Transformation Teaching

Empowering Yourself

Discover ways to take back some of the power that illness has taken from you. Learn to map the complex world of illness and mine its treasures.

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Living with chronic illness is a hero's journey

Learn to map this complex world and mine its treasures so that you can navigate from a place of empowerment and wisdom rather than fear or resentment. This course teaches and uses the Integral philosophy of author Ken Wilber to provide a powerful map to orient us into the territory of illness. 

Actionable Information

6 modules packed with helpful ideas, questions, and practices.

Meaningful Interaction

6 live Zoom calls which feature both teaching and discussion, recorded and archived on the site. Be a part of a supportive group of participants to share with and learn from.

Useful Resources

Multiple materials including PDF downloads, links to helpful resources and in depth videos.

Living with illness often feels disempowering. Your body isn’t functioning at 100%. You’re navigating a healthcare system that is complex and confusing — at best. No one really knows how to help you. You can feel alone and as if the world outside is rushing along at 1,000 miles an hour, leaving you behind.  

Caring for a loved one who is ill can create the very same experience — and present the same opportunities. 

No matter whether you’re ill or caring for someone who is, navigating illness is an experience that few of us are prepared to face alone.  Join us to learn more about managing illness i the company of others who are doing the same. 

Empowering Yourself, our 6-week live virtual course, will take you from confusion to clarity and introduce you to a supportive group of friends, many of whom have been grappling with these issues for decades and a have a lot to share.

It will provide a map to guide you through the journey of chronic illness, tending to all the layers of your experience that need attention, from the practical to the spiritual. You will walk away with the power and tools to navigate chronic illness so that it can be more than something you endure and suffer through and instead become a path to waking up and to growing up.

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We tend to think of tragedy and loss as experiences that close us off from spirit, or we believe that chronic illness is an impediment to our spiritual development. The truth is, illness can be a direct route to spiritual growth. 

Some people are thrust into spiritual awakening by their illness, experiencing sudden states of expansion through the intensity of their physical experience or their grief. Others come to rely on a spiritual practice to help open them to a broader understanding and context for their illness experience. Others see the dilemmas of illness as koans which can help them awaken.

This Course Will Help You:

  • More effectively navigate both the project and the trauma of illness
  • Interact skillfully and compassionately with others involved in the world of illness, including family and friends
  • Use chronic illness as a springboard to personal and spiritual growth
  • Work with the koans that illness presents to you

This Course Is For:

  • People who want to improve relationships with others in the world of illness
  • Caregivers who want to find ways to help their loved ones
    People who want to better communicate with others about illness
  • Providers who want to understand their patients and clients better
  • People who want to have smoother interactions with the systems that affect chronic illness

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Or, if you need a discount, contact me at [email protected]. No one will be turned away for financial reasons.

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Course Overview

Overview. Course Information. Introductions. What Is a Koan?

Week 1: Chronic Illness Basics and the Integral Map

Week 2: The Disempowerment of Illness. Heroes in Disguise

Week 3: Taking Back Your Power: Mapping the Territory

Week 4: Taking Back Your Power: Working with the Trauma

Week 5: Taking Back Your Power: Managing the Project

Week 6: Communication and Integration

Your Instructor

Dr. Lynn Royster Fuentes

Lynn is a college instructor, educational course designer, and a mediator with a BA, MA, JD, and PhD. An experienced classroom and online instructor, she has designed and taught courses in transpersonal psychology, writing, planning, chronic illness, and conflict management at DePaul University, where she also founded and directed the Chronic Illness Initiative, a program to help students with chronic illness obtain a degree.

A devoted student of Ken Wilber and integral philosophy, she has published integrally oriented essays and articles on conflict resolution and illness management and weaves integral ideas into her course design and teaching. She follows an integral life practice of physical, psychological, meditative, and cognitive development.

Lynn has volunteered in many capacities – with battered women, people in the recovery community, and people with chronic illness – and served on the board of the Solve ME/CFS Association of America for many years. Despite her study of many disciplines, Lynn regards her greatest learning as long-term caregiver for severely ill family members.


