What is Spiritual Direction?
Spiritual Direction is the practice of companioning individuals or groups as they deepen their relationship with God. Spiritual directors work with directees to help them listen and respond to the invitation from the Holy Spirit as they grow in spiritual maturity. The goal of spiritual direction is a holistic Shalom where the directee's practices in life (schedule, thinking, behaviors, etc) are fully in sync with their beliefs and values.
The person seeking direction shares stories of his or her encounters with God, or how he or she is cultivating a life attuned to spiritual things. The director listens and asks questions to assist the directee in his or her process of reflection. Spiritual direction focuses on the directee’s personal experience, not focusing on theological training, but intimacy with God. Some consider spiritual direction as a “sacred space for the soul.”
Classical spiritual direction consists of three simple practices: to be with someone, to listen to them and to help them pray. In addition, people seeking direction commit themselves to a daily spiritual practice (not necessarily praying each day) that draws them closer to God, creating awareness of how God has moved, is moving, and may move in their lives. The emphasis is on being rather than doing.
Spiritual direction is not about specific theology or ideology. It focuses on the directee’s personal experience which is shaped by their particular life story and embodied in their unique personality. A director helps a directee reflect on what they are experiencing as they encounter God in their daily lives — through prayer, creation, desires, thoughts, and relationships with others.
Spiritual Direction is an intimate, holy activity that takes place between a spiritual director and directee (or directees). The director listens to the directee as he or she talks about his or her personal life in light of the presence of God. Spiritual direction may also involve prayer, meditation on scripture, and the cultivation of spiritual disciplines. The process is not about theological exploration and debate, but rather reflection on one's own spiritual experience. Directors work with their directees to explore questions such as: How do you experience God? What are your daily rhythms of deepening relationship with God? What are moments that you have felt close to God? and What moments do you feel the absence of God?"