Friday Workshops

Companionship to heal our fractured world. Engage 2022.

Workshop Details

Our workshops will run from 2:00PM – 3:30PM MDT and 4:00PM – 5:30PM MDT on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

We will continue to add details about further sessions as we receive them. Stay tuned!

Friday Workshops (C)

May 13, 2022 - (14:00 - 15:30 MDT)

Workshop Details Coming Soon

Friday Workshops (D)

May 13, 2022 - (16:00 - 17:30 MDT)

All times listed are in MDT. To convert to your own timezone, refer to this timezone converter.


The ABCs of Spiritual Direction

Using the alphabet as a template, I will talk about qualities and skills, gifts and challenges that spiritual directors, companions, deep listeners, etc. face as they engage in this critical work with others. The workshop will have input, discussion, and personal sharing.

Lucy Abbott Tucker

Lucy Abbott Tucker has been a member of SDI since its inception. She began her ministry of spiritual direction at the Institute for Spiritual Leadership, Chicago. She worked there preparing women and men for the ministry for 32 years. Since 2015 she has been doing free lance work in spiritual direction and supervision. She believes spiritual direction has the power to help heal our world and values the opportunity to support spiritual directors in this work.


Open Slot

Open Slot


Silence and a Pot of Tea, and the World Beyond

Not only is ours a world of many faith traditions, but the way we approach spirituality within any given tradition (or apart from an established tradition) varies from person to person. In this workshop, explore how the “via negativa” and “via positiva” the ancient philosophers and Christian mystics speak of intersect with the “head” and “heart,” creating four spirituality “types,” as outlined in the work of Urban T. Holmes, Corinne Ware, and Allan H. Sager. What is your own type or natural inclination? What curiosity, fear, or hidden prejudices might you have about the other types? How can we nurture ourselves in difficult times with “comfort zone” practices, and stretch ourselves toward growth with “growing edge” practices? And how does better understanding these four inclinations help us companion others who might be very different from us?

Sierra Neiman Westbrook

Sierra Neiman Westbrook, MDiv, is the founding director of Eden Spiritual Care, a non-profit organization that seeks to make Christ-centered spiritual growth opportunities widely accessible. She has 8 years of experience as an educator, and currently serves an adjunct professor of Christian spiritual formation at Portland Seminary in Portland, Oregon. A graduate of Portland Seminary, Sierra holds a Master of Divinity degree and a certificate in Spiritual Formation & Discipleship. She is also certified through Portland Seminary as a spiritual director. Sierra brings to her work a curiosity about how theology of lament, narrative pastoral care, and explorations in imago Dei theology can enrich a person’s relationship with God. She also enjoys hiking, watching ballet performances, baking, writing, drinking lots of tea, and trying new restaurants with her husband, Justin.


Decolonizing the Spiritual Direction Space

For BIPOC directors and directees, the history and lasting impact of colonialism, slavery, and genocide is inherently brought into the spiritual direction space whether recognized or not. Therefore, this workshop will guide spiritual directors on how to recognize the power dynamics in the room and how it affects the practice of spiritual direction. This workshop uses the lens of hospitality and imagination for facilitating spiritual direction with BIPOC directees. Through imaginative practices we will discuss practical ways of decolonizing the spiritual direction space.

Cindy Lee

Cindy Lee is an urban explorer and spiritual director. She received her PhD in Practical Theology in the area of Spiritual Formation from Claremont School of Theology and teaches as an adjunct professor in Christian spirituality. She completed her spiritual direction training through Stillpoint CA and is a mentor for first year spiritual direction interns. Her interests include mysticism and de-westernizing spiritual formation. She is passionate about spiritual direction with BIPOC communities. Cindy is the author of a forthcoming book to be published with Fortress Press in November 2022 on de-westernizing spiritual formation.


