The Vital Point


Learn methods for personal transformation that will change your life, and hear the stories of practitioners about how they're doing the work.

In self-development no matter the method you use, the vital point is to practice!

With each episode Jonathan focuses on disciplines for change like breathwork, psychedelics & plant medicine, meditation, somatic awareness, and mindset.

74. Standing in Empathy & Wholeness with Leo Lobbestael

In this deeply insightful episode, I sit down with therapist and breathwork facilitator Leo Lobbestael to explore a vital paradox in personal development. While various methods and medicines can guide us to recognize our inherent wholeness, it’s the raw, real work in these disciplines that helps remove the barriers preventing us from embracing this truth.

🌟 What You'll Learn:

Discover the paradoxical journey to self-discovery and wholeness with methods that enlighten and experiences that challenge. Learn how to embrace all parts of yourself, even the uncomfortable ones, to pave the way for genuine empathy and interconnectedness.

🛤 The Journey is the Destination:

There are no shortcuts to self-awareness and wholeness. It’s crucial to engage with every aspect of the journey — the highs, the lows, and everything in between. Learn why ‘without the mud, there is no lotus,’ and how confronting our own darkness helps us stand fully in our light.

💡 The Power of Empathy:

By understanding and integrating all facets of ourselves, we naturally open a space for empathy to flourish. Realize how this self-empathy becomes a cornerstone for understanding others, leading to a more harmonious coexistence.

👁 Key Takeaways:

The importance of the journey in self-discovery. How to navigate through the challenges to find your inherent wholeness. The role of empathy in personal and collective healing.

🎧 Tune in now to unlock the secrets to Standing in Empathy & Wholeness. It’s not just a conversation; it’s a transformative experience you won't want to miss!

73. Making Sense of Internal Family Systems with Christine Dixon

You make sense. All the parts of you make sense. This is one of the central ideas in Internal Family Systems and one that I dive into with IFS coach Christine Dixon, who you may also know as The Ordinary Sacred @theordinarysacred6664

This episode drops into starting where you are, with gentleness and care for yourself. We talk about meditation, and non-violent communication as well as continuing our exploration into parts work a.k.a IFS.

Another key topic is around curiosity replacing judgement in our relation to ourselves and others, and allowing that curiosity to lead us to more and more authentic fascination with the world around and inside of us.

This is not only something we discuss, but Christine opens the episode with a quick practice you can use to start integrating this curiosity and presence into your life right now!

72. How I Use Breathwork for Psychedelic Integration with Jonathan Schecter

Discover the unparalleled power of breathwork for nervous system regulation and psychedelic integration. Host Jonathan Schecter shares his experience learning to use breathwork to be more present in his body, grounded and feel safer going deeper into psychedelic exploration.

Uncover how breath acts as the control center for the nervous system, intricately weaving body, mind, and spirit. This episode is not just a discussion, you'll also learn the transformative technique of heart coherence breathing, which not only assists in psychedelic integration but offers countless benefits like reduced stress, improved cognitive performance, and bolstered emotional regulation.

Whether you’re looking to deepen your psychedelic journeys, enhance your cardiovascular health, or boost focus and nervous system support, this episode provides a comprehensive guide to the wonders of breathwork.

Don't miss out on these transformative insights!

71. Exploring Holotropic States & Archetypal Astrology with Jonathan Waller

Navigating the fascinating intersections of archetypal astrology, psychedelic therapy, and personal transformation with coach and archetypal astrologer Jonathan Waller.

Episode Topics:

  • Archetypal Astrology: Unpacking its unique focus on the primary celestial bodies.
  • Synchronistic Universe: How astrology connects us to a deeper dance with the cosmos.
  • Celestial Influences: Insights on the different planets.
  • Astrology in Psychedelic Therapy: Using the archetypes as a reflection in therapeutic journeys.
  • Integrating Archetypal Experiences: The transformative power of surrender and reverence.
  • Consciousness Expansion: Delving into breathwork and cold water practices for deeper connection.
  • Acknowledging Privilege and recognizing the importance of safety and grounding in exploration.

