2:00 - 3:30 PM

Four workshops are included in the registration price. Each registrant will be able to choose one workshop from each of the four Sessions: A, B, C and D (2:00-3:30 and 4:00-5:30 on Friday and Saturday). SDI will send you a form at the end of October inviting you to sign up for your four workshops. 

Come to engage, participate, and learn from the SDI global learning community! CEUs are available for workshop participants.





White people often experience race and racism as belonging to others rather than being our issue as well. We need to become aware that we, by the fact of our whiteness and our white privilege, are an integral part of systemic, structural and institutional racism that have been part of United States culture from its founding. We who have this unearned advantage need to come to terms with our white privilege. As we begin to acknowledge how we benefit from the norm of whiteness and the impact it has on people of color, we can become more prepared to take part in dismantling institutional oppression and unjust systems.


Information and mis-information about racism and white privilege is available everywhere. People often react to this information with strong opinions and deep emotions turning many conversations about race into fierce arguments that serve no one. There is another way to respond to the information about race and white privilege. We can engage in contemplative conversations that serve to transfer the information and our strong reactions from head to heart. This workshop will be such an experience as we turn inward to reflect on our own lived experience.


Story telling will be the vehicle for opening our hearts. Contemplative sharing and compassionate listening can help us open our eyes to the hidden parts of ourselves that have contributed to the continuation of racial oppression. These insights carry the opportunity to integrate our new awareness into our ongoing and expanding sense of who we are and who we are called to be. This is soul work and takes courage and the support of a spiritual community to become a healing presence in a broken and hurting world.


Racism Through the Lens of White Privilege: A Spiritual Quest 

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Reverend Jane Vennard was called to the ministry of teaching and spiritual direction and ordained in 1987 by the United Church of Christ. She is retired senior adjunct faculty at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado, USA. Jane has presented workshops at SDI conferences and offered a Plenary Address at the 20th anniversary celebration in 2010. She has led programs for Spiritual Direction Colorado’s continuing education events including an afternoon on the topic of racism. A number of church groups have also sponsored programs on white privilege including UU, Catholic, Episcopal, and UCC. Jane has taught in spiritual direction formation programs at Garrett Theological Seminary, Columbia Theological Seminary and The Community of Christ spiritual formation program. She is a spiritual director in private practice and the author of eight books. 


The Here & WOW! Spiritual Companionship in the Digital Age


Do you find it difficult to keep pace with technology?

Are you interested in learning practical ways to reach and serve young people?

Are you excited to be living in this Interspiritual/Digital Age?


Interspiritual pioneer Brother Wayne Teasdale wrote in his seminal book The Mystic Heart,

“Daily spiritual practice is the technology of inner change.” While long-time contemplative practitioners tend to be less tech-savvy in terms of digital media, they’re wise regarding spiritual technologies. The younger generations handle digital technologies with ease, but they hunger for the kind of deep and authentic spiritual technologies that bring inner change. Join us for this interactive and experiential workshop where you’ll come away with practical tools to help you bridge the digital/spiritual divide. The Interspiritual/Digital Age is here. Wow!

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Kate Sheehan Roach began her editorial career with Bedford Books of St. Martin’s Press, later serving as founding editor of Contemplative Journal and as managing editor of the Spirituality channel at She now serves as Director of Content for and as a founding member She is a certified Centering Prayer facilitator with Contemplative Outreach, and she serves on the national service team of 12 Step Outreach and the North America Leadership Council for the United Religions Initiative. She holds a BA in American Studies from Mt. Holyoke College and an MA in History from the University of Connecticut.

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Jeff Genung is co-founder and president of Contemplative Life, a non-profit digital hub that connects people and communities with transformative practices. He’s also a core team member of an on-line experiential practice network called and a Prosocial facilitator, training groups to integrate science and spirituality. A lifelong student and teacher of contemplative practices, Jeff’s professional career as a technology executive and entrepreneur is now focused on developing technology solutions that help people integrate practices in authentic and meaningful ways. Jeff has a BS in Business from Cornell University and an MDiv from Sophia Divinity School.

Listen to Jeff and Kate on this episode of SDI Encounters - the SDI Podcast.



