about Jenna Lilla

My work offers an exploration of the inner Self. jennalilla My goal is an integrative understanding on the True Nature of the Self, achieved through a weaving of depth psychology and the spiritual teachings of India. Both of these traditions aim at an understanding and interpretation of the spiritual symbolism of the Self. Both offer discriminative and synthetic practices aimed to cultivate a relation to the innermost Self.  I situate myself beyond tradition, aiming solely at Self-realization.

I live in Southern Oregon with my partner, where we enjoy living simply, hiking, making food, and soaking in the local hot springs. I also enjoy writing, as well as conversations on the nature of Self-realization and the Upanishads.

My Background

Much of my life journey has been inward, seeking knowledge of the innermost Self. For me this process has focused on meditation, spiritual exploration, as well as a deep and long term commitment to reading the ancient Spiritual Texts. My parents taught me to meditate as a child and I’ve continued to meditate throughout my life. I am also a practitioner of yoga.

I hold the following degrees: a PhD in psychology; a MA in rhetoric and communication; and a BA in psychology.  I am currently a board certified coach through the Center for Credentialing & Education. I have participated in various trainings and certifications in the healing arts: Gestalt therapy, depth hypnosis, life coaching, Ericksonian hypnosis, medical Qigong. I also trained in a form of shamanic journeying and healing for a few years via an Apache shaman.

Earlier in my life, I worked with clients as a counselor, as well as teaching college level courses in interpersonal communication. I have never been licensed as a mental health practitioner, nor am I up to date on mental health issues.

My current work

I am currently taking a break from the blog, so as to focus on a book. The working title of the Book is: “on the True Nature of the Self”. The book is on Self-realization, exploring my own realization, as well as the perspectives of Vedanta and Depth Psychology.

In Vedanta, inner-work involves meditation, spiritual contemplation, and the methods of synthesis (Yoga) and discrimination (Viveka). These practices aim at a movement from outer worldly life (Samsara) toward the innermost Self (Atman). The movement from outer worldly life to inner spiritual life is a psychical transition which is not always easy for those steeped in Western ideology. This is in part because we are an outward oriented culture.

Carl Jung works with the movement from outer-life to inner-life, which he called introversion. This movement encourages a process of transformation. The symbols and images which arise from the depths of the Self spontaneously transform the psyche, leading toward the integration and wholeness of the Self.

Jung felt that symbols and archetypes guide the process of Self-realization, and are ‘inherited.’ While this may in part be true, it is not the whole understanding. The Upanishads (ancient texts of Vedanta) show that symbols are an expression of the Self-arising and Self-luminous nature of being. Understanding this notion takes the spiritual seeker toward the horizon of enlightenment, readying the personality for realization of the Eternal Nature of the Self.

My work thus aims at a integrative perspective on Self-realization. An approach that is grounded in the Eternal Nature of the Self, and yet encouraging of integrative work through engagement in Symbolic Life. The current writing on this blog may provide an idea of some of the psychological and spiritual ideas that have given form to my understanding of the depths of the psychic life. I hope to start writing posts again once my book is complete.

Thanks for reading!