Paul Robear is the President and Executive Director of the Cuyamungue Institute. Paul became involved with the Cuyamungue Institute in the early 1990′s. In 2011, Paul joined the Board of Directors of the Cuyamungue Institute and was elected President a short time later. As President and Executive Director, Paul has overall strategic and operational responsibility for the Cuyamungue Institute programs, facilities, and execution of its mission.

Paul has developed a lifelong appreciation of the teachings of wisdom traditions and following the common threads from traditions from around the world led him to his role at the Cuyamungue Institute. Paul is driven with intensity, focus and passion to facilitate greater awareness of these “age old” technologies and considers it a blessing to help facilitate the work of CI. Paul feels that the time has come to recognize the need to bridge these cross-cultural wisdom traditions with the needs in today’s world. It is with the direct experience triggering spiritual insight, that we can provide practical solutions for modern cultures and technologies.

As director of the Cuyamungue Institute, Paul Robear along with his wife Laura Lee, has led the organization with unwavering dedication and a commitment to its mission. Under their visionary leadership, the institute continues to flourish and become a beacon of exploration, research, and education in the field of consciousness studies.

Paul has spearheaded groundbreaking research projects that delved into the ancient practices of ecstatic trance and shamanic journeying, shedding light on the profound wisdom and healing potential contained within these traditions. Recognizing the importance of disseminating knowledge and empowering individuals, Robear expanded the institute’s educational programs. He has developed innovative workshops and training sessions, inviting renowned scholars and practitioners from various disciplines to share their expertise. Through these initiatives, the Cuyamungue Institute is becoming a global hub for the exploration of altered states of consciousness and their practical applications.

Robear’s passion for preserving indigenous wisdom and fostering cross-cultural understanding is leading to fruitful collaborations with indigenous communities worldwide. With wife Laura lee, Paul has helped establish partnerships with traditional healers and spiritual leaders, facilitating the exchange of knowledge and promoting cultural appreciation. Through these efforts, the institute is becoming a greater bridge between ancient wisdom and modern scientific inquiry.

Beyond his role as director, Paul Robear is known for his warmth, humility, and deep respect for others. He nurtures a supportive and inclusive environment within the institute, fostering collaboration and empowering individuals to pursue their unique paths of exploration and growth.

Instructor / Facilitator
Together with Laura Lee, Paul presents papers, seminars, conducts workshops and presentations on the work and research of the Cuyamungue Institute. As an instructor of the Ritual Ecstatic Postures, Paul draws on his real-life experiences along with the groundbreaking research of the founder of the Cuyamungue Institute, anthropologist Dr. Felicitas Goodman. Today he is also reaching out to other key researchers in the field of trance and consciousness studies.

Paul Robear grew up in Maine, among a large extended family. By their very nature, people from Maine are fiercely independent thinkers. Paul has always been an independent thinker and had an early interest in spiritual affairs. , and By his late teenage years he joined a group researching a cross-cultural study of spirituality. This began a lifelong interest in development and quality of well-being — physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually.   A powerful awakening happened at age 18 that launched his passion and thirst to embrace a sacred path. As an adult, Paul has pursued wisdom traditions, traveling to Switzerland, France, UK, Egypt, Central America and throughout the United States and studying everything from meditation, yoga, mysticism to exploring ancient mysteries. Thus began the “call to adventure” that lead him to Dr. Goodman and the Cuyamungue Institute.

Professional Background

Paul’s professional background ranges from management, multi-media distribution, sales, marketing, publishing. Paul created a media company, Seven Directions Media, which included a talk show hosted by his wife Laura Lee devoted to self-discovery and featured interviews with leading researchers in the fields of wisdom traditions, ancient mysteries, holistic health, and consciousness studies. Paul and Laura Lee syndicated the program on radio nationwide and on the web. In addition, Paul also established a publishing division of Seven Directions Media with international distribution that sold over 200,000 books, videos, and audio books.

For more than a decade Paul was the energetic force behind the success of Seven Directions Media. He now applies this same principle of hard work, dedication, determination and vision to carrying on Dr. Goodman’s mission and the mission of the Cuyamungue Institute.

