Paul Austin
Expanding the Mind

Deep work involves confronting the shadow confronting the darkness. That's where our most extraordinary power and greatest resilience come from.

Paul Austin
Listen Now
Show Notes

Psychedelic coach, entrepreneur, and advocate for safe psychedelic practices Paul Austin(@PaulAustin3w) shares his in-depth knowledge of how different medicines can help us heal and transform.

Newsletter Bio Version:

A leading figure in the realm of psychedelics, Paul Austin (@PaulAustin3w), is dedicated to the psychedelic renaissance. He is a proponent of microdosing and founded The Third Wave. Through his platform, he has educated millions on the significance of safe and transformative psychedelic journeys. A pioneer at the crossroads of microdosing, personal growth, and professional achievement, Paul has garnered recognition from Forbes, Rolling Stone, and BBC’s Work Life for his groundbreaking work.

” I think entrepreneurship is art. Are we creating with precision, beauty, and an artistic kind of good sense and integrity? We really should be aiming to do things at the highest, most excellent level.”

-Paul Austin

Key Takeaways:

  • MicroDose: Navigating everyday reality with microdosing offers a subtle shift in perception where one may notice a slight alteration in consciousness without losing track of time or reality. Individuals can maintain precision, awareness, and understanding, effectively navigating their daily lives.
  • Psychedelics’ Differential Impact on the Brain: LSD primarily affects the dopaminergic system, enhancing focus, attention, and motivation. In contrast, psilocybin mainly targets the serotonergic system, promoting feelings of presence, somatics, and contentment. Understanding these differences is crucial in harnessing the benefits of each substance.
  • Psychedelics and Building Resilience: When approached with intention, guidance, and responsibility, psychedelics serve as powerful tools for fostering resilience and aiding individuals in learning, growing, and adapting while facilitating profound personal development. With clear purpose and intentionality, psychedelics can positively impact countless individuals.
  • 3rd Wave Psychedelics: Emerging Frontiers: The “third wave” of psychedelics represents an evolving era characterized by refined approaches, advanced research, and mainstream integration. This phase emphasizes responsible usage, therapeutic applications, and cultural acceptance. As the movement progresses, it promises further insights into the therapeutic potential and societal implications of psychedelics.

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Welcome to the Mark Divine show. This is your host, Mark Divine. Thanks for being here today. Super stoked to have you here. Thank you very much for your time. I appreciate it very much. On this show, I explore what it means to be fearless by speaking to some of the world’s most interesting and compassionate and resilient leaders. Folks from all walks of life, scientists and academics and authors and Stoic philosophers and psychedelic experts like my guest today, Paul Austin. One of the more prominent voices in the world of psychedelics, especially micro dosing, he’s the founder of a company called The Third Wave. He’s educated millions of folks through that platform on the importance of safe and effective psychedelic experiences. He is the pioneer at the intersection of microdosing personal transformation, and professional success. He has been featured in Forbes, Rollingstone and BBCs-Work Life. Super stoked to have you here, Paul, on the Mark Divine Show.

Paul Austin  0:51  

I appreciate being here. You know, I was reading through your website earlier today. And I am just impressed and inspired by what you’ve created and built and how you’ve served and helped. So I yeah, it’s an honor to be on the show. Thank you.


Mark Divine  1:03  

I appreciate that. One day, one brick at a time.


Paul Austin  1:06  

That’s right.


Mark Divine  1:07  

So you’re over in Portugal, I was mentioning, you know, before we started that Sandy and I had tickets to go over there. And then COVID came and everything just kind of fell apart. And so we kind of like rolling those things forward. We’ve got to use them by March of this year. So we’re like, do we go back to Portugal? Or do we go somewhere else? But I hear that’s a cool place. 


Paul Austin  1:25  

I first lived in Portugal in 2016. So I grew up in West Michigan, Grand Rapids area, left when I was 2, lived abroad for about five, six years, Turkey, Thailand, and also Portugal. And so to come back, a lot of my friends are here, and the food’s great. And, you know, Portugal is an interesting country, which will be relevant to the topic today. They had a heroin crisis in 1999. And in response, they decriminalized all substances. And instead if you get caught with mushrooms, or you get caught with cannabis, they just say go see a counselor, and talk with them. And we’re not going to throw you in jail. And so it’s also it’s a forward thinking place, you know, it’s a really inspiring place to be. 


Mark Divine  2:04  

Yeah, I can imagine that response the United States. I mean, although I agree with it, right? That whatever you bring energy to, it’s gonna grow. So you know, the war on drugs is only made drugs worse. 


Paul Austin 2:14

Exactly, yeah.


Mark Divine 2:15

That’s interesting. You’re pretty young. I mean, like, you look like you’re about 26, but maybe 30 or so 32?


Paul Austin  2:22  

33, I was 1990. So at the age of 19, I started working with psychedelics. And I had my first like, moderate LSD experience and…


Mark Divine  2:34  

Working with, right. You mean, like, in a therapeutic sense, or experimenting? Or both? 


Paul Austin  2:42  

Well, in the woods with a few friends, you know.


Mark Divine 2:45



Paul Austin 2:45

…like, and Michigan has beautiful woods. It’s right on Lake Michigan. There’s sand dunes. 


Mark Divine 2:49

Oh, yeah.


Paul Austin 2:50

So just a lot of like early nature experiences, but also quite deep and profound. And, you know, one of the things I landed on at a young age was like, I don’t want to have anyone as a boss, I’d like to be an entrepreneur. And I’d like to travel, I’ve traveled to 80 plus countries. And then, in about 2015, I was living in Budapest, and a couple of friends came to visit. And we were talking about the future of psychedelics. And you know, like, there’s more research coming out Tim Ferriss, Joe Rogan are talking about, like, there could be something here. So in 2015, eight years ago, I was 24 at the time. I started this public platform on psychedelics and started teaching and educating people a lot about micro dosing in particular. And I just sort of, you know, it’s like one path to the next where I just have had a ton of fun doing this work. And I think I was lucky that I kind of figured out what I wanted to do and create at a very young age and so that that longevity is helpful. 


