Communities of
Compassionate Care

Upcoming Events

Zendo Project:
Beyond the Festival


Psychedelic Perspectives
in Times of Challenge & Change

a webinar series hosted by
Zendo Project Logo

 Webinar Sessions

psychedelic peer support civic responsibility

Psychedelic Peer Support:

Compassionate Care
for Difficult Times

Oct 22, 2020

Featuring Zendo Project: Chelsea Rose & Ryan Jay Beauregard, moderated by Katrina Michelle

psychedelic decriminalization - responsibility

Psychedelic Decriminalization:

Pathways to Responsible Risk Management

Oct 29, 2020

Featuring Kevin Matthews & Melissa Lavasani, moderated by Dawn D. Davis

psychedelic support for BIPOC communities

Psychedelic Support for BIPOC Communities:

Uplifting Voices, Transforming Hearts, Shifting Perspectives

Nov 5, 2020

Featuring Yarelix Estrada and Kevon Simpson, moderated by Kaylie Tejedai

psychedelic psychotherapy - participation

Harm Reduction Psychotherapy & Psychedelics:

An Integrative Approach to Addiction Treatment

Nov 12, 2020

Featuring Andrew Tatarksy & Juliana Mulligan, moderated by Sara Gael, M.A.

psychedelic societal integration

Psychedelics and Their Integration into Society:

Healing Trauma, Providing Hope

Nov 19, 2020

Featuring Rick Doblin & Kwasi Adusei, moderated by Liana Sananda Gillooly

Statement of Solidarity

Standing in Solidarity

During this time of extreme crisis, the Zendo Project stands in solidarity with those protesting against racism, white supremacy, structural violence, and police brutality. To our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities—we stand with you. Black lives matter.

Systemic racism and the resulting trauma embedded in individuals, communities, and institutions has deep transgenerational roots. The eradication of racist systems requires activism and reform. It also requires personal and interpersonal healing. As we do the outer work, we must do the inner work, and work to integrate the two. We must simultaneously excavate and understand how we as individuals and as communities are perpetuating and benefiting from racist structures.



Our Web of Interconnectivity

When done safely and responsibly, psychedelic experiences can help people become aware of the web of interconnection that exists between all human beings, as well as the entrenched and learned systems of violence that exist within that web.

However, it is not enough just to become aware of this interconnection. Our actions must integrate our awareness of collective suffering – to be whole as a community we must integrate our shadows.

For those of us who are not BIPOC, this means using our voice and our privilege to stand with, and speak up in solidarity with, and to learn to step back and listen to BIPOC communities. We must work to heal our own intergenerational trauma so as not to continue to perpetuate systems of oppression.  


Turning Towards Rather than Away

We can learn to observe our own reactions. Commit to turning toward what is happening and not away. Feeling our discomfort. Feeling our defensiveness. These are symptoms of deeply embedded racism. If we feel frozen, numb, or overwhelmed, and don’t know what to do or how to help, this is a sign to dig deeper into ourselves. It is okay to be afraid, angry, sad, ashamed, or uncertain what to do. But we will not allow our work to stop there.

We invite you to join us in this commitment to anti-racism and collective liberation. Let your internal reactions lead you to your place of grief. Follow the threads of emotion, not just intellectually but in your body. Seek support from therapists and healers who have done their own personal anti-racist work.

Work to connect with and heal your own ancestors and lineage. Do not rely on the emotional labor of your friends of color for your healing and education regarding racism. There are many resources available for this purpose. Over the coming days and weeks, we will be posting resources for both inner healing and outer action.

Move Stuck Emotions in a Productive Way

Activism and anti-racist work requires digging into the tangled roots of racism as they live in us, feeling the pain and suffering that is there, and in doing so making space for love, compassion, understanding, and humility. From there, you will know where you are needed and what gifts you can lend to this movement.

Zendo Project commits to doing the ongoing work of collective liberation, and humbly acknowledges we have much work to do. We are committed to continuing to deepen our individual and organizational anti-racist practices and consciousness.

The Zendo Project is a program of the non-profit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS).  You can read MAPS’ Statement of Solidarity here.


“After doing psychedelics the night before, I felt I needed to talk to someone about what was happening in my head. My friend was sleeping so I knew that people at the Zendo would be able to help out. All I wanted was to talk to someone that could listen. I found that at Zendo. Thank you. This has been an important part of my journey at Burning Man.”

"For the first time in a long time, I truly felt safe. I woke up in a brand new world. I embraced the vulnerable feelings and integrated the experience by relaxing with friends and family back at camp. Thank you, Zendo!"

"Zendo was an amazing resource. It transformed what could've been a physically risky and emotionally devastating night into a powerful experience of growth and an emotional cleansing."

