Editor’s Introduction:

This anonymous scientist has an MA in physical chemistry from Moscow State University and is currently employed as a Senior Chemist at a US research institution. She has had three patents issued, and five patents pending in her field. Her ability to practice transcendent states in the course of her scientific work is quite interesting.

When she originally submitted this account I noticed I had some reluctance to publish an account that mentioned (legal) psychoactive substance use, since people tend to have powerful and often irrational attitudes for and against any kind of drug use, but realized it is part of modern life.

Effect of Nootropil (Piracetam) on Meditative Experience

I have been meditating for a few years. I follow the Dzogchen tradition which focuses on the nature of mind. I have good concentrating skills, and I have reached the level where I could stay for a prolonged time in the state of what is called “contemplation” which is basic awareness. I tried to integrate this meditative state in my every day life in the lab, by staying completely aware all day long while running experiments, but here I started having some problems – I would be aware from moment to moment concentrating on the task at hand, but easily forget that I had some other matters to take care of. To my surprise, I wrote an excellent report while being in this state, but later on could hardly remember how I did it, though I do remember writing it and feeling very coherent. I started worrying about my memory. Years ago in Moscow I used to take Piracetam (Nootropil) which usually significantly improved my mental performance. My relative brought me some Nootropil from Russia, and I started taking it in December. Something very interesting happened – my meditation was significantly facilitated, that is I could more easily and longer stay in the alert and cognizant state without being bothered much by discursive thoughts. My memory also improved, now I could easily integrate my meditation with everyday life. However, next I found that my meditative state started “taking over” my ordinary consciousness. I would walk in the hall at work, and suddenly my body would be completely dissolved, there would be only the hall being aware of itself. The particular event I have in mind was at the coffee break. I was talking to my friend, and then there was no me any more. This awareness was talking to her, but some small part of me was feeling very uncomfortable with this “disembodied feeling”.

Another interesting thing – I always had precognitive dreams, from very early childhood, but now I have lucid dreams where I intentionally participate in the events. The dream details became more stable, for example I can examine a building or fly around a specific tree. I find this effect of Piracetam to be dose-dependent. If I take only two capsules (400 mg), I more alert than usual but in control. However, at 6 capsules, the clarity is a little overwhelming. I also found that DMAE has a similar effect though much less pronounced.

Contributor’s Comments on the Experience

Dr. Tart, I read your book on “States of Consciousness” (thank you!), and I understand what was happening – I was “jumping” from one state to another until I started taking Piracetam (Nootropil is a trade name from a Polish company “Pliva”). One of the claims for Piracetam is that it improves the flow of information between the two hemispheres. I wonder if you ever looked at the effect of this or other nootropics (DMAE, for example) on the quality of psi phenomena in other people. If possible I would love to hear from you in this regard.