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And Lynn – simply wow! Thanks for being such a pioneer and putting such an educational and heart-full class together for our benefit. I will read and re-read your handouts as I continue to live with this chronic illness. Your work is a blessing and a deep comfort to me. It is good to be understood and to have partners on this journey. So thank you for showing up on my computer – I will never forget you!

Liz Taylor

As a person struggling with a chronic condition, I find the world isn’t often interested in hearing about my challenges when they come back again and again. But being able to hear from, respond to and talk live with others who share that experience gave me a sense of being seen and heard in such a healing way. Never have I felt so connected to so many new friends in such a deep and meaningful way.


Lynn has created a way of seeing our experience of illness that empowers and enlivens. Being part of her course let’s me know I’m part of a greater whole where my challenges are shared. I can feel connected, seen and heard. Even the difficult stuff is allowed.


I can’t count the blessings and benefits these courses have been for me. When I was first looking for a sponsor in AA, it was suggested that I look for a man “that had something I wanted”. Don’t worry, I have a sponsor – but that’s the feel I get from you.

You have a wonderful presence – kind, wise and humble. I’m not the best book learner/reader – I’m more experiential. This has been a great experience in learning Integral theory and practice.

Thank you! Deep bow of gratitude.

Susan Schuurmans

The course has prodded me out of my comfort zones, humbled me when I see the challenges others face, invited me into a valuable self-assessing of myself, and challenged me to engage once again with the Integral model, this time grittily working on my understanding of myself and where I can grow into further ways to work with great consciousness with this dis-ease. Lynn teaches from a place of being a person still learning after all these years in the territory of illness and caretaking and shares as a companion on this challenging journey how she finds the perspective of Integral is useful when living with illness.


This course is wonderfully thought provoking and has so many valuable tools I hope to keep revisiting it again and again to further contemplate all that you have given us.

Empowering Yourself is part 1 of our 6-part Koan of Illness series.

Each of our live, 6-week, stand-alone courses addresses a part of the illness experience and is designed both for people suffering from chronic illness and caregivers. You can begin with any of the courses, pick and choose, or do them all

More Info about KOI Courses

The Koan Of Illness series

The Koan of Illness 1: Empowering Yourself

Does the complexity of chronic illness management overwhelm you? Do you struggle to navigate the paperwork, the emotions, the lifestyle changes that illness brings?

Everyone who deals with illness, whether patient, caregiver, provider, or administrator, deals with a complex mixture of personal, technical, institutional, and spiritual issues.

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The Koan of Illness Part 2: Healing the Trauma

When you learn that illness is a part of your life and likely to be for some time, it is often a traumatic event. You may begin with denial and move through other stages such as anger or grief. You find that illness touches every aspect of your life – from your physical existence to your spirituality. Often it creates havoc with your relationships , your self-esteem, and your beliefs...

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The Koan of Illness Part 3: Healing Your Relationships

Chronic illness brings changes and challenges to every relationship – your partner, children, parents, employer, friends, and even yourself. Your relationships can fracture or deepen depending on how you integrate illness into them.

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The Koan of Illness Part 4: Illness as a Springboard for Personal Growth

Chronic illness can seem like a prison sentence, isolating you from life and taking away opportunities you might have had. However, illness is as valid a life path as any other, and, often, people with illness are able to use that difficulty to deepen their personal growth.  In this course, we use the integral map to look at the process of individual growth...

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The Koan of Illness Part 5: Chronic Illness and Spirituality

How does one find spirit in the midst of pain and loss? How can illness offer opportunities for spiritual growth? In this course, we use the integral map to look at the spiritual aspects of illness and explore how illness offers a path to awakening and an opportunity to develop spiritual intelligence.

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The Koan of Illness Part 6: Integration: A New Vision for Healing

How can I create a personal plan for growth in the midst of the complexity that is illness and personal development?

How can I relate to the systems in which I have to operate?

What are my Koans?

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