Dreams: A Portal to the Divine

Spiritual Direction is a psycho-spiritual relationship between seeker and companion and between the outer world of ego and the inner world of spirit.  In spiritual companionship we often hear questions like “What does God want me to do or be?” “Where is there meaning in this situation?” “How do I know that what I hear is the voice of the Divine?”


What if there is a portal to the answers for these questions that is easily accessible and ever present? There is such a portal and it is dream work – the practice of translating messages from our nightly dreams into waking life understanding. Across time and religious traditions, dreams are known as a profound source of communication with the Divine.


This workshop introduces the practice of projective dream work based on the analytical psychology methods of Carl Jung; offering tools for navigating the path toward spiritual maturity, bypassing ego resistance by using the language of symbol and metaphor, imagery and story. Workshop participants are invited to bring a dream to share, or to participate in a circle to process a dream.  The deep listening and shared inner images of the group experience introduce the deep inner work used to address psychological and spiritual issues frustrating our spiritual growth. Dream work enables practitioners to engage in social justice concerns motivated by compassion and reconciliation rather than projection, anger and self-righteousness. The projective method offers a model for both group and individual work and many Spiritual Directors find dream work to be a deepening and enriching modality for accessing divine wisdom in spiritual companionship.  A brief lecture, with time for questions, follows the dream group demonstration to expand on the foundational principles of Jungian psychology as a path to psychological wholeness, spiritual resilience and integrated social engagement.

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Allen Proctor is the Director of the Haden Institute, a program that trains Spiritual Directors and Dream Workers in the Jungian, Mystical Christian tradition. Allen is a Spiritual Director, Dream Work Facilitator and Presbyterian minister.  Throughout his ministry he has worked with others on questions of identity, relationships, vocation and meaning, using dream work, the Enneagram, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, meditation practices and Celtic spirituality.



Body, Soul, and the World: Liberating Life Within and Among
with a very special welcome to recovering serious people


Play. Reflect. Gain Tools. Grow. Glow.
We are in a time of re-centering the wisdom of the body. As we shift, we ask what does the body want? Freedom? Love? Belonging? Your birthright practices– your stories, movement, voice, connection, and stillness bring you power and guidance. Is this why dominant forces repeatedly oppress and outlaw the embodied wisdom ways? In this workshop, you’ll explore easy ideas and enjoyable practices that help unlock wisdom and creativity in your body as it is. You’ll research affirmation, playfulness and take time to notice and reflect each step of the way. You also take away tools and creative methods that are helping individuals and groups around the world to shift from trauma and stress to grace and spiritual health.


Soyinka Rahim, GSP, is a Grassroots Spiritual Practitioner and thefounder of BIBOLOVE, which stands for breathe in, breathe out love, as well as an InterPlay leader. She brings her talents to raising thevibration of love across cultural, racial, gender, and economic divides.She is an all-around creative: dancer, choreographer, found-objectsartist, poet, singer, songwriter musician. Her BIBOLOVE chants andsongs are available at CD Baby for download or CD purchase. She has been a Conference Weaver and facilitator at the Facing Race conference, the Parliament of World Religions, and many other events.

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Cynthia Winton-Henry coaches leaders who are seeking body wisdom and spiritual intelligence for our time. A co-founder of InterPlay, an active, creative approach to unlock the wisdom of the body, she was featured at the International Expressive Arts Conference, The International Enneagram Conference, The National Equity Project, and the Art Religion Culture conference. She has taught in seminaries and conferences around the world and is the author of What the Body Wants, Having It All: Body, Mind, Heart & Spirit Together Again at Last, Dance: A Sacred Art: Discovering the Joy of Movement as Spiritual Practice, and Chasing the Dance of Life: A Faith Journey. Her current writing is on Body Wisdom, Activism, and “Ensoulment Initiations.”



