John Welwood

John Welwood

We are saddened by the loss of John Welwood, a special teacher and longtime friend to Omega, who passed away in January 2019.

John Welwood, PhD, was a clinical psychologist in San Francisco and associate editor of Transpersonal Psychology.

A leading figure in transpersonal psychology and in the field of integrating Western psychology and Eastern wisdom, Welwood wrote numerous books, including Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships: Healing the Wound of the Heart; Toward a Psychology of Awakening: Buddhism, Psychotherapy, and the Path of Personal and Spiritual Transformation; Journey of the Heart: The Path of Conscious Love; Love and Awakening: Discovering the Sacred Path of Intimate Relationship; and Ordinary Magic: Everyday Life as Spiritual Path.

Welwood’s innovative work in transpersonal psychology also emphasized integrating psychological and spiritual work, focusing on intimate relationship as a spiritual path. His book Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships was the 2007 winner of the prestigious Books for a Better Life Award, which since its inception has honored more than 300 titles and their authors, including Jimmy Carter, Deepak Chopra, the Dalai Lama, Stephen Levine, and Thomas Moore.

A Message from Elizabeth Lesser, cofounder of Omega

Over Omega’s 42 years of offering retreats and workshops, I have had the honor and pleasure of meeting and working with many of the world’s pioneering voices in psychology, science, creativity, and spirituality. But rarely did I come across someone who combined all of the above into one brilliant body of work. John Welwood—who began teaching at Omega in the 1980s—was such a person.

The author of many groundbreaking books, John taught one of Omega’s most popular and long-standing trainings for psychotherapists. John died a few days ago at the age of 75 after an illness that might have stopped someone else, but he continued to teach at Omega as recently as last fall.

Besides being an author and therapist, John was the former director of the East–West Psychology program at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco and the associate editor of the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology.

He will be missed greatly by those of us at Omega—staff and students—who knew and loved him. We offer our condolences to his wife Jennifer and his family and his global community of students, friends, and colleagues. If there’s a place where the true teachers go—those who offer wisdom with grace and humility and passion—that’s where John is!

John Welwood at Omega