Insights from a Week with Joe Dispenza

Larry Burk, MD, CEHP
4 min readJan 5, 2023
Melatonin from the Pineal Gland can be Metabolized to Hallucinogenic DMT

My November trip to Orlando for Dr. Joe Dispenza’s Week Long Advanced Retreat with 1850 participants was punctuated by several surprising and unexpected breakthroughs. In his book Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One which I read in early 2022, he describes these kinds of events as evidence that you are creating from the quantum field in an unpredictable fashion rather than manifesting predictable results based on memories of the past.

The days went from 6 AM to 7 PM alternating 90-minute meditations with 90-minute lectures. During the 2nd day I experienced a lot of anger about the meditations being too long and his voice being irritating. It occurred to me afterward that I must be projecting my own anger issues on to him. The next morning, he began by saying he knew that a lot of us were angry at him. At the break I got on my phone and unsubscribed from multiple newsletters that were inflaming my anger, an action long overdue.

The 4th day began with a walking meditation on the grounds of the hotel listening to his voice via headphones. The night before I had a dream about being unprepared to give a lecture to medical students. As we started the meditation, I realized I had misunderstood the directions and flashbacked to my biggest fear in medical school about making a mistake and killing a patient. After reflecting on that memory, I reminded myself that I had read over 60,000 MRI scans during my career without a malpractice case.

The highlight was the 6th day which began at 4 AM with the pineal gland meditation that lasted till 9 AM. Dr. Joe is obsessed with pineal physiology due to its ability to produce DMT, a metabolite of melatonin which can create a mystical experience. After 4 hours of breathing and chakra meditations, I started to hallucinate faces floating in front of me and felt like I was walking around the room with spongy sensations under my feet, all while lying on my air mattress wearing eye shades. Very psychedelic!

Dispenza has been doing scientific research on these phenomena during his retreats for many years including blood, saliva and stool sampling before and after along with EEGs. He has shown that the meditations shift the brainwaves lower in frequency from beta to alpha to theta, but the big mystical moments are marked by bursts of high frequency gamma waves that are evidence of Becoming Supernatural. Fascinating data, although the biggest insights for me didn’t actually happen until after the retreat.

The night following the retreat I came down with a sore throat, myalgias and fever which I treated with ivermectin and zinc as I would for any viral illness including COVID. Apparently it is a relatively common occurrence after these intense weeks jokingly referred to as “Dispenza Influenza” and explained as the body’s response to processing a biological upgrade. I was sick for the two-day drive home from Florida, and once I recovered I was left with annoying postnasal drip which is a rare symptom for me.

The last time I had similar symptoms was many years ago after my divorce, and it took several days to realize that the postnasal drip was a somatic metaphor for “inner crying” due to repressed grief from spending less time with my daughters as explained in Louise Hay’s Heal Your Body book. That valuable insight led me to success in coaching many clients with sinus disease. Similar to that first time I was initially unable to connect my symptoms to any grief that I was consciously aware of after the retreat.

Reflecting back on the week’s breakthroughs I remembered the unexpected release of anger that had been building up during the past two years of COVID trauma. Since 2021, I had written a series of 7 blogs expressing my frustration with the suppression of safe and effective early treatments in favor of the vaccine agenda resulting in significant personal censorship on social media. It seems that the cathartic eruption had uncovered an underlying grief about all the unnecessary deaths and injuries.

My journey with Joe Dispenza began last spring when my wife and I started doing his morning meditation every day. He emphasizes “being defined by a vision of the future instead of a memory from the past.” I worked on a list of physical symptoms including my 2022 cardiac arrhythmias that I wanted to leave behind while creating a new vision of health. This recent illness seemed to be connected to my chronically repressed anger that many years ago had manifested as shoulder pain which was healed with EFT.

The cardiac symptoms have improved significantly since this summer with resolution of life-threatening episodes of ventricular tachycardia as described in my Holistic Healing for Heart Arrhythmias blog. The postnasal drip which was not even on the original list has been getting gradually better over the past month as I’ve integrated the experience from the retreat and tapped on the grief. The next step is to use these insights to create more breakthroughs for my coaching clients in 2023.

My next workshop will be in person, Where the Healing Happens: Transforming Symptoms in the Lower 4 Chakras, on 4/19–21/2024 at the Art of Living Retreat Center in Boone, NC. I suggest that the antidote to grief in the heart chakra is meditating on gratitude. Dispenza expresses this concept of generosity beautifully “in terms of having — or feeling like I have — more than I need.” In that spirit of abundance, I will also be offering my annual Tapping into Health course at Duke Integrative Medicine in October 2024 for the 7th time.



Larry Burk, MD, CEHP

Holistic radiologist, Certified Energy Health Practitioner, author of Dreams that Can Save Your Life: Early Warning Signs of Cancer and Other Diseases