Special Guest: Matt Zemon


Dr. Jon Dabach (00:01.41)
Matt Zeman, thank you so much for being on the podcast. Uh, we are here to talk about psychedelics. Uh, obviously as a couples therapist, as a relationship coach, to me, it’s always been incredibly, uh, incredibly interesting how this could affect couples, but just in, in a spirit of wanting to help humanity, it’s, it has so much more overreaching things. I had Dr. Phil Wolfson on the podcast. He talked kind of extensively about

his use of MDMA back when it was legal and kind of how it worked with couples work. It was fascinating. And I’m still trying to figure out how I can kind of incorporate this into my work. And, uh, and you are kind of a pioneer in this space in terms of the way you’re making the information as accessible as it is. You’re speaking to the every man, not just clinical people. And, and so I was excited to have you on. Um,

Matt Zemon (00:57.966)
I’m so excited to be here, John. I love the work you’re doing. I love the discussion with Phil. It’s fascinating. He’s certainly a legend in this space, both with what you’re talking about before with MDMA and what he’s doing now with ketamine and also helping practitioners be better practitioners in the medical space. He’s doing quite a lot to help raise consciousness in the world.

Dr. Jon Dabach (01:18.71)
Yeah, for sure. I’m you don’t have to sell me on Phil. I’ve been a fan, been a fan for over a decade. So tell me about your own, you know, the kind of the shortish version, because there’s so much more we could talk about, but how you came into the space, you know, would you consider yourself a psychonaut? You know, are you opposed to that term and kind of your journey, your personal journey?

Matt Zemon (01:21.762)

Matt Zemon (01:45.526)
Yeah, John, I mean, I fell into this by accident. I was not a drug user. I wasn’t even a big drinker. And some friends had hired a guide to do a magic mushroom or psilocybin mushroom experience and asked if I wanted to join. I was like, no, it’s not for me. And they said, yeah, you do. You’re wrong. You need to think about this. So long story short, I did. And in that first experience, John, it completely changed the way I look at the world. I reconnected with my mom who died when I was 22. She was 49.

I had kind of insight after insight about how we’re all connected and how I’ve been scared of dying. I felt so incredibly safe and loved on this medicine. And then in the next instant I realized, wow, I don’t feel normally safe and loved. What’s going on with that? After that experience, I went back to school to get a master’s in psychology and neuroscience and mental health, and then started traveling.

to experience different psychedelics with different types of facilitators to see how can these help me? How can these help me heal things from the past? How can these help me optimize and move forward into the future? Sure.

Dr. Jon Dabach (02:59.498)
Let me interject here for a sec. So you went back to school for psychology and mental health. Did you have intentions or aspirations of doing clinical work or was this a different kind of goal?

Matt Zemon (03:11.67)
different goal, I wanted I realized that I had really no scientific training. And I wanted just to understand that give me a foundation of what’s the history of psychology and how does the brain function what and then super focused on, on a psychedelic medicine, I ended up going to King’s College London, because they have done psychedelic research them at Imperial College, and they let me do my synaptic project on ketamine.

And it was just, it couldn’t have been a better program for me. It gave me just a broad enough of an understanding.

Dr. Jon Dabach (03:44.378)
So this was just purely a, I want to be literate in this space. I want to learn. There’s no end goal necessarily. It’s about the journey itself.

Matt Zemon (03:48.014)

Matt Zemon (03:52.114)
It was, John, I mean, don’t judge me. I couldn’t read a scientific paper. I truly couldn’t do it. I was starting from ground zero. And I felt like if I’m gonna be, I knew in that first six hour experience that my life was forever different, and that I was gonna be a part of this. And I knew to do that responsibly, I needed to understand the, I might not be a part of the scientific community, but I needed to understand what was being said. And so yeah, it was a goal for literacy, as a two year progression for literacy.

Dr. Jon Dabach (04:21.998)
Wow. Okay. So, so after you came out of that journey, what, you know, I’m assuming throughout that process, you were kind of diving in yourself into the journey space and kind of learning more about it on a personal level. Where did you come out the other end? What was, what was the next step for you?

