May 2012

Here we are once again back at the Cuyamungue Institute (CI) on the outskirts of Santa Fe. Traveling to the Institute always feels exciting… and challenging. Sounds simple, going from the Pacific Northwest to Santa Fe but every trip seems to become an adventure.

My wife Laura Lee and I have been coming to CI since the early 90’s. I was a the typical husband going to a workshop chosen by my wife and dutifully following. She hosted a syndicated interview-oriented show on radio, and one of her guests was Dr. Felicitas Goodman, founder of CI. Laura is an engaging and personable interviewer, able to readily connect with all sorts of personalities in an instant. But rarely does she come away from an interview planning a trip to see the guest and experience all they talked about, as she did with Felicitas. I must admit that I was working in the control room of the radio studio during the interview and wasn’t able to listen, but we were soon on our way to Santa Fe to take a workshop.  I arrived in New Mexico without having read or heard much, so had no real understanding of the work. All I knew is that it had something to do with postures.

Felicitas greeted us on our arrival, with her long braided hair and a welcoming smile. She had a warm grandmotherly presence yet an ageless personality. I was humbled by her keen intellect. I sat down and offered to her that I was familiar with yoga postures since I had practiced yoga for many years. She smiled and nodded. Then she gently told me that the ritual body postures she would share with me were different and in most cases have an even older history than yoga. She went on to give me a condensed introduction to the work; very generous to such a naive newcomer.

When we later gathered in the kiva for our first posture experience, she did not tell us the name of the posture or what type of experience to expect. Since I had no expectations, it was quite a surprise to have the full technicolor visionary journey that I remember in detail to this day. After we finished I found it difficult to contain my excitement.  I filled page after page in my journal. Then she called on us one by one to share our journey, and after everyone finished, gave us the name, history, and the typical experiences associated with that particular posture. And right there was the proof for me, of the profundity of this work – not only did I have a an ecstatic experience, but I had an experience that had all the hallmarks of this particular posture.  And this was brought home to me again, when later, reading through her book Where the Spirits Ride the Wind, I saw again how my experience with that posture sounded like I was reading directly from her book. A one-time direct experience like this would be enough to convince me she had a significant discovery, but this pattern continued for the next four postures –  my experiences were specific to that posture, without any prior intellectual background knowledge! It was one of the most profound experiences of my life. I was hooked.

So, here I am, nearly twenty years later, making that same journey to CI. This time to facilitate an introductory course. I only hope I can reflect in some way the wisdom, kindness and patience that Felicitas always showed me.

Join us! I invite you to make the journey yourself to the Cuyamungue Institute and explore ritual body postures as a means to achieve a physiologically-induced shifting of consciousness – a “ecstatic trance” experience. The reports of hundreds of research subjects and thousands of workshop participants have confirmed that the Cuyamungue Method of ritual body posture is a very safe, effective technique that can produce significant benefits in your life.

I you have any questions about the Institute or the Cuyamungue Method, please feel free to contact us. We welcome all correspondence. Email me directly at .

Spirit Journeying Meets the Hero’s Journey
by Laura Lee
I say, “Life is best lived as an adventure!”
Little wonder then that my husband Paul and I are teaching ways to deepen and expand the journeying life offers. We are often asked where these two modes of journeying intersect. My short answer is that both work in mythic ways, with symbol and narrative. One works experientially, the other intellectually to frame our experience. One sweeps us away — whoosh! — handing us a new set of inner senses, to immerse us in a waking dream unfolding on the interior movie screen of the soul. The other weaves each spiralling story arc of our inner and outer life into the collective mythic whole. At the upcoming workshop May 31- June 3rd, 2012 that Paul and I will be conducting at the Cuyamungue Institute we will delve further into this intersection of two universal, time-honored modes of journeying… Continue for full article

From Frank Santoro who lives in Northern Scotland, where he serves as resident member and educator of the Findhorn Foundation, regularly running workshops on astroshamanism, shamanic healing, trance dance and core educational.

