you, Dream because I know the depth of your understanding of grief and the depth of your capacity to hold space for your own grief. And I think that it’s also helpful that we do this healing in relation and that actually this nervous system co-regulation happens for healing where I can feel safe to let go and unravel and fall apart and have someone else hold that, knowing that it’s okay. It’s okay, just stay present, just hold it right here, it’s okay, just staying in that center of unraveling and having someone else hold that is incredibly beneficial.

Dream Mullick: Well, we need that, Laura, I think that’s also been, as we’re moving from this story of separate into the story of memory of this interconnected, but we’re doing it in a new way, we’re coming in as sovereign connected beings, as sovereign connected people. But coming back into that, it takes a village, that’s not a cliché, that’s not just some offhanded statement, it’s the truth, like in other cultures, they have communities that grieve together, they have women that will come to your funerals and cry and I’m really interested, you mentioned that I’m a death doula, but I’m most interested in working with death as a portal to life, I don’t do a lot of the end of life work.

I’m super appreciative that it’s happening, super grateful, but it’s not my light up, my light up is that these practices bring us more life, more awareness of the preciousness of this life so that when we die, we die having fully lived and that we don’t have to wait until we have a terminal diagnosis to tap into tools and practices to bring us fully into presence in life. And that’s, again, why psychedelics and sacred plant medicines can also offer that opportunity, death, these are portals they’re kind of entryways into other realms of consciousness that exist at all times that we just aren’t always tapped into.

And we get these kinds of instant openings into these other realms of consciousness and then how do we integrate that into our lives? How does that become part of the way that we move in the world? Because otherwise, it’s just another experience.

Laura Dawn: So, having these meditation practices where we are making peace with death, where we’re dying into the now, I could also imagine that gratitude practices would be really helpful. Do you have any other practices or just suggestions? It seems like even dancing and singing and embodying joy could also be another practice, but I’m curious if there’s anything else that you feel like sharing.

Dream Mullick: Yeah, so I have this, what you’re calling dying into the now, which I’m now calling the ceremony of living and dying and it’s been interesting just to try and kind of language this understanding and awareness of death and bring it in a way where it’s not morbid, it’s not fearful. It’s an invitation to kind of engage in the ceremony of life, through this doorway in the conversation of death and gratitude is a huge part of it, so my practice has been primarily influenced by a couple of different teachers and then what I channel myself.

And so, the death meditation, this ceremony of living and dying, we really go into the last hours of your life and come out and you’re reborn and there’s so much opportunity along the way to connect with being grateful for this body, being grateful for this life and all of the different experiences. And that’s a part of my daily practice, when I wake up full and present, then I go into gratitude, and I really connect with my body and with everything else that is around me, but I start with my body because I think that oftentimes we go into gratitude and we start externally.

But this being, this form, this embodiment as a manifestation of the external, we are missing that and all of these organs in this whole system that is a universe and the universe is unto itself, is constantly there working for us, for our own wellbeing. And my sense is that when we regulate that nervous system, when we regulate that universe, our collective is going to drastically shift, that the consciousness that we are able to echo out through our own true deep work and not to be confused with some of the self-help that takes it outside of the self.

Laura Dawn: And that’s why we’re seeing such a huge movement in even the word embodiment, somatic awareness, embodiment practices, I’m curious, you looked like you had a thought on that.

Dream Mullick: Well, I do because I’ve been thinking a lot about what it is to become fully human an embodiment of the divinity of all of it, and so when I use embodiment, the word is for me, a lot more than just movement practices. It is the memory that our mind is not in our brain, that our body is our entire subconscious mind and that the consciousness beyond our body is reflected and mirrored through our own connection with this form. And that was something that I really got out of a plant medicine experience was like, oh, wow, yeah, that’s right, we took birth to embody the divine, and so what does that mean?

That means being fully with all that’s happening, including connecting with this ecosystem that is the body but I think that for me, it’s more nuanced than just like, so I’m going to dance, like, am I dancing from the inside out? Am I connected with my form? Am I connected with the roots of my being that are connected with the roots of this earth and how is that then channeled and connected with the cosmos? And so, that’s embodiment.

Laura Dawn: I love that, I love it, I love it so much and it actually is just like this bridge into this sort of next area, I really want to talk with you about it because we’re talking about opening this channel and being open to this movement of energy. And when we first met, that was actually something that I really appreciated about you, that you were really living life on your terms, I was like, wow, you’re making so much shit happen in the psychedelic space.

You’re not like predominantly on social media, you’re really just doing it in the way that you feel compelled to do it and to live on your terms and this whole sort of conversation around, and you brought up the birthing analogy, which I love because last night, when we were talking on the phone, you said that, you’re like, there’s a time to push and then there’s a time to relax and align. And I think that this is really present for a lot of people, this notion around knowing when to push and when pushing is coming from a good place and knowing when to just align and hold the frequency of the prayer that we’re anchoring on this planet.

And so, I know that this is kind of a big segue, but I love to talk about this with you because you said some really powerful things last night, knowing that there is a time to align and there is a time to push and it’s a dance knowing when to make things happen and when to allow things to happen. And I think that it’s about tuning in to that frequency of that open channel.

Dream Mullick: Yeah, Laura, I don’t actually think that there’s ever a time to make things happen, I think that’s kind of part of the hubris of the human condition, the story that we are making anything happen. I think that’s part of like, I lived a long period of my life, a lot of my life pushing and I went to business school, I built a company, I did all of these things that I thought that I was supposed to do. And all of this time, I was fighting my own connection to the divine and pushing down my highly sensitive nature and the way that I felt everything and just trying to find a way to make it through life, to form, to stay informed, to hold it together.

And part of the story of what I thought I was supposed to do was to push and I did that, I did that until I had no more to give, I did that until I was literally running on fumes, and by the time my husband had died, I had recognized that it was him or me. I was at my end, spirit was giving me messages, I was getting dreams, all kinds of information was coming through and it was like, listen and choose this path or don’t. And so, the process of the last eight years has been a lot about unpacking that, how that story of urgency, that story of the adrenaline that comes from needing to be busy all of the time, to not feel the fullness of what’s actually happening in life.

