Evolute Institute

What to Expect from a Psilocybin Truffle Group Retreat at Evolute Institute

Table of Contents

What does it mean to go on your transformative psilocybin-containing truffle journey with guidance from Evolute Institute? This article provides guidance on the flow and important aspects of psychedelic retreats with us in general, and more specifically on our 3-month hybrid EvoLEAD program that features at its heart a 4-day on-site immersive retreat. 

Key Takeaways

  • The psychoactive ingredient that creates the psychedelic experience in both magic truffles and mushrooms is called psilocybin.
  • Psychedelics, like psilocybin truffles, have been known for altering perception and consciousness in human history for millennia.
  • Their potential therapeutic benefits led to an explosion of interest and research into psychedelics, commonly coined as the “Psychedelic Renaissance.”
  • A high-quality psilocybin truffle ceremony includes three phases: preparation, immersion, and integration. Each phase requires nuanced and professional guidance to ensure safety and to gain the most from your profound immersion into an altered state of consciousness.
  • Designing the flow of a professional, warm and supported psilocybin-truffle retreat experience is both a science and an art. We share important elements of our EvoLEAD retreat program design.

Understanding Psilocybin Truffles or “Magic Truffles”

What Are Psilocybin Truffles?

abstract comparison mushroom and truffleMagic truffles, or psilocybin truffles, are a unique type of psychoactive fungi related to magic mushrooms. Yet, unlike mushrooms, truffles are the dormant form of the fungus, known as sclerotia, and serve as a food reserve for the fungus.

The psychoactive ingredient which creates the psychedelic experience in both truffles and mushrooms is psilocybin. Of the thousands of mushroom species, only a few, such as Psilocybe tampanensis, Psilocybe cubensis (the famous “Golden Teacher”) or Psilocybe mexicana, contain the psychedelic compound psilocybin, which is then metabolized in the human body to psilocin.

The psychedelic experience with truffles is virtually identical to that of mushrooms, characterized by profound perceptual changes and emotional experiences, lasting about four to eight hours. Psilocybin truffles have the same chemical psychoactive potency as magic mushrooms, but their way of consumption usually differs. Magic mushrooms are most often consumed in a dried state and because they consist mainly of water, they lose about 90% of their mass in the process of drying. By the way of contrast, truffles are usually consumed fresh (eaten whole or brewed into tea) and are not dried, hence they still have the water inside of them. This also means that one needs to consume more grams of fresh truffles as compared to dried magic mushrooms to ingest the same amount of psilocybin and for the intensity of the psychedelic experience to be similar for both. As a rule of thumb, 1g of dried mushrooms corresponds to 10g of fresh truffles.

If you want to learn more about how psychedelics work in the brain, read our article “Your Brain on Psychedelics”.

Are Magic Mushrooms and Magic Truffles Legal?

Most countries in the world prohibit the consumption and/or ownership of the so-called “magic mushrooms” and “magic truffles”. Only in very few countries, like the Netherlands, psilocybin truffles can be legally bought, providing the opportunity to create a lawful, controlled and safe space for psychedelic experiences. The Netherlands is the only country in Europe where you can legally do a psychedelic truffle ceremony. Participants need to purchase the truffles themselves, as Evolute Institute does not provide participants their truffles. What many people don’t know is that the mushrooms (the fruit body) themselves are not legal in the Netherlands, just the truffles.

While some psychedelic retreat providers carry out their mushroom and ayahuasca retreats in Portugal and Spain, these substances are not legal there, they are currently simply decriminalized or tolerated.

Historical and Cultural Significance

Psychedelics, like psilocybin truffles or mushrooms, have been known for altering perception and consciousness in human history for millennia. Ancient civilizations across the world, from the Ancient Greeks to the indigenous tribes of the Amazon, have used these substances in religious and spiritual practices. Notable among these practices were the Eleusinian Mysteries in Greece, where initiates consumed a psychedelic brew, and in Mesoamerica, where substances like peyote and psilocybin mushrooms were integral to spiritual and healing rituals. For a fascinating journey through the history of psychedelics in the Christian and Proto-Christian world we can recommend Brian C. Murarescu’s book “The Immortality Key”.

In recent times, there has been a resurgence in the interest and research into psychedelics, often termed the “Psychedelic Renaissance.” This renewed focus emphasized largely their potential therapeutic benefits, particularly in treating mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and addiction. This shift has transformed the perception of psychedelics from merely recreational drugs to valuable tools for healing as well as psychological and spiritual growth. However, this journey of psychedelics through history has not been without controversy. If you would like to learn more about the fascinating ancient and recent history of these consciousness technologies, have a look at “Psychedelics 101: The History of Psychedelics”.

