Ritual Postures, Ritual body Postures, Ancient Ritual Postures

Cuyamungue Institute Webcast Series
“Moving the Dial with Dialogue” — Laura Lee
Join the conversation as we talk with the leading edge in the arts and sciences and go exploring — its a big universe out there! Every guest helps us fill in a piece of the Grand Puzzle of Life, with every conversation those eternal questions — who are we, where did we come from, where are we going — come into sharper focus. We make the most of our Information Age, when we can peer further and deeper, from the microcosm to the macrocosm, to better understand and celebrate our world and our place in it — and make a difference.And as an educational institution, we recognize to thrive, we must keep growing and broaden the scope of our work to the latest discoveries and theories in neuroscience, anthropology, archeology, archaeoastronomy, eco-spirituality, ecology, philosophy, psychology, mythology, shamanism, ritual, the heroes journey, the roots of theatre, deep history, art history — the full range of the arts and sciences — That’s why we call it Conversation for Exploration. Here’s where the “aha moments” await, along with an international community of fellow explorers. Our Free Events are open to all. And you can catch up recent webcast discussions on our YouTube, Facebook and Podcasts — hope to see you there! 
June 26th: Yoga Postures: Wisdom of the Body & the Path of Transcendence
Eric John Shaw

Eric John Shaw, a Yoga practitioner and teacher of 30+ years, will be our guide with an illustrated tour through the poses, the meditative, mystical and kundalini experiences, and history of Yoga, as we seek to find cross correlations between the Yoga’s postures, and those resembling the postures and experiences of Ecstatic Trance Ritual Body Postures.
Eric is an American artist and yoga scholar, researching yoga’s history, postural range, and science of life energy. His degrees include a BA in Studio Art, and an MA in Religious Studies, in Education, and in Asian Studies. He has written over 100 articles on the yoga tradition for Yoga Journal, Common Ground, Mantra Yoga + Health, and other publications, and published BKS Iyengar and the Making of Modern Yoga. His lectures have taken him to museums, colleges, and conferences throughout Asia and North America. He is the creator of Prasana Yoga, a form that reveals alignment in movement, as well as Yoga Education through Imagery, lecture programming that teaches the traditions through archival visuals and new scholarship.
July 10th: Kachinas: Spirit Beings, Masks, & Dolls
Christine VanPool, Todd VanPool
Professors of Anthropology, University of Missouri
Kachinas are among the most recognizable features of the Southwestern Puebloan cultures. Tourists and art collectors purchase kachina dolls made by Puebloan artists, ancient rock art and painted images of kachinas are found across the northern Southwest, and the kachina come as masked dancers to many pueblos during their ceremonies. What exactly are kachinas? The answer varies for each Puebloan nation, but the short answer is that kachinas are benevolent beings that possess power over nature, especially weather. As spirits, they both give and receive gifts as they are manifested in three distinct forms. At certain times of the year, they visit Puebloan people as they inhabit masks that males don during dances.These “masked dancers” are central to many of the Puebloan ceremonial cycles. As spirits, they also exist independent of the kachina masks, and move across the landscape as clouds and in other forms. They also are represented as Kachina “babies” embodied as carved wooden dolls that were traditionally given to girls to care for. Regardless of their form, the kachina are the helpers and partners of the Puebloan farmers. We will discuss both the religious nature and art traditions related to kachinas in more detail.   
July 17th: The Lost Tales of  The ARTHURIAN Sagas
John Matthews
Le Morte D’Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory, first published in 1485, is our most popular and definitive collection of Arthurian stories. In his new retelling of the Arthurian Legends, With his new book, The Great Book of King Arthur and His Knights, John Matthews reveals many of the stories Malory omitted, perhaps because he did not know these 32 stories from France, Germany, Italy, and via Ireland, Iceland and Norway, bringing a mix romance, adventure, action, the magical and mystical. John will read excerpts from two of his favorites, where he found these lost tales, what they add to the legacy of Arthur and his Knights, and why the sagas still speak so deeply.John Matthews is a world-renowned authority on the Celtic wisdom tradition and the Arthurian legends. He is the author of numerous books, including The Encyclopedia of Celtic Wisdom.
July 24th: Evidence That Aliens Have Already Visited
Avi Loeb, Theoretical Physicist and Former Chair of the Astronomy Department Harvard University
With our government now admitting many of the recorded cases of unknown flying objects defy explanation, Avi Loeb is among the few academics willing to state that it’s among the evidence Extra-Terrestrials have already visited us. With the Breakthrough Starshot and Galileo Projects, this Harvard University astrophysicist has turned his attention to aliens and how to find them. From designing ‘laser-boosted, gossamer-thin mirrorlike spacecraft called “light sails” on high-speed voyages to nearby stars’, to deciphering mystery objects in our orbit, to consulting on sci-fi films, Avi is taking science to daring new heights and frontiers.
July 31st: Thomas Wynn, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology,
University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