Matt Zemon (04:23.213)

Matt Zemon (04:44.366)
Yeah, a few things. I mean, part of it was I got, I got involved in creating a directory of practitioners in the space, and then realize that really wasn’t where I wanted to spend my time. I invested in a telehealth company. But for me, I decided I didn’t want to be involved in the medical directly in the medical model. I didn’t want someone to have to prove to me that they had enough depression or anxiety to warrant that they were allowed to do a psychedelic.

I got super interested in the spiritual side of it. The Religious Freedom Act, I didn’t know there were 200-ish psychedelic churches in America and what their logic was for running. So I got super, for me, this was such a connection with a higher power connecting to, I mean, when my mom died, John, I lost any faith I had in God, just gone. And for decades, I got married, I had kids, no belief in God.

Dr. Jon Dabach (05:17.186)

Matt Zemon (05:44.234)
one journey with psilocybin and I was like, Oh, I can see how there’s a higher power. I can see how there’s a place where we go. I can see how we are human. We are humans having a human experience, but we’re spiritual creatures with befores and afters. Yeah. So the spear, one journey, one journey.

Dr. Jon Dabach (05:58.194)
One journey. That’s what I always, this is the message that I keep kind of hearing over and over again. It’s like, you know, years or decades of therapy or lack of trying. And then one journey sometimes will just crack through the surface in such a profound way. And what I love most about therapists and what I love most about the mental health space is with very rare exceptions, everyone wants to know what works. I think one of the, one of the proof.

that I always use in the couple spaces. You look at Dr. Gary Chapman, he has a pastoral background. He created the five love languages. No one cares that he’s not a clinical psychologist. What he wrote works. So it’s like, who cares where it came from? It’s working. And they have that kind of open arms. Like if psychedelics is gonna work, let’s figure out how to make this legal. Let’s figure out how to make it accessible. And I agree with you on the whole legal thing.

With you know, when marijuana in California, you had to have this doctor’s license, even key and peel made a sketch where it was like, okay, well, let’s kind of give you a form and just have you check one off so that we can. I mean, it was such a joke. It was this, you know, and then you had these doctors who were just capitalizing on it because they saw the loophole. And instead of going into a clinic, there would be like a pop-up 10 on Venice beach with a doctor, you know, and it’s like,

This isn’t the right way. And eventually everybody kind of got wind of it and said, let’s just make the thing legal and tax it. So it was, it’s, I think, you know, I hope that psychedelics follows a similar path. Tell me, and I’m sorry, I totally interrupted you, you got off track with the spiritual.

Matt Zemon (07:27.362)
You know, John, in the in the old days, no, I don’t know. But you’re making me think of a lot of things. This is a great conversation. You’re making me think of a couple things. One in the old days, there was just a healer. And the healer was a medical healer. And the healer was a spiritual healer. And we have gotten to a place in Western society where we’ve separated those roles. And there’s the pure science is the doctors and they get to have that. And then we have spiritual which is the clergy. And

And with few exceptions, the pure science is pure science, and they don’t have knowledge of the spiritual and vice versa. And with psychedelics that goes back and forth between both realms, it’s fair to say, well, if you gave this to the clergy, they don’t have enough information about the brain and body to keep me as safe as possible. Okay, I can understand that. But if you give it to the doctors,

in most cases, they don’t have enough knowledge about the spiritual to keep me safe on this journey. So we need a reconciliation between these two. And there’s no, there’s no, it doesn’t, this isn’t a conflict, it’s an and. Both groups can work together to adopt best practices, to get people certified and trained on, on able to do this. And so that more people can access the full power of the psychedelic medicine and not just the medical perspective or the.

Dr. Jon Dabach (08:20.187)

Matt Zemon (08:41.694)
Spiritual, you know, we’ve seen this in the ketamine space and I know you again you’ve had this beautiful discussion with the Wolfson But we see this with there are anesthesiologists who believe it’s just a biochemical reaction You can come in and get an IV put in your arm and your vitals measured and they can send you on your way And that’s legal and there’s others more thoughtful practitioners filled included who believe no, we’ve got it We can we need to do intention

Dr. Jon Dabach (08:57.99)

Matt Zemon (09:05.098)
and we need to give a space, and we need to give good instructions, and then we need to do an integration process, and they can have a better outcome when it’s a biochemical, psychosocial, spiritual process. And that’s legal. So it’s a.

