Buddhism

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.

Cultivating Peace in Difficult Times Part 2

In part two of this historic conversation, Buddhist scholar Robert Thurman and Christian theologian Rev. Matthew Fox discuss their experience as monastics in their respective traditions, and what we can learn from societies throughout history that have been largely peaceful. Referencing the great teachers who have influenced them, they dive into a thoughtful and often humorous examination of how we might cultivate peace in our time. 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 and the bestselling author of The Coming of the Cosmic Christ. This talk takes place at the Sacred Stream Center, a school for consciousness studies in Berkeley, CA.

Tulku Lobsang Rinpoche

In the conclusion of this two-part interview, Laura Chandler continues her conversation with Buddhist teacher and the founder of Nangten Menlang Buddhist Medical Center, Tulku Lobsang Rinpoche. Tulku Lobsang is the recognized reincarnation of the great Tibetan Buddhist master Tulku Nyentse. At age 17, he escaped Tibet, was caught, and after spending time in a Chinese prison, successfully escaped to Nepal.

In this episode, Tulku Lobsang explains how discovering true happiness within yourself is the wisdom of Buddhism, and offers an important teaching from Machig Labdrön, Tibetan Buddhism’s great female yogini. He also shares his thoughts on the future of Buddhism and his upcoming teachings in Europe and the U.S.

Cultivating Peace in Difficult Times (Part 1)

In this historic discussion, Buddhist scholar Robert Thurman and Christian theologian Rev. Matthew Fox examine the difficulties of our times, and offer thoughtful and sometimes humorous ways of cultivating peace individually and collectively. In this segment, Bob and Matt talk about what led them to their respective spiritual paths and how they have navigated the obstacles along the way. 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 and the bestselling author of The Coming of the Cosmic Christ.

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.

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