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This is a list of courses that myself and a colleague, Sarah Jane Williamson, are currently developing under the banner of the Spiritual Companions project and the Institute for Holistic Spirituality.

 

There are no courses planned at the moment, but if the course descriptions below sound of interest to you, then please get in touch and I will put you on the list for information about future courses.

Course Descriptions

 Harmonious living

This is a short, introductory course, aimed at people who have a sense that there must be more to life than just the daily routine. Perhaps you are aware of the spiritual aspects but are a little nervous that developing an interest in spirituality might change things for you in ways you don't want, or perhaps you just don't know where or how to start exploring your spiritual life. Perhaps you used to belong to a religious tradition but don't anymore for a variety of reasons, but you miss the connection you used to feel.

We cover:

·         What spirituality is, from a safe distance, through discussion and by dipping a toe into exploring your unique spiritual connection without having to commit to any particular practice.

·         How to enjoy even better, more harmonious relationships with people and with the earth.

·         How to start to recognise your unique life's path, why sometimes things get stuck, scary or difficult and what you can do about this.

This course is deliberately taught in very small groups, from the tutors' homes so that you are always in a safe, friendly, non-religious, domestic environment.

At the end of this course, you will understand better what spirituality is, will know whether or not you want to go any further at this time and, most importantly, why you feel what you feel about your beliefs and choices.

Time commitment: This course is taught on 3 x 2 days, between 10am and 5pm, in the week or at weekends.

Dates: We run the course on demand on dates to suit all those booking.

 

Everyday Spirituality - Level 1

This course is for people who already have an interest in spirituality and who want to explore further development in a safe, supported, inspiring environment. It covers:

·         How to recognise your personal sense of your soul and spiritual connection and how to develop these further.

·         How to develop further self-awareness, finding ways of safely starting to share your unfolding sense of self on your own unique spiritual journey.

·         How to be a person who is both spiritual and in the real world, trying to keep up with all the demands of everyday life. How your soul connection and spiritual practice can support and improve your work and home life.

·         Why we inevitably experience times of chaos, adversity and difficulty that shape our soul's wisdom but can sometimes seem at odds with our spiritual sense of self.

Time commitment: This course is taught over 5 weekends. This course counts towards the spiritual practice 60 hours required to undertake the Spiritual Companions certified course with any of the Spiritual Companion Educators.

 

 

Spiritual Companions Guidelines course

The Spiritual Companions Guidelines course is designed to help you deepen your spiritual practice in a way that you can apply in your everyday life and is for people who think they would like to become a member of the Spiritual Companions network. It offers a unique personal development opportunity for those who wish to live more consciously and with more self-awareness, able to meet life's inevitable highs and lows with greater understanding.

The Spiritual Companions Guidelines were drafted in consultation with two hundred people seeking to describe the best practice of daily spirituality. There are currently twenty guidelines which include:

·         Regularly connect with and experience the wonder and energy of life

·         Witness with compassion, in silence when appropriate

·         Appreciate that all life is in a continual process of emergence and are comfortable with unknowing.

·         Enable safe and sacred space

·         Listen with care and enable people to clarify and own their own psycho-spiritual development.

Our Spiritual Companions Guidelines course will help you to explore how you are uniquely connecting with spirit, using wise self-reflection to guide your development and how you are being of service to the community around you. You will become part of a group of mature peers who will encourage and supportively challenge your spiritual development, practicing the skills and awareness needed to enable others in their spiritual and life journeys.

There is an opportunity towards the end of the course to undertake assessment in the form of a portfolio built up over the course to become a certified Spiritual Companion and to join the Spiritual Companions network. This is a new network and community that provides support for personal and spiritual development. Our approach to spirituality and pastoral care is holistic, multifaith and celebrates diversity.

The benefits of becoming a Spiritual Companion:

For You

  • Support First, you will belong to a network of supportive and insightful peers. In good and bad times we will be there for you.
  • Depth You will belong to an ongoing community of like-minded souls helping you to develop and deepen your spiritual practice.
  • Professional A recognised and trusted certificate, enabling professional career development, particularly in the fields of healthcare, education, human resources, leadership, community building and spiritual/pastoral care.
  • Continuing Development As a member of the Spiritual Companions network further trainings and development opportunities are available to you, for example in the fields of Celebrancy, Group Facilitation and deeper spiritual accompaniment.
  • Events We have a regular programme of events only for Spiritual Companions, including webinars, retreats and visits to sacred sites.