Preparing for a Psilocybin Truffle Ceremony

ceremony psilocybin preparationThe better you are prepared for a profound immersion into an altered state of consciousness, the more meaningful will be your experience, insights, and benefit to your life. Having professional guidance in this process of preparation allows you to gain the necessary confidence to go deep into your personal journey, to let go of the handrails and surrender to the experience. At our EvoLEAD retreats, we have a 3-week, virtual preparation period. This phase is divided into 1-on-1 sessions with your personal coach and several group sessions with your facilitators and the group of other participants that will be traveling alongside you.

Meeting the Group

Getting to know your fellow program participants and the team is a key step. Our focus in this phase is to guide the group to understand each other’s choice in partaking in the same journey, to get to know each other’s hopes and fears, and, above all, to establish a shared safe space where we can truly dare to explore who we really are. Most participants, when they meet three weeks later in person for the on-site psychedelic ceremony, are surprised to sense that they are not meeting strangers but rather a group of friends who will accompany us on this adventurous path. At the first shared meal, upon arrival, the group has already established a bond that will only deepen throughout the retreat.

Laying the foundations for psychedelic inner work

The second part of the preparation period entails covering the most important aspects for the upcoming journey, such as clarifying your intention and discussing a conducive (mind)set & setting for a fruitful psychedelic experience. To help you navigate altered states of consciousness, we also lay a foundation of the understanding of consciousness and the mind based on different cutting-edge scientific theories and wisdom traditions. That helps us to dive into what we know from science about what happens with the mind and brain under the influence of psychedelics. Also, we use concepts from the field of developmental psychology to relate the psychedelic work within the framework of vertical inner development and personal growth. We discuss what growth or vertical development is and how we can most effectively enable such growth. To do all of the above, we apply a variety of methods. Participants are invited to prepare themselves for each virtual group session by watching proprietary Evolute online lectures on the relevant topics. In the group virtual sessions themselves, we discuss the content together, answer questions and engage in stimulating individual and group exercises to go inward and to translate the theory into an experiential understanding.

The 1-on-1 sessions, on the other hand, are specifically tailored to shape and clarify your personal intention and address any questions and concerns you might have or wish not to disclose to the group. After each virtual session, there are readings and reflection exercises that we encourage you to take up. The preparation for your ceremony does not stop here, as it will continue on-site.

Arriving at the Psychedelic Group Retreat

athanor gardens at evolute retreat facilityEvolute Institute carries out its psychedelic retreats in high-quality retreat centers in the the Netherlands, boasting with a serene landscape in the Dutch nature. The chirping of the birds, the clean air, and the sense of tranquility of the surroundings quickly spreads to all participants, who usually arrive from their buzzing city lives.

After meeting and greeting the familiar faces of your fellow journeyers and facilitators, the 4-day retreat begins with the comfort of sharing a delicious and healthy meal. The Evolute Institute offers 2 retreat programs: EvoLEAD and EvoCORE. The curriculum of the next days is presented at a high level but not shared up-front in detail with the participants. We encourage everybody to relax into the moment and for just a few days, forget about planning. This is called “practicing feeling comfortable with uncertainty” ;-), which is a great preparation for the psychedelic experience itself. We believe that’s the way to get the most from your experience.

For the next 1.5 days preceding the psychedelic ceremony, participants engage in challenging but highly rewarding individual and group exercises to better understand how life made them the person they are, to face their own innermost longings and aspirations with compassion and equanimity, to dare to speak out their unique gift to the world with courage. By this point, everyone feels the intimate and tight bonding in the group.

Concretely speaking, we will engage in a combination of lectures, exercises and dialogues about mindset development, resistance and acceptance, values, vision and purpose, connection and trust building as well as capacity building for dealing better with inner tensions and the difficulties and paradoxes of life and leadership. Throughout the retreat, we integrate teachings from yogic traditions, mindfulness meditation, and somatic practices to help you come home to yourself, landing in your body, mind, and spirit. There will be ample space for contemplation and journaling, taking walks in nature, and having meaningful conversations with your fellow participants.

One of the major preparatory elements is a facilitated breathwork session that combines music, circular breathing, and the self-regulation tools that you have learned, to take a first step into the unknown. For many, this is the closest you will get to your first-hand psilocybin experience without actually using a psychoactive substance The next day, the psychedelic ceremony awaits.

The Day of the Psilocybin Journey

preparing for psilocybin truffle ceremonyAs you wake up in the morning in your cozy private room, probably your first thought will revolve around the truffle ceremony. After two days of on-site preparation and anticipation, it’s here. The day when it all should happen. The day of your psychedelic truffle ceremony where you will have the chance to dive deeply into unchartered territories of your mind and bring back a few golden nuggets.

This day starts with a yoga and meditation practice. Afterwards, breakfast is served, advisably your only meal before the psychedelic ceremony in the early afternoon. The facilitation team is there for any last questions participants may have about diet, the experience, what’s best to do until the ceremony, or anything that may be on their mind. Our medical doctor on-site will offer additional health check-ups and can address any final health-related questions and concerns. After breakfast, personal 1-on-1 nature walks with your coach are scheduled. Every participant gets the chance to have a conversation with the same coach who helped them set their intention weeks ago. In the afternoon, as everybody feels rested, confident, and maybe increasingly excited for what’s to come, the facilitators and the participants gather at the ceremony venue. There, you have the option to prepare a tea or a broth of the truffles you bought from a licensed vendor in the Netherlands. Every participant’s dose recommendation is individual, based on their medical-psychological screening results, their intention, their sensitivity, and their personal preference.   

