Our Story

What happens when a Zen Buddhist salsa dancer meets a jazz pianist who spent decades shaking with shamans, healers, and mystics throughout the world? In the case of Hillary and Brad, they fell in love, moved to New Orleans, and launched a spiritual experiment that would forever change their lives.

The Keeneys recognized that full-blown sacred ecstasy—the saint’s joyful union with the divine or the shaman’s shaking awakening—is an experience that has been minimized and suppressed in favor of practices that subdue rather than excite. So they boldly set out to unpack, reverse engineer, and identify the specific actions required to ignite an ecstatic fire. The Keeneys went on a mission to bring back old school ecstatic spirituality for modern times.

Brad and Hillary personally experienced how the Kalahari Bushman dancing healers, ancient Japanese life force masters, diverse shakers and quakers, old school sanctified worshippers, spirit-intoxicated mystics, and singing shamans share an ecstatic wisdom that is absent in today’s world. It does not involve what the mind believes or thinks: ecstatic know-how is found in how the body moves, sounds, and feels.

As a dancer and a musician, Hillary and Brad discerned what so many teachers of spirituality and shamanism had missed about the nature of powerful spiritual experience: First, true ecstasy is best triggered by a special blend of syncopated rhythm, embellished music, spirited movement, and sacred emotion. Second, the strongest ecstasy always leaves its mark by installing an incredible body vibration—a fire in the bones— that activates amazing sensory awareness, extraordinary mystical experience, powerful healing, and incredible spiritual gifts.

Brad and Hillary became internationally celebrated for exploring how ecstatic experience and transformation can be brought to spiritually diverse audiences. They demonstrated their emerging work in various venues including theatres, music halls, conference arenas, classrooms, clinics, temples, cathedrals, and even their shotgun house in the French Quarter of New Orleans.

Then something extraordinary and unexpected happened.

 

 

 

 

After retiring as university professors, the Keeneys applied the ecstatic recipe to their own lives on a daily basis. They weren’t prepared for what happened next: they received a remarkable series of visions every night for over six months (now published as the book, Climbing the Rope to God). When they shared these teachings with their students, many of them began having the same kind of ecstatic experiences associated with old school mystics, saints, and shamans. After witnessing these incredible outcomes, the Keeneys dedicated their lives to mentoring people in Sacred Ecstatics and its recipe for setting your soul on fire.

Another series of mystical dreams followed that inspired what the Keeneys call the “spiritual engineering” of Sacred Ecstatics. You learn how to use your body as an instrument for expressing a unique kind of motion, emotion, beat, and sound. Here personal ecstatic practices were conceived along with a new kind of private session and an exhilarating ceremonial-theatrical intensive. These became the basic experiential components of the mentorship program.

Since its original conception, the Sacred Ecstatics mentorship program has generated a global tribe of spiritual misfits that gathers yearly for retreats. Rather than market to the masses, Sacred Ecstatics is more in line with the classic mystery schools and creative movements of the past, from the desert mothers and fathers, to the hidden gnostics, Pythagoreans, and traveling Taoists, as well as enthusiasts of the salon, cabaret, and experimental theatre, to name a few. Furthermore, we are intellectually and emotionally bold in our openness to old-fashioned religious fervor and creative experimentation with new syncretic spiritual forms.

Sacred Ecstatics dares to become spiritually hotter than a Kalahari Bushman dance, a medieval outbreak of dancing in the street, and the spirited commotion of the great religious revivals and ecstatic awakenings. The Keeneys lead you on an incredible quest to climb soaring mystical heights while expanding sacred ground in the midst of absurd revelry and creative exploration.

With over 40 published books and widespread acclaim for their teaching and healing, Hillary and Brad Keeney have touched the hearts and changed the lives of students, clients, professionals, and general audiences throughout the world. Dr. Robert C. Fulford, the renowned physician that Dr. Andrew Weil cites as the exemplary healer of our time, called the Keeneys’ revolutionary work “the most direct path to healing and spiritual growth.”