“Eventually you will come to understand that love heals everything, and love is all there is.”
~ Gary Zukav
Spiritual consultation (called spiritual direction, counseling, or companionship by some) explores a deeper sense of the spiritual aspects of being human. It is a joining together of the consultee and advisor in connection and commitment, through mindfulness, intention, and empathy, to seek wisdom and to experience the inherent goodness and the sacred, still places within us. The workings of the Spirit/Universal/Transcendent can be subtle. It may take an abiding presence to discern the path or Flow. Spiritual consultation can be a companionship to this discerning witness. It is a practice of being with others as they learn and grow in their spirituality or as they seek to deepen their relationship with the Universal/God/divine/Spirit/higher power/Flow. It is a contemplative practice to help us awaken to the mystery of the divine and of existence, expand one’s inner awareness, and experience stillness, peace, happiness, and joy.
Spiritual consultation is often a conversation, in the light of one’s spiritual beliefs, about one’s life, the ways in which the Universal/God/divine/Spirit/higher power/Flow may be directly or indirectly touching one’s life, spiritual doubts and questions, faith, and the search for guidance, insight, and answers. It may, at times, involve sitting together in silence to witness/observe/listen to the transcendent and spiritual aspects of human experience. It may support one’s discerning and releasing of obstacles (whether they are beliefs, situational, or stemming from mental/physical/emotional tensions). It may involve mind, body, spirit, and community practices (and, with Citrinī, yoga practices). Spiritual consultation can also be a support for the spiritual lifestyle one has chosen to live. From a yogic perspective, spiritual consultation is based on moving toward the realization of freedom and union with all of creation and the Divine. In yoga, the body-mind-spirit provides the experience of a moving meditation and the body is an instrument of meditation, prayer, and connection. (This is antithetical to the yoga-as-exercise perspective, though, of course, a moving body also builds strength, flexibility, and health which supports what one is doing in the physical world). Spiritual consultation also aims to promote internal and external peace, compassion, love, justice, and service.
Spiritual consultation is often bathed in the context and language of a particular cultural and spiritual tradition. I aim to meet you using your language, experience, religious and cultural context, and to help you describe experiences which often seem transcendent and beyond description. Spiritual consultation aims to encourage transcendent experiences and help us articulate, integrate, understand, and/or embody such experiences – experiences which may be difficult to describe and may lie beyond words/names.
Spiritual consultation is not counseling, therapy, or financial advice, though it can be offered in one-on-one private or group sessions with a spiritual advisor. It can be appropriate, at times, to discuss personal struggles, challenges in relationships, or financial concerns in the context of spiritual consultation, yet the spiritual companion does not provide psychotherapy services or financial advice.
The FAQ page for Oasis Ministries (based in Pennsylvania) is a tremendous resource, at http://www.oasismin.org/FAQs.html. The information at Spiritual Directors International is also a great resource, at http://www.sdiworld.org/find-a-spiritual-director/what-is-spiritual-direction.
Citrinī has a varied spiritual and religious background. She aims to live with reverence for herself, others, the planet, and the Universal, and draw from the depths of wisdom and connection revealed through numerous spiritual traditions. Citrinī is a trained psychologist and a registered yoga instructor, certified through Kali Ray TriYoga in Basics through Level 3. She is the director and owner of TriYoga hOMe Philadelphia at Mind-Body Services (previously the TriYoga Center of Philadelphia). (Read more information about her as a psychologist or as a yoga teacher). Since a young age, she was drawn to the “big questions,” to spiritual inquiry, to contemplative and meditative practices, and to monastic life. In childhood and young adulthood, she regularly attended Christian services (primarily American Baptist, Quaker, Episcopalian, Catholic, and Presbyterian) and participated in Christian retreats and Christian groups. Within the Christian faith, she currently feels most connected to Quaker and contemplative practices. She began meditating regularly, on her own, in high school, and continued with daily practice in college. As a child and adolescent, she was drawn to friends with different faith backgrounds, including a number of Jewish friends, one of whom she went to visit in Israel. Citrinī was a Religion major in college, where she studied Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Native American religions, shamanism, Hinduism, and beliefs and practices of other faiths. She also began practicing and teaching yoga in college. Citrinī studied and practiced Buddhism in India and Nepal in a monastic setting during her college studies abroad, and undertook an independent study on Tibetan Medicine and mental illness, which included a significant focus on shamanistic approaches to healing. Her graduate and post-graduate studies included the use of yoga practices, meditation techniques, and principles of yogic and Buddhist psychology in psychotherapy. Citrinī is a Sanskrit word meaning “bright” in many different aspects. (Read more about her Sanskrit name). She deeply loves working with individuals and groups to promote transformation and help others uncover their connection to the Universal. She is available to support you through private spiritual consultation, contemplative and mindfulness practices, prayer, spiritual dance, chanting, and yoga practices, including asana, mudra, mantra, breathing practices, concentration practices, and meditation (Prāṇa Vidyā).