Spiritual Guidance across Religions: A Sourcebook for Spiritual Directors and Other Professionals Providing Counsel to People of Differing Faith Traditions

A unique approach to understanding the faith traditions of the world and enriching your spiritual counsel. This comprehensive professional resource approaches a wide array of faith traditions from a perspective that blends theology, history and an understanding of the common spiritual practices in each faith.

Edited by Rev. John R. Mabry, PhD

6 x 9, 400 pp | 978-1-59473-546-2

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The groundbreaking professional resource for providing spiritual guidance to people from faith traditions other than your own.

This comprehensive resource offers valuable information for providing spiritual guidance to people from a wide variety of faith traditions. Covering the world's faith traditions as well as interfaith, blended and independent approaches to spirituality, each chapter is written by a spiritual guidance professional from that tradition or who works extensively with people from that tradition. Each chapter provides:

  • An overview of the tradition, including basic beliefs
  • Methods for spiritual guidance honored in that tradition
  • Common spiritual problems encountered by people of that tradition
  • Tips, techniques and practices
  • Helpful resources for further learning

Dan Mendelson Aviv, PhD • Måns Broo, PhD • Rev. Cathleen Cox, MAT, MDiv • Ervad Soli P. Dastur • Karen L. Erlichman, MSS, LCSW • Jonathan Figdor, MDiv • Rev. John A. Jillions, PhD • Siri Kirpal Kaur Khalsa • Rev. Daijaku Judith Kinst, PhD • Ozgur Koca • Bruce Lescher, PhD • Rev. Ann Llewellyn Evans • Rev. Dr. Jim Lockard • Rev. John R. Mabry, PhD • Fr. Scott McCarthy, DMin • Moojan Momen, MB, BChir • Wendi Momen, PhD • Richard K. Payne, PhD • Susan S. Phillips, PhD • James Michael Reeder, LCPC, CPRP • Robert A. Rees, PhD • Bharat S. Shah, MD • He Feng Dao Shi • Joshua Snyder • Rev. N. Graham Standish, PhD, MSW • Chief Luisah Teish • Christopher Titmuss

Religions Covered (by Estimated U.S. Population)

Evangelical • Christianity • Roman Catholicism • Mormonism • Judaism • Reformed Christianity • Eastern Orthodox • Christianity • Islam • Buddhism • Hinduism • Spiritual Eclecticism • Unitarian Universalism • Neo-Paganism • Bahá'í Faith • Sikhism • Shinto • Humanism • New Thought • Zoroastrianism • Native American Religion • African Diaspora Spirituality • Daoism • Jainism • Confucianism

“Wonderful.... Opens the door to many historic and traditional paths.... Recommend[ed] to everyone I know in ministry and in spiritual counseling and direction.”

Rev. Tim Miner, OUnI, executive director, Council of Interfaith Communities of the United States

“Why did no one ever do this before? This is an excellent, trustworthy and needed resource for spiritual directors today!”

Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM, Center for Action and Contemplation

“The first—possibly only—book of its kind! [A] remarkable ... resource [for] spiritual guides who aspire to serve ... in ever-more aware and relevant ways.”

Rev. Lauren Van Ham, interfaith spiritual director and dean, Chaplaincy Institute

“The contemporary spiritual guide would do well to have this dynamic book as part of their collection and as on-going education in the field.”

Anne Huffman, PhD, director, MA in Spiritual Guidance, Sofia University

“Finally, the go-to textbook that chaplains and spiritual directors ... deserve.... Goes deeper than the traditional who-what-why-when-where approach to world religions by focusing on spiritual care and healing.... It’s full of gold.”

Paul Chaffee, editor, The Interfaith Observer (TIO)

Introduction ix
Rev. John R. Mabry, PhD

Native Traditions
As Spirit Walks among Us: Insights into theSpiritual Culture of the African Diaspora 3
Chief Luisah Teish
Spiritual Guidance in Native American Religion 16
Fr. Scott McCarthy, DMin
Spiritual Guidance in Shinto: The Way of the Kami 35
Rev. Ann Llewellyn Evans
Spiritual Guidance in the Neo-Pagan Traditions 50
James Michael Reeder, LCPC, CPRP

Religions Originating in China
Spiritual Guidance in the Confucian Tradition 73
Joshua Snyder
Spiritual Guidance in Daoism 83
He Feng Dao Shi

Religions Originating in India
Spiritual Guidance in the Hindu Tradition 99
MŒns Broo, PhD
The Buddha, Theravada Tradition, and Spiritual Guidance 109
Christopher Titmuss
Spiritual Guidance in Mahayana Buddhism
Zen (Chan/Son), Pure Land, Nichiren, and Vajrayana 129
Rev. Daijaku Judith Kinst, PhD, and Richard K. Payne, PhD
Guiding Jains, People of a Democratic Religion 146
Bharat S. Shah, MD
Spiritual Guidance in the Sikh Tradition 164
Siri Kirpal Kaur Khalsa

