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Practical meditations, reflections and contemplative prompts to support your daily adventure of walking the mystical path. Via Mystica is Latin for "the Mystical Way" but you could also translate it as "the Way of Mystery." It embodies my sense that mysticism is a path, a way of life, a journey toward the greatest of goals: union with God. The meditations and exercises presented here are intended to be support for you as your travel your own unique path into the heart of God: your own unique ...
 
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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In this week's episode, SDI's Director of Content & Communities, Steven Crandell, chats with contemplative author and mystic Carl McColman about their upcoming webinar series Christian Mystics and Spiritual Companionship – Wisdom Teaching for Those Who Hold Space. This 4-part series begins on September 9 and runs through September 30, 2021. For all…
 
Today’s method is Self-Inquiry. Self-Inquiry, is a teaching popularized by Sri Ramana Maharshi, a Tamil saint from the early 20th century. Based on the ancient Vedic practice of Atma-vichara, self-inquiry is the quintessential practice for those on the path of knowledge, and is sometimes called the Maha or Great Yoga. Vicharasangraham and Nan Yar w…
 
Colette Lafia, an author and spiritual director based in SanFrancisco leads us through a short meditation on the nature of Love as it relates to the spiritual path. Colette teaches on the nature of the heart with respect to the spiritual path, and the ways that it opens us up to receive by surrendering. Her books include The Divine Heart (May 2021)…
 
In this episode of Being-With, I speak with Colette Lafia, an author and spiritual director based in SanFrancisco. Colette teaches on the nature of the heart with respect to the spiritual path, and the ways that it opens us up to receive by surrendering. Her books include The Divine Heart (May 2021), Seeking Surrender (2015) & Comfort & Joy (2008).…
 
In this episode Dr. Brian Russell (@yourprofessorforlife) leads us through his preferred method of contemplative prayer, Centering Prayer. This particular way of consenting to the divine action and presence is the topic of his upcoming book on the method of Centering Prayer: Sitting Quietly in God's Presence Can Change Your Life. He runs the Deep D…
 
In this episode of Being-With, I talk with Dr. Brian Russell (@yourprofessorforlife) about his upcoming book on the method of Centering Prayer: Sitting Quietly in God's Presence Can Change Your Life. He runs the Deep Dive Spirituality Podcast as well as a coaching practice. Find him here: https://linktr.ee/briandrussell --- Send in a voice message:…
 
Dr. Amy Frykholm is an American writer whose five books of non-fiction have covered the territory of American religion from apocalypticists to saints. She is an award-winning writer and senior editor for the magazine The Christian Century, appears frequently on television and radio programs as an expert in American religion, and has lectured widely…
 
Hello, and welcome to Methods of Contemplation, an exploration in guided prayer and meditation. The Cloud of Unknowing is an anonymous 14th century work on the practice of contemplative prayer. It has been a constant companion of Christian mystics through the ages, and outlines an incredibly powerful way of disposing ourselves to the gift of contem…
 
In this week's episode, SDI Creative Director Matt Whitney speaks with spiritual director Teresa Blythe, on her extraordinary journey following her calling from radio news anchor to full time spiritual director. SDI members can read about her experience in the article "Feeling the Call of Deep Listening - 3 Stories" in the August 2021 issue of Conn…
 
In this week's episode, SDI Creative Director Matt Whitney speaks with Evan J. Miller, on the topic of Leadership and Spirituality. His article entitled Leaning into Letting Go: Leadership as a Path on the Spiritual Journey can be found in the June 2021 issue of Presence Journal. A video version of this podcast is included as a bonus on the enhance…
 
In this method, Mark Gladman (Brother Frederick-James) leads us through his prayer of the rosary for those new to the practice. Mark Gladman is a Benedictine monk teaching and practicing ancient forms of christian meditation, contemplation, mindfulness, and prayer for personal & community transformation. He is a teacher on Insight Timer, as well as…
 
Mark Gladman is a Benedictine monk teaching and practicing ancient forms of christian meditation, contemplation, mindfulness, and prayer for personal & community transformation. He is a teacher on Insight Timer, as well as a host on the podcast The Work of God, which is a podcast centered around praying the daily office. A spiritual wanderer and wo…
 
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…
 
DR. KEVIN QUASHIE is a professor of English at Brown University. He is the author of The Sovereignty of Quiet: Beyond Resistance in Black Culture and Black Women, Identity, and Cultural Theory: (Un)Becoming the Subject. Silence often denotes something that is suppressed or repressed, and is an interiority that is about withholding, absence, and sti…
 
