The Dream Journal
The Dream Journal
Zen and Psychedelics with Dr Tom Whalen

The picture shows Dr. Tom Whalen on the left with his beloved Zen teacher on the right.

Katherine speaks with Dr. Whalen about Dreamwork and Zen each of which he has practiced for over thirty years. He speaks about his synthesis of these two disciplines into what he calls Dream Koan practice. We then delve into our guest’s medical pain practice and what results he has seen in using ketamine to ameliorate treatment-resistant depression.

We took two listener calls. The first was from Ellen who spoke out in favor of microdosing psychedelics. The second was from Dr. Whalen’s cohort Rick Issan Elkin, and he spoke about sacred mythology and their collaboration called The Eighth Wave.

BIO: Tom Whalen is an MD practicing pain medicine. For the last 15 years, he’s been following advances in neuroscience, including the use of psychedelics to treat addiction and PTSD. His passion lies in the realms of spiritual practice. After personally experiencing psychedelics in the 60’s, he recognized the short-term benefit that these provided, and sought a more sustaining form of practice. He began to practice Zen in 1971, and eventually found his lineage teacher in 1997. He has been given transmission in the Maezumi-Glassman-Ancheta Roshis lineage, authorized to be a “teacher.” Thirty years ago, he began practicing Archetypal DreamWork with Marc Bregman and Christa Lancaster, with whom he continues to have weekly sessions. With these two practices, he has synthesized a “new” form of Zen practice, which he calls Dream-Koan practice. He currently offers this practice with his buddy and Dharma brother, Rick Issan Elkin, through the Eighth Wave Community at

Show aired on October 17, 2020.


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