SDI Encounters

EP056 - The Practice of Curiosity in Spiritual Companionship - Eric Massanari - Part 1

February 17, 2020

Eric Massanari, M.Div., is an ordained pastor in the Mennonite Church USA, living in Newton, Kansas where he serves as a spiritual director and the chaplain of a continuing care community for older adults. He serves on the SDI Coordinating Council, where he brings a passion for inter-faith learning, community building, and companioning people who are exploring the fertile ground of elderhood and those who are nearing the end of life. An avid poet and essayist, and a personal good friend.

Eric joined me for a conversation about his work as a spiritual companion, which we’ve turned into two episodes. The first one, here, touches on curiosity – which here I would define as a posture of listening that is genuinely inquisitive and engaged with someone they are listening to. And not just curious about what that person is saying or thinking or feeling, but curious also about the ways the listener finds themselves responding to what they are receiving.

Part 2 of this conversation will come out in our next episode, where we focus on the topic of death and companioning people at end of life.



Support for this week’s podcast comes from SDI’s upcoming contemplative writing retreat, called: Writing at the Edge of the World, June 15th through June 19th, 2020, on beautiful Orcas Island in Washington State, USA. Led by award-winning writer Tania Casselle, and NEA Fellow and Zen Teacher Sean Murphy, this retreat is designed to meet you wherever you are on your creative journey. You’ll leave with a notebook full of writing, and a fresh set of tools to invigorate your creative voice. Learn more on our homepage, – and you’ll find the Writers Workshop in the homepage slider.