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Spiritual Directors: Services for Directors and Seekers

See also: Spirituality Considerations | Science and Spirituality | Philosophy of Health & Medicine | Deep Personal Searching or End-of-Life Concerns for Family Member  | I don't want you to lose your faith

See below: What is a Seeker? | Finding a Spiritual Director -- For Seekers and also for Spiritual Directors | Send email: Contact Form |

Initial Contemplation Exercise and Possible Field Trips

I am proud to be a member of Spiritual Directors International [link]:

I joined so that I could give back to others out of the riches that I have gained on my own journey through life.

In recent years the concept of "Formation" has been developed to describe the ongoing process of one's spiritual journey. This is mentioned on the SDI website. A few years ago I read an inspiring essay on Formation from the American Association of Pastoral Counselors [AAPC] and I joined that community of professionals. They have two groupings of members, one group contains those whose focus is upon the spiritual aspect of life, and the other group focuses on the mental/physical health aspect. Advice from an AAPC member led me to learn about SDI. It was refreshing to see that spiritual direction crosses denominational boundaries. Note: I am convinced that the process of spiritual direction can be beneficial for those who identify as Atheist or Agnostic.

Our work together will be shaped by your situation. I have lived through a wide range of life experiences and have stood beside others in times of serious life choices and changes. You are welcome to contact me at no charge for an initial greeting.

What is a Seeker?

The Parable of the Lost Sheep can also be seen as the Parable of the Seeker.

 A seeker comes from a position of power, knowing that there is a precious relationship that can be experienced. The seeker does not need to identify as One Who Lacks, but rather as One Who Values that which is sought.

[Note: I am convinced that the process of spiritual direction can be beneficial for those who identify as Atheist or Agnostic.]

I offer my services to both Spiritual Directors and Seekers. [See below: Finding a Spiritual Director]

Some checkpoints:

I am a good listener.

I will respect your faith or stance of no-faith. [related]

I can tailor our interactions to honor your innate learning mode: Auditory, Visual, Kinesthetic. The work can be as simple or as multi-tasking as you wish it to be.

Broad experience with faith communities, agnostics, atheists. Many of these experiences are not listed in About Dr. Wilson.

We are "fearfully and wonderfully made."

I have experience with a number of spiritual exercises and will support you in your choice of ways to learn more about your own spiritual life.

Hellinger's Family Constellation Work: Active participant in several events. [more]

Applied Psycho-Neurobiology (APN) of Dietrich Klinghardt, M.D., Ph.D. has provided a powerful approach to unlocking unconscious blockages to autonomic self-regulation.  [more]

Currently in certificate training in the Functional Medicine program of Charles Gant, M.D.  [more]

Integrative Homeopathy/Counselor.  [more]

My techniques include some methods that protect privacy on a deep level regarding the things spoken or not spoken during treatment sessions.

As a naturopathic physician I aim to help the patient have a stronger body so that their spirit will have a more stable anchor to the physical world. As an ordained minister I aim to help the person move beyond "the tyranny of the physical" so that they can more actively participate in life on all levels.

Acupuncture Mind/Body assessment.  [more]

Ayurvedic Medicine training (Deepak Chopra is a major figure).  [more]

Deep experience with Integrative Medicine  [more]

Integrating ancient and modern approaches, as an Expanded Paradigm.  [more]

Promoting study of science to discover "God's handiwork."  [more]

Promoting awareness of Human Energy Anatomy. Promoting scientific study and mapping of energy anatomy is a key commitment of mine.  [more]

I appreciate Klinghardt's Five Levels of Health.  [more]

I appreciate Nordenstrom's work with microcircuits and its health implications (cancer, autism, preventive health care measures, etc.).  [more]

I promote awareness of human neurotoxin loads  [more], and taking steps to remove these blocks to vibrant health.  [more]

I will support your work whether it is with youth, young adults, seniors, end-of-life issues.

Open to a process of "being there" with you as you explore how the physical world and the various levels of life affect your life and your ministry.


Pictures: Initial Contemplation Exercises and Possible Field Trips  [NOTE: See separate page]

If you are a visual learner you may find the pictures and video on that page helpful in contemplating some of the aspects that I consider important in spiritual direction and in improving health of body and mind. You can click on each and that will take you to another section of this Internet site.


