Via Divina, or the way of the divine, is the name I’ve given to a practice which centers on holy receptivity and soul-companioning, while firmly grounded in the professional training and ethics of spiritual direction. I completed my training as a spiritual director in 2004 through the 3-year training program then offered by the Mercy Center, a training and retreat center in Burlingame, CA. I meet regularly with other experienced spiritual directors (we have also given ourselves the name of Via Divina, as a group) for continuing education and support. Spiritual direction, as we currently understand and practice it, originally arose from the ancient Christian tradition of holy attentiveness to the presence of the sacred in every day life.
To my formal training in spiritual direction, I’ve melded a lifetime of intellectual and creative exploration regarding religion, philosophy, psychology, and the arts. As an interfaith and inclusive soul companion, I welcome and affirm those who belong to other faith traditions, or who consider themselves spiritual but not religious.
Via Divina in Practice: I offer a safe, reverent, welcoming, affirming, and confidential meeting space on the Olympic Peninsula, WA, in which to explore your own spiritual questions and experiences. Some topics might include: your creative practice; family and personal relationships; recovery issues, grief or illness; social justice concerns; work, career path or retirement concerns and decisions- wherever in your life you seek a deeper spiritual awareness and connection. You may wish to focus on deepening your current prayer life, or seek new ways to explore the presence of God in your life, relationships, and/or work. Spiritual direction is not about fixing, correcting or steering someone toward a particular outcome, path, or doctrine. The Divine has a thousand faces and a litany of names, and meets us where we are.
What You Should Expect from a Spiritual Director: to meet with someone who respects and honors your journey, who creates a contemplative and quiet space, gently keeps the focus of conversation on the spiritual life as you experience and seek it, and practices complete confidentiality.
What Spiritual Direction Is Not: Along with training and experience in the art and practice of spiritual direction, many spiritual directors have training and backgrounds in other professions or vocations. Many spiritual directors, for instance, are also clergy, but spiritual direction is not centered on theological instruction. Nor is it a form of psychotherapy, marital counseling, medical advice or life-coaching, though a spiritual director may possibly have training in one or more of these disciplines. If issues arise that pertain to areas beyond the spiritual direction context, referrals or contact information may be offered for social work issues, traditional therapy, mental or physical health concerns, legal issues, and so on.
On a Practical Level: Most spiritual directors typically meet with individuals once a month, for an hour (preferably in-person, although online or phone meetings are also options if needed). As with most directors, my fees are based on standard practice with a sliding scale for those on a limited income. Payment and further details such as ethical guidelines and expectations are discussed in the initial contact.
SDI: The Professional Organization: For a comprehensive overview of spiritual direction as a concept, tradition, and living experience, visit Spiritual Directors International. SDI is the professional, umbrella organization of which I am a member. SDI also produced this important document which guides my own practice: Ethical Guidelines for Spiritual Directors (a downloadable PDF from SDI). For a helpful comparison chart on the most common differences between various pastoral or therapeutic roles, click here.
If you are interested in discussing whether spiritual direction is something that would benefit you at this time in your life, you may reach me by using the contact form below to connect with me.