And that we have anything to make happen, that separates us out from the collective experience of listening to the whole ecosystem, and so for me, it was like I kept pushing and kept basically collapsing until I got to a point where I was like, my body was saying, listen, if you keep living like this, you’re going to get really sick and things started to happen, things start to happen when we’re not in alignment. And so, by the time that I ended up here in Big Sur, where I am now, this magical land that I had created many different programs that just kept getting stopped because of the pandemic and so I would say, strongly invited, I was strongly invited to listen and I started to listen with a different lens in a different ear.

And it was hard, I went through the deep lonely, I went through lots of confusion around like everybody’s out there, everyone’s online creating all of these things, I’m receiving all of these ideas, just constantly, and I’m a channel sitting on the edge of the earth channeling. And yet I kept hearing to clear my own channel to stop, to listen, to be still, to move from a different place, to continue to deepen in, like learning what is extractive and what is generative and where am I moving from that place of like, urgency and need versus embodiment.

And so, I would say that it is not just in the psychedelic space, it is in a collective space that we are, many, many, many of us in that question between meeting the urgency that we feel around what is collectively happening and a desire to be of service and a desire to fully show up, and then to find that stillness and to actually move from that place of stillness and allow that to inform what we create. And that’s where I’ve come to and it didn’t come easily, and I still work with that, like, how do I find the balance between, even now I’ve created this new curriculum, this new program and it becomes all-encompassing.

And even though it’s like soul work and passion work, it’s like, oh, wait, how do I slow down enough to remember when I’m sending out messages to people that I’m actually sending out a gift? How do I slow down enough to remember that everything that I’m creating is coming from this place of love, from this place of desire to be of service, to show up, to share from that authentic place, and to still honor the voice in me that wants to share, and so it’s like we’re in that dance and I think that it’s a beautiful place to be in.

Laura Dawn: I really consider it to be like the yin and yang of creativity that we’re our bodies are this, really a powerful vessel for creating through us into the world and I think that we’re mostly just in the yang and you made this analogy last night when we were on the phone, that there is a time in pregnancy when pushing, it’s time to push, it’s a healthy push. And I like that analogy because there’s that young moment of like, okay, this is what needs to happen and this is kind of what I was referring to that balance between allowing it to happen and then making it happen, like stepping in, in this co-creative dance with life to shape something that we are bringing through from the place of yin, from the place of stillness, from the place of quiet.

And I think that we’ve mostly just lost that permission to slow down that sense of it’s okay, that actually slowing down and finding center clearing the channel, listening is incredibly valuable an essential part of the act of then making it happen or pushing or bringing it into the world. Maybe we need to actually even just use different words than making and pushing, but like stewarding and allowing it to actually just come through, and so it’s this dance, again, coming back to Eastern philosophy that yin and yang of allowing something to come through.

Dream Mullick: Yeah, well, and we can look at the natural world for that, we can look at the natural world as an example of when things get slow when things get still when things go into hibernation, that’s a natural part of the cycle of life and we’ve forgotten that in some ways. And so, this perpetual acceleration, this perpetual growth is what is not sustaining, it’s not that growth isn’t sustainable, it’s not that acceleration isn’t sustainable; it’s the notion that we’ve forgotten that we need to hibernate, we need to regenerate, we need to rejuvenate on a human level and on a collective level that is more than human.

And that’s part of what I love so much about the plants and psychedelics is that we get to tap into the more than human intelligence, we get to tap into that which reminds us that we are a part of this collective ecosystem. And when we get to slow down enough to integrate those experiences into our daily lives, then we’re really getting the message I think, we’re getting the message that these elementals are offering to us.

Laura Dawn: And how do you work with the narrative of urgency though? Because in some ways, and again, it’s so paradoxical because in some ways I do think that there is an urgent need for us to wake up, we’re on the brink of the sixth mass extinction. Maybe that’s just a narrative in and of itself and there’s a way bigger timeline going on that we can’t even fathom, but it does seem like there could be a healthy sense of urgency to, okay, it’s time to get our shit together people. And so, how do you relate to that?

Dream Mullick: I relate really well to that from the perspective of there is urgency, if we didn’t push, we’re having a baby, this is kind of one of the messages that I received when we first dropped into the pandemic, was that we are in the birthing rooms of our own becoming, we are in this Bardo space, which is a Buddhist term. This liminal space, the space between the death of what we were and the birth of what we’re going to become and we’re sitting in this space and in that kind of space of birthing before the baby comes out, if you don’t push, you don’t have a baby.

It’s like there is an absolute time to rise up and to meet all that’s happening in whatever way is in alignment for each and every being out there, whatever way lights you up to be of service, there is that, but from a resourced and embodied place because otherwise, we go into burnout, which is what we’re also seeing that the planet is sharing with us. We’re mirroring, there’s no delineation between her nervous system and our nervous system, and so then the planet is just responding, the planet, I think that we even need new language around that, we’re in a climate crisis.

No, if we want to even use the word crisis, we’re crisis of consciousness if we want, and I don’t even like that word necessarily, but it’s like the planet is responding to a part of herself which is us being deregulated, being out of balance and trying to reregulate. And so, there is urgency, there is a wake up on a deep, deep level that is being invited, but how do we receive that? How do we embody that? And how do we access that? And if it is urgency meeting urgency, then that frequency creates more of that same frequency.

Laura Dawn: Right, it’s the paradox of being able to actually accomplish more by doing less and by accelerating by slowing down.

Dream Mullick: That’s right, and that’s what I’ve been finding, that’s what I found as I’ve been creating because the mind that learned how to do all of this in a big way and in a fast way, and all of that wants to step in and do these things, do, do, do and my soul, my being, my essence wants to say no, how do we listen and then move from that place of listening. And that’s, I think what original people’s indigenous folks like really understand at a much deeper level because they have not disconnected in the same way from that story of being connected, and so there is a reciprocal relationship of listening that is embodied and that’s what we are returning to, we’re returned to that because it lives in us.