Finding a Spiritual Director

Invitation: Whether you are a Spiritual Director, or a Seeker of spiritual direction in your own life, I invite you to explore this teaching website and discern for yourself the benefits you may gain from working with me. Together we would create the Engagement Agreement for spiritual direction as described by Spiritual Directors International. Below are my answers to the frequently asked questions that SDI recommends be answered for you to consider.

Please read the following about spiritual direction and visit the SDI internet site. Then you are welcome to contact me through my office for a 15-minute telephone conversation, at no charge, about the process of spiritual direction.

These are extraordinary times on our planet. It can be life-changing to enter into what Jeffrey Gaines* calls a mentoring, or companioning or spiritual friendship relationship with someone whose focused commitment is to you and your relationship with God (or Higher Power, or other term that you use). Wherever you live we can do this work. Through the use of voice-over-internet protocol (VOIP) telephone, and email and possibly teleconferencing (such as through www.Skype.com), I can communicate with virtually any location that has an internet connection.


*When he was Executive Director of Spiritual Directors International, Jeffrey S. Gaines in an interview described spiritual direction as, "listening carried out in the context of a one-to-one trusting relationship...[in which the director acts as] a competent guide who then 'companions' another person, listening to that person’s life story with an ear for the movement of the Holy, of the Divine."

He then expanded on this: "I would say that 'director' really is a misnomer, because God is the director and I am simply one who companions. There is a tradition of using the word 'director,' and I don’t see that being changed, but truly God is the director, and the spiritual director simply assists the seeker in uncovering and discovering the direction of God in that person’s life. This enables the directee to see, claim, receive, own, and reverence God’s voice, God’s nudging, and God’s acting, in such a way that it elicits a natural and genuine response. Spiritual direction [is] mentoring, or companioning, or spiritual friendship..."  [interview PDF]

The following is information from the "Finding a Spiritual Director" page on the website of Spiritual Directors International:

Remember, it is up to you to choose your spiritual director wisely. Let them know what draws you to spiritual direction in this time in your life and notice how comfortable it is for you to tell your faith story. Listen carefully for the way the spirit is guiding you in your selection process.

Each person seeking a spiritual director needs to take reasonable steps to verify the competency of any potential spiritual director. As a ministry in many nations and many faiths, spiritual direction does not have a centralized certifying body that verifies qualifications of spiritual directors since each faith tradition handles spiritual directors differently.

Spiritual Directors International does not endorse or recommend particular spiritual directors. We are not a certifying body, but rather a global learning community that supports spiritual directors in their ministry with educational programs, publications and contemplative practices.

Spiritual Directors International recommends that you ask each person you interview to become your spiritual director questions such as:


What enrichment, spiritual formation, and theological education do you have in spiritual direction? 

Certificate in Spirituality, Health & Medicine from Bastyr University.

Rich life experiences, studies and workshops with many religious traditions and many optimistic atheists.

I have had many opportunities to participate in sacred moments with people of many religious and non-religious commitments. I support people who are intensely Christ-centered as well as those who are atheist with equal respect. The same God made us all.

See About Dr. Wilson [This does not mention all my experiences with faith groups, traditions and spiritual/philosophical understandings of life. These I can describe to you personally.]


What is your personal experience tending your own prayer, meditation and contemplative life?

Rich life experiences have led me to a place in which I can focus patiently and also move actively through daily requirements. I often take weekend retreats. I participate in the Family Constellation Work that was developed from insights of former priest Bert Hellinger. I have had training in deep relaxation. Diamond Heart, Ridhwan meditation training in the 1990s which feels similar to the recent popularization of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. Observing the rising and decrease of feelings/emotions. Trusting that "there are no accidents" in life. Knowing that I am part of something greater than myself.


What is your experience as a spiritual director? How many years? In what environments?

I began learning the skills of teaching and helping others during my youth in Boy Scouts and Indian Guides. I have been a registered counselor since 1988. I was ordained as an interfaith minister in a congregation of the SHES assembly of congregations in 1994. My spiritual direction activities have been tailored to the immediate needs of local individuals who needed support. With my joining Spiritual Directors International I am moving into a more structured, intentional format within which people can contact me for focused support whether they are local or are communicating via Internet and telephone. I will be glad to speak with you about specific experiences and environments of spiritual exchange that have helped shape my life experience.


