ConsciousCafe Canterbury hosted a brilliant evening this week on the theme on “Altered States of Consciousness”. Host Cora shares her thoughts:
 
“Afternoon meetings do have a different energy and this one felt particularly bright and lively as the sun flooded into the studio and I was delighted to have a brilliant turnout of people, there were 18 of us in all. This was a lovely surprise especially after so many people had said they couldn’t come because it was an afternoon session!
 
It was difficult to give a clear definition of what an altered state of consciousness was. It implies a different way of seeing and feeling reality. Andy Wood described it as dreaming while still awake which is the level that the Shamans work at. Helen felt that we needed to shed layers of trauma and stress to find our true state of consciousness which was a state of peace and stillness. Everyday living created a less desirable altered state when there was too much stimulation.
 
One of our participants recounted how she had reached an altered state of consciousness through holotropic breath work which had been developed by Stanislav Grof. This work sounds fascinating and well worth looking into in more detail.
 
We can reach altered states through drumming, breath work, chanting, yoga, meditation, hypnosis, dreaming and with drugs like ayahuasca. Andy gave us an experience of drumming as we relaxed with the intention of finding our power animal. Julie recounted how she can go spontaneously into an altered state and within this state she can access other people’s reality which she can describe to them with stories, symbols and archetypal characters. She can use these visions to help a person to gain more self understanding and healing.
 
In our summing up of the afternoon we concluded that altered states can help people to heal, to gain self knowledge, to deal with traumas, to access their creativity and to become generally more complete and whole as a human being.
 
Thank you so much to Andy Wood, Helen Porter and Julie Stocker for sharing with us the healing work they are all doing.
 
Someone said as she was leaving that it was the best ConsciousCafe meeting she had been to so far!”
 
ConsciousCafe Canterbury is hosted by Cora Kemball-Cook and meets once a month on a new topic. You can follow the Canterbury page for updates all the latest events.