Ricky's Riffs:

Random Thoughts on Travel, Education, Health, and the World in General


Bufo Alvarius and the Entheogenic Revolution

March 4th, 2022

“Relax and take three deep breaths,” my guide instructs. Then, bringing the pipe to my lips: “Now take in little bits of smoke…sips. When your lungs are full, just hold.”

Within seconds of that hold, the room and I dissolve into a vision.

On Entheogenic Medicine

5-MeO-DMT is a powerful psychedelic medicine. Derived from glandular secretions of the Sonoran-desert toad, Bufo Alvarius, it is in the category of psychedelics now called “entheogens.” These are substances, that, when ingested, produce non-ordinary states of consciousness. They can invoke a spiritual experience that many people report as a oneness with the universe, or communion with God.Read the rest of this entry »


Book Review: “Aya: Awakenings” by Rak Razam

November 17th, 2021

There are at least two types of journalism. There is the classic detached, distanced, “objective” journalism. And then there is “Gonzo” journalism; most notably practiced by the likes of Hunter S. Thompson and Tom Wolfe. In this style, there is no need for distance; rather, the journalist is fully immersed in the story and reports it from the inside.

Aya: Awakenings is the story of gonzo journalist Rak Razam. In 2006, Razam was on assignment for Australian Penthouse magazine to report on an ayahuasca conference taking place in the city of Iquitos, Peru, in the Peruvian Amazon.Read the rest of this entry »


Techniques of Transcendence

September 4th, 2021

Who are we? Who am I?

We are daughters and sons, mothers and fathers; we are our jobs, our homes, our educations, our nationalities; we are our ethnicities.

We travel through life attached to these identities; composites built, brick by brick, with the answers to these questions.

These identities are not just useful, but necessary. With the recognition that we have a self that is separate from the world around us, we can divide our experience into “I” and “it,” subject and object, reducing the external world into pieces to be taken apart and put back together again. Our sense of self– of separateness–enables us to navigate the vicissitudes of life.

Yet something nags at us.Read the rest of this entry »


COVID Diaries, Part Two: Naming Our World

January 27th, 2021

COVID intruded into our world last Winter, then raged through the Spring and Summer of 2020. After taking a small break in the Fall, it exploded again–predictably–on the heels of reckless Thanksgiving and Christmas travel.

So here we are, rounding the turn on our first full year of COVID.Read the rest of this entry »


Book Review: “The DeFlame Diet” by David Seaman, DC, MA–Review by Ricky Fishman, DC

May 24th, 2020

Dr. David Seaman graduated from New York Chiropractic College in 1986. He quickly migrated from chiropractic practice to a broad range of research. His specialties include inflammation, nutrition and pain. Out of his work has come a series of books focused on the effects of low grade inflammation. In this review, I will focus on his first book, The DeFlame Diet.Read the rest of this entry »


Some Early Thoughts on a Global Pandemic: COVID Diaries, Part 1

March 23rd, 2020

We have suddenly been thrust into a global pandemic. Seemingly overnight, our lives have changed. Many of us are on lockdown, prohibited from leaving our homes except to go to the grocery store, the pharmacy, or the doctor. We must now maintain “social distance” to prevent infection, staying at least six feet from others.

There were already signs, back in December 2019, of a strange viral disease originating in the filthy live animal markets of China’s Wuhan province. Then it was seen in South Korea, and Japan. Somehow it jumped to Italy, and spread throughout Europe. All the while, from our “distant” perch–despite alarms being sounded by infectious disease and public health experts–our leaders looked on, and did nothing.Read the rest of this entry »


Cannabis: Medicine of the Future?

January 6th, 2020

The cultivation of cannabis is a science and an art. As medicine, it can be used for relief of pain and the enhancing of pleasure; to relax and to sleep. It can stimulate the creative mind, and the spiritual one as well.

The Emerald Cup, an annual event held at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, is the “Academy Awards” of cannabis.  Named for Northern California’s “Emerald Triangle”–the center of the state’s cannabis cultivation industry—it is now in its sixteenth year. Awards are given in a variety of categories: from Best Tinctures, Topicals, and Edibles to Best Marijuana Plant Photography.Read the rest of this entry »