Spiritual Advising is brief, situation-centered advice from a spiritual perspective. In its simplest form, that’s all it is. Being focused more on a particular situation or question, Spiritual Advising tends to imply only one or two sessions while Spiritual Direction is a much more in-depth consideration of your total spiritual journey.
Spiritual Formation Direction can seem an imposing label, but is really quite simple. How long has it been since you spoke with someone about “where you are” in your spiritual life and experienced them listen with true interest and offer understanding without judgment?
That’s the heart of it, or at least a fundamental requirement in my opinion.
Those conversations and the people who want to have them tend to be rare, with our feelings and questions about our faith and spiritual life usually hidden safely away behind our social persona – the face we feel we need to show so that others will respect and approve of us.
Taking up the task of “spiritual formation” is taking up the task of seeking spiritual maturity. The task of the Spiritual Formations Director is to listen, understand, advise when asked, and then recommend practices that focus and support the process of seeking spiritual maturity. This does not mean that a spiritual formations director is complete and perfect. It does usually mean, however, that they care a great deal about helping others with this task.
With me as your Spiritual Formation Director, I will first work to know your spiritual history through to your present circumstances and understanding of them. We would work together to create long-term goals with short-term, concrete practices to work in that direction. These practices tend to involve exploring the use of daily affirmations, meditations, prayers, and/or other spiritual disciplines.
As a Spiritual Formations Director, I also use Sidereal Astrology like a teacher might use a lesson plan or like a pastor might use a lectionary. I use it to inform the kind of prayers, readings, meditations, or other spiritual practices that I suggest for a certain period of time.
A particular practice would be selected for experimentation during the times between appointments, and progress with the practice and any corresponding effects or experiences would be recorded by you in your journal. During the appointment, we would discuss your experience with the practice as well as your overall progress toward your long-term goals. Sometimes, depending on your preferences and needs, we may just talk. That’s up to you as well. But if you’re looking for regular structure and homework, I can certainly provide it.