Psychedelics & Compassion


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Psychedelics & Compassion

April 20 @ 19:00 - 22:00

This talk with workshop elements will explore psychedelics from the perspective of compassion and social behavior and shed light on the potential synergies between psychedelics and compassion-based interventions. I’ll present some of the recent research findings in this area, make the basic concepts understandable, and offer simple contemplative practices for the cultivation of compassion. There will also be plenty of time for your questions and discussion.

“Unconditional self-acceptance and the deep sense of connection that are felt during a [psychedelic-induced] mystical experience could provoke the psychological insights that patterns of avoidance and critical self-judgments are dysfunctional and that suffering, being imperfect, making mistakes and encountering life difficulties are part of the shared human experience”. (Baptiste Fauvel et al. 2023)

Modern competitive society has led to an individualized sense of self and self-centered attention, which comes with social comparisons that generate envy and shame, relentless striving for more and better, and self-criticism in the face of failure. As a result, many people today suffer from mental health problems such as self-rumination, shame, depression and anxiety that make it difficult to access feelings of self-worth, self-love, self-acceptance and self-compassion. Experiences of social safety and connectedness – whether induced by psychedelics and/or compassion-based interventions – can help shift from a competitive to a caring mindset with an increased sense of social safety, compassionate motivation, and prosocial behavior. 

This shift from a threat-sensitive, competitive and self-centered mindset towards a safety-sensitive, collaborative and caring mindset is the primary goal of compassion-based interventions. Recent research suggests that psychedelics could be used as adjuncts to these interventions because they induce direct experience of relevant brain states, including decreased self-rumination and experiential avoidance as well as increased empathy, positive emotions, psychological flexibility and connectedness. Research also shows that an increase in self-compassion is one of the central factors in determining the therapeutic outcomes of psychedelics and that compassion-based interventions can therefore help to get the best results from psychedelic experiences.

About: Mag. Dennis Johnson ( is a certified teacher of mindfulness, self-compassion and positive neuroplasticity and a university lecturer in a master’s program in mindfulness. He has an academic background in Tibetan and Buddhist Studies and has previously worked as a librarian, translator, editor and interpreter. His clinical background is based on propaedeutic training in psychotherapy and includes sociotherapeutic work with people in mental health crisis as well as a clinical research internship at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre. Dennis has extensively explored altered states of consciousness through meditation retreats, plant medicines and holotropic breathwork, and has been a board member of the European Transpersonal Association and the Consciousness Studies Academy Vienna.

⭐️Door opens: 19:00, talk starts at 19:30

⭐️Location: Sagedergasse 18, 1120 Vienna (Entry is in-between Billa and Bipa)

⭐️Entry 5€* / Members free *(if money is the only reason you can not come, talk to us and we will find a way)

// We do not provide any illegal substances nor do we allow for the distribution or consumption on our events. Please keep that in mind to support us.

Our only concern is to provide high quality information and safety guidelines about psychedelic substances.


April 20
19:00 - 22:00