Social Media

YouTube Channel

Professional Affiliations

  • SAA; Society for American Archaeology
  • AAA: American Anthropological Association (AAA)
  • ISARS: International Society for Academic Research on Shamanism
  • NAISA: Native American and Indigenous Studies Association

Other mentors and influences
Besides the blessing of working with Dr. Goodman, the radio show provided Paul with access to many scholars, teachers, and people of medicine. He had the gift of directly spending time, interviewing and/or studying with these amazing people:

Vine Deloria Jr. was a favorite and frequent guest on Paul and Laura’s nationally syndicated radio show,  becoming a friend and informal advisor.  A member of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, Deloria is one of the best-known American Indian activists of the 20th century. He earned a law degree and wrote more than two dozen books, covering politics, theology, and law. Deloria culminated his professional life as a professor working at both Arizona State University and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Since his passing, Paul attended several “Vine Deloria Symposiums” held yearly at the Northwest Indian College located on the Lummi Indian Reservation.

Ipupiara, aka Dr. Bernardo Peixoto was another friend and advisor, and frequent radio guest. Paul hosted several events with Ipu, and published the recorded interviews between Ipu and Laura Lee. Ipu was a bridge between cultures. He was born into his mother’s tribe, the Uru-e-wau-wau of the Brazilian Rainforest when the tribe numbered 2,400. Today less than 40 members are left. Tribal Elders gave him the name “Ipupiara” (Ipu for short) and a long apprenticeship as shaman and healer, then sent him to learn the ways of the developed world. He was a consultant to the Smithsonian Institute and National Zoo in Washington, D.C. after earning his Ph.D. in Anthropology and Biology. Fluent in English, Spanish, Portuguese and eight indigenous dialects, he was versed in the sacred ceremonies and traditional healing practices of several rainforest cultures.

Jan Van Ysslestyne and Nadyezdeh “Nadia” Duvan were collaborators on sharing the traditional shamanic ways of the of Ulchi tribe of Siberia with the West. Nadia was an Ulchi Shaman, one of the last of her tribe, whose people date back to ancient neolithic times of their traditional territory, the Amur River region of Southeastern Siberia. Since 1994, Nadia and other shamans were brought to the U.S. by the late Jan Van Ysslestyne, the only Westerner to learn and document the Ulchi language, with the mission to preserve the teachings and culture. Paul and Laura attended course and sessions with Jan and Nadia over the years.

Angaangaq Angakkorsuaq, an Eskimo-Kalaallit Elder was another elder that Paul hosted for various events. Raised in a remote village in Greenland, in family belonging to traditional healers from Kalaallit Nunaat, [[Inuit|Inuk]. He represented the Arctic peoples in the United Nations General Assembly, travels widely to 60 speak before governments, universities, and the interested public.

Contact Paul at:

Laura Lee is the Vice President and Director of Research and Outreach of the Cuyamungue Institute.
 She is a teacher, speaker, author, interviewer, media host.  Laura Lee and husband Paul Robear work closely together: directing the Cuyamungue Institute (CI), a 501-c-3 non-profit educational research organization, with worldwide headquarters in Santa Fe, New Mexico. They are leading authorities on the practice of Ecstatic Trance and Ritual Postures as formulated by the late anthropologist Felicitas D Goodman. They teach and speak widely at online and in-person events, write the CI website, newsletter, articles, social media, books, manuals, and are adding to the research and to CI’s extensive, 50-year collection of archives, and more.
Timeline: Laura Lee and Paul began working with Dr. Goodman upon first meeting her in the first of many on-air and in-person interviews Laura conducted. These interviews and other research projects continued over the last ten years of Goodman’s life. Since 2000, Laura Lee and Paul have taught this work around the world. In 2010 they joined CI’s Board of Directors, and took the helm of CI in 2011. To date, they continue to expand upon the mission, the community, teachings, outreach efforts, and evidence-based research on the practice of Ritual Postures and its contributions to the growing field of consciousness and well-being.

