About

Becoming Otherwise is an 8-week online course I am co-facilitating that explores individual and communal practices in expanded states of consciousness.

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“I choose what to embody, what to long for, even as the horizon shifts before me. The adaptation is up to me.”
 
—adrienne maree brown


“Deeply committed to inward self-exploration and a deepening of their ordinary consciousness—the ‘psychonauts’… are individuals who recognize that such an exploration and deepening can not only serve their own healing and expansion of consciousness, but can contribute to the healing and transformation of the larger human and Earth community in which we are all embedded.”

—Stanislav Grof


In this course, participants will be exposed to a variety of historical and modern methodologies of psychonautics, or the study of experimental explorations of consciousness. We will explore historical practices and their contemporary manifestations throughout the East, West, and the global South. Such practices include meditation, yoga, breathwork, lucid dreaming, herbalism, shamanism, and the use of enthoegenic, psychoactive medicines for healing and research.

Participants are invited to practice daily/weekly engagements of psychonautic research and reflect upon the process with media documentation. Some examples may include recording experiences in a journal or other text-based formats, three-dimensional, or audio/visual media. Weekly online discussion groups (Zoom) will serve as a space for learning and listening with and through the thoughts, reflections, and feelings of all participants who wish to share. We will engage with invited guests who will share their work/practice with the group, and participants are encouraged to create a final project, artwork, text, performance, exercise, experiment or series of reflections that will contribute to an online platform with potential to exist in a print form.

The intent behind this course is to create a community of creatives and seekers seeded by awareness, curiosity, and respect for one another. Becoming Otherwise is about losing our shape and shifting into future ways of being and relating. Bayo Akomolafe reminds us, “Times are urgent, we must slow down.” In this profound moment of undoing, our tasks are to explore new or different means of orienting ourselves—to ourselves, our communities, to the more-than-human—and to digest what is unearthed during our growth and possible disorientation. 

Becoming Otherwise is an experimental expression of my past/current research and interests; a mutable mapping; a playful, yet committed, ongoing articulation existing somewhere between contemplation and action. This offering humbly grows from a lifetime of curiosity and nearly 15 years of cultivating personal practices with expanded states. I also bring 5 years of education experience with high school and college-level students, as well as workshop facilitation experience with youth and adults.

2020 José A. Rivera