The term “spiritual direction” is a bit of a misnomer. Spiritual Direction, at its best, is not really directive at all. It is not about one person guiding another towards anything other than their own deepest truths, in the most gentle of ways, in what is often referred to as “holy listening.” The Unitarian Universalist Spiritual Director’s Network describes the relationship of director and directee this way: “…We work with others, companioning and witnessing to their sacred stories and grace-filled moments.”
I was first introduced to the practice of Spiritual Direction as a seminarian in Cambridge where I experienced both individual and small group direction. There, in the basement of a hundred year old chapel, we honored one another’s journeys and helped each other along the path to a deepening sense of spiritual growth. The direction relationship is not about offering advice or counsel (for that is not a part of the practice); rather, it is about offering a safe space where deep listening can occur. We offer the presence of open minds and open hearts and respond with reflective questions that encourage the processes of self-awareness, contemplation, and exploration of that which you might name as sacred.
My training as a spiritual director began with a semester in seminary from a monk who was part of the community of The Society of Saint John the Evangelist, a monastery located on the beautiful Charles River in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I then completed a two-year training at the Charlotte Spirituality Center where I now serve, offering direction and contemplative mini-retreats.
If you’d like to experience the practice of spiritual direction in an individual or a small group setting (a maximum of four per group), please contact Rev. Mary Frances at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll set up a time to meet once per month.
Wishing you peace for the journey,
Rev. Mary Frances