Serving from Within: Reconnecting with Purpose and Meaning through Spiritual Companionship

Colleen Sharka, MA, LMHC, is a psychotherapist and spiritual director. She serves as Director of The Cory Johnson Program for Post-Traumatic Healing, Roxbury Presbyterian Church Social Impact Center, Boston, MA; a community trauma healing program that focuses on community companions abiding as peers with those who come through the door seeking accompaniment on their healing journeys.   She previously served as the Director of Spiritual Formation & Accompaniment at Still Harbor, a non-profit in the service of accompanying individuals and organizations around the intersection of spirituality and social justice.  She previously served as the Chair of Spiritual Directors International’s Spirituality & Health Care Institute.  

The most challenging questions of our lives, especially during these times, concern our evolving sense of being:  Who am I?  What do I believe? What is my purpose?  How do I connect with others?  How do I connect with the unknown?  These are essentially spiritual questions which are discerned through the interaction and integration of our interior and exterior lives.  People often seek spiritual companionship after extended periods of stress, grief, or trauma, that lead to these profound questions which center around purpose and meaning. To be of service as a spiritual companion, requires an ability to profoundly listen to and connect with others as well as with our deepest sense of self. This workshop will provide an opportunity to reflect, deepen, and explore reconnection with who you are and your sense of purpose and meaning in your life and work in the world. 

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Evolution of East meets West: Meeting Contemporary Needs of Spiritual Direction with Sanatan Dharma


Sanatan Dharma, or the age old philosophy identified as Hinduism, has informed Western spiritual direction since Swami Vivekananda spoke in Chicago in 1893. Spiritual directors are individuals committed to helping others seek and find connection with a higher power, however that power might be defined. In this session, we will explore those intersections of East and West just integrating into spiritual direction and forming new paths: including but not exclusive to 1) the role of Mother as first spiritual companion and the Divine Feminine, including Movement towards balance of Divine Masculine and Feminine (Shiv and Shakti), 2) the call to be in spiritual companionship while active in life and earlier and earlier in human development and the intersection of contemplation and activism, and 3) appreciating the new forms and formats of spiritual companionship emerging (how can we work together to best serve team human).

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Preeta Banerjee, Ph D is a spiritual companion who draws on a broad and deep range of experience, having spent 20 years in academia, coaching and consulting as an advocate, educator, researcher and author. She is a strong voice for combining spirituality, creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and social change. Her daily practice comes from yoga, Let Your Yoga Dance, meditation, as well as being an Ayurveda and a black-belt Tae Kwon Do practitioner. Co-founder and partner at WhiteLeaf Advisors LLC, she previously led a team at Deloitte and was a business school professor at Brandeis and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She has a PhD in Strategic Management from the Wharton School and BS in Computational Biology and Business from Carnegie Mellon.



The Unashamed Body: Techniques for Healing

Listen to Preeta on this episode of SDI Encounters - the SDI Podcast.

The beliefs we hold about ourselves and our bodies are greatly influenced by destructive cultural messages and religious teaching that, in turn, instill shame and guilt. Our culture instills body shame by creating body hierarchies of value. For example, it is shameful to be poor, a person of color, LGBTQI, or a non-thin, or differently-abled person. In addition, much of religion with a heteronormative bias adds to that shame by promoting sexual guilt. This guilt and shame impact our faith experience impeding our journey toward spiritual wholeness. This “left brain” belief system of judgment becomes embedded in our bodies in ways that restrict and limit our capacities to fully appreciate the body. In summary, shame limits our joy. Yet, the body has a contrary wisdom that not only knows no shame, but remembers the goodness of being alive. When given a supportive environment, theological affirmation, and permission to celebrate itself, our bodies can counter destructive messages and move toward healing. This workshop identifies some of the sexually debilitating lessons and body shaming techniques as well as by offering the “right brain” experiences of various modalities that include movement, affirmation, and guided imagery, specifically, body-positive Christian meditations. A Christian emphasis is in recognition of this religion’s significant role in fostering shame. The underlying assumption of this workshop is that the body is not a hindrance to the spiritual life but rather, the sensual and sexual body has a wisdom that can be employed in the service of healing. 