Dr. Jon Dabach (09:15.246)
Yeah. It’s funny. I was talking to a nurse and nurses get this because they bridge that gap, right? They have that clinical thing. But whenever you talk to a nurse who’s been doing it for, for a couple of decades, they always say it’s bio-social, psychological, like there’s three elements to care of people and this, and you’re right. I mean, I remember seeing a video, I think it was either Vox media or something. I can’t remember, but there was a clinician working.

with psilocybin doing a lot of mushroom work who said, you know, it’s such a powerful experience that there becomes an ethical question of the practitioner and how they redirect that experience so that they don’t create a deity or, or bring in their own influence. Because it’s, I mean, listen, someone like you, you’re a perfect example, didn’t believe necessarily in God, kind of lost that thing for decades. If you had someone at the other end.

of that, of that journey, you know, when you come out saying that was the Christian God or that was the, you’d be like, Oh, you know, I mean, like you could see now you’re, you seem like you have your feet pretty firmly granted grounded, but like a lot of people would go, maybe I should convert. So it’s like, it opens up ethical questions. Um, and, and yet the potential is so powerful. Like how do you not take advantage of it for people to heal?

Matt Zemon (10:42.238)
or you’re getting into what we call psychedelic suggestibility. And you’re completely right. When you are in a non-ordinary state of consciousness, in or around, um, coming out, you’re highly suggestible. And what therapists are learning is unlike traditional therapy in psychedelic therapy, people are left to do their own work. They’re there to do their own journey inside. You, they don’t need an interpretation. They.

they just need someone to give intention and attention to what they’re doing in the practice they’re having. And it’s a different model. It’s it’s actually reclaiming the power, it’s putting the agency back in the participants hands. And I think that in itself is a good message that no, you the stop looking outward. So much of our messaging today is you need to change the way you talk to me. You need to change how you talk to me what you call me on and on and on for me to be happy.

It’s like, it’s like, I don’t feel well. I’m going to go to the doctor and I’m asked for a prescription from my neighbor. It’s silliness. The lens needs to come inward. How do I need to change how I perceive the world, how I perceive this conversation, how I perceive what you call me and how you call me. And then the power’s in me. And when the power’s in me, I can do all sorts of things. When the power is in you, I’m stuck in, I’m stuck at the whims of the outside world and that’s, that’s a dangerous place to live.

Dr. Jon Dabach (11:56.961)

Dr. Jon Dabach (12:08.194)

Matt Zemon (12:09.01)
And for couples, there’s I mean, that’s your audience is the same thing for couples, the power of the psychedelic with couples is you remove shame, blame and guilt.

Dr. Jon Dabach (12:18.722)
Yeah, which is 99% of the issue. Always. I mean, it’s like, it’s that’s, you know, the shame of asking for what you want in a relationship. If I could get people to just say, I really feel like I need a hug instead of poking them or be getting angry or it’s like it would solve so many issues. So if there is a medicine or a sacrament of some sort that can act as a accelerator to get them to that place and see, and this is where the real

Matt Zemon (12:23.472)

Dr. Jon Dabach (12:48.05)
merging comes from my own work is like to get you to try it is one thing. But then once you see the positive effects of it, connecting that, making that synaptic connection of like, Oh, this is a good thing. So I’m going to continue that pattern. So you’re really letting go of bad patterns because you see the results. So it’s that attempt and then registering that the result you get from it is worth doing again and again. Right. And so that’s why it’s like, if both people

are enjoying that journey together where you can take away that shame, blame, and guilt, like you said, so beautifully, then they both see that warmth and they both see that connection and they can take that with them as they leave the, after they leave the journey.

Matt Zemon (13:33.37)
Absolutely. And it changes the way both parties view the world. It changes from a scarcity model to an abundant model. So what is that? So then how does that reflect in the conversations? It allows I mean, certainly during the medicine, you can say partner, when you do this, I feel this. And instead of the normal defenses, which are based in scarcity, it’s based on Oh, this person doesn’t love me. This person is going to leave me this person’s not giving me what I need.