Religions Originating in the Middle East
Spiritual Guidance in the Zoroastrian Religion 183
Ervad Soli P. Dastur
Spiritual Guidance in the Jewish Community 201
Karen L. Erlichman, MSS, LCSW, with Dan Mendelsohn Aviv, PhD
Muslims and Spiritual Guidance 218
Ozgur Koca
Spiritual Guidance in the Bah‡'’ Faith 231
Wendi Momen, PhD, and Moojan Momen, MB, BChir

Christian Denominations
Spiritual Guidance in Eastern Orthodox Christianity 247
Very Rev. John A. Jillions, PhD
Spiritual Direction in the Roman Catholic Tradition 262
Bruce Lescher, PhD
Spiritual Guidance and the Reformed Tradition 275
Rev. N. Graham Standish, PhD, MSW
Spiritual Guidance in the Evangelical Christian Tradition 289
Susan S. Phillips, PhD
Spiritual Guidance in Mormonism (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) 303
Robert A. Rees, PhD

Interfaõth, Humanõst, And Eclectõc Tradõtõons
Spiritual Guidance in Unitarian Universalism 329
Rev. Cathleen Cox, MAT, MDiv
Guiding Humanists 342
Jonathan Figdor, MDiv
Spiritual Guidance in New Thought—the American Metaphysics 361
Rev. Dr. Jim Lockard
Spiritual Guidance for Spiritual Eclectics 376
Rev. John R. Mabry, PhD


Dan Mendelsohn Aviv, PhD, has been engaged in Jewish learning as an educator,lecturer, professor, and published scholar for almost twenty years. Havingspent three years creating an alternative model for informal education,he recently returned to his greatest passion, classroom instruction. He is alsoan itinerant blogger at http://thenextjew.com, an inchoate podcaster, MacBook zealot, and most important, a proud spouse and father of three.

Måns Broo, PhD, is senior lecturer at the Department of Comparative Religion,Ã…bo Akademi University, Finland. His research interests include CaitanyaVaishnava ritual practices, modern middle-class Hinduism, and issuesof agency and identity within modern yoga practices. He is also editor of theaward-winning Finnish yoga magazine Ananda.

Rev. Cathleen Cox, MAT, MDiv, is a Unitarian Universalist minister andinterfaith spiritual director. Her ministry encompasses both a private practiceserving individuals and life partners and an outreach ministry exploringbest practices for spiritually grounded growth and development incongregations, religious communities, and service-oriented organizationsnationwide. Her passion is companioning others in the creation of joyful,meaning-centered lives and work that offer our best gifts in service to theworld. Her community ministry is affiliated with the Unitarian UniversalistChurch of Berkeley. Contact her at www.revcat.net.

Ervad Soli P. Dastur was born as the last of eleven children in the smallvillage of Tarapur, India, to a priestly family from Udwada. Soli was admittedto the M. F. Cama Athornan Institute boarding school to complete hispriestly studies as well as high school. During his nine years at the boardingschool, Soli completed all the requirements for becoming Navar andMartab and was initiated as a priest in the Holy Iranshah Atash Behram inUdwada. He had to also pass the final examination of Saamel required byall initiated priests from Udwada to be able to perform all inner and outerliturgies. Soli is fully retired and lives with his wife of forty-eight years, JoAnn, in University Park, Florida. He performs religious ceremonies all overFlorida and the rest of the United States. He is an avid tennis player anddabbles with the computer in his free time.

Karen L. Erlichman, MSS, LCSW, provides psychotherapy, spiritual direction,supervision, and mentoring in San Francisco, California. Karen is acore faculty member in the Spiritual Guidance Program at Sofia Universityin Palo Alto, California, as well as an adjunct faculty member at theStarr King School for the Ministry and the Chaplaincy Institute for Arts andInterfaith Ministries. Karen is passionate about creating diverse and welcomingspaces for exploring identity, spirituality, and community. To findout more about Karen, visit her website: www.karenerlichman.com.

Jonathan Figdor, MDiv, is the Humanist chaplain at Stanford University,where he organizes events and programs for both students and communitymembers from the San Francisco Bay Area. Figdor and his work havebeen discussed in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the HuffingtonPost, and the San Francisco Chronicle. He received his BA with honors inphilosophy from Vassar College and holds a master’s degree in Humanismand interfaith dialogue from Harvard Divinity School. A transplanted NewYorker, he lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area in California.

