Neuroplasticity: How the Brain is AffectedMystical Experiences are profound experiences for anybody, that is true, but what is actually happening in the brain to create this profound shift? Although research is just now flooding in, there have been many studies, FMRI's and personal, professional and medical accounts to explain what shifts our brain is going through in these profoundly moving moments.
Intensely powerful is the rerouting of neuropathways which dictate the ways we have habitually been conditioned to act, react and survive in our lives. That is why profound, mystical experiences can bring about such great changes when it comes to addiction and changing demoting habits or personality traits that may have taken control of our lives.
As described by Michael Pollan in his ground breaking book, 'How to Change Your Mind', our minds and the paths our neurotransmitters take in the brain can be described as a ski hill that has been well worn by skiers creating heavy and deep crevices where years of downhill rounds have taken place over and over again. These deep ruts represent our patterns in life; our habits, addictions, ways of acting and reacting, ways of coping we have used in the past to stay safe and feel secure. Even when we want to make a change, we are pulled into these ruts and lasting change in our lives becomes difficult. A Mystical experience, arising from an epiphany in meditation; a kundalini awakening, a near death experience or hallucinogenic or psychotropic medicinal ceremonies, creates a grooming of this snowy hill leaving a pristine powder where new behaviors are able to create new pathways. This is what is happening in our brain; this is the neuroscience of Mystical and Entheogenic experiences. Our brain actually becomes re-groomed, ready for change and a new life to blossom.
However, as wonderful or difficult this experience may be (since change is rarely an easy process), sometimes the heightened experience of change becomes its own ski rut in the snow. We begin to feel drawn again and again to the profound shifts we have experienced; looking for the newest most sought after guru, spending hours in meditation focusing on that one glimpse of truth instead of the experience in the moment, increasing our frequency of and perhaps even dosage of psychedelic and psychotropic entheogenic medicines like psilocybin, LSD, or ayahuasca and healing retreats. The goal is to heal and grow from within so that the changes we want in life are lasting.
I too have felt this and is why I created this program. I believe that through integration of the experience, we are able to maintain this new way of being; celebrating the changes and creating them in our everyday lived experience so the new pathways we create support our evolution, healing and personal growth, beyond the experience. We become sustained in our greatness and stop seeking that which already lives within us. This my hope for all those on the path of transformation and for you in this moment as you embark on the journey of integration.
- Charmaine Husum
Charmaine Husum runs a private Art Therapy practice online and in Calgary Alberta. She is also an Artist, Kundalini Yoga teacher and trained in the somatic approach of Integrative Body Psychotherapy, Reiki and Mystical Integration. Her current research enthusiasms are in neuroplasticity, neuroscience, epigenetics, mystical integration and intergenerational trauma; on which she is currently writing a book and creating online courses. She specializes in working with trauma and symptoms of PTSD and C-PTSD as well as Autism, Depression, Anxiety, Eating Disorders, Addiction and other mental health symptoms.