031 - Mindsets, Mycology & Creative Expression With William Padilla-Brown

How Community, Mycology, And Creativity Help Us Become Symbiotic Organisms

Today’s interview is with with William Padilla-Brown. He’s a mycologist, artist, permaculturalist, and the founder of Mycosymbiotics. He has produced one of the first English books on cultivating Cordyceps militaris.

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His website www.mycosymbiotics.blog has the quote ”Homeostasis will only be achieved via Symbiosis with local Systems" which is a good way to frame this interview.

Join us as William shares a bit about his journey, which leads us through a fascinating dialogue about mindsets, community, permaculture, mycology, creative expression, psychedelic experience, and culture. 

William is also a hip-hop artist and on this episode we feature one of his latest releases. You can listen to it on Soundcloud here: soundcloud.com/itscosmic/rose-hips

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You may notice some of the same threads keep coming up in the interviews, and we’d like some feedback about these. What threads do you like? What threads don’t interest you? What do you want to hear more of?

There are a few good takeaways from this one, so listen up! 


Check out what William is up to:










William Padilla-Brown





Show Notes


William Padilla-Brown

- started a mushroom festival in 2015

- pre-existing interest in nutrition prior to getting into mushrooms

- benefits of cordyceps mushrooms

- wrote book “Cultivating Cordyceps”, one of the first guides about growing these written in English


Mindset Opens A Different Path

- moved around the world often while growing up

- dropped out of school at 16, started to take his education into his own hands

- became interested in holistic life choices, growing own food, permaculture

- decided to be the person in his community who undertook study of mushrooms

- had a desire to be an educator

- didn’t want to do traditional work for a living, saw opportunity to make a life another way

- taught a mushroom class, made more money in one hour than in lots more hours in any other job he’d had

- created a community around his chosen area of interest

- began to feel overloaded with too many projects, so narrowed focus to cordeceps


William’s Approach

- goes about his work with an “open source” mindset

- asks “how can I make this more accessible for people who need it?”

- loves to teach inner city residents

- his background in hip-hop and rap music has allowed him to introduce lots of people to permaculture ideas, who otherwise wouldn’t have encountered it


Creating Inspiration & Solutions

- draws inspiration from his 4 year old son

- firmly believes that there will be an end to suffering, and that we’re close to it

- what is needed is: more education, more communication, more acceptance

- many problems he sees are due to lack of these

- moving from a consumer mindset to a producer mindset

- able to be more creative when not worrying about surviving

- exposing people to experiences and creativity they might not have encountered before

- people want to be creators

- William is “a graduate of YouTube university”


Lessons from Fungi

- being humbled

- we are part of an interconnected whole, here to serve our function

- organisms, as they express their DNA, are telling their story

- we are more designed to utilise natural symbols as a language, than use auditory language


Psychedelic Experiences

- psychedelics can be a powerful tool just like any medicine, but it’s not for everyone

- his own experiences have brought understanding himself and the world around him

- for some people, this would be too unsettling

- communicating with ancient organisms as “elders”, looking to them for wisdom

- experiencing connection with yourself and the world around you at a deeper level

- Will didn’t feel like a man until he had these experiences, and after felt a greater level of social responsibility


Current Projects

- mushroom festival!

- a day in the life of William

- cordyceps production is booming

- discussion of uses for cordyceps

- William has written an ebook on growing cordeceps


Benefits of Cordyceps

- “DNA mushroom”

- protective of DNA

- almost all the ingredients for DNA and RNA synthesis, which our body normally spends a lot of energy on

- produces compound called cordycepin, which is so similar to ATP it can go into our mitochondria and provide energy on a cellular level

- really good for energy

- good for respiratory health

- effective antiretroviral

- powerful aphrodisiac for both women and men

- cordyceps militaris will grow on 32 species of insects; most other species will grow on only one species of insect


Adding Life Around You

- create homeostasis through symbiosis with local systems around you

- this includes food, people, other organisms


Looking To The Future

- technological systems that are beneficial for humans and the environment

- people becoming aware of and developing respect for nature, desiring to be closer

- seeing natural systems integrated into cities

- markets shifting away from junk, to accomodate growing desire for quality food and other items

- we’re moving towards something great