Carl McColman is a contemplative writer, speaker, and podcast host of Encountering Silence. His recent books include: The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Unteachable Lessons, and his new book - Eternal Heart. In this episode, Carl and I chat about the nature of the eternal heart, the gifts of the spirit that draw us to the Divine, and the mobius s…
 
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…
 
Hello, and welcome to Methods, an exploration in guided prayer and meditation. Today’s method is mantra. In Buddhism, the word mantra means “mind protecting”. A mantra protects the mind by preventing it from going into its’ usual patterns, which often are not our desired or optimal conscious perspective. Mantra is a powerful spiritual practice for …
 
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…
 
MAISIE SPARKS is an author, speaker, spiritual director, and retreat facilitator. Her books include Christmas Quiet, 151 Things God Can't Do, 101 Things the Devil Can’t Do, and Holy Shakespeare: 101 Scriptures That Appear in Shakespeare’s Plays, Poems and Sonnets. She is an active member of the Spiritual Directors of Color Network, and her essays h…
 
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…
 
In this episode of Being-With, I speak with Scott Odom. Scott is a retired police officer and practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism, Kambo, and Santo Daime. Scott has a unique talent for diving into the heart of the transformative aspect of spirituality, and in that sense is a true radical. In this conversation we discuss all sorts of things like the re…
 
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…
 
Dr. Beverly Lanzetta is a theologian, contemplative scholar, interfaith chaplain, and teacher of new traditions of contemplative wisdom. She is the author of numerous books on emerging universal spirituality and new monasticism, including Radical Wisdom: A Feminist Mystical Theology, Emerging Heart: Global Spirituality and the Sacred, Nine Jewels o…
 
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…
 
Hello, and welcome to Methods, an exploration in guided prayer and meditation. This is our fourth season, Feel. In this season, we’ll attempt to showcase methods of prayer and meditation that facilitate feeling, embodiment, and direct perception of reality, beneath the web of our conditioned thought patterns. Today’s exercise is a long format lovin…
 
Hello, and welcome to Methods, an exploration in guided prayer and meditation. This is our fourth season, Feel. In this season, we’ll attempt to showcase methods of prayer and meditation that facilitate feeling, embodiment, and direct perception of reality, beneath the web of our conditioned thought patterns. Today’s exercise helps us to become mor…
 
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…
 
Hello, and welcome to Methods, an exploration in guided prayer and meditation. This is our fourth season, Feel. In this season, we’ll attempt to showcase methods of prayer and meditation that facilitate feeling, embodiment, and direct perception of reality, beneath the web of our conditioned thought patterns. Metta is the pali word for loving kindn…
 
What if we truly belong to each other? What if we are all walking around shining like the sun Mystic, monk, and activist Thomas Merton asked those questions over half a century ago. Writer Sophfronia Scott is asking them today. Sophfronia Scott grew up in Lorain, Ohio, a hometown she shares with author Toni Morrison. She holds a BA in English from …
 
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…
 
Hello, and welcome to Methods, an exploration in guided prayer and meditation.This is our fourth season, Feel. In this season, we’ll attempt to showcase methods of prayer and meditation that facilitate feeling, embodiment, and direct perception of reality, beneath the web of our conditioned thought patterns.Today’s exercise: Buddhist Tonglen goes a…
 
Hello, and welcome to Methods, an exploration in guided prayer and meditation. This is our fourth season, Feel. In this season, we’ll attempt to showcase methods of prayer and meditation that facilitate feeling, embodiment, and direct perception of reality, beneath the web of our conditioned thought patterns. This is a guided meditation designed to…
 
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…
 
This week's episode features the conclusion of our conversation with bestselling author and Episcopal priest Barbara Brown Taylor. Click here to listen to part one. Renowned for her preaching as well as her writing, Barbara Brown Taylor is the author of a widely acclaimed memoir, Leaving Church; subsequent books like An Altar in the World, Learning…
 
Hello, and welcome to Methods, an exploration in guided prayer and meditation. This is our fourth season, Feel. In this season, we’ll attempt to showcase methods of prayer and meditation that facilitate feeling, embodiment, and direct perception of reality, beneath the web of our conditioned thought patterns. This one is called The Five Rememberanc…
 
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…
 
A while back, our co-host Carl McColman was impressed by a preacher he heard in Atlanta. In his words: Back in the spring of 1988, I was living in Atlanta and on occasion would worship at All Saints’ Episcopal Church near the campus of Georgia Tech. On more than one occasion, I was impressed by the preaching of one of the associate priests on staff…
 
In this Method, I explore the connection between our mindful perception of sound, and our attachment to our conceptual framework that lays over our attachments and aversions. What if we were able to simply be still and receive our external environment on its own terms? Use this short meditation to free yourself from the tension you may feel in nois…
 
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