Who is the third who walks always beside you When I count, there are only you and I together
But when I look ahead up the white road
There is always another who is walking beside you
Gilding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded
I do not know whether a man or a woman
--But who is that on the other side of you? (II. 359-365)
The above lines from T. S. Eliot’s "The Wasteland” evoke not only the Road to Emmaus but also our life’s road. They honor the Presence with us, unseen but ever-present, of which we are ever only partially aware. Spiritual direction is intentional attentiveness to that Presence in the company of an other who walks that same journey.
In some ways, the name "spiritual direction” is misleading as one is not told what to do. The experience is not directive. It might be more aptly named "spiritual companioning" with someone who's walked the road awhile. If the three who are walking Eliot’s road were to pause and rest in a circle of chairs, there would be "only you and I together” conversing, but our attention would be on "the third.”
A session begins with some silence and spoken prayer to center. Often there is an initial "check in" as to what is on one's heart. The spiritual director animates the conversation by active listening and occasionally offering clarifying questions, suggestions, or resources. In taking the time to focus on the spiritual journey in this setting, the one experiencing it enjoys the freedom and the support to explore that journey more fully and to notice patterns and emerging direction. Giving voice to this inner life opens up new possibilities.
Normally, we meet monthly for an hour. Payment is based upon ability to pay, as in you-get-to-decide, but the usual range is $40-$70 in person; ZOOM sessions range, $30-$50. Initial session is always free allowing both persons to assess compatibility before proceeding. It should also be understood that spiritual direction is not counseling or psychotherapy, though relational and psychological difficulties are certainly an important part of our spiritual life and may at times, be a part of the conversation.
My training and background come from the Roman Catholic tradition and from Jesuit education and affiliation. It is a resource I bring to our time together but I am most comfortable conversing within the broader ecumenical context--other Christian churches or non-Christian faith traditions, including those who have no particular religious affiliation, aka, "spiritual but not religious." I have my Masters of Divinity from Seattle University which formed me in Ignatian Spirituality as well as twenty plus years of meeting with people in a pastoral setting. All of these are part of what I bring to this holy conversation, as well as the expectation of encountering the Sacred within the story of the other.
If you are interested in Spiritual Direction with me please fill out this form
. I am currently available for sessions in either Lynnwood or Arlington, WA.
For those of you experiencing Spiritual Direction online, please click here to make payment in the amount agreed upon.