Homeboy Industries Artists Collaborate Hands-on Contemplation with Cultural Humility

A hands-on co-facilitated workshop, two Homeboy Industries contemplative artists from different backgrounds will offer activities and engagement with their work with those at the margins. Their non-hierarchical, egalitarian collaboration models the concepts of cultural humility and the underlying spiritual philosophies of Homeboy Industries. Self reflection, ritual and simple creative exercises for all-skills levels focus on respecting those at the margins as a source of wisdom.

Fabian Debora, Executive Director of Homeboy Art Academy, a renown Chicano muralist who experienced incarceration, trauma and addiction joins Laura Miera, Homeboy’s art therapist and Masters of Theology student focusing on Mujerista feminist theology. Both artists lost their fathers to addiction and each drew healing strength through their connection Dolores Mission Church, the East Los Angeles Jesuit community and birthplace of Homeboy Industries founded by Father Greg Boyle.

Laura Miera

Homeboy Industries Art Therapist, Laura Miera, M.A., created their Art Heals program, a 4-time California Arts Council’s recipient. Currently studying mujerista feminist art with The Jesuit School of Theology, Laura’s spiritual development is rooted to the Jesuit community of Dolores Mission where she joined the work of its former pastor Father Greg Boyle as a volunteer in 1990.

Laura earned a Masters in Art Therapy at Loyola Marymount University, the 2019 host of her Tender Glance art installation. This restorative justice project, first commissioned in 2018 by Satchi’s The Other Art Fair, engaged the public by offering ways to respond to viewing art and letters from Homeboy Industries’ formerly gang involved and previously incarcerated adults.

In 2020 Laura began a series of children’s picture books about Homeboy and healing (forthcoming) and in 2021 she and Fabian Debora initiated
public workshops together, including UCLA’s Art and Healing Summit.

Fabian Debora

Fabian Debora, Executive Director of Homeboy Art Academy, is a 2nd generation Mexican-American painter, muralist and teaching artist. Born in El Paso, Texas, Mr. Debora moved to Los Angeles as a youth where he was a part of the Dolores Mission Jesuit community.

Father Greg Boyle supported Mr. Debora’s use of art as a diversion to gang life as teen by introducing him to an apprenticeship with master Chicano muralists in Los Angeles. Later incarcerated, the artist continued to use art to cope with his addiction and depression, his works having won numerous awards and exhibited worldwide. Prior to becoming HBI Art Academy’s Director in 2019, Mr. Debora completed their trainee program and served as Director of Substance Abuse Services. In 2019 he was the recipient of the Homeboy Hero Award for outstanding service and in 2021 selected as a Fellow in the Hilton Humanitarian Prize Laureate Leadership Institute.


Trauma-Informed Spiritual Direction: Restoring the Somatically Sacred

Trauma-informed spiritual direction (TISD) is a model of spiritual companionship grounded in the Wisdom Traditions and the neuroscience of safety, connection, and social engagement.

Trauma is a disconnection from one’s Self, others, Spirit, and the planet; it is a spiritual wound expressed somatically in the bodies of individuals and our communal bodies. The pandemic, our broken politics, the climate crisis, and the pervasiveness of harm based on social location have created significant suffering.

Weaving presentation, discussion, and spiritual practices, the workshop includes both theory and techniques of TISD. The sacred skillset offered in spiritual companionship has something both to receive and contribute to the trauma-informed perspective.

Trauma-informed spiritual directors can serve as alchemists to individuals and communities to help transform suffering and disconnection into redemptive empathy and a restored sense of awe and goodness. The workshop will support ongoing professional connections for further contemplation and action.

