The plan for the journey was to take a week and engage in multiple trips, increasing the dose with each. The week would start with a moderate dose of 3.5 grams, then two days off to contemplate and integrate, then consume 4.25 grams in the second session, with 3 days off for reflection. I would finish the week with a “heroic dose.” A heroic dose, as coined by famed ethnobotanist and psychonaut Terrance McKenna, is consuming at least 5 grams of dried mushrooms at one time. In an attempt to limit the onset of an upset stomach, which has plagued me in the past, I decided to complete a process known as ‘lemon tekking.’ After consuming in this way, I would never go back to eating plain dried shrooms again. With the Lemon Tek method, you break up the mushroom into small pieces (I used a coffee grinder) and submerge the pulsed fungi into citric acid (juice from a lemon in this case). The acidity of the juice aids in the breakdown of the chitin present in the mushroom, which makes the mushroom easier and quicker to digest and thus, better on the stomach. You let this mixture steep for approximately 20 minutes. It’s important to make sure that the mixture does not sit too long, as the citric acid will begin to break down the psilocybin itself, which is the psychoactive component of the mushroom.

After discussions with my beautiful and understanding wife, in which she had approved of my undertaking this adventure, I began to plan and prepare. It was important for me that she was on board, as I would undoubtedly be incapacitated for the better part of 4 hours, several times throughout the week. Luckily for me, she is amazing, and not only did I have her blessing but also received encouragement with my journey into the depths of consciousness, and beyond.

I was feeling nervous but confident in my preceding two weeks of preparation. My firstborn was asleep in this crib and I was confident he would have a restful night’s sleep as usual. My body was clean of alcohol and other substances and my mind was clear of negative thoughts. I prepared the medicine as per the lemon tek directions. As the concoction steeped, I showered to cleanse my body and mind of any residual negative and self-limiting energy. As I had done in the weeks running up, I repeated the mantra:

“Trust, let go, be open, be curious.”

After my shower, the timer on the steep rang out, I mixed the lemon tek with warm water and swallowed down the chunky, tart liquid. Now it was a waiting game. I planned to meditate while I waited for the fickle fungi to take effect. I had prepared the room with dim lighting, a yoga mat, bolster, and blanket, as well as eye shades to block out all light during the trip and headphones to listen to a playlist of ambient music I created the previous week. About 20 minutes into the meditation, I began to feel an airiness about my body, so I decided to lie down and settle into the unknown. A side note, the lemon tek decreases the onset time of the experience, as some of the digestion has already begun outside your body. Some say it also intensifies the experience and shortens the length of the trip. I would concur with these anecdotal claims.

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