What Is Spiritual Direction?

Deerpark1Answering your questions …

As I have been posting several Twitter and Facebook announcements about Claire Roche and myself presenting a workshop and performance at Spiritual Directors International Conference in Dublin, this has attracted several questions.

Most answers are on the SDI website at


so I would like to use their information plus some of my interpretation to provide convenience of an introduction here

Throughout human history many, many people have experienced a “calling” to accompany others seeking the “mystery” we name God, Goddess, great spirit, and several other interpreted names.

This exploration of the “mystery”, that I call “great spirit” as this does not align to a gender, has a powerful way of bringing people together, people who wish to be instructed, discover, learn and develop wisdom of how to live in best co-operation with this “great spirit”.

The goal and activity of Spiritual Directors International is to provide tools for developing a world community for both spiritual directors and those seeking spiritual direction regardless of organisation, religion, faith and traditions. Of course this is motivated by the world access to the internet.

This ministry of spiritual direction continually grows strong by our learning and supporting of one another. Indeed, SDI may well be one of several online communities with the same intent. Over time I am sure these networks will flow with each other.

Spiritual Direction is not …

counselling, therapy, or advice, especially advice in personal management like finances.

Spiritual directors offer a range of guidance situations from private one-to-one sessions to group experiences

Spiritual directors also come to their ministry of spiritual direction from different directions that varies from years of structured training and qualifications to an organic build up of life guiding experience over many years. It is always up to the seeker to choose a spiritual director who has the training and/or experience that suits personal needs.

During Spiritual Direction people are usually very open with revealing and discussing personal and relationship matters, and even financial matters but a spiritual director can never be an advisor or psychotherapist, though some psychotherapists are also trained as Spiritual Directors yet still keep the two services different. Any financial suggestions that may appear to come from a Spiritual Director is purely that of a friend and not advisor so matters like that are purely final choices of the guided person

Places of Spiritual Direction …

I would define these places as a place you feel comfortable and a place you may feel sanctuary.

Spiritual Directors usually have a space or room for this, but often rooms in churches and open places in nature are perfect.

Spiritual Direction, to me, is about spiritual accompaniment that involves sharing of spontaneous experiences, contemplation and maybe a little education, and listening, often with silence.

An intent, if there is one, is to accompany people to places of sanctuary where they may be able to be connected and inspired by the greater spirit.

With our Celtic Dreamtime Escape retreat a sanctuary we offer is our labyrinth inner circle, but if weather is hostile our traditional thatched cottage living room serves well too. Some folks find sanctuary within the local ancient passage cairns of Carrowkeel too.

To allow sanctuary inspiration to flow we have a modern digital version of a scriptorium studio where inspired people may write, publish and broadcast online while their inspiration is fresh and present. This latter service we serve is perhaps not Spiritual Direction but a useful set of tools.

To find or be a Spiritual Director and join the network


For our retreat brochure



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