Spiritual Direction

Tina Modotti, No.1, 1925, Getty






Spiritual direction is a practice of deep listening. When I sit one on one with someone, I am listening to and for the deepest self, which is at one with the Divine.  I take inspiration from Julian of Norwich, a 14th century anchorite. Anchorites were mystics who lived in small rooms built into the foundations of cathedrals, thus anchoring themselves in lives of constant prayer. Julian’s stone cell had  three windows: one opening into the cathedral, so she could participate in services; one opening into an alley for her cat to come and go; and the third opening onto the streets of Norwich, so people could come and pour out their hearts to her.  In a time of plague, war, famine, peasant revolts, and religious persecution, Julian was beloved, simply because of her listening.

No one listens, they tell me

And so I listen and tell them

what they have just told me.

And I sit in silence,

listening to them,

letting them grieve.

Julian, you are wise, they say.

You have been gifted

with understanding.

All I did was listen.

For I believe full surely that

God’s spirit is in us all,

giving light, wisdom,

and understanding,

speaking words in us when

we cannot speak,

showing us gently what

we cannot see,

what we are afraid to see,

so that we may show compassion,

mercy, and forgiveness

to all.


from Julian, a play about Julian of Norwich, by J. Janda

Contact me at [email protected] to learn more about how I approach spiritual direction. I did my three year training program at  Bread of Life Center, a terrific organization, where I am now on the teaching faculty.  Check out Mercy Center too, a wonderful place to go on retreat. I’m one of the directors there. See FAQs for my answers to frequently asked questions about spiritual direction. See Understanding and Commitment Agreement, which is the agreement I make with directees after we mutually agree to enter into a direction relationship.