What is spiritual direction?
Spiritual direction is a way of companioning with people in their life with God. Spiritual directors offer the gift of listening to both the directee and listening to the movement of the Spirit. The practice takes the shape of an honest reflection in the presence of a co-pilgrim. Together we notice those places that are moving toward an integrated life with God and those places that are stuck. Spiritual directors might suggest classical spiritual practices such as prayer, solitude, or celebration. We also might suggest some not-so-classical practices such as painting, dancing, or play. Healing, sustaining, reconciling, and guiding are primary elements, which are found in the biblical, historical and theological foundations of spiritual direction. (Gary W. Moon and David G. Benner, Spiritual Direction and the Care of Souls, 11.)
“I am here in order to help you recognize yourself (to collect yourself), to find your way in the crossroads; but it is God who calls, God who formulates and who measures his demands. Direction is not an oracle rendered form the height of a tripod, it is a collaboration in which one reveals that which is in him, and the other person helps him to recognize himself there and to find his way.” –Msgr. Maurice d’Hulst, French priest, 1841-1896
Every person was created for a whole life with God. Spiritual direction has been part of the Christian tradition since the very beginning. What began with John the Baptist, (many would argue and I would agree, it began long before him), was practiced by Jesus, John, Paul, Timothy, the Desert Mothers and Fathers, Aidan of Lindisfarne, Julian of Norwich and many others.
I have been walking with folks on their faith journey since I recognized I was having one myself. My spiritual direction training is from George Fox Evangelical Seminary. I am a member in good standing of Spiritual Directors International.
Spiritual direction with children
Children are having a life with God whether the adults in their lives notice it or not. In spiritual direction with children, the director takes the posture of noticing and encouraging, of making a space for children to talk about their experiences of God. The child takes the lead in these sessions.
Spiritual direction with children relies on the practice of Holy Listening. While children are talking and playing the director is listening for the good, beautiful and true in their stories. In the absence of goodness or beauty the director is helping them to connect with God, knowing God is present in their pain and sorrow.
The decision to come is usually the decision of parents. However it is never forced, the desire must come from the children. Often times it is due to a crisis in the family or an issue the parent feels the child is having. Spiritual direction is not counseling. Spiritual directors do not diagnose or treat mental health issues. In whatever circumstance or situation that children find themselves spiritual directors listen to children while listening to the Holy Spirit. They open the space for the child to see God and respond.
Spiritual direction for adults can occur in three ways and places.
My very favorite spot is at my home on Log Hill Mesa in Montrose, Colorado. I’ll pour a cup of tea and we’ll enter into a conversation with God who loves us very much. After a while the Spirit might invite you to take a walk outside and “lift up your eyes to the hills.” There is space to “be” in solitude and silence.
I also direct in a private room at my favorite local coffee shop the Coffee Trader. In addition I direct over Skype or Facetime.
Currently, I only practice spiritual direction with children at Haven House.
The cost for spiritual direction is on a donation only basis. Whatever you can, do. Don’t worry about the rest. You can use the button to the right to donate via PayPal whenever you wish to do so.