Rediscovering What Makes You Come Alive
Though spiritual life mentoring has gained more attention in recent years, the concept is not a new one. Spiritual mentors in the Christian tradition, for example, grow out of the examples of the Desert Mothers and Fathers, who left cities to escape the corrupting influences of civilization. People followed them into the wilderness to ask them for their wisdom and learn contemplative practices. They became recognized for the clarity of their insight and discernment. As part of a Benedictine Order, I am able to provide a particular wisdom in listening to help you find the sacred in your everyday life.
Spiritual life mentoring is the practice of being with people as they deepen their relationship with the sacred, or learn and grow in their own personal spirituality. It is accompanying people on their pilgrimage.
The person seeking mentoring shares stories of his or her encounters of the divine, or how he or she is experiencing spiritual issues. Spiritual mentoring usually involves a one to two hour meeting every four to eight weeks.
Spiritual mentoring helps people develop deeper appreciation for the spiritual aspects of being human.
A spiritual life mentor listens and asks questions to assist people in the process of reflection and spiritual growth.
Why Does Anyone See a Spiritual Life Mentor?
People work with me for many different reasons.
Some people think I can give them the answers they are seeking; some people are looking for someone who will help them face their fears. Some people feel far from what is holy; some people are looking for help or advice about specific spiritual practices. Some people are deeply spiritual but have been hurt or frustrated by organized religious institutions.
People have told me that I am the only person who ever listens to them, and that spiritual mentoring has brought them closer to the holy than anything else they have done.
What Makes You a Good Spiritual Life Mentor, Greg?
I completed my formational training as a spiritual director and was certified in 2005. I have also been trained as a spiritual mentor supervisor, and served as the chair of the board of directors of the organization where I did my training.
I am a member of Spiritual Directors International, a global learning community of people from many faiths and many nations committed to the contemplative practice of spiritual mentoring and direction.
I have also been received as a lay oblate at New Camaldoli, a Benedictine hermitage and monastery in Big Sur, California.
Before becoming a spiritual life mentor, I worked at a variety of positions including practicing law, teaching university courses, and helping manage a variety of organizations.
Do you limit the kind of people you see for Spiritual Mentoring?
While my background is in the Christian tradition, my faith and spirituality connect me to people from many different backgrounds. I work with men and women with a wide variety of experiences. I do not limit myself to working only with people from the Christian tradition.
How Would We Get Started?
The best way to get started is to connect with me so we can talk. I talk to people in person as well as via Skype and FaceTime.
It is important to me to talk with each person who is interested in working with me before we begin. I want to make sure that I have a good understanding of you and your story, and I want you to have every opportunity to ask me any questions you have.
I look forward to talking with you soon.