Mark Divine  3:44  

Yeah, you are lucky for that. I mean, I work with a lot of people who are still trying to figure out who they want to be when they grow up in their in their 50s. And it’s so it’s a real blessing if you can find it young. I met Paul Stamets, a few years ago at a event he was presenting, did you ever meet him? And I guess the kind of the corollary is, who did you learn from Who were your mentors? There’s a lot of research that’s been going on in psychedelics for many, many years. So I don’t imagine you just like figured it out all on your own.


Paul Austin  4:10  

So Jim Fadiman, he’s a, Jim as an OG he first did psilocybin with Richard Alpert, in 1962, in Paris. Richard Alpert was like a friend and advisor who, you know, later became Ram Das. Jim’s research was fascinating. And he in 1966, he took 27 project managers, engineers, you know, early kind of Silicon Valley people this is in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and he did an experiment where he said, come in with a problem you’ve been stuck on for three months, and I’m going to give you 100 micrograms of LSD, the equivalent of about 100 micrograms of LSD.


Mark Divine 4:46

Which is not much right?


Paul Austin 4:47

It’s enough to be altered. It’s not so it’s not an it’s not like a deep therapeutic dose. 


Mark Divine 4:52

It’s a micro dose. 


Paul Austin 4:54

No micro dose is 10. 


Mark Divine 4:55



Paul Austin 4:56

So 100 is like, you’re having some visual As you’re definitely like noticing changes in auditory, but you’re not going super deep.


Mark Divine 5:04



Paul Austin 5:05

But that’s the best creative dose because you’re like in between you can you can sort of be in both worlds and 90% of them were able to solve the problems that they had been stuck on for three months. And this is really the only substantial research that’s been published on psychedelics for creativity and problem solving. And then Jim was the guy who started talking about micro dosing in 2011. He wrote a book, was on the Tim Ferriss podcast in 2015. And he just reached out one day he had seen some of the early content that I had produced, and for about three years, you know, we were in close touch and friends and talking pretty consistently. I would say, Paul, I’ve interviewed for the podcast, we’ve had a handful of conversations. I think what he’s done with the Stamets stack, this combination of psilocybin, lion’s mane and niacin, which he describes is like massive for neurogenesis. And the fact that he’s not a doctor, he’s not a PhD. He is also an entrepreneur. And he’s also just like a scientist, you know, he really loves and understands mushrooms. And I feel some similarity with that I have no higher education. I studied history and business and undergrad, but I’ve just always been curious and wanting to learn. And so microdosing is the thing that I’ve focused on most. And then I have this beautiful couple there in the early 70s, in New York, John and Diane, who are not well known or famous, but they’re, they’re so interesting. They lived in Nepal and Afghanistan in the 1960s. 


Mark Divine 6:32



Paul Austin 6:32

They were the Dalai Lama’s photographer when he was here in the United States in the 80s. They’ve done books with Yoko Ono, and Elizabeth Taylor, and many others, and they’re just fascinating, artistic and interesting people. And so I just always kind of look for teachers wherever I go, you know, as someone who’s a seeker, and thankfully, you know, I’ve had some fantastic ones. 


Mark Divine  6:55  

That’s amazing. I know that you’re, you’re in Portugal, but what’s the current kind of state of thinking in the United States, both regulatory and also from the GP, around microdosing? Maybe also clarify and distinguish between different types of medicines, you know, when it comes to micro dosing?


Paul Austin  7:13  

So two years ago, I started a 501 C3 called the micro dosing collective and the focus is on how do we create like a regulated marketplace for lack of a better term for micro dosing supplements, because a lot of the research and thus the political emphasis has been on what’s called psychedelic assisted psychotherapy, which is taking a high, very high dose of could be ketamine. It could be MDMA, it could be psilocybin. With psychotherapeutic support before and after, because it can be quite intense.


Mark Divine 7:47



Paul Austin 7:47

With micro dosing. It’s a lot more subtle. Paul Stamets describes it as sub intoxicating. Jim Fadiman would call it sub perceptual. So there’s a slight difference there, like, a micro dose could be you feel a little bit you notice that a little bit, but you’re not altered to a degree where you’re going to lose track of time or reality, you can navigate your everyday reality with some level of precision and awareness and understanding. And the perceived risk of legalizing micro dosing is we’re really just legalizing these substances for everyone to take, because in the medical model, the psychedelic assisted psychotherapy model, you know, the FDA is overseeing this, you know, you have to have clinicians involved. It’s tighter gatekeeping.


Mark Divine 8:32



Paul Austin 8:33

Which is, I think, a good practice in these early days.


Mark Divine  8:36  

Usually the individual isn’t handling or controlling the storage of the substance, you go in and get it administered, yeah. 


Paul Austin  8:42  

And you had Dylan on the show from Mind Bloom. And you know, there’s now this telemedicine where we can send it to your house, and you can do it there, but, MDMA, for example, will be medically available by the end of 2024. But to work with MDMA, you have to get a prescription from a doctor and do it in a specific service center. They’re not going to just allow people to send MDMA to everyone’s house. 


