As I enter my second year of training as a spiritual director, I will begin working with directees on a volunteer basis. If you would be interested to join me in this adventure, please contact me.
I see the spiritual journey as a path toward inner and outer wholeness, with the goal of restoring an interrupted relationship to the creative Source out of which we and all things have been created. In relation to this source, humans are as children whose senses and capacities are still developing. We are meant to grow into a larger, richer form of life, and to become responsible, loving co-creators with the divine world, a process which requires both solitude and community.
Spiritual Direction is a term long used in the Christian tradition for a way of walking together in the spiritual life. One person helps another discern what the Spirit is doing and saying, so that divine guidance can become more apparent in one’s individual situation. Spending time with a spiritual companion, mentor, or “soul friend” can help us to connect with that guidance, which comes ultimately not from the companion — who is equally a learner on the path — but from the Spirit.
While the word “direction” has unfortunate connotations of one person telling another what to do, that is not how it should be understood or practiced. Rather, the trustful working together between humans allows a space to arise into which higher wisdom can flow. Each director has gifts of experience and learning to share, but the role is more of a mediating, facilitating gesture than an authoritarian one. My own experience as a “directee” is that another person’s perspective is extremely helpful in shaking me out of my habits, overcoming bias and prejudice, and opening up previously unexplored avenues.
Spiritual Direction is not a substitute for necessary psychiatric or psychotherapeutic care; our souls are often in need of healing due to prior traumas that have impaired our development, and this may need to be tended to before or along with taking up the spiritual quest, lest the exertions of the spiritual path prove too great for a fragile soul. On the other hand, sometimes it’s the realization that one’s spiritual striving is hampered by soul obstacles that turns one to seek therapy. The responsibility of the Spiritual Direction relationship includes mentioning when such care seems to be indicated, to be sought from qualified individuals.
Although my own background and practice is Christian, I consider that each person has a uniquely valuable story, and that there are many valid spiritual paths. I welcome the opportunity to walk together with people of all faiths, including those for whom faith is difficult to define or access. My fundamental belief is in a truth that unites humanity and will one day overcome all divisions, if we have the patience and honesty to come into true relationships with ourselves and each other.
I am particularly interested in practices of embodying spirituality, as my own journey has led me through mental and physical health crises to an appreciation of the body’s wisdom. I think that the goal of mind controlling and subduing the body that is prevalent in many spiritual streams has led to many problems, and agree that “the body’s ability to experience felt meaning is our forgotten bridge into the experience of spirit.” As we face the double threat of either distancing ourselves from the body, or being overwhelmed by and subsumed by its power, there is the chance to learn a new kind of listening and enter into a new and joyful relationship with the Creator.
I’m currently in training with the Online Benedictine Spiritual Direction program of Benet Hill Monastery in Colorado Springs. While life itself is the training ground for spiritual development, I believe a more focused preparation to be important for those who wish to offer a practice of spiritual direction. It gives an opportunity to work through one’s personal issues and develop a sense of groundedness in the spiritual life before trying to help another. As I’m completing my second year of the training, I’d love to talk with you about how we might work together. Please contact me.
Training in spiritual direction has brought me home to a ministry I’ve been seeking for more than 25 years. Before I discovered this possibility, I completed a number of other programs in spiritual disciplines and adult education. Several involved studying the anthroposophy of Rudolf Steiner, which has brought me many gifts. These trainings include:
- Part-Time Foundation Year in Arts and Anthroposophy, Sound Circle Center, 1996
- Orientation Year Certificate, Sunbridge College, 1997
- Benedictine Living Experience, St Benedict’s Monastery in St Joseph, Minnesota, 1998
- Diploma in Eurythmy, Eurythmy Spring Valley, 2002
- Cornerstone Courses, Alcyon Center, 2016-2018
- Cambridge English Language certificate in teaching English to adults, 2020
- Distance Learning Program, North American Christian Community Seminary, 2021
Some of my writing credits that might be of interest:
- Seeking the Honey of Life and A Cosmic Twist – essays in Kosmos Journal
- Name Calling – essay in Braided Way
- Five poems in Agape Review
- “To Speak” and “Time Change” – poems in Amethyst Review
- “Caught” – poem in Heart of Flesh Literary Journal, reprinted in Radix Magazine
- “Geode” – poem in Ekstasis
- “Opening a Pomegranate” – poem in Untold Volumes
- Three poems in Soul Forte
- “What the Rich Young Man Said” and “Advent/Lent” – Two poems in Kosmeo Magazine
To learn about my forthcoming book, When Fragments Make a Whole, visit my Books page.