The Guild for Spiritual Guidance

October 2022 Newsletter

Monthly Reflection

by Cari Keith

Equinox, a time of earth balance, of night and day bowing to each other in perfect harmony, a planetary yin and yang. During this time of planetary harmony, our Graduate Circle and the new AP XXII cohort of 13 are meeting at Wisdom House in a shared circle that is growing into balance in ways we have dreamed of, but not experienced.

Carmen Lund, a graduate of the AP program and our retreat presenter for the weekend encouraged us to trust our hearts and hands in the process of seeing more deeply, of seeing beyond “I recognize that…” to “I recognize that…and now I wonder…”. To Guild members, the AP remains a recognizable program of spiritual formation enhanced by its familiar strands (mystics, depth psychology and cosmology) and engaged within a context of a safe, supportive, welcoming community. And…over the course of its history, the Guild has heard and accepted the “I wonder…” invitation and the changes that evolved from that wondering.

Since its inception the Guild has been intentional about providing the space and acceptance for those seeking deeper self-awareness in order to move in the world with greater global awareness. The personal changes that evolved in those who experience the Guild AP have rippled out to changes in the Guild program itself. We have widened our circle of wisdom to include the sacred voices of all spiritual traditions, an intentional community strand, and programming for seekers who are not Guild members. We moved from in-person only, to Zoom in order to include those who could not travel the distance to Connecticut. Each and every step has brought us to more inclusion, to a wider circle.

This year is particularly exciting. The new AP class is the most diverse in the Guild’s history. When I pause to take a breath and look back on the Guild process of trusting our dreams, articulating those dreams, holding those dreams in incubation, questioning those dreams, detouring with those dreams, and courageously reimagining and moving into actualizing those dreams, I find that I am witness to organizational individuation in process. It takes years and a willingness to hold a dream lightly, but to hold it none the less, for that dream
to become actualized.

A bit of history: After years of discussion, in May of 2019 the Guild board approved a diversity statement to guide the widening of our circle and to deepen our understanding of the ways in which a diverse Guild membership would be better equipped to be active agents of sacred listening and sacred response in the world. That statement reads in part, “Science has taught us that diversity is a key element of sustainability. From a depth psychology point of view, by cultivating a healthy balance in the human psyche, as well as an external perspective within eco-systems, organizations, and communities is a key element in enhancing [overall] resilience…” In all areas of life, our perspective and understanding grow when we are willing to risk listening to those who share new thoughts, ideas, and stories. Without a willingness to listen – without listening as a spiritual practice – and a desire to share, growth is stunted and wisdom is lost.

In June of 2019 the Guild moved from a statement on paper, to gathering for book groups on racial diversity, to pondering the questions of racial hurt and healing in café conversations. In September, 2021 Fanny Brewster led Guild graduates in a conversation on archetypal trauma and ways in which understanding racism is often and/or unconscious. She has continued to work with Guild members for the past year. It is as if the Spirit has been leading us one step at a time to this next evolution of Guild in the world. AP XXII has 13 apprentices with a diversity richness the Guild has never experienced! The opportunity for growth and healing is wider and broader than at any other time in the history of the Guild. This process has involved more than a handful of people. It takes many voices, many conversations, many prayers, many hours. We have been blessed by generous donors, courageous applicants, a supportive board, a diversity team, the presence of Fanny Brewster, and the AP leadership wisdom of Dianne Disston and Dorothee Caulfield.

The Guild for Spiritual Guidance, the organization and its members, are increasingly active in the world’s social justice issues as our founders taught and envisioned in a long-range dream. The deeper we recognize our interconnectedness to the world and all life, the more we recognize our need to be part of healing the world in all of its wounded places. In whatever ways you might feel called to healing, the Guild is evolving to serve and to serve with you.

Are You Called to the New Spiritual Guidance Supervision Program?

The new one-year program in Spiritual Guidance Supervision with a Depth Psychology Orientation invites those who are called to begin a private practice of one-to-one interfaith spiritual guidance or who are already engaged in practicing interfaith spiritual guidance to refine their skills as a spiritual guide. 

