Stream of Consciousness Blog

Video: Focus, Relax, and Breathe!: A Samatha Meditation Exercise with Isa Gucciardi

Video: Focus, Relax, and Breathe!: A Samatha Meditation Exercise with Isa Gucciardi

In this video with Isa Gucciardi, you will learn about samatha meditation, which can help you step outside of your usual way of thinking about things. You will learn how to focus on your breath and learn how this can help you bring your mind into a calm, aware state. You will be able to work experientially so that you have an opportunity to try meditating with help and guidance. As you practice meditation, you can develop a broader awareness of yourself and the world around you. You can learn how to focus and concentrate better in your everyday life. This can help reduce anxiety and help you feel better. Developing relaxed focus can also help you solve problems and make decisions with more self-confidence. For more information on meditation, see sacredstream.org.

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Video: Applied Shamanic Healing Practices: Part 3: Techniques that Can Enhance Your Home or Office

Video: Applied Shamanic Healing Practices: Part 3: Techniques that Can Enhance Your Home or Office

Have you ever walked into a room and felt a sudden loss of energy? This experience is often difficult to quantify or describe, but anyone who has encountered this problem knows there is something that is creating a difference in their mood. From a shamanic point of view, psychic imprints from events that have occurred in a space can continue to effect events or circumstances there after the original event has occurred. To remedy imbalances caused in this way, shamanic practitioners will clear the space. In this video, Isa Gucciardi describes how to recognize when a space needs clearing, as well as some basic techniques for clearing space. For more information on Applied Shamanism, see sacredstream.org.

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Video: Applied Shamanic Healing Practices: Part 2: Techniques that Can Help You Maintain Better Personal Boundaries

Video: Applied Shamanic Healing Practices: Part 2: Techniques that Can Help You Maintain Better Personal Boundaries

Shamanism is an ancient wisdom system that has been practiced around the world in many different cultures and in many different times and places. Shamans are the doctors, mediators, educators, diviners, and ceremonialists of the communities they serve. In this video, Isa Gucciardi explores a common experience that we often do not have words to explain. This is the experience of feeling weighed down by others or the feeling of being drained by someone else. We usually think about these experiences as a problem with personal boundaries if we understand them at all. In shamanic forms of healing, these phenomena are well understood and are described as a process of “soul part exchange.” Isa describes how soul part exchange occurs and how it can be remedied. For more information on Applied Shamanism, see sacredstream.org.

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Podcast: Episode 67: John Perkins: Touching the Jaguar

Podcast: Episode 67: John Perkins: Touching the Jaguar

On this episode, Laura Chandler is joined by activist and New York Times bestselling author John Perkins, to speak about his latest book, Touching the Jaguar: Transforming Fear into Action to Change Your Life and the World. They discuss John’s work as an economic consultant and what that taught him about the global economy. Laura and John also talk about his extensive study with shamans from around the world, in particular the Shuar people of Ecuador, and what he learned from them about facing our fears and transforming Death Economies into Life Economies.

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Video: Applied Shamanic Healing Practices: Part 1: Techniques that Can Help You Restore Vitality

Video: Applied Shamanic Healing Practices: Part 1: Techniques that Can Help You Restore Vitality

Shamanism is an ancient wisdom system that has been practiced around the world in many different cultures and in many different times and places. Shamans are the doctors, mediators, educators, diviners, and ceremonialists of the communities they serve. In this video, Isa Gucciardi describes the causes and symptoms of power loss, an imbalance considered to be at the heart of many forms of mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual illness by many shamanic healers. You will learn how to recognize power loss in yourself and in others, and learn how a shamanic form of healing called power retrieval can help restore vitality. For more information on Applied Shamanism, see sacredstream.org.

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Blog: Reflections on the Fall Equinox

Blog: Reflections on the Fall Equinox

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

I am sitting in the garden at the Sacred Stream Center as dusk is falling on September 22, the fall equinox. Usually, we would be calling the community together at the fall equinox drum circle, and the garden would be humming with conversation. It is quiet here now. There is just the sound of the bubbling fountains and the calling of the birds enjoying a late afternoon bath.