Mark Divine 9:04



Paul Austin 9:04

Micro dosing suggests that because when people are taking low doses of psychedelics, there’s naturally less risk. So I think the, you know, as a sort of a history guide, the biggest mistake of the 60s, so to say, was when Timothy Leary and  Ram Das and these sorts of early LSD pioneers, they really emphasize take a bunch, right, like, see God have the mystical experience. And that was very disorienting for a lot of people. We didn’t have enough, let’s say cultural literacy around how to navigate altered states like this. And so I think the lesson from that is if we want to go from, let’s say, medical to broader culture, outside of the strict gatekeeping of certain institutions, which again, has benefits and absolutely needs to be done, the emphasis should be on lower doses because if people have the proper education, they don’t necessarily need to have a therapist or guide who was physically present with them, for the most par. It might be helpful to have someone there the first couple times you do it, but once you get it sense of your dose level. And I talk a lot about this as it relates to micro dosing. It’s like calibration. So I look at psychedelic use as a skill, right? It’s a skill we can develop. And so the amount of mushrooms you might take for, you know, a certain intention might differ from the amount of LSD that you might take for a microdose. LSD is more dopaminergic, so it’s more about focus, attention and motivation, and psilocybin is more serotonergic. So it’s more about presence, somatics, contentment. By the way, that’s


Mark Divine  10:27  

By the way that is the first time I’ve heard those two words. And I’ve heard a lot of words in my life. 


Paul Austin 10:31



Mark Divine 10:32

Like, wow, can we run by those again, so everyone can get that.


Paul Austin  10:37  

So I was there’s a story behind this. The story is, I spoke at a psychedelic conference in Prague many years ago, and I was in line to get food. And I was talking with this guy, Roland Griffiths, and Roland was the pioneer at Johns Hopkins, he did a lot of the early research, he passed away earlier this like, I think about a month or two ago, he had terminal cancer, which he was they’re very public about, and wouldl talk about how mushrooms and psychedelics helped him to work through death, like inevitable death, right, which is super powerful.


Mark Divine 11:07



Paul Austin 11:07

So we’re talking in line, this is in 2016. And I was explaining some of the differences. You know, when people take LSD, they tend to be more cognitive, they tend to be more about task driven things, they tend to be more about productivity, or performance. When people are taking psilocybin or more, they’re trying to get off SSRIs. They are trying to sort of like do it in a therapeutic lens, like it’s helping to heal some aspect, and asked him, why is this and he said, Oh, that makes sense. LSD, there’s more dopamine. So when you take LSD, the dopamine baseline increases higher than if you take psilocybin. Right, kind of like cold plunging, would do, where there’s a sustained increase in dopamine for a period of maybe four to six hours, psilocybin still has that it’s just not as prominent, it’s more about serotonin. And so there’s more of a serotonin boost from that, for that reason, then they have slightly different subjective effects. And this is what I find, you know, I’m, again, an amateur at almost everything. But it’s what I find so interesting about psychedelics is different psychedelics impact the brain in different ways, like ketamine is more about glutamate. And glutamine has, you know, a different role than for psilocybin and LSD. So knowing a little bit of the neuro chemistry and knowing a little bit of the intention, then allows I think, people to choose an experience that’s ideal for them. And that’s what I’ve been, that’s a problem I would love to solve. Is there a lot of people who are becoming interested in psychedelics, and how do we help them find great providers? How do we help them understand which medicine is right for them? How much of that the frequency of it, there’s a lot of work to do for that sort of, like professional education element?


Mark Divine  12:41  

Yeah, I would agree. I think there’s a lot of risk if you don’t have that education, if you don’t have the individuals who can control the space or, you know, hold the space, probably a better term understanding dosage and personality, nuances and whatnot and contraindications.


Paul Austin 12:54



Mark Divine 12:54

When you think about what’s needed now is not dissimilar to how psychedelics are administered and native populations, right? So there’s the medicine woman or the shaman, right, who’s the vegetalista, right.


Paul Austin 13:07



Mark Divine 13:07

Who’s holding the holder of th,e of the medicine, right? So it’s not like everyone just goes in and grabs a handful. It’s like, Oh, I’m gonna go do these today. But that’s what it’s like, in America. It’s like, yeah, I’ll go do these. See what happens? No, I mean, there’s, there’s a reason for it. And there’s, there’s ritual around it. And you know, and they’re taking a lot of time to protect the space, spiritually, even physically, to curate the experience, so it’s a positive one, and the lessons are learned. How do we get there, right? I mean, that’s what you’re talking about, but like, kids, because the government, certainly, you know, they’d screw everything up. So let’s see how they’re gonna help. Besides just making sure it doesn’t just go off the rails like it did in the 60s.


Paul Austin  13:47  

It’ll be helpful, you know, like, there is this balance being obviously governance and grassroots and how we, how we support both and what’s great about psychedelics is all paths lead to the same, I would say, end goal, in many ways. It’s all like mycelial in the way like, it’s all interconnected in terms of how these different movements are happening. How we get there. I think one we always have to look at how we’ve done this before. So what you were talking about in terms of indigenous medicine holders, shamans, curanderos, vegetalistas, you know, there’s many words but these people who are the sort of spiritual doctors…


Mark Divine 14:22



Paul Austin 14:22

…of indigenous societies, ritual, ceremony, healings, magic, if you will, like, like you said, protecting the space and keeping, you know, entities out, which is sort of an Ayahuasca thing. 


Mark Divine 14:35

Yeah, definitely. 


Paul Austin 14:35

All that matters. And how do we integrate that with an industrial mechanistic psychotherapeutic individualized society and culture which has become flat basically, like we’ve lost a lot of our richness and depth and basically culture we have no relationship or very little relationship to the land and I think a huge part of it is like, how do we reestablish a relationship with the physical land around us, and how can psychedelics and plant medicines open up a space to remember that I think it’s my experience has always been more of a remembering than a, like a new recognition. It’s like, oh, there’s something very evolutionary about this. 


