transpersonal living thinking and living beyond the self

transpersonal living

 Through transpersonal living we engage the natural flow of life and death. While deepening our capacity to be present, we connect and create meaning with something larger, something outside of the self.

Transpersonal Psychology manifested in the West through the humanistic school of thought and is rooted in eastern spiritual systems, philosophy, and ancient wisdom traditions. Transpersonal theory reaches beyond the self to consider experiences encompassing wider aspects of humankind, life, the psyche or the cosmos.

Why Transpersonal Living? Shifting perception by widening one’s view brings the extraordinary into focus in every day living. Living in this way honors and celebrates humanity through qualities such as discernment, compassion, gratitude, patience, and love. How do we express these qualities in every day life, while completing even mundane tasks? How do we fine-tune our capacity to connect at these most basic, yet extraordinary, levels? We do it through setting our intentions, learning, contemplating and sharing.

By discussing and promoting such practices, we hope to create a Movement for Transpersonal Living. The intention of this site is to offer information on transpersonal subjects and themes, including; death, dying, nature, spirituality and transformative experiences. In addition, we want to solicit contributions and capture stories of your own experiences of Transpersonal Living. To participate, you can contribute to the Community Journal by submitting your stories on our Submissions page.


Jessica N. Thomas, PhD, LMFT 

“Engaging the heart and mind in everyday life through contemplative practices to increase awareness, creativity, and wisdom.”

Dr. Jessica Thomas is a practicing psychotherapist, clinical supervisor and consultant in Portland, Oregon.  She holds a Doctorate in Psychology, a MS in Marriage and Family Therapy and a certificate in Creative Expression. Jessica’s expertise and interests include art-based research, systems theory, psyho-spiritual development, death and dying, mindful photography, Tibetan Buddhism, Christian mysticism, existentialism, and phenomenology. She is an AAMFT clinical supervisor for clinicians interested in integrating systems theory with transpersonal philosophy in their clinical practices. Jessica offers talks and workshops related to death and loss, mindful phototherapy, and psycho-spiritual development.

Jessica currently serves as Education Chair on the board of The NW Association for Death Education and Bereavement Support in Portland Oregon. As an adjunct professor at Lewis and Clark College, she teaches on death, loss and psycho-spiritual crises. Her doctoral research, Mindful Photography and its Implications in End-of-life Caregiving: An Art-based Phenomenology focused on creative expression and the experience of anticipatory loss. Jessica utilizes mindful photography as a spiritual practice and in therapy groups with those experiencing grief and loss. She also consults with organizations, helping them develop unique programs that integrate contemplative practices in group dynamics.

Amber R. Balk, PhD 

 “This is in the end the only kind of courage that is required of us: the courage to face the strangest, most unusual, most inexplicable experiences that can meet us. The fact that people have in this sense been cowardly has done infinite harm to life; the experiences that are called ‘apparitions,’ the whole so-called ‘spirit world,’ death, all these Things that are so closely related to us, have through our daily defensiveness been so entirely pushed out of life that the senses with which we might have been able to grasp them have atrophied.” Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet (1929)

Amber R. Balk lives and loves among the soft rolling hills, towering bluffs, and flowing rivers and streams of northeast Iowa. A graduate of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (now Sofia University), she holds a Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology and a MA in Women’s Spirituality. Her passion lies in innovative transpersonal research which incorporates and integrates both hylotropic and holotropic modes of consciousness within the entire research process, from project conception to finalized reports and written forms. She is the developer of a transpersonal research methodology, which she currently refers to as “Integrative Holotropic Community Action Research.” Amber specializes in applying transpersonal theory to settings conducive to social change and communal transformation. Her primary topics of interest include synchronicity, Threshold space (birth, death, and other rites of passage), ritual, death practices and conscious dying, birth practices and conscious birthing, Grofian transpersonal theory, non-substance induced holotropic expansiveness, consciousness studies, and dreamwork. She works as a transpersonal consultant to artists, entrepreneurs, and activists, helping to deepen the creative process in ways that support healing and wholeness in service of community.

Lakisha Hudson, Ed.S, PhD  

“The many great gardens of the world, of literature and poetry, of painting and music, of religion and architecture, all make the point as clear as possible: The soul cannot thrive in the absence of a garden. If you don’t want paradise, you are not human; and if you are not human, you don’t have a soul.”- Thomas Moore

LaKisha Hudson, originally of Conway, South Carolina has lived and worked in South Korea for the past twelve years. She has been a licensed school counselor for that past fourteen years. She holds a B.S. degree in Psychology, a M.Ed. and an Ed.S. degree in Counseling and Guidance from the University of South Carolina, and a PhD in Psychology with an emphasis in Transpersonal Psychology. She also holds a certification in Forensic Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. LaKisha’s love for gardening and belief in its healing and grounding capabilities has lead her to further explore the nature of the relationship between gardening and a sense of connection to Earth and other living things.





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