What Is Spiritual Direction?
The phrase, ‘Spiritual Direction’ is a bit of a misnomer. A better phrase would be spiritual ‘guide’ or ‘companion’. The role of the director is not so much to direct, but to facilitate a sacred space with you in such a way that you are able to connect with the movement of the Divine Presence within you and become aware of its presence in your outer world. Spirit is the true host of the session and the director is a guide to help you notice and deepen the flow of Spirit in your own life.
The art of spiritual direction has been practiced for centuries. A phrase that is often shared to describe spiritual direction is, “A long, loving look at the real.”(Walter Burghardt) I continue to be awed by the fact that something magical often happens as we share that kind of loving space together in spiritual direction. The magic comes from tuning into Spirit in a deeper way. I have witnessed people’s lives transformed as they continue to abide in this kind of spiritual awareness over time.
I have been in spiritual direction myself for many years and can testify to its power of transformation. Even though I am a spiritual director, I too need someone else to hold space for me on a regular basis so that I can see and experience a deeper connection to Spirit.
We may bring any aspect of our lives to a spiritual direction session, even things that may not seem very 'spiritual' at first glance. Spiritual direction is different than psychotherapy. While we may talk about an issue from someone's family of origin if it arises, for example, our focus would be to hold it with loving care and seek to discover Spirit's invitation in the present moment.