Tav Sparks, 1949-2020

Former Director

Former Director Tav Sparks (deceased) was co-director of Grof Transpersonal Training (GTT) until his death on August 9, 2020. Tav was a gifted and inspirational teacher, consultant, and writer who worked therapeutically with people in non-ordinary states of consciousness for 34 years.

A tribute to Tav’s life can be found here.

From 1986 until close to his death, Tav conducted hundreds of trainings and workshops and supported thousands of individuals in their deep inner work. In 1990, he became the primary faculty member of GTT, working alongside Stanislav Grof, M.D. (co-creator, with Christina Grof, of Holotropic Breathwork®, and author of Psychology of the Future, The Cosmic Game, and When the Impossible Happens). In 1998, Tav, along with Cary Sparks, took over GTT from the Grofs, and he led and oversaw a network of seminars and events all over Europe; North and South America; and Australia.

Tav was the author of four books, a training manual, and five professionally produced CDs. In his most recent book, The Power Within: Becoming, Being, and the Holotropic Paradigm published in 2016, Tav shares a wealth of wisdom from his deep understanding of Holotropic Breathwork®. He shows how a holotropic paradigm can inform all sorts of settings, from the therapeutic to the personal and interpersonal, and more.

His previous book, Movie Yoga: How Every Film Can Change Your Life, demonstrates how movie watching can be a deep spiritual practice. Stanislav Grof said Movie Yoga “is a unique instrument that could transform one of the most popular mass entertainments into an adventure of self-discovery, self-healing, and inner transformation.” Tav’s CD series covers four topics as they relate to Holotropic Breathwork®: Getting Started on Your Inner Journey; Addiction, Recovery, and the Spiritual Path; A Modern Spiritual Method with Lessons for Practical Life; and Healing Stories from Holotropic Breathwork®.

His work for four years in a traditional recovery environment, and his experience of the limitations of the current treatment model, were the inspiration for Tav’s first book, The Wide Open Door: The 12 Steps, Spiritual Tradition, and the New Psychology. In this groundbreaking text, he pioneered the wellness approach to addiction and recovery. International lecturer and author Rokelle Lerner calls the book a “stunning synthesis of psychology, spirituality, and Twelve Step traditions” and “an important contribution to the addictions field.”

His 1987 article in Revision Journal, “Transpersonal Treatment of Addictions: Radical Return to Roots” was the forerunner of currently accepted trends in treatment.

Tav is also author of the training manual Doing Not Doing: A Facilitators Guide to Holotropic Breathwork. His poetry book Through Thunder: A Death Rebirth Journey, received much praise, and he has also completed seven screenplays.

He was program coordinator for three conferences of the International Transpersonal Association (ITA) and served as a member of the ITA Board of Directors.

Tav lived in Northern California and was the father of two sons, Ason and Bryn, and the grandfather of four boys.

Watch Tav’s video on the inner healer in Holotropic Breathwork
Tav’s Movie yoga website
Movie Yoga video 1
Movie Yoga video 2
Movie Yoga video 3
Movie Yoga video 4