August 2015

Letter From The President
by Paul Robear

The 2015 workshop season is still in full swing with the upcoming Instructor Training and Masked Trance Dance. So far this summer we have hosted a Board of Directors gathering, visiting guests from Germany, two Initiatory Training courses and our Advanced Training.  And our international family continues to grow… we welcomed students from England, France, Switzerland, Germany, Australia, Singapore and India.  We already are having strong interest for the 2016 season so below we provided a preview of the schedule. If you have been wanting to come to the Institute this gives you nearly a year to make your plans. Please let us know if you need any assistance or have any questions.

In this issue: This months featured article comes from Dr.Michael Winkelman “Neurotheology: Connection Between Neuroscience and Spirituality.” Winkelman conducted cross-cultural research on shamanism which demonstrated that there were basic similarities in shamans in cultures around the world. The similarities in shamans include the use of trance or ecstasy–altered states of consciousness (ASC)– to interact with the spirits and heal. These spirit world interactions are often referred to as “soul journeys”. These abilities are acquired when the initiate shaman undergoes a “death and rebirth experience” and acquires animal allies and spirit powers. “The brain’s serotonin and opioid neurotransmitter systems are stimulated by shamanic practices “Shamanism enhances both one’s health and a sense of well-being because they ‘turn on’ the body’s ‘feel-good’ chemicals” says Winkelman. “Our current reliance upon Prozac and other serotonin-reuptake inhibitors, and our societal problems with drug addiction, are consequences of our loss of these vital healing traditions.”

 Also in this issue…  Belinda Gore Ph.D documents the characteristics of healing produced from the practice of Ritual Postures. From the perspective of the indigenous people from whom the ritual postures emerged, healing is typically viewed as the restoration of balance.   Shamanic healing is typically part of a indigenous approach used for any disease or imbalance. During the “trance” experience the individual who is in the posture and experiencing the trance functions in the roles of both healer and patient.

Have questions or comments or research of your own to share? Reach me directly at We welcome all correspondence.


Paul Robear
President / Executive Director
Cuyamungue: The Felicitas D. Goodman Institute

I am happy to share the following news and articles.

  • Article: Neurotheology: Connection Between Neuroscience and Spirituality by Michael Winkelman, Ph.D
  • Article: Exploring Characteristics of Healing Trance by Belinda Gore. Ph.D
  • Article: Teacher Feature: Lisa Woodside Ph.D
  • Advanced Training: Instructor Training and Certification August 11 – 16, 2015
  • Advanced Training: Masked Trance Dance August 18 – August 23, 2015

SCROLL DOWN for Articles and Links

Neurotheology: Connection Between Neuroscience and Spirituality
by Michael Winkelman, Ph.D

Neurotheological approaches provide an important bridge between scientific and religious perspectives. These approaches have, however, generally neglected the implications of a primordial form of spiritual healing—shamanism. Cross-cultural studies establish the universality of shamanic practices in hunter-gatherer societies around the world and across time. These universal principles of shamanism reflect underlying neurological processes and provide a basis for an evolutionary theology. ————-> Complete Article

Exploring Characteristics of Healing Trance with Ritual Postures Using Gamma Radiation Assessment:  A Quantitative and Qualitative Study
by Belinda Gore. Ph.D

The reports of hundreds of research subjects and workshop participants have confirmed that ordinary people can have quite extraordinary experiences during ecstatic trance (Goodman, 1990; Gore, 1995). Individuals have frequently reported extensive journeys in both fantastic and familiar settings as well as interactions with spirit beings, all of which are reminiscent of traditional stories told by shamans. Goodman’s research identified several subsets of ritual postures: those used for healing, others that offer spirit journeys or initiatory experiences, postures for divination, or those through which metamorphosis or shape-shifting occurs. The focus of this study was what Goodman (1999) refers to as “healing trance.”    ————> Complete Article

Teacher Feature: Lisa Woodside Ph.D
We thought it would be fun to better know our Instructor community so we created our Teacher Feature for the CI Newsletter as a way to introduce our certified instructors in the field and an opportunity for you to get to know them better.

In this issue we invited Lisa Woodside Ph.D of Wallingford Pennsylvania to share more about herself. ——>Teacher Feature – Lisa Woodside

Out and About by Laura Lee

Editors Note: One of the rewards of directing the Institute is that Laura and I meet so many fascinating people, and fun adventures continue to come our way.  I asked Laura to gather up some of these stories, conversations and activities and share them in the newsletter from time to time. This is the first edition of  “Out & About”.    ————-> Complete Article

2015 Workshops, Events and Training at Cuyamungue:

Each workshop contains a specifically designed series of ritual postures to provide the context for a journey of self-discovery. We go deep within utilizing the Cuyamungue Method – which includes a established ritual journey method. Introductory workshops are are prerequisites for advanced classes.

Announcing the 2016 Workshop Season! Here is the preview of workshops and events in development for 2016 at the Cuyamungue Institute, so you can get the jump-start on making your plans to join us next season. There may be adjustments to dates, times and details, and additional events and workshops will be added. Much more detail to follow in the near future.

2015 Upcoming Workshops & Events:

August 11 – August 16, 2015: Instructor Training
How to teach the safe and effective process

August 18 – August 23, 2015: Masked Trance Dance
Guided inspiration using masks, costumes for a ritual dance and more…

April 30th / May 1st, 2016Maypole Celebration
May 26 – 29, 2016 – Board of Directors Meeting
June 17th – 21st , 2016Initiatory Training
July 20th – 24th , 2016Initiatory Training
August 3 – 7, 2016Initiatory TrainingAdvanced Course
August 16 – 21, 2016Instructor Training – Contact us
August 23 – 28, 2016 -Masked Trance Dance – Contact us
September 21st – 25th , 2016 Men’s Conclave

How to Submit an Article: As part of expanding our Cuyamungue Institute community, you are invited and encouraged to participate. Share how you use the Cuyamungue Method in your chosen field. We are also open to other topics, with the emphasis on the posture work, and research and or experience. More information

Thanks for reading! Please forward this to your friends and acquaintances who will enjoy learning more about us, and please let me hear from you! I am most happy answer any and all questions about the Institute or the Cuyamungue Method. We welcome all correspondence. Not already subscribed? Subscribe Here.

Email me directly at .

Paul Robear
President / Executive Director
Cuyamungue – The Felicitas D. Goodman Institute

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