70. Satire, Skepticism, & Surfing the Psychedelic Wave with Dennis Walker

Drop into this captivating conversation with Dennis Walker, a multimedia luminary with a flair for satire and founder of Mycopreneur. Together, they delve into the nuanced world of satire, skepticism, personal evolution, and the dynamic future of the psychedelic renaissance. Dive in and discover how humor can be both a relief and a revelation, especially in a field as transformative as psychedelics.

This episode is graciously sponsored by Cultivating Wisdom. Go to and use code TVP20 at checkout for 20% off your purchase.

Episode Highlights:

  • Discovering Comedy in the Psychedelic World: Dennis delves into his journey, unveiling how he unearthed his comedic prowess and how it found a genuine place in the psychedelic community.
  • Humor & Ego: The duo discusses the inherent need to infuse levity into our lives, particularly in a realm like psychedelics, where ego dissolution is a frequent experience.
  • Skepticism's Value: Dennis talks about navigating through the psychedelic terrain with a discerning mind. They explore the critical importance of questioning everything - from government and power structures to one's own thoughts and experiences.
  • Satire as a Tool for Reflection: Learn how satire can be an effective instrument for introspection, especially when analyzing spiritual movements and authorities.
  • The Inspirational Side of Psychedelics: While emphasizing caution, Dennis also sheds light on the profound insights that can emerge from psychedelic experiences.
  • Psychedelics' Future Landscape: Jonathan and Dennis navigate the challenges and potentials in the evolving psychedelic industry. They address possible societal blindspots and the power of collaboration and communication in enhancing this transformative field.

Dennis's sharp wit, combined with Jonathan's probing inquiries, brings forth a discussion filled with depth, laughter, and contemplation. At its core, this episode is an invitation for listeners to reflect, engage, and perhaps even view the world through a slightly different lens. Whether you're a seasoned traveler in the psychedelic realm or simply intrigued by its intersections with humor and skepticism, this conversation offers something for everyone.

69. The Power of Gentleness with Steph Magenta

Steph Magenta is the founder of Seven Directions Breathwork training and the co-founder of Integrative Breath School of Breathwork. She’s a breathwork teacher and facilitator, shamanic practitioner and licensed bodywork therapist. A Modern Day Medicine Woman, her heart and wisdom are infused in everything she does.

The podcast delves deep into the realms of nuanced thinking, self-awareness, and the human desire for safety. The conversation underscores the tendency for individuals to perceive situations in stark black and white, especially when influenced by past wounds. However, with introspection and time , one can discern the intricate layers and complexities inherent in life's challenges. Steph emphasizes the transformative power of self-awareness, urging listeners to embrace the gray areas and understand the multifaceted nature of experiences. The episode further explores the significance of compassionate boundaries, both for oneself and others. In today's fast-paced world, it's crucial to recognize our limits and not overextend, ensuring we maintain a balance between helping others and self-care. Steph's insights into the human psyche highlight the importance of setting boundaries, emphasizing that while we strive to be there for everyone, it's essential to acknowledge our capacities and act accordingly.

Lastly, the podcast touches upon the foundational role of the nervous system in our quest for safety and vulnerability. Drawing from personal experiences and expertise, Steph discusses the strategies we develop to shield ourselves from vulnerability, often stemming from deep-seated fears. The episode concludes with a powerful message on the importance of gentleness, creating safe spaces, and the transformative journey of self-discovery and healing.

This podcast drops into discussion on:

  • Breathwork
  • Nervous System Regulation and Healing
  • How trauma can make us feel unsafe
  • Empathy and Forgiveness
  • Setting Compassionate Boundaries
  • Self Awareness
  • Breath Awareness

It’s such an honor to welcome Steph Magenta back to the podcast.

68. When Psychedelics Are Traumatic

In this episode of The Vital Point, I delve into the sensitive topic of trauma that has occurred in expanded states of consciousness. By sharing a personal experience, my intention is to dispel the popular misconception in the plant medicine community that “there is no such thing as a bad trip” as this is neither correct or trauma-informed.

While many risks can be reduced through best practices for safety, set and setting, that doesn’t change the fact that trauma can occur. The situation I describe has been a defining moment in my life, and I hope that others who have experienced something similar can benefit from this story.