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Rev. Dr. Beverly Dale is the Chair and Founder of the non-profit, Incarnation Institute for Sex & Faith where she trains professional leadership an inclusive, science-friendly, and sex-positive Christianity. An artist and musician she has written, produced and performed in her one-woman show, An Irreverent Journey From Eggbeaters to Vibrators. She is the co-author of Advancing Sexual Health for The Christian Client recently published in 2019 by Routledge Publications. This unique resource provides tools for theological and sexual health professionals as it combines the insights of science and a sex-positive
Christian theology. Her ministry has included ecumenical campus ministry at the University of Pennsylvania for 21 years and as a local pastor. She is currently serving as clergy-in-residence at United
Christian Church in Levittown, PA and is a professor at Lancaster Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania teaching courses on sexuality and religion.



Santiago Is Not There, Is In You: Preparing For A Pilgrimage Abroad Or At Home

The moment Jeanette and her partner took their first steps on the Camino in Spain and Kumano Kodo in Japan, their lives became forever changed. In this workshop, we will explore what it takes to prepare physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually for a pilgrimage. Participants will gain insight on details related to a physical training plan; questions to ask oneself in anticipation of the journey; discerning why, where and when to go; considering clothing, language, and equipment; recommended books, websites, and travel agencies; and how to re-enter and integrate once home. Jeanette will share personal stories from her pilgrimages – from connection with others and nature to embracing her identity as pilgrim to befriending (or dealing with and making it through the adventure of) bed bugs. We will seek to hear each others’ stories and the pilgrim-lessons we have learned from significant encounters. We will also spend some time in contemplation about meaningful moments from our own journeys at home or abroad and participate in a creative endeavor related to one of them.

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Dr. Jeanette Banashak is a queer and bilingual interspiritual and interreligious companion. She is the co-founder/co-director of The Spiritual Guidance Training Institute, an organization providing training in spiritual direction/companionship with an interfaith and interspiritual focus. Jeanette is the author of The Mindful Pilgrimage: A 40-Day Pocket Devotional for Pilgrims of Any Faith or None and a 30-Day ezine of haiga (haiku and visuals) from the Camino. In 2018, she became a "dual pilgrim" after walking the Camino de Santiago and Kumano Kodo in Spain and Japan. She has traveled to 28 countries and has plans to continue journeying towards home, wherever that may be. Jeanette also teaches social and emotional learning and development at Erikson Institute and spiritual direction at the Graduate Theological Foundation.



Your Sorrow Unmasked: Journeying Though Grief 

Listen to Jeanette on this episode of SDI Encounters - the SDI Podcast.

It has been said that all pastoral work is grief work. Life is flux and change, and so grief -- defined as a complicated response to loss -- haunts nearly every issue that may arise in spiritual companionship, if only we know how to recognize it. Drawing on psychological, spiritual, and artistic resources, this workshop explores the reality of grief in such a way as to enable spiritual directors to understand and respond to the grief experiences of the people they accompany as well as to minister in the midst of their own personal grief.


The workshop will consider grief broadly, helping participants to recognize it in its many different forms: anticipatory grief, complicated grief, disenfranchised grief, institutional grief, as well as the collective social grief of our time -- a grief born of injustice -- which forms the psychic backdrop of so many living in the United States and around the world today. Additionally, participants will explore various means of coping with grief and ways of saying goodbye and honoring relationships.


Far more than a theoretical exploration of the topic, the workshop will be grounded in experience. We will begin by identifying where we stand on our own "grief timelines" and will mine our own experiences for ways in which our personal grief might aid us or distract us while working with others. Aware of how difficult this topic is for many of us, we will not only teach but provide an approach rooted in safety and sensitivity, and we will conclude our time together with a practice of self-compassion. Having grown in our understanding of the grief facet of our own human experience, we hope to become more sensitive hearers, holders, and perhaps even healers for the people we accompany.

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In addition to his work as a spiritual director and retreat director, Nicholas Collura is a member of the Association of Professional Chaplains and works as a palliative care chaplain in Philadelphia. He studied film and literature at Yale University and the University
of Paris before earning an MDiv from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. He trained as a spiritual director at the Jesuit Collaborative in Boston and as a chaplain at Massachusetts General Hospital and Einstein Medical Center, and he spent three years of
his life as a Jesuit on the West Coast. Beyond his work in hospitals, he has ministered on college campuses, in juvenile halls and state prisons, and at a L'Arche community in the Pacific Northwest.



