This course focuses on the explorers of the subtle realms of dream, death, and altered states of consciousness known as “shamans” in indigenous traditions and as “Siddha Adepts” in Buddhist and Hindu Tantra traditions. In this course, Isa Gucciardi, creator of Depth Hypnosis, a spiritual counseling model that combines shamanic and Buddhist principles of healing, will review the historic encounters between the two traditions in the Himalayan region. We will learn how the two traditions have informed one another from time immemorial, examining the ways in which they have engaged and defined spiritual inquiry and how they have translated that inquiry into the social contexts in which they have arisen. We will also contrast and compare the two traditions, identifying the ways in which their practices are similar and demonstrating where their paths diverge.
We will explore the role of ritual and ceremony in both contexts and learn what role ritual and ceremony provide in bringing forward the insights of deep inner exploration. We will look at the role of spiritual initiation in the two contexts and show how this process highlights the path toward development of skill sets for both shamans and siddhas. We will also spend time discussing the relevance of both traditions in the modern context – and demonstrate how the wisdom of these two traditions can support current spiritual inquiry. The class is experiential in nature. We will explore the various methods of going inward drawn from both traditions including the shamanic journey and Tibetan Deity Meditation.
In the mid-nineties, Isa began developing Depth Hypnosis as she entered into clinical practice. Her studies, both in academia and in the field, of cultural and linguistic anthropology, comparative religion, and transpersonal psychology formed the basis of her approach with clients and students. As the body of work that grew out of her clinical practice became larger, she began teaching others so that more people could benefit from the techniques she had developed. In order to accommodate the number of classes that grew out of this process, she co-founded the Foundation of the Sacred Stream, which is now a school for consciousness studies in Berkeley, California, serving hundreds of students each year. Isa teaches and speaks nationally and internationally, and she has published numerous articles, podcast episodes, videos, and the booksÊ<em>Return to the Great Mother</em>ÊandÊ<em>Coming to Peace</em>. 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.