Who needs spiritual direction?
Anyone who seeks spiritual truth and growth, no matter what faith or spiritual practice.
What is a spiritual director?
A spiritual director or companion is like a coach for your soul journey. We are trained professionals who listen deeply and without judgement, to the steps each client is taking on their spiritual journey. I like to think of a spiritual director as a soul friend.
Why do we need spiritual direction?
We all have a path which is unique and having a witness who can come alongside to support rather than lead, is such a gift.
Below you will find a detailed description of what I believe a "Soul Friend " or Spiritual Director is. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. The links provided will give more detailed explanations.
Supporting Your Needs
I look forward to supporting seekers in a variety of ways:
Private Spiritual Direction
Group Spiritual Direction
Spiritual Exploration Seminars/Retreats
Individual Spiritual Direction
The possibilities are endless. Ideally, the meeting takes place face-to-face in a quiet place which is suitable for both of us. It could also take place on a walk, on the internet or at a kitchen table. We can work out those details to suit your needs.
One hour, once every three to six weeks. I am available most weekdays from 10 - 2 pm, and some evenings and weekends.
We can decide together what would work best for us. Zoom meetings are also available.
What to Expect
Much of this depends upon your preference. Usually, the first few minutes include mediation or prayer, perhaps a short reflection or poem, and the lighting of a candle to represent the presence of the Divine in the conversation.
Then the conversation takes on the life you bring it. You steer the course and I listen carefully and make observations when you are ready for me to. There will be no counselling or advice given.
We will be prompt and respectful of one another's time.
I take seriously the Guidelines for Ethical Conduct of the Spiritual Directors International and abide by them.
Based on $90/ hour
Book 3 sessions for $250
or 6 for $460
(I free session)
Rates for spiritual direction meet an accepted standard but may vary depending on location and individual circumstances.
Never be afraid to ask for rates in line with your financial situation. I was blessed with Spiritual Directors who were willing to help me through difficult times. To honour their gifts I am willing to pay it forward.
Group Spiritual Direction/Journey Groups
Group work offers the advantage of the experience of others and may also be a less expensive way to explore spiritual direction.
There are many ways to form a group. They may include:
A previously existing group of friends who would like to embark on a spiritual journey together.
Individuals who have contacted me and would like to be part of a group who may or may not know one another.
Frequency and Location
Groups typically meet monthly for the sake of consistency of schedules. They are usually made up of four but may vary according to needs. Sharing depends on group preferences and may vary from only one person sharing in a session to a longer opportunity for all to share.
Each person is given ample opportunity to express themselves and others in the group are given time to respond. There is always time for silence and thoughtful reflection before each person offers input.
As the facilitator, I become the timekeeper and hold the responsibility of making the space safe and the responses appropriate. I will also support the group by offering reflections, resources and prayer or silence as required.
Journey Groups are similar to Group Spiritual Direction but have a very formal format of sharing and silence. The group may decide which format they prefer and discussion about changes is always welcome.
For an overview of what takes place in a group visit Shalem Institute.
Group rates will be determined by the number of individuals attending and will reflect the prices of the facilities where events are held.
Typical Group Rate
4 person groups
$30 / hour/person
These opportunities will be offered in combination with River of Hope Spiritual Centre and will vary in content. They will be announced on this site and in my business social media feeds. Location will determine the cost.
Always with a view of considering the Divine, topics and offerings may include:
Informal Circle Groups
Guest speaker on a variety of topics and practices
Pilgrimages to other locations offering unique events and services
Rates for these special events and groups will vary and be reflective of speaker prices, venue costs and other expenses.
The Anam Cara - Spiritual Friend
My best definition
by Peggy Guiler
three portions of a spiritual friendship, the two people and the Divine.
There are many descriptions of spiritual direction and many viewpoints for a description but as I search I find it difficult to find one succinct statement that expresses the nature of spiritual direction.
Perhaps the difficulty of a description is the diversity of the experience. While the modern, western, practice of spiritual direction is based in Christianity I am confident it is something that has been occurring, naturally and formally in every religious tradition for thousands of years.
From the beginning, I would like to offer my own bias about the language of spiritual direction. I recognize it is from the need for continuity that we use the term and that we speak of “God”. I would prefer to find a less intimidating term like a companion, friend, or even a mentor. The Anam Cara or soul friend implies the entwining of souls with the Divine and is the image and basis I will choose for my own practice.
In my own simplistic definition, spiritual direction is, “The seeking of the divine with a soul friend who is also a seeker who is willing to support your journey, sharing their learning and faith without imposing it on you. “ (1)
Some of the strongest examples of spiritual direction come from the ancient Hebrew texts in the stories of Moses and Joshua, Elijah and Elisha. Each of these leaders mentored their second in command until the second became more capable than the first. Then the leader stepped away and allowed the combined wisdom to move forward with the Spirit as their guide.
Jesus, like his contemporaries in other religions, was a prime example of a spiritual director. He taught his disciples to do the same. Like the Egyptian Eunuch who rode with Paul, when we seek a mentor the Divine will provide one and they will travel with us for only as long as we need them.
The most straightforward explanation of spiritual direction I have found is from the Statement of Purpose of “A Code of Conduct for Spiritual Directors”. It states: “Spiritual direction is an ancient ministry, a unique one-to-one relationship in which a trained person assists another person in search of an ever-closer union of love with God.”
William A Barry and William J Connolly describe the Ignatian experience this way: “Spiritual direction is “help given by one Christian to another which enables that person to pay attention to God’s personal communication to him or her, to respond to this personally communicating God, to growing intimacy with this God, and to live out the consequences of the relationship”. [i]
The assumption of the Ignatian philosophy of spiritual direction is that Creator longs for us first and because of that longing we are aroused to long for God. (Janet K. Ruffing, RSM, Spiritual Direction – Beyond the Beginnings.)
Part of explaining spiritual direction is finding religious authority which recognizes it. Recently Pope Frances has been encouraging the use of spiritual direction in the Roman Catholic Church. He uses the symbol of the three chairs to signify the presence of two plus the Holy. Many church traditions, most notably the Anglican in Canada, have required their leaders to have spiritual direction on a regular basis for many years.
While doing some of my own spiritual practice during lent I ran upon a “40 Day Journey with Kathleen Norris”, a modern-day mystic. Reworking some of the questions she asks in day two of the study I find a good foundation for what spiritual direction should be.
"It is a place, with a person who allows seekers: to express doubts about faith, tradition or practice of their faith to express negative thoughts, moods, feeling, or concerns about faith and encourages seeker to explore what they believe and wrestle with the questions of faith."
Norris also quite eloquently expresses the call of the spiritual director as I see it. That is, to support and “to pray for people who have questions about their faith but don’t know where (or perhaps how) to ask them. “
There are many how-to’s and don’t do’s of the art of spiritual direction. It is not therapy or counselling. Both of those imply the person needs “to be told” what they should do. While a spiritual director may offer suggestions and make observations as many counsellors do, there is a basic understanding that the “directee” needs to find and has the ability to find their own answers. There is an assumption each is quite capable of seeking and hearing the voice of the Divine.
Perhaps all any of us need from a mentor is the assurance of our ability to hear the voice of the spirit.
The anam cara simply listens to the person with the heart of the Divine and speaks truth and wisdom which is filtered in prayer and humility, knowing always that the Divine is the source.
[ii] 40-Day Journeywith Kathleen Norris, Kathryn Hausesen, editor, Augsburg Books, Minneaplois, MN