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Vision Statement

We nurture a community that celebrates the sacred wholeness of the human spirit, honors diversity in all forms, and embraces the final season of life.

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Mission Statement

The mission of CCLD is to create a community that embodies living a meaningful life through inner exploration and growth, service, and community-supported end-of-life care.

Why Conscious Living & Dying?  Read more >

Embracing death as part of life ignites our hearts and enriches our lives.

It is said that facing death is like holding up a mirror to the ways we live. Death allows us to really see, to glean meaning from existence. To feel connected, empowered, and alive! Because CCLD embraces death as a part of life, this community is remembering how to live consciously, and to infuse life with love rather than fear. 

- Hannah Fowler, Director of Education

Our Team

Our Team

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Aditi Sethi, MD

Dr. Aditi Sethi is a hospice and palliative care physician, end-of-life doula, and musician. Featured in the forthcoming film The Last Ecstatic Days, Aditi is an emerging and important voice for shifting our culture’s understanding and approach to dying, death, and bereavement care.  

 Founder and Executive Director

Courtney Smith (Volunteer donating their time to CCLD)

Courtney Smith, started her career as a music therapist in the realms of both birth and death. These early experiences, along with her work as a Certified Nurse Assistant, Hospice volunteer and trained death doula as well as a 20+ career in social services has imprinted upon her the sacredness of the entire life cycle and the importance of community. Courtney is supported by her lifelong practices of meditation, Kundalini yoga, shamanic studies and ancestry work. She currently facilitates and supports the emergence of the Center for Conscious Living and Dying through strategic planning, organizational development.


Director of Operations


Hannah Fowler, RN

Hannah Fowler is a hospice nurse, end-of-life doula, facilitator, and educator who brings conscious living and dying practices to individuals and organizations across the US and internationally. Hannah is the Impact Producer for The Last Ecstatic Days feature film. Hannah is on the advisory board of the Completed Life Initiative and former faculty with the Conscious Dying Institute. 

Director of Education

Sheri Kay  (Volunteer donating their time to CCLD)

Sheri Kay is an organizational coach, facilitator, and end-of-life guide. She has positively impacted hundreds of businesses across the country through heart-centered communication practices and values-based systems. More than anything, Sheri is dedicated to helping individuals and groups become more present to themselves and each other. 

Whether it's with CCLD, teaching a yoga class, or with any of the teams that she coaches, Sheri has a unique way of building connections and community.

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Director of Resident and Volunteer Services


David Case  (Volunteer donating their time to CCLD)

David Case has been a developer of innovative communities for over forty years. He is particularly drawn to projects that create social impact while working with people he loves that share in the joy of the process.  His role with CCLD ranges from safekeeping the Sanctuary property to supporting Aditi and the team to help keep the vision flowing, effective, and daring.

Abundance Magician

Leah Jean 

Leah has over a decade of experience leading development teams at growing non-profit organizations in the United States and around the world. In this capacity, she has played a lead role in raising over $15 million to support the work of good causes and sustainably funding the growth and expansion of the organizations she works with. She is supporting CCLD in donor acquisition and management, grant research and grant writing, and fundraising strategy.

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Development Advisor


"My son, Ethan, was blessed to be taken care of by this community who came together to care for him 24 hours a day for 15 days. I have never witnessed so much love and caring. Food, music, massage, acupuncture and healing touch were all provided. Since I am from NY I did not have anyone here and this community became my family. Ethan said when he was transferred from an inpatient hospice to a home, that he found his community. He was so grateful for all who helped him transition. I can still see his joy coming out of the ambulance to be with a loving community at the end stage. We are eternally grateful for all who helped!"


 ~ Linda Rothman

Elder Concil

Elder Council

Greg Lathrop


Greg is licensed as a Registered Nurse. At age 15, he experienced what he thought would be the moment of his immediate death. The transpersonal, mystical state-of-being he experienced transformed his perspective of consciousness and guided his choices regarding his “work” in this life. Accordingly, his more than 40 years’ nursing experience has included serving within various healthcare realms: acute care, critical care, emergency care, air-medical transport, hospice, and integrative healthcare. Coinciding with his nursing practice, he was invited into a Traditional indigenous Medicine apprenticeship, following his Teacher Will Rockingbear for more than 13 years until Rockingbear's crossing. He is now recognized as a Medicine Elder in the Way of traditional healing. An embodiment of these teachings he received from his Teacher is..."I would prefer that you don't just take care of me. I would rather that you Love me."