Laura Dawn: I really want to ask you, I’m so curious to hear about some of your channeled curricula before I ask that, I’m kind of curious if you have anything to say about ways that you clear your channel and maintain at that open connection to spirit.

Dream Mullick: Well, that’s been an absolute work in progress and that’s been really shifting as I’m kind of discovering and accessing different layers of what’s stored in my system but most recently, I want to say that one of the messages that I received some years ago that I’ve been working with, and as I work with it, it’s revealing itself at deeper layers is that our restoration is in our roots. And so, I started to unpack, what does that mean? And for me, I was born in India and I was exploring what it is to be both colonized and colonizer because I have European-Jewish lineage and East Indian lineage, and so I was exploring my ancestry and starting to connect with the resilience and the trauma in my history.

And then I was exploring the soil and the roots and lately what I’ve been really getting into is that it’s in me, in my body, it’s really reconnecting with my lower energy centers or what in Eastern philosophy we call our chakras, really connecting and clearing and anchoring from that place because I have spent so much of my life as a channel, mostly disembodied, mostly in the upper realms, kind of heart up.

And so for me, I’ve been really working with those lower three centers, connecting and anchoring, and dropping myself in, in the morning, imagining visualizing, what kind of a tree am I going to be today? What kind of tree wants to be me? And maybe it’s a rainbow eucalyptus, or maybe it’s one of my redwoods and dropping myself down into connecting with the earth, anchoring from that place and closing down some of those lower centers so that I’m not necessarily so spongy and fluid, but I’m more boundaried, embodied so that I can move from that rooted place to come up.

Rather than feeling separate and I really reflect that sense of feeling separate is that sense of feeling separate with everything because the part of me that has been so connected to the kind of upper realms and needed to disassociate, to process and deal with certain life experiences, that part of me then hasn’t been as rooted and connected to the earth, which is my home. Which is what I came here for, to be in this body, to connect with, so that’s like super simple grounding practices, we can do a one minute if you want to drop in for a minute, I’m happy to just [Cross-talking].

Laura Dawn: Mm-hmm, let’s do it.

Dream Mullick: Kind of cut in a one minute, yeah, so just settling in, noticing your form, maybe you’re sitting, or maybe you’re laying down, noticing this human form, perhaps even tracing it, an outline of your body so that you can really feel your body, feel your form, feeling your bones, feeling the place where your bones are meeting that surface you. And noticing where that surface is rising up to meet you, connecting you with it, and it with you and imagining a tree wrapping its trunk around your hips, around your lower body, and beginning to grow roots, beginning to go roots through the foundation of the surface, through any wood and concrete, to meet the earth below you to meet that deep, rich, fertile soil, that mycelial web, that network.

And imagine those roots connecting and dropping deep, deep, deep into the core, the center of the earth itself so that you’re rooted and connected, safe, and held; you might even imagine the roots of other trees, tree people, humans, and non that connect to you like a family so that you can feel that support, that nourishment, that grounding of the earth. And from that place, from that simple place, from that simple rooted and anchored place, feeling your form, the shape of your body, we can begin to move throughout your day; you might want to give some gratitude for that root, some gratitude for this form if that feels good.

Laura Dawn: Mm, thank you so much for leading that, Dream, I really appreciate it, it’s so simple to just take a moment and yet it can offer us so much. And it’s funny that we just did this particular kind of practice because I’ve been really just, yeah, drawing upon practices, just like this more sort of intentionally lately, as some people know, I’ve come to Austin and I’m going to be splitting my time between Austin and the big island for a little while.

And I’ve literally been living outside for 17 years and completely off the grid and I’ve had the privilege of living in that way and I haven’t lived in a city in almost two decades now, so it’s been an adjustment to say the least where I felt at times, just a little sort of untethered from this deep root and the blessing of the transition to Austin is that I’m much more able to recognize and appreciate this route that I cultivated over the years, right from the base of my spine, into the earth, living on the earth and we cultivate connection in that way that is just so profound.

And I’ve really learned how to channel energy and all my creativity from that place, from that rhythmic alignment that sort of pulses in resonance with the earth and has given me just so much life force and vitality and creativity in my life, and so coming to Austin and literally just living in a house has felt just quite disconnecting at times. And I’ve had to become just more intentional about maintaining that connection and that awareness since there’s just a lot more external stimulation here, and it’s also really allowed me to recognize what a blessing living on the land and eating food from the land all of these years has been and paying attention to resources like water and power that has taught me just so much that I now carry with me.

And it’s practices just like this, that help keep that awareness and that knowing that we are a part of nature alive in my heart and my mind.

Dream Mullick: Yeah, and so the privilege, the privilege that a few of us have of living in the magic, I take that deeply to heart, like the time that you had on the island that then informed you and I think, again, we are not living in a time where we are there to be Zen in a cave. We’re there to kind of move in the world and show up in service and reconnect with wherever we are and that was actually really a deep inspiration and part of a curriculum that I created at Esalen was like, how do we reconnect with the natural world, with the honoring of land, with the elementals wherever we are?

Because most of us will never have the privilege of coming into some of these spaces and yet we need that connection, if we don’t have that connection, then we’re walking around in this disembodied space where we have forgotten that we’re a part of this web. And that’s the only way we can continue to live in this extractive way because if we remembered that we were part of everything that what we do to ourselves, we do to everything, then we would be living differently. So, how do we begin to restore this memory, when we don’t all have access to this profound privilege of nature?

Laura Dawn: Which kind of comes back to the way that you so beautifully defined embodiment and it’s kind of like that, like how we from the inside out, regardless if we’re living on pavement or living on the earth, we know in our bones in our being that we are fundamentally a part of nature.

