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Group Spiritual Direction

Today’s post is by Patience Robbins

Group spiritual direction, also known by other names such as sacred listening circles or prayerful listening circles, is a wonderful process for nurturing values such as mutuality, reverence, deep listening and compassion.

Mutuality speaks of a circle model, in which everyone participates.  No one is an expert or the dominant one.  Each person shows up fully and offers their openness, availability, and acceptance and listens for the wisdom and guidance of the Spirit.

Reverence is the quality of honoring the other person as unique spark of the Divine.  The participants are not comparing or competing but appreciating the goodness within each person.  There are no expectations of certain beliefs or certain behavior, but a willingness to receive the other as they are.

Deep listening recognizes that the Spirit is the true leader and the one to whom we all listen— connected in our hearts and inner being.   This listening provides a container in which everyone can feel safe to utter that which is true within and can be received without judgment.

And compassion is flowing throughout this process, as the group members recognize that each one is on a journey, alone yet in community.  All are wounded in some way and in need of healing.  Each person needs tenderness and care and to be held in this compassionate flow with one another.

This clearly feels like a time to cultivate more circles for group spiritual direction.  I invite you to consider starting one in your area or to offer one for family members.  It could be a group that meets one time, for a few sessions or an ongoing group.

These groups can be a wonderful healing gift in this time of turmoil and uncertainty in our world.


Patience Robbins is available for mentoring or guidance around these circles.

UPCOMING: Group Spiritual Direction: A Conference & Retreat, April 3-6. This conference is for those who want to deepen and strengthen the practice of group spiritual direction. To learn more or to register, click here.

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