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!
Saturday Workshops (E)
May 14, 2022 - (14:00 - 15:30 MDT)
Leadership Starts Within - Jesus, Gnostic Teachings and How Spiritual Directors Can Make a Difference
The world might seem like it’s falling apart. But if you look closely, you can discern the opposite. You can see the world putting itself back together. Which leads us to the most important question anyone can ask: What is my role in this re-configuration? Taught by a scholar of leadership and a spiritual companion to people who lead, this workshop will explore the non-material dimension of leadership discovered through our inner life. Spiritual directors and companions will go through a leadership assessment process — as they discern if they are drawn to lead themselves or to support leaders. We will also explore beautiful secrets of leadership in the Nag Hammadi Codices (discovered in 1945) as we learn about one of the greatest leaders ever, Jesus of Nazareth. We will discuss how leadership is more about purpose than talent, that it emerges on the edge of things, as people explore what has been previously unawakened. We will also share practical wisdom about how spiritual directors and companions can play an important role in that awakening, with their deep listening acting as a midwife to new approaches and new ways to serve. Curated especially for SDI, this workshop is an adaptation of a course developed for and co-taught alongside Matthew Fox at the Fox Institute in Boulder, Colorado.
Averie Hue, Ph.D., a sociologist and leadership scholar, serves as an executive chaplain in southern Colorado. A biographer of leadership, her research focuses on the relationship between leaderist thinking and divine revelation. Hue has received several awards, including a 2019 Fulbright Scholar grant and the International Leadership Association (ILA) Outstanding Emerging Scholars award.
Tikkun (Engaging the Individual Spiritual Life and the Soul of the World) Ancient Jewish Mystical and Contemporary Approaches to Activist and Contemplative Spiritual Direction
In our sacred service as Spiritual Directors we work at the intersection of an individual’s spiritual journey with the larger system of faith community, workplace, and global community across socio-economic, race, religious and other spiritual identity borders. This workshop, drawing from Jewish Spiritual Direction, Kabbalah, Non-Dual Healing, Community Justice Organizing and Group Dynamics Systems Theory will be an experience and reflection on where our own calling and soul journey is towards justice and healing in the world, while offering approaches and perspectives on how to be present to our directees or students in formation programs to also be agents of spiritual activism and change in our world.
Shawn Israel Zevit serves as rabbi at Mishkan Shalom, in Philadelphia, PA. A member of the ALEPH ORDINATION COUNCIL AND FACULTY. He is co-founder/director with Rabbi Marcia Prager of the Davennen Leader’s Training Institute; and with Rabbi Nadya Gross is the Associate Director for the ALEPH Hashpa’ah (Spiritual Direction) Training Program. Shawn has been offering spiritual direction for over 20 years, teaching at SDI conferences and Leadership Institutes, SDI committees, and working with people of all faith backgrounds. He is an active leader is faith and justice work, co-chair of the clergy caucus of POWER Faith in Action in Philadelphia, is a liturgical recording and performing artist founder of www.menschwork.org; co-editor of “Brother Keepers: New Perspectives in Jewish Masculinity”; and author of “Offerings of the Heart: Money and Values in Faith Community”
Spiritual Trauma – Happening, Hurting & Healing
The lecture will include definitions of trauma –including the differences between religious and spiritual trauma (ref: Trauma Informed Ministry by Diane J. Strickland, a Canadian trauma specialist and United Church minister). First person examples of traumatic occurrences (TwoVoices) and roleplay between survivor/directee and presenter/directorwill be offered. Throughout this workshop, the beautiful words from the book Belonging (Canadian author, Toko-pa Turner) will be shared by the presenter. Participants will engage, in pairs, by exploring a scenario presented in the large group (One Voice). Participants will also come together to practice embodied spirituality (healing movements).
