What are the big questions in your life? Where are you on the spiritual journey? Do you have people in your life who listen to your deepest questions, with contemplative presence and compassion? SDI Creative Director Matt Whitney hosts conversations on spiritual direction, guidance, contemplation, and community. This podcast offers a wide range of perspectives, stories, and conversations about the contemplative, healing modality of spiritual companionship, across a wide range of religious traditions and vocations. Discover the benefits of spiritual companionship and deep listening.
19 hours ago
19 hours ago
SDI is offering a very unique Forest Bathing Journey – a travel experience hosted by us – to the Blue Ridge Mountains for a Nature Immersion and Deep Listening retreat, for seven days in March 2023. In this conversation, the retreat facilitators, Dr Jeanette Banashak and myself, discuss our themes and hopes for this time together, to give you a better sense of what is being offered. For all spiritual directors, companions, and seekers, we invite you to spend a week immersing in nature, breathing the clean forest air, finding silence and stillness, and experience deep listening on new levels. With this SDI Journey we are able to offer reasonable pricing, with a significant Early Bird discount if you register before October 8th. We are offering standard single and double rooms in both a contemporary inn setting, as well as multi-room cabins and cottages. Bring a friend (or a few friends!) And let us know with whom you’d like to share lodgings. If four or more of you would like to reserve a cabin or cottage together, call us and we’ll work something out. Designed by spiritual directors and companions, for spiritual directors and companions, this Journey retreat is sure to nourish, restore, and intimately connect you to Nature, Contemplative Community, and the Essence of your very Being. Learn more at SDI Journey - The Forest as Companion - Nature Immersion and Deep Listening - March 19-25, 2023 - SDI Companions Dr. Jeanette Banashak is a queer and bilingual interspiritual and interreligious companion. She has a diploma in shinrin yoku (forest bathing) and guides people of all ages in nature urban immersion experiences as an act of justice, as well as is working on a piece that explores interspirituality and trees. She is the co-founder/director of The Spiritual Guidance Training Institute, an organization providing training in spiritual direction/companionship with an interfaith, interspiritual, inter-contemplative focus. Jeanette is the author of The Mindful Pilgrimage: A 40-Day Pocket Devotional for Pilgrims of Any Faith or None and a 30-Day ezine of haiga from the Camino. In 2018, she became a “dual pilgrim” after walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain and Kumano Kodo in Japan. Jeanette also teaches social and emotional learning and development at Erikson Institute and spiritual direction at the Graduate Theological Foundation.
Friday Sep 16, 2022
Friday Sep 16, 2022
Since 2002 Dr. Bruce Tallman has been a full-time spiritual director and marriage coach in private practice. He is passionate about his mission, which is to help people grow in wisdom and love. Bruce wrote the manual on how to make a living as a spiritual director – a seminal text for most working spiritual directors and companions called Finding Seekers: How to Develop a Spiritual Direction Practice from Beginning to Full-Time Employment. He also participated in our recent Making a Living 3 Webinar series, which is available as a recorded purchase on the SDI website. Bruce has a new book out, an exploration of the 17th century saint Francis de Sales and his 1616 Treatise on the Love of God. This book is called God’s Ecstatic Love and is available for purchase on Amazon, and on Bruce’s website – brucetallman.com. Bruce and I recently spoke about this recent book and caught up on all kinds of topics around spiritual direction. In spiritual direction, he has worked with laity and clergy from every Christian denomination. He has published two books for spiritual directors (one of them, Finding Seekers: How to Develop a Spiritual Direction Practice from Beginning to Full-Time Employment, is a bestseller in the field). He has also published two books on spirituality for clergy and lay people (see the "Books" page). He has had hundreds of articles on spirituality published in the London Free Press and other newspapers and is an adjunct faculty for the Haden Institute for Spiritual Directors Training. From 1988 to 2002 Dr. Tallman was the director of two adult religious education centers for the Roman Catholic Diocese of London, Ontario. He holds a Doctor of Ministry degree in Spiritual Direction/Counselling from the Graduate Theological Foundation, which is affiliated with the Gregorian Institute in Rome and Oxford University in England. Francis de Sales, bishop, doctor, saint, and mystic, published Treatise on the Love of God in 1616. Scholars consider it to be one of the classics of Christian literature, on the level of The Cloud of Unknowing, The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis, and The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola. Yet, most people have never heard of it. Dr. Bruce Tallman’s new book God’s Ecstatic Love takes de Sales’ spiritual masterpiece and updates it in a way that makes sense to 21st century minds. Learn more about Bruce's book at BruceTallman.com
