Spiritual Direction with Buff Barnes


by Buff Barnes

I am a Spiritual Director offering individual and group spiritual direction at The Common Place on the corner of 58th St. and Chester Ave. I think of myself as a Spiritual Companion since the Holy Spirit is the real director of all that happens in a session. Spiritual Direction is a spiritual practice where we meet once a month for folks to come and talk about their lives. It is a good space to be in times of discernment, in times of questioning faith or anything else going on in one’s life, in times of celebration, confusion or sorrow, to name a few. Spiritual Direction is not therapy in that the director does not give advice or try to fix problems. We open to the Spirit and trust that Spirit will guide and, yes, direct, always in love.

One of the gifts of spiritual direction is that it provides a safe and confidential space for people to talk about what is going on in their lives. Naming challenges, experiences and life events is the first step to processing them, inviting God into them and noticing how God is using them in our growth as human beings. The first step is to come to a session and talk about those things that are on your heart. 

Spiritual Direction sessions are open to people of all ages. I meet with people ranging in age from their mid twenties to their seventies. People on the older end of that range tend to seek our spiritual direction perhaps because they have more life experience they are seeking to understand and integrate. Spiritual direction is a valuable practice for people of all ages.

It seems hard for many people to accept the love that is available to them through Spirit. The idea of being beloved is something that can be hard to fully grasp. Knowing oneself as beloved can have a deep, powerful and positive effect on the way one lives life. There can be a tremendous freedom of spirit that comes with the acceptance of that love.

The greatest gift of spiritual direction is hearing the stories that people share in our sessions … stories of challenge, stories of joy, stories of experiences of God and so many more. Hearing and seeing the ways that God works in the lives of the folks who come for spiritual direction is edifying, inspiring and awesome. I feel blessed to be in a position to open a space and time for folks to ultimately grow in their faith with a deeper understanding of God. A deeper and more intimate relationship with God often follows this growth in faith and understanding.

To learn more about spiritual direction or to make an appointment, email Buff Barnes, buff@thecommonplacephilly.org

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