Personal growth doesn’t happen in a vacuum, it requires patience and a supportive community. Bonfire is here to give you the support you need
As psychedelics and altered states of consciousness enter the mainstream, more and more people are looking to psychedelics as a means to personal growth and wellness. And though psychedelics can offer many personal insights, integration can be challenging, and growth rarely happens overnight. One of the most important factors in any personal journey is a strong connection to a community that can help guide and support you along the way, and Bonfire is here to offer that community support.
Jack Bunce, the Lead Organizer of the Bonfire community, describes the organization as a community for personal growth. “It’s not just about psychedelics,” he says. “We're open to things like breathwork, meditation, and other ways of exploring altered states and getting to know ourselves. I had a mystical experience with a guide and neither of us took any medicine. It's rare but people need to know that there is so much more than just psychedelic medicine in personal growth.”
Like many people, Bunce found that his interest in altered states and personal growth was missing an essential component —community. “People are looking for a community with integrity,” says Bunce. “There’s so much hype about psychedelics, and a lot of people out there just want to make money and they’re dishonest or don’t share the whole truth. I wanted to show people that it’s totally possible to build a business in psychedelics that’s honest and is here to support people.”
“I've had some really bad experiences with psychedelics,” continues Bunce, “and we have to realize this is the norm for a lot of people. I went into psychedelic-assisted therapy and came out stressed and anxious. It’s not going to fix you on its own, it is only one tool.”
Bunce stresses that many people are not adequately prepared to plunge into a life-changing altered state experience. “People need to know what to expect and what they’re getting into. A lot of people are unable to sit alone with their thoughts for long periods of time. It can be overwhelming. It is not a savior, we need to understand the risks and learn how to take care of each other.”
Learning to take care of each other and take care of yourself is one of the central priorities of the Bonfire community. “A lot of people who have done some inner work are looking for a place to feel validated,” says Bunce. “People are looking to try new things like meditating or microdosing but do not have community support. People on the path to personal growth eventually need to find the right community where they feel at home, where they feel recognized.”
The Bonfire support community offers monthly online meetings that are free for everyone. For People looking to do more serious work, Bonfire offers what they call “Campfire Crews,” which are facilitated groups with a guide or therapist to help support each member’s personal growth and healing. They offer a 26 module curriculum that meets every two weeks running for an entire year. The meetings are a combination of structured discussions and activities plus space for open sharing. Access to these groups is just $99 a month, and there are options available for people in difficult financial circumstances.
Bunce stresses that the “Campfire Crews” are not like other psychedelic coaching programs that specialize in a single training method, he wants many differing perspectives to be shared and incorporated. “We're looking to co-create this with people through community involvement and fostering personal relationships. I just want people to know how careful we’re being, including taking care of people, being careful about who I bring on, focusing on diversity, BIPOC, queer and LGBTQ issues, and harm reduction. I just really want to listen and keep getting better at listening to community needs.”