Dream Mullick: Yeah, and I think that’s practice, it’s again, so this is a great segue because when I’m sitting here on the edge of the earth in this vastly magical, beautiful place that I’m so privileged to live in, in the land of the Esselen people. And all of these programs that I created were canceled and I started to go like, okay, spirit, okay, universe, I’m going to get still, I’m going to do my own deeper work, it’s going to suck and be painful, but I’m going to do it. And then I received this new curriculum and what I heard was, Dream, go back to beginner’s mind, which is this Buddhist saying of like, go back, and what I heard was like, okay, go back to kindergarten, what is it to learn again?

Because we didn’t get a lot of these teachings, we didn’t get a lot of these teachings imprinted into our being, so to take away the blame and the shame for how and why we are the way that we are and to move beyond that, to understand, like we don’t know what we don’t know but in our bones, we know it. And so, that’s the struggle that we’re in, what I’ve known to be true for me is that’s this sense of belonging that I had been longing for my entire life and for many, many, many lifetimes is to remember that I’m connected to everything.

To remember that I’m connected to everything, but it has not been part of my modern western education, and so this idea of like, okay, go back to beginner’s mind, go back to kindergarten, I learned how to breathe again. And I started to think like, wow, I remembered back to my first mushroom experience when I was 15 that quite literally saved my life on a lot of levels, but that’s a story for another time but with that in mind, I started to imagine what if I had elders or at least some kind of a guide or guidance, what if I understood what intention was, or the role that my mind, you talked a lot about that.

The role that my stories or my mind were playing in my experience, in my environment, and what, if more than anything, I’d had a relationship with the wisdom of the medicine itself, what if I had some context and understanding of that? And so, from that place, is where I wanted to create and I started to think about being a bridge myself, like, what is it to bridge the worlds of Western science and ancient science or ceremony? How do we create that conversation where we have psychedelics, which really represent one lens, like one slice of what’s happening and it’s mostly been Western science-focused, and there’s beauty in that, but it’s just a small fraction of the magic that is possible when you hold a holistic view.

When you understand the context of the foundation, in which the tens of thousands of years of medicine-use, in some cases that these western models are being built upon and how do we bridge those worlds? How do we bring those conversations together to honor the wisdom that exists in both? But to really give the foundation of that honoring to the framework of original principles, the framework of reciprocity, the framework of the wisdom of the medicine itself, and that’s what I endeavor to create from. And that’s kind of the curriculum that I’ve been endeavoring to create from is really to bring those worlds together, to begin to share how we re-imprint the sacred in the ordinary, it doesn’t have to be a big ceremony.

You saw that we can just go in and root through all of the concrete and all of the foundation and connect and tap into the core of the earth in the same way that we can connect with the water that’s coming out of the faucet. It’s like that’s accessible to us when we have the capacity to slow down and when we have some framework for it because we just don’t know what we don’t know and I didn’t know, and I didn’t have it and I want to give that to others because I can just imagine what my experiences in the psychedelic space and now my relationship with sacred plants could have been like if I’d had that kind of sum of that foundation.

Laura Dawn: Right, I so appreciate that perspective and I want to hear more about this event that you’re creating and before we get there I just briefly want to share, you have this incredible knack to really speak and reflect back to me so much of my experience in a way that allows me to deepen in my own understanding of my experience, which I just love that about our connection and about you and your wisdom. This isn’t a time for all of us to just go into seclusion forever into the caves and the monasteries, but we actually have to go into that silence and then bring it back out into the world, it really is the path of the Bodhisattva, which isn’t easy.

And it kind of requires some level of sacrifice and saying, okay, I am going to sort of disconnect from that incredibly profound root that was so nourishing to me so that I can come and do this work in a city where people really need this kind of support and education and remembering our wholeness to the earth.

Dream Mullick: That’s right, you and I share that Shambhala lineage, and for those of you who haven’t read the Shambhala prophecy, I highly suggest that as a piece of reading and in that prophecy there is the awareness and understanding that we move through the corridors of these experiences themselves like the places where there is a lot of dissonance and we move from that embodied place. And for me, where I am with my nervous system, I recognize, I’m still on the island, so to speak, I’m still in that place where my system is very sensitive and wants to kind of create from this place and then go into the world offer and then come back and regenerate and I have that capacity.

And so, I recognize the privilege and the honor of being able to create from that space and that’s what I want to bring out into the world and that’s exactly where you are, it’s that you’re always rooted, you’re always connected to the island, to this land, to all land. And so, there are ways for everybody within the cities, there is still nature, there is still a way to stay connected, whether it’s to a plant in your home or whether it’s to a tree outside or whether it’s to the vastness of the sky but it’s the training to stay and root and reconnect that we’re really being asked to bring into the cities. And to help people even process the grief and the longing for being separate from that which they don’t even know that they feel separate from.

Laura Dawn: Exactly, I think that’s really hitting the nail on the head because when we live in these boxes disconnected for like decades at a time, we just forget, we just don’t even know what we’re missing.

Dream Mullick: That’s right, there’s just a lot of confusion and it’s not even, it’s like to strip the blame and to strip the shame and just to say, we don’t know what we don’t know but in our hearts, we do. And I think that that’s the truth, that’s the root of so much suffering is this deep feeling of disconnect and this longing to belong and then looking for it in all of these different ways, it’s like that childhood story of like, are you my mommy? Are you my mommy? Are you my mommy?

The little duck or whatever the animal is, it’s just going around looking, looking, looking, looking because we’re looking for our community, we’re looking to remember that we’re part of a whole, we’re looking to remember that we’re a part of a whole, not just human community, but a collective organism and because we’ve forgotten that we create a lot of confusion and suffering.

Laura Dawn: And when we create these spaces to go back into the restorative place, just that feeling of being able to go back and realign, re-center, especially the nervous system because it’s so easy to come out of balance when it’s constant overstimulation. It’s like advanced training, I was like, wow, this takes some serious fucking Jedi training to be able to enter this kind of matrix on the mainland and not be totally spun out on like a nervous system regulation level. It’s like kind of wild to see and yet we’re all coping, all of these people are just like, this is normal I’m going to keep coping with it and people are, yeah, it’s struggling to cope really.

