Highlights from the Essence 2023 Conference (and, Membership discounts through May 18)


Matt Whitney

Dear Community,

About 570 of us gathered last week, both virtually and in person, in Madison, WI for an SDI conference that set a new marker for our organization.

Over several days, we explored the essence of our calling as spiritual directors and companions through an incredible set of explorations from our keynoters, workshops presenters, and through our interactions with one another!  It was rich, moving, joyful, and deep, all in equal measures.

To all of you who attended—thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  To those unable to join—we missed you, and will make the conference recordings available to you soon.  And to everyone else reading this: please take a look below and see the many pictures of the SDI community in action, growing, crying, laughing, wondering, and discerning together.  And consider joining this rich and vibrant community!

To thank you all we are extending a 10% discount on membership subscriptions, renewals, and extensions on your existing membership through next Thursday.  Please us the voucher code “MAYDR10” and click here to subscribe.

With Love and Wonder for all of you, and everything you bring,

Rev. SeiFu

photo by Daniel Vogel

“How can I thank you for this beautiful conference? I feel so lifted by each artful large and small session!”

“Soaking in the vibe of SDI gatherers is a resonance of spiritual family-sangha-sanctuary.”

“This is my 4th SDI conference and every year I leave with something new. I leave with a sense of fulfillment.”

“This conference is such a gift and the presenters and participants are beyond inspiring.”

photo by Daniel Vogel

“I’m still reeling from what Sr. Lucy said. The journey she took to get to where she is now. She’s the ultimate definition of Spiritual Companionship”

photo by Christine Heister

“This is my first conference in person. I have attended last year virtually. It was wonderful to be in-person and meet all the amazing people I see on zoom.”

“Thank you for all the work you and the SDI staff are doing.  This is my first conference with SDI, and I felt really welcomed, heard, and appreciated.  I’ll be back!”

“The positive energy generated by this crew is beautiful, and I love being around you!”

“ It was wonderful as a participant on Zoom, and I was so pleased that Saturday was given to DEIJB work with Drs. Alexander and Yetunde.  It all deepened even more my enjoyment of and respect for SDI.”

“What a wonderful community to get together with. Both the keynoter presenters were amazing. I thoroughly am enjoying the rich conversation I am having with everyone.”

“Learning from the presenters and the participants. Always such a beautiful experience.”

“Thank you very much for such a great virtual experience! It was very comforting to know you were there to make everything work behind the scenes.”

photo by Debbi Jo Dieter

“Thank you for a very meaningful conference! I’m a first time attendee. Thank you for making it possible to attend remotely.”

“Many thanks for a beautiful experience here in Madison!”

photo by Paige Mackey

We invite spiritual directors and companions from all walks of life and manifestations to be in community with us by becoming or extending your membership in SDI. Use voucher code “MAYDR10” when you join to get your discount.  As a member of Spiritual Directors International, you will have, or continue to have, the opportunity to connect with others who are committed to spiritual exploration and find guidance and encouragement in your own spiritual journey. Become part of the SDI community today!

Matt Whitney

Matt Whitney

Matt is the Creative Director for SDI.



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June 2023 Issue of Presence Journal is out now!

Volume 29, Issue 2 of our quarterly publication on Spiritual Direction and Companionship is arriving this week in mailboxes, and is available now on our website. Highlights include: Spirituality in Session: A Conversation about Spirituality in Counseling, with Pamela Ayo Yetunde, Russell Siler Jones, and Rev. SeiFu Anil Singh-Molares Deconstruction and Supervision: Supporting the Role

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