What is Spiritual Direction?
Formal Spiritual Direction has roots in many faith traditions, and is a form of guided spiritual companionship. My academic education for offering spiritual direction was a two year full-time Masters Program through the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church. Spiritual Direction session are not counseling. Together we sit in confidential sessions devoted to listening with open ears and an open heart for where we are directed in our spiritual lives.
Spiritual Direction is accessible to all faiths and people. We all don’t need to share the same sacred story to use direction for spiritual growth. Direction is “relational.” It can be deep listening or existential listening for humanists and non religious. It is companionship through the quest for meaning.
Finding ways to acknowledge that Spirit within us guides us to a deeper sense of true self, and commitment to a “way” that leads us to a sense of our unity with one another and the creative source we may name God.
Depending on the individual or group, direction style will vary and evolve into an organic rhythm that may take the form of prayerful conversation, dialogue, or spiritual exercises. You may also come with a specific goal to broaden your prayer experience, discern a call, or listen for shifts in your relationship with the Divine. Often we have outgrown our childhood relationship with the Divine, but yearn to nurture an adult expression of this relationship. Our first session will often be an introduction to one another in which you describe your intent and desire to pursue direction. See Spiritual Direction Offerings
What is the Spirit in Christian Spiritual Direction?
In the Episcopal Church we believe in the Trinity. The Trinity being a God that is three in one: God the creative source, God who identifies with humanity, and God the guide and advocate. Traditionally these are referred to as God the father, God the son, God the Holy Spirit, also: God Creator, God Redeemer, God Sustainer. The Holy Spirit was revealed as the giver of life, the One who spoke through the prophets, and today leads us into all truth.
In Christian Spiritual Direction the Holy Spirit (the sustainer, the guide and advocate) is the true director. The Holy Spirit was in the beginning, and is now until the end of time, a conduit to the divine source of life. The Holy Spirit dwells with us and within us, and guides us toward deeper understanding, toward greater unfolding patterns and truths. Spiritual direction with a companion helps us to listen and discern spiritual movement in our lives.
As a spiritual director, I act as companion with individuals and groups seeking to deepen their relationship with the Source. Prayerful listening and reflection allows space for the Holy Spirit to flow as the intended “director.”
As humans we are not separated from the source of creation. But our human awareness, our self consciousness, and our human frailty create a false sense of separation. Our human condition requires the real need to feed, clothe, and house ourselves. It is a challenge that we live into often through competitiveness. Jesus’ message was that we also need to care for one another. The Holy Spirits’ activity reminds us of our connection to the source, our interconnectedness, the imperative to care for one another, and the ongoing care of the earth and all of creation.