Stone & Star Interfaith Spiritual Direction

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About Spiritual Direction

What is Spiritual Direction?  What is it not?  Why work with a Spiritual Director?  Is this work for YOU? What does a Session look Like?

This page offers some general information on Spiritual Direction.  For specific info on working with Maya, please peruse our other pages or contact Maya with your direct questions.

What is Spiritual Direction? *

Who am I - In the truest and deepest sense?

How can I nurture the connection I feel in nature or in peak experiences where I feel “at one” with what I’m doing?

What do I have to give to life?

What spiritual skills for living can help me cope with the inevitable pain, loss and difficulty that beset us all at some time?

Where lies the sacred in my life?

How may I regain hope after loss?

Will I find my way - indeed, what IS "my" way?

What does The Divine (by whatever name you call Her/Them/It/Him) want from me?

How do I discern my truth around (my current problem or issue)?

These are only a few of the deep questions Spiritual Direction holds space for.

Spiritual Directors offer listening, the asking of open-ended questions, and compassion - to help us in finding our own answers; answers that build inner strength, a sense of connection, freedom, awareness and equanimity.

Spiritual Directors honor each soul's right to choose their own spiritual and life path - and their own unique way of walking that path.

Spiritual Directors may assist by helping individuals, partnerships, and larger groups or organizations find balance and compassion for self and others.

Spiritual Directors offer a loving, open-hearted presence while holding a space for The Divine to show up, here and now, in the present moment, and provide "mirrors" for assisting us in recognizing where in our every-day lives The Divine is revealed. 

* The above section adapted from the Spiritual Directors International website.

Whether your experience of The Divine is a nameable deity, a way of life, a manner of thinking or analyzing the world around you, a Spiritual Director offers space for your Truth - and something more - to be present, acknowledged, and - for the courageous - to be LIVED, ever more fully.
What Spiritual Direction is it not

Spiritual Direction is not counseling.

Spiritual Direction is not therapy.

Spiritual Direction is not any kind of medical care.

Spiritual Direction is not financial, marital or any other sort of advice.

Spiritual Direction is not spiritual or faith-group mentoring.

While Spiritual Direction may be conducted in a similar one-to-one or group setting as the above mentioned therapies, Spiritual Direction does not address the issues these therapies do. If you feel you are in need of any of the types of help listed, Spiritual Direction may be best saved for another time in your life.  You may, at the approval of your primary practitioner, decide to engage in both one of the above therapies AND Spiritual Direction.

Spiritual Direction, oddly enough, is also NOT DIRECTION!  As long as there has been Spiritual Direction, there has been dialogue around what to call it. Spiritual Guidance, Spiritual Companioning, Spiritual Helper. . . none of these, really, offers a great description of what a Spiritual Director is and does for those who come to them. . .  and each of these is probably a bit closer to what Spiritual Direction is than the term Spiritual Director itself!  What an "SD" does NOT do is DIRECT.  What an "SD" does, in fact, is close to the opposite of direct; a Spiritual Director ALLOWS.. . . Allows the self-directed UNFOLDMENT of our rich inner world and nature to emerge; allows the flow of all that is within us that is calling to be heard; allows the welling up of The Divine into our conscious moments. . .

Why Work with a Spiritual Director? 

Most - or perhaps even ALL - of us benefit from time spent listening to that "still, small voice within".  Few of us take much time to do this on a regular basis. . . And yet even science and the military (which have not traditionally been considered the most spiritually based vocations in society) are recognizing that our intuitive mind has much to teach us - and is perhaps better equipped to make important decisions and discernments than our logical mind is.**  Scheduling regular, contemplative time with your own heart can be life-transforming.  Loving companionship on the journey within and into the present moment, in both times of great joy and growth and those of deep sorrow and loss, or simply in day to day life, is like nothing else: Well trained Spiritual Directors hold sacred space for whatever your most authentic moment holds for you.  Deep personal growth, transformation and enlivening into the present moment can be heightened when we walk the path together.

There are three (at least metaphorically) seats in a Spiritual Director's office (be that office of brick or stone, in woodland, hill, bedside or seaside. . .)  Spiritual Directors hold space not only for you (your body, heart, mind, spirit, for growth into your divinity) - but also always open is the third seat. . .