The Very Reverend John A. Jillions, PhD, has been the chancellor of theOrthodox Church in America since late 2011. Previously, he served parishesin Australia, England, Canada, and the United States. He was a foundingdirector and first principal of the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studiesin Cambridge, England, until 2014, and was an associate professor at theSheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies at St. Paul University inOttawa, Canada.

Siri Kirpal Kaur Khalsa is a practicing Sikh, the founder of an interfaithworship organization, and the author of Sikh Spiritual Practice: The Sound Wayto God. She has spoken about Sikhism on televised interfaith panels. Shelives in Eugene, Oregon, with her non-Sikh husband.

Rev. Daijaku Judith Kinst, PhD, a priest and teacher in the Soto Zen lineage,is professor of Buddhism and Buddhist pastoral care and director of theBuddhist Chaplaincy Program at the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley,California. She has taught and led retreats in a variety of settings withteachers from Zen and Tibetan Buddhist traditions and is co-founder andteacher, with Rev. Shinshu Roberts, of the Ocean Gate Zen Center in Capitola,California. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist and maintainsa spiritual guidance practice for people of all faith traditions.

Ozgur Koca is an adjunct professor of Islamic studies at Claremont LincolnUniversity in Claremont, California. His studies focus on Islamic philosophy-theology,Islamic mysticism, contemporary religion and science discussion,environmental ethics, interreligious discourse, and contemporary Islamicmovements and ideologies.

Bruce Lescher, PhD, is adjunct lecturer in Christian spirituality at the JesuitSchool of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, California. He hasbeen involved in the ministry of spiritual direction for over thirty years. Hehas also taught courses on spiritual direction at the Graduate TheologicalUnion, Berkeley, and St. MichaelÂ’s College, Burlington, Vermont.

Rev. Ann Llewellyn Evans is a Shinto priestess, trained and licensed byTsubaki Kami Yashiro, one of the oldest Shinto shrines in Japan. She hashelped introduce Shinto to North America through her involvement withTsubaki Shrine of America in Granite Falls, Washington, through the BrightWoods Spiritual Center in Canada, and through publication of Shinto Norito:A Book of Prayers, an English translation of traditional Shinto prayers.

Rev. Dr. Jim Lockard is active in the Centers for Spiritual Living organizationas a member of the Growth and Development Commission and as theDisaster Relief Coordinator and is currently spiritual leader of the Centerfor Spiritual Living, Simi Valley, California. His most recent book, SacredThinking: Awakening to Your Inner Power, is now out in paperback. He receivedhis bachelor of arts degree from the University of Maryland, College Park,and his master’s degree from the University of Miami. He has served on theboard of directors of the Orphan Foundation and on the board of advisorsof the Foundation for Self-Esteem (Jack Canfield). Dr. Jim lives in Oak Park,California, with his wife and stepdaughter.

Rev. John R. Mabry, PhD, directs the interfaith spiritual direction certificate program at the Chaplaincy Institute in Berkeley and is adjunct faculty in the pastoral ministry program at Santa Clara University. A United Church of Christ minister, he is pastor of Grace North Church in Berkeley, California. He is the author of several books on spiritual direction and spirituality, including Faithful Generations: Effective Ministry across Generational Lines.

Fr. Scott McCarthy, DMin, celebrating forty years of pastoral ministryas a Catholic priest in the central California Diocese of Monterey, hasexperienced a variety of multicultural parochial settings. His travels havetaken him to Europe and most of North America, but lately he concentrateshis free time visiting tribes in Central and South America, learning theirways and offering spiritual counseling as needed. He is author of Celebratingthe Earth: An Earth-Centered Theology of Worship with Blessings, Prayers, andRituals; All One: A Handbook of Ecumenical and Interfaith Worship; People of theCircle, People of the Four Directions; and Sacraments and Shamans: A Priest JourneysAmong Native Peoples. Many years ago he was also adopted by a family of theApsaalooke (Crow) Tribe of Montana.

Moojan Momen, MB, BChir, was born in Iran but was raised and educatedin England, attending the University of Cambridge. He has a special interestin the study of the Baha’i Faith and Shi’i (Shia) Islam, both from the viewpointof their history and their doctrines. His principal publications in thesefields include Introduction to Shi’i Islam; The Babi and BahaÂ’i Faiths 1844–1944:Some Contemporary Western Accounts; and The Phenomenon of Religion (republishedas Understanding Religion). He has contributed articles to EncyclopediaIranica and the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World. He is a Fellowof the Royal Asiatic Society.

Wendi Momen, PhD, studied economics and international relations atthe London School of Economics, of which she is now a governor. She isa founding member of the European Bahá’í Business Forum (ebbf), is amagistrate, and sits on a number of boards relating to social issues includinghealth, the advancement of women, interfaith work, and philanthropy. Sheis the author of twelve books and a consultant to the Bahá’í Office for theAdvancement of Women in the United Kingdom.