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of harm reduction and education in this space, especially as the number of people interested in working with these powerful medicines increase (and the number of facilitators, guides and “shamans” does too).

I also go into somatic practices and nervous system regulation as they relate to trauma.

This episode introduces a foundational Somatic Experiencing practice called orientation for you to practice and add to your integration and regulation toolkit.

This practice involves slowing down to notice your external environment and can be beneficial when feeling activation in the nervous system. This practice has the most benefit when practiced consistently. The Vital Point is practice.

67. Rethinking the "Heroic" Mushroom Dose with Dave Hodges

Dave Hodges is the founder of The Church of Ambrosia and Zidedoor in Oakland - which is a nondenominational, interfaith religious organization that supports the use and safe access of all Entheogenic Plants, with a focus on Cannabis and Sacred Mushrooms.

Dave’s work centers around high-dose work with the mushrooms, which is one reason why the information he shares in this episode is so crucial.

Dave shares the results of recent research with Oakland Hyphae around creating a standardized way of measuring psilocybin for safer and more accurate dosing and explains why our current idea of using grams to measure mushrooms for therapeutic, ceremonial and recreational settings is not adequate for harm reduction or supporting people who are looking to this sacred medicine for intentional healing.

We also talk about:

  • The evolving state of psychedelic legalization and decriminalization and where it may be headed
  • The value in high dose work
  • How Dave came to understand this research was needed through his own experiences
  • Responsible and safe work with Sacred Mushrooms
  • The spiritual and therapeutic benefits of working with entheogenic plants

For those interested in working with Sacred Mushrooms and other Entheogens, The Church of Ambrosia and Zidedoor offer a wealth of resources, as well as a safe and supportive environment to embark on their journey of inner exploration.

This episode is a treasure trove of information on the use and access of Entheogenic Plants. Whether you're a newcomer to the realm of psychedelics or a seasoned explorer, this engaging conversation is a must-listen.

66. Harmonizing Science & Spirit: Integrating the MAPS Psychedelic Science Conference

I'm closing out Season 6 by exploring the emotionally transformative experience of attending the MAPS Psychedelic Science Conference - which was surprisingly similar to an actual extended psychedelic ceremony! I reflect on the emotions, and the expansive and optimistic experiences, that deserve careful integration just like a psychedelic journey. In a way, this podcast is part of my integration process!

65. Surrender, Shamanism, and Trusting Spirit with Jonathan 'Quest' Brown

In this enlightening episode, we delve into the transformative journey of Jonathan 'Quest' Brown, a certified yoga teacher, reiki master, and psychedelic integration coach.

Quest opens up about his path of self-discovery and profound healing, triggered by the unexpected loss of his mother. He sheds light on the pivotal role of yoga, reiki, and psychedelics in his healing journey, emphasizing how these practices have not only aided his recovery but also instilled a deeper sense of purpose in his life.

A key takeaway from our conversation is the profound importance of surrendering to vulnerability and placing trust in the Spirit. Quest also explores the empowering experience of connecting with one's ancestors and the transformative power this connection holds.

As a passionate advocate for vulnerability and embodied masculinity, Quest shares his experiences working with men's circles, promoting a holistic approach to integration.

64. The Theory of an Advanced World & Fractal Psychology with Saemi Nakamura

Imagine waking up from a dream, seeing that your unconscious mind is creating everything in your reality and that you have the power to change it.

Saemi Nakamura is a Holotropic and Neurodynamic breathwork facilitator and a practitioner of “Theory of an Advanced World” (TAW) and Fractal Psychology - which teaches you how to change your reality and completely transform your life and limiting beliefs.

According to TAW the world is a projection of your thoughts and using the practices and brain exercises of Fractal Psychology you can change your past, present and future.

I practiced TAW with Saemi during my Neurodynamic breathwork facilitator training and can attest that it is mind-altering, transformative work.

Not only does Saemi share her story of discovering breathwork and TAW, but she really drills down into the “theory” of an Advanced World going over the principles needed to start understanding this advanced method to transform your own mind.

Best of all Saemi guides you through a TAW brain exercise that you can use to start shifting your reality NOW.