Wherever two or more of you are gathered in my name, there am I among you
- Jesus, Matthew 18:20
Is This Work for YOU?

You will discern whether working with a Spiritual Director is for you - no one else can make the decision for you.  More questions, thoughts, concerns that might make Spiritual Direction the right path for you at this time could be:

Who will listen to me?
How can I forgive/May I be forgiven?
What do my dreams mean?
What is my purpose?
Where do I belong?
What do I truly believe?
How may I further my service to humanity/Earth-siblings?
How will I face my death?
Will my mourning ever end?
What is next in my life?
Where is my God?
What happened to Peace?
Where do I find love among all the hate?
How can I become more present?
In what way is The Divine calling me right now?
What is within me awaiting birth?
What in me is calling for release?
How may I make amends?
Where am I headed?
What does my deepest heart wish me to know, right now?
How might I bring the Sacred into my daily life?
Where is rest?
How do I wish to celebrate my spirituality?
How may I invite more creativity into my life?
What might be good use of my overflowing creativity?
Am I where I truly want to be?
What do I need to shift in order to be able to say YES to that last question?
What keeps me from making the changes I deeply wish to make?

. . .  and as many more as you can name!

If your spiritual journey is inviting you to go deeper, reach farther, delve into your relationship with The Divine (one more time, however you perceive this) more fully, Spiritual Direction might be a good place for you.  In an environment of safety and love, through conversation, holy listening, sacred silence, poetry, prayer, song, creativity and possibly many other pathways, you will be welcomed to explore the most primary and enriching experience of being human: personal communion with God. Goddess. OM. Mystical Awareness. Path to your Buddha Nature. . .
What Does a Session Look Like?

Spiritual Direction Sessions may be conducted in many locations; an office is traditional, and schools, churches, other spiritual centers or libraries are all also common locations. Some Spiritual Directors work in housing for the elderly, hospitals, or make in-home visits.  A few SD's may meet clients in public parks or other places in nature. More and more common today are Spiritual Directors who make phone or on-line sessions available to their clients.  Working with an SD who is easily accessible and in who's environment you feel comfortable are important things to consider.

It is usually suggested that you commit to a full year of Spiritual Direction - that is, 12 sessions, once per month.  Of course if you and your Spiritual Director do not feel like a fit, you may choose to terminate the remainder of your sessions.

One-on-one Spiritual Direction is the most common form of SD.  Usually, a session lasts about 45-55 minutes.  Cost varies depending on location (as with most helping services, larger cities have higher rates) and training and experience of the Spiritual Director.  Some SD's have a sliding scale.  Depending on many things, rates may be anywhere from between $40-$125/hour while between $50-75/hour is most common.  Some SD's may offer discounts for booking multiple sessions in advance.

Once you and your SD know each other a bit, sessions will often begin with the SD asking how you feel called to begin.  Trust in YOUR process, with most SD's, is a central focus of any session.  A period of silence is common, or the reading of a prayer or sacred poem.

SD with couples is similar to one-on-one work.  Time limits and fees may be slightly longer/higher. SD for couples may come at a time of relationship stress or difficulty - or times of celebration, such as marriage, anniversary, or simply as on-going good relationship housekeeping.

Groups and Organizations
SD's work with groups in various ways. Long term or on-going Spiritual Direction may be used, or special one-time workshops to assist in bringing groups into harmony with one another for the duration of a particular project or company well-being.  Sessions in either case may be several hours long, depending on size of group.

Suggestion for Getting Started

One of Maya's beloved professors and mentors, the Reverend John Mabry, has published a small book that may assist seekers in preparing for embarking on the journey.  Click HERE, or on the image below, to take a look at - and purchase, if you so desire - Rev. Mabry's book, Starting Spiritual Direction

** There are many articles on line on this topic - if interested, try googling "intuitive mind vs logical mind".

ARTWORK on this page: The Gold Series (c)MayaMassar 2016; paintings made by Maya using gold leaf that survived her family's house fire.  The artwork depicts the sweetness of human help in times of difficulty and the gold represents the gold to be found among the ashes when we may think we are in our darkest and most ashen hours.  Like the Phoenix, we can rise again.