The Power of Ecstatic Trance: Practices for Healing, Spiritual Growth, and Accessing the Universal Mind

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9781591431527: The Power of Ecstatic Trance: Practices for Healing, Spiritual Growth, and Accessing the Universal Mind
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Over the millennia shamanic trance journeying has been used as a way of healing, of providing answers to questions, and of offering solutions to individual, family, and community problems. Though traditionally it was the shaman of the community who went on such journeys, the revolutionary work of the late anthropologist Felicitas Goodman shows that we all have these shamanic powers. Her research on the body postures found in ancient primitive art and in the practices of contemporary shamans offers each of us the ability to experience ecstatic trance journeys firsthand. A student of Felicitas Goodman and Belinda Gore, psychologist Nicholas Brink examines more than 20 traditional trance postures for divination, decision making, letting go of guilt and grief, healing of illness and emotional pain, spirit journeys, shape-shifting, interacting with animal spirits and the dead, and discovering past lives. Exploring the physiology and psychology of ecstatic journeying, he offers guidance for those with little or no experience as well as methods for longtime practitioners to deepen their practice and reclaim the extrasensory power of our ancient ancestors. Offering solid theories of how ecstatic trance triggers healing and spiritual development, Brink explains how trance journeying allows us to tap in to the collective unconscious, or Universal Mind, and access the information matrix of the Akashic field.

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Review:

“Nicholas Brink, Ph.D., takes us on a journey that is at once a rich theoretical banquet of exploration into the nature of the imaginal psyche and a detailed guide to building one’s own trance-based practice. Everything one needs to get started is here, and richly illustrated.” (Raymond Hillis, Ph.D., professor emeritus at California State University, Los Angeles)

“Nick Brink, Ph.D., has done a marvelous job translating and updating the work of Felicitas Goodman into our current times. In doing so, he makes indigenous wisdom more available to us all. How fascinating that the mind-body-spirit connection should work in all directions--that body postures can produce emotional and spiritual states of being! In explaining this, Nick Brink returns spirituality to the body--where it began.” (Lewis Mehl-Madrona, M.D., Ph.D., certified in family practice, geriatrics, and psychiatry and author)

“Nicholas Brink’s book takes a big step forward for publications in the field of ecstatic trance postures. The heart of his book revolves around stories of healing produced by the unconscious while in posture. This book is accessible and informative to the public and a must for professionals in the mental health field, people engaged in alternative health practices, and students of shamanism.” (Lisa N. Woodside, Ph.D., professor of humanities emerita, Holy Family University, and certified teac)

“A few decades ago the topic of consciousness had all but disappeared from mainstream literature in psychology and psychiatry. Now there is a plethora of books on the topic, but The Power of Ecstatic Trance is the most unique. Nicholas Brink, Ph.D., takes his readers on a ride from the rituals of indigenous people to the laboratories of neuroscience researchers. Case studies and anthropological research add authority to Brink’s prescriptions, while the illustrations and the detailed directions make these esoteric rituals reader friendly.” (Stanley Krippner, Ph.D., coauthor of Demystifying Shamans and Their World)

“This is the best summary of trance work now being published. I am often looking for resources to suggest to my own colleagues and students, those of us studying and using ecstatic trance states. Nick’s book will be among the handful I will immediately recommend to any interested in the personal and communal power of the human capacity to heal and to shift the direction of our life paths.” (Rev. James Lawer, certified instructor at the Cuyamungue Institute)

“In our overly rational world, body, imagination, and spirit are too often treated as if they are separate. In this fascinating and practical exploration of meditation with intentional body postures, Nick Brink opens a way for us to discover the particular and deeper experiences of healing and wisdom.” (Tom Lane, founder of Journey Conferences)

“We live in times that call for, no, demand that we become our own shamans and look for answers from within like our ancestors did. This is also a great book for experienced shamans; it brings a lot of new information to the subject of shamanism.” (Rahasya Poe, Lotus Guide Magazine, April 2013)

“The book is accessible and easy to read for novices and pros alike. Brink introduces and explains 20 different shamanic journeying postures, separated into sections by their intention. Brink writes in a style that is very open and welcoming to beginners. Through his words, the reader can feel that he wants you to understand each pose. He is very passionate about sharing knowledge on the subject.” (Allison Robertson, Voices of Central Pennsylvania, May 2013)

“Nick Brink is a brave guide into the alternate reality of ecstatic trance. From his vantage point as a longtime therapist and teacher, he brings both wisdom and a sense of adventure to the journey to the Spirits. I’ve so enjoyed learning from his deep insight and open heart.” (Ileen Root, Ph.D., depth psychologist and creativity, career, and life-transitions counselor)

“As a psychologist, Nick Brink shows how this work with trance states lends itself so readily, gently, and yet powerfully to self-understanding and actualization.” (Laura Lee, director of the Visioneering Project of Cuyamungue, the Felicitas D. Goodman Institute)

About the Author:

Nicholas E. Brink, Ph.D., is a psychologist who has maintained a private clinical practice since 1977. He is board certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology, on the board of directors of the International Association for the Study of Dreams, and a past president of the American Association for the Study of Mental Imagery. A certified teacher of ecstatic trance with the Felicitas Goodman Institute, he lives in Coburn, Pennsylvania.

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