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Spiritual Direction 101

Welcome to the Pilgrimage Spiritual Ministry Blog! Here we will discuss spiritual direction questions and answers, find God (or the Divine or the Mystery) in our everyday lives, explore mindfulness and many other topics associated with all things spiritual.

Spiritual Direction Basics

Spiritual direction is conducted one on one and sometimes in groups. The one on one version (we'll discuss the group version in a future post) is most common these days with one director (or spiritual companion or friend or guide) and one directee (or client). Sessions might start with silence or prayer and often begin with lighting a candle to set aside the time and space as sacred.

The director might begin by asking a simple question such as, "What have you been noticing since last we met?" or "What is moving in your heart or soul lately?" The director might also simply sit in continued silence until the directee breaks the silence with whatever they wish.

From there, the director simply listens and occasionally responds with open-ended, perhaps deepening, questions. I say 'simply' here but the listening is anything but simple. The director is simultaneously listening to the directee, listening to what God may be stirring within the director and the directee, listening to the body for whatever may be emerging, all the while putting aside their own needs for validation, information, comfort, fixing, saving, etc. as much as possible.

If there is a goal of spiritual direction, it may be to awaken and deepen one's awareness of the holy in our lives. It may be to develop or deepen a prayer practice or other spiritual practice. It may be to discern a stirring or calling that one cannot shake or avoid. It may be to muddle through the spiritually dry seasons of one's life. Spiritual direction is often most about simply being, rather than doing, and that can be a difficult transition to make in our current "must be productive" society.

Is Spiritual Direction for me?

Here are a few questions to consider when thinking about beginning spiritual direction:

  • Do I feel a draw toward God or the Holy?

  • Do I wish to live my life more closely aligned toward God or the Mystery of Life?

  • Do I feel there is something missing in my life?

  • Do I feel a nudge towards adding or deepening spiritual practice in my life?

  • Do I have a big decision to process?

  • Will having a companion to walk with me on the journey toward any of the above move me in that direction?

How do I find a spiritual director?

Spiritual directors are easier to find than ever these days. Of course, you may begin by calling or writing to me at the above number or email address. I am always seeking new directees with which to walk on their journey. To broaden your search, you can look on the Find a Spiritual Director page at the Spiritual Directors International website. For specifically Unitarian Universalist spiritual directors, you can search the directory pages at the UU Spiritual Directors Network site.

I look forward to hearing or reading about your spiritual direction journey in this blog. Abundant blessings to you along the path!

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