63. Waking up Into Now with David Nichtern

On episode 63 of "The Vital Point," host Jonathan Schecter interviews guest David Nichtern, founder of Dharma Moon.

David is a senior teacher in the lineage of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. This tradition combines a contemporary, secular approach to meditation with the ancient practices and philosophies of Tibetan Buddhism.

David is also a four-time Emmy winner and two-time Grammy nominee, and a successful entrepreneur with over 40 years of experience integrating spiritual practice and everyday living. He is the author of Awakening From The Daydream; Re-imaging The Buddha’s Wheel of Life and Creativity Spirituality and Making A Buck and hosts a podcast with the same name.

The episode goes into the importance of mindfulness and meditation in everyday life and how practicing it leads to personal transformation and growth.

A few of the topics included:

  • The importance of having a regular meditation practice and how it can help with stress and anxiety
  • The concept of "enlightenment" and how it is often misunderstood
  • The “vital point” of actually practicing meditation and a few vital points from David’s teacher Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
  • The role of chaos and disruption in spiritual growth and development
  • Jonathan’s reflections on his experience in the Dharma Moon Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training
  • Information about the upcoming mindfulness meditation teacher training program offered by Dharma Moon, some of the major topics of study and the secular approach to mindfulness

62. Cultivating Wisdom with Cesar Marin

On the latest episode of The Vital Point Podcast , my guest is Cesar Marin, founder of Cultivating Wisdom. The conversation centers around microdosing and the responsible use of psychedelics for personal growth and healing.

Cesar shares his own experiences with microdosing and how it has helped him cultivate wisdom and compassion in his life. He emphasizes the importance of intention and integration in the microdosing process and encourages individuals to educate themselves and approach psychedelics with respect and caution.

Key takeaways from the episode include the benefits of microdosing, the importance of responsible use and integration, and the role of education in the psychedelic movement.

61. Dropping Into Full Spectrum Breathwork with Jamie Clements

In this enlightening conversation, host Jonathan Schecter chats with Jamie Clements, a leading breathwork teacher based in London. Jamie a breathwork specialist and founder of The Breath Space and has worked alongside top entrepreneurs, politicians, athletes and many more, to share the life changing potential of breathwork and altered states of consciousness.

After discovering out first-hand just how impactful breathwork can be, Jamie strongly believes that breathwork is the most universal and powerful tool that we all have access to change our minds and live healthier, happier lives.

Jamie shares his journey into breathwork, his practice, and the philosophical underpinnings that guide his approach.

They also delve into the importance of scientific validation in breathwork, the potential of cold water immersion, and the value of non-dogmatic exploration and curiosity in the field.

Jamie also shares his personal breathwork protocol when approaching cold water immersion, focusing on softness and control.

60. Transforming Your Life with Orientation: A Simple Practice w Profound Impact

In this enlightening episode host Jonathan Schecter, a renowned psychedelic integration and transformation coach, unravels the potent world of Somatic Experiencing™ (SE).

Taking you along his personal journey through the second training module of his SE practitioner certification, he explores the intricacies of this body-based trauma therapy method devised by Dr. Peter Levine.

The episode illuminates how SE aids in controlling the nervous system and confronting trauma, emphasizing the body's self-protective responses, the significance of gradual progress (titration), and the importance of resources for trauma management.

Schecter shares his experience with "Orientation," a powerful SE technique that helps establish a sense of safety and relaxation by focusing on the external environment.

This episode presents an encouraging step towards personal development and change, guiding listeners to make these techniques a regular part of their self-development journey, and gives the audience instructions for integrating Orientation into their own practice.

59. Psychedelic Integration is Life Integration with Dr. Ryan Westrum

Dr. Ryan Westrum is the author of The Psychedelics Integration Handbook, founder of Healing Souls and host of The Psychedelic Psychologist podcast. With over 20 years working in mental health, he combines traditional therapeutic methods with holistic, intuitive therapies that empower you to take charge of your life and mental health.

Ryan and I explore the intersection of psychedelics and mental health and the experience of integrating the cosmic perspective and insights that can come from psychedelics with the grounded embodied experience of human life and how that has shaped his work in the mental health field.

