Spiritual Directors International

The Home of Spiritual Companionship

spiritual companionship

Guest Author: 
Steven Crandell

Endings are always beginnings. Think of your life story as a circle instead of a straight line and you will see why. This practice, inspired by a poem by Christine Valters Paintner (read it all below), intends to open our awareness to the healing connection between what has been - and who has been - and what is.

(if you wish to share a URL for the poem, it is posted on our blog: https://www.sdiworld.org/blog/praise-song-pandemic )


1) Welcome stillness wherever you can - sitting on the grass, looking out a window, walking your dog.
2) Breathe the next breath as if it was your last.

3) Exhale with the blessed awareness that it wasn't.

4) Read ( or recite - bonus points for memorization -) this line from the poem by Christine Valters Painter poem: "Give thanks for your ancestors, for the wars and plagues they endured and survived, their resilience is in your bones, your blood."

Guest Author: 
Eric Massanari


Editor's note: This meditation comes from Eric Massanari, spiritual director and chaplain, who is hosting our webinar series called "Dying and Spiritual Companionship - Encouraging Connection and Community." He wrote the above haiku and the meditation below for the webinar workbook. We liked them so much that we wanted to share them for everyone to enjoy here on our blog.


There are great thresholds in this life, beyond which we are confronted with boundless Mystery: the threshold of birthing and the threshold of dying.

We tend to think of these in a linear way, assuming that we move from one to the other with the march of days, from our beginning to our ending. A human life, we presume, is the span of time—sometimes so tragically brief and sometimes protracted beyond desire—that unfolds in the space between these thresholds.

Encountering death has a peculiar way of upsetting such a timeline.

Guest Author: 
Sharon Seyforth Garner



Editior's note:  Art and spiritual companionship go together. Many of you know about an ancient contemplative practice caled visio divina. And SDI is about to launch a webinar series called "Contemplative Photography & Spiritual Companionship."

The piece of art above is an example of how useful a single artistic image can be. (It was made by our Creative Director Matt Whitney, who is also leading the contemplative photography webinar.)

The illustration was created for the January 2019 edition of Listen (see below) and the response to it was rapid and significant. People wanted to know where they could get a copy of it to hang in the space where they did spiritual direction / companionship. So, we decided to sell quality reproductions at the 2019 conference in Bellevue - and we continue to sell them on line.



We do get some money through the sale of the reproductions - which is lovely because it helps us pay the bills here. smiley But the real reason we offer this illustration in our shop gets to the core of our purpose as an educational nonprofit - "to support spiritual companionship around the world."

To be succinct, we think Matt's art can benefit spiritual companions in their work.

How often do you see an image that captures one of the key roles of a spiritual companion? An image that shows how spiritual companionship actually works? An image that can spark a deeper dialogue? 

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