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Life in the Time of COVID-19

By Laura Chandler

I’m fired up! I just read the most myopic “opinion” piece on a well-respected news site and it has me boiling. Not only is the news site prominent, the positioning of this opinion piece was, too. I like opinion pieces. I often learn things when I read them. However, after reading this, I was left feeling irritated and wondering how anyone could find this opinion useful. I am not going to site the article here, simply because I feel when people behave in this way, they are pretty clueless that they are behaving badly, and I don’t want to bash anyone. What I would like to do is point out the significance of focusing on what is important and what we all have to learn. This isn’t going away anytime soon, and we need to develop some tools for coping if we haven’t already.

Resisting Fear: Courage and Determination in Hard Times

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

These are difficult times for many people. Many of us have been increasingly distressed about the political situation, the destruction of the natural environment, the deterioration of social networks, and increasing financial insecurity. Now we have an invisible threat to our health in the form of the coronavirus that is spreading rapidly around the world.

Given all of the conflicting information about the virus, we are trying to discern what is real and what is not. It is difficult to make decisions about daily activities because the presence of the coronavirus and its effects are so unpredictable. It is in times like these that a spiritual practice is especially helpful because it provides a compass that is not dependent on external opinions or other people’s fears and hopes.

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

Integrated Energy Medicine is the most subtle aspect of Depth Hypnosis, and also one of the most important features of the model. In addition to providing access to information about subtle experience influencing presenting symptoms, it is an important tool in healing.

With Integrated Energy Medicine, fields of light and sound can be focused by practitioners and guides to help clients move through resistance and blocks. These fields are used to support clients working at any level. They are especially helpful for those who are venturing into new and sometimes uncomfortable spaces within themselves for the first time. They can also be used to reconfigure and retrain patterns of experience and behavior arising from the deepest levels of the psyche.

It Takes a Village

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

When I received an invitation to give teachings at a local dharma center, I was happy to accept. The center had faced some difficult times, and its members were trying to navigate a major reorganization. I hoped our collaboration might help them as they began charting new territory.

If you have ever walked into a room where people have been arguing, you might have felt uncomfortable – even if the argument is over and the people have left. This can happen because there is an unseen, but felt, imprint of the emotions and experience expressed in the argument. Imprints like these can stay in spaces for long periods of time after events have happened.

The Relationship between Tsongkhapa and Manjushri

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

Tsongkhapa, a Buddha in the Land of Snows is Buddhist scholar Thupten Jinpa’s contribution to Shambhala Publications’ series, The Lives of the Masters, which seeks to memorialize the contributions of some of the most important thinkers in Buddhist philosophy. Jinpa’s book decisively puts Tsongkhapa on the map, not only as an outstanding philosopher of Buddhism, but as one of the great logicians of the last thousand years. This scholarly biography reveals Tsongkhapa’s life and teachings in a refreshingly accessible way. Tsongkhapa lived from 1357-1419 and is considered one of the greatest Buddhist philosophers and teachers that ever lived. He is known for his many accomplishments, not the least of which is his role in the Ganden Renaissance. The Ganden Renaissance brought new scholarship, new interpretations of traditional teachings, and established new centers of study in Mahayana Buddhism. An interesting undercurrent of this renaissance was the relationship between Tsongkhapa and the Tibetan deity, Manjushri.

The-Inspiring-Activism-of-Rigoberta-Menchu

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

I find inspiration in the stories of people who have seen a need and tried to meet it. Be they healers, activists, politicians, leaders, or every day people who do the right thing in a difficult situation. These are people who stand up to oppression, or try to bring justice to places where none exists. For that reason, I have decided to create this series on Inspiring People.

Rigoberta Menchú Tum is an activist for indigenous rights in Guatemala. She was born to a poor family of K’iche’ Maya descent in rural Guatemala at the beginning of the country’s civil war, which lasted from 1960 to 1996. She became an activist against human rights violations committed by the Guatemalan armed forces during the war.

Winter Solstice Morning at the Sacred Stream

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

I have what has become an annual ritual. I arrive at the Sacred Stream Center close to dawn on the morning of the winter solstice, after the longest night of the year. As I enter the garden, I see the silhouette of a great redwood tree. I remember the long, hot summer days and fogless nights where I fretted about its well-being and offered it water and prayers. The last of the leaves from a Japanese maple fall before me as I push the gate closed and start down the stone path to turn on the fountains. Immediately, hummingbirds arrive for their winter bath. Not far behind them is a mother raven with her beak full of dried bread, looking to soften it in the fountain’s waters. The light is dawning, and it touches the fat rose hips and the ripening lemons around me, a dance of pink and yellow in the semi-darkness.

Everybody Hurts: When Those You Love are Grieving

By Laura Chandler

As the REM song says, “Everybody hurts, sometimes.” It is the inescapable truth we all share as humans. We are going to experience pain. The holidays are a particular source of pain for people who have lost loved ones. Those celebratory holiday gatherings and fun parties can be a source of sorrow as they remind us of what is missing from our lives. Often times, for those who have lost a close friend or family member, the holidays are a time to withdraw, and a time to seek refuge in the quiet of solitude rather than the rush of holiday fervor. So, how do you help someone who is grieving?

The Life and Work of Albert Schweitzer

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

Albert Schweitzer became one of my first heroes when I read his biography at 8 years old. It was the first time I understood that there were people in the world who did not have access to the help they needed when they were sick. This was very distressing to me. I wanted to go to Africa to help.

How Depth Hypnosis Helped Me Become A Better Parent

By Melanie Robins

When I put my infant daughter onto the bed, my hands could not bear to hold her for one more second. It was as if the hot, bubbling rage ripping through my veins had thrust her from my arms to protect her from getting burned. As she landed on the bed with a giggle, the spell broke and I was slammed back to consciousness. While she thought we were playing an exhilarating game, I knew I needed help.

Regretfully, the story does not end there. I did this more times than I can stomach. As her will came forward, there was more resistance around sleep and more frustration for us both. The constant need since birth for me to participate in her sleep process took its toll. While not every day was horrible, there were some difficult and shameful moments where I blew my top and yelled, slammed doors, and shook with rage.

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