Whether face-to-face or online, a spiritual direction session is held in a place set apart from the hustle and bustle of daily life. For face-to-face sessions, this can be in my office in Saint Paul, or in another quiet place in the Twin Cities area where privacy is respected. When meeting online, it is important that both of us are in quiet surroundings where we won’t be disturbed.
The following description applies to ongoing spiritual direction. The first session, which is always complementary, is different in that much of the time is spent discerning whether or not spiritual direction is right for you, and if so, identifying what you hope to accomplish by seeing a spiritual director
The session usually begins with a few moments of silence so we can enter into a sacred space and time. Sometimes a candle is lit or a chime sounded to signify the creation of this space. When the time is right, I might ask a simple question, such as “How has your month been?” or “How have you felt the presence of the spirit in your life these last few weeks” or, simply, “How would you like to begin?”
As the session unfolds, you may bring your lived experience of the spirit into the light of prayerful reflection. As a spiritual director, I am here to listen, to witness, to clarify, and at times to challenge. Ideally, I draw out the “holy thread” in your story. I may pose questions such as:
- How were you called to trust the spirit in this experience?
- How is your heart? What lies heavy on your heart? Is your heart opening? What is restricting your heart?
- What do you desire? For what do you yearn?
- What does this have to say to you about the spirit? What does the spirit have to say to you about this?
- Are you being nudged to some action in your life? Are you being asked to wait?
- For what are you most grateful? Least grateful?
- What are your hopes and dreams for tomorrow?
- How would you like me to think of you this month?
As the session draws to a close, I may summarize what I’ve heard in your story or may emphasize an insight the spirit has brought forth in the session. I may recommend a spiritual reading or practice for the next month. Perhaps I may share a poem or prayer with you to end the session. Finally, we may sit in silence with the spirit for a few moments before leaving.