About Helena:

(Links to articles about me and interviews with me are at the bottom of this page.)

Thank you for taking the time to get to know me a little bit.

Right in this moment I am looking out the window at my land, feeling grateful for the seventeen acres of forest in northern California that I share with my daughter Leah, some friends and our dogs. At fifty-nine I am in the sweetest relationship of my life with Hubert, a poet and L.M.T. This is us on our combined 59th and 65th birthday party.

I grew up in atheistic Sweden with a deep spiritual longing that propelled me around the globe, to many different teachers and gurus, and to explore every possible (and some impossible) ways of personal and spiritual growth. I began meditating and practicing Rebirthing (conscious energy breathing) at eighteen. In my meditations I began to feel a connection with a light filled being who became my son Jon in 1980.

In my early twenties I became Ma Dhyan Passika and meditated, danced and lived with Osho-Rajneesh and his band of red followers for five years. (And if you have watched the Netflix series “The Wild West,” I can tell you that I, and all of us “workers” on the Ranch, had no idea what Sheela, Osho’s secretary, was up to; we we’re as chocked as the general public when the truth came out. That is also when I left the movement and took my birth name back.)

I did numerous Vipassana (silent sitting) retreats and Enlightenment Intensives. Inspired by Sanaya Roman and Duane Packer, I channeled a group of spirit guides called Elaiha for 10 years and taught thousands of people how to channel. Together with my spirit guides I authored several bestselling books and cassette albums in Sweden. I swam with the dolphins and whales for fifteen years and brought many groups to meet them in Hawaii and the Red Sea. My son often traveled with me as my assistant; we loved being together and guiding groups.

In 2000, while pregnant with my daughter Leah, The Work of Byron Katie found me and shocked me to my core with its powerful simplicity. Everything I had been seeking became available in a real way through The Work. Then in 2001, my then twenty-one-year-old son overdosed on drugs, leaving me in the deepest despair and grief. The only practices that stayed with me in the face of death were The Work inquiry and Buddhist/Zen-inspired meditation practices. My journey through the loss of my son became the deepest spiritual awakening of my life; today I can honestly say I am grateful that his body shifted form. How I used The Work and meditation during this heartbreaking passage culminated in my book: “Jon Walks in the Light,” a series of guided meditations and my class Healing Heartbreak-growing through loss and grief with The Work of Byron Katie.

In 2010 another life-altering event happened; I was diagnosed with HIV. Again I was catapulted into a dark hole and I used inquiry to transform and turn around all the fears, the stress and shame that came with that diagnosis. After being in a deep process with HIV and myself for some years I came out as HIV+ and began sharing The Work with other HIV patients. Then my work developed into working with people with any kind of disease or chronic condition; cancers, m.e. M.S, autoimmune diseases, allergies, etc. Together with Bethany Webb, a fellow Certified Facilitator and cancer thriver, I have now shared the class Making Peace with Disease with hundreds of people.

I became a Certified Facilitator of The Work in 2012 through The Institute for The Work of Byron Katie. I am deeply grateful to continue uncovering my true self, one thought at a time, through my daily practice and through sharing The Work with others. I am also a mentor and a trainer of The Work. I share The Work through on-line classes, live retreats and private sessions.

Alongside my spiritual practice was always a deep love for ritual and ceremony. When our inner work is done, service and ceremony is all that remains. Ceremony is not only a way to create beauty but also a powerful tool for healing and completion. So I was delighted to find an education that put some clear forms to that love. In 2012, I became a Certified Life-Cycle Celebrant through the Celebrant Foundation.CF_THE WORK_LOGO2_OL

celebrantlogoAll my class curriculum’s are developed directly
from my own inner journeys using The Work and meditation through death and loss, low self-esteem, moving through two marriages and divorces, parenting, being diagnosed with HIV and making peace with my disease….all of it!

Our deepest darkness always contains the most brilliant light.                                                                                                                                                                                                                       ~Helena


About the Look Within Institute:

Stop looking for someone out there,
and begin seeing within.  ~Rumi


The Look Within Institute exists to end suffering on this planet through creating peace from within; clearing and healing the mind in individuals and the world. The Look Within community of truth finders come from all walks of life, from all over the world.

Helena Montelius founded the Look Within Institute in 2005 in California as a new incarnation of the spiritual work she had offered since 1985. The path of having physical gurus or seeking healing from outer sources, such as dolphins or spirit guides, no longer felt true. To look within and go directly to the source, without any detours, is the focus of the Look Within Institute; to assist you in returning home.

The Look Within Institute is dedicated to offer:

  • A real, grounded path to uncover your true self; who you are without your stories.
  • Opportunities to push the pause button to find your inner stillness and peace.
  • A compassionate, clear space where you can find your own answers and solutions.
  • High-quality, efficient, kind and transformative tools that help you create lasting change.
  • Classes and retreats that support healing, spiritual openings and growth through life’s challenges and heartbreaking passages.


Some testimonials:

“I love that Helena teaches without a holier-then-thou attitude. She is radically honest and so present with each person.”

“My experience with Helena in the Healing Heartbreak class far exceeded my expectations of a online class. From the moment I registered to the last moment of class, Helena was there guiding in the most warm, wise and heart-centered way. She created an extremely safe environment for all of us to investigate suffering around loss, grief and heartbreak. As a result, I was able to bring deep compassion to the pain and I now have a completely new understanding. And the seeds have been planted to continue investigating painful beliefs as they arise. I am truly grateful to Helena and the group of participants. This was transformational!”

“Helena’s class ‘Healing Heartbreak’ was profoundly healing for me during a time when I was grieving the death of my best girlfriend of 19 years, my dog and a painful betrayal in a love relationship. The six week class truly helped me to get to the core of the wounding and through The Work of Byron Katie re-write the story to help me see the gifts in the heartbreaks I had experienced…”

“You saved our marriage! That’s the short version of the depth of gratitude we feel for Helena guiding us through some very painful spots in our marriage, so we could re-unite in love.”

“As parents and spiritual teachers we are inspired by Helena’s clarity
and courage.”~ Stephen & Ondrea Levine
* Listen to this juicy conversation between me and Lisa Schrader ( http://www.awakeningshakti.com ) in her Shakti salon. We are sharing and doing inquiry on body-image thoughts and other practices from my
My Body My Temple – Dissolving Body Judgments for Women-classes:
* Watch Grace Bell from Peace Talks interview me about how The Work helped me through my son’s death and my HIV diagnosis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=un0TR-hPlcQ
* Here is an article (in Swedish) written by Nina Tormark, a Swedish journalist, about my HIV story:
*Introductory Healing Heartbreak~growing through loss and grief with The Work of Byron Katie class that I recorded in January 2020 to give you a taste of what a class with me.
*Here is an article that my local paper The Union published about the work Bethany Webb and I do around disease: