March – 2023

In This Issue

“Sanctuary is not a newer, improved version of practices of spiritual direction, but a fragile putting-into-work the very notion of companionship in a wilder world—a research assemblage of two or more persons, nonhuman participants, the invitation of brokenness, the groaning of not-knowing, and the promise of monsters. It is not a messianic rapture down the road leading to the future; it is a here-and-now approach we are already immersed in when we hold space together with others.”

— From Coming Down to Earth: Sanctuary as Spiritual Companionship in a Time of Hopelessness by Bayo Akomolafe, PhD


Bayo Akomolafe

The spiritual director opens her eyes to the sound of a knock on her door. Three polite taps followed by the squeezing of the door handle and the creaking sound of the door opening. She knows who comes.

Teresa Blythe


Centuries ago, when spiritual direction was just evolving within Christianity, there were no formation and training programs with internships or seminary degrees in spiritual direction. There were people taken under the wing of a highly experienced spiritual guide, learning as an apprentice.


Phil Fox Rose

As I write this, friends are telling ChatGPT to
write sermons and poems, and the results aren’t bad. Mind you, they’re not using them … as far as I know. I’ve played with it too. It’s fun, impressive, and uncanny.

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Art Gallery

Butterfly Wingship

Jon Marro


Alexey Adonin


Marissa Voytenko


Carin Huebner


Sarah Rehfeldt

Embrace the Silence

Salyna Gracie

Our Sponsors


Raymond Scott

Vanessa Caruso

Helen Bar-Lev

Our Sponsors


edited by Dr. Kristen Hobby et al.

Reviewed by Karen L. Erlichman

by Pema Chödrön

Reviewed by Amelia Stratton-Smith

by Ruth Haley Barton

Reviewed by Stephanie Bussey-Spencer Patton

by Haviva Ner-David

Reviewed by Karen L. Erlichman

by Richard Rohr, OFM

Reviewed by Elaine Fourie

Our Sponsors


Spiritual Directors International

Executive Director: 
Rev. Seifu Anil Singh-Molares, MTS

Phil Fox Rose

Media Review Editor: 
Pegge Erkeneff

Art Editor:
Matt Whitney

Graphic Designer: 
Tobias Becker

Web Designer:
Ann Lancaster

Founding Editor: 
Susan S. Jorgensen, MA

Poetry Editor: 
Jennifer (Jinks) Hoffmann

Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction is published in March, June, September, and December. Presence offers a forum among diverse people and spiritual traditions for the exploration of present and future trends in the art and ministry of spiritual direction. Presence is grounded in the belief that our deepest calling is to be present to one another as we share the gift of ourselves. Presence strives to articulate the essential elements of contemplative practices, formation, and training; to encourage accountability; and to develop clear ethical guidelines. Presence supports a global contemplative dialog of spiritual care and compassion for others, ourselves, and the whole cosmos. ISSN 1081-7662.

Opinions expressed in this journal are the opinions of the authors and advertisers and may not represent the opinions of Spiritual Directors International, the coordinating council, or the editors. All biblical quotations are from the NRSV unless otherwise noted.


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Bellevue, WA 98009

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