Mark Divine 15:14

Yeah, there’s something very intimate about it.


Paul Austin 15:16

Very intimate. And it is, you know, when you look at it from the field of consciousness studies in, it’s an aspect of consciousness, and you are just merging with it for a moment, or dancing with it for a moment. And so there’s a sense of there I am. But I don’t usually get to access that part of myself. Because of the way my constructs of how my mind was developed and trained, right? We don’t…


Paul Austin 15:40



Mark Divine 15:40

We’re not able to access it, especially in the Western mind. So this opens the aperture a little bit. But when you look through that aperture, you you see yourself just a bigger part of yourself.


Paul Austin  15:50  

Which is both incredible and also terrifying at the same time.


Mark Divine 15:52



Paul Austin 15:52

You know, it’s like any deep work involves confronting the shadow confronting the darkness. And that’s where our greatest power comes from. That’s where our greatest resilience comes from. That’s, I think, where our greatest rooting and depth comes from. So how do we get back there, you know, my 100 year hypothesis, and maybe it’s quicker than that. Maybe we’re living in this sort of technological acceleration period, you know. But I think it’s a generational thing. It’s like the the indigenous people don’t think about things seven years from now, like VCs do they really think about things seven generations from now. So I think part of it is a longer horizon for how we perceive existence and reality. And I think part of it then is going, how do we inform the creators and builders and entrepreneurs and innovators of tomorrow, the artists of tomorrow, potentially, with this recognition of this understanding that plant medicines bring.


Mark Divine 16:43



Paul Austin 16:43

And so the the parallels that I love to draw is in the enlightenment, which was the last I would say great up leveling across humanity. We had to figure out a whole university system, we had to figure out science, technology, engineering, mathematics, which has helped us to build a world of abundance. I mean, it’s difficult, but we live in fantastic times, many of us do overall, right? 


Mark Divine 17:02

For sure.


Paul Austin 17:02

Like, life is incredible. And it was 10% of people who had to become literate, to create that new society of academic these academies and universities. And so I think instead of a written literacy, now we’re more looking at, we could say, a spiritual literacy or an indigenous literacy that we’ve lost, and how do we sort of reclaim that? 


Mark Divine 17:21



Paul Austin 17:21

And how can plant medicines help us to reclaim that, let’s say indigenous nature related wisdom? 


Mark Divine  17:28  

Yeah. No, I fully agree with you. And I was even going to kind of mention earlier that I think it’s a multi generational thing. And I think kind of corresponding, what you’re going to see is the current structures, which are starting to fray at the seams, breakdown. And then so it allows the opportunity for just like regeneration of a forest after a fire, you’re gonna see a lot of these things embraced much more vigorously, right, when some of the octogenarians who are leading the structures and some of the structures break down and things are like, okay, that was kind of messy. Let’s see if we can do better this time.


Paul Austin  18:00  

Well, and then Mark, we saw this in COVID, right. COVID hits March 2020. The number of people who worked with psychedelics quadruple from 2020 to 2023, I believe.


Mark Divine 18:11

No kidding.


Paul Austin 18:11

Quadrupled, four times the number of people. Now a lot of it was I did Mind Bloom, I did the telemedicine ketamine that was super helpful in the thick of COVID. A lot of people just heard about microdosing, you know, we had third wave, we sell a Grocott. So it comes with everything except the spores, it would be illegal to weave them together, but you can set we make it easy for people to grow their own mushrooms. That was the one of the first major phrase we really saw vulnerable. We were in so many capacities. And I think there’s going to be a lot more fraying in the next 5,10,15 years. And so the question that I’m often sitting with is, what is the role of automation and AI? What is the role of let’s say, you know, a more masculine technology a focus on like the effective acceleration, people are super big into blockchain and crypto. And I think that has to be balanced with ceremony, ritual, land. My vision of the future of living for creatives, entrepreneurs, founders is like in communities in Costa Rica in California, there’s something that remote work does that allows us to make that more accessible. And I know a lot like in Texas, for example, a lot of people are buying up massive properties and starting to build these communities of resilience where they grow their own food, and they have their own livestock, and they do it with a bunch of friends, basically, which I think is a cool model. It’s very early. It’s not really well developed yet, but I think there’s something there for how we where we land, you know, where does this where does this go? 


Mark Divine  19:34  

Let’s talk about specific medicines or substances, right, you’ve addressed three so far ketamine and psilocybin and LSD. So if someone’s listening, and they’re like, really still kind of sketched out, like I don’t know about this stuff, what are the benefits and what’s the experience for micro dosing different substances?


Paul Austin  19:55  

So for micro dosing, in particular, the benefits I draw parallel to mine fulness meditation, where if you just sit down on the cushion for 20 minutes one day, and you expect to be less reactive and more present and more patient after day one, you know, you might be let down.


Mark Divine  20:15  

You might have expectation hanging over there.


Paul Austin  20:17  

Yeah, it takes about four to six weeks of a consistent meditation practice for the brain to become more malleable, more plastic, more gray matter to develop, right, we become more present, we have more depth. And I think micro dosing is similar, where it’s not just I take a little bit of mushroom, or take a little bit of LSD one time. And that’s gonna shift a lot. It’s like it’s a practice of a protocol. So a couple times a week, two or three times a week, sometimes people go a month, some people go two months, some people go go three months. And the idea is have some level of intention and going into this experience. So maybe you want to lose weight, maybe you want to practice music, maybe you want to, you know, write a book, maybe you like there should be some sort of focus at that energy. And what we’ve noticed is people tend to have a better mood, they tend to have more energy, they tend to have better cognitive function. And they’re generally just a little less reactive. In life, they’re a little bit more intentional or discerning with the choices that they make.