Dr. Jon Dabach (13:53.05)

Dr. Jon Dabach (13:58.158)

Matt Zemon (14:03.57)
it all that’s gone, I can say, Oh, I hear you, I hear you. And I don’t want you to feel that way. And I love you. And we’re going to be we’re beautiful together. And let’s keep being that. And then after the medicine that remembrance of, okay, if I’m rooted in this is a beautiful world, and I’m beautiful rooted, and this is a beautiful love, I don’t need to be scared. I just need to listen.

Dr. Jon Dabach (14:24.334)
Yeah, to put it, to put it in the terms of the, the couples work I do, if you, if you look at John Bobbley’s work or emotionally focused therapy, it essentially on a good journey, you go straight to a secure attachment style. You skip through the avoid and you skip through the anxious, you know, all of your emotional bids, if you’re a Gottman person, get answered and addressed. So it like, it gives, it puts you in that center and makes you realize like, oh, I’m the thing stopping me from getting there. I can let go of that.

Talk to me about the legality. So what is, you mentioned there are hundreds of churches out there. Where are we now? Where do you want to see us go?

Matt Zemon (15:04.834)
So right now, the only way for a church to become officially legal is to get what’s called a DEA exemption. And to date, only three churches have done that, the Native American, these two ayahuasca churches that are kind of branches of this Catholic Brazilian ayahuasca church. The spiritual industry, for lack of a better term, feels that the DEA, that’s not a reasonable process.

When you apply for that exemption, you have to sign that you’re not going to practice your religion until this is either granted or denied, then there’s years can go by with no response. And Congress never mandated that the DEA has the authority to determine who’s a real religion and who’s not. So the most churches operate saying, we’re operating under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act federally or under our state’s religious freedom or our state’s…

Dr. Jon Dabach (15:51.27)

Matt Zemon (16:01.578)
government, whatever the state equivalent is of this religious freedom. And there’s two associations of psychedelic churches that are giving best practices, multiple lawyers who only work in this space, who are helping churches understand what does the government care about. So how do you keep your practitioners, how do you reduce the risk as much as possible?

What does that look like? What does it look like for your medical intake? Who reviews the medical intake? What are you doing for an informed consent to make sure the person really knows what everything that they’re getting into, no different than if they were doing it in the medical model? How do you make sure you have good preparation upfront? How do you run a safe ceremony with both male and female facilitators and extra eyes? How do you run an integration process? And then I was gonna say, then-

Dr. Jon Dabach (16:39.962)

Dr. Jon Dabach (16:50.662)
How do you store the sacraments safely so the wrong people? Yeah.

Matt Zemon (16:53.286)
Exactly. And then how do you avoid diversion of the sacraments? How do you show that this is sincere religious belief and not just a drug purchasing thing? There’s a series of checkboxes. And the churches that are that are really mindful of we want to do this for a long time, pay a lot of attention to those checkboxes. We want to have a friendly relationship. We it sounds like we all want the same thing. And that’s I think that’s the mind shift.

Dr. Jon Dabach (17:02.467)

Matt Zemon (17:21.878)
that the churches that are running in the psychedelic churches, psychedelic churches, we want what the government wants. We’re not saying we don’t want anyone using our sacraments for other purposes. We don’t want it diverted. We don’t want it to be a money making scheme. It’s truly to help people have direct spiritual experiences using this sacrament that’s been used for thousands and thousands of years. So as the government says, okay, what we care about is the purity.

Dr. Jon Dabach (17:38.918)

Matt Zemon (17:50.51)
Great, we care about the purity. We don’t want our people taking bad things, but we care about.

Dr. Jon Dabach (17:56.166)
keeping it out of the hands of children. Right, we care about that too, right, exactly.

Matt Zemon (17:57.978)
Exactly. We care about the same thing. Yep. Yeah. So it’s I think everybody’s aligned, but in our country, it’s, we’re just not able to have the discussions as openly as possible. And I would hope that as we move towards the future, and as we see things like MDMA becoming completely legal again, and next year, and psilocybin becoming legal again, and maybe two years, and the studies coming out on DMT and five MEO and

Iboga and ayahuasca that it continues it because safety is not the issue. We know that we already know that these medicines, all medicines have risk, but when you compare the harm that legal things like alcohol and tobacco do compared to mushrooms, LSD, MDA or MDMA, it’s not on the same chart. So it’s not really about keeping people physically safe.

