Nicholas Brink is a psychologist who has maintained a private clinical practice since 1977. He is a past president of the American Association for the Study of Mental Imagery and a certified teacher of ecstatic trance.

Making good use of the work and writings of Felicitas Goodman, Thomas Berry, Ervin Laszlo, and others, Brink suggests that we reconnect with the Great Mother the Earth and tap into the resources provided by a variety of hunter-gatherer societies -- Celtic, Norse, Native American, and South American. Their shamanic techniques of ecstatic trance animate dreamlike visions, Spirit guides, the seven directions, and shape-shifting.

Brink pays tribute to the growing interdependence between human beings and the good Earth. The focus of the mind on the moment is one of the major aspects of trance. He described this as an altered state of consciousness where we can access the worlds of trees, streams, and rocks. He describes a few methods of inducing ecstatic trance and goes on to talk about its transformative qualities.

To advance into a more vibrant society we need the wisdom and experiential teachings of elders. We also need more rituals that nurture our oneness with the Earth and all its creatures. Here is a Ojibway Prayer that expresses some of these challenges:

Look at our brokenness.

We know that in all creation
Only the human family
Has strayed from the Sacred Way.

We know that we are the ones
Who are divided
And we are the ones
Who must come back together
To walk in the Sacred Way.

Sacred One,
Teach us love, compassion, and honor
That we may heal the earth
And heal each other."