“If I am the father of LSD, Stan is the Godfather. Nobody has contributed as much as Stan for the development of my problem child,” said Dr. Albert Hofmann, the scientist who created LSD. For the past sixty years, Dr. Stanislav Grof has been a pioneer in the medical uses of LSD. He has contributed widely to integrating psychedelics into western medicine. He believes in a wider view of life. Part of his work is a concept called the Transpersonal. The Transpersonal is the experience of life beyond the individual ego. Grof’s has worked to allow people to know this place, and it is wisdom that many of us are looking for.
Dr. Stan Grof began working with psychedelics in the 1960s when the research was legal in the U.S. At that point, the U.S. government was sponsoring participants to enter a study Grof worked on. Incredibly, people received government funded LSD therapy. Dr. Grof has also been involved with the Esalen Institute, the famous center in Big Sur, California. At Esalen, he further developed his concepts of psychedelic therapy and wrote about how the birth experience affects people’s personalities. His work is interested in LSD’s ability to allow people to access their unconscious. He believed that with LSD people can revisit their births. Awareness of birth can allow for deep healing.
After LSD became illegal in the United States, Dr. Stan Grof pioneered a method called holotropic breathwork. He has said that people can access the same states achieved with LSD by just changing their breathing. Drawing on eastern spiritual traditions, western consciousness research, and the world’s many mystical traditions, holotropic breathing is meant to help people tap into their inherent healing wisdom. Doing holotropic breathwork can allow people to access what Grof called the “cartography of the psyche.” This is experiencing oneself as part of the whole of existence as well as seeing our many deep forms of wisdom. This place of wisdom is also meant to reveal the ongoing birth-death-rebirth process of all life.