Flight Instructions (Bill Richards)

Other useful resources: How to Change Your Mind, (annotated summary); Phases of an LSD Trip; Precise dosing of LSD; How to Find a Psychedelic Guide

The following is a copy of instructions provided by Bill Richardson in connection with his psychedelic experiments.  In the experiments "sitters" are provided guides to help guide those taking psychedelic compounds.

Also see the Manual for Psychedelic Voyagers and Guides - a manual for therapy guided psychedelic experiences.

See a summary of How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan, which reference this document

Check out Bill Richards music playlist for sessions.

Study Instructions

Overview.  Each participant in the study is being provided either a placebo or an active compound which is the subject of the study.  Participants may exhibit a wide range of behavior during the experiment, including disassociation, mild psychosis, intense and rapidly changing emotional states, heighted spiritual sensitivity, transcendental experiences, among others.

As a sitter your primary job is to monitor the well being of the participant.  You should immediately contact the medical staff supervisor in the event the participant demonstrates any significant physical distress, such as shortness of breath, significant physical pain or discomfort, bleeding or self-destructive behavior.  In addition, at any time you may contact the medical staff if you believe the participant's experience is detrimental to the participant's health or safety.  The medical staff is trained to evaluate all such cases.

One sitter may leave the study room for a restroom break or a snack break.  But at all times there must be a sitter or a member of the study staff present in the study room.  If for any reason both sitters need to leave the study room, contact a member of the medical staff before leaving.

Each participant has received a briefing on the purpose of the study, a copy of which is also included in this package.  The participant has not been given guidance as to what their personal experience will be during the experiment.  You will be tasked with providing the participant helpful guidance from time to time to facilitate the participant's experience.

Begin by introducing yourself by first name and informing the participant that you are a volunteer sitter, and that your role will be to help the participant during the study, as needed.  Then tell the participants the following:

Please relax.  You will never be left alone during your experience.  You need not worry about physical safety, [the name of the other sitter] and I will be here to help you and maintain your safety.

You may experience a deep and transcendental experience.  You may have feelings of the loss of one's self, experience a sensation of rebirth or even death.  You may experience a feeling that you have ceased to exist as an individual and are connected with the world or the universe.  If you experience the sensation of dying, melting, dissolving, exploding, going crazy etc. -- go ahead.  Experience the experience.  Remember that the death/transcendence of your ego or your everyday self is always followed by Rebirth/Return to the normative world of space & time.  Safest way to return to normal is to entrust self unconditionally to the emerging experiences.  

Approximately twenty minutes after the commencement of the study, participants may begin to feel a change in mental state.  On occasion, participants may feel nausea, which will typically pass within a short period of time.

You may answer any question the participant asks you but you may not discuss the study in any manner nor discuss its other participants.  We encourage you not to provide specific personal information about yourself that might compromise your privacy or safety.  However, you are otherwise free to talk with the participant to the extent the participant initiates conversation.  We encourage you, however, to continue to guide the participant into a deep experience using the suggestions below.

Avoid attempting to guide the participant down any journey.  However, we encourage you to help the participant enter a deeper experience by encouraging the participant with phrases such as:

"If you see a door, what will you do"?  (Encourage the participant to "walk through it")

"Trust the trajectory, follow your path"

"Let Go, Be Open, Trust"

"If you see a window, what will you do?"  (Encourage the participant to "look through it" or "open it")

"If you feel like you’re dying, melting, dissolving, exploding, going crazy etc.—go ahead, embrace it."

"Climb staircases, open doors, explore paths, fly over landscapes"

If the participant is feeling fear, encourage the participant to confront the fear:

"Look the monster in the eye and move towards it... Dig in your heels; ask, ‘What are you doing in my mind?’ Or, ‘What can I learn from you?’ Look for the darkest corner in the basement, and shine your light there."

“The same force that takes you deep within will, of its own impetus, return you safely to the everyday world.”

If the participant is mild physical pain encourage the participant to investigate the pain using the phrases below (if confronted with intense or acute pain, immediately notify the medical staff):

"Look into the pain you are experiencing, visualize it and see it as clearly as you can.  Where is the source of the pain?  Can you embrace the pain or make the pain leave you?"

"Can you visualize the pain?  Can you see it clearly for what it is?  Is this pain serving you or should the pain leave?"

If the participant encounters nausea or vommits remind the participant:

"Part of your being is discomfort, which shall pass."

"Feel the nausea leaving you, and you will soon return to comfort"

"Nausea is temporary and it will pass, embrace it and then send it on its way."

If the participant becomes sick, use the waste bin and towel provided in the room and alert the medical staff.  Follow the training you received regarding nausea until the medical staff arrives.