Applied Buddhist Psychology

Driving with Bob One Short Day on Tour with Robert Thurman

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

Venus was rising in the eastern sky as we headed south for the next event where Robert Thurman was presenting a paper. This was to be the third major lecture he would deliver within thirty-six hours, and Bob was full of energy, settling into his computer to finalize the notes for this lecture.

As I drove, dawn illuminated the hills and valleys. The clouds on the horizon echoed their undulations. There were no other cars on the road. I had never been to the old mansion where the conference was taking place, and I was a little worried about my navigational skills.

Jinpa Means Generosity

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

The morning after Jinpa left, the Tibetan Buddhist monks of the Gaden Shartse Dohkang who had been staying with us for several months, were sitting around our breakfast table with us as they did each morning. But this morning, we were all a bit shell-shocked. As we sat together, we all felt that we were sitting still in the presence of Jinpa.

We drank our tea, and I tried to eat the lovingly prepared, cold, very fried eggs. But none of us really had much of an appetite. We were all trying to digest our good fortune at having just spent forty-eight hours of completely unstructured time with Thupten Jinpa.

Book Review: A Fearless Heart: How the Courage to Be Compassionate Can Transform our Lives

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

Dr. Thupten Jinpa’s new book, A Fearless Heart: How the Courage to be Compassionate Can Transform our Lives, is a very important new book. For those of you who may think you do not know who Thupten Jinpa is, you probably have met him without realizing it. He has been His Holiness, the Dalai Lama’s principle English language interpreter and translator since 1987.

Reflections on Menla September 2014

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

Menla means Medicine Buddha in Tibetan, but I think the esoteric translation must be “magic.” Menla Mountain Retreat Center, located in the Catskill Mountains in New York, is a place unto itself. You arrive at Menla Mountain via a narrow road, which has turned off another small road. A sign at the turn off says “Dead End.” Perhaps not coincidentally, you are actually entering a crater created several million years ago, when a meteorite filled with all types of unearthly metals crashed into the site. The magnetic field, which still exists there today, is palpable, and it does a good job of interrupting all types of modern communication systems.

Healing Beyond the Conscious Mind

Once we have become conscious of our issues, we must then go beyond our consciousness to truly transform them. In today’s episode, Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D. discusses how altering consciousness through hypnosis, meditation, and the shamanic journey can lead to deep and long lasting healing. From this perspective, Isa offers a brief introduction to several of the programs offered by Foundation of the Sacred Stream.

The Future of Buddhism in the West

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

Arnold Toynbee, the noted British historian, remarked that the most important event for the West in the twentieth century was to be its encounter with Buddhism. We in the West are still in the early days of this encounter and there are still many facets of this encounter that have yet to be worked out or made evident. Yet, by examining the challenges that have arisen in this encounter, we may be able to discern the trajectory of the future of Buddhism in the West.

The Eightfold Path as an Ethical Compass in the Therapeutic Environment

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

Ethics is generally defined as a process of determining right and wrong conduct or as the study of morality. In many traditions, both sacred and secular, there is an effort to come up with a set of principles to govern behavior. In many traditions, there is an emphasis on “what bad thing will happen if you don’t do the right thing.” The motivator to good behavior is fear. This is an effective method of crowd control when the luxury of understanding personal motivation and intention cannot be understood on a case-by-case basis. But it falls short in creating conditions under which people can learn how to truly trust their motivation and intention in making decisions regarding their conduct.

Depth Hypnosis: Where Fierce Compassion and the Path of the Wounded Healer Converge

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

Dr. Robert Thurman, noted Buddhist scholar, has stated that the future of Buddhism in the West lies in meditational therapies. One such meditational therapy is Depth Hypnosis. Depth Hypnosis is a therapeutic model that incorporates the wisdom of two very ancient healing and spiritual modalities (Buddhism and shamanism) with two more modern approaches (hypnotherapy and transpersonal psychology) to address emotional and spiritual imbalance.

Buddhism, Ethics, and Psychology

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D. and Laura Chandler

The idea that there is a connection between Buddhism, in particular mindfulness practice that is derived from the principles of the Eightfold Path, and psychology, is not new. There are numerous books, research studies, and even college courses on the subject.

Many prominent psychologists, theorists, and scholars have cited the relevance of Buddhism. Leading Buddhist scholar and professor at Columbia University, Robert Thurman, in his book Infinite Life, suggests that Buddhism is the original psychology. Most recently, cognitive psychology has given the most attention to the study of Buddhism, mindfulness practice, and meditation. Yet, interest in these subjects dates back to the origins of the field.

Geshe Pema Dorjee on the Nature of Compassion

Today’s episode is an excerpt from a lecture by Tibetan monk Geshe Pema Dorjee.

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