Dream Mullick: Well, that’s it, but part of what you’re touching on is that there’s nowhere to go, on the one hand, we have some of us like the especially really highly sensitive people need to recharge and rejuvenate in whatever way we can, wherever we are, whether we have that connection and capacity to be in nature or whatever kind of field that we can create for ourselves to rejuvenate because that’s the truth of it. That’s the truth is that when we regulate our own nervous systems, then we can go out, we can co-regulate and we can be regulated.

And at the same time, you’re coming into this conversation with the matrix or with the mainland, or with whatever reality, whatever label you want to call the kind of mainframe reality. And the invitation is to take every experience that you’ve had in this lifetime and in all the lifetimes and to be anchored where you are because those are the practices that people that are living in cities and in urban environments need because they’re not necessarily going to go to the mainland and they don’t necessarily have this idea that we need to retreat.

I think that we’re working with both, we’re working with both that and that’s been really interesting for me; that’s been an interesting dance to remember, like, yes, I need to re-center, I need to rejuvenate. I am still learning what it is to be a grounded embodied, boundaried being, and as I’m learning that, it’s essential for me to have stillness, slow space, natural connection, and at the same time, that’s also a story that there’s actually anything other than that, which is innately rooted, and anchored and I’m always connected to all of this.

Laura Dawn: I so appreciate that, it’s like really creating space for that living embodiment, no matter where we are and taking the time to regenerate without the story of, oh, it’s going to happen here, or it’s going to happen there and not have to create a lifestyle of needing to retreat. But the embedded retreat in the daily lifestyle, I think is the key to longevity in serving this path of service right now.

Dream Mullick: That’s right, to take the embodiment into daily living to bring that sacred into the ordinary, to make this just movement as a part of our life so that wherever we are, whether we’re in prison or in the prison of our minds. I think that some of the greatest teachers have shown us that we don’t need anything else outside of what is inside of us and that’s where the plants come in, as great teachers, they’re not giving us anything that doesn’t exist already inside of us that we don’t already have access to. They’re just opening up the doorway, just like death, they’re just opening up the doorway to a different conversation with realms of reality that exist at all times.

Laura Dawn: I want to speak to something that you said earlier in the conversation where you said, oh, I’m not calling it this anymore. I’m now framing it and wording it in this way and it actually just made this ping, this light bulb go off in my mind of like slow and steady. And we never really arrive, that we’re actually always in this evolution of the way that we’re developing curriculum, so it was nice to actually hear that we’re never actually really at a point where we’re fully ready to be like, oh, I have it all figured out, and now I’m going to put out this program or this curriculum.

But it’s more the way that we hold this vision for what we’re creating and how that vision actually simultaneously shapes us into who we are becoming on this path, it’s that co-creative dance and I’m just kind of curious, like what comes up for you when you hear that?

Dream Mullick: Oh, what comes up for me is this becoming, like always we are becoming, it’s like my most arrogant moments in life are when I thought that I had it all figured out when I thought that I knew what was right. I think that’s what’s dying, that’s what’s dying is that we’re letting go of this idea that we’re actually in control, we’re letting go of this idea that we actually know that we have this solution mind that thinks that it has it all figured out and we’re dropping into other realities, which is that we’re in co-creation with everything at all times.

And when we think we have it figured out is an invitation for us to check the truth of that and to know that it is like a momentary evolving sense and for me, having some of these, and you may have experienced this too, kind of being earlier on in some of these conversations, for me, the conversations around death and around grief and around reciprocity and a lot of these different ideas that I’ve been exploring, colonization and things for many, many years, it’s like they weren’t mainstream.

And having come out of business school and this idea of needing to market something and needing to kind of create from that extractive mindset has been something that I’ve been disentangling myself from, how do I create from a generative place and not from an extractive place? And so, I think that that’s always like we’re in this evolutionary process of exploration of that because we have foundational learnings that we’re disentangling from and then we have root-level knowing that we’re living from and the more that we tap into that, the more that we start to just move from this, everything is evolving.

Laura Dawn: And you are magnetizing some really powerful voices, especially the events that you’re launching that I want to ask you about, that I’m also honored to be speaking at. And before I give you space to really share about this upcoming event, I’m curious to ask you, in what ways has this curriculum and putting together the first Entheowheel event and now this one, what have you learned about yourself? Where have you met your own growth edge and how has this process of you creating and pulling this together from the ethers, and shaping it? How has that been shaping you as a woman on this path?

Dream Mullick: Oh, wow, that’s such a good question and I’m going to take a pause and go in for a minute, so you may have to cut together here. Well, let’s talk about edges first because those are always fun.

Laura Dawn: That’s why I love you; this is it, that’s just the epitome of why I love you and our connection.

Dream Mullick: I have to say, so when I first received this Entheowheel vision and it was a collaborative process, it came out of a lot of different ways of creating, so I was invited to help to host and produce a gathering that happened at Esalen in 2019 called Psychedelic Integration. And it brought together a lot of the heavy hitters in the Western psychedelic space, Michael Pollan and Rick Doblin, and a lot of great voices, amazing thought leaders in certain ways. And it also illuminated so much of what was missing in the movement, it illuminated the deeply embodied feminine voices, it illuminated the indigenous perspectives, our original people’s perspectives, it illuminated the lack of diversity and color in the space.

So, it was like being in the Hot Seat in some way, now I didn’t program that program, but I did come in to help host it and I got to see, on the one hand, it was so amazing and on the other hand, what was missing. And so, I committed at that time as did a lot of other people in this space, to starting to have a different conversation, The North Star Pledge was seated at that gathering, that was kind of the inspiration for that. And I started to go into conversation with some other visionary guides and council members to say, how do we create from a different space? And so, when Entheowheel came, it was like a huge vision and my mind just likes to create big and that’s one of my edges.

