Father, Brother, student, friend: Finding our place in the Psychedelic Community, with Danny Litin
On this episode, Jonathan sits down with Danny Litin. Danny is a father to a magical 3-year-old son, is a recent graduate from the University of Minnesota, the Executive Administrative Assistant to Dennis McKenna at Symbio Life Sciences, a music enthusiast and producer, artist, psychonaut, and explorer. He hopes to heal and inspire through complete surrender to love by performing acts of radical acceptance and vulnerability.
Jonathan and Danny met in 2013 at the Promega Bioethics Forum (now the International Forum on Consciousness) in Madison WI, where Jonathan also met Dennis McKenna for the first time, and the ideas that animate this website and podcast were first seeded in his mind.
In this episode, Jonathan and Danny discuss music, their mutual love of the Promega conference, teaching gratitude to their children, and how they have both been influenced by their relationships with Dennis McKenna and other giants of psychedelic studies. They also discuss Danny’s work with Symbio Life Sciences, the incubator company that Dennis is currently starting with partners David Gaian (guest on Psychedelic Parenting Podcast #8) and Robert Fisk. We hope you will enjoy this conversation with one of the shining young faces in psychedelic studies today.
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On teaching his son a daily gratitude reflection:
DL: It’ starts out with “I’m thankful for the bed and this snack and for mommy and daddy,” And I’ll say “Well, what about the water?” and he’ll say “I’m thankful for the water and the fire and the wind,” and all of a sudden this kid sounds like a tuned-in medicine man and he’s just thanking for the most beautiful, simple stuff; things that I wouldn’t even think of… Just a blessing to witness.
On how his medicine practice is a service to his son:
DL: I’ve just devoted myself so fully to these medicines, and to this culture, this family, this tribe, in order to become the clearest conduit that I can for whatever is trying to come through in these experiences. I think that right there is the most that I could ever do for my son; to try and fully embody that and to live that and allow that to live though me.
JT: Tell us about how you first met Dennis McKenna
DL: It was maybe 5 or 6 years ago, I was about to smoke DMT for the first time, and I was really nervous. So, on a whim, I just found who I thought was Dennis McKenna on Facebook, and I wrote him this huge long thing, just to put my anxiousness to writing. It was just my attempt at feeling comfortable. And, about an hour later, I got a vibrate in my pocket, and looked down, and saw “message from Dennis McKenna!” It was this huge, amazing, long response, longer than my initial message. And he was just so comforting, saying “If you WEREN’T nervous, I’d consider you a crazy person. Every sane person gets butterflies, every time! Just trust yourself, and remember that the only way out is to go in.”
JT: Where do you see the psychedelic movement heading in the future?
DL: We’re maturing with time. Your work is an example of that. It’s an integration of these concepts into real life situations. It’s no longer about “trippers going out and tripping together and having a trippy experience and then talking about their trips.” Not anymore. It’s about “how do we utilize these medicines in our daily lives and become better people?” It’s about healing the people of the world so that we can better take care of this place, because we are running out of time, as far as I’m concerned.
On the importance right now for people to have more transformative plant experiences:
DL: Every time I sit with any medicine, I’m reminded that I NEED to bring whatever I’m experiencing now forward, and this NEEDS to be a part of our culture. And I’m not saying that psychedelics are the way, they’re just a way. They are a door to this experience that you don’t have to practice for 30 years to get to. You don’t have to read all these books, you just have to pop this tab or eat this mushroom or drink this brew. And you are GOING to have an experience that might be the most meaningful experience of your life.
Topics & Websites Discussed in This Episode:
- Togal (Danny’s music production project)
- “The Flown” (Danny’s track played on this episdoe) on Soundcloud
- Center for Spirituality and Healing @ University of Minnesota
- Peace-Building Through Mindfulness Course Page
- Botanical Medicines in Integrative Healthcare (w/Dennis McKenna) Course Page
- People, Plants, and Drugs: An Intro to Ethnopharmacology (w/Dennis McKenna) Course Page
- Art Influences
- Practicing gratitude with your children