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!
Also … Stay in touch via our Newsletter!

November 27th: Decoding Ancient Artifacts
Christine & Todd VanPool

Popular professors of archaeology and anthropology at the University of Missouri, Christine and Todd’s field work and research into Mesoamerica’s pre-Columbian art, iconography, pottery and shamanic cultures looks deeply into intention and meaning. CI’s research has long focused on evidence, including direct experience, that body positions as depicted in select ancient artifacts can be decoded as “ritual instruction” for  Spirit Journey experiences. Todd and Chris report on our collaboration, a study of specific postures they see represented in Mesoamerican pottery and art.
The original research was the insightful work of anthropologist Felicitas D. Goodman  (founder of the Cuyamungue Institute)  as she looked to some of the world’s collection of early and indigenous art — and decoded selected artifacts as “ritual instructions”.
December 4th: The Science of Dream Interpretation
Frederick L. Coolidge Ph.D, Professor of Psychology, University of Colorado

Fred will present a scientific, historic and psychological account of dream interpretation by introducing the biological and evolutionary foundations of sleep, dreams and dream interpretation. We will ask about the theory of dream interpretation, the physiological and evolutionary reasons for sleep and dreaming. What is the the role dreams?  How about dream interpretation throughout history?  Fred will share the cultural and religious significance of dreams, and how dreams interrupt sleep, including issues of insomnia, sleep walking, and more.. Dreams may be used to extract personal meanings and be utilized in psychotherapy, including case examples from actual psychotherapy sessions of the techniques used to interpret dreams.

Dr. Coolidge is a member of the Association of Psychological Science, the European Society for Human Evolution, the Society for American Archaeology, and International Union of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences. He teaches introductory and advanced undergraduate statistics, cognitive evolution, evolutionary neuropsychology, abnormal psychology, and sleep and dreams.

December 11th: A Photographers Journey of the Sacred
Scott Stulberg – World Photographer
Scott Stulberg has traversed the vast stretches of the earth in search of sacred sites and landscape. Scott’s love for travel and photography collided at a young age & have taken him to the corners of the world to capture the beauty and intrigue that this world has to offer.Scott has taught photography classes at UCLA Extension, as well as workshops around the world—sharing his insights into “seeing differently” with his students. Stulberg’s images have been featured in countless magazines including the National Geographic and Time magazine. His images have also been used in campaigns for Fujifilm and major department stores, and are on permanent display at the United Nations. Stulberg resides in Sedona, Arizona. Author of “Passage to Burma.
Recent Guests

November 20th: Myths Tied to the Stars
David Warner Mathisen
What the breakthrough Hamlet’s Mill begun, Mathisen’s Star Myths of the World carries forward, with more links between the world’s mythology, and a  shared system of celestial metaphor. He will decode how this ancient system works, and the mythic ‘language of the stars’ and its “vocabulary” and “grammar”. David Warner Mathisen is the author of a new series of books entitled Star Myths of the World, and How to Interpret Them, which diagrams the astonishing evidence that virtually all the myths, scriptures, and sacred stories of humanity – from all regions of our planet, and across the millennia – are based upon a common system of celestial metaphor.

November 13th: Cycles in Nature: Long & Short. Near and Far
Ray Tomes
Says Ray: “G’day, I’m Ray Tomes. I practice Vipassana Meditation and study cycles (the type without wheels). Retired at 42 to work out the formula for the Universe. Effectively its a giant musical instrument, and everything in it (including us) is just vibrations. Really!” Milankovitch, hormonal, financial, evolutionary: From the macro to the microcosm, we can find cycles everywhere. What drives cycles? How are we governed by them? How might we work with cycles? Ray Tomes deep look into the nature of cycles finds a ‘harmonic theory of the universe.’ 
Ray Tomes is the Science Director of the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and Director of associated Cycles Research Institute. Ray does research in cycles relating to Theoretical Physics, Paleoclimatology, climate, Economics and everything else. He developed CATS (Cycles Analysis and Timeseries Software) which is available free at Cycles Research Institute website. Author of Harmonics Theory.

