Category: Empowered Living

Blog: Finding Your Spiritual Path Part 3: Personal Responsibility

Blog: Finding Your Spiritual Path Part 3: Personal Responsibility

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

In the last blog post in this series, I had mentioned how important it is not to rush to forgiveness in response to betrayal. Generally speaking, when we have been wronged or betrayed we have a lot of internal experience that we need to explore before we can even think about forgiving another person. Therefore it is important not to be rushed by anyone to forgive until you fully understand what work you have to do to get to the place where you can forgive truly and cleanly.

I also talked about how people who have been disillusioned by authorities that they placed trust in often experience an internal process of blame. This can look like self-questioning such as, “Why did I ever trust that person in the first place?” Or, “What did I do wrong to deserve this?” These are not helpful questions to dwell upon, because by their very nature, they imply a sense of self-blame.

Read More
Blog: Finding your Spiritual Path Part 2: Forgiveness, Blame, and Shame

Blog: Finding your Spiritual Path Part 2: Forgiveness, Blame, and Shame

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

My previous post began to address the spiritual crisis that many people experience when a spiritual or religious leader has harmed people and broken their trust. Those who don’t abandon their spiritual paths entirely are faced with the challenge of trying to incorporate the experience of betrayal into the way that they hold their faith or their trust. One challenge people face in this situation is that the spiritual authorities that harmed others are not always willing to take responsibility for their actions. They feel they cannot move on until the issue is resolved through those who have generated the betrayal taking responsibility and asking for forgiveness. Fortunately, even when spiritual authorities refuse to take responsibility, it is possible for the spiritual seeker to engage in an internal process of forgiveness.

Read More
Blog: Finding Your Spiritual Path Part 1: Understanding Betrayal

Blog: Finding Your Spiritual Path Part 1: Understanding Betrayal

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

Since the movie Spotlight came out in 2015, more and more people have come to our classes at the Sacred Stream looking for a different path to spiritual understanding. Spotlight is about the efforts of a group of journalists from The Boston Globe who were directed by their editor, Marty Baron, to investigate accusations against John Geoghan, a Catholic priest who had been accused of molesting young boys in different parishes during his long tenure as a spiritual leader in the Catholic community. The movie focused not only on these distressing events but also on the way the Roman Catholic Church tried to keep the truth of these events from the public. The investigation revealed a massive cover-up at the highest levels of the Church of the effect of Geoghan’s actions, and pointed to similar occurrences and cover-ups over the course of many years by the Church.

Because Sacred Stream has long been known for its non-dogmatic, inclusive approach to the world of spirit, it has been a safe place for people to explore their difficulty in incorporating these events within the context of their faith.

Read More
On the Air: Divine Insight Podcast: Coming to Peace – Resolving Conflict Within Ourselves and With Others – Dr. Isa Gucciardi

On the Air: Divine Insight Podcast: Coming to Peace – Resolving Conflict Within Ourselves and With Others – Dr. Isa Gucciardi

On the Divine Insight Podcast, host Travis Taylor takes a compassionate and enlightened approach and accesses all aspects of being to provide guidance and insight that empowers and inspires clients and students around the country. During his show, he provides intuitive, spiritual, and practical information and techniques that listeners may use to access and develop their unique gifts and multi-sensory abilities and create abundance in all aspects of their lives. Each week Travis brings a heightened divine approach to health, healing, and wellness in all areas of listeners’ lives.

Read More
On the Air: Chitheads Podcast Episode #50: An Interview with Isa Gucciardi

On the Air: Chitheads Podcast Episode #50: An Interview with Isa Gucciardi

Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D. sits down with Jacob Kyle, host of Embodied Philosophy’s Chitheads Podcast, to discuss her early influences and how they informed her development of Depth Hypnosis. She also demonstrates the way in which Buddhist principles and shamanic techniques work together in Depth Hypnosis by presenting case study descriptions. Special focus is on the way that Depth Hypnosis addresses the roots of anxiety and depression.

Read More
Special Announcement: Isa Gucciardi’s Coming to Peace Book Tour

Special Announcement: Isa Gucciardi’s Coming to Peace Book Tour

Isa will be offering a series of book readings and signings all around the Bay Area for her new book, Coming to Peace, in the upcoming months. The resolution process of Coming to Peace is unique because it offers ways of mediating external conflicts with others, as well as methods for recognizing and addressing the places where we may be out of balance within ourselves.

Read More
Podcast: Episode 32: Isa Gucciardi

Podcast: Episode 32: Isa Gucciardi

Isa Gucciardi (author, educator, creator of the therapeutic model Depth Hypnosis, and founding director of Foundation of the Sacred Stream) responded to the conflict she saw all around her by developing a method of conflict resolution to help families and couples. In her new book Coming to Peace, Isa transforms her years of experience working with people in this way into highly accessible wisdom about the roots of conflict and peace. In today’s episode of the Sacred Stream Radio Podcast, she chats with Laura about Coming to Peace. This episode’s featured musician is Lisa Kellman and her record Nostalgias.

Read More
Blog: Thinking about Grief

Blog: Thinking about Grief

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

When I first read On Death and Dying by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in the early seventies, I was thrilled that someone was actually talking about death. I had just moved to the United States, after having spent most of my early years in other countries. As I was trying to orient myself to the American culture, I had become acutely aware of the way no one around me really wanted to talk about things that I thought were pretty important – death, for example. I had resigned myself to watching television just so I would have something to talk about with the other teenagers at school, but it was not really that interesting to me.