Richard K. Payne, PhD, is dean and Yehan Numata Professor of JapaneseBuddhist Studies at the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley, California,an affiliate of the Graduate Theological Union, and he is a member of theGTUÂ’s core doctoral faculty. He is editor of a number of scholarly series onBuddhism, and his ongoing research focuses on tantric Buddhist ritual. Heerratically blogs at http://rkpayne.wordpress.com.

Susan S. Phillips, PhD, executive director and professor at New CollegeBerkeley (part of Berkeley’s Graduate Theological Union), is a Universityof California, Berkeley–trained sociologist as well as a spiritual director andsupervisor. She teaches in San Francisco Theological Seminary’s SpiritualDirection Institute, supervises New College Berkeley’s Group SpiritualDirection Program, and is the author of Candlelight: Illuminating the Art ofSpiritual Direction.

James Michael Reeder, LCPC, CPRP, is a Neo-Pagan and a psychotherapistin private practice in Baltimore, Maryland. He holds a master of science inclinical community counseling and a post-graduate certificate in spiritualand existential counseling, both from Johns Hopkins University. He can bereached at michael@hygeiacounseling.com and www.hygeiacounseling.com.

Robert A. Rees, PhD, teaches Mormon studies at Graduate TheologicalUnion in Berkeley and the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Rees hasbeen active in religious and Mormon studies over the course of his academiccareer. He has served as the editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought (1970–1976) and as chair of the Sunstone Foundation, and he has publisheda wide variety of scholarly articles, personal essays, editorials, and poetry. Heis the editor of A Readers’ Book of Mormon (2008) and Why I Stay: The Challengeof Discipleship for Contemporary Mormons (2011). Previously he taught at UCLAand UC Santa Cruz and was a Fulbright Professor of American Studies inthe Baltics.

Bharat S. Shah, MD, is the author of An Introduction to Jainism and otherbooks to teach Gujarati, English, and Sanskrit. He is also the author of thememoirs Dawn at Midnight (about his wife’s liver transplant) and My Life withPanic Disorder. He has served as president of the Gujarati Literary Academyof North America. He specializes in pulmonary medicine, and lives with hiswife of more than forty years in Long Island, New York.

He Feng Dao Shi (Thom McCombs, DO) is the Ridgecrest Junction WayTeacher and an osteopathic physician in private practice in NorthernCalifornia. He was Abbot of the Golden Elixir Temple in Issaquah,Washington, from 1992–2001. His teacher was Share K. Lew (PhoenixMind Way Teacher) of Yellow Dragon Temple in Guangdong, China. Theytransmit the Dao Dan Pai (Way of the Elixir) and Tai Ji Chir (Great PivotRuler) traditions of Daoist cultivation. Dr. Thom also plays classical guitarand is fond of geology.

Joshua Snyder taught English at the Pohang University of Science and Technologyin North Gyeongsang Province, in the Confucian heartland of SouthKorea, where he lived for fourteen years. He is an American Catholic whoworks at the Rochester Institute of Technology in upstate New York.

Rev. N. Graham Standish, PhD, MSW, is pastor of Calvin Presbyterian Churchin Zelienople, Pennsylvania, and an adjunct professor at Pittsburgh TheologicalSeminary, focusing on spirituality and congregational life. He is author of sixbooks and numerous articles and is a contributor to five books. He is also atherapist, spiritual director, and teacher (www.ngrahamstandish.org).

Chief Luisah Teish is an elder in the Ifa/Orisha tradition of the West Africandiaspora. She is the author of Jambalaya: The Natural Woman’s Book ofPersonal Charms and Practical Rituals, a womenÂ’s spirituality classic. She is amixed-media artist, a ritual design consultant, and a global village activist.

Christopher Titmuss, a former Buddhist monk in Thailand and India, teachesawakening and insight meditation around the world. He is the founder anddirector of the Dharma Facilitators Programme and Mindfulness TrainingCourse (MTC). He gives retreats, participates in pilgrimages (yatras), andleads dharma gatherings. Christopher has been teaching annual retreatsin Bodh Gaya, India, since 1975 and has led an annual dharma gatheringin Sarnath, India, since 1999. A senior Dharma teacher in the West, he isthe author of numerous books, including Light on Enlightenment, BuddhistWisdom for Daily Living, and Mindfulness for Everyday Living. A campaigner forpeace and other global issues, a poet, and a writer, he is also the co-founderof Gaia House, an international retreat center in Devon, England. He lives inTotnes, Devon, England. Among his websites are www.insightmeditation.org and www.christophertitmuss.org.