November 6th: How to Think Like a Neandertal
Thomas Wynn & Fred Coolidge
Co-authors of How to Think Like a Neandertal, archaeologist Thomas Wynn and psychologist Frederick L. Coolidge decipher the inner life of Neandertals from recent fossil and archaeological evidence. In tracing our cognitive and evolutionary development, they’ll also correct common misconceptions. They have teamrd up to provide a brilliant account of the mental life of Neandertals, drawing on the most recent fossil and archaeological remains. Indeed, some Neandertal remains are not fossilized, allowing scientists to recover samples of their genes–one specimen had the gene for red hair and, more provocatively, all had a gene called FOXP2, which is thought to be related to speech. Given the differences between their faces and ours, their voices probably sounded a bit different, and the range of consonants and vowels they could generate might have been different. But they could talk, and they had a large (perhaps huge) vocabulary–words for places, routes, techniques, individuals, and emotions. Extensive archaeological remains of stone tools and living sites (and, yes, they did often live in caves) indicate that Neandertals relied on complex technical procedures and spent most of their lives in small family groups. Thomas ad Fred sift the evidence that Neandertals had a symbolic culture–looking at their treatment of corpses, the use of fire, and possible body coloring–and conclude that they probably did not have a sense of the supernatural. They also explores the brutal nature of their lives, especially in northwestern Europe, where men and women with spears hunted together for mammoths and wooly rhinoceroses.
Thomas G. Wynn is an American archaeologist known for his work in cognitive archaeology. He is a pioneer of evolutionary cognitive archaeology.  Frederick L. Coolidge is an American psychologist also known for his work in cognitive archaeology. a Professor of Psychology at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. fred also teaches for the Centre for Cognitive and Brain Sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar, India

October 30th: MD Observations: From the Paranormal to the World of the Afterlife
Donald Molnar MD
What might a practicing MD observe, while caring for folks at the end of their lives, and feeling like he is “standing on the threshold of this world and the afterlife”? For Donald Molnar, a practicing internal medicine hospital-based physician, it’s led to bringing his scientific viewpoint to investigations into the Near Death Experience, death-bed visions, and the transition at the moment of death. And having had his own paranormal experiences, he points out, has made him more open-minded about the existence of spirits and ghosts. He joined a ghost investigating team, conducts his own investigations, and uses technology to try to capture evidence of paranormal activity. He reports all this, as physician, scientist, and paranormal researcher, on Haunted MD on Youtube, and joins us to swap stories — for haven’t we all had inexplicable encounters?

October 23th: DIVINATION: Divinatory Practices of Ancient India
Frederick M. Smith – Professor Emeritus, Sanskrit and Classical Indian Religions University of Iowa
Divination has a sense of foretelling, predicting, or prophesying. It is an integral part of every shamanistic tradition and lineage from the most ancient times. It is vilified in the modern world as unscientific and superstitious, and associated with conjurers, illusionists, and popular magicians. But a renewed discussion of its history, its uses, and its importance in virtually all cultural, religious, and shamanistic systems, as well as its correspondence with recent thinking on synchronicity and perspectives on the harmony and flow of the natural world should enable us to think about it a bit differently. It is impossible to cover every divinatory practice in one talk, from astrology to tarot to dice to oracular possession to sorcery and prognostication of all kinds. I will discuss divinatory practices drawn from my own study of ancient Indian texts, including medical and texts on shamanic healing, and extensive fieldwork in India, which I hope will lead to a discussion of why apparently disparate parts of our available environment inform each other in ways that might be much more natural than supernatural. My point is that the shaman sees that forms, ideas, and entities flow into each other through the formless, that they are strands of the same cloth that mesh with each other because they are part of a whole and formless fabric.Fred’s vigorous research has included major forays into premodern North Indian devotional philosophy and poetry (of the Pustimarga of Vallabhacarya), deity and spirit possession in South Asia (on this see his important book, The Self Possessed [Columbia University Press, 2006]); Indian medical literature and the practice of Ayurveda, the great Sanskrit epic or Mahabharata, the history and practice of yoga, and continuing investigation into Vedic and other forms of Indian ritual performance.His training in India (where he lived for sixteen years) and at the University of Pennsylvania was text-critical, in the study of Sanskrit literature. His eye has always been diachronic, considering ritual, practice, or text over centuries or millennia. Example of this are his studies in the performance of Vedic ritual in modern times, which utilize several millennia of texts in addition to his own “Vedic fieldwork,” or in the textual history of deity or spirit possession, supplemented by both modern ethnographic writing and his own forays into the field.