Mark Divine  21:18  

Is that across the board from all the substances, or are you talking about like psilocybin?


Paul Austin  21:23  

LSD and psilocybin are the two most commonly that are microdose ketamine has people do microdose there are, there’s a company called Joyous that guides people through protocols of micro dosing, ketamine.


Mark Divine  21:35  

That’s usually done for people who are having anxiety or depression, right?


Paul Austin  21:39  

Correct or want to get off SSRIs. Right. So it tends to be more for that. Psilocybin is, like we talked about earlier, a lot of people who are on Prozac or Zoloft, or other SSRI medications are looking to psilocybin because it is non addictive. So a lot of these psychiatric medications have significant withdrawals, they can often take weeks for the efficacy to kick in. Recent research has shown that they may be no more effective than placebo in many cases. And so I think psychedelics, especially low doses, psilocybin and LSD, there’s a lot of interesting research being done on both depression and ADHD. 

And I’ve seen this just in the underground, so to say, like people who are just taking this into their own hands currently, there’s a lot of people who are able to work through depression, certain issues with addiction, and what I always emphasize is, if you are on a psychiatric medication, do this under the guidance of a trained medical professional.

That doesn’t mean you have to do it only with a trained medical professional, you could have a coach or a practitioner, but you should definitely have a medical professional in your corner to help you with that. And it’s easier now compared to ever because like if you said if I said do this six years ago, it was very difficult to find psychiatrists or other medical professionals. But a lot has changed in just five or six years. So more and more people are informed and know about this. And then LSD is interesting. You know, LSD has a pretty rich history in Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, as well known as saying it was one of the three best things that he did. There’s a lot of ultra marathoners who use low doses of LSD for performance. There are, you know, it was known in the underground of extreme sports in Colorado in the 60s and 70s, that low doses of LSD were sort of the thing that a lot of folks were doing, and it was very helpful. LSD is more about it helps with extraversion, again, going back to the dopamine. Extraversion, focus, attention, coordination at times, and there’s definitely more energy with it, it lasts about twice as long as psilocybin. I mean, it became well known because of this sort of Silicon Valley trope. But there’s a reason that has occurred. And that’s because a lot of people who are in the creative and tech industries are looking to low doses of LSD, almost as an alternative to maybe Modafinil or Adderall or other nootropic or smart drugs, which may be more intense and less creative. There’s something that even a low doses, especially with LSD, it just allows this kind of slight zoom out this capacity to get perspective to see maybe kind of how new things shape and form and so usually, when I take lower doses, microdose is I love to go hiking or go for walks because being in front of a computer can be a little bit constraining.


Mark Divine 24:20



Paul Austin 24:20

But being more out, in nature or outside is then I use those times as ways to brainstorm and think strategy and think writing ideas. And sometimes I’ll take a journal, things like that. 


Mark Divine 24:32

Oh, know, that’s interesting. 


Paul Austin 24:34

I call it hiker dosing.


Mark Divine  24:37  

A new term, I love it. 


Paul Austin 24:37

That’s the term…hashtag.


Mark Divine 24:40

Microdosing. So I had an experience with some veterans, you know, veterans obviously are, you know, there’s a lot of VSOs that are offering psychedelics to help Vets with their depression, anxiety and also alcohol addiction. And they found Ibogaine to be very helpful with addiction. It’s the only thing I think you can correct me on this that they’ve found that can actually cure you from a heroin addiction, which is incredible.


Paul Austin  25:04  

Well the recent research so there was a guy that just published research out of Stanford about Ibogaine for TBI.


Mark Divine 25:11

Is that right? 


Paul Austin 25;12

And he was just on Tim Ferriss podcast, his name is Don Williams. So the thing to note about Ibogaine Mark is that can create cardiac issues. 


Mark Divine 25:21



Paul Austin 25:22

So about one in every 350 People have cardiac arrest, which is why it’s really important that you have a cardiologist you go through screening.


Ark Divine 25:26

I was gonna mention that, right. They did it, they had a full on Doctor, you know, they were all hooked up to an EKG and so yeah, nobody had any problems at all. And it was it was it was a rough experience for them. 


Paul Austin  25:37  

It’s intense one and in this research, just to finish that up, they gave them magnesium. So magnesium protects the heart interestingly enough, then they go into the Ibogaine and I think every single person who went through the clinic like the research, it was 24-25 all of them saw outstanding improvements in TBI like substantial and significant, right.


Mark Divine 25:57



Paul Austin 25:57

But Ibogaine is intense and there are some clinicians I know one who works with Navy SEALs in San Diego, you might know him Martine Polanco,


Mark Divine  26:04  

Martine, yeah that’s who I was with, Martine 


Paul Austin  26:08  

Martine’s. Fantastic.


Mark Divine 26:08

He’s awesome. 


Paul Austin

We had him on our podcast, he’s become a good friend in San Diego and he does Ibogaine and 5 MEO DMT the toad, and the reason for that is because Ibogaine because it’s so intense, people would sometimes stay in the darkness, and he found that the 5 MEO could really help them to sort of come again into being inspired and sort of transcendent. 


Mark Divine  26:29  

That’s interesting. I guess the question that kind of comes out of that is is there any micro dosing of Ibogaine or Ayahuasca? I think I’ve heard of people micro dosing Aya, I’m curious, like, what your thoughts are and whether there’s a real benefit to that. 


Paul Austin  26:42  

So, Iboga is the root bark Ibogaine is the alkaloid, and so iboga it can be microdose, their stories of the some of the indigenous tribes in Gabon, and Cameroon, would use low doses of iboga to help with hunting, because it really helps with visual acuity, as well as energy, stamina and focus. So there is some indigenous routing there, a lot of folks who let’s say if they have an alcohol addiction or opiate addiction, and they go do a high dose, iboga or Ibogaine treatment, oftentimes, the practitioners will recommend doing a protocol of microdoses for maybe a month or two months or three months after.