 

For Others

  • Support Being a Spiritual Companion enables you to support others on their spiritual journeys in both formal and informal settings.
  • General Being a benevolent presence wherever and whenever needed.
  • Facilitation We offer training so that you can confidently and competently facilitate small groups exploring personal and spiritual development.
  • Celebrancy We also offer Spiritual Companions Celebrancy training so that they can respond to people's needs for appropriate ceremonies and rites of passage.
  • Mentoring We are also developing training and supervision for Spiritual Companions who do not yet have a professional counselling or coaching background to accompany people more deeply on their individual spiritual journeys.

 

Within Spiritual Companions you will find a clear developmental pathway with trainings and fast tracks to each level:

  1. Spiritual Companion enjoying benefits of SC network
  2. SC Practitioner visible/available to the public
  3. SC Mentor doing deeper work with groups and individuals
  4. SC Educator teaching all of the above

 

 Spiritual Companions Guidelines and Agreement Course - Level 2

This course is taught over 5 weekends in small groups and it:

·       deepens your learning from the Spiritual Practice - Level 1 courses

·       strengthens your spiritual development.

·       Clarifies and deepens your self-management, self-awareness and spiritual autonomy.

·        prepares you to be able to join the Spiritual Companions network and community where you can offer and receive ongoing peer support for your spiritual journey.

Having completed the assessment for this course, you are eligible to attend a further 60 hours training to achieve the Certificate of Professional Practice in Spiritual Studies and Companionship.

Centred around the Spiritual Companions Guidelines and Agreement, it enables you to explore your own understanding of these and how you are working towards them. Developed by over 200 people and in place since 2006, the SC Guidelines are based on what is actually being done in the major faiths, religions and spiritual traditions. The SC Guidelines give you the know-how of spiritual practice and add to your personal and professional development as they are transferable into every aspect of your life. The SC agreement gives you a way of supporting the ongoing spiritual development of peers within the SC network initially - and is the foundation for the Level 3 public work with individuals and small groups.


Supported Fast Track - Spiritual Companions

The Supported Fast Track is for people who feel they fully understand the SC Guidelines but recognise they would like to strengthen their practice of working to the Guidelines.  It also enables applicants to gain experience of the culture of the Spiritual Companions community before they go through the assessment process.

Time commitment: This course is taught to small groups over 3 weekends or 3x2 days midweek over 3 months and requires up to 30 further hours' self-directed study and practice in peer groups over the course length (about two hours a week, in reality). We run the course whenever we have enough interested people, so if you think this might be for you, please contact us and we will be able to let you know when we're running the next course.

Assessment will be by:

·         Self-assessment: creation of portfolio, including self-reflective review of personal experience against each of the Guidelines (3000 - 6000 words or in depth verbal presentation to panel of assessors), self-assessment of listening skills, giving and receiving critical feedback and spiritual connection practice log

·         Peer assessment: keeping to the home group agreement and supportive peer review prior to tutor assessment.

·         Tutor assessment during the course, with supportive intervention where needed. The course tutors and a further Spiritual Companions Educator will undertake assessment of the portfolio at the end of the course.

When you apply for a Spiritual Companions Supported Fast Track course you will spend a couple of hours meeting informally with one of the tutors before we invite you to join a fast track group. This is so that we can discuss your application and understand where you are on your spiritual journey before you put yourself onto the Supported Fast Track course. It means that when the small group comes together, we as tutors will be familiar with you and the other members and we can take the group at an appropriate pace through the process.

 

Living Well with the Impact of Cancer

These course are organised by Penny Brohn Cancer Care in different locations around the country. I am one of the facilitators covering the northern part of the UK, and occasionally in other parts of the UK as well. The courses are free at the point of delivery and rely on fundraising and donations to the charity for their continuance. The courses are based on the whole person approach, are well researched and are shown to have a statistically significant impact on wellbeing and quality of life. It is too soon to say whether there is an effect on longevity

Please contact PBCC on 01275 37010001275 370100 or email info@pennybrohn.org for further details or to book a place.