Working with our blind spots: The Enneagram

Working with the elements of the Enneagram we will identify the part of ourself that builds a wall between us and God.  Discovering our blind spots opens ways to understand ourself more honestly and deeply; to learn to forgive ourself and others. It opens us up to our own vulnerability in surrendering to the Beloved.  As we move forward with an acceptance of who we are, we develop new ways of living life fully and in grace filled ways.  

Knowledge of your Enneagram Type is useful, but not necessary as we will work with language of the blind spots of anger, pride, deceit, envy, greed, fear, gluttony, lust (big energy) and sloth.  Meditations and practical exercises will be used.

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Rev. Andrea Andress is a retired deacon of the United Methodist and is a Spiritual Director certified by the Shalem Institute.  An Enneagram teacher certified by the Enneagram Association in the Narrative Tradition (EANT), Andrea is a Founding Member of the Arizona Enneagram Association (AEA) and a member of the International Enneagram Association (IEA).  She provides individual Spiritual Direction and Enneagram Interviews, along with teaching small groups and classes on growing through the Enneagram.  Meditation by the Numbers: 9 Paths for Meditation is a CD Andrea produced on guided meditations based in the Enneagram.  


Compassion-Centered Spiritual Direction: Internal Family Systems as a Model for Spiritual Companions


Internal Family Systems (IFS) is a contemplative, soulful, and non-pathologizing approach to personal healing and spiritual transformation. A contemporary spiritual path, it deepens our connection to a sacred Source of loving energy; it tends, with care, the cacophony of emotions, impulses, and interior self-chatter that so often swirl within us; and it restores us to our true Self, that reservoir of personal power, expansiveness, and compassion that dwells within every human being. This workshop explores how IFS offers a model and process for compassion-centered spiritual direction that deepens connection with the sacred, with others, and with our own spiritual essence.


Frank Rogers is a spiritual director, supervisor, IFS practitioner, retreat leader, writer, and professor of spiritual formation at the ecumenical and inter-faith Claremont School of Theology. He has taught and written in spirituality, contemplative practice, and compassionate social engagement for over 30 years, and is the author of Practicing Compassion and Compassion in Practice: The Way of Jesus. As the Co-Director for the Center for Engaged Compassion, he offers and teaches compassion-based approaches to spiritual direction and supervision.




"I Was Not Born a Mistake": Being Spiritually Real

 67 years ago Yiscvah Smith was born on Long Island, NY as Jeffrey Scott Smith.  In Jerusalem people referred to her as Yaakov. When she left the Jewish tradition, she lived as Jeff in New York and in California.  When she underwent her gender transition in 2001 she adopted the name Jessica.  Now Yiscah has returned to Jerusalem, to her home, to a life of wholeness and to a spiritual practice that infuses her body and soul.  Now her name is Yiscah. Join us as Yiscah shares teachings from Rabbi Kalonymous Kalman Shapira, known as the Piaseczna Rebbe, on opening up to the spiritual life that is within all of us.  The Rebbe's inspiring ideas discuss our inherent spiritual nature, how we awaken to the Divine presence within us and how we can cultivate this awareness in our spiritual practice.  Yiscah will offer reflections as well on how these teachings have manifested in her personal life. Her talk will be anchored, at the beginning and end, by short periods of contemplative silence.


Yiscah Smith is a Torah-based educator, activist and spiritual mentor for men and women, religious and secular, who addresses the spiritual practice of encountering the Divine spark within, the foundation of authentic living. She relies on Jewish spiritual teachings to inform and uplift her students, acting as a compass guiding them back to their own authentic path. Yiscah employs her personal story of the joys and struggles with her spirituality, Jewish tradition and commitment to authentic living. As a spiritual trailblazer, she exemplifies what it means to carve one’s own path: understanding one’s inner being and cultivating the integrity to remaining faithful to that understanding, unapologetically. She teaches Jewish meditative practice and spiritual texts at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies and in her home in Jerusalem. She provides as well spiritual mentoring to individuals seeking an awareness of the Divine spark