Via Divina, or the way of the divine, is the name I’ve given to my spiritual direction practice which centers on holy receptivity and soul-companioning, while remaining firmly grounded in professional guidelines and ethics. I completed 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 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 on the Via Divina path, 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. You may wish to focus on deepening your current prayer life, or seek new ways to explore the presence of God in your life. Some topics might include: your creative practice; family and personal relationships; recovery issues, grief or illness; social justice concerns; work, career, or retirement concerns and decisions; wherever in your life you seek a deeper spiritual awareness and connection. Spiritual direction is not about fixing, correcting or steering someone toward a particular outcome, path, or doctrine. The Divine 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, then appropriate referrals and resources may be discussed.
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, 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: SDI is the professional, umbrella organization of which I am a member. For a comprehensive overview of spiritual direction as a concept, tradition, and living experience, visit Spiritual Directors International. 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.