Cuyamungue Institute Webcast Series
Conversation4Exploration
“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! 
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 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?
September 11th: Unlocking the Universe’s Secrets:  James Webb Space Telescope
Tony Hull and Diana Dragomir
We have always looked up to the heavens, acknowledging the power and wonder of creation. Now that we can peer deeply into the Cosmos, what new wonders will the dazzling and mesmerizing images reveal?  The James Webb Space Telescope serves as a  time machine, because distance is look-back time. What will the James Webb Space Telescope teach us? What new questions will emerge? How will waves of new knowledge and long-range detailed views of the universe affect our concept of home? Will JWST nudge us closer to becoming citizens of the cosmos?  Tony and Diana return to celebrate the first images delivered by the James Webb Space Telescope, and what it means for their astronomy, astrophysics, and astrobiology… but most important how it impacts the human story.

Tony Hull is a UNM Adjunct Professor of Astronomy who lead the team that polished the mirrors of JWST and Diana Dragomir is a UNM Professor of Astrobiologist, analysing exoplanets for signs of life.

Recent Guests
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 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.