1. Singing with our body
2. Learning from each other
3. Sharing our stories with the image of Christ
4. Models of mutual support in different countries
5. Discussion about the draft of a Mission Statement
6. An exercise in Lectio Divina

1. Singing with our body

You can lay your hand on your chest and sing soft and attentive ‘aaa’. The ‘a’ vibrated our chest, the ‘o’ was felt on our neck, the ‘m’ with our hand on the very top of our head. After experiencing these, we sang a slow, one-note ‘A-M-E-N’, and we could feel it go from our heart to our head and back to our heart and again to our head. ‘Amen’ was living in us and among us, or perhaps it was like a circle. And in this same attentive way we sang ‘Kyrie eleison’ with slow, simple motion.

2. Learning from each other

Instruction by Henry for learning from each other on Saturday morning.
10 minutes silence: “Try to stay with what strikes you most when thinking on this morning opening-celebration (around the imaged of the Suffering Christ), and what God maybe wants to tell you by this?”
10 minutes sharing with another person: 2x5 minutes: “Tell your story (only what you want to share), the other person only listens carefully or may say something, if invited.”
10 minutes silence: ‘What strikes you most within the last twelve months?’
Again 10 minutes sharing with the same person in the same way.
10 minutes silence: ‘talk in silence with the image of Christ you brought with you’
5 minutes: ‘tell it to your interlocutor and show your image of Christ’
10 minutes silence: ‘talk in your selves with the image of your interlocutor’
5 minutes: ‘tell what you received to your interlocutor’.

3. Sharing our stories with the image of Christ

There were two leading questions for our learning:
Is each image typical for the country the person is coming from?
If you put these images in a row, which of them would you choose to go to as a spiritual director and why do or don’t you choose the ones you chose?

4. Models of mutual support in different countries.

a) A group of 8 persons meets once a year for 48 ours with an open agenda. The circle round everybody could take time with what’s important to share.
b) Groups in dioceses with an open agenda several times a year a weekend. Once a year with a special theme (for instance spiritual direction and sexuality). Who has expertise can share that.

The Netherlands:
In a first encounter of four participants in the SD-Europe Meeting in Denmark a few models have been discussed.
a) Peer-group-supervision without supervisor with two models:
1. Somebody brings a case from his of her practice as spiritual director with a question (what do I want to learn?), somebody else takes a role of spiritual coach, the others are observers; afterwards group-discussion.
2. Somebody tells a case and puts a question, there is silence and space for listening with our hearts (‘what really matters in the perspective of the way of God?’) and after silence everybody who wants to say something can do that, again silence and the one who brought the case may open the conversation.
b) Peer-group-supervision with the focus on personal growth.

Twice a year 5-6 groups with an open agenda, the focus is on the spiritual way.

Peer-group-supervision, 3-4 times a year. A case is brought in, what was the effect on the listener and on the directee?
Once a year a meeting of 2 or 3 days. 10 persons: 5 from Norway, 5 from Denmark plus 1 from Sweden who leads the meeting.

Supervision in peer-groups

5. Discussion about the draft of a Mission Statement for Spiritual Directors in Europe

  • There were textual suggestions on a paper.
  • It ought to be shorter: a short mission statement – a short vision statement (what do we mean by spiritual direction?) – we do this by… and we mind to …. and in the light of this … aims and objects
  • Now we are an ecumenical Christian organisation. How are we open for other spiritual traditions?
  • If we are open we ought to be conscious of our roots. What is important and what not? This draft is too vague. Spiritual direction is always rooted in a certain spiritual tradition.
  • How are we accredited to be here? A special way of working? Experience?

6. An exercise in Lectio Divina

(using the text of John 4: the woman at the well)
Sit comfortably and upright, both feet on the ground. Close your eyes for a moment. Pay attention to your body and try to get in touch with your breathing. Take your time. Repeat aloud or in silence on the rhythm of your breath: ‘O Lord, be not far from me.’

Read twice aloud and attentive the text. Look to the picture, be aware of the presence of the well.

- What is asking your attention? Why?
- What affects and hits you, what speaks to you? Why?
- What is rising to the surface in pursuance of this text: other texts, a song, an image or a remembrance?
- Does the message of this text have certain consequences for you?

Put into words of a short prayer what is the meaning of this meditation to you.

Again, pay attention to your body, sit upright, breath quietly in and out, feel you are carried by the chair, by the earth, by God. Rest in that being carried.