Hungry Ghosts


This 10-hour course is open to all interested in the spiritual and psychological dimensions of exploring “hungry ghosts.” This course focuses on interpersonal growth and inner reconciliation. Open to all ~ those working in the field of mental health are particularly welcome.

Institute Members receive 50% off of their tuition. Simply enter the Institute code upon registration. All are welcome to join the Institute. Membership is lifelong.


Stories of hungry ghosts can be helpful metaphors for the selfish and insatiable cravings that can derail us all. Hungry ghosts represent the ugliness of our unhealthy attachments and our blind quest to seek permanent satisfaction in an endless consumption of changing things… these shadows haunt us until we welcome them home.
~ Amy Wright Glenn, Holding Space

As sensitive people drawn to the work of holding space for life’s threshold points,
how do we navigate hungry ghosts?

Join Institute founder, Amy Wright Glenn, for a 4-week exploration of your inner “hungry ghosts” ~ a term used in Buddhism to refer to unmet inner needs and psychological/spiritual shadows. Along the way, you will strengthen your ability to not only reconcile with shadow elements within ~ but also navigate the hungry ghosts of those around you.

Fridays, September 9, 16, 23, & 30
7-9pm EST

*One need not join live as the modules are recorded and shared with participants.


Are you a highly sensitive person? Are you drawn to the healing paths of caregiving?

Do you tend to “over-feel” and intuit the emotional states of those around you easily, even disregarding your own? Given this, how do you navigate the complexity of interacting with “toxic” people? How do you navigate your own complexity ~ your own hungry ghosts?

The Hungry Ghosts course includes the following:

  • 8-hours of live module/webinar time with Amy ~ offered up through the Zoom. (All modules are recorded for participants)
  • Personal journal reflection/writing based upon prompts provided in each of the four 2-hour modules of study.
  • Optional small study group/discussion on Shahida Arabi’s book “The Highly Sensitive Person’s Guide to Dealing with Toxic People”

The four modules of study include:

The Shadow Side of Caregiving: What does it mean to be highly sensitive? Why are highly sensitive people drawn to birth, breath, and death work? What do the hungry ghosts of highly sensitive people tell us about the shadow side of care giving?

Examination of Past Patterns: What do our past patterns ~both in terms of relationship with self and in relationship with others ~reveal about our hungry ghosts? If we have a tendency to get enmeshed with manipulative and abusive people, why is that? What can we learn about ourselves as we archive our own history? This module will include an exploration of how trauma bonds are created, and healed.

Holding Space for Hungry Ghosts: Holding space means bringing compassionate presence to what is. How can we bring compassionate presence to the parts of us that we have discarded, ignored, or tried to self-medicate through maladaptive soothing mechanisms? As we learn to hold space for our own hungry ghosts, we also learn to hold space ~ and respond appropriately ~ to the hungry ghosts of those around us. For this module, participants will watch an hour long interview about Hungry Ghosts featuring INELDA and DONA doula trainer and Institute member Nicole Heidbreder, RN.

Integration and Reconciliation: What specific “how to” practical steps offer pathways to integration and reconciliation with own own shadowed aspects, negative self talk, hungry ghosts and with those around us? As we practice spiritual/emotional/mental pathways that avoid bypassing the shadow, we strengthen ourselves on all levels ~ deeply accessing the gifts we feel called to offer up to our beloved ones, and the world. Integration and reconciliation are a journey that continues long after this course concludes, however this 10-hour exploration will support you in your journey in deep and profound ways.

The Narcissist. The Empath.

Much has been written about these two archetypes in psychology and all of us are born with the potential, and can cultivate, narcissistic and empathic traits.

Individuals drawn to hold space for birth, breath, and death tend to score high in empathy. Shahida Arabi, author of The Highly Sensitive Person’s Guide to dealing with Toxic People defines this as Sensory Processing Sensitivity and she refers to high levels of empathy as “superpowers.”

But what happens when people high in empathy encounter and/or become entangled with people high in narcissism?

And what do such interactions reveal about the shadow side of being an empath? How can empaths face and integrate their “hungry ghosts”?



Two books are needed for this course.

Holding Space ~ On Loving, Dying, and Letting Go by Amy Wright Glenn

The Highly Sensitive Person’s Guide to Dealing with Toxic People by Shahida Arabi












Nicole Heidbreder works as a Labor and Delivery and Hospice Nurse in the Washington DC area and has been attending births as a doula for over 15 years here in DC, NYC, San Francisco, Sumatra, Bali, and Uganda.  Currently she also facilitates independent birth doula workshops and trains nursing students as a Clinical Instructor with the Johns Hopkins University Birth Companions Program.  Additionally, she teaches End of Life Doula Workshops for the International End of Life Doula Association (  Through her work in clinical nursing education Nicole was proudly inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honors Society as a Leader in the field of Nursing and she sits on the George Washington University Hospital Ethics Committee. To find out more.


I would recommend Amy’s classes to anyone wishing to take an authentic and comprehensive exploration with a true cultural pioneer. This has been one of the best classes I have taken. ~ Sally Hunt, midwife, Australia

Amy’s work changed my heart, dramatically. It gave me the confidence I needed to pursue my passion and gave me the tools needed to hold space. ~ Nakia Kelly, student doula, Maryland

Amy is a very powerful teacher because her teaching comes directly from her heart and from a life that has experienced what she is teaching. ~ Tracy Glaser- Bacon, hospice worker, Ohio

Read more testimonials.