May 18, 2022

To get better at something we consider challenging, we have to practice. You know what’s hard for me in spiritual direction? Exploring with a client ways to deepen in relationship with God when they are truly and unavoidably busy. Spiritual directors are not “fixers,” yet I’m always tempted to suggest ways to squeeze more time out of a packed person’s day. Never, ever have my suggestions on this — when I gave them — worked. I’m especially cautious about doing this... Read more

April 21, 2022

Throughout history and among many spiritual traditions the divine has been associated with light. In our continuing exploration of the attributes of God found listed in the apocryphal book of Wisdom (7:15-22), let’s spend a little time with this beautiful description: Wisdom is a reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working of God, and an image of God’s goodness. Wisdom, in Hebrew literature, is a female energy described as God’s delight and God’s companion. She reflects God... Read more

April 8, 2022

I was on with Rev. Canon Lisa Vaughn and Rev. Neil Mancor on their Pew and Beyond podcast — and we discussed my book, “50 Ways To Pray”! This podcast aired live on Facebook, March 29, 2022. I hope you enjoy it! Looking for more ways to pray? To learn more and purchase the book, please check it out on my website. Teresa Blythe is a Phoenix based spiritual director, author and trainer of apprentice spiritual directors. To learn more... Read more

February 28, 2022

How do we have a relationship with God that is truly consensual? I’ve been thinking a lot about this in light of all the cases of religious teachers and leaders who preyed on parishioners, abusing them sexually without a single thought to the power dynamic at play. These abusive religious leaders may think the relationship is consensual, but how much consent does a person really have if the one pursuing them is a trusted, powerful force in their life? How... Read more

January 21, 2022

Learning doesn’t just happen in classrooms. Apprenticing — the ancient practice of learning a trade or philosophy from one-on-one interaction with someone experienced in the subject — is on the rise. In November of 2019, I gave up classroom instruction in the art of spiritual direction and began taking on apprentices. Earlier that year, Shaleen Kendrick, a young woman whose life situation didn’t allow her to attend any of the traditional training programs asked if I would take her on... Read more

December 7, 2021

People who are spiritual but not religious seek spiritual directors who can be attentive to them without attempting to put them in an institutional box. While spiritual directors of all backgrounds are supposed to have this sort of openness, there is one religious tradition that has a history of not forcing seekers into a box: Unitarian Universalism (UU). That’s why when referring people who call themselves spiritual but not religious to spiritual directors, I many times steer them toward directors... Read more

October 14, 2021

One of the most prominent questions in spiritual direction and discernment is this: When I have a spiritual experience, how do I know it’s God and not my imagination or wishful thinking? I’d like to be able to give an iron clad answer to that question, but it’s just not possible, given the nature of God (as in, invisible). However, there are guides we can use to test our impulses, desires and insights. And those guides come in many forms,... Read more

September 3, 2021

In spiritual direction, we explore a person’s experience of God. What we discover is that God loves showing up in really diverse ways! Don’t ever let anyone tell you that an experience of the Spirit always or only happens in a way they find acceptable. Just look at all these ways we find people in the Bible encountering God. Jacob’s dream at Bethel. Genesis 28: 10-17. This is Jacob’s first experience of God, and it includes a promise. God makes... Read more

July 20, 2021

The denomination I am ordained in, United Church of Christ (UCC), has a catchphrase: “God is still speaking.” That means God continues, throughout all of time, to reveal Godself to us, just as God did to the people of Israel in the ancient near-east and in the time of Jesus. For a long time, the motto was mostly used to counter those brands of Christianity that tried to say the Bible is the inerrant and infallible word of God and... Read more

April 15, 2021

Kindness might need a defender. From the 2016 presidential election on, there’s been a debate about effective responses to racism, sexism, heterosexism, questions of immigration reform, systemic injustice — and even just plain rudeness. Do we meet “fire with fire” in our response, do we walk away, or do we handle such dialogue with kindness? Self-proclaimed “kindness enthusiast” and Presbyterian pastor Bruce Reyes-Chow explores those options and more in his new book, “In Defense of Kindness: Why It Matters, How... Read more

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