My name is Matt Whitney and I am the Creative Director of SDI. I want to share with you my personal story about how I came to discover spiritual companionship, and why I think it’s such a vital practice in our world.
I am someone who considers themselves to be on a spiritual path. As such, I have always been hungry for conversations with others who share this sense of spiritual journey. I am energized by big meaning-of-life questions. Here are some of mine:
- “Can God be experienced, rather than just read about?”
- “What is a mystical experience and can it be trusted?”
- “What do we do with suffering?”
- “What happens when we die?”
The thing is, it can be really difficult in our culture to find friends who want to go deep with one another into questions like these!
When I first came to work at SDI, I had never done spiritual direction, nor had I really a good understanding of what it was. What I’ve discovered is that SDI is a diverse community of people who have been living these questions, and learning how to better help others live into their own questions. A community of people committed to help others get spiritually “unstuck.” A community with an array of unique approaches. And a community eager to learn from one another how their traditions and orientations approach the universal questions of life that we all share. And if you weren’t from any particular tradition, the questions were still the same.
God, Spirit, The Universe, Tao, Allah, Ultimate Meaning – these are some of the names we share for the Mystery which is paradoxically beyond us and also most intimate to us.
As I have gotten to know this community of spiritual companions, I have become convinced of the vitality and urgency of this work. Spiritual companions are trained in deep listening, without judgement, to the questions and the sacred stories of all they encounter. Each time a story is shared, each time a big question is explored, each time a person is honored just as they are – a grand action of healing and awakening is occurring.
Imagine each of these listening acts, done each day in the work of spiritual companionship, multiplied by millions. Spiritual companionship can heal the world! I believe this to be true, and my work is committed to bringing this healing modality to as many people as possible.
But we need your help to do this work.
SDI Membership is designed to support each member in our diverse community through our educational offerings, gatherings, media, and discounts. But it reciprocally supports our broader work to create and facilitate these offerings, and to advocate for spiritual companionship as a broadly recognized modality in our culture.
This work depends on SDI Members.
Whether you are a fellow spiritual traveler (as we all are), or work as a spiritual director, life coach, chaplain, or religious leader – the world needs your healing presence, and SDI needs your voice, energy, and support. Whomever you are, and wherever you are in your spiritual journey, there’s never been a better time to join our global family of spiritual companions.
Our mission at SDI is to advocate for and equip spiritual companions across traditions, orientations, and around the world. I am inviting you today to join our work of spiritual companionship. Support your own practice and support the work of the other members of this amazing community. Let’s work together to bring healing to all we encounter.
Please consider becoming an SDI Member today. And if it’s not the right time for you, I hope you’ll consider a small donation to support our work.
Thank you for reading and for listening to my own story. And thank you for joining us on this grand spiritual journey together.
Blessings and Peace,
Creative Director, SDI