Buddhism

The Sacred Land of Menla: A Season of Ceremony

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

The fall season is upon us and I am reminded how, for many people, now and in times past, this is a time for gathering together to mark the change of light and to give thanks. The act of ceremony brings us into deeper communion with ourselves, with others, and the natural world around us. To mark this season of the fall equinox, I gathered with a group of students for a drum circle in the sanctuary of the Sacred Stream Center. When the drumming began, the late afternoon light filled the wooden rafters that arched over us. It streamed in through the century-old stained glass, dimming bit by bit in much the same way the days will shorten and the light will continue to dim until we meet again at the winter solstice drum circle, when the cycle will reverse and the days will grow longer once more.

The Journey: Buddhism and Shamanism at the Crossroads

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

We live in a time of paradox. On the one hand, wars and conflicts of all sorts rage all around us. The Earth is buckling under the effect of them. We also live in a time where there are opportunities for innovative solutions to our situation. We could focus on different types of innovations – technology, new ways of doing business, and more. But here, I would like to focus on the new spiritual and healing possibilities that are emerging to address this crisis. These approaches to addressing the difficulties of the current time can help us explore consciousness in ways that might not be accessible in less tumultuous times.

Compassion, the US Open, and a Blueprint for Saving the World

By Laura Chandler

Something remarkable happened at the US Open this year when Naomi Osaka (currently ranked #1 in the world in women’s tennis) defeated 15-year-old tennis sensation, Coco Gauff in the third round. Naomi consoled a crying Coco on the sidelines. She told her it was alright to cry, then invited her to stay and join her for the post-match on court interview where she praised Coco for her talent. This display of sportsmanship was not only kind; it illustrated something even more significant about human nature and our ability to be strong and compassionate, simultaneously.

Mindfulness In Leadership

Work is a lot of things. It’s fun and rewarding, challenging and exciting. It’s also hard a lot of the time and for most of us it can be a place of real struggle.

In order to thrive, today’s leaders need to develop many different kinds of tools. Trainings around things like presentation skills and strategic planning are relatively accessible. The real differentiator though is less about these kinds of visible skills and more about something that might be described as invisible: Mindfulness.

Buddhist Meditation in Depth Hypnosis

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

Depth Hypnosis is a therapeutic process that blends elements of Shamanism, Buddhism, transpersonal psychology, hypnotherapy, and energy medicine. Buddhism is one of the main engines of Depth Hypnosis, and meditation is one of many tools we use to help clients alter their state of consciousness. Meditation enables clients to shift their focus from their “thinking minds” to their inner experience.

Podcast: Episode 51: Pema Dorjee

In this episode, guest host Isa Gucciardi, interviews the venerable Tibetan Buddhist monk and teacher, Geshe Pema Dorjee. Geshe Pema Dorjee is a tireless advocate of the poor and disenfranchised in Nepal and India, especially children. He has dedicated his life to helping stop human trafficking and travels the world to raise funds for his many altruistic projects and often brings those funds to remote villages, which sometimes requires days of walking to the final destination.

Geshe Pema Dorje was the Director of the Tibetan Children’s Village School in Dharamsala for many years and has helped thousands of displaced children gain an education and find their way. In 1995, he became the first Principal of the College for Higher Tibetan Studies and in 2001, His Holiness the Dalai Lama asked him to revive and promote the Bodong tradition of Tibet, and he became the founder and Director of the Bodong Research and Publication Center.

Who is Tara?

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

One of the oldest Stone Age artifacts that has been recovered is a small statue of a full-bodied woman carved from limestone. The statue was named the Woman of Willendorf, after the small village where it was found in southern Austria, and is estimated to be around thirty thousand years old. Many similar statues dating to the early Stone Age have been discovered throughout Europe and beyond. Expressions of the feminine have been found in the art, mythologies and spiritual practices of many ancient cultures, often represented in the form of female deities and goddesses.

Ancient images of Quan Yin, the goddess of mercy, have been found in China, Korea, Thailand and throughout southern Asia. Pachamama, the goddess of the Earth and time, has long been depicted in the traditions of the Andes Mountains of South America in stories and art. Long before Mary, the embodiment of the great feminine in Christianity, Middle Eastern and African cultures revered Isis, who presided over the other gods, life, and death. Images of Kunapipi and Eingana, the mother goddesses of the Australian aboriginal cultures, have been found in rock art dating back at least ten thousand years.

Sacred Stream Radio Podcast: Episode 48: Robert Thurman

On this episode, Laura Chandler speaks with bestselling author and scholar, Robert Thurman, who was in town for the Science and Non-Duality Conference in San Jose (SAND). Bob is a recognized worldwide authority on religion and spirituality, Asian history, and Indo-Tibetan Buddhism. He is the co-founder of Tibet House and the author of many books, including Infinite Life and Why the Dalai Lama Matters. In this interview, Bob and Laura talk about the conference, his latest book, a graphic novel about the Dalai Lama – Man of Peace: The Illustrated Life History of the Dalai Lama of Tibet, and some of Bob’s favorite subjects, like the dogma of materialism, the absurd belief that nothing exists, and how Buddha actually discovered relativity.

Cultivating Peace in Difficult Times Part 3

In part three of this historic meeting, leading Buddhist scholar Robert Thurman and Christian theologian Rev. Matthew Fox, discuss the men and women who inspire them, including the Dalai Lama, Gandhi, Meister Eckhart, and Hildegard of Bingen. They offer insight into creating more compassion in our lives and hope for cultivating a more compassionate world. 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. He has written over 35 books and is the bestselling author of The Coming of the Cosmic Christ. Isa Gucciardi moderates this talk that takes place at the Sacred Stream Center, a school for consciousness studies, in Berkeley, CA.

Lama Tsultrim Allione

On this episode, Laura Chandler is joined by author and Tibetan Buddhist teacher, Lama Tsultrim Allione. Lama Tsultrim is currently on a European book tour to support her latest book, Wisdom Rising: Journey into the Mandala of the Empowered Feminine. In this conversation, Lama Tsultrim talks about the mandala practices in her book and her focus on making certain practices of Tibetan Buddhism relevant and impactful for contemporary practitioners. She also addresses many current political and spiritual topics, including sexual misconduct by spiritual teachers, the #metoo movement, and the role of women spiritual teachers in Tibetan Buddhism.

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