Spiritual Directors International

The Home of Spiritual Companionship

SDI Webinar: Out of Fear and Into Wonder - Spring Surrender & Spiritual Companionship

Join us!

 Online Video - Watch at Your Convenience





The highly contagious coronavirus weighs heavy right now on many people’s minds and hearts. It’s brought humanity to heel around the world, inflicting illness and death and an economic downturn of historic proportions. But this challenge and worry – in true paradoxical fashion – also offers opportunities to deeply connect. In a recent spiritual companionship session, one person asked this: “How can I directly address the coronavirus and find an authentic spiritual response to it that moves me out of isolation and fear and into wonder and care?”

That question leads us straight to surrender and renewal, what this webinar series is all about.

 Our 2-part webinar series is designed for spiritual companions and all those who offer spiritual care. People from all spiritual traditions and inclinations (and none) are welcome – including all those who seek the wisdom, acceptance and solace that contemplative practice and unvarnished conversation can bring.


Our Approach

Led by a woman of uncommon equanimity and open-hearted wisdom - spiritual guide, retreat leader and former SDI New Contemplative Sarah Cledwyn, we will look at how surrender and renewal work together, particularly in times of crisis. We will look at the opportunities for spiritual growth at the intersection of life and death, as we cope with COVID-19, as we enter Nature's most dynamic season, the Spring, and, for those with roots in the Christian traditions, as Easter arrives.


What to Expect:


  • Exploring surrender and new life in your own journey and in your companioning of others
  • Using COVID-19 as a contemplative gateway to wholeness
  • Going inside and beyond Christianity to amplify connections between the wisdom of the natural world and the story of Easter
  • Gaining skills in companioning others through trust, acceptance, gratitude, surrender and celebration
  • Expanding awareness of the interplay of surrender and growth in the spiritual process


An Invitation to All Those Who Offer Spiritual Care:

 Join us to embrace wholeness through questions that may be arising for those you companion:

  • How are we experiencing the nexus of life and death that is always with us, but that we often ignore?
  • How do we acknowledge/process fear, a sense of isolation and anxiety?
  • How do we experience God, or the ground of all being, in even this time of contagion and worry?
  • What new life might be emerging through the obvious loss and disruption?


We will also explore how the coronavirus, which seems extraordinary, is a potent illustration of deep truth, a re-arranging of the conditions of our physical and practical reality, an opportunity for people to pay attention. Join us as we uncover the inherent renewal in Nature’s cycles of death and life as well as in the yin and yang of Easter.



Any time you like. Each session is recorded so you can watch at your convenience.


Who We Are

SDI is an educational nonprofit, serving 7,000 members in 42 countries around the world. We are committed to supporting and growing access to spiritual companionship and the deep listening, open questions and compassion our healing modality offers. Presence is central to spiritual companionship. And wholeness and peace are benefits that come with contemplative living.


Course Description

Session 1 -  Fear, Isolation, Death, Birth, New Life and Impossible Dreams. In this time of COVID-19, we will focus on fear, isolation, death, surrender and possibility. We will delve into key spiritual questions with great impact on how we live our lives : How do we move through the obvious disruption and loss, connecting deeply while letting go?  How do we companion others through the loss, not only of health and life, but of economic stability and of future expectations? We will also listen deeply to our heart’s workings, asking: Have you ever been called to do the impossible work of God?  In the light of life and life abundant, how do we move with the spring of Living Water?  How do we companion others through the yes into radical love? We will explore serving others in a time of dissolution while keeping ourselves whole.


Session 2 – Easter (for Christians and non-Christians), the Sorrow that Stretches Our hearts and Imagining a Post-COVID-19 World. How might we find our way  from the tomb into the blossoming spring. What is this? Is it life and death or the in and the out breath?  Is it the very end or the beginning of everything?  Is it the seed that dies or the plant that grows?  Yes.  Francis Weller says, "We were never meant to live our lives in the shallow end…but rather we are made for depths of sorrow and praise that stretch us and enlarge our hearts." Winter to spring and Lent to Easter give us overlaying opportunities to dwell in the center of paradox and the ever-moving breath of life. Death, crucifixion - no less. Re-birth, resurrection - no less. Winter dormancy, a life-changing health threat and explosive spring.  Pain and suffering may devastate but may also presage and prepare the way for healing to come. How can spiritual companionship prepare the soil for spiritual growth that may come after this crisis abates? Will we experience a grand forgetting and resume our sleep walking? Or will there be practice and contemplative connection to use this difficult time to expand our hearts, surrendering to forgiveness and compassion and love?




Sarah Cledwyn, MA, is a spiritual director, energy healer and the Director of Inquiry and Discernment for Sacred Ground Center for Spirituality. Sarah uses energy work and BioSpiritual focusing as tools in her personal and professional work and has found using the body as a compass a potent technique for expanding awareness.  Sarah has spent her lifetime in spiritual exploration practicing and studying Christianity, Buddhism, Sufism and nature based traditions, she has worshipped in community with Quakers, Lutherans and Unitarian Universalists. Sarah specializes in working with people whose primary desire is to live in deepening alignment in all areas of their life including business, service, activism and spiritual seeking.  Sarah's current learnings are bringing total trust in guidance to the fore in her entrepreneurship, food and racial justice activism, and parenting as well as taking particular guided action that wells up from stillness. She has been known to put a sign out on a coffee shop table and offer guerrilla spiritual direction in her hometown of St. Paul, MN USA.




Additional Information

Each session will run 75 minutes. We understand that the timing of the seminar will not be convenient in every time zone on the planet. For those who have trouble making this time, a recorded copy of each session will be made available to all those who sign up. CEU credits are available for all those who participate. (See below)

Who may join the webinar?

Everyone is invited to participate in SDI Webinars. 

Are CEUs available?

SDI will provide a certificate of completion for self-reporting to agencies. More information can be found here:  continuing education units (CEUs).

Tuition (2-part webinar package):

SDI Member Rate USD$39.00

Non-Member Rate USD$49.00

Tuition for webinar participation is non-refundable. All registered participants will receive access to the online recording of the SDI Webinar following the event.


A limited number of scholarships are available for those facing financial hardship. Please apply here.




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