Contemplative Spiritual Direction Training

~ Cohort IV 2019  We are now accepting applications--there is time in Fall 2018 to take the necessary pre-requisites ~



radically present to what is

thoughtful, pensive, reflective, meditative, ruminative, introspective, brooding


Contemplative Spiritual Direction Training IV 2019

March 13-17, July 10-14, and Nov 13-17, 2019 

A year-long program with three residential intensives and distance learning modules before and between the intensives.


Preparatory/Pre-Requisite Work:

The Alcyon Center Cornerstones Trainings focus on three areas of preparation for the year-long Contemplative Spiritual Direction Training IV.  Participation in Cornerstone Training 1 Engaging SIlence, Heart and Earth and at least one of the other two (Mapping Culture with Soul or The Portal of Sacred Text) is required preparation for applying to the 2019 CSD Cohort IV.  We recommend, it at all possible, taking Cornerstones Trainings 1, 2 and 3 to be well prepared for the practices and frames of reference at the heart of the CSD Training.



Grounded in the contemplative practices of silence and heart awareness, and informed by the ancient tradition of spiritual direction, we seek to meet the challenges of our time. We do this by listening and attending to the voices speaking from the fertile eddies, margins and liminal spaces of our world.

With the continual unfolding of traumatic world events, we feel that we must find ways to overcome our “spectator consciousness” so as to be truly present to the sufferings and spiritual hunger that confronts us. We bring contemplative practice to bear on such phenomena as addiction, trauma and environmental degradation so as to become more receptive to their meaning and what is being asked of us. We have found that this approach has radically reoriented our frames of reference and ways of thinking about world, soul and future.

Rooted in the fertile ground of the Christian contemplative tradition and designed to deepen capacities for spiritual presence and leadership and in our turbulent times, this training is open to all who feel called to the way of inner Christianity:

  • a living practice of presence to silence
  • a renewed understanding of the human journey
  • a transformational engagement with sacred text


Overview of Training

Spiritual direction is rooted in the ancient tradition of ‘companioning’ a person or group as they embark upon the inner way of sacred service. The contemplative spiritual director does not so much offer guidance as he/she cultivates a capacity for listening. Hence our program does not train ‘directors’ but rather ‘midwives’ who inwardly listen with others to the ‘speaking silence’ of the ever emerging world.

At the most basic level, we do this by entering silence and cultivating heart awareness. Heart awareness brings us into an intimate and receptive resonance with the Earth, her creatures, and our fellow human beings. We foster this intimacy so as to help heal the alienation that characterizes our time. This work is eminently practical and can be applied to virtually any activity or situation.

The Alcyon training in Contemplative Spiritual Direction is comprised of three major components: 1) contemplative practice, 2) individual spiritual direction and, 3) study. We use these practices to deepen our awareness and understanding of the myriad catastrophes besetting our world.


Contemplative Spiritual Direction Training IV:  March 13-17, July 10-14, and Nov 13-17, 2019 

Full Details and 2019 Application


Some Background Information about the origins of the CSD Training Programs

from Letter of Inquiry for Grant from The BTS Center Innovation Incubator 2016

In early June 2016 we received a $20,000 grant from the The BTS Center’s Innovation Incubator to help us “continue to think boldly about practical, grounded and visionary scholarship, research and training to inspire and form spiritual leaders working at the most vulnerable edges of our culture.”

The grant recognized that our inaugural Training in Contemplative Spiritual Direction, with 13 students, is the seed of a comprehensive and visionary model for forming spiritual leaders for contemplatively grounded and prophetic ministries. With this grant we will form this seed vision into an annual program and related trainings. We are grateful and honored to be part of this first granting cycle.  Our Letter of Inquiry (PDF) for the grant describes the background, vision and preparation for this training.