Ecstatic Trance Postures

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

Ecstatic Trance Postures – Rx for Difficult Times 

Ecstatic Trance Posture
Open Sessions - Everyone Welcome

Saturdays in August

Ecstatic Trance Postures (ETP) Experiential Open Sessions Introductory to Advanced Everyone is welcome! New to the practice? This is your first stop, as we begin with a brief introductory “how-to” so you may optimize your experience. Bring paper and pen, an open mind, and no expectations other than having a beautiful experience — and for an optimal one, follow the tips and instructions on the upcoming email “ticket” to the session. Here’s to cosmic new adventures!
Virtual via Zoom

Ecstatic Trance Posture
& Exploratory Sessions

Wednesdays in August

Advanced Participants (those who have completed a minimum of five introductory ETP sessions in Zoom or in a workshop setting) further our understanding with ongoing experiential research for Cuyamungue Institute. This is where we take new, exploratory postures  “out for a test drive” one week, and the next, fashion the props (the hats, collars, face paint, or held objects) that we see on the originating artifacts to see what influence they may have. As we are assured you’re well versed in this practice, we omit the introductory “how-to” in the beginning, which gives us a little more time for sharing experiences and general discussion towards the end of our two-hour session.

Virtual via Zoom

Trance Posture Q&A
Lecture Series

Sundays in August

Every Sunday.  Dive deeper into the history, the research, the subtleties and nuances, and more on the practice of Ecstatic Trance Postures (ETP). A supplement to the experiential sessions, this is time set aside with Paul and Laura, and  occasional guest speakers, to cover set topics, answer questions live and from email, as well as hear your stories and observations.

Set topics covered: the origin story of CI founder F.D. Goodman’s (re)discovery of this practice, overview of the category of postures, the select artifacts that give us the CI Canon of postures, the worldview of the cultures who left us the oldest artifacts,  optimizing trance states, why do this work? And more….


From time to time, we invite guest speakers in related fields to help further broaden the scope of our research looking closer at parallel fields of study, to plunge deeper and learn more as we advance our understanding of Ecstatic Trance.

About This Work

     Ecstatic Trance Postures (ETP): Ancient Technique for Safe, Natural Physiological Shift into Direct Experience of the Eternal Now and Ancestral Wisdom.”
     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.

What does one experience in Ecstatic Trance Postures? Click here for first-hand reports.

Dr Goodman instructing how to hold a Ecstatic Posture position

It Works

The reports of hundreds of research subjects and thousands of workshop participants have confirmed that ordinary people can have quite extraordinary experiences. The Cuyamungue Method of Ecstatic Ritual Postures is a very safe technique, which also stimulates ones own healing abilities.

To enter repeatedly and purposefully into a state of trance and to tune in to a different field of consciousness produces changes due not only to biochemical processes within the body. The experience of these feelings does have an effect on the unfolding of one’s own being without being connected to conditions, demands, and dependency. In the state of trance, which is a higher awareness of the inner world, one is able to connect oneself with a different information field of consciousness that constantly creates itself and always leads to new insights and points of view. 

Practitioners enjoy these benefits:
  • Feelings of healing and increased wellness
  • Reduced Stress & Tension
  • Increased Happiness
  • Inspired Ecstatic feelings of oneness with other people, nature, the universe
  • Enhanced brain function – clearer thinking ability.
  • Awaken creativity
  • Aid in memory and concentration
  • Have positive immune system responses – a feeling of strength.
  • 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

"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 one belief system or dogma."

Laura Lee

Sound Induction for Ecstatic Trance Postures