What is Spiritual Direction?
Spiritual direction is a spiritual practice of listening and supporting someone to deepen their relationship with God and grow in their spirituality. The intention is to create a space where the person participating in spiritual direction can grow in their openness to perceiving and being shaped by God’s presence and activity in their life.
Spiritual direction is a simple process. A directee meets regularly with a director. This usually occurs once a month, though it can be more frequent when needed. The time begins with a period of immersion in prayer and scripture. While the director listens, the directee shares how they hear God speaking to them through scripture and how they perceive what God is doing in their life. Despite the name, a director does not direct. Rather the spiritual director listens, both to what the person says, as well as how they hear the spirit moving. After listening the director may ask questions, offer guidance or encouragement. It remains up to the directee to choose how they will live in response to this process.
Spiritual Direction is not counselling or focused on resolving some problem, rather it is orientated towards the spiritual growth of the people involved. Spiritual direction is a discipline who’s fruits emerge over time through its regular practice.
My Training as a Spiritual director.
My formal training as a spiritual director was received through Fr. Bob Mitchell at Mount Saint Francis. This training followed the Franciscan style of spiritual direction. I have also been a recipient of spiritual direction since 1999 with directors from the communities of Taizé, St. John the Evangelists and Mount St. Francis. My practice of spiritual direction is also shaped by my experience in interfaith and inter-spiritual dialogue as well as my formal theological training at the Lutheran Theological Seminary and Harvard Divinity School. I was ordained as a Lutheran Pastor in 2007.
If you are interested in participating in spiritual direction with me, you can contact me at:
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I want to check out spiritual direction or different directors?
It is important that there is a good fit between a person, the process of spiritual direction and the spiritual director. The first meeting is really intended as a time for both the director and the directee to discern if there is a good fit. If there seems to be a good fit, it is good to continue to discern if the process and the relationship is right for the spiritual growth of the directee. It is common for someone to meet with different directors to both check out the process of direction and to find a director that fits for them.
What happens during the first meeting with a spiritual director?
The first session usually begins with a time of settling in that involves being welcomed, introductions and some casual conversation. Then the process begins with a time of prayer, followed by a reading of sacred scripture and silence for reflection. The director will then ask for a brief life history and a brief spiritual history. This is then followed by a conversation about the nature of the relationship being established, including expectations, how often they will meet etc. This will then be followed up with some conversation and the directee will often be given something to reflect on before the next meeting. The time then ends with a prayer. Usually this will last about one hour.
Is there a cost to spiritual direction?
There is usually the expectation that the directtee pays for the spiritual direction time. This is important both for valuing the time and it enables the director to provide for the necessities of life. The amount is flexible, but is usually between $50 - $100/hr. based on the directees ability to afford this. The minimal amount is what the directtee would earn for an hour of their own work. If a person seeking direction cannot afford to pay, speak with the director about this and accommodations can often be made.