October 16th: Meaning Coincidences: How and Why Synchrony and Serendipity Happen
Bernie Beitman
We all note when those wonderfully odd, magical, meaningful moments of synchronicity and serendipity happen in our lives, but few of us have made as deep and broad a study of this phenomenon as Berry Beitman. With his new book just out, “Meaning Coincidences: How and Why Synchrony and Serendipity Happen” we look further into the energetic web that connects us, dissect the “anatomy of a coincidence” into its types and patterns, and predispositions. We will examine various explanations, from statistical analysis and probabilities, to personal agency, inbuilt “GPS” and the larger Universe giving us a nod. “Coincidences are signposts, not commands,” Bernie reminds us, “and there is no one right way to respond to a coincidence…, no guaranteed outcomes for following such promptings” and cautions that the ambiguity of such occurrences may be serving as a screen for one’s own projections. As well as Bernie’s most puzzling cases, practical uses, and tips writing and telling — and let me add, journaling — your own coincidence stories. Share yours during the second hour!

October 9th: African Twilight: Vanishing Rituals & Ceremonies
Angela Fisher, Carol Beckwith with Kellie Kirksey
Two best friends set out to explore Africa. Forty years, 300,000 miles, and 45 countries later, their vast and visually stunning archive, on photo and film, of the daily life, the rituals and ceremonies of over 200 African cultures is helping preserve these ancient traditions. As women, Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher were granted unprecedented access to witness and document sacred rites and ceremonies. They note: “We feel privileged to photograph these cultures that possess a wealth of knowledge that should be celebrated, shared, and honored. It is our life’s passion to document and create a powerful visual record of these vanishing ways of life for future generations.” We’ll hear the stories that go with the images in their slide show presentation.Paul and I attended their museum exhibit “African Twilight”, and among their many books of photography is African Ceremonies, their defining body of work, a double volume, pan-African study of rituals and rites of passage from birth to death, covering 93 ceremonies from 26 countries. This book won the United Nations Award for Excellence for “vision and understanding of the role of cultural traditions in the pursuit of world peace.”As an intrepid team of explorers, they are committed to preserving sacred tribal ceremonies and African cultural traditions all too vulnerable to the trends of modernity.They will be joined by African American academician Dr. Kellie Kirksey, an internationally renowned keynote speaker and holistic psychotherapist, who has trained mental health professionals in the areas of group facilitation, multiculturalism/diversity, social justice, holistic wellness, alternative healing, cognitive restructuring and more for over 25 years with, clarity, passion, authenticity and humor. Dr. Kirksey is the founder of Creative Wellness Solutions, LLC which seeks to cultivate global peace and harmony.

