If you sense a longing or desire for a deeper, more alive experience of the Sacred in your everyday life, perhaps you are being drawn to try spiritual direction. “Direction” isn’t really an accurate word to describe the accompaniment, attention, and listening offered you in this companioning relationship. The spiritual director is really a midwife attending to each person in the process of giving birth and flourishing into all that the Sacred holds. Each director, trained in “the art of Spiritual direction”, asks questions, hears under the words, and holds the space for a person wherever they are in their spiritual journeys.
Persons can be tentative, questioning their beliefs and experiences of the Divine, but they will be accompanied, not corrected. A seeker might articulate longing for an experience of the Sacred…perhaps coming back in some way to what they once knew, or having rejected that, hoping for some authentic experience. They might express their desire simply: “I don’t want to miss my life.” Or they might want to revisit moments which they name sacred or “not coming just from me”, mystical experiences that surprised and continue to stay with them. They may have a trusting relationship with the Sacred that they desire to deepen, so they would like a companion with whom they can be transparent-- someone open to their experience. They may be questioning a shift in vocation or a move in location, or whether to stay or leave a relationship, so they desire contemplative practices to help them discern what brings life, rather than disconnection from being fully alive. At times, a person may be in crisis—someone they love may be dying, or they have been diagnosed with a terminal disease, or they may desire to come out in what feels like an unsafe environment. They may be experiencing depression or anxiety or want to heal their earlier wounded journey with religion and their image of God, but don’t know how that can happen. They can be very tentative and have contradictory feelings too…which makes sense…so it’s possible to work very tentatively.
A spiritual director is not a therapist, so they can be helpful in discerning and encouraging persons they work with to pursue therapeutic work as needed. Usually, persons meet with a spiritual director once monthly, and after an initial exploratory session at no charge, a sliding schedule is offered to include persons desiring direction.
Nancy Linton has been offering spiritual direction since she completed her DASD at San Francisco Theological Seminary in 2006. She trusts and has been continually surprised by this beautiful and compassion-filled process. For twentyfive years she lived and taught Women’s Studies at the Oregon Extension, a college community located in the Cascade Mountains of southern Oregon, where
her students helped her learn to hold space and listen deeply. She co-facilitates contemplative retreats and infuses her direction and supervision work with training in Internal Family Systems, developed by Dr. Richard Schwartz. As she integrates contemplative practices, body focusing, and the compassion practice work of Dr. Frank Rogers, Nancy continues to be enlivened by accompanying seekers and by sensing with them, the presence of a compassionate One who holds each of us beloved.
Nancy works by phone, Zoom, and in person at Trinity. Her schedule fills at times, but she can refer persons to a trusted spiritual director here in the valley. Please do contact her with any questions at: email@example.com, or her cell: 541-531-6907.