Stream of Consciousness Blog

Awakening the Wisdom of Ancient Hawaii

By Isa Gucciardi

While Laura Chandler and I were in Iowa during the past week on our book tour for Coming to Peace, I found myself talking more about my childhood in Hawaii than I normally do as the friendly and curious people in Iowa asked questions about the history of the book. Everyone was interested in Hawaii and the ancient Hawaiian practices that are discussed in the book.

In August, I will be teaching a workshop on the Big Island of Hawaii called Huna: The First Psychology. As I answered questions about the workshop, I was reminded of Max Freedom Long’s reports on his research in the Hawaiian Islands in the early part of the 20th century. His book The Secret Science Behind Miracles offers a peek into the experience of the Hawaiians after a century of colonization, and his reports on his research into the body of work he named Huna is very compelling.

Buddhist Perspectives on Grief and Loss

By Isa Gucciardi

In Robert Thurman’s prelude to his translation of Bardo Thodol, commonly translated as The Tibetan Book of the Dead, he takes to task scientific materialists’ perspective that death is a terminal state, a state of nothingness where life is destroyed. He points out that these materialists “have never observed even one material thing become nothing. Why should the energy reality of a state of awareness [life] ……be the exception to the law of physics that energy is conserved and only transformed?”

I have always appreciated Dr. Thurman’s willingness to take on monolithic prejudices, in the name of science, in response to spiritual questions. I have always felt the wholesale rejection of notions such as the possibility of life after death and the existence of spirit was highly unscientific. In order to step into the universe of life beyond death from the Buddhist perspective, we have to allow ourselves to be disabused of the ways in which we may have unwittingly digested the viewpoints of scientific materialism on these subjects simply because they dominate in our education system.

Robert Thurman Discusses Man of Peace with Isa Gucciardi

Isa Gucciardi sits down with renowned Buddhist scholar, Dr. Robert Thurman, who has co-written a no-holds-barred graphic novel about the life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Sustaining Enlightened Activity in Difficult Times

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

The theme we are going to speak about today is enlightened activity and the courage and dedication that it takes to sustain it.

It has taken courage for each of you to set out on the path toward consciousness in general and the path of Depth Hypnosis in particular. As a client it takes courage and dedication to look deeply at the issues that create obstacles in your life. And as a practitioner, it takes courage to step into the deep levels of integrity that are required to meet another person in the place where they are suffering.

Plant Medicine: An Interview with Isa Gucciardi

Q.  What led you to develop your new series of workshops on plant medicine?

A.  Plants have always been a big focus of interest for me. I started studying Native American herbal medicine when I was 20, and I have studied with some really wonderful teachers. The plants themselves have taught me a tremendous amount. We have other classes where we study the intelligence of plants (Mesa Verde) and explore the use of plants in healing (flower essences, in Advanced Integrated Energy Medicine) here at the Sacred Stream, but I thought it was time now to focus on understanding the intelligence of psychotropic plants in healing.

Sacred Stream Offering Series of Workshops in Iowa's Quad Cities Region This May

Starting May 9, Sacred Stream will be offering some of their most popular workshops in Iowa’s Quad Cities region. Courses available include: Coming to Peace: Methods of Conflict Resolution (Prairiewoods Franciscan Spirituality Center, Hiawatha), Expanding Consciousness: The Four Immeasurables Resolution (Prairiewoods Franciscan Spirituality Center, Hiawatha), Embracing the Sacred Feminine (Our Lady of the Prairie Retreat, Wheatland), Consciousness and Integrated Energy Medicine (Bettendorf Public Library, Bettendorf), and The Path of Service and the Nature of Suffering (Our Lady of the Prairie Retreat, Wheatland).

Embraced by the Sacred Feminine at Menla

By Isa Gucciardi

While I was on my way from California to Menla Retreat in New York, three feet of snow had been falling at Menla. Robert Thurman and I had scheduled our Embracing the Sacred Feminine course at the Spring Equinox with the idea that the Great Mother would be revealing herself through emerging bulbs and leaf buds. The weather in the Catskill Mountains is, however, unpredictable at any season. So, rather than sunning myself under budding apple trees at Menla, I found myself with bare trees, silent snow, and dark nights. Yet the power of the land of Menla became even more evident in the dark sparkle of winter.

Mindful Leadership: Learning to Lead with the Heart and Mind

By Hal Adler

Have you given any thought to how you can be a better leader through mindfulness? This is a topic I’ve been passionate about for years, way before its mainstream acceptance. As mindfulness continues to grow in popularity and becomes the latest health and wellness craze to infiltrate the workplace, it’s as if we’ve finally been given permission to talk about this stuff openly.

A Meeting of the Ways with Diane Solomon and Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.: Embracing the Sacred Feminine at the Spring Equinox

Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D., and Diane Solomon, host of A Meeting of the Ways, continue their discussion about the Spring Equinox and explore the concept of the Sacred Feminine and its relationship to the spring season. They touch upon some important insights about the Sacred Feminine that have emerged from the classes that Isa has taught on the subject for the last 15 years. Isa also talks about her collaboration with thought leader and Buddhist scholar, Dr. Robert Thurman, in co-teaching a class called Embracing the Sacred Feminine, and discusses the role of the feminine within Buddhist philosophy.

Embracing the Feminine

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

As I am preparing to return to Menla Retreat in the beautiful Catskill Mountains in Phoenicia, New York to teach Embracing the Sacred Feminine with Robert Thurman, I am struck by the change in public discourse around the feminine experience that has occurred since the last time we taught this class together. With the ascendance of a president who grants permission, through his words and actions, to publicly humiliate women without negative consequence, others have become emboldened to repudiate women’s rights. This repudiation, demonstrated in the U.S. Senate, demonstrated in the struggle for women’s reproductive rights, and demonstrated in the rejection of a woman president can only be a function of a larger misogyny. Misogyny has always been part of the cultural fabric – not only in the U.S., but also in many, many other cultural settings. Yet the current bald demonstration of it at this point in our history is shocking.