/ Interview, Podcast, Psychedelics.

«More than 90% of psychedelic use occurs outside of the medical context« – Ben Halper.

In this interview, Isra and Ben delve into the four principles for support in psychedelic experiences and harm reduction: safe space, sitting and not leading, challenging is not necessarily difficult, and speaking without getting depressed. Ben also talks about psychedelic best practices and how the Zendo project has shaped his life and impacted people’s psychedelic experiences. Other topics include challenging psychedelic experiences, rituals, meditation and consciousness practices, strange habits, motivations, more extensive lessons or creating the right setting and environment, and many more bits of value.

Interview with Ben Halper of Zendo Project about psychedelic harm reduction and peer support, education, and overcoming psychedelic challenges to grow, learn, and develop.

«This job breaks my heart« – Ben Halper.

Who is Ben Halper?

Since joining Zendo Project in 2017, Ben has been a carer, shift leader, supervisor and coordinator. Professionally, he is a consultant in the skilled nursing and long-term care industry, advising post-acute care facilities on their admission processes and business development. Before this position, he was a hospital liaison and director of admissions for skilled nursing, personal care and assisted living facilities. Ben is a founding board member of the Pittsburgh Psychedelic Society and co-produced the Sleeping Octopus Assembly conferences on psychedelics sponsored by MAPS in 2018 and 2019. He has worked as a sanctuary coordinator for RGX Medical, is trained as a yoga instructor and End-of-Life Doula and works in herbal medicine facilitation in private practice.

«Prayer through sound is a technology that allows me to connect

Disrupt Everything podcast: creating safety and favourable conditions in the use of Psychedelics

There was no specific place or safe space at these events for someone who was going through a challenging experience to hold them as the experience unfolded – Ben Halper.


interviewing ben halper from zendo project about psychedelic peer support and best learnings


Isra García interviews Ben Halper at the Psychedelic Science 2023 conference on psychedelics, primarily about applying harm reduction principles to help people explore psychedelic states, recognizing that challenging experiences can be opportunities for self-exploration and healing. Ben is the Director of Event Services at Zendo Project. This platform provides professional, comprehensive harm reduction education and support to communities to help inform and transform difficult psychedelic experiences into opportunities for learning and growth. He is also a Sanctuary Coordinator and yoga instructor and works in plant medicine, facilitating private practice.

Listen to the episode right here:


Index of contents and what you will learn in this episode with Ben Halper:

  1. Working with Maps and in Zendo.
  2. What is Project Zendo? History and public training on psychedelic harm reduction.
  3. Peer support for someone going through a psychedelic experience.
  4. The four basic principles of harm reduction and their impact when applied to festivals and events.
  5. The psychedelic experience occurs outside of the medical or clinical setting.
  6. How these seven years of work on the Zendo project have already shaped Ben Halper.
  7. Ben Halper’s life milestones so far.
  8. Proven and essential practices for dealing with psychedelic substances and people under these effects.
  9. Ben Halper’s most effective meditation and mindfulness practice.
  10. The strangest habit.
  11. How the Zendo project has influenced Ben’s personal psychedelic experiences.
  12. The Rituals of Ben Halper.
  13. His motivations were outside of Zendo.
  14. The three most essential things for Ben.
  15. Quick questions.
  16. The most crucial lesson Ben Halper learned working at Zendo.
  17. Where to find Ben.
  18. Parting thoughts.

«I don’t want to compare myself to anyone else or judge their path as if they were successful. “I’m proud of myself – Ben Halper.

Podcast Notes and Resources

People, links and resources mentioned in the interview with Ben Halper:

We are not here to provide any modality other than a grounded meditative presence, which is the anchor someone can be with as the experience unfolds.”

This is Isra García’s podcast interview with Ben Halper: MAPS Project Zendo, Supporting Challenging Psychedelic Experiences and Harm Reduction, Psychedelic Best Practices, and How to Use Psychedelics Responsibly and Consciously.

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