Speaking and Teaching Engagements: In April of 2020 Laura and Paul moved their presentations online, offering thrice-weekly events over Zoom. This quickly expanded the active CI community on an international scale. They also added a new venue for research and community building, conducting interviews with a wide range of multi-disciplinary guests, spanning from the arts to the sciences. These discussions are live and include the participation of their community. Recordings are posted on the Cuyamungue Institute Youtube and Podcast Channel. Laura and Paul, individually and together, are also frequent guests on a wide range of podcasts, talking about CI’s practice and the implications.

Prior to the pandemic, Laura Lee and Paul traveled extensively as presenters and workshop teachers. The majority of their workshops took place at CI’s worldwide headquarters in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In the Winter, the travelled, taught and spoke internationally, most recently in Munich, Paris, London, Malta and Sydney, Australia. In 2017, they were invited to collaborate with artist Mel O’Callaghan to bring CI’s Ecstatic Trance Posture Ritual to a modern art exhibit at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, where they also choreographed a performance piece, and gave a one-day workshop for over 100 art students at the New School Parsons Paris, a a branch campus of Parsons School of Design.

Advisor Collaborations: Laura and Paul have several ongoing collaborative research projects with CI’s advisory committee.

With anthropologists Christine and Todd VanPool, they are databasing the experiential elements of their work, for a statistical analysis to apply to key questions, to compare with other ASC modalities, adding to the CI archives.  Drawing from this body of research, they co-wrote and published a paper in the Anthropology of Consciousness Journal. In February 2024, Laura and Paul underwent EEG tests at the University of Missouri’s Cognitive Neuroscience Systems (CNS) Core Facility to further look into the physiological shift activated by Ritual Postures that support an Ecstatic Trance.

With astrophysicist Tony Hull, Laura and Paul have designed and built two gnomon installations, for further research into an ancient use of gnomons to mark and align to the celestial cardinal compass points, to add to their ceremonial work to reset and deepen our relationship to Earth and Sky.

Working with Brian Tucker on a project of Global Collective Consciousness, they are building bridges between CI and other organizations working to inspire a mindset beneficial to a growing global community of Changemakers. Additionally, they are exploring the role spiritual changemaking might play in the lives of CI participants.

With Vedic scholar Fredrick Smith, they are exploring the historic and experiential ties between traditional Yogic meditation postures and Ritual Postures.

Community Collaboration. In the monthly Leadership Roundtable Gatherings with members of the CI community, they continue to explore various aspects of this work. This includes its history, best use, implications on the nature of reality, benefits and impact on human well-being and psychology, flourishing, and more. CI is also delving into theories on the inner workings and influence of postures and ceremony, as well as this hybrid dream state known as a ‘waking dream.’

Media CareerLaura Lee hosted “The Laura Lee Show”, a nationally syndicated terrestrial radio talk show for a dozen years from Seattle stations KING-AM and KVI-AM. “This show was my personal quest to expand my worldview by talking with leading-edge experts from all disciplines who could help ponder those age-old questions: who are we, where did we come from, where are we going?” she says. “I invited my listeners to come along and make up their own mind as we visited with leading edge researchers.” From its inception, her show earned top ratings. After a decade, Laura left radio to join her husband Paul teaching Ecstatic Trance Postures. “It was time to dive headlong into the body of knowledge beckoning us. This work with CI has been rewarding on every level,” she says. “Having had spontaneous mystical experiences from childhood on, I appreciate Goodman’s approach, in establishing that we all have this capacity, that these experiences are a birthright, built into our physiology, which we can ‘dial this up’ on demand, and that our earliest ancestors considered this central to their cultural identity, and used art to help preserve convey and memorialize at least of what I know are many avenues to activate this within us. Flourishing, and what the sages of the ages found, we can all partake of and its right there, within reach — within. This is a story I want to explore further, and share widely.”

Educational Background: Laura Lee earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in English Literature and minoring in Art History from the University of Washington. Semester-long overseas programs took her to Rome, Montreal, Jerusalem, and London.