Mark Divine 27:23



Paul Austin 27:24

Just to keep that kind of relationship going the window open, because, you know, there’s still a fair amount of people who, you know, they kind of lose it, it’s not, it’s not 100%. So it just helps keep that window open for longer ayahuasca, like I have a dear friend who has facilitated several 100 ayahuasca experiences with the center Diame, which is the church in Oregon, that has legalized that has legal ayahuasca, according to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and, you know, he would give his like two three year old kid tiny little bits of ayahuasca, tiny little bits, just little sips, and they would do this, then they would do this in indigenous communities as well, where I Aya, it’s just, maybe it’s a tiny bit, and they would use even this is crazy, they would use full doses of ayahuasca and for nighttime vision to go hunting in the Amazon. 


Mark Divine 28:14



Paul Austin 28:15

So there’s a really interesting because then they can see through energy. There’s a great book called The Upper Wizard of the Amazon that was written about these people. Andrew Weil wrote the foreword to it many years ago. It’s a fantastic book. So some use of low dosing, but especially with Ayahuasca you want to do under the care and guidance of a curandera, or vegetalista, or shaman, you know, like, you want to have that. 


Mark Divine 28:37



Paul Austin 28:38

Iboga, you should really continue to like, especially if there’s cardiac or heart issues, even at low doses. If it’s done often enough, I think there could be some stress to the heart, so it’s just good to have like, a doctor, for this iboga’s is more intense than both LSD and psilocybin.


Mark Divine  28:52  

My friend Ben Greenfield did a podcast maybe last year where he was like, I’m done with this. Right. Don’t do psychedelics anymore, right. There’s too dangerous. 


Paul Austin  29:04  

You want to know what’s funny Mark,  I’ve been friends with Ben for a few years. I went and visited him in Spokane. And we did a virtual Summit in May 2022. And so Ben came to this virtual summit Summit, and he talks about microdose he talked about psychedelics. Two weeks later, I get a text message from a friend. Did you see Ben Greenfield’s blog post? I’m like, No, he sent it over. And he said something like, Well, you probably got the last talk that Ben will ever get publicly about psychedelics. I thought, all right. And you know, Ben is when I was there, I went to church with them. He’s very committed to his faith. He’s very committed to his interpretation of the Bible. I think my understanding is these very, like, especially Ayahuasca these indigenous medicines are a bit outside of his wheelhouse. 

He has no interest but he’s still interested in the performance aspects of low doses of psychedelics. I think it’s just opening sort of these energetic portals that are not Christian I suppose. And of course, this look this has been the tension between psychedelics and Christianity for 1700 years, you know, for hundreds of years, the ancient Greeks had the Eleusinian Mysteries. Plato, Aristotle, Marcus Aurelius all worked with a an argot beverage, which was like their ancient LSD. And the church came around when it became the official religion of the Roman Empire and said, You can’t do that. 


Mark Divine 30:18



Paul Austin 30:18

You know. So for 1700 years, we haven’t really had a relationship with this. So I think it’s natural. Like when you get into the spiritual realms, there’s a reason a lot of people adhere to religion and have religion because it keeps them safe and protected.


Mark Divine  30:31  

It’s boundaries, yeah. You know, it’s not just psychedelics, I have a bunch of my SEALFIT coaches were, you know, former Navy SEALs, and they wouldn’t step foot into my yoga studio, you know, at my SEALFIT Training Center, you know, and I was teaching.


Paul Austin 30:43

Oh, interesting. 


Mark Divine 30:43

SEAL trainees, you know, of course, hardcore, functional fitness and all the endurance and strength training, but I was also teaching them breathwork and meditation and visualization and, you know, traditional asana and yoga and my coaches wouldn’t step foot in it, for religious reasons.


Paul Austin 30:59



Mark Divine 31:00

Not all of them, but a few, you know, I couldn’t believe it. 


Paul Austin 31:03



Mark Divine 31:04

I thought that, you know, they would be a little bit more open minded than that, you know.


Paul Austin  31:08  

Well, and that I think that’s the transition that we’re going through is, yeah, it’s just allowing the complexity and richness of life and look, some people just, they have a certain way they want to do things, and, you know, that’s how it’s gonna be. 


Mark Divine  31:20  

Right. It’s no judgment, right. This is a no judgment zone. I think that…


Paul Austin 31:24



Mark Divine 31:24

…Ben is not wrong, either. You know, because I, I have limited experience with psychedelics. And I’ve been open, you know, last couple of years, at least, about that. And I primarily because of the veteran issue, and you know, if I started a nonprofit and if I’m going to be a leader in helping veterans heal, then I want to know like, about psychedelics and so I’ve done a few Ayahuasca ceremonies I did the thing, like I mentioned down in Mexico with Martin the Ibogaine 5 MEO DMT. I have microdose mushrooms, I found this beneficial. But anyways, back to my point, you know, in that a couple of the ayahuasca experiences were just not much fun. And it’s because they were just way too big, too many people. And you know, you’ve got people who are just obviously a lot of trauma and hadn’t done like, this is their first thing they’ve ever done right to like, deal with any trauma.


Paul Austin 32:21



Mark Divine 32:21

And they’re, like, just wailing for the whole night long. You know, and I’m sitting there trying to have this pleasant experience, you know, and I’m like, man, this is a shit show.


Paul Austin  32:33  

Yeah, I had that too. I went to Rhythmia, I went to, which is a massive center in Costa Rica.


Mark Divine 32:37

I’ve heard about that. 


