What is spiritual companioning?
Sometimes known as Soul Friending or Spiritual Direction, it’s a relationship based on deep listening. When another listens to, with, and for you, the listening takes on new dimensions. In these depths, we intend to discover your essential nature, your path, and the ways in which the divine shows up and is at play in your life.
How is spiritual companioning different from therapy?
The primary difference is intention. In therapy, the intention is bringing about a change in feelings, thoughts, or behaviors seen as problematic. The intention of spiritual companioning is growing in discernment of and response to divine presence. In therapy, there is a reliance on the skill of the therapist and the willingness of the client to change. In spiritual companioning, there is open acknowledgement of you as a spiritual being, and a reliance on spirit as central to your life and therefore our conversation. Therapy generally concludes when the goals of the client are met. The spiritual journey is lifelong. So, we remain in companioning as long as the relationship is beneficial.
Who engages in spiritual companioning?
Anyone who has ever wondered what their life is meant to be. Or who has longed to feel closer to the divine. Those who desire to recognize the divinity of others. And those on a pilgrimage who need to pause for sustenance. My life experience has given me an affinity for those who are entering new territory and don’t quite know where they fit or where they’re going, people who just sense there must be more.
What is spiritual practice?
To paraphrase one of my teachers, James Finley, spiritual practice is anything we do, habitually and with our whole heart, that takes us to a deeper place. It brings many essential gifts to the spiritual journey. It cultivates fidelity to your awakened heart. It brings you into a life stance that offers the least resistance to the love that sustains your being. However, it’s a myth to think that all practices are somehow exotic, require physical stillness, or silence. Singing, gardening, laughing, dancing, and drumming are among the many things that can become practices as profound as meditation, chanting, reading sacred texts, and prayer.
What can I expect from a spiritual companioning session?
Most of the time, we’ll begin with a centering practice, something simple that helps us to enter a safe space imbued with spirit. The body of the session will be a treasure hunt to discover what you’re noticing in your life, how you’re engaging with others, with yourself, and with your practice. Expect questions or stories. If we’re in the same physical space, we might decide to walk as we talk. We could cry. We could fall into a prayerful quiet. No matter what we do, whatever you bring to each session is sufficient. After an hour or so, we’ll conclude and give thanks.
Where and how often do we meet?
Generally, companioning sessions happen once a month. However, we’ll meet at whatever intervals are best for you.
During times of social distancing, most sessions are online, unless we’re able to meet outdoors. Online meeting also makes having conversations over long distances possible.
What will it cost?
I offer spiritual companioning on a donation basis. The suggested donation per session is 75.00. However, you’re invited to contribute whatever is possible for you. Know that however you reciprocate, I’m grateful. You and your journey are precious, and the time you give to deeper discernment contributes to the growing consciousness of spirit in the world.
What is your spiritual affiliation?
I’m not associated with any one faith tradition or organization. My life experiences have led me to consider myself an interspiritual Christian. My taproot is in the mystical, where the perennial wisdom traditions of the world tell us that all paths lead to the heart of the universe, which is love. I do have a spiritual community, however. It is at once far flung and intimate. It includes Christians, Jews, Buddhists, shamanic practitioners, Sufis, eco-spiritualists, and those who defy definition. We use different names for the ineffable: God, Creator, Beloved, Great Mystery, Goddess, Holy Spirit, and more. One thing we all have in common: The more we learn, the less we know. Together we offer each other refuge.
What is your educational background and training?
I have a master’s degree in counseling. I’m an ordained interfaith minister and an active alum of The Living School of Action and Contemplation, founded by Fr Richard Rohr in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I also have very eclectic experiences in energy healing modalities, shamanism, and the creative arts. Beyond loving holy conversation with fellow pilgrims, I’m a passionate gardener, outdoors person, and writer. For a glimpse of me in these elements, you’re invited to visit my blog.