Page 1 - 2019 July Listen - 13.3 final
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                         FOR                             Listen

                       JULY 2019    VOLUME 13    ISSUE 3


        We begin SDI’s staff meeting each week with mo-        spiritual companions in the SDI context we are re-
        ments of meditation and reflection.  This week, we     ferring to individuals who have dedicated significant
        shared instances where we had acted as spiritual       effort, education, and training to the endeavour.  The
        companions to someone, or they had acted as spiritual  skills we have acquired are the result of long labours,
        companions to us.                                      deep and ongoing contemplation, lifelong learning,
                                                               deep listening, and abiding ethical groundings.  We
        Not everyone on the staff are trained spiritual com-   hold ourselves accountable to those who meet with
        panions, but a range of answers was offered, from      us, to the communities we serve and are a part of, and
        counseling a friend with suicidal impulses, to theo-   to the supervisors who help guide us through various
        logical conversations that suddenly went quite deep,   challenges, both professional and personal.
        to helping someone combat loneliness and identify a
        deeper purpose and meaning in their lives.             So we are not casual “friends” engaging in idle meta-
                                                               physical banter, and spiritual companionship is not a
        This led to a reflection that these were all expressions   hobby, but rather a serious, committed undertaking.
        of spiritual companionship: listening intently, com-   It has depth and supportive purpose.
        passionately, and tackling issues of deeper meaning
        and connection.                                        And yet, spiritual companions at SDI come in many
                                                               guises.  We have those we describe as “spiritual
        In some sense, therefore, we are all spiritual compan-  directors,” terminology that originated as a designa-
        ions from time to time, to our friends, our family, and   tion initially reserved for male clergy in the Catholic
        quite often, to total strangers.  Our desire to connect   tradition, but who for quite some time now have
        with the beyond, the infinite, God, or however we      encompassed large numbers of lay practitioners,
        might refer to the ground of all being, is built into us,   predominantly female, in the larger Christian context.
        and echoes deeply between us all, like a tuning fork   And the key founder of SDI, Sr Mary Ann Scofield,
        resonating to a universal note.                        was vowed religious herself, and we are proud to
                                                               have many nuns in our ranks. Within the Abrahamic
        With that in mind, nonetheless, when we speak of       tree, we also have a significant constituency of Jewish
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