Introduction by Ralph Metzner
Preface by Rosemary Woodruff Leary
Bibliographic Preface by Michael Horowitz.
Psychedelic Prayers, Timothy Leary’s only book of meditative poetry, is a practical psychedelic manual inspired by Lao Tse’s Tao Te Ching. Written while the author was visiting India in 1965, it was finished at the celebrated estate in Millbrook, NY, the following year. The events and persons surrounding the trip to India and the Millbrook community are described in Leary’s autobiography Flashbacks, and in the recently published memoir by Ram Dass and Ralph Metzner, Birth of a Psychedelic Culture. Timothy Leary was drawn to the “psychedelic quality” of Lao Tse’s ancient work, dating to the 6th century BC.
“My objective” he wrote, “was to find the seed idea in each sutra and rewrite in the lingua franca of psychedelia.” The result was this handy take-along prayer book. It is intended to be read slowly during a session as a guide to transcendental experiences. This edition of Psychedelic Prayers contains six newly discovered poetic meditations by Leary and several illustrations from prior editions.
“These meditations on the art and science of consciousness expansion are serene, sensuous, funny and wise. They are among the most inspired writings by one of the outstanding visionary geniuses of the 20th century.” Ralph Metzner, from the Introduction.