Group Spiritual Direction: Remembering Who We Are

Mary Noble Garcia

We had just finished our fourth session together in our listening circle, a form of group spiritual direction. I became aware that it was a sacred moment, for we had spiraled down to a place of deeper meaning as participants shared: “That was a helpful question. . . . I had not thought about it that way before. . . . The ways I have learned to listen in this circle have helped me be present in a new way when there are disagreements and issues at home. . . . Each time we meet there seems to be a common thread running through all of our stories.”

In the listening circle we offer each other a contemplative listening presence by bringing our full attention to our time together, learning to listen deeply, asking questions that guide us below the surface of our everyday experiences, and agreeing to confidentiality. The experience of diving beneath the surface was evident in the final reflections that evening: “I was surprised by what I shared. . . . I am able to see my story with new eyes as it is reflected back to me. . . . We are connected in ways I could not have imagined.”

In this communal experience of spiritual direction we learn and practice the sacred art of listening. It is a blessing that helps us to honor our true self. In her book My Grandfather’s Blessings, Rachel Naomi Remen offers this definition of blessing: “A blessing is a moment of meeting, a certain kind of relationship in which both people involved remember and acknowledge their true nature and worth, and strengthen what is whole in one another.” In this relationship, “we enable people to remember who they are.”

We invite you to join us to learn the sacred art of listening through group spiritual direction Saturday, September 12 or Tuesday, September 15, 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. This workshop will be followed by an invitation to join a listening circle. Through our listening presence, our hope is to draw closer to wholeness and remember who we are.