One of my edges is to actually slow down and create from a space that is generative and create from a space that I can actually fully manifest in a good way and this curriculum that I created in April was an edge on so many levels. It was the first live and live-stream experience that Esalen had hosted in full, we literally used all of the bandwidth, if you had your cell phone on, the service would go down, now that is a metaphor for me also using all of my bandwidth.

And I did the same thing that I have defaulted to in many experiences in the past, but not quite in the same way, I was definitely able to find a more embodied place, I was definitely able to drop in, in a more connected way, but still, I defaulted to that old pattern of just over creating, making something that was bigger than I could actually hold because it wasn’t me either. It was like this kind of channeled process, so that was definitely, I saw my edges there, I also met the part of me that really wanted to come out and have her voice seen and kind of share from this place of everything that I’ve been harvesting and harnessing and learning, but also, where that aspect of me kind of came out and overfilled the stage and took up too much space, didn’t allow for other voices to come through.

So, that was a real edge that I got to experience and meeting that part of myself in creating this because it was the first time that I’d ever done anything like it and you wouldn’t have known it to necessarily be there and be a part of it. But for me, it was a huge edge, it was this place of coming out in full creative expression, meeting all of those different places of bringing voices of color and diversity, bringing the wisdom and the voices of the plants and the keepers and so it was a real edge of can I show up and a whole amazing, incredible group of people showed up to support, which was also an edge.

As somebody who has embodied that story of the lone wolf and has been really disentangling from that story of needing to hold it all together oneself, that create in community, to create in that way, total edge and I definitely met some parts of me that really came up against that. So, we’ll start with that and that leads me into so much of what I’ve learned, like what I’m working within this next iteration, was like, I got still, I slowed down again, even though there was a lot of urgency in me to create the next thing and to do the next thing, it was like, no, I actually went to the island.

I took a lot of time to let it come through slowly and create what was next and recognize that I have a lot of big visions and sometimes they’ll come in stages that it’s not necessarily going to be this full experience coming in all at once. The resources will come in when the resources are supposed to, and the support will come in and to create from that place of, and that’s helping me step more fully into my bodied-self, my role as somebody who can show up in service and give from that place, so that’s been a huge gift.

Laura Dawn: Mm, I love that, I think that there’s such a core theme of people who do feel called to step out in the multitude of ways that you can step out in the psychedelic space or just in life in general, and coming up against the, am I capable of this, fear of failure, fear of success, fear of not good enough, fear of what if I do this and I completely land on my face. And it’s not about the outcome, the outcome is a byproduct, but it’s really the act of what we learn and who we become along the way and it was nice to actually drop in with you on the island post the first event, and just feel your integration process of that event.

It was a palpable sense of that was a significant initiation portal and you were really integrating that experience into your being, transmuting that into, okay; this is how I can hold a vision for the next iteration. And it’s just that reminder for people listening that it’s a path, it’s a process, it’s one step at a time, we’re going to step out and do something imperfectly and know that it’s going to be imperfect and that’s okay and that you can reiterate and do it again and do it better and it still will be imperfect and it’s just the process of things.

Dream Mullick: That’s right, that’s creativity, that’s creation but I would say that it is already always perfect, I’d like to just reframe the idea of perfect, and so I think that for a long time, I had this idea that I needed to be perfect, that everything needed to be perfect. When I created my company, even though I was in my garage, I had a call center and I had this illusion of having it all together and on the outside having this framework and as I come through this process now, it’s like, it’s already always perfect in a certain way like when a tree grows crooked, it doesn’t say I’m crooked and so I’m imperfect.

It’s just the way that the tree has grown and learned a lot from launching this first program and I was trying to do so many things at once, and I was supported by such an amazing group of people, but I was under-resourced financially and under-resourced in human capacity. And so, I got to see where that kind of bubbled up to the surface, how I can hold a container in a better way when I’m more anchored and resourced myself, and when I bring in the right resources to do that. And so, it’s like, was that imperfect?

Well, it was perfectly imperfect, that’s it, I just think that there are a lot of labels and a lot of judgment and a lot of ways that we end up creating a story that reifies the story of shame that we’re actually really stepping out of. Which is that like any experience that we’ve ever had is anything but for us, and I say that as somebody who has walked through a lot of profound and intense traumatic experiences and been deeply abused in many different ways, and I can come out of that saying, I recognize that there is a gift in every single experience that I’ve ever lived.

And that’s not to diminish what I’ve lived through, but to just say that there is another side, I think that what we’re seeing now is that some people are starting to talk about the genius or the gift of trauma, and so there is a wellspring of brilliance and genius in all of our experiences that we’re waiting to embody. And that’s what I’m excited about, I’m excited to embody that and so as I step out and I learn and I retreat, I felt myself retreat back into full turtle shell in terror of coming out and not having done it quote-unquote perfectly and I got to digest that and just remember like, oh yeah, when I’m coming from a place of love when I’m coming from a place of service, I can’t fuck it up.

Laura Dawn: I love that, okay, I really want to give you some space to share the inspiration around this next online event and what can people expect and what can people potentially walk away with after participating in and watching some of these talks that are going to be happening online? So, just all the time you need to share about this upcoming event.

Dream Mullick: Thank you, thank you, thank you, love, so I want to give just a little bit of background, a little history on this event, so Entheowheel, which is even a word that we’ve never heard of, that word was given to me and it’s a combination of Entheogen and the medicine wheel, and so there were eight different medicines that came out of this vision around having a curriculum that brings us back into relationship with how we prepare, how we experience ceremony and how we integrate.

And from the lens of bridging the worlds of Western psychedelic science and ancient ceremonial science, and so the first event that I created at Esalen, and when I say, I want to just really honor that it was a co-creation of so many different lineages of histories, of teachers and the medicines themselves, and an incredible group of people that came together, so to frame what ‘I’ means to me. So, when I created from that space of how do we bring this in through the lens of beginner’s mind, that was really the inspiration and intention, and so we had an event at Esalen that was a three-day event that bridged the worlds of ceremony and science around Psilocybin.

