Stream of Consciousness Blog

Imagination and Illusion

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

One of the most common questions I get when teaching The Shamanic Journey workshop at the Foundation of the Sacred Stream is, “But is all this just my imagination?”

It’s understandable that people have confusion between illusion and imagination, because many people use their imagination to enter into the world of illusion. Imagination and illusion have become synonymous, but the truth is your imagination is simply what you can conceive of happening. Essentially, imagination is a pathway to all of the possible experiences your consciousness can have. Imagination provides structures that let us participate in different realities. It’s like a rope bridge across a ravine— it allows you to go to places you would not be able to go with your conscious mind.

Cultivating Peace in Difficult Times (Part 1)

In this historic discussion, Buddhist scholar Robert Thurman and Christian theologian Rev. Matthew Fox examine the difficulties of our times, and offer thoughtful and sometimes humorous ways of cultivating peace individually and collectively. In this segment, Bob and Matt talk about what led them to their respective spiritual paths and how they have navigated the obstacles along the way. Robert Thurman is the co-founder of Tibet House U.S., bestselling author, and recognized worldwide as an authority on religion, spirituality, Asian history, Tibetan Buddhism, and the Dalai Lama. Matthew Fox is an expert on Christian mysticism and Creation Spirituality and the bestselling author of The Coming of the Cosmic Christ.

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

As we move deeper into fall, we are reaping the harvest of our busy spring and summer here at Sacred Stream. We’ve been collaborating with colleagues to create new platforms for carrying out our mission, and they’re changing the way we work to fulfill our mission. Our mission statement says, “We understand that there is a common source of wisdom that underlies all authentic spiritual, cultural and artistic traditions that informs and enlivens them. And while each tradition may take a different form, like plants along a riverbank, each is sustained by the same source. Each workshop we create, each artist or guest teacher we host, and each resource we post is offered to you with the intention of illuminating another way to deepen your own connection to this source, attain a broader perspective, and receive inspiration from it.” These collaborations will multiply our offerings, allowing more people to receive the inspiration and the perspective-altering wisdom of the classes we teach through the Sacred Stream.

Diane Solomon, host of A Meeting of the Ways on KKUP, and Isa Gucciardi discuss the upcoming Science and Non-Duality conference and the pre-conference workshop Isa is presenting with Robert Thurman, The Cool Heroism of the Sacred Feminine in Political Discourse. They also explore questions such as, “What is the nature of non-duality?” And “What does the ‘Cool Heroism of the Sacred Feminine’ point to?”

Light and Sound: the Medicines of the Spirit

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

Energy medicine is very basic to all experience, yet it is quite difficult to speak about. One of the reasons energy medicine is challenging to talk about is that it refers to phenomena beyond the purview of our everyday waking consciousness.

As children we have a wider perception of the subtle experience that underlies our thoughts, words and actions. When we question these perceptions, we may be met with unhelpful responses or inadequate answers because the adults around us have often lost contact with what we are experiencing. Part of “growing up” involves learning to view our reality primarily with our conscious mind’s value system. Our conscious mind values organization, goal-setting, and fitting into consensus reality in a way that does not stray too far from the socially accepted norms we learn to live by as we are growing up.

Our education system focuses on developing this problem-solving state of being, designed to block out anything disorganizing or disorienting. Seeing lights in the corner of the room or an energy wave coming off of a person expressing a strong emotion are the kinds of phenomena that get filtered out by the conscious mind’s priorities of organizing and categorizing our experience.

If we allow ourselves to return to this wider awareness we were born with, and which we engage with through dreaming, we can learn about the subtle energies that surround and inform us even when we are not conscious of them.

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

When the Space Clearing Society doesn’t have any requests for services, we offer healing ceremonies for events that happened in the distant past in places around the globe.

Shamanic healing as a practice is complex. Many of the practices that shamans have engaged with for millennia can seem foreign to modern people, yet at the same time, oddly familiar. One practice has to do with conceiving of time and space in a different way. No shamanic practice is dependent on time or space, and shamans can perform an effective healing on someone who is miles away. They can even offer healing to situations that have already occurred. This is because shamans work “outside of time.”

Many of us do “work outside of time” as we daydream about the future and mull over the past, and that is why this work seems familiar. But when we engage in this way, it is also unfamiliar to think about having a powerful effect on events that lie outside our present experience.

We’ve been working all spring and summer with Embodied Philosophy and Tibet House US to bring speakers together for the free online conference, Wisdom in Exile, which will be held October 5-7, 2018. The focus of the conference will be preserving the wisdom of Tibetan Buddhism, which has been practiced in exile for over half a century.

On this episode, Laura Chandler speaks with Tibetan Buddhist teacher and founder of Nangten Menlang Buddhist Medical Center, Tulku Lobsang Rinpoche. Tulku Lobsang Rinpoche was born to a farming family in Tibet in 1976. He entered the Sowa Monastery at age six, and at age eleven, he went to the Nangzi Bön Monastery, where he studied Dzogchen. Tulku Lobsang was identified by the oracle of Tibet as the incarnation of the master teacher, Tulku Nyentse, and at age thirteen he was enthroned as the eighth incarnation of this master teacher. Tulku Lobsang has received teachings in all of the Tibetan Buddhist traditions, and teaches and lectures throughout the world on the subjects of Tibetan Medicine, Buddhism, and Astrology.

A Meeting of Christianity and Buddhism

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

Last year I was asked to give a review for the cover of The Lotus and the Rose, a new book by Matthew Fox and Lama Tsomo. The book is the result of a series of workshops they’ve taught together that focus on the relationship between Christian and Buddhist teachings. I was so drawn in by the new perspectives they offer, particularly about Christianity, that I almost missed the most significant aspect of the book; it is a collaboration between two belief systems.

Restoring the Health of the Planet

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

Fires in California, chemical and oil spills, deadly heatwaves in India, floods in Japan, the extinction of species after species…

People are often uncertain of how they can protect the wellbeing of the planet in these calamitous times. While it can be overwhelming, it’s important to realize we can create change by engaging in social activism, and by individually and collectively aligning ourselves with the forces of nature, just as shamans have done since time immemorial. With the Circles for the Earth, shamanic practitioners gather to create positive change by focusing on a common intention.

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