Paul Austin 32:38

Yeah, it’s like 50. When I was there was early it was 40 people drinking Ayahuasca and had a similar experience, but they’re like in a kind of like a yoga chalet with class, but they had hammocks outside, so I would just drink my ayahuasca, and I’d just walk outside and land with the stars the whole night. I think this comes back to like curation and community, you know, it’s like, how do you really drink medicine and be in the space of people that you really want to be that you know well, in fact, we do. 


Mark Divine 33:05



Paul Austin 33:05

So we have a training program for coaches practitioners, you know, exec.. mostly executive coaches, health and wellness coaches, some clinicians, some doctors, and we bring them down to Costa Rica for about six days, it’s a 10 months training most of the virtual, but we will bring them down to Costa Rica and 45 of us. We work with mushrooms, there’s about 35 coaches, and then I bring in 11 facilitators and we do like a high dose ceremony and other things as well. We do a sweat lodge-Temazcal, microdosing, workshops.


Mark Divine 33:33



Paul Austin 33:34

But a huge part of the high dose experiences, everyone applies. We vet we talk with everyone we know everyone, right, we’re really looking at how do we create the right connection and bonding. So these people as practitioners can go out and then professionally collaborate and help sort of usher in this psychedelic Renaissance or this, you know, third wave of psychedelics, because a lot of the interest is growing quickly. And I think it’s really critical to train what I would call like advisors, people who are, they’re not necessarily professionals, but they know a thing or two, they can help point friends and family in the right direction than practitioners who would do more like prep and integration. You know, coaches, like a lot of the executive coaches who go through the program or like I’m having clients who are starting to talk to me about this. They may be heard Aaron Rodgers drank Ayahuasca or they read about Elon Musk and Sergey Brin, working with psychedelics, and they’re interested, how do I help them? And then there’s also folks who are guides and I think that’s a huge part as well. It’s like, how are kind of back to our conversation before? How are we re-weaving in shamanistic indigenous sort of ritual ceremony? How can we train people on how to hold depth and presence because the experience with Ayahuasca as you well know is much different than taking, you know, a psychiatric medication on a therapist couch. It’s a way different landscape. It’s a way different context. It’s a way different skill set. And I think if we really want to take care of one another and have this impact that we think it can, we really need to ensure that enough people are trained in how to navigate that space safely and effectively. 


Mark Divine 35:13



Paul Austin 35:13

Sometimes clinically, not always, you know, but even in our ceremonies, it’s non clinical, meaning, the intention that people are coming in for is not to heal depression or addiction, it’s about professional training, we still have a medical doctor, we still have an EMT, we still have, you know, like folks who know their way around, because you never know what might come up when you’re deep in some of this medicine work.


Mark Divine  35:35  

Have you ever had an issue? 


Paul Austin 35:37

Oh, yeah. 


Mark Divine 35:38

My SEALFIT events, right, are extreme training. So we have…


Paul Austin 35:45



Mark Divine 35:45

…you know, we have med checks every two hours. And you know, we have EMTs on staff 24 hours, and we still have a lot of issues, because it’s just most extreme training in the world. 


Paul Austin 35:55



Mark Divine 35:55

So I imagine you do, more psychological issues.


Paul Austin  35:58  

Yeah, we’ve had a couple of physical issues. Like we’re learning about this, as we go, there was one woman who had, she was in her 70s, she had a couple of comorbidities. We didn’t know about this, because she didn’t tell us but forty years ago, she had a head trauma. And we gave her a very low dose of psilocybin, but she had, she needed medical attention. And after the fact, one of the facilitators was like, Oh, look, I found this research. Now we know, you know, going forward not to give this amount of psilocybin to someone who is elderly, had, you know, it’s like, but because it’s been so hard to do research, there’s still a lot of uncertainty, or still a lot of like, kind of unknowns. And so that’s why it’s so helpful to have just very talented people who really know what they’re doing. Because very talented people can navigate situations with calm and grace and ease if they know what they’re doing. You know, and so if you’re doing something that’s intense, like SEAL training, or psychedelics, you want to know, you got the right people in the room, we’ve got your back, basically. 


Mark Divine  36:52  

Yeah, and I think that’s the valid critique, or, you know, cautionary tale is, if you’re going to do you know, like a high dose or an experience type thing, do it with someone who’s really, really qualified, and knows how to, you know, do the during and post work and hold the space and also has the medical, you know, attentiveness? Because there’s so many people out there who, you know, hey, they’ve had a couple experiences, and they’re like, oh, I’m gonna start administering, you know.


Paul Austin 37:21



Mark Divine 37:21

I’m gonna become a coach, right? I mean, I’ve met like four or five people who like, yeah, I’m gonna go coach and charge $5,000 a day to put individuals or small groups through as an experience. And I’m like, what you’re 22? Like, what are you talking about? Where do you think you’ve got the experience?


Paul Austin  37:39  

It’s the rise of the Instagram Shaman. That’s what they call me calm Instagram shamans.


Mark Divine  37:43  

That’s right, exactly. Then it’s happening in all domains, coaching, you know, even vitamin like, I know, everything’s been scraped. And there’s people who are teaching when I’m teaching, they don’t have the experience. 


Paul Austin  37:54  

It’s a risk. I was just talking about this with Dave Asprey. And we had Dave on the podcast, and he was like…


Mark Divine 38:01

Great guy. I love him.


Paul Austin 38:02

…a lot of people, you know, he had Bulletproof and now a lot of people are coming out with these other coffee, butter, whatever things that are calling it, and he’s just like, it’s not the same. It’s not the same quality. It’s not, in a way, I think a business entrepreneurship is art. And so I always think, how are we creating with precision with beauty with artistic kind of good sense, integrity, right? Like, we really should be aiming to do things at the highest most excellent level? 