Thomas is a Professor, is an American archaeologist known for his work in cognitive archaeology. He is a pioneer of evolutionary cognitive archaeology; his article “The intelligence of later Acheulean hominids” (Man, 1979) is considered a classic in the field.

Recent Guests
June 19th: Gnomons Tracing the Solstice & Equinox through History
Tony Hull, Adjunct Professor of Physics & Astronomy at UNM

Prepare to celebrate the Solstice with us, with a history of The Gnomon, a simple yet profound tool to track the sun’s journey across the sky on the Solstice and Equinox, that points to the celestial cardinal directions. This simple yet profound tool reveals the cardinal directions, and can explain how ancient sites are so accurately aligned, long before the magnetic compass. The solar and lunar cycles, so meaningful to the astronomers of old, were writ upon the landscape in myriad ways, and we can continue this long tradition in new ways today, for ourselves, to deepen the relation we have to the larger sphere of the cosmos.We are redefining our place in the universe, with the new tools of technology. It’s time we also realigned our personal relationship — and reclaim this enriching, and inspiring one that ancient cultures the world over had.
Tony gives us a tutorial on establishing our own marker system, our backyard or even a wall of the house to get sun, to chart the workings of the calendrical clock in gears and wheels our solar system, and will see how ancient cultures the world over use this very method to talk to send journey through the year and how to use the simplest tools to line buildings and temples to celestial cardinal directions
June 12th: The Superheroes of Today and the Mythic Heroes of Old
Douglas Wolk, author of “All the Marvels”
Douglas Wolk and his son read all 27,000 Marvel comic books, what is in effect, the largest/longest running and expanding mythic saga of our times. It’s also a handy means to reflect on today’s Superheroes and compare them to the mythic heroes of old. How does a single story, within a coherent ‘universe’, evolve through multiple characters and contributors? What are the whys and wherefores of the ‘rule set’ of this universe, what are the qualities and challenges common to heroes, their mission, super powers, fears and foibles, and what does this reflect about us? how does their popularity speak to what is emerging in the culture, about the hero journey we are all undertaking?
June 5th: Icelandic Healer & Seers
Corinne Dempsey, Assoc Professor of Religious Studies, Nazareth College, &
Joi Sigurdsson, Icelandic Healer

Corinne Dempsey, author of Bridges between Worlds: Spirits and Spirit Work in Northern Iceland returns to introduce us to one of the healers featured in her book. called by the spirits to this work.
We’ll ask Joi Sigurdsson to share his life journey, calling by the spirits, healing methods, inner experience during this work, what insight he has gained over the years, what activates the healing process, and how we may all activate the flow of life force and healing within us.
May 29th: Western MD & Indigenous Healing
David Cumes, MD

It was his work with San Bushmen in his native South Africa that expanded this western-trained medical doctor’s perspective on what healing is. David Cumes reclaimed the healing professions early, traditional roots when he attended the San’s healing dances, was initiated by the Zulua as a Sangoma Shaman and, as wilderness guide, led healing journeys through Peru, Africa, and the Sinai. What healing energy flows through the dancer? What can “throwing the bones” tell the diviner for his diagnosis? What role does ritual play in activating the life force? “In bridging these two worlds for healing,” he says, “we expand our ability to embrace a changing world.”
May 22nd: Near-Death: Consciousness Beyond Life
Kimberly Clark Sharp MSW, LCSW

