Stream of Consciousness Blog

The Relationship between Tsongkhapa and Manjushri

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

Tsongkhapa, a Buddha in the Land of Snows is Buddhist scholar Thupten Jinpa’s contribution to Shambhala Publications’ series, The Lives of the Masters, which seeks to memorialize the contributions of some of the most important thinkers in Buddhist philosophy. Jinpa’s book decisively puts Tsongkhapa on the map, not only as an outstanding philosopher of Buddhism, but as one of the great logicians of the last thousand years. This scholarly biography reveals Tsongkhapa’s life and teachings in a refreshingly accessible way. Tsongkhapa lived from 1357-1419 and is considered one of the greatest Buddhist philosophers and teachers that ever lived. He is known for his many accomplishments, not the least of which is his role in the Ganden Renaissance. The Ganden Renaissance brought new scholarship, new interpretations of traditional teachings, and established new centers of study in Mahayana Buddhism. An interesting undercurrent of this renaissance was the relationship between Tsongkhapa and the Tibetan deity, Manjushri.

Sacred Stream Radio Podcast: Episode 58: Dena Meriam

On this episode, Dena Merriam, Founder of the Global Peace Initiative for Women (GPIW), joins Laura Chandler for an engaging conversation on diverse topics such as climate crisis, the Me Too movement, past lives, and the significance of the sacred feminine in the world today. Dena is the author of two books, including her latest, The Untold Story of Sita: An Empowering Tale for Our Time, a retelling of the Ramayana texts of Classic Indian Literature from the perspective of the primary female character, Sita. The book delivers an important message for our times, offering a new understanding of feminine wisdom and the intelligence of the natural world.

The Four Immeasurables Retreat

Join Lama Tsomo in an intimate weekend workshop in Berkeley focusing on the Tibetan Buddhist practice of the Four Immeasurables. This workshop is about transforming your life by learning to cultivate a limitless heart.

Love and compassion aren’t just feelings—they are capacities we all have the ability to cultivate. Yet the trappings of modern times often distract us. How can we open our hearts to experience an expansive sense of love and true connection?

The-Inspiring-Activism-of-Rigoberta-Menchu

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

I find inspiration in the stories of people who have seen a need and tried to meet it. Be they healers, activists, politicians, leaders, or every day people who do the right thing in a difficult situation. These are people who stand up to oppression, or try to bring justice to places where none exists. For that reason, I have decided to create this series on Inspiring People.

Rigoberta Menchú Tum is an activist for indigenous rights in Guatemala. She was born to a poor family of K’iche’ Maya descent in rural Guatemala at the beginning of the country’s civil war, which lasted from 1960 to 1996. She became an activist against human rights violations committed by the Guatemalan armed forces during the war.

Sacred Stream Radio Podcast: Episode 57: 2019: A Retrospective

This episode is a retrospective of some of the highlights of the past year. You’ll hear excerpts from Laura Chandler’s interviews with bestselling authors Dawson Church and Christina Rasmussen, Grammy nominee Barbara Higbie, and renowned channel and author Paul Selig. Our featured music includes songs from Barbara Higbie, Dan Walters, and master sarod player Rajeev Taranath, as well as Sacred Stream’s very own Katie Rudman and her duo, Heddwen.

Winter Solstice Morning at the Sacred Stream

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

I have what has become an annual ritual. I arrive at the Sacred Stream Center close to dawn on the morning of the winter solstice, after the longest night of the year. As I enter the garden, I see the silhouette of a great redwood tree. I remember the long, hot summer days and fogless nights where I fretted about its well-being and offered it water and prayers. The last of the leaves from a Japanese maple fall before me as I push the gate closed and start down the stone path to turn on the fountains. Immediately, hummingbirds arrive for their winter bath. Not far behind them is a mother raven with her beak full of dried bread, looking to soften it in the fountain’s waters. The light is dawning, and it touches the fat rose hips and the ripening lemons around me, a dance of pink and yellow in the semi-darkness.

Everybody Hurts: When Those You Love are Grieving

By Laura Chandler

As the REM song says, “Everybody hurts, sometimes.” It is the inescapable truth we all share as humans. We are going to experience pain. The holidays are a particular source of pain for people who have lost loved ones. Those celebratory holiday gatherings and fun parties can be a source of sorrow as they remind us of what is missing from our lives. Often times, for those who have lost a close friend or family member, the holidays are a time to withdraw, and a time to seek refuge in the quiet of solitude rather than the rush of holiday fervor. So, how do you help someone who is grieving?

Article: Interview: Plant Medicine as a Spiritually Transformative Experience: Challenges to Integration in the Modern Context

ACISTE recently had an opportunity to interview Isa about her views on the use of psychotropic plant medicine for psychological and spiritual transformation. Given the recent resurgence of clinical interest in the use of psychedelics for treating mental health concerns, we hope this two-part (Feb/Mar) interview will encourage therapists and others to further educate themselves about the unique integration needs of those who choose to engage plant medicine for healing and guidance.

The Life and Work of Albert Schweitzer

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

Albert Schweitzer became one of my first heroes when I read his biography at 8 years old. It was the first time I understood that there were people in the world who did not have access to the help they needed when they were sick. This was very distressing to me. I wanted to go to Africa to help.

Je Tsongkhapa, a Buddha in the Land of Snows

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

Tsongkhapa, a Buddha in the Land of Snows is Buddhist scholar Thupten Jinpa’s contribution to Shambhala Publications’ remarkable series, The Lives of the Masters, which seeks to memorialize the contributions of some of the most important thinkers in Buddhist philosophy. Tsongkhapa, who lived from 1357-1419, is considered one of the greatest Buddhist philosophers and teachers that ever lived.

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