SGTI's first Residential Institute in Chicago is now complete and we offer a hearty congratulations to our first cohort for their contributions and efforts. We will gather again with this group in April 2018. For now, our distance learning continues characterized by individual study, one-on-one mentoring, Zoom teachings and peer group experience, interviews with experts in the field, and more.
Our students came from many walks of life. This cohort boasted a teacher/mentor of teachers, a contemplative scientist, a yoga teacher, a spiritual activist, and a Protestant pastor—a truly interfaith/interspiritual collective.
Their early evaluations of our time together reflected their appreciation of:
• Sangha—spiritual practice and support in community
• Deeper understanding of what spiritual guidance is and how it works; learning the early skills of the practice so they can begin companioning others as "Associate Spiritual Guides"
• How to hold presence for and listen to others from a heart space
• Their own spiritual values and chosen practices
For us, these dedicated individuals embody the spirit of compassionate presence so needed in the world today. We are excited to see where this journey takes them in their own communities and circles of care.
“We do not think ourselves into new ways of living,
we live ourselves into new ways of thinking.”
Richard Rohr, OSF
We tend to compartmentalize our lives into spiritual and non-spiritual. We may think that our inner life is separate from, even superior to, our daily life. In reality, it's all the same thing. Everything is spiritual. Everything.
Each human encounter invites us to more; to look at how well we are embodying the spiritual values we claim to hold dear; how well we are walking our spiritual talk—actually being the spiritual persons we claim ourselves to be. In fact, it is within the context of human relationship that we'll learn the most about ourselves.
Living in the "real" world—going to work or school, being partnered, having kids, living in a neighborhood--is how we come to know ourselves as divinely-sourced, but thoroughly human beings. We intend to love fully, yet close our hearts in anger. We preach generosity, but hold tight to our purses when we spot a homeless person on the street corner.
The truth is, we are perfectly imperfect and, because we are, life offers us one opportunity after another to grow. As marvelous as it might sound, framed in this way, every human being can be a teacher to us. Being in relationship is how we develop and grow into the people we are meant to be in the heart and mind of God.
1. Do you have a tendency to see your inner life as separate from your daily life of duties and human interaction? Do you see your inner life as sacred and your “regular” life as secular, even profane?
2. What is the one area of your daily life or your relationship life that is causing you the most difficulty right now? Consider that, right now, this arena holds your greatest spiritual invitation. It is where the Spirit is nudging you to grow.
3. Acknowledging this invitation, what is the Divine nudging you toward right now? To be more loving or kind? Generous or forgiving? Courageous or faithful? Name the “virtue of the spirit” that is beckoning you to wholeness, to integration, so that your outer life reflects your inner life.
Everything we experience in life is sacred because everything that happens to us is laden with holy purpose: to help us take a deeper look at how we are living in the world.
©2015, Janice. Lundy. Excerpted from My Deepest Me: A 30-Day Guided Journey
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Deepening the understanding, practice and importance of spiritual companionship across traditions.
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