Read More
Blog: Managing Initiation

Blog: Managing Initiation

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

In traditional cultures, the way a culture meets and manages the initiatory processes of its individual members is one of its defining qualities. The management of these initiations is generally accomplished by helping the initiate move through a ritual of some kind. Initiatory rituals can be very elaborate and well defined. In fact, anthropologists generally learn about a culture through the study of initiation rituals.

Rituals and culturally defined structures are good management tools to direct and hold the power of the initiatory process. However, a significant drawback to many rituals and cultural structures is that they have been designed to direct the power that is released in the initiatory process into the society’s structures, rather than dedicating it to the initiate.

Read More
Blog: Buddhist Perspectives on Grief and Loss

Blog: Buddhist Perspectives on Grief and Loss

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

In Robert Thurman’s prelude to his translation of Bardo Thodol, commonly translated as The Tibetan Book of the Dead, he takes to task scientific materialists’ perspective that death is a terminal state, a state of nothingness where life is destroyed. He points out that these materialists “have never observed even one material thing become nothing. Why should the energy reality of a state of awareness [life] ……be the exception to the law of physics that energy is conserved and only transformed?”

I have always appreciated Dr. Thurman’s willingness to take on monolithic prejudices, in the name of science, in response to spiritual questions. I have always felt the wholesale rejection of notions such as the possibility of life after death and the existence of spirit was highly unscientific. In order to step into the universe of life beyond death from the Buddhist perspective, we have to allow ourselves to be disabused of the ways in which we may have unwittingly digested the viewpoints of scientific materialism on these subjects simply because they dominate in our education system.

Read More
Special Announcement: Sacred Stream Offering Series of Workshops in Iowa’s Quad Cities Region This May

Special Announcement: Sacred Stream Offering Series of Workshops in Iowa’s Quad Cities Region This May

Starting May 9, Sacred Stream will be offering some of their most popular workshops in Iowa’s Quad Cities region. Courses available include: Coming to Peace: Methods of Conflict Resolution (Prairiewoods Franciscan Spirituality Center, Hiawatha), Expanding Consciousness: The Four Immeasurables Resolution (Prairiewoods Franciscan Spirituality Center, Hiawatha), Embracing the Sacred Feminine (Our Lady of the Prairie Retreat, Wheatland), Consciousness and Integrated Energy Medicine (Bettendorf Public Library, Bettendorf), and The Path of Service and the Nature of Suffering (Our Lady of the Prairie Retreat, Wheatland).

Read More
Blog: Embraced by the Sacred Feminine at Menla

Blog: Embraced by the Sacred Feminine at Menla

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

While I was on my way from California to Menla Retreat in New York, three feet of snow had been falling at Menla. Robert Thurman and I had scheduled our Embracing the Sacred Feminine course at the Spring Equinox with the idea that the Great Mother would be revealing herself through emerging bulbs and leaf buds. The weather in the Catskill Mountains is, however, unpredictable at any season. So, rather than sunning myself under budding apple trees at Menla, I found myself with bare trees, silent snow, and dark nights. Yet the power of the land of Menla became even more evident in the dark sparkle of winter.

Read More
Blog: Mindful Leadership: Learning to Lead with the Heart and Mind

Blog: Mindful Leadership: Learning to Lead with the Heart and Mind

By Hal Adler

Have you given any thought to how you can be a better leader through mindfulness? This is a topic I’ve been passionate about for years, way before its mainstream acceptance. As mindfulness continues to grow in popularity and becomes the latest health and wellness craze to infiltrate the workplace, it’s as if we’ve finally been given permission to talk about this stuff openly.

Read More
A Meeting of the Ways with Diane Solomon and Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.: Embracing the Sacred Feminine at the Spring Equinox

A Meeting of the Ways with Diane Solomon and Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.: Embracing the Sacred Feminine at the Spring Equinox

Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D., and Diane Solomon, host of A Meeting of the Ways, continue their discussion about the Spring Equinox and explore the concept of the Sacred Feminine and its relationship to the spring season. They touch upon some important insights about the Sacred Feminine that have emerged from the classes that Isa has taught on the subject for the last 15 years. Isa also talks about her collaboration with thought leader and Buddhist scholar, Dr. Robert Thurman, in co-teaching a class called Embracing the Sacred Feminine, and discusses the role of the feminine within Buddhist philosophy.

Read More
Blog: Embracing the Feminine

Blog: Embracing the Feminine

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

As I am preparing to return to Menla Retreat in the beautiful Catskill Mountains in Phoenicia, New York to teach Embracing the Sacred Feminine with Robert Thurman, I am struck by the change in public discourse around the feminine experience that has occurred since the last time we taught this class together. With the ascendance of a president who grants permission, through his words and actions, to publicly humiliate women without negative consequence, others have become emboldened to repudiate women’s rights. This repudiation, demonstrated in the U.S. Senate, demonstrated in the struggle for women’s reproductive rights, and demonstrated in the rejection of a woman president can only be a function of a larger misogyny. Misogyny has always been part of the cultural fabric – not only in the U.S., but also in many, many other cultural settings. Yet the current bald demonstration of it at this point in our history is shocking.

Read More