A 12-part exploration of the mystical ground that supports our calling as spiritual companions
How does our deeply contemplative relationship with God, the Universe, and our true essence, inform our work as spiritual companions?
And how do our companionees benefit from contemplative immersion as they make their way towards greater spiritual insight and maturity?
These, and other important questions, will be tackled from varied vantage points by leading practitioners of our calling.
How can we understand our place in infinity and what does that mean?
What to Expect
Living into the big questions: Why are we here? What is our place in the universe?
Twelve live weekly 90-120 minute courses, Wednesdays beginning September 14, 2022 and concluding on November 30, 2022. Sessions will occur over Zoom each Wednesday from 9am PDT to 11:00am PDT. To find your start time based on time zone, click here.
Students can participate live or watch at their convenience later.
Mysticism is a form of ultimate experiencing, the greatest portal to our union and communion with forever; with all that was, is, and will be.
There Are So Many Online Courses. Why This One?
Rev. SeiFu Anil Singh-Molares
Rev. Seifu is the Executive Director of SDI and an ordained Zen Buddhist priest, as well as a practicing spiritual director/companion and motivational speaker. He is a veteran of numerous interfaith and interspiritual efforts over the years, including Seeds of Compassion in Seattle in 2008, where he was one of the chairs, and as founder and executive director of the Compassionate Action Network. He has a Master’s in Theological Studies from Harvard University.
Rev. Seifu is an accomplished speaker and university lecturer and is a key contributor for the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. In a previous life, he was also an executive at Microsoft, where he successfully grew international groups and divisions and provided leadership to multi-cultural teams around the world.
Carmen Acevedo Butcher
Carmen Acevedo Butcher is an internationally acclaimed speaker, author, educator, and poet. An award-winning translator, she has made accessible works of Early Modern French, German, Latin, Middle English, and Old English, by writers including the seventeenth-century friar Brother Lawrence, Hildegard of Bingen, Mechthild of Magdeburg, the Cloud’s Anonymous, Julian of Norwich, and tenth-century Benedictine monk Ælfric of Eynsham.
Carmen’s translation of Cloud of Unknowing (Shambhala Pocket Library, 2018) won an Author of the Year award from the Georgia Writers Association in 2010. Her tenth book, Practice of the Presence, is a revolutionary translation of the wisdom of Brother Lawrence, releasing in 2022 from Broadleaf Books.
Pat McCabe (Weyakpa Najin Win, Woman Stands Shining) is a Diné (Navajo) mother, grandmother, spiritual companion, activist, artist, writer, ceremonial leader, and international speaker. She is a voice for global peace, and her paintings are created as tools for individual, earth and global healing. She draws upon the Indigenous sciences of Thriving Life to reframe questions about spirit, sustainability and balance, and she is devoted to supporting the next generations, Women’s Nation and Men’s Nation, in being functional members of the “Hoop of Life” and upholding the honor of being human.
Carl McColman a spiritual director, retreat leader, and internationally known speaker and teacher on mystical spirituality and contemplative living. He is the author of many books, including The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Eternal Heart: The Mystical Path to a Joyful Life, and Unteachable Lessons: Why Wisdom Can’t Be Taught and Why That’s Okay. He is one of the co-hosts of the Encountering Silence podcast, and blogs regularly at Patheos, Medium, and his own website, www.anamchara.com. Although he himself is a practicing Christian, his approach to contemplation and mysticism is inclusive and expansive, and he is dedicated to exploring the common ground between faith traditions; he is particularly interested in the connecting points between Christian, Buddhist and Pagan wisdom. Carl lives with his wife, artist Fran McColman, in Clarkston, Georgia, near Atlanta.
Rabbi Amy Eilberg
Rabbi Amy Eilberg is the first woman ordained as a Conservative rabbi by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. She serves as a spiritual director, kindness coach, and peace and justice educator. She recently served as the Coordinator of Jewish Engagement for Faith in Action Bay Area, a multi-faith, multi-racial social justice organization in the San Francisco Bay Area. Prior to that she served as the director of the Pardes Rodef Shalom (Pursuer of Peace) Communities Program, teaching Jewish civil discourse to rabbis, synagogues and Jewish organizations. Her book, From Enemy to Friend: Jewish Wisdom and the Pursuit of Peace, was published by Orbis Books in March 2014. She is a devoted wife, loving mother to three wonderful grown children, and wildly enthusiastic grandmother to baby Adin.
Shubha Vilas is an inspirational orator, motivational speaker, storyteller and a lifestyle coach. Shubha Vilas was born in 1981 in the Southern part of the Indian peninsula. After a brief stint in the corporate world, he chose to leave mainstream society to live a life of contemplation. Putting his energy into deep studies and interpretation of Vedic Scriptures, he went on to become a monk and a spiritual seeker. Learn more about Shubha here: http://www.shubhavilas.com/about_me.html
Tessa Bielecki was previously Mother Abbess of the Spiritual Life Institute, a Carmelite community with hermitages in Colorado, Nova Scotia, and Ireland. She now lives as an “urban hermit” in Tucson, near her beloved Saguaro National Park. Tessa is a seasoned retreat leader and the author of numerous articles and five major works: Teresa of Avila: Mystical Writings; Holy Daring: The Earthy Mysticism of St. Teresa, the Wild Woman of Avila; Ecstasy and Common Sense; Season of Glad Songs: A Christmas Anthology, Desert Voices: The Edge Effect, and Sounds True audio learning courses Passion for God and Wild at Heart: Radical Teachings of the Christian Mystics. She is currently working on a memoir.
Imam Jamal Rahman
Imam Jamal Rahman is a popular speaker on Islam, Sufi spirituality, and interfaith relations. Along with his Interfaith Amigos, he has been featured in the New York Times, CBS News, BBC, and various NPR programs. Jamal is co-founder and Muslim Sufi minister at Interfaith Community Sanctuary and adjunct faculty at Seattle University. He is a former co-host of Interfaith Talk Radio and travels nationally and internationally, presenting at retreats and workshops.
Jamal’s passion lies in interfaith community building. He remains rooted in his Islamic tradition and cultivates a “spaciousness” by being open to the beauty and wisdom of other faiths. By authentically and appreciatively understanding other paths, Jamal feels that he becomes a better Muslim. This spaciousness is not about conversion but about completion.
More faculty will be announced in the coming weeks!
We will announce our Course Outline very soon.