Joan Alexander (she/her/hers) is a Spiritual Director & Supervisor who lives in Prince Edward Island, Canada. Her professional training includes a two-year spiritual direction course at The Haden Institute and a supervision course at The Mercy Center, Burlingame, CA, USA. Joan has an active spiritual direction andsupervision practice with clients in Canada, the USA and the UK. As a spiritual direction supervision educator, she offers virtual workshops that are based on the teachings of Lucy Abbott Tucker (Spiritual Direction Supervision: Principals, Practices, & Storytelling). Early in 2021, Joan joined The Mercy Centeras a mentor in The Art & Practice of Spiritual Direction and as a facilitator for the Sacred Journey program. As a past Administrator (Anglican Church of Canada) and a Project Manager (University of Guelph,ON), Joan raised her two sons in southern Ontario, Canada. Following her marriage to Elizabeth (a recently retired Anglican priest), Joan took early retirement to pursue her calling to become a Spiritual Director. She continues to marvel at the ways her life unfolds in this beautiful ministry. To find out more about Joan, please see www.joanalexanderspiritualdirector.com.
Companioning the Body
What is happening in your body? Is this a question you explore when you hold space for another? What would happen if you entered a time of companionship assuming your bodies are allies in this transformative work? In this workshop we will bring the body into spiritual companioning. We will explore several techniques for bringing embodied awareness and exploration into a companioning session. While spending an hour in quiet conversation can be transformative and wonderful, companioning the body directly gives access to places our thinking and conversation cannot reach by themselves. Participants will directly experience and practice these techniques for the ability to apply them immediately to their own spiritual practice and their companioning sessions. This workshop will be highly interactive as we learn and practice ways to listen with and to the body.
Sarah Cledwyn is a mystic and dreamer. She has been a full-time spiritual director and energy healer since 2016. Sarah is fascinated by transformation and spiritual practice and finds dreaming, biospiritual focusing, embodiment and the natural world to be anchors of her spiritual life. Sarah works with one-on-one directees, groups, and leads courses and retreats. For the next two years she is assisting in a Lilly Grant designed to introduce contemplative practices to congregational life. Find out more about Sarah at her website at https://www.sarahcledwyn.com.
Passing the Torch: The Apprentice Model of Spiritual Direction Training
The ancient model of spiritual direction training—the apprentice model—is back. What is it? Why is it important? And what are the advantages of mentoring as training? Teresa Blythe, author of Spiritual Direction 101: The Basics of Spiritual Guidance and former director of the Hesychia School of Spiritual Direction in Tucson, will engage with workshop attendees about how she is training individuals who demonstrate the aptitude for deep listening as a spiritual director. We’ll talk about how experienced spiritual directors can pass on the wisdom and practice of engaging people where they are on their unique spiritual path in flexible and creative ways equipping gifted people who may not be financially or physically able to attend traditional training programs. For lasting change in the world, we must expand the reach of who we train, and apprenticing offers that inclusivity.
Teresa Blythe has been working in spiritual direction and discernment coaching with individuals, groups and organizations since 1997. She founded the Phoenix Center for Spiritual Direction at First Church Phoenix UCC in 2015 and spent 14 years as the director of the Hesychia School of Spiritual Direction in Tucson. She is currently training spiritual directors in the Apprentice Training Program—a self-paced, one-on-one learning experience she founded for select individuals with natural gifts for spiritual direction. Teresa wrote Spiritual Direction 101: The Basics of Spiritual Guidance, 50 Ways to Pray and has co-authored a new book with Rev. Chad Abbott on congregational spirituality, Incline Your Ear: Cultivating Spiritual Awakening in Congregations. Teresa received her Master of Divinity and Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction from San Francisco Theological Seminary in 2000 and is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ (UCC).