Athanor Ceremony Facilitation Room

As all is ready, the group is welcomed into the serene ceremonial space. It is beautifully decorated, the music calming, it has a comfortable feel with natural light filling the space. There are lush flowers in the middle of the ceremonial space. The participants move to their personal mats and prepare their pillows, eye masks, and tuck themselves in their duvets. The group of 4-5 facilitators are evenly spread across the room and sit on cushions or meditation chairs, ready to hold the sacred space for the ceremony and support participants on their journeys where need be. A unique music playlist, carefully crafted and curated, will accompany you on your 5-6 hours-long journey within. 

Here, we won’t go into the experience itself, as it is a very personal journey for every participant. However, we have a couple of reports from previous participants and an article about the first-hand psychological mechanisms of the psychedelic experience, in case you are interested:

Integrating the Experience


As the intensity of the psychedelic experience gradually decreases, participants usually find themselves tired and in need of personal space to breathe, sit, write, and let the flowing insights permeate their mind and hearts. There is space for tranquil, non-verbal exercises after the experience with light background music. Golden silence is encouraged so each participant stays present with their own process and focuses on what is going on inside themselves. After the psychedelic experience, everybody enjoys a nourishing meal together before retiring to their private rooms.

The next morning, we gather in a circle and every participant has the opportunity to share with the group about their experience. This sharing space is an important part of the integration process. Listening to the rich and profound personal journeys that their fellow travelers underwent is not only intriguing in its own right, but also fosters a feeling of acceptance, belonging, and (self-)understanding. If one takes the opportunity to vulnerably open oneself to the group by sharing their intimate experience, one is able to take the first steps of sensemaking. What happened during the psychedelic journey? And what does it mean for my life? The period of integration has begun.

The remaining 1.5 days at the retreat are dedicated to slowly coming back, grounding ourselves, and taking the first steps in the integration process through a diverse set of exercises and activities for the mind, the spirit, the body, as well as for the emotional and relational realms. We use the power of further non-psychedelic ceremonies and rituals to create the necessary emotional depth that will allow transformation in your life. At the moment of saying goodbye, each participant has accumulated the inner resources and support to solidify and deepen their insights in the coming 2 months of the online integration phase.

Return to Day-to-Day Life

Even though participants are prepared and ready to go back to their “normal” lives at the end of the fourth day of the psychedelic retreat, it is advisable to slowly step into the demands of daily life. As the experience is still very fresh, our senses, minds, and bodies more sensitive than usually. It is common to experience an “afterglow”, a feeling of lightness and openness to the world.

“The phenomenon of “the afterglow” following the use of psychedelic substances, typically characterized by an enduring sense of clarity, emotional enhancement, and perceptual vividness, has now found a fascinating explanation rooted in neuroscience. The days and weeks following a psychedelic experience provide a unique opportunity to integrate the lessons and insights from the retreat as the increased neuroplasticity in the brain creates a “window of opportunity”.

Neuroplasticity plays a key role in the afterglow and possibility for transformation from a psychedelic experience. Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s ability to reorganize itself and change its physical structure and functional organization in response to environmental demands, learning, and experiences.

Therefore, to establish lasting change, the process of integration in the coming weeks and months is important. This is not done alone but with the important help of their fellow travelers and with guidance from their personal coach in 1:1 and group integration sessions. Also, a community of like-minded and like-hearted Evolute Institute alumni are awaiting you. Commitment partnerships and coaching circles are formed that support you with shared check-ins and to enhance accountability to your own commitments.

In Conclusion

A group psilocybin truffle ceremony at Evolute Institute is a carefully crafted journey for transformation and self-discovery. In the retreat programs Evolute Institute offers, every step is designed to ensure safety, depth, and personal growth. From the initial stages of thoughtful preparation and building a cohesive group dynamic to the immersive experience of the ceremony and structured integration afterward. This journey not only provides a unique exploration into altered states of consciousness but also supports participants in integrating their insights into their everyday lives. With expert guidance, a supportive community, and a commitment to personal development, this experience stands as a profound opportunity for those seeking to explore the depths of their minds and unlock new potentials within themselves. Are you interested or intrigued for a journey deep within ;-)?

patrick liebl retreat facilitator

Patrick Liebl,

Lead Facilitator & Integration Expert

CURIOUS to learn more?

We invite you to schedule a call with us. Together, we can delve into any questions or concerns you might have. We can explore whether our retreat program is right for you at this time, and ensure you feel confident about and ready to embrace this transformative experience.



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