Throughout human history individuals have been inspired to accompany others seeking the Mystery that many call God. Spiritual Direction is the practice of being with people as they attempt to deepen their relationship with the divine, or to learn and grow in their own personal spirituality. The person seeking direction shares stories of his or her encounters of the divine or how he or she is experiencing spiritual issues. The spiritual director provides support, direction, and formation and does so from both a personal and transpersonal knowledge and experience base and may be a companion in a mutual quest for a greater connection with and expression of the divine within each.
The emphasis is on spirituality rather than on religion as spirituality names more of an experience than religious beliefs. The goal of the program is about finding and relating to something higher and deeper in oneself and others beyond (yet including) the daily ordinary of consensual reality and beliefs. The need for such can come from a crisis of the spirit, struggle in one’s own belief system, an inability to understand or integrate a transformative spiritual experience, and how to handle stress and loss of one’s way via learning to meditate, pray, and finding guidance from a deeper source.
Spiritual Directors help people discover life’s meaning and the importance of deepening into the sacred through the contemplative practice of listening and companioning, formation and direction. Spiritual directors discern with you God’s presence and integrate spirituality into your daily life. Spiritual direction is not therapy nor pastoral counseling. Listening, sharing, prayer and meditation may be used.
Spiritual Directors International (SDI) is a learning community that educates and supports this service throughout the world and across traditions. It strives to articulate the essential elements of contemplative practices, formation and training, to encourage accountability, and to develop clear ethical guidelines. It supports a global contemplative dialogue of spiritual care and compassion for others, ourselves, and the whole cosmos. Spiritual Directors International has more than six thousand members on six continents representing sixty-five traditions.