about Jenna Lilla

jennalillaSpiritual Life guides psychic development on the journey towards wholeness and integration. Spiritual symbolism is universal in nature, offering people across cultures and throughout time guidance in life.

My work offers Universalist perspective on the Spiritual Path, as rooted in ancient spiritual teachings and contemporary theories of Depth Psychology. While I am interested in all spiritual traditions my work focuses on the ancient teachings of Vedanta and other ancient Indian spiritual teachings. These teachings offer a rich resource for understanding and interpreting spiritual symbolism, as well as spiritual practices to cultivate a relation to the innermost Self. I am currently taking a break from the blog, so as to focus on a more in-depth project that weaves Vedanta and Depth Psychology. Specifically, I am writing on the true nature of the Self as realized in the Upanishads and as clarified by the theory of depth psychology.

Both Depth Psychology and Vedanta focus on the innermost Self and inner-work. In Vedanta, inner-work involves meditation, spiritual contemplation, and a method called discrimination (to reveal the innermost Self). 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 a highly object-oriented culture. 

Carl Jung deals with the movement from outer-to-inner life in detail in the text, Symbols of Transformation. I have addressed this movement on this blog. Jung felt that symbols and archetypes guide this process, and are ‘inherited.’ While this may 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 to the horizon of enlightenment, readying the personality for realization of the transcendental sphere of the Self.

Although I am not currently an academic nor a clinician, much of early life was dedicated to academic studies. I hold the following degrees: a PhD in psychology; a MA in rhetoric and communication; and a BA in psychology. Earlier in my life, I worked with clients as a counselor, as well as teaching college level courses in interpersonal communication, psychology, ethics. I have never been licensed as a mental health practitioner.

Overtime, I participated in various trainings and certifications: 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. Each of these approaches to psychic life informed my understanding of enlightenment, leading to an overall gestalt that is my own personal reflection upon the eternal dimensions of psychic life.

Much of my life journey has been inward, seeking knowledge of the heart– of the innermost Self. For me this process has focused on meditation, mindfulness, heart awareness, and contemplation of spiritual teachings. My parents taught me to meditate as a child and I’ve continued to meditate throughout my life. Of all the endeavors I have engaged in throughout my life, meditation has been the most fruitful, along with the contemplation of ancient spiritual texts.

I make use of my psychological education and training in service of spiritual enlightenment. My work blends spiritual teachings and the theories of depth psychology so as to clarify the path and process of spiritual enlightenment.  I live in the State of Oregon. In Oregon, the practice of psychology is defined as “the treatment of diagnosing or treating behavioral, emotional or mental disorders” (OR 675.010). My work is solely for the purposes of spiritual enlightenment as defined by Vedanta. This means I do not work with ‘old wounds’ or any ‘behavioral, emotional or mental disorders’. Sometimes upon the spiritual path,  old wounds do emerge that need healing. If upon your spiritual path anything comes up that is psychological in nature, it is wise to consult a qualified mental health practitioner.

Blessing on your journey,
Read more on my view of enlightenment...