Hiking the mesas and arroyos of the 280 acres of the Institute is one of the must-do’s of being there. And to avoid the heat of the day, it’s good to get an early morning start! The pre-dawn sky at the Institute is always amazing. We decided to explore further south and welcome the sun wherever we happened to be. I took the above photo just after sunrise of a beautiful outcropping on the land at the Institute, which we refer to as “Heart Rock.” It got the name because at one time there was a piece that looked just like a heart on it which has since faded. Beautiful! For a full size view click on the image.
Workshop Experiences at Cuyamungue
We received some wonderful response to this summer’s workshops. First, Laura Lee’s and my course, “The Hero Journey and the Journey of Spirit” and Nick Brink’s recently completed workshop, “Using The Cuyamungue Method for Healing, Growth and to Access the Universal Mind.” Here are a few comments from participants:
- Thank you so very much for a life changing stay with you at the Institute. I would also like to thank you very much for assembling an amazingly diverse group of co-travelers and explorers for this workshop.
- I got more immediate results – i’ve explored many practices over the years and never had results so quickly – this is amazing!
- I laughed and wept with strangers that are now bound through the the trance experience.
- I acquired new knowledge from my spiritual growth and the discovery of new food for my communication with spirit.
- I came with no knowledge of what to expect – I found it enlightening that my experience of postures complemented what others experienced.
- Coming to Cuyamungue is a healing renewal of Spirit. Coming together with others who are exploring this work brings a feeling of larger community and connection.
- All my expectations have exceeded all bounds – wonderful! This work is very useful to take into our daily lives – postures truly facilitate the depth of the experience in a way that took my mind away in wings.
- I love this place and the closeness that developed in our group was a blessing. I love greeting of the sunrise together, I’ll be back!!
- I sat in the Now on one side and the Eternal on the other, basking. I have the tools I need to speak my Truth. I realize now the healing presence of the Universe is with me all the time. It showed me what I need to know. And more, what I need to be.
- This land is very powerful – I truly felt a presence my entire time here. I understand that the posture work can be done anywhere; however, I can’t imagine a more powerful place in the world to experience this method
- Thanks for helping me remember … Thank you so very much for a life changing stay with you at the Institute. I brought a lot of excess “baggage” with me, some of which I have given back to the universe and the rest I’ll be processing in the days to come. Your sensitivity to the needs of each participant creates a safety net for everyone to let it all hang out, from facing our old demons to witnessing the power of the universe.
Thank you all for attending our workshops and sharing your experiences. We love to hear your experiences and everyone is always invited to share experiences with us. Email us anytime with your experiences at [email protected] . If your schedule can’t accommodate a workshop this year, make plans to attend a workshop next summer at the Institute!
Letter from Mike in Australia
I recently received this letter from Mike in Australia who is new to the practice, and doing this on his own; he has read Dr. Goodman’s book, but not had a chance to attend a workshop. He had several excellent questions and I felt the answers may help others. He kindly permits us to share his letter, and I include my response, below:
I have several book by Felicitas Goodman..pure gold! I purchased the drum/rattle etc sounds from your organisation awhile ago..do the sounds always have to be played through a speaker or can I use headphones? Only been really practising properly for the last few days even though I have had the books for years.
I follow the steps – I do the sage blessing/offerings /50 breaths with concentration on the chest..assume the postures with the beats playing…15 minute “sessions”.. I have felt odd tingling/energy moving in the pelvic region..short of periods of “bliss” but after that..nothing else happens my mind starts to wander…I then find it hard to concentrate..because nothing much is happening.. I will keep persisting..
I read the profound accounts of peoples experiences in “Where the Spirits Ride the Wind” and “Ecstatic Trance” and these accounts are not some minor visions but full blown. Makes me sad and frustrated but I assume it might take months for anything truly profound to happen?
Thanks for sharing your experiences. We have found over the history of this method that while the examples sighted in the books and publications are to give an idea of what can happen, experiences are unique to the individual. Some people by nature are very visual, some are more affected on the level of feeling and others may be more auditory. Based on what you shared, you are doing it correctly and I would recommend to release any expectation and judgment – some people at first may just feel heat or they may just see a blank screen of color, we just go with the experience. I also would recommend to journal each time at the end. We have found that taking time to journal as part of the practice seems to help crystalize and clarify experience.
You also mentioned “the mind wanders and it is hard to concentrate”. You bring up a very important question: What is the role of our thoughts during the practice? This method is different from techniques such as meditation, where one is trying to clear the mind. In the Cuyamungue Method, the mind is active and we do not resist thoughts. In fact, the process of stepping into an “alternate reality” requires no resistance and no direction. An active mind can be the gateway to an Ecstatic state. Of course, every day thoughts such as your shopping list for the grocery store are a distraction from your experience and when we become aware, we just release them and allow our mind to return to a neutral state.
This is also a timelessness quality to this method, two people doing the same posture at the same time can have totally opposite experiences of time. This happened several times at the most recent workshop I facilitated, one participant reporting that it felt like only a few minutes — “no way could it be 15 minutes!” — and the participant next to him feeling like the rattling went on forever. There is no “correct” experience; both are equally valid.
As for your question about headphones: headphones are fine. Be sure to set your volume levels first before you begin your session, that way you are ready to go once you finish the breathing. The level of volume is up to the individual, generally we are trying to find a safe balance of sound that surrounds us and it is not necessary to be over powered by sound.
