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Ecstatic Body Postures: An Alternate Reality Workbook Paperback – May 1, 1995

4.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

". . . this book summarizes the results of hundreds of workshops and introduces the reader to the rich resources of information found in the alternative reality. . . . I highly recommend this book to all who want to explore their inner reality." (Ruth-Inge Heinze, author of Shamans of the 20th Century)

"I have integrated the practice of Ecstatic Body Postures into all my workouts, to great benefit, and recommend this book highly to anyone wishing to get physically fit while exploring other dimensions of their being." (Thor the Barbarian, Quest for Might, July 2007)

From the Back Cover

HEALTH / MEDITATION

Specific body postures reappear in the art and artifacts of world cultures, even those widely separated by time and distance. What are these images of unusual postures telling us? Anthropologist Felicitas Goodman discovered that people who assume these postures while in trance report strikingly similar meditative experiences. The results from this research are astonishing, proving that certain body gestures and movements, when properly worked with, actually trigger us into accessing altered states of consciousness.

With clear instructions and illustrations, Belinda Gore, one of Dr. Goodman’s prominent students, reveals to us these shamanic postures and how to work with them. Ecstatic Body Postures is a “must read” for anyone interested in meditation, shamanic practice, yoga, and body work.

“Felicitas D. Goodman has studied and worked with religious trance and trance postures for over twenty years. Written by one of her students, a trained psychotherapist, this book summarizes the results of hundreds of workshops and introduces the reader to the rich resources of information found in the alternative reality. Belinda Gore gives direct, hands-on advice on how to approach and how to interpret these experiences. I highly recommend this book to all who want to explore their inner reality.”
--Ruth-Inge Heinze, Ph.D., University of California/Berkeley, author of Shamans of the 20th Century and Trance and Healing in Southeast Asia Today

“A scientific discovery with startling implications, opening the door to experiences that fascinate by their strangeness and wonder.”
--Felicitas D. Goodman, author of Where the Spirits Ride the Wind: Spirit Journeys and Ecstatic Experiences

“It’s a stimulating, enriching and revelatory insight that illuminates both the hidden initiatory side to indigenous art traditions while charting a new body-grounded path into the mysteries.”
--Richard Leviton, senior writer, Yoga Journal

BELINDA GORE has been teaching workshops on ecstatic trance for over eight years. She is vice-president of the Cuyamungue Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the principles of ecstatic trance and ritual body postures are studied and taught under the tutelage of renowned anthropologist Felicitas Goodman. A psychologist in private practice in Columbus, Ohio, Dr. Gore earned her Ph. D. in counseling from Ohio State University.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bear & Company; Original ed. edition (May 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1879181223
  • ISBN-13: 978-1879181229
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #444,901 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on April 16, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book gives information on how to use certain body postures that were found in different cultures. It's based on the fasinating idea that certain artifacts were made to preserve instructions on how to enter a trance. The author gives descriptions and pictures of how to place yourself in these postures which are simple and not like a game of twister. There are different postures that cover divination, shapeshifting, spirit journeys,and more. It's everything I've wanted to practice as an occult student and without religion attached to it. BUY THE BOOK YOU WON'T BE SORRY.
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I would give the book a 5/5 only if it was enough to get one into Trance ....unfortunately for me, I found out later from the book that the trance postures are effective only with the use of special musical drumming/rattling....in other words buying this book alone will not get u into trance....the drumming/rattling(210 beats/minute)is used to create a Theta brainwave frequency, that is absolutelty essentail for any posture to work....
almost a perfect 10 if it only came with a drumming CD...
my advice is:
"Ecstatic Body Postures+ Drumming CD=Successful Trance"
(Drumming To Journey By Kay Cordell Whitaker , is good CD that should get you started)....enjoy the ride... ;).....
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The book contains enough different positions based on historical objects found within shamanic cultures, to keep you busy working for a long, long time...particular considering that reaching any depth with one particular position may take a lot of work.
Yes, as mentioned in another review, it is suggested that these positions be used while someone is drumming or rattling for you...or while using a CD and headset (the neighbors are less likely to call the cops), but it would be nice to have had a little more discussion about the use of medicine plants with the various positions...as probably that was one of the traditional "triggers" to begin with. Perhaps the author just wanted to keep away from the political/legal problems in that.
If you're serious about doing shamanic work, and want to "do" rather than just read about someones "cool visions"...this makes an excellent handbook.
The illustrations aren't terrible or anything...certainly they're sufficient, but it would have been a tad better if some of them were a little clearer/detailed...particularly the illustrations of original artifacts.
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The ability to go into trance to improve one's health, emotional state, spiritual state is part of our human birthright. Do yourself a favor and get this book that explains how one's brain waves and pulse change when one goes into trance.

Clear, simple instructions are given on how to assume and use certain postures that have been used by humankind for as long as 30,000 years as a means of enhancing experience and discovering about the Self and the World. Entering a trance is aided by an impelling, steady sound like drumming or rattling.

This book is a text that helps us expand what it means to be a human being practicing life skills and dancing joyfully through our days. I heartily recommend this book. D.Wilshire
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This is a very interesting description of an apparently simple but effective practice of using body positions from art work around the world. I found the use of the postures to be helpful in evaluating both my inner world and everyday life experiences. I highly recommend the book to all that are interested in stretching the understanding of their relationship to the world we live in.
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This book tells of a discovery which has great intrigue. Archeology is one of my keen interests, and Ecstatic Body Postures describes a study of unique body positions that were discovered in many ancient clay and stone statuettes. Brenda Gore tells of an archeologist who was intrigued by them, and through her investigations, learned that the figurines were describing various positions for obtaining deep meditation. The archeologist then studied the religions of aboriginies, ancient tribes of South America, and the American Indians. She was astounded to find the same kinds of body positions found in the ancient statues, were still practiced today by these tribes through their religious preformances. She also learned that they use various rhythms, by the use of anything from shaking gourds with pebbles in them, to musical intstraments. The archeologist who discovered this has passed away, however there are now groups of non-tribal people who experiment with these positions and noise-makers.The amazing discovery is that while doing so, they see and hear strange visions and sounds, depending upon which position they use. This book describes the positions and types of visions that each body position evokes. I found Ecstatic Body Postures fascinationg, informative and very well written.
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I held a "get to know your spirit guide" workshop for 10 people who'd more or less connected with their spirit guides through a guided meditation at prior group workshops.They had no shamanic training of any kind. Every one of the 10 had a successful journey using basic "core shamanism" techniques and the South American Lower World Posture described on page 191.

It's far more typical for this level of connection to take time and practice, and from what I've observed as a student in shamanic workshops, I'd put the typical success rate for beginners at about 30%. I think these results were remarkable, and plan to explore further. (I do not, BTW, recommend shamanic journeying without the guidance of an experienced practitioner.)
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