Dr. Jon Dabach (18:48.591)

Matt Zemon (18:52.862)
So let’s have that open discussion and let’s all operate above board and stop this culture of loneliness, this culture of depression, this culture of anxiety, this culture of outward looking and medical sedation that is happening left and right. It doesn’t, it seems silly to me.

Dr. Jon Dabach (19:11.33)
Yeah, I would agree with you. So we’ve been talking kind of in the mentality of someone who runs a church or let’s switch a little bit for a second to someone who is interested in trying this. First of all, let’s speak to those fears because a lot of that narrative has kind of seeped in, especially if you’re talking to someone, I think who’s, let’s say maybe late 40s to mid 60s.

you know, who, who doesn’t have get kind of that young, um, you know, young kind of exposure to this, that, that maybe someone in their thirties or twenties has had, I think their first fear is, you know, physical side effects, addiction kind of what’s the actual real imminent dangers if there are any. Um, and obviously each one is going to be, um, different.

But what do you think is the things that people really actually need to be afraid of?

Matt Zemon (20:14.19)
I’m going to approach this from two different angles. The first thing I’ll say is what Johns Hopkins says all the time about, um, how do you reduce the probability of having a bad experience? And they talk about three S’s source, set and setting. So source is where did your medicine come from? Your drugs come from. If you’re doing this in a legal ketamine medical model, it came from a pharmacy. So you can check off that box. If you’re doing this in a church model,

or you’re doing this in a psychedelic tourism model, or you’re doing it in a decriminalization model, that’s not necessarily from a pharmacy. So knowing where did they come from, asking those questions, and if you don’t have 100% confidence in whoever you’re speaking with, testing your own drugs, and dance safe, and drugs checker, and multiple places you can go to do that. But that’s source. So let’s assume now you feel, I feel good about where the drugs came from. Set is what is your mindset.

Do you know, are you doing this? Is this an enthusiastic yes? Are you doing this for someone else? If you’re doing this for someone else, whether it’s your parents or your children or your partner, I’d recommend you don’t do it. If it’s an enthusiastic, I’m doing this for myself, great. Then do you know what drug you’re gonna take? How long it’s gonna be? Do you have a clear intention of why you’re doing this drug? And is your mental state, are you infirmly grasped and grounded in this world before you step into a planned?

psychedelic experience. You can answer those things, yes, that’s great. Okay, perfect. Brings us to setting. Setting is the physical environment. Do you have control over the sound? You’re not gonna be interrupted by children or dogs or strangers or doorbells. Is the physical environment comfortable to you? Do you feel safe and supported? Do you have people watching you? So that you are, when you’re in this very vulnerable experience that you know no one’s gonna take advantage of that.

Okay, you’ve checked those three things off. You’ve really gone a long way to reducing your risk. And I’m just going to throw a couple more then have whoever’s providing this for you. Have they done, have they done a full medical intake? So they’ve looked at your prescriptions. They’ve looked at your supplements. They’ve looked at your physical and mental history. That’s gives you great peace of mind to know that that’s happened. Have they sat down and done some type of intention setting and helped you gather your resources of who’s going to support you post ceremony or post experience?

Matt Zemon (22:42.206)
And then afterwards, do they have some type of process where you get to unpack whatever’s happened to you? They don’t need to interpret it for you, but to be a listening board and to help you. And then even in a community setting, unpack what’s happened. This is these same questions and the same mentality applies if you’re looking at paying for legal ketamine or you’re going to a church service. It’s the same questions, it’s the same things to watch out for to keep yourself as.

as safe as possible given that these are still drugs that have impact.

Dr. Jon Dabach (23:18.57)
If you, if someone came to you and they, and they checked all those boxes off, do you have a recommendation as to which one to start with?

