Personal Spiritual Deepening

IMG_0402By Stephanie Gretchen Burgevin. Stephanie is a writer and retreat leader. She is an associate faculty member of Shalem and a graduate of theirLeading Contemplative Prayer Groups and Retreats Program and leads spiritual and secular programs. Stephanie manages Shalem’s blog and is one of the social media coordinators for the Shalem Institute Facebook page.

In looking at the Shalem calendar I see that a new Personal Spiritual Deepening Program (PSDP) began last weekend in this area. Every time I teach this program I am struck to the core with the word “personal” in the title.

The program is approximately seven months long because it takes about that amount of time to change old habits and form new ones. PSDP has many wonderful things about it, including the support and community the whole group receives from journeying together with others who are intent on deepening their relationship to that which is holy. Community provides so much fodder for growth.

But, I think one place where grace happens in a powerful way is when the people in the class have the aha moment that this journey is personal, that it is about the work we do on our personal journey to open up and meet God in every moment. We are buoyed, nurtured, listened to, and held up by our community (and we need that), but when we commit personally to doing the work, the gates burst open.

By the end of the program people are different because they’ve been given the support and nurture to take the personal responsibility they need in order to create something new and beautiful for themselves.

Blessings on the new PSDP class. May you find your wings!

This is not easy work. Do you have suggestions or prayers for this group or others on this journey?

March 03, 2013 by Shalem Institute 5 Comments
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11 years ago

My payers both for presenters and participants…..what a precious, eternal gift you are giving and receiving….enjoy the journey!

Leah Rampy
Leah Rampy
11 years ago

Personal Spiritual Deepening was one of the first Shalem programs in which I participated, I think in 2005. What a transformative experience! I was so grateful for the spiritual community that blossomed during that journey. I invite all participants who are new to Shalem to let go of any preconceived ideas of a “class” and open to what the Spirit is inviting for you. Please know that the Shalem staff and the broader Shalem community are praying for you.

Karen Hastings
Karen Hastings
11 years ago

I would love to do this!It sounds wonderful!Peace and blessings,Karen

Jude Schafman
11 years ago

While I have not done this course( and wish the Online Contemplative Prayer Program could figure out how to offer such a thing on line,) I would offer this asw favorite thoughts in my own journey: LOVE your inner work, love the twists and turns on the trail, LOVE how God’s Grace continuously moves like a hidden stream through your days and in every event, just adore how Aware you are!

elizabeth Morley
elizabeth Morley
11 years ago

the very first post, which told of Tilden Edwards first pastoral visit, has given me much food for thought. I find that the words: “Don’t talk. Don’t run.”, have become my Lenten Mantra, In a group setting, whether with family or at church, that mantra keeps me from blurting out the first so called ‘wise’ thought that pops into my head, and so I find myself listening. Yesterday on my morning walk around my neighbourhood (a circular route in a rural suburb), I tried this out as a mantra, with surprising results. I found myself thinking that I was walking a labyrinth, and my steps picked up the slow steady rhythm of my mantra. The houses I passed seemed to “line” my way, giving me a true sense of “neighbourhood.” When I arrived back at my house, I noticed the unused park across the street, and am now going to approach the County to see if they would put in an actual Labyrinth,


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