Spiritual direction is the name long used in Christian tradition to describe the careful listening one person offers to another (in the presence of the Spirit), helping the “directee” to listen more deeply to God’s presence in the heart, and to live more nearly in accord with the compassion at the heart of every religious and spiritual path. God is mystery, and every form of religion is an effort to respond faithfully to the mystery of God by whatever name. The Divine breaks through into human experience in many ways, and humans respond variously to the awesome experience of God. Although today many of us experience and offer spiritual direction, generalizations are often inadequate in the search for fidelity to the Mystery, but a genuine effort helps to break us open more fully to Divine Love.
The international association called Spiritual Directors International’s mission statement reminds us that “throughout human history, individuals have been called to accompany others seeking the Mystery we name God…;" our response to this call is to tend the Holy around the world and across traditions. Those who seek the Mystery and those who accompany them are united in the conviction that the sacred is somehow present within creation, and that humans are invited to be engaged with the mysterious presence here and now. That is a remarkable assertion in today’s world! Yet many of us find ourselves hungry for “something more” than we currently experience, thirsty for the unnamable. The great student of the mystic life, Evelyn Underhill, speaks quite firmly of “the hopelessly irrational character of all great religions: which rest, one and all, on a primary assumption that can never be intellectually demonstrated, much less proved—the assumption that the supra-sensible is somehow important and real, and is intimately connected with human life."
These themes appear again and again, explicitly in Norvene’s writing and workshops, and implicitly in Doug’s poems that revel in the wonder of nature in all its forms. Both Doug and Norvene are formed within the Christian tradition, specifically as Episcopalians and lay Benedictines. Norvene is fond of saying that she depends on deep roots but has little concern for boundaries. As longtime directors, we do generally charge for spiritual direction sessions, which usually happen once a month either at our apartment in Westminster Canterbury or St.Paul’s Memorial Church (in Charlottesville).
In the meantime, we encourage you to check the websites of our friends:
- http://www.sdiworld.org, Spiritual Directors International;
- http://www.stillpointca.org, a Spiritual Direction training program in Los Angeles, CA and Santa Fe, NM;
- www.CQCenterQuest.org, a Spiritual Formation and Direction program in LA,CA;
- http://www.thecsd.com/spiritual_direction.html, a Spiritual Direction program in Orange, CA;
- And many others mentioned on the sdiworld.org website and Presence journal.