Counselling & Spirituality
‘Spirituality’ is a difficult word to define, and one that can sometimes be confusingly identified with ‘religion’. For some people, their sense of the spiritual is closely linked with a particular religion or set of beliefs. For others, traditional religious language or belief is not a part of how they articulate their spiritual experience, and may even feel unhelpful.
Whether or not our spirituality sits comfortably beside a religious tradition, it is usually linked in some way with experiences of connection (to others and to ‘something bigger’), with a sense of growing (or not) as a person, and with gaining insight into life and its mystery. It can also be about how ‘alive’ or ‘deadened’ we feel and what contributes to this. ‘Spiritual’ questions often come to the fore at times of crisis, stress, change, or loss.
Your spiritual questions can be safely raised and explored in counselling. My own spiritual journey inevitably affects how I approach life. My grounding in contemplative Christian traditions inevitably informs my life and how I support you to explore your own experiences. Importantly, this is not about imposing my experiences on you in any way, but being attentive and committed to accompanying you on your journey.
Some links to organisations exploring questions of spirituality and human growth.
The On Being Project is a non-denominational American nonprofit media and public life initiative, creating a public radio show, podcasts, new ways to experience poetry, and tools for the art of living.
Six grounding virtues guide all they do: words that matter; hospitality; humility; patience; generous listening; and adventurous civility. They explore the intersection of spiritual inquiry, science, social healing, and the arts.
The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society is a global network aiming to contribute to the ongoing development of racial, social, economic, and environmental justice and the advancement of human flourishing. Linking a contemplative way of life with both personal and societal change.
The WCCM is a global spiritual community united in the practice of silent meditation in the Christian tradition. It shares the fruits of this practice widely and inclusively, serving the unity of all and working to build understanding between faiths and cultures. Members of WCCM span more than a hundred countries. Its international centre is Bonnevaux - an ancient monastic site now dedicated to global peace and dialogue around the daily practice of meditation - near Poitiers in France
The Center for Action and Contemplation
Growing out of the spirituality of St Francis of Assisi, the Center for Action and Contemplation’s programs and resources are designed to help deepen spiritual life and strengthen compassionate engagement in the world.
Sculpture of St. Benedict listening
L'Abbaye de la Pierre qui Vire, France.
'Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.'
Rainer Maria Rilke