Learning Practices

As adult learners, participants take full responsibility for their own learning, each in her or his unique way, and each in his or her communal context. We ask all participants to be clear with themselves and the staff about their motivations for applying; to welcome the possibility of exploring new attitudes, concepts and behaviours; and to view the substantial work of the program as self-chosen, rather than imposed—even self-imposed!

 We offer opportunities for learning through the body (as well as through mind and spirit), through the arts, and through an encouragement of participants’ creativity. We place particular emphasis at the residencies on the experiential dimension of the program, with the more traditional academic activities of reading and writing finding their major place in the at-home portion of the program.

 Evaluation is based on the learner’s own objectives and desired outcomes within the framework of the program. Ongoing self-evaluation is part of the program, as is feedback from staff, peers and supervisors.

And here’s another take on what we think we are doing. It comes from a blog written by Vancouver writer Donaleen Saul,

[What we need to do is] the hard inner work of thinking and feeling for ourselves, releasing what no longer serves us, discovering what can never be destroyed, and allowing the Eternal – I would also call it Love – to shape our lives.

 These are beautiful words and because they come from someone not personally involved in the spiritual direction community, they tell us that what we are trying to learn/teach/live is waiting to be discovered by many, many people beyond our little circles.