"It was one of my first times using psychedelics, and I was not fully prepared at the time for the experience. I was so grateful to have reached the Zendo. I felt safe, away from the chaos. I was able to talk about the emotions that I have suppressed for so long."

"After learning from Zendo Project, I am now more responsible. I practice and spread harm reduction practices among my social group."

"My sister was in a bad place and you guys gave us a great place to get back a more normal place. Thank you so much. I would be interested in doing a volunteer shift to learn more."

"The Zendo staff has welcomed me into the safe and calm space. They have turned their entire attention towards me throughout the entire experience starting from me coming, entering, talking, napping for three hours,  eating Zendo-provided snacks, and leaving."

"I am very grateful for you. You have changed my entire life. I did not know who to turn to after my LSD trip and did not know anyone who could decipher the meaning behind my experience until this day."

"I knew that my sitter had helped because before going to Zendo, all I wanted to do was get drunk at a random bar so that I could pass out early in my tent. After talking, I wanted to spend time with my friends and go explore, which I did. I had a really nice night after visiting Zendo."

"Positively transformed a difficult psychedelic experience through the attentive and compassionate care provided by the stellar team of volunteers maintaining a comfortable space amid the overwhelming environment."

“I just wanted you all to know that what you all are doing is greatly appreciated. Please keep up the good work and hopefully society will begin to see the capability that psychedelics hold in bringing the individual personal peace.”

“Zendo is great. Everyone I spoke with during the burn about Zendo was very appreciative about this service. It is very helpful to the people who come, as guests and as volunteers. I was really glad to have a role at Burning Man and the opportunity to meet cool people and do a valuable service. The philosophy of Zendo is right on and totally works, and is very simple to learn.”

“The Zendo was perfect. I came in feeling desperate and dry, like the only thing I knew how to do was ask for help…You made sure I had food and water. That I was alive and that I could keep on being alive. So warm, so open, so gracious and human.”

“The moment I walked into the Zendo I started crying – as I do when I’m hurt and I see my mother. I found release here to be open enough to be exactly where I was at.”

“Just wanted to say a heartfelt thank you for your attention and empathy late Tuesday night at the Zendo. That night ended up being a real turning point for our camp and for me, with everyone reuniting at the temple at sunrise. The crazy experience and crazy weather really brought us all closer together in the end. It made a huge difference to have your help processing reality when it was a bit challenging to figure out what was real.”


Complete a volunteer profile, apply and get trained to provide psychedelic peer support at the festivals and events where Zendo Project provides services.


Learn the principles of psychedelic support, the ethics of being a sitter and determine when to seek support from medical or mental health professionals.


Share your personal experience about how being a guest or sitter with Zendo Project has made a positive and transformational impact in your life.

Psychedelic Peer Support Services

The Zendo Project provides a supportive environment and specialized care designed to transform difficult psychedelic experiences into valuable learning opportunities, and even potentially offer healing and growth. In turn, our work reduces the number of drug-related hospitalizations and arrests.


The mission of the Zendo Project is to provide a supportive environment and education to help transform difficult psychedelic and emotional experiences into opportunities for learning and growth.


We envision a world where communities are engaged in providing safety and support for people having psychedelic and emotional challenges; and harm reduction principles are used foremost to reduce the risks associated with substance use.

Compassionate Care for Overwhelming Situations


Festival producers are increasingly recognizing the necessity for spaces dedicated to helping individuals through the challenges that can result from the consumption of psychoactive substances. Psychological support services are beginning to be seen as equally important as medical care services in festival environments, where many individuals choose to use these substances.


The Zendo Project offers peer to peer counseling with individuals who are trained to work with overwhelming experiences. Many of our volunteers are mental health professionals, psychedelic researchers, and medical service providers. Others have training in holistic healing modalities or other relevant experience. We provide our volunteers with an on-site comprehensive training which further prepares them for offering harm reduction services.


In addition to creating safe spaces for those in need of support and assistance, the Zendo Project also provides harm reduction trainings for the public, providing education on how to work with challenging experiences and creating a platform for honest and responsible conversations about substance use.

Zendo Project in the Media

How Zendo Project Got its Name

How Zendo Project Got its Name

Cardboard Yurt Origins: The Zendo In 2006, Austrian Zen teacher Vanja Palmers began bringing a large group of European Buddhists to Burning Man. After experiencing the event, Palmers saw the need for a refuge/quiet space for people to retreat to in the bustling Black...

read more
How to have a safe psychedelic trip

How to have a safe psychedelic trip

Originally published on How to have a safe psychedelic trip A psychedelic experience can be deeply rewarding, but also carries real risks. Here’s how to avoid a bad trip Humans have consumed...

read more