Shamans + Siddhas : Podcast Bonus RAFT Archives

Recorded at the inaugural Shaman and Siddhas retreat held 2015 at Menla Retreat and Dewa Spa Robert A.F. Thurman is joined by Isa Gucciardi and Dr Nida Chenagtsang for a discussion on the intersection of Buddhism and Shamanism.

Includes a discussion of the history of Tsongkhapa, the Ganden (Joyous) Community he founded, an introduction to the Buddhist conception of emptiness, it’s relationship to selflessness, meditation and the ‘royal reason of relativity‘ using stories from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Old Testament and the past lives of the Dalai Lama and the Buddha.

Podcast includes a guided meditation on the Four Keys of Selflessness,

This retreat on the cusp of the winter solstice, a time of natural inward self-reflection, focuses on the traditions of the “psychonauts,” explorers of the subtle realms of dream, death, and all “between” states. Such people are known as “shamans” in indigenous traditions and as “siddhas” or “adepts” in Buddhist and Hindu Tantric traditions.

Isa Gucciardi joins Robert Thurman in exploring the deep and vast dimensions of these traditions, focusing on our planetary welcoming of various forms that consciousness takes in this time of global crisis, as she has done from time immemorial. Shamans and siddha adepts provide us with resources from long-developed, time-tested positive sciences and arts that help us celebrate the blessings of reality and live meaningfully in the midst of the ups and downs of our daily lives ever more realistically and happily.

In this retreat, we will review the historic encounters between these two spiritual traditions from world indigenous and Indic regions and learn how they have informed one another from time immemorial. While steeped in philosophy and psychology, this retreat is also highly experiential in nature. We will explore methods of going inward drawn from both traditions including the Shamanic Journey and Indo-Tibetan Deity Meditation.

The Shamanic Journey is an ancient and time-tested method that shamans around the world have used to develop a deep relationship with the powers of the Earth and Cosmos. Deity Meditation is a form of meditation that brings the meditator into an intimate understanding of the fields of wisdom, sensitivity, and power held by the deities of the Tibetan Buddhist pantheon.

We will explore the role of ritual and ceremony in both contexts and learn what role ritual and ceremony provide in bringing forward the realizations, sensitivities, and powers that are the fruits of these deep forms of inner exploration.

From Shamans and Siddhas 2015 Retreat Description

Shamans and Siddhas Retreat at Menla Phoenicia New York with Robert A.F Thurman, Isa and Dr. NidaThis week’s episode’s of the Bob Thurman Podcast was brought to you in part through the support of the Tibet House US Membership Community and Menla Retreat and Dewa Spa in Phoenicia, New York.

Listen to more archive recordings from from past Robert AF Thurman teachings + public events please consider becoming a Tibet House US member. To learn about the benefits of Tibet House US Membership please visit:

The song ‘Dancing Ling’ + ‘Trance Tibet’ by Tenzin Choegyal from the album ‘Heart Sutra‘ (2004) by Ethno Super Lounge is used on the Bob Thurman Podcast with artist’s permission, all rights reserved.

To learn more about upcoming programs in the heart of the Catskills with Robert A.F. Thurman, Isa Gucciardi Ph.D. and Dr Nida Chenagtsang please visit:

Podcast Extra

Essential Tibetan Buddhism

A vibrant, accessible introduction to the heart of Tibetan Buddhism through its own rich literature from "the most visible and charismatic exponent of Tibetan Buddhism" (Roger Kamenetz, New York Times Magazine). Expertly and lucidly surveying the basic …