Stream of Consciousness Blog

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.

Sacred Stream Solstice and Equinox Drum Circles

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

On the fall equinox of 1995, the Foundation of the Sacred Stream held its first drum circle. There were only five of us, but we happily settled into the Redwood Room, a room literally made of redwood in an old house in San Francisco, CA. We drummed together, focusing on a journey about the season. The shamanic journey is a method of going inward to connect with inner guidance that usually takes a form drawn from nature. The sound of a repetitive drum or other instrument helps people alter their focus, enabling them to perceive information coming from within.

I didn’t realize it then, but this circle would be the first of many. During every solstice and equinox since then, we have hosted a drum circle to honor our relationship to the seasons. When I look back over the years, I see the hundreds of faces that have passed through these circles. At some circles, we have had more than fifty people in attendance. At others, only a handful. But everyone who comes is looking to connect with the earth and the season in a meaningful way.

The Shamanic Practices of Space Clearing: Part One

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

It was a foggy summer day in 2003, and as I was trying to ascertain if the fog had any intention of clearing, the phone rang. I answered it and the voice at the other end spoke in a hushed tone, “Look, you are going to think I am crazy, but I think we have ghosts. Someone said you might know what to do about that.”

The woman calling was one of the administrative managers at a non-profit foundation that had taken up residence in the Presidio, a former military installation that had been turned over to the National Park Service several years before. When I assured her that I didn’t think she was crazy and that there might be something I could do to help, she opened up.

She said, “Well, we have a whole section of our offices that people are just refusing to work in. Some say they feel chills when they go there, others say they see shadows in the ladies’ room mirrors, and we often hear the doors open and close when no one is near them. The electrical system has shorted out for no apparent reason at least four times in the last three months. We really don’t know what to do. We are paying rent for that part of the building, and we need to be able to use it.”

As it turns out, they were housed in a building that had been a military hospital from 1898 until it closed in 1994. Many wounded soldiers spent time recovering in that building. There was also a psychiatric ward, and many people who had experienced a great deal of trauma passed through the building for nearly one hundred years.

Finding Myself on the Path

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

In the summer of 2013 Thupten Jinpa, His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s principle English language interpreter, asked me if the Foundation of the Sacred Stream would be willing to host a group of Tibetan Buddhist monks from the Gaden Shartse Dokhang. His former monastic house had fallen on difficult times, and he felt a year-long cross-cultural exchange tour in the United States would help them out of those difficulties. I had no idea what it would entail to host such a tour, but if Jinpa asked me to create a bridge to the far side of the moon, I would figure out a way to do it. I was honored to be asked, and there was no question in my mind that I would help him.

Are All Past Lives Traumatic

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

Question: It seems like all the past lives I contact with Depth Hypnosis are traumatic in nature. Do we have happy past lives?

The concept of reincarnation is found in many spiritual traditions. To my mind, the tradition that best articulates the relationship between our previous lives and our current life is Buddhism. In that tradition, there is a concept called a “sanskara.” A sanskara is an imprint that contains information about the focus of the mind at the time of death. The information contained in this imprint is considered to be at least part of the focus upon which the next lifetime is based. For this reason, Tenzin Wangyal, a well-known Buddhist teacher, says, “If you want to know what your past life was, look at your current life. If you want to know what your future life will be, look at your present life.”

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