Mark Divine 38:26



Paul Austin 38:26

Because it raises everyone to that, right? It really is important. And in early spaces like this, just like in crypto, just like in blockchain, just like an AI and some of these, like there’s a lot of bullshit. 


Mark Divine 38:38

You got to weed through that. 


Paul Austin 38:39

I think discernment is so key and education helps with discernment. But also like, you know, what we’ve even done at third wave is we have a directory of providers, you can go on third wave, and we have coaches, therapists, doctors, retreats, and clinics that we’ve vetted that we know about that, you know, we’ve done some level of interview or processing with, because that is the biggest challenge. It’s like, enough people have a bad experience. And you know, the the sort of cultural appetite for some of these intense experiences might might shift a little bit.


Mark Divine  39:06  

Yeah,well said. I think that’s a great resource. So your website, what’s the website? Is it thirdwave.com, or? 


Paul Austin  39:12  

Yeah, so it’s thethirdwave.co It’s a bit unique.


Mark Divine



Paul Austin  39:15  

I bootstrapped for too long and I had a half million views in a month once, you know, it was up to that range a few years ago, and like, yeah, you can pay X and I’m not there yet. But we’ll, we’ll see. So thethirdwave.co. And then the training program is the Psychedelic Coaching Institute. And you can find out about that through the thirdwave.co as well. I’m on Instagram at Paul Austin lllW, Instagram and Twitter. And I talk a lot about micro dosing and psychedelics. And so if folks have questions or want to reach out, like, I check DMS and you know, connect with me and let me know if I can help in any way. 


Mark Divine  39:48  

Yah, I think that you can be a tremendous resource for folks who are just like, you know, trying to navigate the confusion and all the misinformation and if you want to have an microdose get on that experience or that path and it’s important to know who to go to and how to get started and protect yourself. I was gonna ask you, what’s the third wave? You mentioned the third wave of psychedelics. Like I would have thought the 60s was the first wave and now we’re into the second wave. What did I miss, the Greeks?


Paul Austin  40:13  

I call it the indigenous and ancient youths. Yeah, indigenous ancient youths. I often rooted in the Greeks because that, you know, Plato, who said this, some late 19th century philosopher was like, oh, Wayham, everything is a footnote to Plato, in Western philosophy. I think it’s really important that we go back to second wave being the 50s, 60s, and 70s. And sort of the ethos, the third wave then is, what’s the middle way between the two? I love Taoism. Right? And so it’s like, how do we take ritual ceremony and weave it in with science, precision, best practices, safety ethics, right? Like that is, I think, the integrative place.


Mark Divine  40:47  

the east and west coming together. Yeah, I’m with you. That’s, that’s what I’ve tried to do with our training too. 


Paul Austin 40:51



Mark Divine 40:52

Awesome, man, it’s been really awesome to have you on the show. So we got your website’s got your handles, anything else you want to put out there before we check out?


Paul Austin  41:02  

Well, I think just remembering that, like, Now, you talk a lot about resilience, or you have and I think, you know, psychedelics are phenomenal tools to help us become more resilient humans to help us to learn and grow and adapt, you know, and I think they need intention, and guidance, and, you know, a certain level of responsibility, but when done with purpose, and when done with clear intention, I think they’re phenomenal tools that can help a lot of people. So I appreciate you have me on the show. This is a ton of fun. I can’t wait to turn it around on you and have you on our show. That’ll be that’ll be a good time. 


Mark Divine  41:37  

Yeah, I’d love to do that. And we’ll have fun doing that. 


Paul Austin 41:39

We will. 


Mark Divine 41:39

Yeah, and I agree with you. I think when done safely, they can open the aperture and soften the boundaries of a very constricted Western kind of lifestyle. And so…


Paul Austin  41:50  

Yah, we’re a bit constipated.


Mark Divine  41:54  

Awesome. All right, buddy. You rock. Thanks very much. We’ll talk to you later. 


Paul Austin 41:58

Thanks, Mark, this is fun. 


Mark Divine 42:00

Man. That was a really fun episode and enjoyed speaking to Paul, what an interesting guy, pioneering a lot of safe practices around micro dosing, mostly psilocybin, but also we talked about LSD. It’s very interesting. Thanks so much, Paul, for your time and attention. Shownotes are on the website, Mark Divine.com the videos on the YouTube channel, you can just search for that on YouTube by searching Mark Divine. You can find me on Twitter X at Mark Divine and on Instagram or Facebook at real Mark Divine or you can reach out to me on my LinkedIn profile. If you got any ideas for guests or any questions just drop me a note. A quick plug for my newsletter, Divine Inspiration, it’s pretty new comes out every Tuesday. I’ve got show notes from the podcasts, I’ve got a blog, write weekly, I’ve got a book I’m reading, I’ve got a practice. Really cool stuff that comes across my desk, all of it positive, all of it interesting. So go to the website, Mark Divine.com to subscribe and share it with your friends. 

And thanks so much for my incredible team. My step-daughter Catherine Divine and Geoff Haskell and Jason Sanderson produce this podcast and newsletter every week, and help finding incredible guests like Paul, so that we can talk to him. You’ve heard me say this, if you’ve listened before,ratings and reviews really, really help. It’s how other people find us is how they judge us. So if you haven’t rated this show, please consider doing so when you have a moment, wherever you listen, and thank you for that. And thanks so much for doing the work of being the change you want to see in the world. We can do that at scale through conversations like this through sharing through technology. And so like we talked about with Paul, this is a multi-generational thing but we can create the more beautiful world. Our hearts knows it’s possible. But it all starts with you. So Hooyah to that till next time. This is Mark Divine out here.

Transcribed by Catherine and https://otter.ai



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