Trance and Shamanic States of Consciousness by Franco Santoro

The term trance comes from the Latin transire, which means “to go over” or to move from one state to another. Although this word is often popularly associated with unusual states of mind or altered states of consciousness, its implied conditions play a vital role for all human beings and extend in all areas of life, from shamanic journeys, meditation, dreaming, day-dreaming to watching television, reading a newspaper or doing housework…  Continue for full article

From the Desk of Dr. Goodman. ” The nature of ecstatic states of consciousness may be encoded in their postures. The types of visions, prophecies or healing abilities that accompany ecstatic states may have less to do with the religious content surrounding the ceremonies of ecstasy than with the posture assumed by the people undergoing the ecstatic experience.”  (Original source: Felicitas D. Goodman – 1986 ‘Body posture and the religious altered state of consciousness: An experimental investigation,’ Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Summer, v. 26, No. 3, pp. 81-118.)

Student Building Kitchen: Update. Thanks go to Jackie Haworth Hoy and her husband Ray for generously offering to purchase a much needed, new kitchen stove!  We have several other donations so we are making progress to meeting our goal. However , we still need to fix the kitchen gray water system  …  the pipe will need to be dug up and replaced. When it was working properly, the sink’s gray water went directly our fruit tress and garden area.  Also we are rearranging and doubling the kitchen cabinets and counter space. Your donation goes directly to the materials needed  – no labor costs because all the work is done by volunteers.

So, donations to make these upgrades are greatly appreciated. You choose the amount; every dollar helps. To make it simple, we are using Paypal to collect donations. Simply click on the button below and it will guide you with a few easy-to-follow steps.  The Cuyamungue Institute is registered as a 501(c)(3) charity under the United States Internal Revenue Code, so your donation may be tax-deductible. If you need help or have questions please contact us at – Thank you!

If you prefer, you may also mail us a check. Either way we truly appreciate your support! Thank you.

If you prefer, you may also mail us a check. Either way we truly appreciate your support!

Upcoming Workshop Schedule.  Direct experience is a path to transformation. Participants report that these workshops expand personal power and strengthen inner guidance that can be life changing. Make your plans now, come experience the special power of the land and enjoy the benefits of going deep into the posture experiences. Please note, Nick Brink has condensed two workshops into one – July 25th – 29th and has a few spaces left.

May 31 – June 3  Spirit Journeying Meets the Hero’s Journey
Instructors: Paul Robear, Laura Lee
June 13-17    Masked Trance Dance
Instructors: Rae LeCompte, Jackie Haworth, Stephanie Stephens
July 25-29    Using The Cuyamungue Method for Healing, Growth
and to Access the Universal Mind.  Instructor: Nick Brink
August 29 – September 2  Teacher Training: Becoming a Certified Instructor
Instructors: Belinda Gore, Jackie Haworth
September 18 -23, 2012 Experience the Dander Zodiac through Posture
Instructors: Jill Schumacher & Meredith McCord

Online registration is easy – go to

As part of the  process of verifying the effects of the specific postures, Dr. Goodman conducted controlled experiments. She worked with individuals, one on one, to remove influences of a group experience. She carefully documented the results and then looked for patterns looking for similar experiences specific to each posture. No-one experiences the same journey, but the experiences seems “cut of the same cloth” specific to the posture. This is where it became clear that an undeniable pattern exists for each posture.

Nupe Mallam Posture. One of the first set of postures that Dr. Goodman used in her early experiments. The Nupe Mallam posture is a “divination” pose of the Nupe tribe, a tribe in sub-Saharan Africa. Mallam is the word for “diviner” among the Nupe and this posture was used by Nupe Mallam diviners.  As a divination posture, tt provides a wide, all-encompassing perspective on a current issue or problem.

Description: Some describe this posture as similar to sitting in meditation, except that the legs are both tucked under the body, turned to the right side. Sit on the floor, leaning toward your left and supported by your left arm. Hold your left arm rigid, with your hand at a right angle to your body. Place your left hand at a spot three to five inches to the left of your body and just behind a straight line drawn along your back. Bend both legs at the knees with both feet pointing to the right, positioned so that the sole of your left foot is resting just to the left of your right knee. Place your right hand on your lower left leg, where the muscle indents about halfway down your calf. Move your head slightly to the left, so you are looking over your left knee, and close your eyes. Because some students have problems with their knees, Dr. Goodman also experimented with the mirror image of this posture – leaning to the right instead. She found it equally as effective. One should have a a clear intent as the drumming and/or rattling begins. As always we welcome reports of your experiences which we will add to our research database. We always keep personal information confidential. Send experiences to

Paul Robear – May 2012