New Mission Statement: “Cultivating the Practices of Deep Listening and Spiritual Presence Across Faith Traditions and Spiritual Orientations”

by

Rev. Seifu Singh-Molares

Editor’s note: This message is from the SDI executive director on behalf of the SDI Coordinating Council. It is also published in this month’s edition of “Presence.” SDI Members can read this edition on-line here. Those who are not yet SDI members, can sign up here.

By Rev. SeiFu Anil Singh-Molares

At a just concluded retreat of SDI’s Coordinating Council (or “Board of Directors”), it was decided that we would optimize our mission statement to bring the organization’s focus into sharper relief.  You can see the new one in the header above.

Our mission has always been, and will continue to be, to foster spiritual direction and spiritual companionship to the world, through our community and our offerings.  Our calling and profession have existed for thousands of years, in a multitude of authentic expressions, a legacy we are proud to carry forward.  And thankfully, our reach has gotten broader just as it is most needed, this period of great turbulence, anxiety and despair. 

Deep Listening is of course a central (perhaps “the” central) modality of our vocation.  We listen with active contemplation, compassion, and wonder to the growing awareness and discernment of those who come to us.  And we are fortunate to share and celebrate the insights and breakthroughs, even as we hold space for breakdowns, doubt, loss and striving.

Another axis is Spiritual Presence, which is broadly encompassing.  We aim to be faithful and loving witnesses to each other, and to God, the Universe, and All that was, is, and will be.    And we let Love lead the way as we do so.

We are broad and invitational.  A “public square” is how we have referred to it, and it is large enough to hold spiritual directors and companions who may want to join us from all faith traditions, not just a few.  Similarly, our profession aims to offer solace to people around the world, wherever they may be and whatever faith tradition they may espouse. 

We also speak of “spiritual orientations” as we acknowledge that in our day and age the fastest growing part of the worldwide spiritual community are independents, who are engaged in a multitude of genuine, deeply rooted spiritual practices, without any necessary mooring in established faith traditions.  We honour and welcome them too.

And finally, we acknowledge that although our diversity has increased dramatically, we still have quite a ways to go.  At the same time, we commit to doing this through the prisms of deep and authentic listening and spiritual presence. Our mission statement, therefore, reflects both an aspiration and a growing reality.  

May our calling continue to benefit as many as we can reach!

Rev. Seifu Singh-Molares

Rev. Seifu Singh-Molares

Rev. Seifu is the Executive Director of SDI and an ordained Zen Buddhist priest, as well as a practicing Spiritual Companion/Director/Guide/Counselor and motivational speaker.

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