Intro to Spiritual Direction

Spiritual direction must be one of the best kept secrets around. A lot of people still think it’s only for clergy or other religious professionals who are stressed out or in crisis.

Far from it.

First of all, I wish more clergy (stressed out or not) were in spiritual direction. They and their faith communities would be a lot healthier. But more importantly, I wish spiritual direction could be seen for the positive, life-affirming practice that it is—and that all spiritual seekers regardless of profession, background or beliefs—knew about spiritual direction and had it available to them.

My goal in life is to demystify this practice called Spiritual Direction. I want to bring it out of the dusty offices of monasteries, retreat centers and a few churches and into the public square.

Simply put, spiritual direction is a way of putting your energy toward listening to God, every day.

This blog, Spiritual Direction 101, is designed to help you do that in the context of a relationship with a guide who is trained to help you focus attention on God. I’ll outline what you can expect when you seek a director and enter spiritual direction. Later on, I’ll also show you how to search for a training program if you are interested in becoming spiritual director, and will include a lot of what you need to know to become a spiritual director.

It’s a peek behind the veil of a practice that many people find to be a helpful way to grow and deepen spiritually. So if you don’t know what spiritual direction is right now, that’s OK. You’re in good company and we’re going to rectify that. Spiritual Direction 101 is in session.

Next time, I’ll tell you more about what spiritual direction is and some definitions you may hear for it.

For more about spiritual direction as I practice it, check out my website. If you have questions or comments about the content of Spiritual Direction 101, let me hear from you in the reply section below.



About Teresa Blythe
  • Sarah

    I look forward to more on this valuable topic!

  • Matteo

    What I found troubling on my progressive church was that no one was interested in spiritual direction. Perhaps this is a problem with Christianity today, it had nothing to do with demystifying anything. Please are too busy and too distracted with life to pay attention. This leads to spiritual malaise. Progressive Christianity on the whole has gutted all the mystery from the body of Christ. Sorry to sound so harsh but that had been my experience which is why I left the church I was attending and divide my time with learning spiritual direction in a Benedictan context as as well as an evangelical one simultaneously. So far I’m finding it pretty empowering in that it’s not really about me at all. That sounds so contradictory doesn’t it? It’s not about me it’s about God in me living in me.

    • Teresa Blythe

      Sadly, I know what you are talking about, Matteo. You are not the only person to exit from progressive churches because of their dryness. I’m still in there working hard to people’s attention to the Mystery. It is very freeing to discover, through prayer, silence and gratitude, that the spiritual life is about partnership with God and God animated within us. Thank you for sharing this. Sounds like you are on a wonderful, life-giving path that will be a blessing to many people.