Spiritual Journaling & Deep Listening – Practical Wisdom for Spiritual Directors and Companions

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Through spiritual journaling, we will become a community of seekers and learners, writing in an atmosphere of openness and exploration.

Spiritual Journaling & Deep Listening

Practical Wisdom for Spiritual Directors and Companions


Colette Lafia

Debie Thomas


October 11, 18, 25, 2022 – 1pm to 2:30pm Pacific


4.5 hours (total)


Webinar is recorded.

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”

– William Wordsworth

Spiritual journal writing is a profound and intimate way to engage in the art of deep listening. It is a spiritual practice that we can use personally for our own growth and healing, as well as a practice we can invite those we companion to explore.

Spiritual journal writing is a discovery practice, which creates space to recognize the movement of spirit in our lives and allows what is deepest within to be revealed. It invites us to write into the unknown, offering us the opportunity to connect with and give form to our innermost thoughts, feelings, and longings.

Together, we will become a community of seekers and learners, writing in an atmosphere of openness and exploration. We will engage in a variety of journal writing, using prompts derived from poetry, music, images, and the journals of contemplative writers such as Thomas Merton and Elizabeth Leseur. We will write, reflect, and share our words in a safe, loving, and contemplative community that respects everyone’s individual expression of the sacred.

For both the beginner and long-time journal writer, spiritual journaling offers the possibility of profound self-awareness growth, and transformation. We hope you join us!

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

— Maya Angelou

In This Webinar Series, We Will

“Writing is medicine. It is an appropriate antidote to injury. It is an appropriate companion for any difficult change.”

— Julia Cameron


Session I: Deep Listening

In this session, we turn to spiritual journaling as a foundational practice for listening from the heart, from our whole selves. We will explore the many ways that engaging in this practice facilitates our ability to meet the deepest parts of ourselves which are longing to be known.

Session II: Writing to Discover

In this session, we explore what it means to write into the unknown, allowing journal writing to be a tool for revelation. We examine the ways we can meet the page as a place for trust, vulnerability, and honesty, as well as re-read our journals from a contemplative viewpoint, listening for the “more” that’s calling to us from the written pages of our journals

Session III: The Infinite Possibility of Practice

Colette will be joined by Debie Thomas, as they engage in a conversation about spiritual journal writing as a practice of entering and embodying the depth of our lives.


“Journaling is like whispering to oneself and listening at the same time.”

— Mina Murray


The webinar series will run 3 consecutive Tuesdays: October 11, 18, 25, 2022  1 PM Seattle/Los Angeles, 3 PM Chicago, 4 PM New York, 9 PM London; Wednesdays October 12, 19, 26: 4 AM Hong Kong, 7 AM Sydney, Australia.

Find your own local time here.

But if that timing doesn’t work, you can enjoy the webinar any time you like.

Each session is recorded so you can watch at your convenience.


Colette Lafia

is a San Francisco-based writer, spiritual director, and international retreat leader who has a passion for helping people connect more deeply with the presence of the sacred in daily life. She has an active practice as a spiritual director and was a presenter at SDI’s Engage 2022 Conference.

A graduate of the Spiritual Directors’ Institute at Mercy Center in Burlingame, California, she is now on the faculty in the Spiritual Formation program. She recently completed the Living School program, in the Christian contemplative and mystical traditions, guided by Fr. Richard Rohr, Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault, and Dr. James Finley.

Colette is the author of The Divine Heart: Seven Ways to Live in God’s Love, a 2022 Nautilus Book Award winner; Seeking Surrender: How My Friendship with a Trappist Monk Taught Me to Trust and Embrace Life; and Comfort and Joy: Simple Ways to Care for Ourselves and Others, named one of the best spiritual books of 2008 by Spirituality & Practice. Colette is also a regular contributor to Gratefulness.org. Colette’s website: https://colettelafia.com/ .

Debie Thomas

is the author of Into the Mess and Other Jesus Stories, and a columnist and contributing editor for The Christian Century. She also serves as the Minister of Lifelong Formation at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Palo Alto, California. Debie has lead retreats on spiritual journaling and memoir-writing at The Mercy Center in Burlingame, CA, and at Mercy-by-the-Sea in Madison, CT. Her published work includes personal essays, book reviews, and reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary. She holds a Masters in English Literature from Brown University, and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from The Ohio State University. You can learn more about her at www.debiethomas.com.

Colette Lafia is author of The Divine Heart: Seven Ways to Live in God’s Love (Monkfish Book Publishing).

The book is helpful reading for the webinar series, though not required. The book purchase is not included in the webinar cost.

It may be purchased here: https://colettelafia.com/the-divine-heart/#book-talk

Additional Information

“The many ways to listen have been reaching into me for years. To enter deep listening, I've had to learn how to keep emptying and opening, how to keep beginning. I've had to lean into all I don't understand, accepting that I am changed by what I hear.”

– Mark Nepo


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