How do we bring curiosity and grace to our medicine experiences, and how can we embody this in all aspects of life? One area of discussion is the importance of patience and a willingness to meet medicine and transformational work where we are, while acknowledging their potential to help us change.

We also explore how many psychedelic integration practices are helpful in a broader context of self-care, as well as the healing work with psychedelics in order to cultivate a more grounded and mindful approach to daily life.

Join us as we explore the world of psychedelic integration, and learn how it can enhance your life and wellbeing beyond the experience of psychedelic therapy.

58. Leaning Towards the Presence of Death with Maitreya Wolf

Maitreya Wolf is a modern mystic, wisdom teacher, soul mentor, writer, musician, dancer, yogini, and lover of the wild earth.

In this episode, Maitreya and Jonathan Schecter discuss transformative experiences, initiatory consciousness, and the importance of cultivating the soul and sovereign self as well as the grieving process within trauma and the importance of having stewards and caretakers to help individuals move out of helplessness into adulthood.

An important portion of the episode revolves around the lessons we can learn from confronting death, and the episode closes with a meditation on death and impermanence for you to follow.

57. Why You Can't Change

Have you ever tried to make a major change in your life and wondered why the $@%& is it so hard? It all comes down to your nervous system and whether you feel safe or not in your body.

In this solocast, host Jonathan Schecter dives into the journey of changing careers and the challenges that have come up during the process. These include a vulnerable look at his blocks and where he was stuck, as well as the methods he used to make the change happen and how that's impacted his coaching practice and the way he works with clients from a "bottom-up" somatic based perspective.

Listening to this podcast will help you recognize the ways in which you are blocking your own growth and change and how to start working to transform that.

56. Integrating Meditation On & Off Your Cushion with Hector Marcel

Hector Marcel is the President of The Three Jewels Enlightenment Studio in New York, which is dedicated to help people reach their highest potential through meditation, yoga, public talks, and community outreach. In addition to being a master teacher of meditation and Eastern philosophy, he also serves on the board of the Asian Classics Institute.

55. Supporting the Alignment of Your Soul with Beth Weinstein

As a spiritual business coach, Beth helps current and aspiring coaches, healers, Psychedelic Pioneers, and spiritual leaders align with your soul's path and grow your business so you can help more people, share your Unique Medicine, and have a thriving transformational business you love.

Using her experience growing multiple businesses (including three of her own), along with neuroscience-backed methodologies, spiritual teachings, and practical business action plans, Beth offers a multi-dimensional approach to help you move past limiting beliefs, overcome obstacles and grow your business in a successful, impactful way.

She guides you in a step-by-step process to grow your business using a balanced, co-creative approach combining practical business coaching and heart-centered marketing strategies together with spiritually based mindset training and manifesting work.

Beth is the host of The Psychedelic Entrepreneur: Medicine For These Times podcast as well as the founder of the annual online summits, Psychedelics, Sacred Medicines, Purpose & Business 2022; Psychedelics & Purpose 2021; Psychedelics & Business 2020, and Psychedelics & Purpose 2019. She was co-creator of the "Music is Medicine" festival and "Urban Ceremony", a music-mind-body-spirit weekend together with musician East Forest.

Beth has spoken on multiple stages, podcasts, and summits, and has been featured in The New York Post, Huffington Post, The Plant Spirit Summit, The Psilocybin Summit, and more.

54. Coherence Breathing & the Benefits of Breathwork

Tune in to this week’s solo episode with Jonathan Schecter to learn a powerful breathwork method to strengthen your nervous system, increase relaxation and lower your heart rate.

In this episode, Jonathan takes questions from the audience about:

▶ different types of breathwork and how they work together

▶ using your breath the regulate the nervous system

▶ the appeal of using breathwork to enter expanded states of consciousness, and why that’s not the best place to start

▶ the differences between cold showers and ice baths

▶ using cold exposure to handle psychedelics better

▶ experience and thoughts with “Wim Hof”-type breathwork

▶ Jonathan guides you through Heart Coherence breathwork that you can use daily to regulate your nervous system, lower heart rate and drop into calm


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