We are living in challenging times. And the one thing that should be clear to anyone on the spiritual path right now is that we are being asked to transform. Go willingly, or be dragged, as the saying goes. 

Perhaps you even had plans for your spiritual evolution, but this isn't quite what those plans had looked like. 

It's not fun.

You're overwhelmed, even frozen.

You need help. But you don't know where to find it. You may even feel ashamed to be in the situation you are in. You may or may not realize it, but what's really happened is you've become separated from your Divine Source. 

The Ancient Art of Spiritual Direction 

Mystics throughout history have relied upon the Spiritual Companion or the Soul Friend (the Anam Cara in the Celtic tradition) to navigate times of transition and spiritual growth. This tradition of soul companionship is more commonly called Spiritual Direction today. 

A Spiritual Director is someone who accompanies you on the journey and holds space for whatever you are facing on your spiritual path: sorrow and grief, confusion, fear, longing. The Spiritual Director, contrary to the name, does not direct anything. The Spiritual Director is a skilled listener who is also skilled in the art of questioning. It is the Spiritual Director's job to help you to hear the Divine voice you became separated from during a trying time. We say the Spirit itself is the real Spiritual Director who sits in the "third chair." 

As a Spiritual Director, I enter into conversation with you. I listen. I reflect back what I hear. I ask questions that lead you to your answers. Such spiritual companionship helps you feel less alone in overwhelming times. We talk about ways to bring you into deeper relationship with your Creator. We talk about new ways to pray, meditate, and engage the Divine. 

The Enneagram

We use various tools for growth in Spiritual Direction, and the Enneagram is one of the best tools for spiritual transformation that I know. The Enneagram is a personality typing system with nine points and is based on ancient wisdom. We each hold aspects of all nine types, but we lead with one of the nine, known as our "Enneagram Type." Our Enneagram Type begins to form in childhood and even infancy, as we learn how to get our needs met in our family. These traits stay with us as we grow. When we understand why we do the things we have always done, we have the power to change through the wisdom of the Enneagram. Many who do not understand the Enneagram say it labels us and puts us in a box. But it is through that label that we understand who we are, why we keep doing the things that we do, many of those things that cause us to suffer. The Enneagram liberates us from the box. It sheds light on new ways, better ways to choose. The Enneagram leads us to our growth point by taking us from our Shadow to our Higher Self. It is one of the tools I use as a Spiritual Director. 

The Vital Need to Honor the Body Too

Spiritual Direction gives us someone to share our spiritual journey with, someone to help reveal our fears and hopes to us to help us as we discover our growth point. And that work is essential. But our body is our vehicle for the spiritual journey. It can't be ignored.

The body holds tissue memory. It holds answers and wisdom as well. As a massage therapist trained in various forms of somatic bodywork including the John Barnes Approach to Myofascial Release, Craniosacral Therapy, and AMMA Therapy®, I am able to guide you toward greater body awareness, which means healing at a more profound level. 

Classical Acupuncture: You are the force between Heaven and Earth

As a classical acupuncturist, I view the body as part of the circuitry of humanity and the cosmos. Taoists say we are the force between Heaven and Earth. We are part of the whole and how we vibrate affect the greater whole. When we align ourselves with the Tao, we are restored to our true nature and reconnect to our Divine purpose. This is what we are here for. Do I treat physical pain? Of course I do. But the reason you felt into physical pain is you fell out of harmony with the Tao. And so this is what I seek to do: restore balance to the point where you fell out of energetic harmony. 

The Bach Flower Remedies: Yet another way to support your spiritual transformation

As a Bach Flower Certified Practitioner, I am trained to recognize certain patterns in your story, past and present, patterns that create stressors and cause you suffering. As a certified Enneagram practitioner as well, I am also trained to identify how these patterns may overlap, essentially using the Bach Flower Remedies to nourish your Enneagram type and create a formula that addresses the deepest aspects of who you are on your spiritual journey. 

Where Is Your Growth Point?

Wherever you are breaking open on your spiritual journey, I am here for you with multidisciplinary approaches to healing in body, mind, and spirit. It matters not where you start, only that you begin. 


Maria Mandarino

Maria Mandarino

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