Prema Sheerin

Prema Sheerin is a healer, life coach, spiritual mentor, and teacher who draws on 40 years of wisdom training with elders from cultures around the world including the Vedic and Wixarika shamanic traditions. Prema tends to those facing their own death as well as to those grieving all kinds of loss. She is an ancestral lineage healing practitioner, which includes bringing support and wellbeing to recently-departed souls as well as to those long gone. Prema brings care, curiosity and compassion to those experiencing any of death’s many facets.  You can find her at

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CCLD Board

CCLD Board

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Ray Barfield. MD - President

Ray Barfield is a writer and palliative care physician. Before turning his focus to palliative care, he was a bone marrow transplant physician and oncologist. He has spoken around the country about the role of storytelling in the practice of good medicine, and about the ways our experiences of illness, suffering, and dying can become philosophical cauldrons of discovery. He has published several novels and volumes of poetry, as well as four books of philosophy. Ray spent his childhood in Highlands, NC, and he is very happy to be back home among these ancient mountains.

Paul Fugelsang, MA, LPC - Vice-President

Paul is the Founder, Executive Director, Open Path Psychotherapy Collective, and has worked in the mental health field since 1996 with a focus on projects committed to improving mental health services for lower-income individuals and families. Before beginning his own private psychotherapy practice, he spent five years as counselor and supervisor at Esperanza, NY, a community-based agency designed to implement procedural reform throughout the juvenile justice system in New York City.  A graduate of Naropa University’s Contemplative Psychotherapy program, Paul operates Open Path Psychotherapy Collective and resides in Asheville, NC.

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Anastasia Prendergast - Secretary

Ana Prendergast is the owner and managing attorney of Prendergast Law, in Asheville, North Carolina. A graduate of UNC-Asheville and of Suffolk University Law School in Boston, Ana has been working with elderly adults and their families since 2007.  Her focus is on guiding families through their estate and long-term care planning needs, including elder law and guardianship issues, advance directive and end-of-life planning, post-death family issues, estate and fiduciary litigation, Medicaid and VA Benefits Planning, estate and trust administration, and special needs planning. Ana particularly enjoys working with families seeking compassionate guidance on the transitions that come with aging, including housing and care decisions, and difficult conversations about end-of-life choices.

Tonya Fortune Smith - Treasurer

Tonya Fortune Smith is a Senior Legal Analyst, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Fulfilled Consulting LLC and End-of-Life Doula along with her husband, Floyd. Tonya resides in Charlotte, NC and is a West Virginia native. Tonya has over a decade of experience in end-of-life care. She also holds a  certification in Thanatology and Master’s Degree from Marshall University.  She is very passionate about the death positive movement underway in our society. Her core values are to educate, honor, and advocate for options and choice for ALL humans at end-of-life as well as widen the narrative around death as she seeks to honor sacred traditions, remove stigmas around death, empower collective grieving, and create a safe space for BIPOC communities, connection, and support. 

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Jennifer Hough

Jennifer Hough (pronounced HUFF), the author of UNSTUCK: The Physics of Getting Out of Your Own Way, a #1 international bestseller in eight countries, is a renowned speaker, CEO of The Wide Awakening, and an expert in Scientuality, bridging the gap between science and spirituality.

Jennifer’s gift of holographic vision allows her to see what’s in your way and provide efficient steps that harness the laws of physics to give permanent lasting results, enabling you to fall in love with the life you are living. Her experiential programs (Advanced Guidance) and global community (Agents of Awakening), are designed to fast-track your dreams and help you embody a Thriving Operating System so you’re living in flow. Jennifer helps visionary leaders find meaning and fulfillment in life, having spoken in Fortune 500 companies (Royal Bank, Procter & Gamble, KFC), Schools of Medicine (MD, ND, Chiropractic) and National Associations (Nursing, Speakers, Incontinence, HR), on stages in India, Thailand, Australia, Slovakia, England, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Peru, Costa Rica, Bali, Canada and the USA. 

With decades of experience educating doctors (MDs, NDs and DCs), teachers, CEOs and Associations (Nurses, NDs, HR, Native American) in the physics of flow through her program, Get Out of Your Own Way™️️, Jennifer finds great joy in guiding her clients on an experiential journey using everyday physics, positively shifting their ability to flourish in business, health and abundance. Jennifer is a founding member of the Evolutionary Business Council, and ran the largest Nutrition Practice in Canada for 10 years. Visit for more information.

Ron Riffel

Ronald, a retired social worker, lives in Black Mountain with his wife Carla. His career included directing two mental health centers and a psychotherapy practice. He has served on numerous nonprofit boards. His career being mainly in Colorado made settling in the mountains of NC an easy choice. He has had a long term interest in mysticism and death and dying as a portal to transformation.

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