GROUP SPIRITUAL DIRECTION
Why Group Direction?
Group direction is for people who want to go deeper together, encountering the divine. In group direction, we might try a contemplative spiritual practice together or even just practice listening deeply to one another. I am happy to form new groups and work with existing groups!
In group spiritual direction the goal is not to answer life’s questions. The goal is to draw closer to God in the midst of the questions. Many times it is in embracing our questions that we move more deeply into God’s love.
-Alice Fryling in Seeking God Together
There are lots of different models for group direction.
I enjoy doing a simple spiritual practice as a group, having some reflection time, and then taking some time to share our experiences. The whole process can be done in as little as one hour!
Other groups might want to do something more interpersonal. There are good models for that as well, which foster deep listening and mutual encouragement.
What Happens In Group Direction?
Want to Give It a Try?
If you're already a part of a spiritual community, group spiritual direction is a great way to take your group to the next level of intimacy and spiritual growth! Maybe it's a community group through your church or even a local halaqa? I'd love to come and guide you in group spiritual direction. Contact me for pricing and availability.
I'm looking for people to join an interfaith spiritual direction group. I think it would be a fascinating way to hear from others' experiences. It will be a unique opportunity to explore spirituality of a diverse group of people. This would likely be a six week group meeting twice a month starting in July. Contact me to tell me a little about yourself!
What's the Difference Between Group Spiritual Direction
and a Community Group or Small Group Bible Study?
Group direction is a different kind of experience for a spiritual community. Instead of small talk, there's silence. There's also a third party facilitator to keep everyone on track. The best way to understand it is to just give it a try! Here are a few of the differences:
Traditional Small Group
Loose schedule of events with lots of time for small talk
Depends on social contract
Closeness is fostered through discussions and time spent together
Group members may solve problems for each other and give solutions
Group Spiritual Direction
Highly structured time with defined schedule
Listening agreements presented and agreed upon by the group in the beginning
Structured discussion based on a shared experience during the group time
Closeness is fostered by silence and shared spiritual practices
Group members are discouraged from advice giving and encouraged to practice empathy
Some of My Favorite Contemplative Practices
Fun fact: "Contemplate" breaks down into two parts: "Con," which means with and "Temple," which is where the Holy One dwells. So contemplative practices are practices that help us sit with the Holy One.
Explore a story from the life of Jesus more fully. This form of prayer engages your imagination through using your five senses to place yourself in a story with Jesus. It's a great way to spend time getting to know Him.
This is an ancient practice for looking back. The traditional examen looks back at your day, considering where you experienced grace, where you struggled, and where you saw God. It's a solid way to cultivate God-consciousness.
The latin term means "holy reading." In this practice, we take a small portion of Scripture and meditate on it in four different movements. A great format for digging into a portion of God's Word.
"Contemplation simply means stopping and paying loving attention to God who comes to meet us in the midst of everyday events or places"