Spiritual direction, as practiced in our great Wisdom Tradition, and especially in the Jesus sub-tradition, may also be referred to as spiritual mentoring, guidance or teaching.
This work involves sensitively assisting the spiritual awakening of another by facilitating the following four movements:
- Discovery: Awakening to the reality and wonder of one's unborn nature -- the Source or Ground of Being.
- Discernment: Distinguishing between one's unchanging formless Beingness and all transitory inner and outer forms (including one's body, thoughts, feelings and sensory perceptions).
- Alignment: Consistently embodying or being the truth that is seen.
- Action: Acting in the world with the spontaneity, grace, and compassionate wisdom that comes from authentic abidance in the awareness of truth.
In short, spiritual direction, itself a spiritually mentored activity, assists others in navigating the natural flow from self inquiry to enlightened action in the world. It is a process companioning in Presence that helps the other to awaken to, and live in harmony with, the true Self they have always been.
To discover your own true Self and begin to explore it's meaning is, as one seer has said, "to have the best of both worlds. Improbably, you have it both ways: the ever-present and uneventful safety of Home and endless adventure abroad, the Anchor holding you fast to the rock-bottom security of your Ground and high winds and taut sails carrying you forever to new adventures."
You don't have to change anything in your life to see who you really are, here and now You are already that One. It is, rather, a matter of noticing or waking up to what you already are. This is discovery, not achievement.
You don't have to be practised in spiritual disciplines, or clever, or good. Even if you are depressed, it's okay No matter what your personal history or circumstances, all you need do is pay attention to yourself right where you are as directed.
You are encouraged to look within and accept the evidence of your senses rather than the opinions of others. All you need in order to uncover this treasure is clear directions.
Then you'ill find the treasure at the heart of your own being. The treasure that is your own being! And then, in their own time, many good things will flow from this discovery -- gifts that will be special and unique to you.
When spiritual direction begins, your attention is directed to your present experience, to how it is with you at that moment when (as far as possible) you drop memory and imagination and desire, and just take what's given.
We are simply paying attention to what is given ... or not given. We are not trying to generate mystical feelings or get high. That may or may not happen. In fact, exciting mystical experiences can sometimes confuse the issue, diverting us from the simplicity and truth at centre into those attractive states of body and mind.
Basically, the method used is the turning of your attention through an angle of precisely 180 degrees. For instance, I'm looking at the computer screen now as I write this, my attention is screen-wards, but at this moment where is that attention coming from?
What is this arrow of my attention, what bow is it being shot from? When I turn the arrow round and notice that here (where I'm looking from) is nothing like whatever I find there (at the screen).
So what I'm doing is looking in two directions, and they are diametrically opposite to one another. One is to look at what I'm looking at, which is the screen there, with the words appearing as I type. In the other direction, at an angle of 180 degrees to those words on the screen, is the absence of anything like that.
I just find absolutely nothing here. Certainly nothing corresponding to what I find there. I find myself emptied in its favour, and this is the essential experience from which all proceeds.
Among other things, this two-way attention brings two-way healing. In my mind and body there is an ongoing process of problems unfolding and, hopefully, being healed. But here (at the centre where Seeing arises) there is always absolute health.
As with Seeing, spiritual therapy has two aspects, two directions. The therapy here at centre is total therapy, total healing, whilst the therapy there, the healing there, in one's mind and body, is partial and gradual -- just as the Seeing is total here but partial there. Two-way attention includes both sides. Both are important and both need attention.
Spiritual direction always occurs now, in the present moment, seeing, experiencing and honoring the sacred mystery of the One at our very center -- the Beingness that is expressed in our particular human-being-ness.
Above all, spiritual direction has to do with living in or from Oneness instead of just thinking about it. It seeks first to ground the directee in experience and only then is the meaning of the experience explored as Life unfolds. Ongoing attention is the point -- as far as we are able. Being awake, being consciously at home, is a meditation for each moment.
While Clearsight does provide counseling and mentoring services, spiritual direction isn't considered a service and has quite a different purpose. There's no fee for individual spiritual direction sessions, though there is usually some charge for an organized workshop event.
Gurukula, in Fremantle, Western Australia, provides a safe and welcoming place where an inquirer's ability to see who or what we really are is taken seriously and encouraged. It has become the focal point for a small, but growing community of friends (now seers) who are exploring what it means to live in conscious awareness.
Although all inquiries are welcome, at Gurukula spiritual direction is only available for those committed to the process. It is understood that either party may terminate the process at any stage.
Those interested to embark on this liberating and fulfilling process should contact Pete Sumner for an initial appointment or more information.
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