THE CUYAMUNGUE INSTITUTE
Experience Education Exploration

Cuyamungue, The Felicitas D. Goodman Institute is an independent, 501c3 not-for-profit educational organization committed to the study of “ASC” Altered States of Consciousness as a natural extension of the human experience. Our focus is reflected in three main areas: Experience, Education and Exploration.

The Cuyamungue Institute is the international headquarters for the practice of Ecstatic Postures, established by anthropologist Dr. Felicitas D. Goodman and has provided the home for the discovery and experiences of Ritual Body Postures for over five decades. 

Experience: The Ritual Body Postures. The tradition of expanding consciousness via direct experience provided by the practice of postures. This is Embodied Spirituality.  We are committed to transforming consciousness through the ancient wisdom of Ecstatic Trance Postures and are committed to the study of “ASC” Altered States of Consciousness as a natural extension of the human experience.

Education: Research. Current understanding of the fields of Trance, ASC and consciousness via Anthropology, Archeology, Wisdom traditions, Psychology, neuroscience, physiology and more. Empowering, engaging, informing, and inspiring people. Provide universal access and facilitate personal development, both through direct experience and sharing studies for learning, service, and leadership. Support research projects that assist in fulfilling our mission as an educational institution. Devoted to academic balance, distinguished by the creative interplay of direct experience, teaching and scholarship. The creative pursuit of science while advancing, conserving and restoring the deeper human connection to all life.

Exploration: As part of our mission is to promote the exploration via educational outreach. Advancing the general knowledge of kindred subjects. “C4E” Conversation4Exploration: the continued exploration into trance states, consciousness and human experience – broaden the scope of our work to the latest discoveries and theories. Pushing the envelope of Self Discovery – “Moving the Dial with Dialogue” — Laura Lee

April 29 – May 5, 2024 Join us for a magical and transformative workshop “Awakening Your Inner Fire,” where we will celebrate the essence of Fertility Abundance Passion and Renewal. Inspired by ancient traditions the Maypole dance and Beltane festivities, this immersive experience is designed to ignite the spark within you and reconnect you with the powerful forces of nature and your inner self.

Together we embrace the powerful energy of Springtime, in this window mid-way between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice. MORE INFO

Sunday, April 14
Into Darkness, Into Light
Anthropology of Consciousness Report

Join us for an highlights of our time at the Anthropology of Consciousness Conference in St. Louis and the Eclipse in full totality.  We also visited the Cahokia Mounds!  

Our community has been asking, and we have stories and photos to share of our weeklong trip. We were there at the invitation of the Anthropology of Consciousness Conference to present on and take the anthropologists through a Ritual Posture journey —they all had wonderful experiences! We were joined by our advisory team Christine and Todd VanPool, and Tony Hull, who also presented on aspects of their wide bodies of work. We all felt like we had found a branch of our tribe, with one fascinating presentation after the other, and a fun group to share a short journey into the center of the path of totality for the Eclipse! On our last day, several of us made the short trip out to Cahokia, the ceremonial mound-builder site on the edge of St. Louis, featuring one of North America’s largest earthen step pyramids. 

Join us as several of our Anthropology of Consciousness (AoC) colleagues join us to share photos, highlights of the wide range of talks. From the cultural myths around eclpses to “toy design as constructs of consciousness” to how refugees gather online to maintain their cultural identity, rituals honoring and grieving loss of homelands, monumental architecture embodying cultural myths, old and new practices that light our way, UFO abductees in China finding hope, Tibet’s struggles and the Rainbow Body, midwives adding to the repertoire and reclaiming their long-standing traditional role, ethics for therapeutic use of psychedelics, using the MUSE headband, uncovering unconscious biases,  questioning our productivity drive and where we land on the happiness scale, and the anger and frustration felt by the younger generations on the world they’ve been left — there’s a lot to touch on! We’ve invited many of these researchers to share in full in the coming months, so you’ll get the preview.

Chris & Todd VanPool, and Tony Hull will be here, and you’ll also meet Forensic Anthrpologist Stephanie Fox (who returns next Sunday the 21st to talk about her work) as well as AoC board members Richard Choquette and Lisa Gezon who organized the event and can tell us what they’re planning for next year. (Code word: Magic!)

For our advanced community:
Community Facilitator Network Training

Together, we continue to build an international community of practitioners of Ecstatic Postures, one that is vibrant and empowered! We encourage and support each other as we network within our own communities. Our program is designed for emerging leaders, ushering in a sustainable and prosperous world, inspired through direct experience and expanding consciousness as a natural extension of the human experience. 