Shannon Michael Pater

Shannon Michael Pater, M.A.R., M.Div., Psy.D., E-RYT 500, is a trauma-informed spiritual director and restorative yoga teacher in private practice for 15 years; he is a graduate of Hesychia School of Spiritual Direction. In 2019, after serving for 10 years as the senior minister of Central UCC, Atlanta, he sold, donated, or gave away “everything that owned him” and left the US to live in India while traveling in Nepal and Sri Lanka. Halted by the pandemic in 2020, for 18 months he lived in McLeod Ganj, a village in the Himalayas of northern India and the home-in-exile of H.H. the Dalai Lama. His practice is informed by ancient Wisdom Traditions and modern neuroscience. His soul is deeply nourished by the poetry of Mary Oliver and the companionship of street dogs. For more about him and his practice:


Divine Creativity & Flow

“Divine Creativity & Flow” is an invitation to listen deeply within oneself and bring forth the creative, compassionate wisdom held there to engage with life and the world around us. By getting out of the thinking mind and listening to the songs deep inside the soul, we are able to meet with a wondrous part of the self we often left behind in childhood. This workshop weaves together guided meditations with playful, artistic, and embodied practices. 

Our subconscious is invited to speak and express through us creativity, in this fun and engaging workshop. We will also have time to reflect individually and as a group on what has come up in the practice of deep listening and expressing, to and through, our body. What does it mean to listen with our whole body? What does it feel like to engage with life from this open, curious, playful, receptive, wise and compassionate place?  How can we utilize these skills in our sessions with directee’s, as well as in our own everyday lives? 

Allyssa Jomei

Allyssa Jomei is an Inter-Faith Spiritual Director, Reiki Master Teacher, lay ordained Zen Buddhist, Empathic reader, and contemplative psychology student. She feels the different forms of spiritual practice she engages in help her connect to the Divine in a multifaceted ways.

She finds listening to the wisdom of the body and heart to be a sacred art. Her spirituality is focused on the embodied experience. She feels having a rich and intimate relationship with the Divine can be accessed through developing an intimate awareness and acceptance our own sacred bodies.

Allyssa has a deep passion for the crossroads of spirituality and psychology, especially relating to the impacts of individual and collective traumas. She believes trauma, which we all likely have experienced on some level, takes us out of our bodies and away from our abilities to listen to the creative wisdom within. When we are able to comfortably listen to the wisdom of our whole body, we find the voice of Spirit is creatively communicating with us all the time.


Spiritual Direction for Spiritual Emergencies

This workshop follows publication of the article Spiritual Direction for Spiritual Emergencies in Presence Journal, June 2021. In this workshop, participants will be introduced to the field of study of spiritually transformative experiences. These are usually initiated by powerful mystical experiences such as a near-death, kundalini, conversion, or after-death-communication experiences, and may take months to years to integrate. Spiritual Direction is poised in a particularly potent position to assist these individuals, who may seek help with pastors, therapists, and psychiatrists who are not equipped to assist them with the psycho-spiritual grounding and integration that they need. In this workshop, we will break into smaller triads to practice listening deeply to our own personal experiences of mystical or transformative events, including re-visiting certain aspects of how we were listened to at critical junctures. Participants will also learn about recent research regarding how to assist others in integrating spiritual emergencies.

Marie Grace Brook

Marie Grace Brook, PhD, LCSW, is a spiritual director, spiritual director supervisor, and researcher in spiritual psychology. She has presented her research in conferences in Italy, France, Indonesia, Brazil, and Korea as well as the US. Her second article to be published by Presence Journal (June 2021) was Spiritual Direction for Spiritual Emergencies, based upon 2019 publication of her research study in APA’s Psychology of Religion and Spirituality. She conducts the certification for spiritual guidance counselors for the American Center for the Integration of Spiritually Transformative Experiences (ACISTE), is a team leader with the Villa Maria del Mar Retreat Center Spirituality Program in Santa Cruz, CA, is a founding member of the 12-Step program Spiritual Emergence Anonymous, and has been an active member of SDI for over two decades. Marie Grace with her husband, Peter, host a modest retreat house on the coast.

All times listed are in MDT. To convert to your own timezone, refer to this timezone converter.

Companionship to heal our fractured world. Engage 2022.


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