Tuesday Aug 09, 2022
Tuesday Aug 09, 2022
In the June 2022 issue of Presence Journal, Dr Westina Matthews writes, “We will not attempt to convince another to adopt any view but rather offer a safe and sacred space to share knowledge and to engage in open and honest dialogue about what is usually considered to be a taboo topic. In spiritual direction, often resisted is the topic of sex, sexuality, and sexual orientation. We have found that both spiritual director and spiritual directee tend to avoid these “taboos,” So why the silence? (We) are convinced it is due to the shame.” How does one begin to overcome this shame?” In this interview, we talk with Dr Matthews about how spiritual directors and companions can begin to create a safe, holy space in their sessions to allow for safe, brave conversations about sexuality. Approaches, icebreakers questions, acknowledging sexual confusion and harm, and understanding sexuality from a contemplative grounding are discussed. --- Dr. Westina Matthews, PhD, is an author, public speaker, retreat leader, and theologian. She is an adjunct professor at General Theological Seminary in the Center for Christian Spirituality in New York, New York, USA, where she teaches contemplative spiritual direction. Further reading and resources can be found at https://www.spiritualityandsexuality.org/ Dr. Westina’s website: Westina – Author (westinamatthews.com) --- Presence is the flagship publication of SDI. It comes out four times a year, and is an international journal on spiritual direction and companionship. Presence Journal is available in print and on the web to SDI Members. Read the current issue on the web, with exclusive video interviews, here: Presence - 28.2 - June 2022 - SDI Companions Become a Member of SDI and support our work to bring spiritual direction and companionship to the world by clicking here: SDI Membership - Join the Community of Spiritual Companions (sdicompanions.org)
Monday Jul 11, 2022
Monday Jul 11, 2022
Recently I had the amazing opportunity to chat with author and teacher Rabbi Rami Shapiro, who has written an article for Presence Journal – the SDI quarterly publication on spiritual direction and companionship. It was meant to just be a quick 15 minute conversation that I could use to create a short video to go with the article in the Online Edition of Presence. Because Rabbi Rami was so generous with his time, and our conversation so fascinating, it ended up going for almost an hour. We talked about spiritual companionship, when our own beliefs and worldviews get in the way of doing this work, Mysticism, embracing the shadow and evil within ourselves, and the necessity of our spiritual work in a rapidly changing world. So in this podcast episode we are releasing the entirety of our conversation. Rabbi Rami is delightful to listen to and I hope you enjoy it. Presence is the flagship publication of SDI. It comes out four times a year, and is an international journal on spiritual direction and companionship. Presence Journal is available in print and on the web to SDI Members. Read the current issue on the web, with exclusive video interviews, here: Presence - 28.2 - June 2022 - SDI Companions Become a Member of SDI by clicking here: SDI Membership - Join the Community of Spiritual Companions (sdicompanions.org) Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award-winning teacher and author of over thirty-six books on religion and spirituality. A rabbinic chaplain with the U.S. Air Force for three years, a congregational rabbi for twenty years, and a professor of religious studies for ten years, Rabbi Rami currently codirects the One River Foundation, a 501(c)3 educational institution devoted to perennial wisdom (www.oneriverfoundation.org). Rami is also a Contributing Editor at Spirituality and Health magazine where he writes the Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler column for the print magazine, the Spirituality & column for the digital magazine, and hosts the magazine’s bi-weekly podcast, Spirituality & Health with Rabbi Rami (www.spiritualityhealth.com). Rami's personal website is www.rabbirami.com
Friday Jun 03, 2022
Friday Jun 03, 2022
Executive Director Rev SeiFu Anil Singh-Molares and Matt Whitney have a conversation in which they debrief the 2022 Engage Conference, which took place May 11-15 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. What were the takeaways? What were the lessons learned? How do we continue to engage with the theme 'Engage' as we go about our spiritual direction and spiritual companionship work in the world? If you missed the conference, you can still catch up by purchasing access to all the conference recordings - 10 dynamic speakers and 32 diverse workshops totaling over 55 hours of content on contemplative action and spiritual direction and companionship. Available Now - SDI Conference Recordings (sdicompanions.org)
