What is spiritual direction and what is a spiritual director? I had never heard the term spiritual director or spiritual direction until 2009. My pastor friend Karen and I share the same philosophy. If we hear about something multiple times in a week, whether it’s a recommended book, movie or advice, that we need to pay attention. Well, this spiritual direction and spiritual director topic popped up everywhere!
That included a trip to see dear friends in Wisconsin. When I showed them this website and the work I was doing, Dave said, “You need a spiritual director.”
He had one and told me that pastors within the Presbyterian Church are required to have a spiritual director. He explained how spiritual directors are there to be a companion with you on your spiritual journey. They attend to you with the presence and call of God in your life. A spiritual director is not a therapist, but rather a listener who can be helpful as you open yourself up more fully to the action of God’s Spirit. In fact, Dave has since retired and he and his wife Elaine have become spiritual directors.
If you are seeking a closer walk with God, need discernment, having a crisis in faith, or are experiencing a yearning that you can’t understand, spiritual direction could be right for you.
After being inundated with God pointing me in the spiritual director direction, I have been seeing a spiritual director since 2009. We meet once a month. Sometimes I come with issues that I am trying to deal with and sometimes I share how God has been working in my life. My spiritual director will help me to interpret my thoughts, dreams (as in the sleeping type dreams), questions and struggles. It’s been a wonderful experience to have a spiritual companion that is an observer and a source of support.
What to Expect from Spiritual Direction
With the emergence of video conferencing through platforms like Zoom and Skype, you will meet through one of these platforms or go to an office or church facility. The amount of time is usually 50-60 minutes. You’ll start your spiritual direction getting centered through silence and prayer. Then you will share what is on your heart that day. Sometimes it’s helpful to come with a list of items or an item to cover. As your relationship grows over time, your spiritual director may bring in resources such as prayers, articles, books that relate to items you’ve discussed. It truly is a companionship. You will find more peace, guidance and clarity on your spiritual journey. But you have a role too. That includes spending time in personal prayer, reflecting and meeting once a month.
Is there a cost to Spiritual Direction?
The cost of spiritual direction is between $50-$150 per session. Most places are flexible depending on the need of the person and fees can be reduced if necessary. Like any professional that is properly trained through a given curriculum, it is common to pay a fee. A church or religious entity may offer this service at no charge.
How do you find a Spiritual Director?
You can find a spiritual director through a website called Spiritual Directors International. http://sdiworld.org. You can also ask your pastor if they know of any spiritual directors. Also, if you live in a rural area and have access through the Internet, some spiritual directors will do one on one direction through Skype or Zoom. Both platforms are free to use.
What to look for in a Spiritual Director
It’s important that you can relate to your spiritual director. There are some places with multiple spiritual directors. You can meet with a person and see if you feel comfortable with them. If not, they will have you meet with someone else. The goal of spiritual direction is to find someone that will be a companion with you on your spiritual journey. Also look for a director who is involved with supervision. That means that they go to a supervisory group of their peers for their own spiritual direction and to be accountable.
As I mentioned, I have been seeing a spiritual director since 2009. My director has helped me to understand how God sees me and has helped me to interpret thoughts, dreams and yearnings. I’ve gained a greater sense of peace and purpose. My monthly sessions have helped me to grow and to keep focused on the spiritual path that I have chosen. I’m so glad that spiritual direction actually found me!
One of the many insights that came out of spiritual direction is my view of God and God’s view of me. I created an eBook and audio book called Bringing God’s View Into Focus to Live Life with Joy and Flow. Download the eBook and audio book free for a limited time.
If you have never practiced meditation or are looking for sacred meditations and not secular meditations, these guided meditations will help you each step of the way.