October 2nd: Multicultural Wellness: Cultivating Global Healing Together
Dr. Kellie Kirksey, Founder of Creative Wellness Solutions
Every aspect of wellness not only affects all of our lives, but impacts the world around us. In our multicultural world the need for healing and deep connection is universal. Let’s work together as global thinkers to create a path forward for global peace and harmony.  Dr. Kellie Kirksey focuses on bringing the healing ways from many cultures to the mainstream. She is a self-described global traveler, speaker, poet, tree hugger, yoga teacher, holistic psychotherapist, family lover, drummer, dancer, spa promoter, heart centered hypnotherapist, live happily life consultant, essential oil enthusiast, wellness promoter, and has presented workshops and wellness circles nationally and internationally. A few places that have touched her life profoundly have been presentations and community building in Botswana, Johannesburg, Italy, Senegal, Spain, Mexico, Dominican Republic, India, Canada, Venezuela, Tenerife and most recently to Hong Kong and Thailand exploring ecotherapy and moving meditation. Kellie is the author of “Word Medicine: Affirmations and Poems to inspire and support our Journey”
>September 25th: Songs of Prophecy, Ceremony & Traditions
Loran Olsen, Professor Emeritus of Music & Native American Studies, Washington State University
Music serves a culture in various ways — as a container for cosmology, mythology, folklore, customs, celebrations, ceremonies, rituals, histories, prophecies, to accompany daily life’s activities and special events, and practical knowledge. Loran Olsen, musician and Professor Emeritus of Music and Native American Studies at Washington State University, shares a sampling from the Nez Perce Music Archive which he founded in the 1972. He draws from the collection of over 600 recordings, the oldest on wax cylinders from 1897. He will recite and translate the words and meaning, and put the collection into context for us. He will demonstrate how one song was sung, and changed, over the decades, how Protestant hymms were incorporated, how these songs were recorded from 1897 on, and how, he says, the collection “indicates in a subtle way the external influences impinging upon Nez Perce culture over the stressful years of acculturation and shows how artistic elements survive by changing their function in a changing environment.”

September 18th: New Perspectives on the Origins of Paranormal Experience
Brandon Massullo
What causes paranormal experiences? Are ghosts real?  Why do certain people report numerous ghostly encounters and others none? For centuries these questions have intrigued, puzzled, and bedeviled science, skeptics, and even believers. Our guest will share new and exciting scientific theories that could explain apparitions, hauntings, and communications from the otherside. what is the role that emotions, bioenergetics, and the environment play in supernatural phenomena?Brandon Massullo is a licensed clinical therapist in Northeast Ohio. He has worked within the Neurological Institute for the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic, conducting behavioral health consultations. He is currently the director of behavioral health for Wooster Community Hospital in Ohio. He received his undergraduate degree in psychology, as well as his graduate degree in clinical counseling from the University of Toledo. He also has an MSc in psychological research methods (specialization in Parapsychology) from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, UK. His research at the University of Edinburgh centered on individual differences and environmental sensitivity in relation to paranormal experiences.

September 11th: Unlocking the Universe’s Secrets:  James Webb Space Telescope
Tony Hull, Diana Dragomir, Bob Woodruff
They are back, to help us welcome the incoming images and data from this new, and successfully deployed JWST telescope! We are all “stakeholders” in the ongoing quest for new information, for ‘widening our bandwidth” and the implications it has for an emerging new story of not just our Universe, but ourselves, and our place in it. And while we all marvel at the stunning new images from Deep Space, the data for the fields of astronomy, astrophysics, and astrobiology will grow exponentially. What will this reveal?  What new questions and insight will emerge from the long-range, detailed views of the Cosmos? How might this affect our concept of home, and a new identity as citizens of the cosmos? The James Webb Space Telescope is an ambitious scientific endeavor to answer these questions. Webb builds on the legacy of previous space-based telescopes to push the boundaries of human knowledge even further, to the formation of the first galaxies and the horizons of other worlds.

Tony Hull, Adjunct Professor of Astronomy at the University of New Mexico, led the team that spent five years polishing the JWST mirror segments, and has been giving talks around the world on what the new images, and promise, of this remarkable technology.
Diana Dragomir, Professor of Astrobiology at the University of New Mexico, will conduct studies of planets outside our solar system, with data from the JWST. What kind of data? What will it mean, adding to the long study and search for exo-planets?  What fundamental questions about life and the formation of the universe, and what entirely new questions are anticipated?
Bob “Woody” Woodruff, optical designer finding the correction saving Hubble ​from its early severe issues and later personally initiated the optical form of the Webb Space Telescope, ​unlike any telescope the world has seen. Woody has been a key player in ​the most advanced high-performing space telescopes and instruments NASA has implemented.  He will take us on a fascinating first-hand, behind the scenes look at the fix of Hubble, then devising a new telescope paradigm for JWST.

