Ritual Postures, Ritual body Postures, Ancient Ritual Postures


about Laura Lee

Laura Lee in Zoom Studio
Laura Lee and her husband Paul are the Co-Directors of the Cuyamungue Institute (CI), a 501-c-3 non-profit educational research organization, a worldwide headquarters in Santa Fe, New Mexico. They are leading authorities on the practice of Ecstatic Trance Postures and the work of 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, manuals, add to the research and to CI’s extensive, 50-year collection of archives, and more.
They worked with Dr. Goodman the last ten years of her life and since 2000 have taught this work  around the world. For the last ten years they’ve been at the helm of CI. They’ve certainly put in their 10,000 hours a few times over!
Current Teaching Engagements
This past year saw Laura and Paul move their presentations online, offering thrice-weekly events. From April 2020 to April 2021 they hosted over 140 two-hour Zoom sessions for an international community of 5,000. These were both experiential Ecstatic Trance Posture sessions, and their Sunday Lecture series, with topics alternating between their own presentations on various aspects of their work, and interviews with a wide range of multi-disciplinary guests to expand upon the research in its greater context. Recordings are posted on the Cuyamungue Institute Youtube and Podcast Channel, where you will also find media interviews with them. 
Recent Teaching Engagements
Laura Lee and Paul travel extensively as presenters and workshop teachers. As CI’s Directors since 2011, they teach at CI’s worldwide headquarters in Santa Fe New Mexico with a full schedule of workshops during the summer season. Winters were spent traveling, teaching, and speaking internationally, most recently in Munich, Paris, London, Malta and Sydney, Australia. They enjoyed the opportunity to add another venue in 2017, when 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. Laura wrote the script and narrated a short video, “The Cuyamungue Institute: Bridging Two Worlds” filmed and produced by filmmaker Mark J. Gordon.
Media Career
Laura Lee hosted “The Laura Lee Show” on nationally syndicated terrestrial radio talk show for over a decade, 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 tried new ideas on for size.” 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.”
Educational Background
Laura Lee earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in English Literature and Art History from the University of Washington. Semester-long overseas programs took her to Rome, Montreal, Jerusalem, and London. 


  Sacred Soundscape: A 12th Century Chapel …
  Article on CI – Sacred Hoop Magazine

  Art & Spirit – We All Speak Art
  CI ONSTAGE IN PARIS: Consulting &                      Choreographing a Modern Art Exhibit

Choreographing Ritual at Palais de Tokyo, Paris

interviews / press kit

INTERVIEWS: Listen to Laura Lee & Paul, interviewed on these podcasts.

 VIDEOS: Watch a 6-minute video on the Cuyamungue Institute written and narrated by Laura Lee and her welcome message.

PRESS KIT: Book Laura Lee & Paul for your podcast or event. See press kit & interview questions & what others are saying.

Laura Lee & Paul Robear love to talk their work with Ecstatic Trance Postures. Ask them about:

  • why mystical moments are available to all of us
  • decoding select ancient artwork depicting postures as ‘ritual instructions’ and their use
  • the ancient artifacts inspiring postures from the Paleolithic to the Neolithic and beyond, around the world 
  • the spirit journey, crossing the threshold between our everyday ordinary and the non-ordinary, alternate reality and the return
  • the range of trance experiences, involving senses we know, and senses we didn’t know we had
  • defining ecstatic, ecstatic trance, and the connection to the sages of the ages 
  • why the late anthropologist and founder Dr. Felicitas Goodman said we are all ‘ecstasy deprived’ in our culture, and how we lost this knowledge through the vagaries of history
  • why this work, though ancient, is still relevant, offering to us time crunched moderns a dial-up-on demand experience, with profound and meaningful results, taking little time
  • how and why the body-mind-soul responds to the cues in the ritual, with a natural and easy physiological shift supporting the trance state
  • why no outside agents, plant medicine, etc are need for this, as its built into our DNA only requiring activation with the ritual
  • the psycho-acoustics of “sonic driving” and the long history of drums and rattles
  • lab tests from the Universities of Munich & Vienna revealed brainwaves of beta     theta, a surge of the biochemicals of well-being with beta-endorphins, and more
  • why one neurologist calls this “the hybrid state of a waking dream”
  • how this work is portable, going from lab to conference room to modern art exhibit and now, to zoom with attendees spread across the globe
  • how direct experiences of this non-ordinary reality fulfills Einstein’s ‘spooky effect at a distance’ in action, and the implications
  • what Joseph Campbell did for the the world’s mythologies, Dr. Goodman did for the world’s rituals and opening up access to ecstatic trance
  • how this work follows Campbell’s “heroes journey” sequence experientially
  • finding traces of a long history of spirit journeys in folklore, myth, ancient art, cave walls and wisdom traditions worldwide
  • why there is no belief system, no dogma here
  • what has kept us intrigued and inspired all this time
  • the call to adventure we answered to take up this work
  • the mission of the Cuyamungue Institute, our past, current and future research, where we’d like to see this work go. 

free ongoing live events

Laura Lee & Paul Robear

SATURDAYS: ECSTATIC TRANCE POSTURES with two-hour open sessions anyone can join. Hosted by Laura Lee & Paul, and includes a brief introductory lecture before diving right in!

SUNDAYS: CONVERSATION4EXPLORATION hosted by Laura Lee & Paul with our own presentations and interviewing guests from a wide range of multi-disciplinary fields to broaden the ongoing research into Ecstatic Trance Postures and to ask the underlying big questions of life — who are we, where did we come from, and where are we going — to better enjoy the journey with like minds!