If you hear the call to share the posture experience by wanting to host sessions for your local community – we provide all the details and materials in an in-depth training program.  The next training session is now beginning.

Every Sunday:
Join the conversation as we talk with the leading edge of new discoveries. We go exploring, and its a big universe out there! To broaden the scope of our work, we look to the latest research in neuroscience, anthropology, archeology, archaeoastronomy, eco-spirituality, ecology, philosophy, psychology, mythology, shamanism, ritual, the heroes journey, the roots of theatre, deep history, art history — from the arts to the sciences. That’s why we call this forum Conversation4Exploration.

Our Mission

Our mission at the Cuyamungue Institute is to introduce, sustain, and support the practice and research of trance states we believe were once widely enjoyed by our early, indigenous ancestors worldwide. A tradition lost through the millennia on our march to our modern day, it was the daring and insightful work of anthropologist Felicitas D. Goodman who revived the practice. She looked to some of the oldest, most authentic records we have — the world’s collection of early and indigenous art — and decoded selected artifacts as “ritual instructions”.

For over fifty years, students of the Cuyamungue Institute have employed the simple “access codes” Goodman rediscovered for a natural, easy, drug-free physiological shift into ecstatic states. The term “ecstatic” is an appropriate description for both the experience of blissful oneness with the Universe at large, as well as the dramatic surge of beta-endorphins, the body’s internally manufactured biochemicals support states of well-being and joy, that we see in lab tests of this process. If you have ever had a daydream, you can easily slip into this trance state. “Waking dream” is also an apt term for this state, characterized in EEG tests by the highly unusual combination of Beta plus Theta Waves.

Unusual in that Theta Waves, the brain waves of that delicious mystical dream state, are not ordinarily simultaneously present with Beta Waves, the dominant brain waves of daily waking life. So we know something out of the ordinary is happening with this trance state — out of the ordinary, yes, but within the realm of normal and natural.

This is a unique, specific physiological shift, surprisingly easily achieved, and once known, enjoyed, valued and held sacred by early societies. While today the general consensus is that only mystics can achieve this mystical state, early societies held that everyone had equal access, and those who could not were the exception, not the norm..

It is all about the experiences…

A Compilation of Journal Notes from the CI Community
Dr Goodman instructing how to hold a Ecstatic Posture position

It Works

 The reports of thousands of participants have confirmed that ordinary people can have quite extraordinary visionary experiences. Mystical experiences are not for mystics only, but for all of us! The Cuyamungue Method of Ecstatic Trance Postures is a technique with a 40,000 year track record, handed down through time from our earliest ancestors, who recorded ritual instructions in selected artworks the world over. We invite you to join us, and see for yourself!

We may ask, just how ETP works as readily and profoundly as it does? Do we bend our limbs to a specific configuration as we bend an antennae to amplify a specific frequency? Do we activate meridians, chakras, organs or neuronal pathways by placing our hands just so? 

What and where is the “Alternate Reality” we enter — is it just between our ears, or are we for a brief spell crossing a magical threshold into a realm where the Universe may speak with us directly? Its dialects are many:  direct knowing, visions, gestures, symbols, downloads of energy, emotional resolution, deep insights… all in a spirit journey writ large with meaning and wonder. Why does it feel like a territory we know? As though, having answered its call… we’ve been here before. Our soul knows this language, this place, the beings we meet. And they know us, better than we know ourselves.

Ultimately, while each of us must answer this for ourself, it’s certainly more fun to share our journeys with one another, to ponder it all together. We invite you to join the CI Circle! 

“Mystical experiences are achievable via a normal and natural physiological shift, easily accessible to everyone with a healthy nervous system. Such states are our birthright, independent of any belief system or dogma. Mystical states are not for mystics only — they are for all of us, and have been for the entirety of human existence. This our ancestors knew well, and handed us the keys.”

Laura Lee

Practitioners enjoy many benefits
  • Feelings of strength
  • Reduced anxiety and stress
  • The opening of inner portals for continued communication with the greater Universe
  • Increase in positivity and synchronicities
  • Sense of well-being lasting for hours
  • Sense of oneness with all things, the Universe
  • Sense of acceptance and belonging
  • Awakened creativity
  • Aid in memory and concentration
  • Have positive immune system responses
  • Enhance communication – better understanding and relationship with people in your life
  • Support peace of mind
  • feelings of comfort, and release of anxiety.
  • feelings of expansion – greater intuitive insights into ones life.