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NUMINOUS adj. /ˈnuːmɪnəs/ A term derived from the Latin numen, meaning "arousing spiritual emotion; mysterious or awe-inspiring."

What is the MEQ-30

Psychedelic experiences have long fascinated and perplexed humanity. These altered states of consciousness, induced by substances like psilocybin or LSD, often leave individuals with profound and mystical encounters that are challenging to put into words. To better understand and quantify these mystical experiences, researchers developed a tool known as the Mystical Experience Questionnaire 30, or MEQ-30.

The roots of the MEQ-30 can be traced back to the work of British philosopher Walter Terence Stace in 1960 and then later by Dr. Ralph W. Hood, Jr., along with other researchers. 

In Stace’s book, “Mysticism and Philosophy,” Stace delved into the heart of what constitutes a mystical experience. He outlined several core characteristics, including feelings of unity with all, a sense of sacredness, a profound sense of truth and reality, intense positive emotions, the transcendence of time and space, and the inherent difficulty of expressing the experience in words (ineffability). These elements formed the basis of what would later become the MEQ-30.

Is the MEQ-30 a valid way of measuring mystical experiences?

In 2006, psychopharmacologist Roland R. Griffiths from Johns Hopkins University, created an updated version of the questionnaire which boiled the previous 6 characteristics, into 4 sections. This questionnaire consists of 30 questions designed to help us understand these profound moments when people feel deeply connected to something greater, triggered by using psilocybin mushrooms. 

Key Dimensions Measured by the MEQ-30

The MEQ-30 assesses mystical experiences across four primary dimensions (also called the four-factor structure):

  • Mystical: This dimension encompasses feelings of unity, ultimate reality, eternity, freedom, fusion, and reverence.
  • Positive Mood: It describes sensations of amazement, tranquillity, ecstasy, joy, and awesomeness.

  • Space/Time: This dimension pertains to the loss of a sense of space and time during the experience.

  • Ineffability: It encapsulates the sensation that the experience cannot be adequately described using words.

Scientists conducted experiments where people took controlled amounts of psilocybin in a lab, and the results were enlightening. They found that the MEQ-30 questions are not only reliable but also make sense, meaning they do a great job of measuring mystical experiences. What’s more, they checked if people’s answers matched what they reported about changes in their thoughts, actions, and feelings after taking psilocybin, and it turns out, they did. This tells us that the MEQ-30 is a valuable tool for understanding individual mystical experiences, shedding light on how they can transform a person’s thoughts, actions, and overall well-being. This is significant for future research and our understanding of the effects of psilocybin, and researchers have even created a shorter version of the MEQ-30 for ease of use in future studies.

In addition, studies have shown that individuals who have undergone mystical experiences have demonstrated a reduction in symptoms related to their mental health challenges

How Is the MEQ-30 applied at Numinous Ways retreats?

At Numinous Ways, our mission has always been to provide a transformative and healing space for individuals seeking profound experiences through our retreats. We’ve been using the MEQ30 as a tool to gauge the impact of our programs, and the results have been nothing short of remarkable.

These remarkable results obtained from the MEQ-30 assessments indicate that an overwhelming 84% of participants reported having mystical experiences during our retreats.


Over the years, we’ve consistently seen an astonishing 84% of our retreat participants report that they’ve had a mystical experience when they fill out the MEQ-30. This statistic is a testament to the power of our approach and the dedication of our team to create an environment where participants can truly connect with the profound.

This high percentage is not just a number; it represents the profound impact our retreats have on the lives of those who attend. Mystical experiences, as indicated by the MEQ-30, are moments of deep insight, spiritual connection, and personal transformation. They can lead to enhanced well-being, personal growth, and a sense of purpose.

Our Recipe for Mystical Experiences

At Numinous Ways, we’re passionate about creating an environment that encourages and supports mystical experiences. We believe that several key factors contribute to these transformative moments:

  • Set and Setting: We meticulously curate the physical and psychological environment of our retreats to ensure participants feel safe, comfortable, and open to exploration.

  • Experienced Facilitators: Our team consists of experienced facilitators who provide guidance and support throughout the retreat, helping participants navigate their inner journeys.

  • Intentional Program Design: Our retreat programs are designed with intention, combining elements like meditation, mindfulness, and carefully dosed psychedelic substances to enhance the potential for mystical experiences.

Exploring the Why and How

While the MEQ-30 results are incredibly encouraging, we don’t stop at the numbers. We’re committed to understanding the why and how behind these mystical experiences.

As part of our integration calls, we also want to know what specific factors contributed to their mystical experiences, how these experiences have influenced their lives, and what long-term effects they’ve observed. This ongoing research helps us refine our programs and better support our participants on their journeys.-

Sharing the Magic

We believe in the power of sharing these positive outcomes. Not only do these experiences validate the effectiveness of our approach, but they also inspire others to seek transformative experiences with us. We’re proud to have created a space where individuals can tap into the mystical and deep journeys of discovering the Numinous.

As we continue to grow and evolve, we remain committed to providing meaningful and impactful retreat experiences that promote mystical experiences for our participants. 

In conclusion, the MEQ-30 has played a crucial role in shedding light on the enigmatic world of psychedelic experiences. While it may have limitations and more research is needed, it remains a valuable tool for researchers and clinicians seeking to harness the potential of these experiences for healing. As the field of psychedelic research continues to evolve, so too will our understanding of the profound, mystical states that are open to be experienced.

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3 Hill Street, New Town
Edinburgh, EH2 3JP

Tel. +44 1312100500

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