Stream of Consciousness Blog

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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Blog: Martin Luther King’s Vision 60 Years On

Blog: Martin Luther King’s Vision 60 Years On

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

I first became aware of Martin Luther King when I encountered his, “I Have a Dream” speech in Social Studies class. I remember wondering why he was only dreaming that whites and blacks could be friends. I found out why when I moved to Texas for a year of schooling. My most enduring memory of that school was when I was sent home from school for playing with a group of African American children on the playground. I had such a hard time understanding what was happening, and it made me pay closer attention to the issues around racism in a way I never had before. As I grew older, and as the race riots of the sixties took center stage, Martin Luther King became a voice of reason for me.

Martin Luther King Jr. was born in 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. He came from a family of sharecroppers, and his father was the second of ten children. His father took over as pastor at an influential black church, so King received a better education than most black children could hope for in Atlanta in the 1930’s. Both his education and his father, who had led campaigns to advocate for racial equality, had a major influence on him. However, his father was also a strict disciplinarian and regularly beat him for the smallest of infractions.

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Podcast: Episode 63: Rachel Harris

Podcast: Episode 63: Rachel Harris

On this episode, Laura interviews author, therapist, and researcher, Rachel Harris. Rachel is the author of the book Listening to Ayahuasca: New Hope for Depression, Addiction, PTSD and Anxiety. This book offers a comprehensive look at the psychotropic tea used for thousands of years by indigenous peoples of the Amazon. Rachel draws upon her own personal experiences with ayahuasca, the experience of others, as well as her research on the use of ayahuasca in North America, which is the largest study of its kind.

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Blog: Reflections on Endurance and Trust at the Summer Solstice

Blog: Reflections on Endurance and Trust at the Summer Solstice

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

As the Shelter in Place order continues to stretch into the foreseeable future here in the Bay Area, the days are stretching longer and longer into the night as we approach the summer solstice. June 21 is the longest day of the year and its night is the shortest night. The solstices and equinoxes are important moments in the Sacred Stream‘s calendar. This is a time where we come together at our quarterly drum circles to honor our relationship to the sun and its relationship to events on the earth. The marking of these moments of the year is a time-honored tradition in many cultures. Bonfires have been lit across the world for millennia in summer solstice celebrations. Native Americans celebrated with fire as well, and the Sioux people have the special initiations of the Sun Dance during this time. One aspect of the Sun Dance initiation involves helping initiates focus on the development of endurance and trust.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we cannot come together in person as we have for every summer solstice since 1995. However, we can still reflect about this moment in time together. Endurance and trust are two qualities that are helpful to reflect upon as we enter into our 16th week of Sheltering in Place here in California during a time of increasing social unrest. This is a time where our capacity to weather difficult and unforeseen circumstances is being challenged as the protests to demand racial justice uniquely highlight the complexities of our situation.

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Blog: Conscious Parenting while Sheltering in Place

Blog: Conscious Parenting while Sheltering in Place

By Joanna Adler, PsyD, CHT

The demands of parenthood have perhaps never been so daunting as they are now during this Shelter in Place. Parents now need to be their children’s teacher, coach, friend, and parent, without assistance or break, while also doing their own jobs, caring for their house, etc. Parenting is already the toughest job there is, but add in the uncertainty and overwhelm of COVID-19, and uninterrupted childcare duties for months with no end in sight, and we have an incredibly tall order.

As a Depth Hypnosis Practitioner and clinical psychologist, I have had the opportunity to counsel many parents over the last months, and as you all probably know, parents are struggling!! The effect of being thrown together 24 hours a day is wearing on even the most skilled of parents.

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Blog: Look for the Blessings

Blog: Look for the Blessings

By Joanna Adler, PsyD, CHT

In Isa Gucciardi’s upcoming book on Tara and the Sacred Feminine, she recounts a story told by the Tibetan Buddhist teacher Bokar Rinpoche about his flight from Chinese occupation in 1959. He was only 18 years old when he had to make the dangerous crossing of the Himalaya mountains with a group of 60 others. Early in the trip, the group asked for a divination from the Tibetan goddess Tara to help them plan their escape. They were told unequivocally they were not to take the easy route, but instead they were to travel over a steep mountain pass where if it snowed, the journey would be quite difficult.

They did indeed encounter a snowstorm, and were told by a group of nomads that they were being pursued closely by Chinese troops as they attempted the high pass. They lost many of their belongings down the mountainside as the pack animals struggled and lost their footing in the deep snow. The snow blinded them, and yet they had no choice but to push on. In the end, they made it safely over the pass and into Nepal.

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Podcast: Episode 62: Jill Sweringen

Podcast: Episode 62: Jill Sweringen

On this episode, Laura Chandler is joined by alternative health care specialist Jill Sweringen to talk about how to stay healthy during the coronavirus outbreak and generally. Jill is the owner of Purple Iris Healing Center in San Francisco and has a doctorate in physical therapy, degrees in traditional Chinese medicine, and is a licensed acupuncturist. She has studied many alternative healing methods and uses a mixture of Western and Eastern medical approaches, including myofascial release, craniosacral therapy, microcurrent therapy, acupuncture, and Chinese herbal medicine to treat a variety of medical conditions. For more information about Jill, visit purpleiris.net.

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