HASHPA'AH: Jewish Spiritual Direction, is a process for exploring our connection with what we experience as sacred. Join us for monthly Spiritual Direction Circles, offered on select Shabbatot, 9:00-9:55 a.m., led by Andrea Madden, Meredith Barber and Rabbi Shawn Zevit, all trained Spiritual Directors.
Spiritual Direction Circles begin punctually at 9:00 a.m. and conclude at 9:55 a.m. We request those participating be ready to begin at 9:00 a.m., so as not to disturb the flow and sharing that takes place.
Shabbat morning services follow at 10:00 a.m.; all are welcome.
Learn more about Spiritual Direction from this article in the Jewish Independent: Spiritual directors help guide insight into one's innermost being.
HASHPA'AH: Jewish Spiritual Direction
What is Hashpa'ah/Spiritual Direction?
Spiritual Direction is a process for exploring our connection with what we experience as God, Spirit, Truth, Ultimate Values, however we express and understand the sacred in our lives.
The subject matter discussed may be the simple activities of every day or a significant or challenging event in the life of the participants. Through these explorations, those engaged in Spiritual Direction try to discern the presence of the Sacred in their everyday lives, work, celebrations and struggles. Our circles will meet in the third floor chapel and be a place to connect and explore these themes and from there, if desired, move into the prayerful embrace of Shabbat morning services.
More About Hashpa'ah/Spiritual Direction
Unlike Psychotherapy, which may focus on a problem needing a solution, Spiritual Direction attends to the experiences of connection to, or distance from, God/Holiness/Truth/Core Values during times we feel whole as well as times we feel shattered.
The Practice of Holy Listening is the process used by spiritual directors to attend to the experiences shared by those who come for Spiritual Direction. Holy listening brings the sensibilities of prayer and meditation to the act of listening. While hearing the concerns of their directees, spiritual directors facilitate spiritual development as they take note of the way in which what is expressed reveals alignment or distance from the sacred and balanced life as each person, community or organization experiences this Force or Energy in the world.
Spiritual Direction sessions may take place one-to-one, in a group relationship, faith community or organization as a whole. In one-to-one Spiritual Direction, a trained spiritual director meets with a directee, or group, to explore life issues through a lens that seeks to reveal the unfolding presence of Holiness in the life of the Directee. The subject matter discussed may be the simple activities of every day or a significant or challenging event in the life of the directee. Through these explorations, those engaged in Spiritual Direction try to discern the presence of the Sacred in their everyday lives, work, celebrations and struggles.
For example, an individual may seek spiritual direction following a loss, which has caused him or her to question God’s role or a sense of ultimate purpose and meaning in the situation, as well as the nature of, and the existence of, God. The director will enable the directee to articulate his or her questions and find a healing path through them that represents the directee’s unique experience. In addition, the director may share wisdom of a tradition, spiritual practices, or personal or traditional stories with the directee, bringing them to bear on the situation under discussion. Together they may study a relevant text or reflect on the Directee’s expressions through prayer, journal keeping, art, dance, or dream-work. The session often ends with a blessing formulated in response to the sessions’ content, recognizing and deepening the sacred dimension of individual or communal life.
Spiritual Direction Groups for Parents
Learn to quiet your mind and find what’s meaningful in your journey as you parent a child with difference.
Spiritual Direction is a non-denominational approach to deep listening in small, leader-facilitated groups. Once a month set aside your to do lists, your goals and agendas for therapists, doctors, teachers, team meetings and IEPs. Instead, listen deeply to yourself, to one another and to silence. Share what brings you meaning, joy and pain among companions on parallel paths.What you learn – about what’s most important to you and where you are in your life – may surprise you and nourish your soul in new and unexpected ways.
Groups for parents of children with extra challenges are being formed by Andrea Madden, parent, educator and Spiritual Direction facilitator. Each group is limited to five participants who meet for two hours once a month, with an initial commitment of six sessions. Participants honor the confidentiality of discussions.
Facilitator Andrea Madden is the parent of two young adults, one of whom has significant cognitive and physical challenges. Andrea’s approach to Spiritual Direction is non-denominational and non-deity centered. She participated in a two-year training program for Spiritual Direction leaders through Lev Shomea, a Jewish Spiritual Direction program offering supervised training and in-depth immersion in transformative practices aimed at repair of the world.
Andrea holds a B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis, has earned two master’s degrees in education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and taught middle school in Teaneck, New Jersey, for 13 years. She has since been a full-time caregiver for her child with multiple handicaps. Andrea has trained children and adults for bar/bat mitzvahs for nearly a decade.
To learn more about Spiritual Direction fees and schedules contact Andrea Madden.
Spiritual Direction is where we can share our parenting challenges, deepest fears and moments of inspiration in an atmosphere of emotional safety and mutual respect. No one tries to fix anything or tell you how to do something. There is no judgment. The experience of listening deeply and of being a companion to one another is transformative for each of us. Together, we look for what will sustain us, for what is meaningful, joyful and real.
--- Andrea Madden Spiritual Director & Parent