Monday May 02, 2022
Monday May 02, 2022
Michelle Scheidt, Senior Program Officer at the Fetzer Institute, is leading an effort focused on field building and network development among spiritual innovators. She and her advisors are asking: How will we hold onto the rich teachings of our historic faith and wisdom traditions while applying them creatively in today’s time? How will we reimagine roles and institutions as the spiritual and religious landscape dramatically shifts? Michelle will be presenting on their work at the SDI Engage 2022 Conference, and gives us a preview in this conversation with Executive Director, Reverend SeiFu Anil Singh-Molares. It's not too late to sign up! Join us at the SDI Engage 2022 Conference, in-person in Santa Fe, New Mexico, or virtually. May 11-15, 2022. Learn more at sdicompanions.org Learn more about Fetzer's work at fetzer.org Sharing Spiritual Heritage | The Fetzer Institute
Wednesday Mar 30, 2022
Wednesday Mar 30, 2022
We are delighted to announce the latest book release from SDI Press, written by SDI Poetry Editor, former Coordinating Council member, and dear friend Jennifer (Jinks) Hoffmann. It’s called, “The Light of God’s Shadow – Musings, Stories, and Poems on Waking Up.” Jinks is a longtime spiritual director and psychotherapist who, through her writing, encourages us to listen for the divine daily call to wholeness-in our relationships and work, our joys and dreams, our messes and triumphs, our losses and grief. She reminds us that through earthy, vulnerable, and humorous musings, stories and poetry, that waking up is a lifetime endeavor. In this book, we accompany Jinks on her journey through radiant and dark shadow, and we learn with her from the wisdom of her teachers. We grow in understanding – and in our bodies, hearts and souls – that when we welcome our vulnerability and strength, we heighten our humanity and heal our souls. By becoming kinder and more compassionate with ourselves and with one another we keep waking up and we bring healing to the world. In this podcast episode we play an interview between Jinks and her friend and spiritual companion, Diane Millis (author of Re-Creating A Life). To learn more about Jinks' new book please visit our website, The Light of God's Shadow - Musings, Stories, and Poems on Waking Up (sdicompanions.org) To view the video of this interview, click here: https://youtu.be/sWbZx2ZFvt8
Tuesday Mar 22, 2022
Tuesday Mar 22, 2022
In this week’s episode, SDI’s Creative Director Matt Whitney speaks with Larry J. Morris III, Production Assistant at SDI. Larry describes himself as “an apostle, digital marketer, scholar, and spiritual director based in Henderson, NV.” They have been helping with various creative tasks, including generating media for web and print, crafting social media, and helping administer our new Public Square online platform. Larry will co-lead a workshop on “Spiritual Companionship and Social Action” at the 2022 Engage Conference. Matt and Larry discuss ways spiritual companions can support justice and liberation. You can learn more about Larry and their work at www.larryjmorris3.com.
Thursday Mar 03, 2022
Thursday Mar 03, 2022
The calendar has turned over to March, and this week we are rolling out our peer-reviewed flagship publication, Presence Journal. We are so excited to share this issue with you – as we get to reveal a brand new look! Presence, which has been published by Spiritual Directors International since 1995, last received a redesign in 2003. Since I began working at SDI in 2018, we have been dreaming about giving Presence Journal a look and feel that reflects the vibrant dialog and intimate stories of spiritual direction and companionship that we bring to each issue. Over the past year, I have been working with some amazing creative people to make this a reality. In this episode, I have a conversation about this process with graphic designers Cristina Mejia and Martha María Tobón, who worked extensively under SDI’s guidance to help create the new look and feel of Presence. Cristina is the director of True Indigo, an editorial design firm with over 25 years of international experience in publishing. She is also a spiritual director and a member of SDI. In his foreword to this first issue incorporating our redesign, SDI Executive Director Reverend SeiFu Singh-Molares writes, “One of the keys to change and transformation, particularly in a community as committed to both as SDI, is to stay true to our essence even as we continuously realign. So, we listen deeply as an act of spiritual presence, and we do so reverentially and lovingly, allowing the multitude of manifestations of the eternal to flow with us, through us and into us, from all of those that we companion, and who companion us. And by doing so, we learn to rest in the change, and to refresh even as we remain faithful to our calling and its essence.” I also want to thank Toby