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Holy Listening

What is Spiritual Direction?

 

"Spiritual direction explores a deeper relationship with the spiritual aspect of being human. Simply put, spiritual direction is helping people tell their sacred stories everyday. Spiritual direction has emerged in many contexts using language specific to particular cultural and spiritual traditions. Describing spiritual direction requires putting words to a process of fostering a transcendent experience that lies beyond all names and yet the experience longs to be articulated and made concrete in everyday living. It is easier to describe what spiritual direction does than what spiritual direction is. Our role is not to define spiritual direction, but to describe the experience.


Spiritual direction helps us learn how to live in peace, with compassion, promoting justice, as humble servants of that which lies beyond all names."


Liz Budd Ellmann, MDiv, former Executive Director, Spiritual Directors International


What Spiritual Direction Is Not


Spiritual direction is not counseling.

Spiritual direction is not therapy.

Spiritual direction is not financial advice.


Like psychotherapy, it is often offered as a one-to-one or group experience in private sessions with spiritual mentors who have most likely completed extensive formation for the ministry and service of spiritual direction.


It is up to you to choose a spiritual director who has the training, formation and experience that suits your needs. Spiritual direction includes your deity or higher power as a third partner in the process.


While it may be appropriate at times to discuss personal and relational struggles in the context of spiritual direction, a spiritual director is not a psychotherapist, nor does the spiritual director provide such services. Similarly, you may discuss financial issues in spiritual direction, but a spiritual director does not offer financial advice and any decisions and actions you may take in that regard are done without advice or recommendation, and are purely your responsibility.


Read here for Questions to Ask a Spiritual Director


From:  Spiritual Direction International

Featured Partners: Contemplative Outreach of Colorado and Spiritual Direction Colorado

Walking Inspiritus partners with Contemplative Outreach of Colorado to offer the spiritual practice of contemplative walking. "The intent of Contemplative Outreach is to foster the process of transformation in Christ to one another through the practice of Centering Prayer." To explore the wide variety of contemplative offerings provided by the center, visit their website here.


As a spiritual director, I value the friendships and richness offered by long-standing partner in contemplative walking invitations, Spiritual Direction Colorado. SDCO "envisions a Colorado where spiritual guidance permeates peoples’ lives, faith communities and human organizations, transforming life for all, especially the most vulnerable."

To learn more or to become a member, visit their website here.  


"Spiritual direction is the contemplative practice of helping another person or group to awaken to the mystery called God in all of life, and to respond to that discovery in a growing relationship of freedom and commitment."


James Keegan, SJ, Roman Catholic, USA, on behalf of the 2005 Coordinating Council of Spiritual Directors International