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What are the big questions in your life? Where are you on the spiritual journey? Do you have people in your life who listen to your deepest questions, with contemplative presence and compassion? SDI Creative Director Matt Whitney hosts conversations on spiritual direction, guidance, contemplation, and community. This podcast offers a wide range of perspectives, stories, and conversations about the contemplative, healing modality of spiritual companionship, across a wide range of religious tr ...
 
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show series
 
In today's episode, Creative Director Matt Whitney continues his podcast series entitled "My Boss is a Zen Priest". Matt speaks with SDI Executive Director Reverend SeiFu about the Zen Buddhist practice of Zazen. Zazen, or seated meditation, is a contemplative practice used to still our mind, ground ourselves, and allow ourselves to connect deeply …
 
In this week’s episode, Creative Director Matt Whitney speaks with Imam Jamal Rahman, about their July 2021 webinar series “The Fragrance of the Beloved”, built upon new revealings and discoveries in the poetry of Rumi, through the lens of spiritual companionship. In the truest tradition of spiritual directors and spiritual companions, Rumi asks op…
 
In this week’s episode, SDI’s Creative Director Matt Whitney poses a variety of questions to SDI’s Coordinating Council in a special “State of SDI” gathering, which was recorded during our Renaissance 2021 Conference from April of this year. The Coordinating Council (Board of Directors) is the governing body of Spiritual Directors International. Wi…
 
In this week's episode, we hear from our New Contemplatives. The New Contemplatives Initiative is a container of vocational support and development opportunities for emerging spiritual companions in their first half of life. New Contemplatives enrich the SDI community with new forms and paradigms of spiritual care, bringing their voices to the cent…
 
In this week's episode, we hear from our New Contemplatives. The New Contemplatives Initiative is a container of vocational support and development opportunities for emerging spiritual companions in their first half of life. New Contemplatives enrich the SDI community with new forms and paradigms of spiritual care, bringing their voices to the cent…
 
We are very excited about the new "feast" of experiences and resources SDI has on offer for spiritual directors and spiritual companions. And we wanted to invite our community to partake of this feast. Thus, "The Invitation Sale" was born. 10 percent off everything in the SDI Store. For 5 days. Please consider this your invitation to join us at our…
 
In this week's episode, SDI's creative director Matt Whitney chats with Marian Sorensen, an English spiritual companion based out of Ibiza, Spain. Marian uses a holistic approach to her integrative practice, which includes the modalities of spiritual direction, holistic health coaching, and life coaching. You can find out more about Marian at her w…
 
Traditionally, on the last day of an SDI Annual Conference, our Executive Director Reverend SeiFu Anil Singh-Molares will deliver something of an Annual Report, going over the finances and operations of our non-profit organization. Afterwards there is a Question and Answer session in which he dialogs with members in the audience. On the last day of…
 
If you regularly listen to this podcast, you have heard the advertisements for our SDI Renaissance virtual conference. We hosted this virtual gathering a couple of weeks ago now, and we as a staff are still processing, debriefing, discerning. We do know that overall, we feel like it was really successful – we’ve heard from a lot of participants tha…
 
Our latest book release from SDI Press is now available – Reflections on Awakening and Maturity for Spiritual Companions, by Genjo Marinello. Genjo’s fascinating book chronicles his lifelong and ongoing commitment to spiritual growth, through thick and thin, as well as a courageous embrace of many difficulties, shortcomings and flaws. Genjo compost…
 
In this week's episode, SDI's Executive Director Reverend Seifu speaks with Roshi Joan Halifax about confronting mortality and The Landscape of Compassion as a lead up to her keynote address at our SDI Renaissance 2021 virtual conference, which kicks off at the end of April. Roshi Joan explains that the questions that arise in people who are at the…
 
In this week's episode, SDI's Executive Director Reverend Seifu speaks with Father Richard Rohr, a keynote speaker for our SDI Renaissance 2021 virtual conference, which kicks off at the end of April. Father Richard talks about how spiritual direction helps us to find firmer ground to stand upon, particularly in these difficult and unpredictable ti…
 
In this episode, Matt Whitney talks with Rev. Andre van Zijl about art and spiritual companionship. Andre is a cofounder and codirector of All Paths Divinity School, an online interfaith seminary promoting and nurturing sacred community through the arts. He is a spiritually inspired, award-winning artist, poet, published author, and non-dual philos…
 
In this episode, Ann Lancaster and Matt Whitney (SDI's creative team) discuss all the new enhancements and features of the online version of Presence and the labor of love that goes into producing our flagship publication in a new format. --- SDI members tell us that Presence is one of the best things about membership. They say it offers them a way…
 
Here at SDI we have an initiative that brings emerging spiritual companions in the first half of life to our community, helping us weave a web of intergenerational wisdom and practice, which we call the New Contemplatives initiative. These New Contemplatives enrich the SDI community with new forms and paradigms of spiritual care, bringing their voi…
 
Here at SDI we have an initiative that brings emerging spiritual companions in the first half of life to our community, helping us weave a web of intergenerational wisdom and practice, which we call the New Contemplatives initiative. These New Contemplatives enrich the SDI community with new forms and paradigms of spiritual care, bringing their voi…
 
