What can you expect from participating in Spiritual Guidance with me?
We will begin our time together by creating a safe and sacred space. We begin with a guided meditation that aligns us into the earth, brings us into our heart and connects us to our soul’s energy. The idea is to become grounded, and centered into the physical body, mindfully using the breath to relax and settle inward, so that you might touch onto what body sensations, emotions and thought forms are present, right here and now. As you recognize what is present for you, your desire or need will arise in this openness. As you share what is on your mind and in your heart, I will listen with curiosity and compassion, attuning to our soul connection. We will engage in dialogue and explore more deeply through inquiry of whatever is present, whether it be a life situation or spiritual concern, question or confusion. Everything is welcome. My intention is to help guide you toward connection to your inner wise self, soul and Spirit. Often simply being with the experience in such willingness is what brings forth the awareness that you are seeking.
What are some of the “invitations” that I might offer?
Of course, each person’s interest and connection to Spirit is unique so, having a variety of options that might be helpful is ideal. My approach will depend on this factor. For example, we can draw on practices from Psychosynthesis, such as reflective or receptive meditation, guided visualizations or identifying specific subpersonalities that are being activated. There are Sufi practices and body prayers that help one to touch onto the different aspects of personality and to bring forth different qualities of God/Spirit. Clearing and balancing the energy fields and chakras may be another choice. Importantly, whatever the method or practice may be, it is Spirit that is moving through us. This is the true source of the guidance and healing that occurs. At the close of the session, we can decide if there are some activities that may be beneficial for you such as: reading a particular poem or book, listening to music or to a spiritual teacher through podcasts and youtubes. Working with creative art forms, silently being in nature, chanting, napping, walking meditation, LovingKindness meditation, or Centering Prayer are just a few other ideas.
Why should I engage a Spiritual Guide while on my retreat?
Being on retreat might mean that you simply need a break from your daily life and routine, are in need of rest and some peace and quiet, or that there is something known or unknown stirring deeply inside that you wish to explore. Retreats offer us the opportunity to be with our self in a way that our ordinary life does not. It is helpful to have a companion as we walk into new territory, someone who has experienced this or a similar place, and can join you as you discover what is here. As the spiritual teacher Ram Dass said, “We’re all just walking each other home”. We are interdependent creatures and naturally need each other. If you are interested and curious in learning more beyond the conditioned self/egoic structures, and want to explore ways to uncover more of who you truly are, the divine aspects of your being, then Spiritual Guidance can be a useful tool for this self-realization. To heal or to become whole means that we move toward awakening to the fullness of our true nature.
What is my training and experience?
Wayfarer of the Endless Road (Salik a fi sabili llah)
I consciously began my spiritual journey in the late 1980’s. I had begun my profession as a psychotherapist and was introduced to my first spiritual mentor who was a teacher of Psychosynthesis. Dr. Roberto Assagioli known as a pioneer of humanistic and transpersonal psychology, founded Psychosynthesis in the early 1900’s. His belief was that humans long for a more authentic sense of self that includes the personal and transpersonal self. I joined a 2 year program to study and experience the practices of Psychosynthesis. Assagioli was also interested in the field of consciousness, Eastern philosophy, and theosophy. He was a co-founder of the School of Esoteric Studies which was grounded in the Ageless Wisdom teachings. I became a student of this school long enough to develop a serious curiosity to investigate a variety of major world religions in order to know more about their shared core of truth and mystical experience.
In the decade between 1990 and 2000, participating in the many opportunities for spiritual exploration and experience became a priority in my life. In the early 1990’s, I became a student of Zen meditation, appreciating its structure and discipline. In the later years of 1990, I was introduced to the Inner Focus School for Soul Directed Energy Healing. The school offered a 4 year set of courses to become an energy healer, as well as a ministerial program working toward a Bachelors in Ministry degree. It was during these years of study that I found myself interested in Christ Consciousness, having developed a deep connection with the wisdom teachings of Jesus and mystical Christianity. I graduated as a certified energy healer and was ordained by the Inner Focus Church as an Interfaith (Interspiritual ) minister in 2002.
I had been introduced to Sufism as part of the teachings in Inner Focus. I fell in love with this universalist path that embraced diverse world religions devoted to self-realization, one’s soul and the true nature of one’s being. I became a mureed of the Chisti order (Inayati) in 2003, and in 2004 attended Suluk Academy, a 4 year school founded by Pir Zia Inayat-Khan. The ultimate purpose of this contemplative training was to support the natural unfoldment of the soul in life, culminating in the deepened realization and the experience of awakening to the reality of the unity of being.
In 2005, I opened my own psychospiritual center, combining a psychotherapy practice and spiritual guidance program. During the years spent in Suluk Academy, I was introduced to the Diamond Approach work founded by Hameed Ali. After my graduation from Suluk in 2008, as a representative I was also initiated into the Sufi Healing Order. I developed a 3 year spiritual development program that interwove the various teachings and practices that I had learned and experienced since the onset of my spiritual journey. The teachings of Sufism and Hameed Ali naturally dovetailed for me. In 2011, I became a student of the Diamond Approach. I continue to study and participate in this work as a member of the Midwest group.