Wisdom and Compassion in Health Care: Buddhist Perspectives

Registration fee: $25; Free for UCSF or CIIS Students, Faculty, and Staff.
No one turned away for lack of funds. Contact david@drbullard.com for more information.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Join us for renowned Tibetan Buddhist scholar and Columbia University Professor Dr. Robert A.F. Thurman in conversation with Dr. Isa Gucciardi and Dr. David Bullard, exploring the path of service for health providers, informed by Buddhist and Earth Wisdom teachings.

Within many spiritual traditions, there is an emphasis on service to others. In Buddhism, it is understood that the effort to be of service in the most beneficial and effective way is a path toward one’s own spiritual awakening. It is therefore important to consider that we in the healing profession have chosen not only to help others, but to further our own development. This is an important understanding as we face the challenges of learning how to help others more effectively and what is appropriate to ask of ourselves.

Buddhist science of consciousness offers important insights into non-self and emptiness, and practices such as mindfulness, patience and tolerance. In earth-based wisdom traditions, or eco-psychology, the call to service is a path that deepens one’s relationship to the mysteries of life. As clinicians, these perspectives can help us explore the deeper meanings in our choices – and point us toward understandings that can support us both in the clinical setting and in our lives. In this conversation, Professor Thurman will be speaking about these teachings.

The program will start with a short introduction and experience of seated yoga presented by Nora Burnett CIYT. Nora has taught Iyengar Yoga for 30 years, including classes of all levels, topical workshops, retreats, and Teacher Education, primarily at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco.

Robert A.F. Thurman, Ph.D., recently retired after many years as the Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia University, he is President of the Tibet House U.S., a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Tibetan civilization and is President of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies, a non-profit affiliated with the Center for Buddhist Studies at Columbia University and dedicated to the publication of translations of important artistic and scientific treatises from the Tibetan Tengyur. TIME Magazine chose Professor Thurman as one of its 25 most influential Americans in 1997, describing him as a larger than life scholar-activist destined to convey the Dharma, the precious teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha, from Asia to America. The New York Times recently said Thurman is considered the leading American expert on Tibetan Buddhism.

David Bullard, Ph.D., Clinical professor in the departments of medicine and psychiatry at UCSF where he consults with outpatient palliative care staff of the symptom management service and with spiritual care services. A contributing writer for psychotherapy.net, he has interviewed leading trauma therapists such as Bessel van der Kolk M.D. and Allan Schore, Ph.D., and Buddhist thinkers Thupten Jinpa, Ph.D., Robert Thurman, Ph.D., and Mark Epstein, M.D. In addition to a 40-year private practice of psychotherapy, couple therapy and teaching at UCSF, David has led workshops at San Francisco and Green Gulch Zen Centers, Tibet House US (New York City), and in Israel and Brazil.

Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D., Founding Director and Primary Teacher, Foundation of the Sacred Stream, Berkeley, CA. holds degrees and certificates in transpersonal psychology, cultural and linguistic anthropology, comparative religion, hypnotherapy, and transformational healing. She has been a dedicated Buddhist practitioner for forty years and has spent over thirty years studying spiritual, therapeutic, and meditative techniques from around the world. Isa has worked with master teachers of Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism and Sufism, as well as expert shamanic practitioners from a variety of traditions. Isa is the creator of Depth Hypnosis, teaches and speaks nationally and internationally, and has published numerous articles, podcast episodes, videos, and the books Coming to Peace and Return to the Great Mother. She maintains a private practice with institutions and individuals in Depth Hypnosis and Coming to Peace processes. Isa speaks five languages and has lived in eleven countries. She is the mother of two children and lives with her partner in San Francisco

Note: A majority of funds raised will be donated to the International Rescue Committee.


Registration available at ucsf.edu.


The Rev. Peter Yuichi Clark, Ph.D., BCC
ACPE Certified Educator
Director of Spiritual Care Services

The Rev. Susan P. Conrad, BCC
Manager of Spiritual Care Services

Chaplain Pegi Walker
Program Coordinator, Music is Good Medicine
Spiritual Care Services
UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital

Michael W. Rabow, MD
Director, Symptom Management Service
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Director, Symptom Management & Palliative Care Consultation Service
UCSF/Bakar Hospital
Helen Diller Family Chair in Palliative Care
Professor of Clinical Medicine and Urology

Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.
Founding Director, Foundation of the Sacred Stream, Berkeley, CA


Spiritual Care Services, UCSF Medical Center
and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital
Symptom Management Service, Division of Palliative Medicine,
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, UCSF
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, UCSF
Bayview Zendo (San Rafael)
California Institute of Integral Studies
Foundation for the Sacred Stream (Berkeley)
Ketamine Research Foundation (San Rafael)
KUNDE Institute: Center for Tibetan Wellness and Healing (Daly City; Berkeley)
San Francisco Psychotherapy Research Group
San Francisco Zen Center
Tibet House US (New York City)

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UCSF Cole Hall Auditorium