In this episode, I continue my conversation with John Mabry, longtime friend of SDI and former Presence editor. This week we get into the modality of spiritual companionship at its essence, which is helping people to grow spiritually. For John, who wrote a very practical book about this called Starting Spiritual Direction, its about creating safe s…
 
In this special episode of SDI Encounters, Director of Programs and Events Frederica Helmiere talks with Beth Bartlett about their upcoming course offering from SDI Education – Feminist Perspectives on Spiritual Companionship. This 12 week course is for anyone who offers spiritual companionship to women, and anyone who receives spiritual companions…
 
John Mabry is beloved in the SDI Community. He’s been with SDI for over 20 years in a number of ways. He is the former editor and a longtime contributor to Presence Journal – our quarterly magazine on spiritual direction and companionship. He does…so many things. He’s a spiritual director, he’s a prolific author, having written dozens of books on s…
 
Spiritual companionship is for everyone. The gifts of spiritual companionship are meant to be given to others, and to be received by ourselves. There are opportunities everywhere, all the time, to cultivate a contemplative heart, to be a better listener, and to help others realize they have dignity and are beloved. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, in the B…
 
Thank you to everybody who has supported the SDI Encounters Podcast, by listening, sharing with a friend, writing a review, or by being a guest. At SDI, we see the podcast as a vital part of our outreach to the public on the merits, value, and necessity of spiritual companionship in the wider culture. Much of our work at SDI is to provide education…
 
Bernadette Miles is co-director at the Kardia Formation and Training Program in Victoria, Australia. She trained in spiritual direction and theology after twenty years of computer consulting and business management and has a special interest in formation of apostolic leadership and applying the concepts of Ignatian Spirituality to organizational de…
 
Who is a spiritual companion? A spiritual director is a spiritual companion, as is a life coach, a chaplain, a hospice nurse, really anybody in a caring vocation. But it can also be a type of person who lives and listens in ways that embody this type of caring. That is, a spiritual companion need not do it as a job. Some of us are spiritual compani…
 
Please enjoy this short (10 minute) guided meditation, which I (Matt Whitney) wrote and recorded this week as an offering to spiritual companions. It offers a few specific gratitude prompts, each related to key aspects of our service as spiritual companions. Each prompt is followed by 30 seconds of silence, with a chime sounded to move between each…
 
We at SDI are so excited to announce an unprecedented virtual conference for April 2021 which we are calling Renaissance – the meaning of the word being, “rebirth”. This season of pandemic, and political uncertainty in many countries around the world, have been difficult for all of us. But for every season, there are new beginnings, and out of the …
 
Who is a spiritual companion? A spiritual director is a spiritual companion, as is a life coach, a chaplain, a hospice nurse, really anybody in a caring vocation. But it can also be a type of person who lives and listens in ways that embody this type of caring. That is, a spiritual companion need not do it as a job. Some of us are spiritual compani…
 
Who is a spiritual companion? A spiritual director is a spiritual companion, as is a life coach, a chaplain, a hospice nurse, really anybody in a caring vocation. But it can also be a type of person who lives and listens in ways that embody this type of caring. That is, a spiritual companion need not do it as a job. Some of us are spiritual compani…
 
This week’s episode is a conversation I had about companionship with Joe Sehee. I very intentionally refer to ‘companionship’ here, as Joe approaches this work from a non-theistic, non-religious perspective. We discuss topics around finding meaning and universality in suffering, human connection, using silence to be in conversation, compassion fati…
 
This week, Frederica spoke with Dr. Kenneth Porter, author of the book Apollo's Lyre: The Art of Spiritual Psychotherapy. Dr. Porter is a spiritual psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. He has taught Buddhist Insight Meditation at the New York Insight Meditation Center, was a long-term student of the Kundalini Master Chandrasekharanand Saraswati, was Pre…
 
This week, I spoke with Angie Fadel - a spiritual director who engages in somatic methods of healing by teaching archery to her companions. Among other things, we discuss the necessity of opening up to being vulnerable in our spiritual journeys, feeling anger and even rage, privilege and identity, and the work of deconstruction in spiritual compani…
 
Enjoy this lovely conversation between Frederica Helmiere and Simon de Voil. Simon is an interfaith/interspiritual minister, sacred musician, youth worker and wooden boat builder. In all these vocations, he uses music and carpentry as a means to help individuals and groups connect sacred presence with everyday life. He is also a very accomplished m…
 
Who is a spiritual companion? A spiritual director is a spiritual companion, as is a life coach, a chaplain, a hospice nurse, really anybody in a caring vocation. But it can also be a type of person who lives and listens in ways that embody this type of caring. That is, a spiritual companion need not do it as a job. Some of us are spiritual compani…
 
Who is a spiritual companion? A spiritual director is a spiritual companion, as is a life coach, a chaplain, a hospice nurse, really anybody in a caring vocation. But it can also be a type of person who lives and listens in ways that embody this type of caring. That is, a spiritual companion need not do it as a job. Some of us are spiritual compani…
 