And Psilocybin was really the first medicine that spoke, that said I’m coming out in a big way and it’s time for us to really have these conversations, and so that’s part of what we created, we created a way to begin from the foundation of honoring the land, of blessing the land and what it is to have an altar and to create an altar, both for yourself and for the earth itself, creation of earth alters.

And then we started to really weave in these conversations around what is it to have prayer and ceremony and the context of prayer and ceremony, and then bring in voices like Paul Stamets, to talk about the interconnection and the lineage of mycology and the role of mushrooms in the world and bring in voices like Robin Carhart-Harris, to talk about the neurobiology. But also the way that integration and group integration is informing the scientific methods and the practices, and Jim Fadiman came in to talk about microdosing, so we really dropped in to have all of these different voices come in.

Jyoti Ma, who is the grandmother who brought together the 13 indigenous grandmothers to talk about prayer and the power and the role of ceremony, and Erika Ganon, who is a wisdom keeper. So, bringing all of these different voices and many others, East Forest and Millana Snow, who taught breathwork and Marisa who taught us Yin Yoga and Trauma-Informed Yoga, and just Grace who brought in the healing powers of sound and I’m sure that there are others that I’m forgetting at this moment because there was just, Sachin Patel who brought in this functional medicine and how we can really rewire our bodies neurologically.

So, all of these different voices came in to gather together and to have these conversations around how we bridge these worlds and how we approach this through the lens of beginner’s mind, Harry Grammer came in to really teach us about some of his morning practices and the role that these medicines have played in his life. So, we’re really exploring these different lenses and all of that came together in this beautiful gathering at Esalen and we recorded all of those recordings.

And so, the first thing that we did was to create a video library, kind of a scale down edited version of all of those talks and conversations to help people prepare because that was really the intention there was like, wow, what does it look like to come in, prepare, what does it look like to set an intention? What does it look like to experience ceremony? Xochitl Ashe, who is a fifth lineage, Peruvian medicine woman guided us through some process around actually connecting with the power and the healing of the medicine itself without ingesting any medicine.

So, that was really part of how do we tap in and connect to the wisdom that exists in these allies without necessarily even needing to ingest them so that we can begin to cultivate that relationship, and then how do we integrate that out into our lives? So, those were the conversations that we held at Esalen and we edited those down into a video library, this immersive kind of experience where you can go back and listen to those talks, so that’s the foundation for this salon series.

And then I was like, okay, what’s next? I have this bigger vision of creating this full e-course that kind of guides you through all of these different portals but I had to scale that back and say, all right, how are we going to get to that vision? Well, we’re going to get to that vision by continuing the conversations, and so for me, I saw this as the opportunity to really bring the next level of conversations that I feel really matter into this particular framework of bridging the worlds of ceremony and science.

And so, we’re going to get to explore with Paul and Erika and we’re still weaving in other younger voices of color into the conversation, but we’re going to get to explore with some of these thought leaders like, okay, how are we bridging Western science and modern science? What is the role of creativity in the conversation? How do we tap into connecting more with our own innate genius? Which is something that these medicines also offer us, how do we connect with the role of microdosing?

What is resilience and how do we cultivate resilience and how do we cross-pollinate in these worlds and create movements, so all of these different conversations, what are the roles of our ancestors and kind of the roots, and how we reconnect with those practices? What about death? Tony Bossis and Jyoti Ma and I, are going to talk about the role of death in psychedelics and mushrooms.

And so, I get really excited because it’s like these messages that are coming through then get to be made manifest into conversations and woven into a fabric where other people’s voices and their work can come into play, and we can drop into how we can weave this web together, how we can weave the worlds of science with the worlds of ceremony and start to bring that out in a good way.

Laura Dawn: I love it.

Dream Mullick: So, that’s the five-part salon series with the video library, and so if you can’t come to the salon series, then you can still drop in and connect with that video library.

Laura Dawn: And what are the dates?

Dream Mullick: Mm, the salon series begins January 16th and it’s on a Sunday, 9:00 AM Pacific time, so we’re going to be dropping in for three hours, two hours of conversation and Q&A, and practices, sometimes there’ll be some practices that we can tap into. And then an hour for the community to drop in and connect with each other, to go into breakouts and to kind of digest and harvest and process what’s come up and we’ll be doing that for five Sundays in a row, beginning at 9:00 AM Pacific time.

And again, if the salons aren’t available for you, if the timing isn’t right you can drop in either to the replays later and you can drop in just to the video library that we’ve created, if scholarships are needed, we’ve created a scholarship fund, so that’s available to folks in need. I’m also really interested in bringing voices of color just into the conversation, as scholarships are available, whether there’s a financial need or not, if you’re a voice of color and you want to come into the space, you’re welcome, we welcome you. And yeah, that’s the next iteration of Entheowheel, which is the ceremony and science of Psilocybin.

Laura Dawn: Oh, that’s beautiful and I’m so grateful to be speaking on this series as well, I am really just grateful that you invited me to contribute as well and grateful for you and your life’s work and for all that you’ve done, you teach me so much every time that I talk to you and I knew this was going to be a super amazing conversation. So, I’m just so grateful, we’re going to have to have you back on, you’ll just have to be a regular appearance on each season of this show but I just bow in honor of you, Dream. I really adore you, I respect you, I cherish our connection and our deepening friendship, and I just have immense gratitude for your life and all that you’ve taught me so far.

Dream Mullick: Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you, Laura, thank you for showing up in all of your beauty and continuing to echo out the message in all of the ways that you do, and thank you for the gift of your time, thank you for having me on. I knew that we, I was like, wow, we’re going to go for 45 minutes, let’s see how that works, oh my God, I know that this was extra, extra long, I’m sure that you’re going to cut some of it out and yeah, just thank you, love.