Matt Zemon (23:30.626)
That’s such a personal question, John, in terms of, I mean, what I say to them is, what called you? How did you get here? So some people say, well, I really, I need the medical model. I wasn’t comfortable doing anything illegal. I found out that ketamine was legal. I’ve been struggling with antidepressants. They haven’t worked with me or I haven’t enjoyed the side effects or I’m tired of sexual dysfunction of the antidepressants. And I…

but I need a medical model. I want someone who’s a doctor or in a license to work with me. Great, beautiful. Then that’s what you should do and go pursue that. And it’s a beautiful medicine. Others say, I’ve read Michael Pollan’s book. I hear that a lot. And psilocybin mushrooms sound like the perfect thing for me, then great. Then start with psilocybin mushrooms or ayahuasca sounds amazing. Beautiful, then start with ayahuasca. But there’s something that your inner body is already telling you that you want to do. You’re…

you’re really just looking for permission to go do what you know you want to do anyhow. So rather than think of in terms of permission, just think of in terms of knowledge gathering, I’m going to do this, I just want to do it as safely as possible, beautiful, and go do that as safely as possible. But I think they’re all beautiful and, and different. But um, but wherever you kind of want to start, start there.

Dr. Jon Dabach (24:53.09)
you think has contributed the most to the change in mentality that the American culture is having towards psychedelics? Cause it is, I mean, it’s palpable. You see it on mainstream news even.

Matt Zemon (25:07.798)
Yeah, I mean, this is the fundamental why are we having this discussion today? And I think we look around, and we look at what’s the depression, and the anxiety, and the amount of prescribing and all the culture, the epidemic of loneliness that we’re having. It’s, it can be perceived as a very challenging time for mental health to be alive. And at the same time, we have people leaving churches and droves.

because they’re tired of moral preaching without a direct religious experience. So we have that happening. And then we’ve really had no major advancements in mental health since the creation of the antidepressant, which was over 50 years ago. So you put all of that in a box and, sorry, I’m just going to continue this a little bit more, and school shootings and the threat of nuclear war and erratic politics and

Dr. Jon Dabach (25:42.916)

Matt Zemon (26:06.754)
questions over fundamental questions of what is truth being argued every day and people are they’re looking for something and we’ve had this we’ve ignored this solution for the last 50 years and to be clear I don’t believe these are a cure it’s not that these are a catalyst these are a spark that helps people change the way they think about themselves

And then they can take that thinking to how they view others and how they interact with the world. But this type of medicine right now, I think is striking a chord because it just makes sense to people. I’m tired of moral preaching. I’m tired of being told what I can and can’t do with my body. I’m tired of medical sedation. I’m tired of side effects. I’m tired of no hope. I’m gonna be prescribed an antidepressant at 21 years old. Right, sorry, at 16 years old.

with no hope of ever getting off it, no plan to ever get off it. Because I’m just, the doctors are just gonna numb my symptoms with 10 minute wellness visits. It doesn’t feel right, it doesn’t feel right. So this next generation, I think is part of who’s leading the charge and then I think that the group you talked about, the 55, 65 year olds going to this next chapter are going, holy crap, I can’t believe I’m at this chapter of my life, my kids are gone. I’m…

I’m not sure how I feel about my relationships. I’m not sure how I feel about myself. I’ve made some money, but what, is this it? Is this it? And they want to look at that and we don’t have another tool to look at it besides this. I’m sorry, that’s not true. You can do breath work, you can do meditation, you can do lots of tools that can take a long time, but we don’t have a tool that can do it quickly. Yeah.

Dr. Jon Dabach (27:54.138)

Dr. Jon Dabach (27:57.591)
Right away. Yeah.

Dr. Jon Dabach (28:02.894)
You mentioned something, I don’t know if you’ve put some thought into this. You said people are leaving churches and droves because there’s no religious experience. Um, do you think that’s new? Cause religion has been declining over time. Do you think there was a time where people were having more?

profound religious experiences generations ago? Maybe these were used more, maybe there was different experiences, or do you think people clung to it for different reasons?

Matt Zemon (28:34.51)
It’s a really interesting question, John. I think kind of both. I think there is definitely a different level of cultural attachment to religion historically. And then I think as a few more generations went by.