September 4th: Sky Watch: Dark-Sky Conservation
John C. Barentine, Ph.D., F.R.A.S. Astronomer

It’s estimated that one-third of the world’s population and 80% of Americans cannot see the Milky Way. Protecting our views of the stars is John Barentine’s mission. His long career in astronomical research, at observatories, and the IDA International Dark Sky Places Program has equipped him to educate the public, municipalities, government, park services and institutions on the science of light pollution, and to 
help establish dark-sky conservation best practices and support the nascent community of dark-sky conservation professionals to reduce light pollution. He has tips on how what every citizen can do to protect local views of the night sky, and we’ll ponder how the growing number of satellites circling our planet may further obscure our views. John’s books on the history of astronomy are The Lost ConstellationsUncharted Constellations, and Mystery of the Ashen Light of Venus. Asteroid (14505) Barentine is named in his honor.   John describes himself as “

August 28th: Ecozoic Era: Time for New Story for Humanity
Herman Greene, Founder of the Center for Ecozoic Studies
Twenty years ago Herman’s life path was altered by an inspirational meeting with Thomas Berry, Catholic Priest, cultural and religious historian, with a new call to action: Help usher in a new story for humanity, new identity as a vital part of a larger, interdependent Earth community, and enter an emerging new evolutionary phase. Tall order! And here we are at the critical junction foreseen. Can we enter an Ecozoic Era“, one of mutually-enhancing Human-Earth relations, or are we to remain in Techozoic Era, and continue to exploit one another, and our planet and her resources with our technological mastery. Or can we undergo the transformation needed, whereby we might use technology to right our course for a future we all want to see?
August 21st: Artificial intelligence & Robotics and the Future Health Care
Michael Kapoustin, AI Entrepreneur
AI powered robots are set to perform tasks and operations we humans find too complex, repetitive, boring, or dangerous. It may seem fictitious, but robots are set to change humanity. AI robots can withstand environments of extreme noise, heat or cold, or toxic or poisonous. AI robots could save countless lives while freeing overworked doctors and nurses to give more time and attention to patients. Will these and other benefits usher in widespread acceptance of robots?
Michael Kapoustin holds two AI patents and founded the technology startup ujatcare.com develop and advance the adoption of artificial intelligence and robotics to help health providers and families provide compassionate and accessible home health and end of life care. He is starting the non-profit Goditsme.com as a repository of the stories those facing the end of their life journey want to share, to be heard, to give of their hard-won wisdom, and not to be forgotten, and using holistic technologies for answering the question of life.
August 14th: Waking to Dreaming:  Neurological Journey
Geert Mayer, Neurologist, Psychologist, Former Director in Hephata Klinik, Germany
Geert, an advisor to the Cuyamungue Institute, describes our work as “the hybrid state of a waking dream” and will share his personal experiences with us, and with lucid dreaming. What is the relationship of sleep states altered states of consciousness? What portals might sleep and dreaming open? What is our still highly active brains do, during sleep? during dreaming? How can we set ourselves up for better sleep, for the full dose of “medicine” it is? What health risks do we face from inadequate sleep?July 31st: First Sculpture: What Our Earliest Tools & Art Reveal
Thomas Wynn, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
Our earliest hominid ancestors, were, like us, hard-wired for pattern recognition, and like us, prized faces and figures in natural stones. It came naturally while knapping stone tools, to frame and showcase the material’s special features, to employ symmetry and aesthetic choices. With that, utilitarian objects became art. Thomas Wynn shares images of rare handaxes, stone spheres, and ‘figure stones’ that were sculpted by Homo Erectus and Neanderthal flint knappers, revealing how evolution’s hand has shaped us, laying the foundation of culture, language, and symbolic imagination. The sense of beauty and order is a biological and neurological imperative, built into our very DNA.