Finally, you asked “does it take months for anything truly profound to happen.?” and I would say that there is no timeline. But first, again, don’t judge your experience so harshly. Your experience included “felt odd tingling/energy moving and periods of bliss” and which is common depending on the posture you selected. Many say they have profound experiences from the first sitting and others feels it builds over time. There is no standard timeline. Most important is don’t give up, journal each time, and continue. I look forward to hearing more about your progress and experiences with the Cuyamungue Method. Blessings, Paul
We are grateful Mike asked such important questions and I think it helps us all to review the some of the subtleties of the practice. If you have any questions and comments about the Institute or the Cuyamungue Method, please feel free to contact us. We welcome all correspondence. Email me directly at [email protected] .
Open House Events – “Open Kiva” by Laura Lee
Paul and I recently held several open house events, what we referred to as “Open Kiva” events at the Institute. These were afternoon “come on out for a visit to the Cuyamungue Institute and we’ll take you into the kiva” events that we held for the many people we were meeting in Santa Fe, who expressed interest in what we are doing there.
“This spirit journey work with the Cuyamungue Method activates that same inner visual screen that our dreams, imagination, and memory plays upon,” says Laura Lee. “Part of the delight of discovery is to realize how naturally and easily this new found ability comes. To journey in the Alternate Reality, upon this same inner screen, is to use parts of yourself that you already know . It’s flexing a muscle already in use, but in a new way. Hearing the journeys of others after the posture, with the same or similar themes and elements showing up again and again, underscores that your vision is gift from something beyond yourself. This is readily evident not only in the deep dive that we take in workshops spanning several days, and several sessions in the Kiva, but also in the experiences of those who came for a single afternoon “Open House/Open Kiva” event that we held at CI this summer.”
Read the entire article at http://www.cuyamungueinstitute.com/articles-and-news/open-house-events-open-kiva/
Featured Posture: Tsimshian Shamaness Posture
Described as a woman shaman or shamaness, this posture is considered a spirit journey posture. Housed in the Provincial Museum in Victora BC, Canada this wood carving is from the Tsimshian (pronounced Sim-SHE-an), tribe of the Northwest Pacific Coast.
The Tsimshian,translated as “People Inside the Skeena River,” are a Native American and First Nation people who live on the north coast of British Columbia and the southernmost corner of Alaska.
See the complete posture description and details at http://www.cuyamungueinstitute.com/articles-and-news/tsimshian-shamaness-posture/
Workshops at the Institute
The workshop season continues at the Cuyamungue Institute. First, we have our Instructor Training and Certification facilitated by Belinda Gore and Jackie Haworth which begins August 29th. Then starting on September 18th we have Experience the Dendara Zodiac through Posture and Dance facilitated by Jill Schumacher and Meredith Mc Cord. Both of these two workshops are considered advanced and have some requirements of previous workshop experience. Contact the instructors to confirm that you meet criteria for attendance. Finally, starting on October 4th we have our Initiatory Training – Explore, experience, and expand consciousness through the Cuyamungue Method – facilitated by myself (Paul Robear) and my wife Laura Lee. This workshop is for those with or without previous experience in this work, so anyone can attend.
August 29 – September 2 Instructor Training and Certification – Become an Instructor of the Cuyamungue Method. Instructors: Belinda Gore, Jackie Haworth
September 18 -23, 2012 Experience the Dander Zodiac through Posture
Instructors: Jill Schumacher & Meredith McCord
October 5 -7, 2012 Initiatory Training – Explore, experience, and expand consciousness through the Cuyamungue Method. Instructors: Paul Robear & Laura Lee
Online registration is easy – go to http://www.cuyamungueinstitute.com/events/
We currently scheduling our 2013 workshop season so please visit our events and workshop page throughout the fall/winter to stay abreast of of our schedule as it develops.
Creating a New Era: Masked Trance Dance Celebration of the Mayan Calendar Presented by Belinda Gore
Green Mountain, North Carolina – Workshop October 4-8. As we approach December 2012, join me for a Masked Trance Dance Celebration of the Mayan Calendar as we prepare for the new Era of Time that begins when this version of the Calendar concludes. What an amazing time to be alive – and what a privilege to participate in the creation of a new template for humanity! In this Celebration we will journey with postures from the Maya to find their guiding spirits and the map for the new era. We will create masks, costumes, and a sacred dance to escort the energies that can repattern our world. More information at http://www.thegardenretreat.com/
2014 will be the 100th anniversary of Felicitas’ birth and a great opportunity for special events at Cuyamungue and as a way to honor Dr. Goodman. We hope to have an international event and welcome all cultures, all languages and representation from around the world. We continue to hear stories of how Felicitas and her work impacted peoples lives. We are currently developing this conference for the Summer 2014 and are actively looking for knowledgeable and enthusiastic volunteers. We welcome and need your ideas and participation. We are willing to add additional temporary accommodations and gathering spaces as needed. For those who need more comfort and full accommodations, the Hilton at Buffalo Thunder is only a short distance away, very reasonable priced so could meet your needs. We can negotiate a group of rooms depending on the demand.
If you would like to be on the committee that plans and executes this event, just let me know. Email me directly at [email protected]
If you have any questions about the Institute or the Cuyamungue Method, please feel free to contact us. We welcome all correspondence. Email me directly at [email protected] .
Paul Robear – August 2012