Matt Zemon (28:50.614)
I think a lot of people following World War II separated and said, I don’t want to be defined as that. And that was, uh-huh. Yep, yep. You know, and that’s also interesting. We take a look at the, let’s stick with that for just a moment. When we look at the generational trauma. So yes, of course we can all say, oh, the people who were in the Holocaust suffered. Yes, they did. They absolutely did. But their children and their grandchildren and their great grandchildren.

Dr. Jon Dabach (28:56.23)
Sure. Yeah, my grandparents were Holocaust survivors. It definitely had an effect on them, sure.

Matt Zemon (29:20.578)
There’s, I mean, it doesn’t seem surprising why the rates of anxiety in Jewish people are so high. It’s not, it’s, I know, and yeah, there’s, it’s, it’s generational, it continues on. So yeah, I do think people are more culturally aligned, but, and then I think you have the mystic traditions and multiple religions and people are trying to seek out direct experiences there.

Dr. Jon Dabach (29:48.982)
Yeah. Well, when you think of meditation, it really comes from a religious place. We’ve secularized it enough to make everybody comfortable with it. Uh, pretty much. I mean, if you think about headspace and other billion dollar plus companies, they’re, they definitely have gentrified, uh, meditation, but it does come from a very spiritual place.

Matt Zemon (29:51.182)
Mm-hmm. It really does.

Matt Zemon (30:01.326)
I’m going to go to bed.

Matt Zemon (30:07.308)

Matt Zemon (30:11.058)
Absolutely. And again, the awareness that tying into you are not the voice in your head, you are the listener of those voices. And coming to that through meditation, becoming so aware of, oh, those are just voices, I didn’t make that happen. I can I don’t I don’t need to pay attention to that. It’s a beautiful practice.

Dr. Jon Dabach (30:27.662)


And I think one of the things that, you know, just circling it back to psychedelics, one of the things that’s so nice is, especially like, I’ll give you a great example from my own work, when someone is a victim of infidelity, those voices get loud and persistent. And so, you know, my hope is if with the right set and intention and everything, a journey can quiet those voices down.

so that they can actually get into what’s really at the core of who they are. And that’s hard. People have a hard time turning those, the volume on those voices down.

Matt Zemon (31:16.766)
And recognizing that these are attachments. And I know it’s hard to say, and I’ve been married almost, it’ll be 25 years this year, so I, but it’s thank you. But these are attachments. Um, and, um, and infidelity is, okay. I’m, I’m afraid I’m going to lose this and all the things that go with this. And yeah, I get it. Or it’ll happen again. And nobody else will love me.

Dr. Jon Dabach (31:23.366)


Dr. Jon Dabach (31:36.362)
Mm hmm. Where it’ll happen again and I can’t trust. And I mean, there’s lots of things. Or what does that mean to the, right? Or was I living a lie for the last 25 years? And what does that mean for my own identity? That comes up more than you would think. But yeah, it’s a crisis of faith. I think Jordan Peterson talks about like, you know, you let the snakes out of the basket. Like you never really know someone. You have this idea of them.

even yourself and then something happens and all the snakes are out of the basket and you like spend time trying to wrangle them back and it’s like it doesn’t really work that way. You have to kind of explore well what are those snakes? Where like where like where am I really seeing the differences?

Matt Zemon (32:18.35)
Well, that’s I think that’s I think that’s the real fear of psychedelics. We can talk about harm to self and harm to others. And we can show all studies about physical risks and, and the such a small probability of a real long term psychological risk. But the real risk is, who am I? I’m afraid? Yeah, I’m afraid that what happens if I take this mask off? What happens if I’m

Dr. Jon Dabach (32:37.52)
lasting long-term effects.

Dr. Jon Dabach (32:42.062)
I’m afraid to let go. Yeah.

Matt Zemon (32:48.458)
If I’m if I say if I recognize that I am not my job, I am not my title, I am not my house, I am not my partner, I am me. I’m not doing this for my parents anymore. I’m not doing this for my grandparents. I’m not doing this for anyone else. This is my life. What do I really want? And then

Dr. Jon Dabach (32:59.63)

Dr. Jon Dabach (33:10.35)
I think it’s a really, I’ve heard it phrased in a lot of different ways. I’ve heard it from people saying, I’m afraid of being out of control. I think the reason I was so open-minded to it without hesitancy and I, and I’m not a drug user really at all. And I don’t drink. I mean, I’ll have an occasional drink, but I, you know, like to me, the reason I was open to it is someone said, well, you lose control. And I kind of have a relationship with God where I’m like, well, I’m not, I’m never really in control anyway.

