Corine Sombrun grew up in Africa and returned to France to study musicology, piano and composition. She settled in London in 1999 as a musician but also undertook projects for the BBC World Service.
One of those reports took her to Mongolia, where a highly respected local Dahrad shaman recognized her as having unique shamanistic capabilities. She was invited to spent several months a year at the border with Siberia to undertake the rigorous and intense training to become a Shaman. And after eight years she thus became the first Western woman fully trained in the Mongolian shamanic tradition.
Her unique experience in the practice of shamanic trance and her ability to self-induce it have been a topic of interest for scientists. She has been collaborating with researchers since 2006, in order to show that this shamanic trance indeed modifies the circuits of cerebral functioning: Flor-Henry et al. 2017
Further research into it, including in the capacity of any human being to reach such a state in a self-induced way, is under way. With the help of E. Desmond Le Quéméner (Research Expert, INRA, France) she has developed Cognitive Trance Training, a sound-loop based program to help people experience an altered state of consciousness. Tested in various research settings and workshops, 85% of the people underwent a trance state and went back to their normal state without any problem. This shows that trance is more an underused potentiality than an exceptional “shamanic” gift. It opens door to inducing trance to non-trained people as a means to discover, during the early stage of training, some of the neurologic processes at work during the induction. New researches are under way in Belgium with Steven Laureys at Liege University.
Corine collaborates extensively with artists, by leading workshops exploring the influence of trance on creativity (e.g. at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in France) and more recently with the HEC Paris Executive Education by leading Cognitive Trance Training programs.
She has written several books translated into many languages, including In Geronimo’s footsteps, Les esprits de la steppe, Save the planet, et Mon initiation chez les Chamanes (in the process of being adapted for cinema)