If you are looking for support in your spiritual guidance practice; if you are looking to grow in understanding of yourself and the ways in which you are present with your guidees; if you are looking to deepen your skill with guidees; and if you desire to deepen your understanding of depth psychology and its impact on their practice, this program will appeal to you

The curriculum utilizes a depth psychology focus as well as individual and peer supervision for aiding you to gain deeper perspective and awareness of self, and self in relationship to the guide.

Participants meet in-person at Wisdom House for the opening weekend. The other sessions will be via Zoom. 


Learn More

Explore the Natural Cycles of the Earth Community with “Rewilding with Creation: Living the Rhythms of the Seasons” to Begin January 2023.

Guild members and friends, come delve into the natural cycles of the earth and our embedded experiences of them in a new year-long Engaged Wisdom program, Rewilding with Creation, starting in January 2023.

Rewilding with Creation ask participants to consider the following questions:

  • How do we participate in the natural cycles of the earth community?

  • How do we develop and support our capacities to co-create with the earth?

  • Is there one consciousness embedded in creation?

  • How do we relate to the synergy of the deep cycles of the earth?

  • How do we receive and celebrate that relatedness? 

If these questions resonate with you, consider registering for this in-depth, 12-month course. You will explore your local bioregion, journal about your experiences with nature, and employ contemplative practices. 

“Rewilding with Creation” covers four modules of three months each: Season of Dormancy to Quickening from January through March; Season of Life Bursting Forth from April through June; Season of Harvest from July through September; and Season of Preparation for the Dark from October through December.

Guild member, environmental educator, and longtime staff member with the Vermont Wilderness School Amy Hyatt will lead the program.
Learn More

Join us in a Pilgrimage to Assisi: May 2023

by Paul Kimmerling and Rev. Br. Mark D’Alessio

Perugia: City of Exile and Captivity

“In the Footsteps of Francis and Clare”, the Guild’s Pilgrimage to Assisi in May 2023, is an opportunity for you to call forth what is deepest within you as you experience the marvels of Assisi and beyond. During Pilgrimage A, we encounter Francis and Clare through their life experiences and writings, with visits to major sacred sites within Assisi. In Pilgrimage B, we journey beyond Assisi to 4 cities with Franciscan heritage - Perugia, Gubbio, Greccio and La Verna.

During visits to those cities on Pilgrimage B, we explore significant events and legends related to Francis and Clare through the lens of the Guild’s 4 strands. Our first day trip, to Perugia, allows us to examine two historical events - the exile of St Clare’s family, and St Francis’ imprisonment - through the lens of Sacred Community. We ponder experiences of displacement and captivity and their relationship to community as we consider these specific events in Franciscan history.
Here are some highlights you can look forward to in Perugia.

The Rocca Paolina was built over a number of medieval houses and stores, the remains of which we can see after entering the imposing “Gate of Mars” (Photo group #1, left picture), parts of which date to the Etruscan era. There are a number of plaques inside which help us understand the history of this part of Perugia and locate ourselves among these now underground streets as we walk.

For example, we will find ourselves on “Baglioni street” the location of the house of the famed and powerful noble Baglioni family. The remains of the houses and stores here may date back to the 13th century – the time of Clare. History does not tell us the exact location of the noble home where Clare and her family lived while in exile in Perugia. But, as we look at one of the recreated domestic scenes pictured here (Photo group #1, right picture), we can imagine that Clare and her family occupied a similar house.

This plaque ((Photo group #2, left picture), in the center of Perugia, marks the location where Francis was held prisoner after the Assisi army failed in their attempt to defeat Perugia’s forces in the battle of Collestrada. He was imprisoned here for about a year. The exact location of the prison seems to be in dispute. And, as with many ancient cities, years of building and rebuilding have eliminated or modified many of Perugia’s structures. But the prison location is quite close to this glorious scenic overlook (Photo group #2, right picture), which features ancient houses and an expansive view of the valley. We know that Francis would become a man who wandered this valley, and the world, on foot seeking, praying and preaching. So, imagine being held captive for a year, unable to witness this stunning landscape as its complexion changed over 4 seasons.
Food, Culture and History
Perugia has grand piazzas, intimate side streets and plenty of al fresco dining choices (Photo group #3, left picture). After our morning together, you can enjoy lunch at one of the numerous restaurants, from informal to fancy, from Italian to Asian. Save room for gelato! Then, enjoy a visit the National Gallery or the Cathedral of San Lorenzo. Inside, at the Chapel of St. Bernardino, is the most important artwork of the church, a Deposition from the Cross by Federico Barocci (1567–1569). Sharing the square with the cathedral is the Fontana Maggiore, a marble fountain with carvings of biblical scenes and zodiac signs.