So like, what am I losing? You know, but the people who have kind of created this bubble of like, no, this is my world and I control it’s like, well, that’s really not true. And so, and so like letting go of that facade is more difficult for a lot of people.

Matt Zemon (33:51.69)
And I certainly wasn’t at that level of understanding when I started this journey. Um, I liked things. I, I didn’t drink that much because I like things the way I like things. I didn’t like being out of control. I, I kept changing the goalpost. If I can, once I get to this many employees, I’ll be happy. Once I get to this goal, I’ll be happy. And it just never ended. And then it was, cause it was constantly external and I kept pretending that I can control. Um,

things that I couldn’t. Anything.

Dr. Jon Dabach (34:22.582)
Anything really. I mean, that’s the truth. Pretending you can control anything. I think the only thing you can control is your willingness to lose control.

Matt Zemon (34:31.787)
So right.

Dr. Jon Dabach (34:33.322)
So I think the best, so I think there are kind of a couple different people who might really benefit. I mean, obviously anyone interested in psychedelic space would benefit from following you on Instagram or LinkedIn. I know you’re kind of boldly in both places. And I know on Instagram you’re Matt. Zeeman. So it’s M-A-T-T. Z-E-M-O-N. And you could search Matt Zeeman. He comes right up, psychedelic medicine advocate on LinkedIn. But.

You know, people who are, I think people who are interested in creating churches, some of the legal work and research and kind of stuff you’ve put in place, you know, you’ve been super generous and sharing that it would be good for them to kind of reach out for you. But also those people who don’t have what they consider a safe place to go and learn about going on these journeys, these psychedelic journeys themselves, those are, those are great people to reach out to you as well. Am I correct?

Matt Zemon (35:30.55)
very much so. I’m always happy to do a discovery call with someone who’s just trying to, to figure out what might be a good path for them. And, and then if I can direct them to different places if that’s needed. So for a given example, a lot of people come and they might have a complex medical background. And I’ll say, Oh, you know, you need to go to the spirit pharmacist calm and book a consult with Dr. Ben Malcolm, and he he’ll take a medical intake and give you some perspectives.

I help people kind of find those paths in the interest of harm reduction. And also I wish somebody did this for me when I was first starting out. Um, I, yeah, it’s, it just saves some leg work. So again, yeah, write me LinkedIn, Instagram, uh, go to my website, fill out a form, I’ll respond, it might take a minute, but I’ll definitely respond and we’ll set up a call and I’m happy to answer any questions I can help point you in the right direction or in a direction, what I think is right.

Dr. Jon Dabach (36:28.098)
Uh, that’s a good point. Um, all right. Well, listen, Matt, it was absolutely wonderful to, to kind of dive in a little deeper, um, and really explore this. And I, I am, uh, in your corner cheering you on. And, uh, if there’s anything I could do to help kind of further the cause, just let me know. Cause I, I do think it’s a bit silly that we’ve been so restrictive, uh, over these medicines and sacraments for so long. And I’d love to see the

The grip on it from the government side loosen up and also the stigma. I think there is still a stigma in the mainstream. It’s getting much better. And, and like, you know, you mentioned a couple authors and they’re doing a great, great work. And Netflix is doing some great work on documentaries, but it’s not quite there yet. And I’d love to see it kind of become a lot more mainstream and acceptable so that we can help more people.

Matt Zemon (37:08.872)

Thanks for watching!

Matt Zemon (37:21.698)
feel the same way, John. I appreciate you doing this. I appreciate you having this discussion in the spiritual context and a couple’s context. I think it’s important. Yeah, I think this is a great audience for this discussion. I appreciate you having me on.

Dr. Jon Dabach (37:35.406)
Don’t forget to connect with Matt on Instagram at matt.zman or on LinkedIn and reach out if you can use some guidance.



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