What are you most interested in spiritually?

Helping people discover the wonders of their own self and their ability to connect to the God that created us all. Being part of the worldwide community of people of goodwill who dedicate their lives to the deep connectedness of all people and our reliance on a healthy relationship to everything around us.


How do you continue your education and supervision for your spiritual direction ministry?

Now that I have joined the Spiritual Directors International community I draw upon the offerings that come through them. Family Constellation workshops have been a transformative experience in understanding people and their spiritual connectedness. Ongoing growth and self-examination. Maintaining contacts with psychiatrists, counselors, healthcare practitioners who recognize the interconnections between body, mind and consciousness/ spirit. I am a member of the Online Therapy Institute social network (more).


What ethical guidelines do you abide by, such as those published by Spiritual Directors International?

As a naturopathic physician I have professional ethical guidelines: Naturopathic Physician Code of Ethics. I subscribe to the guidelines of the Spiritual Directors International as well; you can purchase a copy of the booklet, SDI Guidelines for Ethical Conduct from the SDI bookstore. The booklet is also included as part of your membership if you choose to join SDI.


Have you ever been accused or convicted of misconduct?

No.


What type of engagement agreement will we establish to clarify roles and responsibilities in our spiritual direction relationship, such as samples provided to members of Spiritual Directors International?

If you choose to begin a period of spiritual direction work with me, that means that you have chosen to go outside of your own religious community. Such a path can broaden your perspective, and it can also provide an agenda-free place for closer examination of your own inner process. Our relationship will be determined by you and me to be what is most appropriate for your own life situation; the wording of our agreement will differ from the sample Engagement Form above.

I offer appointments in the office, as well as telephone and internet conferences. I will describe these in more detail in future updates of this page. A Skype telephone (VOIP: Voice-Over-Internet Protocol) connection can make possible communications wherever there is an Internet connection and headset/microphone for both parties. I can envision that occasionally a field trip could be appropriate but only after appropriate contracting regarding the event. Field trips that I have found enriching include: the Museum of the American Indian, and the Washington National Cathedral.

The Engagement Agreement can be adapted to fit your needs: [Engagement Agreement ]

Send email: Contact Form link is below

 

For Spiritual Directors

Support for those who are directors is an opportunity to look at your own process of formation. One of my specialties is doing the "detective work" of finding hidden underlying imbalances or blockages that lead to distressing emotions or even physical concerns that are often misunderstood by counselors or western medical doctors alike. I can help you remove obstacles to your physical and emotional health so that your spiritual clarity is enhanced. If you are experiencing, for example, a "dark night of the soul," I have a lot of experience in that often-misunderstood situation.

My intent is to avoid being the "director." One image that I have of these three-way/one-on-one sessions is that I am out of the picture and it is a matter of "You and God and You".


If you choose to work with me, it would be outside of your denomination. It would provide you with a "clean slate". This environment of privacy is intended to provide you with the opportunity to perceive "the moving of the spirit" within, aided as appropriate by my presence as you move forward.

A benefit of improving your own self-awareness and knowledge of your body, brain and emotions is that you will give your spirit a more stable residence. This then will give you more insights into the factors that are causing problems in the lives of others who seek your services as a spiritual director.


What type of engagement agreement will we establish to clarify roles and responsibilities in our spiritual direction relationship, such as samples provided to members of Spiritual Directors International?

Our relationship will be determined by you and me to be what is most appropriate for your own life situation. I offer appointments in the office, as well as telephone and internet conferences. I will describe these in more detail in future updates of this page. A Skype telephone connection (or other Voice-Over-Internet Protocol -- VOIP -- services) can make possible communications wherever there is an Internet connection and headset/microphone for both parties. I can envision that occasionally a field trip could be appropriate but only after appropriate contracting regarding the event. Field trips that I have found enriching include: the Museum of the American Indian, and the Washington National Cathedral.

The Engagement Agreement can be adapted to fit your needs: [Engagement Agreement ]


Spiritual Direction Contact: email entry. Your email address and comments are held as sacred.

 

Updated: Contact form on my clinical website

 

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