Laura Dawn: Yeah, so grateful for you, no, I’m going to leave the whole thing in, I don’t think that there’s any aspect of that, that I’m going to want to cut out because it was just potent right from the start even when you were like, oh, can we read this before we start? I was like, this is going in, we’re keeping this in, everyone should hear this, so yeah, just the wisdom of knowing how to open the container and I knew that it was going to be good. So, thank you so much, Dream, I can’t wait to hug you in person.

Dream Mullick: Thank you, love, yay. Nice to be with you, have a beautiful day more soon.

Laura Dawn: Bye, aloha, love you.

Dream Mullick: Aloha, love you too.

Laura Dawn: Hi friend, thank you so much for tuning in to another episode of The Psychedelic Leadership Podcast, if you’ve been enjoying the show, I would so appreciate it if you could take a moment to leave me a review on iTunes or feel free to subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts or share one of your favorite episodes on social media. If you’d like to be in touch with me, please feel free to reach out through Instagram at livefreelaurad, you can all always send me a direct message there, or you can email me through my website, right now my website is livefreelaurad.com, but I am in the midst of a huge brand overhaul that I am so thrilled about.

And so, soon my new website is going to be lauradawn.co, and I’ll include a link to my most current website in the show notes and if you’d like to be in touch with me about anything at all, you can go to my website and send me an email through my contact page. And I’m going to leave you with this beautiful transmission by Alan Watts that was put together by Boreta and Super Position; once again, my name is Laura Dawn, and you are listening to The Psychedelic Leadership Podcast, until next time.

Alan Watts: If you awaken from this illusion and you understand that black implies white, self implies other, life implies death, or shall I say death implies life? You can feel yourself not as a stranger in the world, not as something here on probation, not as something that has arrived here by fluke, but you can begin to feel your own existence as absolutely fundamental. What you are basically deep, deep down, far, far in is simply the fabric and structure of existence itself.

So, say in Hindu mythology, they say that the world is the drama of God; God is not something in Hindu mythology with a white beard that sits on the throne and that has royal prerogatives, God in Indian mythology is the self, Satcitananda, which means; sat, that which is; cit, that which is consciousness, ananda is bliss. And in other words, that what exists, reality itself is gorgeous; it is the plenum, the fullness of total joy. Wowwi, and all those stars if you look out in the sky as the firework display, like you see on the 4th of July, which is a great occasion for celebration, the universe is a celebration, it’s a firework show to celebrate that existence is.

Wowwi, and then they say, but however, there’s no point just in sustaining bliss, let’s suppose that you were able every night to dream any dream you wanted to dream and that you could, for example, have the power within one night to dream 75 years of time or any length of time you wanted to have. And you would naturally, as you began on this adventure of dreams, you would fulfill all your wishes, you would have every kind of pleasure you conceive. And after several nights of 75 years of total pleasure, each, you would say, wow, that was pretty great but now let’s have a surprise, let’s have a dream which isn’t under control.

Well, something is going to happen to me that I don’t know what it’s going to be and you would dig that and come out of that and say, wow, that was a close shave, wasn’t it? And then you would get more and more adventurous and you would make further and further out gambles as to what you would dream and finally, you would dream where you are now. You would dream the dream of living the life that you are actually living today, that would be within the infinite multiplicity of choices you would have of playing that you weren’t God because the whole nature of the Godhead according to this idea is to play that he’s not.

The first thing he says to himself is man get lost because he gives himself away, the nature of love is self-abandonment, not clinging to oneself, throwing yourself out, as in, for example, in basketball, you are always getting rid of the ball. You say to the other fellow, have a ball, see? And that keeps things moving, that’s the nature of life, so in this idea then everybody is fundamentally the ultimate reality, not God in a politically kingly sense, but God, in the sense of being the self, the deep-down basic, whatever there is, and you are all that, only you are pretending you’re not.

Dream Mullick

BIOGRAPHY

Dream is a writer, teacher, producer, death coach, and dreamer.

A bit about my journey…

“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one”- John Lennon

I was born bridging cultures and weaving worlds, in Madras India, to an East Indian dad and a Jewish American mom. I spent most of my early years between a hippie commune in TN called The Farm and a suburban coastal town in central Florida, learning from an early age to walk between many different realms.

My parents found the inspiration for my name in John Lennon’s song Imagine, and my dreams often offer guidance and insights.

A deep connection with the beauty way of the natural world, non-ordinary spiritual realms, and other dimensions (like dreams) are foundational in my work today.

As someone who personally understands deep trauma and complex PTSD, I’m committed to mending the perceived split between self and the divine, and reconnecting with the core of who we are as Love.

All I offer is in service to cultivating a more resilient and beautiful world, weaving back together the individual as a part of the greater whole and restoring the sacred to the ordinary.

My current work focuses on the sacred bookends of birth and death along with bridging the ancient and modern science of plant and psychedelic medicines.

I’ve been deeply informed by my own experiences with Death, Sacred Plants & Psychedelics, all of whom I consider my master teachers. My first experience with mushrooms, 35 years ago, continues to have a lasting impact on my life and my work with death has been greatly informed by the deaths of my father and husband.

My offerings are also supported by a variety of other studies and initiations, including: divination, dreams, death meditation, Tibetan dream yoga, business school, intuitive studies, soul retrieval, somatic trauma work, Shambala meditation, 19 ways to the 5th world, a restoration of literature and other transformational consciousness-expanding modalities.

I’m committed to our journey home. To love. To the divine. To remembering our interconnected natures. To cultivating resilience. To our individual and collective liberation. To Truth.

I spend most of my time these days in a cliffside cottage in Big Sur with my 2 cats, the Redwoods, a beautiful community, the occasional mountain lion, and the untethered Pacific Ocean.

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About Laura Dawn

Through her signature Mastermind Programs and Plant Medicine Retreats, Laura Dawn weaves together science with ancient wisdom. She teaches business and thought-leaders, entrepreneurs, and creative professionals how to mindfully explore psychedelics and sacred plant medicines as powerful visionary tools for inner transformation, fostering emotional resiliency and unlocking new depths to our creative potential.