In this episode, I (Matt Whitney) go into the fishbowl of spiritual companionship with Pam Winthrop Lauer, a spiritual director and a practitioner and teacher of Nonviolent Communication, or (NVC). Also known as Connecting Communication, Non Violent Communication is a revolutionary communication model that provides concrete ways to transform judgme…
 
This week we continue with our four part series on the exploration of sexuality in spiritual companionship. Facilitated by Frederica Helmiere, we present to you a series of perspectives from several spiritual directors, pastors, and guides on how they approach sexuality in their roles as spiritual companions. These episodes are offered in conjuncti…
 
This week we continue with our four part series on the exploration of sexuality in spiritual companionship. Facilitated by Frederica Helmiere, we present to you a series of perspectives from several spiritual directors, pastors, and guides on how they approach sexuality in their roles as spiritual companions. These episodes are offered in conjuncti…
 
This week we continue with our four part series on the exploration of sexuality in spiritual companionship. Facilitated by Frederica Helmiere, we present to you a series of perspectives from several spiritual directors, pastors, and guides on how they approach sexuality in their roles as spiritual companions. These episodes are offered in conjuncti…
 
Today we start a four part series on the exploration of sexuality in spiritual companionship. Facilitated by Frederica Helmiere, we present to you a series of perspectives from several spiritual directors, pastors, and guides on how they approach sexuality in their roles as spiritual companions. Karen Erlichman, DMin, LCSW provides psychotherapy, s…
 
Hey everybody; SDI has a brand new website! After months of work, we are so excited to present to our community sdicompanions.org. Built from the ground-up, sdicompanions.org integrates everything that we do, from offering clear information on the work of spiritual companionship across orientations, to our popular searchable database of spiritual c…
 
This week, I and Pastor Dave Brown explore poetry as spiritual companionship. Dave shares a bit about how he began using poetry in his services as a pastor, to the ways he incorporates poems as one of the Pacific NW Interfaith Amigos, and through his Blues Vespers concerts, where he intersperses poetry reading with performances by musicians. In our…
 
I (Matt Whitney) had a really fun conversation with one of our SDI members, Heather Makowicz, who is the founder of an organization called Peak Encounter Ministries. As founder and president of Peak Encounter Ministries, Heather Makowicz organizes and leads hiking excursions and other outdoor experiences that integrate prayer, contemplation, and re…
 
This is Part 2 of my deep dive conversation on meditation practice with Sean Murphy, Zen Master, Author, and SDI Coordinating Council Member. Here we learn something of the long-term benefits of mindfulness, as it plays out in our work, our creativity, and our relationships. What does it look like to stick with a meditation practice for the long ha…
 
I (Matt Whitney) had a wonderful deep dive conversation with Sean Murphy, Zen Master, Author, and SDI Coordinating Council Member. His story is fascinating, and there’s a lot of wisdom gleaned from his 30+ years of meditation practice. My biggest question to him is, what are the results of that practice? We have this understanding that meditation i…
 
In this episode, we share a conversation between Reverend Seifu Anil Singh-Molares, and Lucy Abbott Tucker. This conversation was a livestreamed event from SDI, which we are calling Digital Tonw Halls, and you can find the recordings of these videos by visiting the website – sdicompanions.online, or by searching for sdiworld on Youtube. In thier co…
 
In last week’s episode of SDI Encounters, we talked with Amy Curran, a Dreamworker, about our dreams and the work of dreamwork and spiritual companionship. As part of my (Matt Whitney) exploration into dreamwork, I went through the typical dreamwork process with Amy, using one of my own dreams for this process. In this case, my dream was about work…
 
Maybe it goes without saying, but all of us dream, multiple times a night. Some of us are more attuned to our dreams than others, with myself being one who historically has not been attuned to my dreams. Anecdotally I (Matt Whitney) have heard about people having more recollection of their dreams, and much more vivid dreams, during this time of pan…
 
We’re using the podcast here to occasionally introduce you to new faces and voices in the SDI Family – we heard from Desiree Casil a couple of weeks ago who is taking over for Membership Services. This week, we get to meet Ann Lancaster, who has come on as SDI’s Production Assistant, helping us with graphic and layout design, helping me in the SDI …
 
SDI is announcing a new series of group spiritual direction sessions, facilitated by Diane Millis and Matt Whitney, beginning May 12th 2020. Learn more and register on our store site, sdistore.org. In this Encounters episode, Diane and I (Matt Whitney) talk about how she developed her methods for group spiritual direction, and what you can expect i…
 
SDI is a member based organization, with over 6000 members worldwide. We have a Membership Services Team that is there to assist our members with anything from renewing a membership to taking a payment to registering for a conference or workshop, or anything else related to your SDI Membership. Desiree Casil is taking over as our new Membership Ser…
 
At SDI we just released our quarterly digital publication of Listen – it includes a written reflection on spiritual companionship by Reverend Seifu Anil Singh-Molares, poetry by well-known members of our SDI community, and original artwork by me. You can find it, download it, and read it from our website, sdiworld.org, under the Media navigation. I…
 
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