August 7th: Supporting Traditional Art: Collaborative Partnerships with Indigenous Nations
Bruce Bernstein, Museum Professional, Anthropologist, and Curator
Museums are facing an identity crisis. Building collaborative partnerships between cultures was the methodology Bruce developed over three decades working with the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, and the Museum of Indian Arts in Santa Fe. He continues building bridges working directly with Indigenous artists and permanent collections of traditional arts throughout the Southwest and West, more recently with New Mexico’s Tewa communities. We’ll ask: What can we learn individually, and collectively, what are the challenges and rewards? How do we appreciate a culture without appropriation? What is the deeper connection between art, cultural repository, the sacred, and cosmology? What new and expanded roles are we demanding for museums and other historic and cultural institutions?

July 24th: ET: Out of the Fringe and into the Mainstream
Avi Loeb, Theoretical Physicist and Department of Astronomy, Harvard University
Founder of the privately funded Galileo Project, Avi takes the search for E.T. out of the fringe and into serious discussion. Recently, our government agreed with the release of reports on aerial phenomenon that cannot be conventionally explained. What evidence for visitation by extra-terrestrials, past or present, passes his tests? How does his sift through the data, and what data is he looking at? What does the Galileo Project hope to find, and what changes when it does?July 17th: The Lost Tales of The Arthurian Sagas
John Matthews, Celtic Wisdom Tradition Historian
The tales of King Arthur are due for an update, and John Matthews searched far and wide for the missing chapters which he includes in his newly released The Great Book of King Arthur and His Knights. This includes 32 stories from France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Iceland and Norway with a mix romance, adventure, action, and the magical and mystical. These were omitted from Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur, the definitive collection of Arthurian stories first published in 1485. What detective work went into recovering these lost tales? Where were they sourced, and what do they add to the legacy? Why does this saga still speak to us so deeply? John will read excerpts from two of his favorite stories. He is a world-renowned author on the Celtic wisdom tradition and the Arthurian legends. His numerous books include The Encyclopedia of Celtic Wisdom.July 10th: MASKED DANCERS: A Cross Cultural Tradition
Christine VanPool & Todd VanPool. Professors of Anthropology, University of Missouri

We begin with a report on our activities at CI’s HQ in Santa Fe, where we engaged the land and the sky in our honoring rituals, in celebration of the Solstice. It was a gathering of CI’s board, advisors, volunteers, and friends. Our guests the Van Pools were among them, and as we watched, in sequence, the full moon, thunderclouds, gentle rains, and ‘serpent clouds’ along the Sangre de Cristo mountains, we deepend our personal relationship with the Earth. Is restoring our relationship to our planet a key to its healing, and our healing? Christine and Todd share an illustrated talk on cultural traditions that honor the elements of Nature, and right relation with our largest community — our cosmos, with ritual masks. Not merely a disguise, ritual masks active, amplify, or fulfill the wearer’s identity, towards a state of transcendence.

July 3rd: The Great Healing: Ourselves and Our Planet
Dr. Sailesh Rao

“Climate healing is the largest engineering project in the history of humanity,” says this systems engineer and founder of climatehealers.org. “Any project involving a large number of people trying to achieve a common, measurable objective is, by definition, an engineering project. Any engineering project requires solid systems engineering to inform its proposed implementation steps so that we can monitor our progress towards meeting objectives” he says, and, “as an inhabitant of planet earth, you are a team member on this project whether you like it or not.” Find out how Sailesh Rao measures this in easily understandable terms. He invites us to “Put on our Chrysalis avatar and leave our Caterpillar past behind” and co-create a “new story of human belonging in Nature, and a new phase of humanity.” Dr. Rao’s earlier work on the standards for the MPEG video encoder and Gigabit connector is communication technology you are using today. An awakening and promise to a grandchild inspires his work on engineering solutions for our planet’s future. His analysis of where we are, where we are heading, and how to steer from worst case to best case scenario is both surprising and empowering.

June 26th: POSTURES: Finding the Cross Correlations
Between Yoga Postures & Ecstatic Trance Postures
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.

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 directionsJune 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.