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How to Connect With Your Wise Self

The “Wise Self” is the part of you that is always calm, peaceful, nonjudgmental, and compassionate. In Buddhism, this part of the self is called your “Buddha Nature.” It is a witness to all the experiences you have, and it cannot be broken or damaged. When you are connected to this part of yourself, you can rest in the present moment and be aware of what’s happening around you without feeling pulled in.

Can Depth Hypnosis Help Me Get Over My Breakup?

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

Question: I broke up with my boyfriend a while ago, but the pain still feels overwhelming. I’m not moving on at all. Part of me wants to be back in a relationship and part of me is relieved it’s over. Can Depth Hypnosis help me get over my breakup and move on?

Isa: What you’re describing sounds like an internal split, where part of you wants to be in the relationship and part of you does not. The tension and lack of resolution between these two parts is probably what’s making it hard for you to move on. Journaling can be a very helpful tool for understanding these two conflicting parts of yourself. For example, you can list all the reasons you want to be in the relationship, and then list all the reasons you are relieved to be out of the relationship. As you do this, the position of each part will become clear.

How Do I Find My Purpose

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

Question: I feel a lot of pressure to find my purpose. I’m starting to think I’m never going to find it. Everyone in my life seems to know what they’re good at and have things “figured out,” and deep down I’m wondering if I even have a purpose. How do I find my purpose?

Isa: The best way to figure out your purpose is to identify the activities and experiences that bring you happiness. Think of an activity you enjoy—drawing, making model planes, playing computer games, watching the sunset, baking cakes. It could be anything.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

You may have read my article, “Driving with Bob,” which talks about the existential fun that is a feature of driving around with Robert Thurman. We have had many adventures behind the wheel, as I often volunteer to take him up and down the California coast to his various commitments when he is out West. It is always a pleasure for me to be able support him in this way, and, as I point out in the article, there is seldom a dull moment with Bob around. We did have a moment driving in traffic on the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge the last time he was in town that could have been a bit duller to my way of thinking.

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

I am often asked how people can know if the shamanic path is a path that is right for them. Of course, this is a very important question – but only the individual can really know if the shamanic path is right for them. When people ask me this question, I ask, “Have you had anything out of the ordinary happen to you? You may have had anomalous experiences – you may have felt a shift in the light and a sense of a presence of something unseen. Or perhaps you have vivid dreams while those around report never dreaming, or perhaps you have had an illness or a calamity befall you which has changed you and separated you from those around you. And you may have set off on a path to try to understand these experiences.” If this is the case, it is likely that education related to the shamanic path will be helpful to you.

Spiritual Maturity and Depth Hypnosis

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

People often ask me if Depth Hypnosis is like psychotherapy. If psychotherapy is a process of identifying psychological disturbance and then talking about it, possibly while working with prescription drugs to reduce symptoms, then it cannot be said that Depth Hypnosis is psychotherapy. In Depth Hypnosis there is no process of diagnosis and no use of medication. Rather, it is more a process of inquiry and discovery – particularly about client experience that might be hidden or unknown.

In “The Ten Lessons of Psychedelic Psychotherapy, Rediscovered” Neal M. Goldsmith suggests that it might be more accurate to look at symptoms of imbalance such as anxiety and depression as an indicator of spiritual immaturity rather than as an indicator of psychological pathology. This is an intriguing idea – and certainly one that resonates with the practice of Depth Hypnosis.

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