Corine Sombrun, from shamanic trance to science

The pandemic forces us, our meeting is virtual. Corine Sombrun is counted on the simplicity that provides the strength of an experience in the depths of being. It is the pain of losing a loved one to cancer that drives her to “A bigger world”movie title which narrates your unique itinerary, much bigger than you could have imagined. Twenty years go by in which doubt and difficulty coexist with the passion to live this incredible adventure, at the center of its potential.

A course in which he returns in The diagonal of joy which has just been released by Albin Michel. From page to page, he takes us down paths no European has ever taken before, while offering another relationship with the living.

Wolf spirit

It was in 2001 that she began her journey in Mongolia, where the young ethnomusicologist produced a report for the BBC World Service. When watching a shamanic ceremony, the sound of the drum puts him into a trance: he then completely loses control of his movements. The spirit of a wolf said, “Penetrate her” spontaneously. It has the sensation of transforming into a wolf, of having claws, an animal snout. The shaman Balgir, who presides over the ceremony, recognizes in it “The shamanic spark” and the press to develop his gift with a tsaatan shaman, Enkhetuya, “To suffer less” the grief he’s going through. She accepts.

For eight years, the apprentice shaman divides his time between Mongolia, on the border of Siberia and Europe. Particularly demanding training at the end of which she becomes the first Westerner to achieve the status ofudgan – term that designates the women who received the gift and the initiation in the Mongolian shamanic traditions.

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Very quickly, you become aware of certain characteristics of the trance. “I could come out of this state at any time, it was stronger, I barely felt the pain”. These experiences may have destabilized you. But the young woman, convinced “Don’t be crazy”, he decides to give himself the means to understand what is going on in his brain.

Self-induced trance

If the reluctance of scientists delays your project, their stubbornness ends up paying off. In 2006, Dr. Pierre Etevenon, Inserm’s Honorary Director of Research, agreed to collaborate with her. He put her in contact with neuropsychiatrist Pierre-Flor Henry, from Alberta Hospital in Edmonton, Canada, who established a research protocol with her. Ten years later, they will finally be able to present their results in a scientific journal. According to these data, trance alters the working circuits of the brain.

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Myrtle Frost

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