Becker, who has been a longtime designer with SDI, and helped me wrangle our design templates into a working issue, and to the Creative Team at SDI – Ann Lancaster and Larry J Morris III, for producing and integrating the redesign into the web edition of Presence. And of course to our Executive Director Rev. SeiFu, for his encouragement, leadership, and stewarding of this undertaking. Check out the new look in our current issue for March 2022, Volume 28, Issue 1. Presence Journal is published four times a year, in print and on the web. Presence is produced and shared with SDI Members. You can learn more at sdicompanions.org/presence/ --- Supported by the Fetzer Institute: helping build the spiritual foundation for a loving world. Fetzer’s Sharing Spiritual Heritage report asks How will we hold onto ancient wisdom traditions while applying them creatively in today’s time? Learn more at fetzer.org. --- Cristina Mejia has 30+ years of experience in the graphic design industry, primarily in international editorial design for commercial organizations such as ELLE, Impremedia and General Mills, to social organizations such as the National Immigration Forum and Catholic Relief Services. Cristina is a certified Spiritual Director from the Hesychia School 2019, a member of Spiritual Directors International (SDI), and focuses on the evocative method in her practice. Martha María Tobón is a Colombian graphic designer and art director with more than 25 years of experience in Graphic Design and Art Direction, who has worked for many years in Advertising Agencies and Graphic Design studios in Bogotá and London. --- Sponsored by: SIENA RETREAT CENTER’S SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE TRAINING PROGRAM GROUNDED IN THE SPIRITUALITY OF THE UNIVERSE STORY AND WITH AN ECUMENICAL CHRISTIAN EMBRACE, SIENA RETREAT CENTER’S SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE TRAINING PROGRAM OFFERS OPPORTUNITIES FOR PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL GROWTH. THIS TWO-YEAR, IN-PERSON PROGRAM’S HOLISTIC APPROACH INCLUDES SPIRITUAL ENRICHMENT CONTENT, SKILLS-BUILDING, AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION AND GREATER SELF-AWARENESS. A NEW PROGRAM BEGINS JANUARY 2023. JOIN US FOR A “TASTE AND SEE” DAY ON SATURDAY, JUNE 11TH. SIENA RETREAT CENTER IS LOCATED ON LAKE MICHIGAN BETWEEN CHICAGO AND MILWAUKEE AND IS COMMITTED TO BEING A CATALYST FOR A MORE JUST AND COMPASSIONATE WORLD. LEARN MORE AT WWW.SIENARETREATCENTER.ORG.
Thursday Feb 03, 2022
Thursday Feb 03, 2022
In this week's episode, SDI's Creative Services Coordinator Ann Lancaster speaks with Reverend Simon de Voil, who will be leading SDI's journey to Iona, Scotland in March 2022. Simon is a singer-songwriter and interspiritual minister, born and raised in Scotland but now living in rural Vermont. Simon has gained a reputation as a talented musical performer and storyteller. He pairs thoughtful and inspiring lyrics with cracking good tunes, and is known for his rich, tender vocal style. His music explores themes of the inner landscape of the soul, the enchantment of the natural world, and a personal journey to follow an unexpected calling. You can find out more about Simon and hear his music at www.simondevoil.com --- Join us for a 8-night / 9-day transformational journey, March 18-26, 2022, deepening our connection to the sacred through our relationship with the natural world and through mindful spiritual practices. Ritual, community worship, poetry, body prayer, meditation, journaling, music and movement will be our tools to deeply listen to the voice of The Great Mystery. We will walk the landscape of Iona together as pilgrims, wandering to special places on the island to embrace the wilderness and to pray with nature. You will be in excellent hands on this journey. Retreat leader Rev. Simon Ruth de Voil was born and raised in Scotland and knows the island well. He first came to Iona as a baby in his mother’s womb, and he spent much of his childhood roaming her rocky hills and beaches. Simon returned to live and work at the Abbey at Iona from 2006 to 2008. Simon says of Iona, “She is ‘my island’ because in some inexplicable way I belong to her, and I am in her service.” Ann Lancaster will be journeying alongside Simon as SDI’s representative. She delights in international travel and music and spending time in nature enjoying the mysteries of life amongst fellow seekers. On her last journey to Scotland, she insisted on visiting Loch Ness on her way to Skye “just to see for herself.” To register and learn more, visit: https://www.sdicompanions.org/product/journey-to-iona-2022/
About Spiritual Directors International (SDI)
Join us on the path of awareness, practice and presence. Not everyone has a religion, but everyone has a spirit. Why not choose to know that spirit in an authentic way?
Please remember that this journey of spirit need not be taken alone. That’s why spiritual directors and companions do the work they do. That’s why SDI is here – to listen, to support, to embrace deep connection and invite all others to do the same.