This is the third season where we have not been able to come together for the drum circles which we have held since the mid-1990’s on every equinox and solstice. In March, at the spring equinox, we were all adapting to the new reality that the coronavirus created as we practiced social distancing. We could not come together to welcome the new season as we have been doing for decades. By June, at the summer solstice, we were hoping that the solstice would mark a new coming together. But a resurgence of coronavirus in California dashed that hope. And now, here at the fall equinox, I am reflecting on the passage of time as we continue to socially distance, fearing yet another predicted resurgence of the virus between now and the winter solstice on December 21.

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Podcast: Episode 66: Paul Howard: Infinite Potential

Podcast: Episode 66: Paul Howard: Infinite Potential

On this episode, Laura Chandler is in conversation with producer and director, Paul Howard, talking about his latest documentary, Infinite Potential: The Life & Ideas of David Bohm. Bohm was a visionary physicist and explorer of consciousness, who Einstein called his “spiritual son” and the Dalai Lama called his “science guru.” Bohm’s explorations led him to intuit a hidden order to reality––the Quantum Potential––that underlies both the microscopic world of subatomic particles and also the macro world of stars and galaxies. In this episode, Paul and Laura discuss Baum’s early work, his initial rejection by the scientific community, his relationship with spiritual leaders the Dalai Lama and Krishnamurti, and the intersection of science and spirituality demonstrated in Bohm’s life and his work, the hidden-variable theory.

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Blog: His Holiness, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama

Blog: His Holiness, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

“We all share an identical need for love, and on the basis of this commonality, it is possible to feel that anybody we meet, in whatever circumstances, is a brother or sister. No matter how new the face or how different the dress or behavior, there is no significant division between us and other people. It is foolish to dwell on external differences because our basic natures are the same.”

-The Dalai Lama

His Holiness, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, is a role model of compassion and courage for millions of people around the world. He has, almost single-handedly, stared down the Chinese government as it has dismantled Tibet and turned it into a Chinese fiefdom. He has done this without ever uttering an unkind word as he has watched thousands of his countrymen and women die at their hands.

His Holiness, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama was born in 1935 in Amdo, Tibet. His birth name was Lhamo Thondup. When he was two, he was recognized through a series of signs as the fourteenth incarnation of the Dalai Lama. He was sent to a monastery where he studied Buddhist philosophy.

In 1958 and 1959, as he was taking his final examinations, the Chinese, who had been in Tibet for several years, overran the country. His Holiness barely escaped. Thousands of other Tibetans were not so lucky. The Chinese killed and tortured thousands of Tibetans and destroyed many of the monasteries that had housed the ancient wisdom of Tibet and Buddhism for centuries. The losses of the Tibetan people were overwhelming.

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Blog: Malala Yousafzai: Education is for Everyone

Blog: Malala Yousafzai: Education is for Everyone

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

When I was 12, I attended a small one-room school in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Most of us were from other countries, and I was one of the few students who spoke English as a first language. There were a few Saudi children, in spite of the fact that girls and boys were not supposed to be educated together.

The story I heard was that the King looked the other way when he heard this rule was being broken because the children there were from influential foreign families. However, when the headmistress admitted a 13-year-old Saudi girl, the King closed down the school overnight. He was furious that a girl was being educated past the age of 12.

I had been told that I would be sent to a boarding school in Lebanon, and I was excited about the prospect. When I arrived for the last day of school, I found two of my classmates crying in the corner of the room. They were both Saudi. I asked them what was happening. They were upset because they had been told they could no longer pursue their studies.

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Video: Wise Action: Spiritual Emergency and Buddhist Practice with Isa Gucciardi

Video: Wise Action: Spiritual Emergency and Buddhist Practice with Isa Gucciardi

In this talk with the San Francisco Dharma Collective, Isa Gucciardi explores the phenomenon of Spiritual Emergency and learn how to recognize it. She explains how various Buddhist practices can help bring balance for people who are trying to integrate this experience, both within themselves and for those around them.

