Spiritual Friendship Days

Being a Spiritual Friend To One Another:
A Powerful Process for Developing and Maintaining
Soul Friendships


“To listen another’s soul  into a condition of disclosure and discovery may be almost the 
greatest service that any human performs for another.”
                                                                Diana Steere, Quaker from London 


What is a Spiritual Friendship?

Intentional spiritual friendships involve meetings with another person where each is invited and supported in contemplating, exploring, and expressing their deeper selves and their connection to the whole.  These intentional times together provide the opportunity and a safe structure for sharing what is close to the bone with someone you can trust, someone who has no agenda, someone who is not judging, analyzing, or labelling you.

Such friendships are a sharing of equals and require mutuality.  They take place in sacred space, with the understanding that the inner world can be navigated more easily, for many people, by virtue of the presence of a listening partner, and that seeking to find words for what is often beyond words is a valuable process.

In these intentional meetings, there is the continual opportunity to express to your partner the truth of what you are thinking, feeling, and experiencing as a result of your contemplation.  There is a structure, the time is divided equally, and agreed-upon guidelines of communication create utter safety.

Characteristics of Soul Friendships

Intentionality: Why do these meetings need to be so intentional?  Can’t they just happen?  We all have brief and unplanned encounters that bring deep sharing of what is in our hearts, and these are a gift and always wonderful.  However, random meetings with friends tend to be more social, more conversational, and don’t address those deep soul needs for sharing our deepest thoughts, feelings, questions, and insights.  For this depth of sharing to occur, we need the sense of safety, luxurious time and space, and sacredness that intentional spiritual friendships involve.  Also, many of us have needs for deeper sharing than the average friendship, and quite honestly, some of our good friends are just not interested in talking about their inner life and spiritual journey.
MutualityThese friendships are soul relationships of equal exchange, unlike therapy or spiritual direction, where one, by definition, takes on the role of attending to the other.  Wonderful healing can happen in such relationships, as I am sure we all know.  However, spiritual friendships are, by definition, completely mutual.  Time is divided equally and the friends take turns in the two roles of “contemplator/communicator/expresser” and secondly, “attentive, interested, accepting, and listening Presence.”
Priority, commitment, regularity:  It is important that the two of you share a similar intensity of longing for this depth of sharing;  this is the only way that you will stick to a schedule on a regular basis.  It is not necessary for your partner to be a close friend in your life, only that they share this commitment to deeper exploration.

Topics Covered in a Day-Long Retreat

● The art of listening/witnessing in Presence

● How to contemplate: Allowing time for interior reflection

● Creating sacred space together

● Co-creating “ground rules” that work for the two of you

● Pitfalls in a continuing soul friendship

● Exploring the potential of the dyad format

● Communication and contemplation dyads

● How to find a spiritual friend

● Tips for maintaining a spiritual friendship

● Moving healthily through the minefield of communication

● Creating vibrant space which invites contemplation and self-expression

● Value of forming thoughtful and pertinent questions for focusing contemplation

● Trusting the process




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