In mid-afternoon, you can join our two facilitators as we visit the Oratorio of San Bernardino (Photo group #3, right picture), himself a Franciscan. This mid-15th century church is considered the greatest example of Renaissance art in Perugia and features a stunning polychrome facade by Agostino di Duccio. Among other wonders to be found inside are an ancient Roman sarcophagus, now repurposed as the altar, containing the remains of Brother Giles (Egidio), an original follower of St Francis.
Food, Culture and History
Join us for “In the Footsteps of Francis and Clare”, to call forth what is deepest within you as you experience the marvels of Assisi and beyond. In the tradition of the Guild’s four strands, you will be introduced to Assisi and the countryside of Umbria in an intimate one-of-a-kind experience honoring all faith traditions. You will be invited into the stories of Francis and Clare as a pathway for touching the human and divine in us all. You have a choice of 3 pilgrimages: A, B and C (C combines A and B). Pilgrimage A highlights Franciscan sites in and around Assisi. During Pilgrimages B and C, we visit storied Franciscan sites beyond Assisi - Perugia, Gubbio, Greccio and La Verna.

Single and double rooms are available. Space is limited. ALL are welcome! To register and for more details, click on the button below or contact your pilgrimage facilitators, Paul Kimmerling and Br. Mark D’Alessio, at
Register Today!

Join the Virtual Coffee Cafe Tuesdays at 10 am 

Guild graduates, if you love the idea of connecting with friends from your Apprenticeship Program and other Guild graduates, join the Coffee Café every Tuesday morning at 10 am. There are people who would love to see you and reconnect.

There is no cost to attend the Coffee Café.
Join us via Zoom.

Silent Meditation Tuesday Evenings and Thursday Mornings

Gather for silent meditation and prayer on Tuesday evenings at 9:00 p.m. EST and/or Thursday mornings at 6:30 a.m. EST. There is no program as such. Log on, settle in, breathe, and sit together with our Guild family, holding the world, the Guild, our lives in holy space. There is no cost for the silent meditations.

Join us via Zoom.

 Upcoming Programs at Wisdom House

Wisdom House is an interfaith retreat and conference center presenting programs in spirituality, wellness, the arts, and ecology, while offering hospitality to academic, civic, nonprofit, and business organizations. Wisdom House hosts in-person weekends for the Guild Apprenticeship Program and Graduate Guild Retreats.

Check out these upcoming programs at Wisdom House:
  • Glasshouse of New Americans Opening Reception, October 2
  • Dream Tending with Guild Member Br. Mark D’Alessio, October 6
  • Praying Simply with Guild Member Laura McEvoy, October 12
  • Women in Recovery, October 14-16
  • The Sacred Wisdom of Nature, October 26
  • Psalm 23 and Me, November 5
Wisdom House Program Information

Upcoming Courses at Deep Time Network 

Evolutionary Rituals: Dancing through the Darkness to the Ecozoic, November 1-29

Deep Time Network Course Information

Writers and Artists Wanted

Would you like to write a reflective piece for the newsletter? Would you like to share your poetry, artwork, or remembrances of what made the Guild such a special experience for you? Would you like to write a profile of a Guild member for the newsletter? If so, please contact Lou Anne Bulik. 
You’re receiving this because you’re a member of the Guild or a Guild member has recommended you because of shared interests. We hope you enjoy hearing from us, but if you would prefer not to receive this, then feel free to unsubscribe at any time.   Shalom. Salaam. Peace.
October 2022
Copyright 2021, Guild for Spiritual Guidance, All rights reserved.
Header Photo Credit, John Keith

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The Guild for Spiritual Gudiance · 25 Gordon Avenue · Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510 · USA

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