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“The longer people are on the medicine path, the more they want to repair the damage between them and the natural world” – Marco Chung-Shu Lam

How do concepts from permaculture and Chinese medicine mix with the intentional use of psychedelics? What do permaculture and Chinese medicine have to teach us about the Coronavirus outbreak? In this episode, we find out. 

This week I interviewed Marco Chung-Shu Lam, the founder and director of the Mandala Integrative Medicine Clinic where he and his team work with top athletes, entrepreneurs and business leaders to help them find new levels of flow performance and peace. 

Marco is a herbalist and permaculturist who specializes in the oldest medical system in the world – Chinese medicine, and also a senior teacher of Permaculture at Naropa University here in Boulder, where he helped found the permaculture program. He founded two herbal beverage companies – Performance Tea & Freya Health.

Besides that, Marco is currently running a regenerative farm in Steamboat Springs, where he grows some of the herbs that he uses in his clinic.

Psychedelics give us powerful experiences but those experiences aren’t really worth anything without effective integration. In this episode, we discuss integration and how to bring psychedelic experiences home by connecting to the land and to plant teachers using concepts from permaculture and Chinese medicine. And we discuss how to live a good life as taught by nature and the “Pattern language of human health”: Chinese medicine. 

This is an important episode in this series. I hope you enjoy it!


Show Notes
5:14 What does permaculture and Chinese medicine have to teach us about the Coronavirus outbreak?
5:58 Chinese medicine in its essence is the pattern language of human health.
7:00 Which populations is COVID going to hit the hardest?
7:52 What we can do is look at the patterns that are happening and look at the patterns that happened before and extrapolate.
8:17 Can we create human habitation that is permanent, meaning that it’s regenerative ecologically?
9:18 Permaculture – three ethics – care of the Earth, care of humans, the fair share ethic.
12:40 We can boost the fertility of the soil by bringing in outside nutrients.
13:23 Sometimes you find a way to deliver the surplus to the community by just doing what you’re already doing.
14:45 It’s worth investing in your people to keep them as part of your team.
14:55 Permaculture = natural capitalism
16:50 Rather than having a vacation house in Hawaii, sometimes you feel a lot richer having a really good friend in Hawaii who has a really nice house on the beach and you go visit him and work on his farm and he takes really good care of you while you’re there.
18:03 We have to build soils again, we have to fix oceans, we have to replant forests.
19:58 The longer people are on the medicine path, the more they wanna repair the damage between them and the natural world.
21:55 I am part of the ecology and the ecology is part of me.
22:57 Chinese medicine says ‘as above so below’.
23:38 Yin&Yang, the masculine and feminine, the light and dark that exists in all of us.
27:03 A deer is a deer, it doesn’t have a choice. But for us as humans, we get to choose whether we honor that contract or not. If we honor that contract we’re bestowed with the gift of good health. And if we don’t honor that contract, it creates all sorts of dysfunction in our beings.
31:13 In Chinese medicine, joy comes from the heart, and ultimately the heart is the sovereign, and when you’re in your sovereignty you’re in your heart. That means that the emperor is in their throne, and joy comes naturally.
34:32 If you’ve been in a plant medicine ceremony, the morning after, no matter how challenging the ceremony was, you’ll see this glow in everyone’s eyes. Because in a way we’ve used plant medicine to transform Jing into Qi and Qi into Shen, we’ve accelerated that process, for better or for worse.
38:54 The food you grow in your own yard is some of the healthiest food you’re gonna eat.
39:43 Plant medicine is a relationship between human beings and plants.
45:00 Marco tells us more about some of the plant medicines that grow in our backyards.
48:56 In a way it’s up to all of us to become wisdom carriers.
52:20 Cultural capital can be very rich, and all of us have it somewhere, a lot of people just throw it under the bus.
56:19 I think in the right hands, psychedelic healing is a chainsaw of the mind.
59:46 One of the experiences that come to me particularly on psilocybin is the cycle of life. It really speaks strongly to me that I’m in the relationship with my own death and how I’m aging, I’m on the road towards death. But also by being a father I created life.
61:51 Marco talks about his tea-companies – Performance Tea & Freya Health

Show links:
Mandala Integrative Medicine Clinic –
Marco’s farm – 
Naropa University –
Performance Tea –
Freya Health –