Spiritual Directors International

The Home of Spiritual Companionship

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Guest Author: 
Tom Cashman

As is so often the case, my session with Jerry allowed thoughts and ideas lying just below my consciousness to surface, like trout waiting for the right moment, waiting to surface for sustenance. Frequently I’ve described time with my spiritual director Jerry each month as “oral journaling” in which I’m sometimes very surprised at what comes out of my mouth. In our last meeting, an idea quietly exploded into my consciousness and then into our conversation.  It was the idea that my contemplative practice and my great love of flyfishing were somehow deeply connected.

Guest Author: 
Allie Kochert

 

What lights up your soul? What brings joy to your moments? When do you feel wonder, awe?

Spiritual directors often ask questions like these as we develop relationships with those who we companion. We are blessed, honored, and privileged to get a chance to offer ourselves and our attention to the seeking souls of other “spiritual beings having a human experience.”

Yet we are human, too, and what we do sometimes can be hard work. Indeed, relationships are never really easy per se, and we are in the business of building relationships— through our presence with our directee and the Divine.

As emerging spiritual directors, we are sometimes unaware of how our own reactions can unintentionally bubble up and hinder our ability to be fully present to our directee. When we need to fix, advise, cajole or otherwise change our companions and their reactions, we can sideline the movement of Spirit. It is ethically questionable to blindly speak our strong reactions. Yet, we still face the issue of what to do with our rising thoughts, feelings and sensations.

When we notice our pulse racing, or emotions rising, or thoughts racing, we can react with fear or an attempt to block the feelings we are experiencing:

“I shouldn’t feel this way.”

“I need to be present and not judge.”

“I don’t want to make this about me.”

Guest Author: 
Azra Rahim, MD

Some call her Mary. Peace be upon her.  Muslims know her as Maryam.  Peace be upon her. Muslims revere her. The Quran calls Maryam - peace be upon her -  the most righteous among all women. She is believed to be pure, in every sense of the word and that is what Azra (my name) means - Pure. I am named in her honor. In my earliest memories, my grandmother speaks love stories of Maryam - peace be upon her - linking us together, forever. 

Guest Author: 
Steven Crandell

 

There is a quest in every open-ended and open-hearted question.

Who am I?

This is just such a questing question.

What is my destiny?

This is another.

If these questions seem daunting, remember that a true response is always a good response.

“I don’t know,” can be just such a true response.

“I don’t know” can be the beginning of a great adventure. It can create an openness to learning and growth, to more open-ended, open-hearted questions, such us:

Guest Author: 
Janice L. Lundy, DMin

A good way to start thinking about nature,

talk about it.

Rather talk to it,

talk to the rivers, talk to the lakes,

to the winds.

As to our relatives.

 

~ John Lame Deer

 

People from the beginning of time have linked their inner lives to Nature. I use the term “Nature” here, with a capital “N” to denote sacred Presence. Such has been the case for me.

As a young girl, I felt such Presence while walking in the woods or along a sandy shoreline. I heard Presence whisper through the trees and grasses; witnessed It as birds soaring in flight and in the delicate unfolding of flowers. Something holy presented itself to me through all things of land and sea. Because of this, I can easily label myself as a “nature mystic.”

Guest Author: 
Pete Bernard