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Podcast: Episode 65: Gay Hendricks and Carol Kline: Conscious Luck

Podcast: Episode 65: Gay Hendricks and Carol Kline: Conscious Luck

On this episode, Laura Chandler talks to New York Times bestselling authors Gay Hendricks and Carol Kline about their latest book, Conscious Luck: Eight Secrets to Intentionally Change Your Fortune. Gay and Carol offer a lot with their book—they remind us of things we may have known, and teach us some new things as well. They share their own experiences with creating luck in their lives, and explore what makes luck more than just random chance.

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Blog: Misadventures in Mindfulness

Blog: Misadventures in Mindfulness

By Judah Pollack

Morning Mindfulness

Here we go. I am going to sit on my pillow and light my incense. I am not going to follow my thoughts. I am going to focus only on my breath. I am going to breathe in the incense. It smells really nice. Is this the Japanese incense? Should I pick up more of it? Did I get it at that store on Valencia Street? Or was it a gift? Wait, I think it’s somebody’s birthday this week. I need to make a note to look that up. Ok, ok, back to my breath.

There we go. Just my breath. Feel it on my upper lip. In, and then out. That kind of tickles actually. I used to hate it when my older sibling would tickle me. It was really a form of torture. Just thinking about it is making me kind of enraged. That was so screwed up. Ok, back to my breath. This must be close to the end. Seems like it’s been a while. My foot is almost asleep. Maybe I should just call it. I do have a lot to do today. Am supposed to be on a call right now?

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Podcast: Episode 64: Joanne DiMaggio: I Did it to Myself…Again!

Podcast: Episode 64: Joanne DiMaggio: I Did it to Myself…Again!

On this episode, Laura Chandler is joined by author and past-life researcher, Joanne DiMaggio. Today they talk about her latest book, I Did it to Myself…Again! They discuss her research on past lives, which she presents in the book, and the conclusions she’s drawn about life, death, and what happens when we die. Joanne is the founder of the Unity Holistic Healing Center, a service of Unity of Charlottesville and the Coordinator for Edgar Cayce’s Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.) in Charlottesville, Virginia. She is the author of four books and has a counseling practice where she conducts past-life regressions, life-between-lives sessions, and soul writing sessions. For more information about Joanne, visit joannedimaggio.com.

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Blog: John Lewis and the Good Trouble Path of Peace

Blog: John Lewis and the Good Trouble Path of Peace

By Laura Chandler

In a commencement speech he gave at Emory University, the late civil rights leader and Congressman from the 5th District of Georgia, John Lewis said, “You must find a way to get in trouble, good trouble, necessary trouble.” For decades, getting into good trouble has been the creed of Lewis, described as the “Conscience of Congress” by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. His death on July 17, 2020 comes at a time of great social unrest in this country, yet his legacy offers us an example of how to proceed in these times and, even more importantly, it offers us hope.

Lewis was the last living member of the Big Six leaders who organized the 1963 March on Washington, and he led the historic first march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, which became known as Bloody Sunday. His actions and work with the civil rights movement contributed to ending legal segregation in the United States and he continued his work and lifelong commitment to social justice and the causes of democracy, serving 17 terms in the US House of Representatives.

John Lewis’ life was one of activism informed by his faith. He was dedicated to nonviolence and learned the concepts of nonviolent protest through his study of Christian texts, trainings with the Nashville Christian Leadership Conference, and the example set by Mahatma Gandhi. Like Gandhi, Lewis and the participants in the early civil rights movement understood the power of nonviolent action and stood bravely in the face of oppressive hostility. Lewis endured physical beatings and was arrested over 40 times without succumbing to violence himself, and he held to this principle of nonviolence his entire life.

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Video: Wise Action: Isa Gucciardi on Understanding Why and How We Practice

Video: Wise Action: Isa Gucciardi on Understanding Why and How We Practice

In this talk with the San Francisco Dharma Collective, Isa Gucciardi takes us on a guided tour of samsara with an exploration of the Six Lokas. These are states of mind that characterize the experience of samsara, the realm of suffering we are all trying to better understand. Hopefully, this up close look at these states of mind will help you understand exactly WHY you might want to start a meditation practice or deepen your overall spiritual practice during these times. We will then look at the HOW. We will explore tips on how to work with our practice to deal with the difficult emotional states we can find ourselves plunged into as we try to navigate the complexity of these times.

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