Spiritual Direction

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by Thomas, Oct 7, 2019.

  1. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    A discussion regarding gurus of various sorts crops up here on IO quite regularly, and generally the opinion seems to be that such is not required.

    I was just wondering, has anyone actually undergone a period of spiritual direction?

    I suppose also I would qualify that question by categorisation:
    a) Spiritual Direction in the traditional sense within and under the auspices of a given spiritual/religious (same thing really) tradition
    b) Spiritual Direction under one of the numerous independent and non-aligned groups and/or individuals that have sprung up in recent times

    Just wonderin ...
     
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  2. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    At a time in my life when I was suicidal a friend suggested I phone a woman named Elano, who was a psychic.

    Over the phone she told me things she could not have known and asked me to come around. She gave me various psalms to recite, seven or ten times, and baths with bath salts and ammonia -- to say a certain psalm ten times over the bath, etc.

    She told me to wear a cross around my neck and literally exorcised me of a woman who was directing vodoo-type spells at me. It was actually true. But there must be an active mental link. It wont affect a stranger. Long story.

    Elano said: I will put a ring around you that she cannot get through: her energy will rebound on herself and she'll stop.

    Over the next few years, Elano led me to find within myself what I so desperately needed at that time from her. The ritual baths etc, wete just something for me to hold into at the time. Eventually she died of cancer. It was 30 years ago.

    She has been the single strongest influence on me. Without her I would have topped myself. We did not have a sexual relationship, by the way.

    She literally exuded an aura of light and spiritual strength, though her language was down-to-earth and salty. No high-falutin' spiritual terms. Her own life was not easy. She suffered a lot. She did not ask for money.

    She saved my life and led me to God. I love her so much. There is so much more to tell about her. Over the years I have learned to turn to no-one but God for help.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
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  3. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Whoa, RJM, a powerful story!

    That reads to me more a healing than a SD thing?

    Also the orientation seems more towards the psychic than spiritual? The psychic element is an integral part of SD, but it's not front and centre?

    As ever, nothing is ever cut, dried and categorised, so I can see that one influences the other.
     
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  4. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    Yes, however, the category is a bit unclear. The person in question was given authorization to teach, by a monastic Theravada Buddhist lineage holder, but is a layperson. While aligned with the parent lineage, adding nothing as far as I can tell, the teaching style was stripped of cultural aspects, which would have served only as distractions, according to the mentor. (I introduced some devotional practice into my regime at one point on my own, as it seemed lacking) The exercises are a fairly rigorous meditation practice, which is discussed in detail, and reflections on and discusstion of Theravada teachings. I continue to do the exercises, and still have personal contact with the mentor, but have since left the social "scene" of interested practitioners, and explored other Buddhist and western occult schools. The "spiritual direction" seems to have influenced my spiritual development, though it is always hard to tell with such highly subjective things. However, the practice gave me something to hold on to during a few upheavals in my life, and it continues to provide a sense of spiritual hygiene. And it is always a joy to connect with my mentor.

    How about you, Thomas?
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
  5. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    I would have said no...

    Unless this is indicative of anything.
     
  6. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    Enigmatic as always! No to what? Indicative? I want to know more.
     
  7. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    I think you could say I was drawn to Elano by the need for psychic advice -- as an oracle -- but ended up with far more; it was perhaps the entry point? Anyway ...
     
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  8. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Lol, now you made me goto the dictionary yet again. And I thought I was clear as a bell!

    I would have said no to the original post, not having followed a spiritual Direction in the way described. But I suppose maybe I have oh, the unity version of Christianity. But I sure don't even follow that to a T.

    But your comment makes me look at my divorce and losing my house and not going into the bottle or drugs. Makes me consider my heart and stroke issues, cheating death and the current ticking time-bomb of impending death ... had I not taken that spiritual Direction My ultimate reaction to these things would have been much different.
     
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  9. KnowSelf

    KnowSelf Member

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    This brings up an interesting observation for which I am included have undergone great challenges in life as a means of arrival to understanding self? From reading RJM story and from personal experience life has been extraordinarily difficult at times.

    So I wonder if by choosing "this path" we are faced with hardships that helps mold us into free thinkers of wisdom?
     
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  10. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Elano's spiritual work took a lot out of her. It often exhausted her. And she had a hard life; it enabled her to empathise with real human suffering.

    So, if a person is teaching 'spiritual truth' sitting cross-legged on a velvet cushion ...
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
  11. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    There's an (out of print) book calles "Saints and Psychopaths" by Bill Hamilton, scans of which I believe are legal to download as copyright expired, which explores questions just like this one.

    http://www.buddhistische-gesellschaft-berlin.de/downloads/saints-and-psychopaths.pdf
     
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  12. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    No to any long-term engagement ... looking back I would say there's a couple of points where I should have stayed in touch, but didn't? My Loss...

    Mine have been more the epiphany moments shaped within a tradition.
     
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  13. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Well that's perhaps the crux of it ... are we as 'free' as we think we are?
     
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  14. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    What did your spiritual director, er, direct? Exercises like those of St. Ignatius? Some other contemplative or meditative work? Discussion and reflection?
     
  15. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    And if so, are we "free of" hindrances? Or "free to" do?
     
  16. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Thank you for the pdf ... interesting stuff.

    Yes, you have people proselytising and 'selling' spirituality, even charging people for the favour. It is interesting that Pope Francis dislikes proselytising:

    https://catholiccitizens.org/news/8...hristians-are-engaged-in-ecumenism-of-hatred/

    "...In the same address, the Pope criticized a woman who professed joy that two young people had converted to Catholicism. One had been Hindu, the other Anglican ..."

    He wears a wooden cross, not a gold one, and a cheap $10 wrist watch-- unlike both previous popes who wore expensive watches.

    Which is totally off topic. But in a way it is the actual demonstration of spirit -- of the reality -- regardless of the particular religion or popular catchwords?
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
  17. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    Oh, so you don't consider that...collective...you met your wife at as spiritual directive?
     
  18. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Ah, she is one of the few occasions when i made the right decision.
     
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