What is Spiritual Direction?
"As our being increases, our receptivity to higher meaning increase; as our being decreases the old meanings return." - Maurice Nicoll
Spiritual direction is a relationship in which one person (the director) accompanies another person (the directee) on their spiritual journey. The director helps the directee connect with the divine, explore their spiritual path, and discern how to live a life that is aligned with their beliefs and values. Spiritual direction is not about giving advice or telling the directee what they should do, but rather about listening deeply to their experiences, offering support, and providing guidance that is grounded in wisdom traditions.
Wisdom is a complex concept that can be defined in various ways. Wisdom is a way of knowing that goes beyond one's mind, one's rational understanding, and embraces the whole of a person; mind, heart, and body (Marcella Kraybill-Greggo, 2021). Generally, wisdom is described as knowledge, experience, and good judgment combined with an ability to apply it to life situations. It is the ability to discern the right course of action and to act accordingly, not merely based on rules or habits, but on a deep understanding of reality. Wisdom is necessary because it helps individuals to make better decisions, have a deeper understanding of the world, and find meaning in life. It also enables individuals to cope with life's difficulties, challenges, and uncertainties.
The 10 wisdom traditions are various philosophical, religious, and spiritual belief systems that focus on cultivating wisdom. The 10 wisdom traditions are: the Judeo-Christian tradition, the Islamic tradition, the Hindu tradition, the Buddhist tradition, the Confucian tradition, the Taoist tradition, the Greek tradition, the Native American tradition, the African tradition, and the feminist tradition. Each of these traditions has unique wisdom teachings that offer a different perspective on the nature of wisdom and how it can be achieved. These traditions share the belief that wisdom is accessible to anyone and can be developed through efforts and practices.
Dr. Debbie's background in spiritual direction is under the leadership and mentorship of Dr. Barbara L. Peacock, the founder of Peacock Soul Care. Dr. Debbie integrates soul care, wisdom, contemplation, and therapy to help clients on their healing journey. She studied "the wisdom way of knowing" at Oasis under the guidance of Marcella Kraybill-Greggo. The tools of wisdom are prayer, surrender, and presence. The "wisdom way of knowing" is a framework for understanding the process of gaining wisdom that was developed by Cynthia Bourgeault, a Christian contemplative, and teacher. According to Bourgeault, the wisdom way of knowing involves cultivating three centers of perception: the mind, the heart, and the body. By integrating these three centers, individuals can develop a deeper understanding of reality and access greater wisdom. The wisdom way of knowing draws on many spiritual traditions, including Christianity, Sufism, and Buddhism, among others.
The process of spiritual direction often involves regular meetings between the director and the directee, during which the directee shares their experiences, questions, and insights. The director may offer reflections, ask questions, or suggest practices that could support the directee's spiritual growth. The focus is on helping the directee deepen their relationship with the divine and navigate the challenges and opportunities of their spiritual journey with greater clarity and confidence.
"Wisdom in the Classical Tradition" by Nicholas Maxwell
"The Wisdom Way of Knowing" by Cynthia Bourgeault