The Contemplative Imagination of Meditations on the Tarot
Meditations on the Tarot, a long and philosophical book written in the mid-twentieth century, published anonymously, and filled with symbolism, ideas and teachings woven together from mystical Christianity and western esotericism, may sound like an unusual candidate for “spiritual masterpiece” — but it has been highly praised by spiritual teachers like Thomas Keating, Cynthia Bourgeault, and Bede Griffiths. Readers today might find the book invites them into a richly imaginative spirituality, but they could also stumble over the book’s reliance on obsolete gender categories and Euro-centrism. This workshop will invite participants into a balanced look at Meditations on the Tarot, celebrating its gifts, acknowledging frankly its flaws, and exploring how its themes of intuition, wonder, inspiration and dialogue can be relevant for spiritual directors and their companions.
Carl McColman is a contemplative Christian spiritual director, author, blogger, and podcaster. He is a commissioned presenter of Centering Prayer introductory workshops and a popular speaker and retreat leader. His books include Eternal Heart, An Invitation to Celtic Wisdom and The Big Book of Christian Mysticism. Learn more about Carl by visiting his website at www.anamchara.com.
Zikr and Whirling - An Introduction
Dancing in ecstasy you go, my soul of souls.
Some call you love, I call you the king of Love.
Oh, Ruler of my heart, wherever you go…
Don’t go without me…
-Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi
Join us for this introductory workshop in which we explore both the mechanics and blessings of Zikr and Whirling. Zikr is Remembrance. It is the chanting of the beautiful attributes of God, by name and verse. Zikr can be done either while seated or standing/moving. Whirling is the practice of turning around the axis of one’s body. Both are practices of moving meditation. It is a form of transcendence in immanence.
Zikr and Whirling alone or together can create ecstasy, an innate expansion of the spirit towards love, joy and bliss. This ecstasy is a healing balm. It is the perfume of the Beloved that fills our breath. The goal of the Sufi is to ride the vehicle of ecstasy to arrive at the destination of a higher spiritual capacity. Let us chant and whirl together to arrive at Bliss, if only for a moment.
Please wear modest and comfortable clothing that will allow ease of movement. Please bring thick socks or turn shoes for hard floor surfaces.
Azra Rahim has a BSc in Molecular Biology and holds an MD. She describes herself this way: “Muslim Sufi. Spiritual Quester. Truth seeker. Globe trotter. Lover of food, flowers and all things green. Indiscriminate dispenser of hugs. Kisser of all things beautiful.”
"Can You Receive People?" - An Approach to Spiritual Direction Based on Mutuality
Father Greg Boyle, SJ, is a master of engagement for positive social change. In this workshop, Fr Greg will share his unique approach to spiritual companionship as he offers it at his innovative organization Homeboy Industries. His style of spiritual direction was inspired by what he learned from a course taught by author and spiritual director Henri Nouwen at Harvard. Nouwen’s idea is that the work of spiritual companionship can be boiled down to this simple notion: “Can you receive people?” Can we simply receive someone’s story and experiences, and be present with them, while letting go of any need to direct or give advice? Fr. Greg is of course one of our keynote presenters at the SDI Engage Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico, May 11-15, 2022. This will be a special chance to learn in-depth from him.
Click here to watch a sneak peak of what Fr Greg will offer in this workshop.
Fr Greg Boyle
A native Angeleno and Jesuit priest, from 1986 to 1992 Father Boyle served as pastor of Dolores Mission Church in Boyle Heights, then the poorest Catholic parish in Los Angeles that also had the highest concentration of gang activity in the city.
Father Boyle witnessed the devastating impact of gang violence on his community during the so-called “decade of death” that began in the late 1980s and peaked at 1,000 gang-related killings in 1992. In the face of law enforcement tactics and criminal justice policies of suppression and mass incarceration as the means to end gang violence, he and parish and community members adopted what was a radical approach at the time: treat gang members as human beings.
In 1988 they started what would eventually become Homeboy Industries, which employs and trains former gang members in a range of social enterprises, as well as provides critical services to thousands of men and women who walk through its doors every year seeking a better life.
Father Boyle is the author of the 2010 New York Times-bestseller Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion. His new book, Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship, was published in 2017.
Saturday Workshops (F)
May 14, 2022 - (16:00 - 17:30 MDT)
Workshop Details Coming Soon