Spiritual Accompaniment and inquiry

For as long as we have asked the questions, Who am I? What is God? We have sought the company of companions to walk alongside us as we question, doubt, unfurl and explore this mystery of being human.  Adyashanti puts it well when he says,

Because of an innocent misunderstanding you think that you are a human being in the relative world seeking the experience of oneness, but actually you are the One expressing itself as the experience of being a human being.   

If we are hearing the stirrings of our heart, feeling perplexed about human nature, or getting curious about the embodied mystery that we are, then we have already had a taste of that which is seeking us.  Jalaluddin Rumi knew that, the longing you feel is the return message. Spiritual Accompaniment or Spiritual Direction offers space and guidance to explore our deeper questioning and yearnings. So how does Grace, God, the Eternal speak to you, dance with you in your life?  And importantly, how do you respond? It may be that you have become more curious about life, its meaning and what matters to you fairly recently; great, welcome.  Or it may be that you have had a path of meditation or prayer for some time and you can see that this is changing, and that your relationship with the Divine is changing; you may feel all at sea, or lost in the woods.

The invitation is always to turn within and to meet the intimacy that is calling you home.  And this includes those feelings of disconnection, agitation and not-knowing as much as your sense of belonging, ease and peace.

What has come to be called ‘spirituality’ isn’t something other than this very life.  The nitty, gritty of daily life; relationships, earning our livelihood, creativity, walking in nature, prayer, deep silence, cooking, lying on our sick-bed, being alone or with others.  And just as the ways in which the sacred expresses itself through us as us are infinite, so are the ways in which we can explore this relationship.

The setting I offer for this exploration is one of spacious containment.  A safe, confidential place to listen, question, be unknowing and explore the unfolding language of Presence.  Some of the forms of this exploration can be; contemplative conversation, reflection, meditation, prayer, self-inquiry, being in nature, silence, service and simply meeting the agitation that can arise as we dare to turn towards the currents within.

My engagement in this work has grown organically over 25 years, and my commitment to the intimacy calling me home is central to my life.  I was raised a Roman Catholic, and whilst I don’t locate myself in this tradition today, I appreciate having been opened to acts of devotion, prayer and the Divine Feminine in the form of Mary at an early age. I have a background in transpersonal psychotherapy and learnt much of my meditation practise in the Buddhist tradition.  Over the last 20 years I have frequently dwelt in silent, solitary retreats as well as participating in group retreats.  Earth-based spirituality and Vision Quests also provide much inspiration and guidance, as does text study and engaging in contemplative conversations.  Alongside individual spiritual accompaniment I offer meditation retreats and co-correlate 7-week Discovering Unity courses in Oxford.

‘Sessions with Ally have been instrumental in helping me engage in life in a reflective and grounded way – not just the big events, but so that the ordinary, everyday, ups and downs of life become a source of growth and deepening.’  Rachel.