Personalized Affiliation: Christianity
Spiritual Spheres: Christianity, Eco/Nature-based, Interfaith, Interspiritual, Spiritual but Not Religious, Spiritual Independent, Unitarian Universalist
Category: Spiritual Companion/Director, Supervisor, Formation/Training School, Chaplain
Phone: (626) 484-2591
Focus Area: Addiction, Alcoholism, BIPOC, Codependency, Corporate/Workplace, Divorced/Widowed, Dreamworker, Dying/Sick/Hospice, Ecospirituality/Nature-based, Education, Elderly/Mature, Enneagram, Grief and Loss, Group Spiritual Direction, Health Care, Homeless/Low Income, Immigrants/Displaced, Incarceration/Justice/Legal, LGBTQIA+, Mental Health/Depression, Mindfulness/Meditation, Non-Traditional Healing, People with Disabilities, Physical or Sexual Abuse, Psychic Phenomena, Women's Issues, Young Adults
My name is Leslie Jenal. I am a priest, a spiritual director, and a spiritual companion. I am here, wherever here is, to show you your spiritual opportunities and to point out your own path. I am called to contemplation and mysticism. I view God as the Spirit of infinite possibilities, as a mysterious force, personal, but recognizable in holy darkness. However, I do not impose my spirituality on anyone. I use my own spiritual work and practice, my spiritual depth, to help you see where you are and where Love is leading you.
I work with people who pray, people who do not pray, people who pray with images and people who pray contemplatively, people who read scriptures and those who do not, people who identify as religious or not, people who are spiritual and not religious, people whose spiritual life is not defined, people who are interfaith or multi faith, people who recovering from religious abuse or substance abuse, and people who attend religious services or do not. I will begin the journey with you as you are. Where you are is where you need to be at this place and time.
You may call the Transcendent by many names or by no name. You may or may not believe in God, Allah, Yahweh, Source, Creator, Love, Goddess, Presence, the Great Am Who Am, Spirit, Being, Reality, the Divine, Love, Creator, Light, Father, Lord, Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, Brahman, Elohim, Mystery, Energy, Quantum Field, Person, or Trinity, or anything or nothing at all. You may “believe” or not believe, or your beliefs may be changing. You may have had a mystical experience, a vision, or a liminal dream and want to know what it means. I lean toward contemplation myself but if you pray with images, I connect with you. I connect with whoever you are and wherever you are.
Personally, I think of the Trancendent as having no name, a Being beyond names, but here I use the terms God, Presence, Being, and Love. I do not impose my beliefs on anyone and I don't evangelize or proselytize. Your name, or no name, for the Transcendent may be different from my heart conception of the Transcendent. But I believe that all names for the Transcendent are like pointing a finger at the moon. We tend to look at the finger and not what the finger points to. Whatever the name, image, or heart concept, whatever your soul is speaking to you, whoever is speaking to you, I connect with you.
Growing spirituality comes from recognizing your own path toward Peace, Presence, Love. I will help you see your own path, not mine. I have some gifts. First, I listen carefully. I hear what is said and not said. Everything I hear is confidential. Sometimes it is easier to share with a stranger who keeps secrets. Second, I have probably heard about every struggle in the last twenty years, and I doubt that you can surprise me. Religiously, I can provide the sacrament of confession and absolution. Third, I do not judge you or encroach on your vulnerability . I take you where you are because where you are is where you are supposed to be at this moment and in this place. I am peaceful and very kind and I hope that you can rest in holy silence with me.
I’m the flashlight, but you already have the map. If you meet an obstacle, gate, invitation, gift, or door in your spiritual progress, I am there. I respect who you and where you are. I’m not so egoistic and narcissistic to believe or even want to make you into someone you are not. We all have our own path to God, and I am just a companion along the way. I can point to your own Light, your own being within Being, where Union is present already.
My purpose as a spiritual director and soul companion is to support your own path to Union with God, a path glimmering through the holy darkness. No amount of pain or despair can alter the true, fundamental reality of our being. Our chaotic complexity – our desires, gifts, fears, anxieties, joys, pain, our level of spiritual maturity – is never broken because we are already in God.
Holy desire often leads to connection with me. There is holiness in the liminal space, the darkness of suffering. Healing is so very close, a shining, luminous light in the darkness. I think of if God as holy darkness, as the God of all possibilities, the light you see when you close your eyes. Negative self-talk ends and we are held as a child in the arms of the Presence, listening to the soft voice of God. God did not cause our wounds, but God is in the deep peace of our being, grounding us, both underneath and in, our wounds. Our wounds and brokenness are held in Love and our suffering is always transformed into Light. It may take looking hard, but the Light is there. Healing is there.
I work with persons of all religions and spiritual traditions, spiritual and not religious, interfaith, multifaith, or without belief. Persons of any or no gender, any sexual attraction, expression, or orientation, Trans and cisgender, seeking and questioning, however your being, gender, and sexuality express themselves, I believe that you are a holy child of God and perfect as you are. No one needs to be fixed. I am an alcoholic with decades of recovery, and I know that substance abuse is often a cry to God. Suffering is a trial by fire. Fire is both destructive and creative; it harms, tempers, and purifies our being. If you struggle with the use of any substance, I am here.
I was a hospice chaplain for ten years and a hospital chaplain for ten years before that. I help the person who is dying to live a full life. I also help loved ones. I have attended hundreds of deaths. I have observed that most deaths are not scary, although traumatic deaths or deaths by those who do not want to be alive can leave a different kind of pain in their wake. However, death appears to be an invitation from God into which we surrender. There are, of course, all sorts of deaths and all sorts of grief, and I’m familiar with them. But there also is peace, memory, sacredness, tenderness, and even joy in dying and death. I can help you see where the healing is to be found.
Whatever your race and ethnicity, mixed or not, your disability or able-bodiedness, whether you have documents or not, I own my white, cisgender, documented, and able-bodied privileges. I own my narrowness, my hypocrisy, and my bias. My blindness is deep down and not always conscious, but as a privileged person, I am at least evolved enough to know that I don’t experience your lived experience. We connect where we meet each other in God. God is in charge of the connection. Spiritual direction and soul companioning is really done by God. I’m only an instrument, a conduit for God’s love. I'm the flashlight. You already have the map. Whoever you are, I will love you.
Finally, I am a death doula, a midwife to the dying and to those who grieve. I engage in dreamwork. I provide Christian, sacramental Catholic, Twelve Step, Spiritual Nonreligious, and Humanist services including blessings, and anointing. Please note that I keep a light touch and provide services only with consent.
Utimately, I want to be a clear pane of glass for God’s light through which God’s light can illuminate your way. Welcome.