Stream of Consciousness Blog

Buddhism Offers a Solution to Hopelessness

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and the epidemic of depression raging across the world will be the single biggest contributor to the overall burden of disease of all health conditions by 2030. Suicides by high profile personalities such as Robin Williams, Anthony Bourdain, and Kate Spade have triggered a widespread effort to understand what causes people to suffer so much that they find suicide to be a viable option.

When I first began practicing Buddhism, a teacher told me that everything is an illusion – so my suffering was an illusion. All I needed to do was to let go of the illusion of myself and the suffering would go away. This was not helpful. In my view, spiritual practice which encourages the student to “Just let go of the self!” or “Just let go of the pain!” is misguided.

Yoga Teacher Advanced Studies Seminar

Join an online community of Yoga Teachers and Practitioners in a monthly exploration of yoga philosophy, anatomy, research, therapeutics, and ethics.

The Yoga Teacher Advanced Studies Seminar is a response to the evolving need for quality continuing education programming in the yoga teaching community.

The level of proficiency in philosophy, anatomy, ethics, and therapeutics is minimal in those teachers who recently completed their 200 hour training, and even in those teachers who have been teaching for a number of years.

This seminar was designed both for teachers looking to keep the learning process alive and for those yoga practitioners who are just plain interested in the fascinating world of yoga philosophy, practice, research and scholarship.

Jami Sieber Podcast

On this episode, Laura Chandler is joined by the multi-talented composer, singer, and electric cellist, Jami Sieber. Jami creates lush soundscapes using her voice and the cello through a process called “looping” that turns her solo instrument into an orchestra of heart-opening sound. Since launching her solo career in 1994, she has performed throughout the Europe, Asia, and North America to rave reviews. Her compositions have appeared in film and television and the critically acclaimed video game, Braid. In part one of this two-part interview with Jami, we discuss her early work in the award-winning pop-rock band, Rumors of the Big Wave, a socially conscious band that came of age during the aids epidemic in the 1980s. She also talks about her solo career, as well as her dedication to social activism, the environment, and her relationship to music, spirit, and the creative process.

Video Archival Project

Help us preserve timeless wisdom and culture and make it accessible for free to everyone with our Video Archival Project – now live thru July 18 on IndieGoGo.

Listening to the Sacred Earth

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

If we listen, the earth has much to tell us. When humans lived closer to the earth, they understood that great wisdom was held in the trees, the plants, the rocks and the sea. They communicated with the earth, and learned ways of listening to the wisdom she had to offer. For example, the shaman of a tribe is often described as talking to the plants to learn the nature of their medicine. Ways of gathering this kind wisdom are still preserved by many indigenous cultures. The vision quest and the shamanic journey are just two examples of these processes that are accessible to us today.

Healing Your Mind by Dropping into Your Heart

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

Sometimes people come into my office struggling with a problem, and whenever they try to address it, they find themselves stuck in “mind loops.” Mind loops are characterized by sequences of labyrinthine reasoning containing dead ends and knotted thoughts that fold back on themselves without producing the hoped-for clarity.

People who experience this type of mental confusion are usually viewed as having a high level of intellectual intelligence, and tend to work in professions that require the use of their intellect. These people are able to generate logic sequences that make them valuable contributors at work. This capacity, however, can often send the same people into mental traps when they try to apply these logic sequences to experiences that do not necessarily respond to logic.

Helen Palmer

This episode features international bestselling author and pioneer of the Enneagram, Helen Palmer, in conversation with Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D., creator of Depth Hypnosis and the author of Coming to Peace. Moderated by The Net and the Butterfly author Judah Pollack, this discussion takes place in front of a live audience at the Sacred Stream Center in Berkeley, CA. Topics covered in this talk include intuition, somatic processes, the early origins of the Enneagram, Buddhism, and how Helen came to be one of the early pioneers of this fascinating model.

Repatterning Life Transitions and Initiations

By Isa Gucciardi PhD

Within each of our lives, we have important moments of transition, which we experience in our bodies, that can be understood as initiations into a new way of being. Birth, death, puberty, the sexual encounter, becoming a parent, and for women menstruation, menopause, and giving birth, are all potent initiations we experience in our lifetimes. Each of these initiations holds powerful information and the possibility of transforming long held patterns that no longer serve us.

This bonus episode of the Sacred Stream Radio Podcast contains a preview of the newest podcast from Wondery called American Innovations.

American Innovations isn’t your typical science podcast – because you’ll not only hear about the science behind some of the greatest innovations of the last century, you’ll also be immersed in the dramatic moments behind the people, places, and time that lead to those “ah ha” moments.

You can hear the first 3 episodes right now by searching for American Innovations on Apple Podcasts, or by visiting wondery.fm/sacred.

Safeguarding Birth, Invoking the Sacred

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

From the moment we are born until the moment we die, women are constantly engaged in the processes of creation, creativity, and change. For much of our lives, through our monthly cycles, our bodies create forms to prepare to receive new life, and if that new life is not received, a process of destruction of those forms takes place.

When we give birth, in the process of becoming a mother, our old sense of self as an independent being falls away, and, in defining ourselves, we include the needs of another in a very real and intimate way. As a woman goes into labor, however, the new definition of self as a mother who includes the identity of her child as part of her own self-identity has not quite gelled, and the old definition of self as a single, unitary being is challenged. As this challenge occurs, the power that was binding together the old form – the independent woman – is released. This power is then available to create the new form – the mother.

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