Kimberly Clark Sharp continues the conversation on the Near Death Experience with more stories among the thousands she has heard from her thirty-plus years counseling. Near-death experiences (NDEs) are profound transcendental experiences commonly occurring in life-threatening conditions. They include feeling a sense of peace, of seeing a bright light, encountering deceased relatives or religious figures, and of transcending space and time.“Death is nothing to fear-and life without fear can be lived to the fullest. This is Kimberly Clark Sharp’s message from her extraordinary experience during the time after her heart suddenly stopped beating and she lay on the sidewalk, not breathing, and without a pulse. Founder of Seattle International Association of Near-Death Studies, the world’s oldest support group for near-death experiencers, since 1982”
May 15th: Indigenous Theatre
Integration of Arts, Culture and Ritual
Guest: Thomas Riccio, Professor of Visual & Performing Arts, University of Texas, Dallas

The exploration of the shamanic origins and power of live theatre continues with a slideshow of rituals around the world. Thomas shares his work with indigenous cultures in Alaska, Africa, Russia, China, exploring their ritual traditions through theatre and performance.
The language of theatre crosses all barriers, and reaches deep into our collective past, while speaking to us today. From generation to generation, indigenous performance of stories, songs, dances, acting, props, costumes and mask traditions were passed on, evolving over time. Thomas finds his way to the roots of myth revealing the origins of a culture’s expression, adapted for today.
May 8th: Discovering Our Extraordinary Place in the Cosmos
Joel Primack & Nancy Abrams
Joel Primack & Nancy Abrams’s illustrated tour through the Cosmos highlights how we humans enjoy the very rare gift of being aware of not only our own evolutionary history, but that of the Universe, and how precious we, all of life, and our home planet are in the grand scheme of things. Along with a new story of the Universe, its inspiring to see a new role for humanity. What gifts, what responsibilities, what opportunities, what future does this evidence-based, long-range knowledge afford us? Here is the basis Joel Primack is emeritus professor of physics at the University of California. Nancy Abrams is a writer and lawyer with a background in the history, philosophy, and politics of science.

May 1st: Frame Drums: The Feminine History of Rhythm & Rituals
Jane Elworthy

The frame drum is among our most ancient musical instruments and one of the first percussive instrument invented, and used widely, for prayer, ritual, ceremony, personal wellness and healing, beyond music. Many consider it far more than a musical instrument — a living spirit that calls us back to our origins and relationship to Creation.

Jane Elworthy shares an illustrated talk on the long history of the frame drum and women drummers, and will demonstrate the various rhythms, strokes and beats of the drum that give voice to the elements. Jane’s 30-year journey as frame drum maker, teacher and performer began in 1992, while teaching theatre in Santa Fe, and working with drummer Glen Velez. Today she facilitates retreats in the US, France, and Australian Outback. She is based in Sydney and Broken Hill in NSW, Australia.

April 24th: Ancestral Village of Cuyamungue: Revealing Archaeological, Historical and Traditional Knowledge
Scott Ortman – Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Colorado Boulder

The Cuyamungue Institute hosted a collaborative project of the ancestral Tewa site on CI’s land, with our neighbor, the Pueblo of Pojoaque, and the project lead, Scott Ortman, who brought in teams from the University of Colorado-Boulder. Scott presents his illustrated talk, Cuyamungue as a Center Place, to turn back the clock on the once thriving village known as K’uuyemugeh (the traditional spelling, translated as ‘place where the rocks slip’ or ‘stones falling down place’) The project’s goals: “increase awareness of local ancestral sites in contemporary Pueblo communities, to strengthen local community identities, and to integrate archaeological, historical and traditional knowledge in telling the story of the land of the Cuyamungue Institute,” says Scott. His work focuses on the contemporary relevance of archaeological research, historical anthropology, and integrating theory and data from many fields to better understand the long-term histories of indigenous peoples. From Tewa Pueblo origins in the Northern Rio Grande region of New Mexico, to the growth and collapse of villages in the Mesa Verde region of Colorado, he is especially interested in the causes and consequences of major transitions – periods when new societies formed, old ones collapsed, or new scales of organization emerged. What insights from the past can we apply to our present and future, as, on a global scale, we reach unprecedented rates of growth, change, and complexity?Scott Ortman holds many posts: Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Colorado Boulder, Research Affiliate of the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute, Associate Editor for Anthropology and Archaeology with Science Advances, Faculty Affiliate with CU Population Center, and Director of the Center for Collaborative Synthesis in Archaeology within the Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado Boulder. He is author or co-author of numerous papers on Pueblo Indian historical anthropology, archaeological demography, and complex systems approaches in archaeology. His books include Winds from the North: Tewa Origins and Painted Reflections: Isomeric Design in Ancestral Pueblo Pottery.