In the corner of our space is a large braided Fichus, a fig tree, we fondly call the Tree of Life. It has witnessed many seasons since our opening in 1996 as the Tree of Life Yoga Studio. As a yoga studio, we grew to serve many students and became the home and training ground for many aspiring teachers who would go on to share their gifts. In addition, in 2001, The Gifts of Grace foundation was founded to offer volunteerism to our community. Through the foundation, we offered many services including the making of over 300 quilts delivered to the Nashua District Office of the Division of Children, Youth and Families of the Department of Health and Human Services for distribution to local area foster care children.
In 2005, shortly after my ordination as an interfaith minister, I wanted to expand our mission to include a concentration on spiritual studies programs. For many years, I had facilitated a study of the Bhagavad Gita from which my book, An Ordinary Life Transformed: Lessons for Everyone from the Bhagavad Gita, emerged. I was ready to include additional programs. To reflect the expanded mission, we became the Tree of Life School for Sacred Living, LLC, in 2006. Since that time, I've created the following additional nine-month courses:
Living Our Purpose: The Heart of Spiritual Practice
Mantra Prayer Course
A Study of the Lord's Prayer and Beatitudes in Aramaic
Spiritual Mentoring Certification Program
This year, I'm adding a new course, Reclaim Your Ecstatic Cry!, described below.
In 2009, The Tree of Life Interfaith Seminary was created as a natural outgrowth from the study and curriculum of the many spiritual studies programs. The mission of the interfaith seminary is to provide a new vision of ministry for the coming age and to offer a systematic methodology through which participants may realize, cultivate and offer their unique divine gifts in service to the greater good.
Welcome to The Tree of Life School for Sacred Living!
Rev. Stephanie Rutt, Director
There's a new exciting program being offered in the 2012-2013 year, Reclaim Your Ecstatic Cry!
Reclaim Your Ecstatic Cry!
This new course, Reclaim Your Ecstatic Cry!, seeks to reclaim the biblical roots and essence of Christianity to reignite the ecstatic cry within each of us today! On the journey, we will use biblical stories, parables, beloved hymns and the lives of saints to help point the way inward to reclaim the ancient wisdom, pulsating the very essence of the ecstasy within. There will be much information offered in this course but the treasure will be foind in the experience offered within each class. You will be guided by meditation, visualization and shamanic journeying techniques to enter into the collective unconscious where all awareness and wisdom awaits - to stand open and barefoot with Moses at the burning bush, follow the prodigal son to retrieve your own lost parts, enter into the One Song of the great hymns to become amazing grace and to reflect upon some of the great saints only to find their deep humanity and divine ecstasy within yourself.
Following your inner journeys, you will be invited to express your new found awareness through journaling, divine dictation, drawing, clay sculpting and/or movement before sharing with the group.
The course will be offered in four 8-week segments:
Part 1: Ancient Roots
The Flood: Noah's Ark: Cleansing
Following In the Footsteps of Abraham: Following Faithfully
In the Footsteps of Moses: Overcoming Inner Limitation
David and Goliath: Transforming Perceived Obstacles
Part 2: Parables of Jesus
Jesus is Tested: Identifying Physical, Emotional, Psychological and Spiritual Temptation
The Prodigal Son: Recovering Our Own Lost Parts
Five Loaves and Two Fish: Living the Mystery beyond Rational Understanding
The Good Samaritan: Becoming Our Brother and Sister's Keeper
Part 3: Hymns from the One Song
O God, You Search Me: Knowing to Whom You Belong
In the Garden: Living the Most Beloved of Secrets
Be Still My Soul: Remembering Thorny Ways Lead to a Joyful End
His Eye is On the Sparrow: Cultivating Being Watched Over
Be Thou My Vision: Seeing with the Eyes of the Beloved
Amazing Grace: Getting Found
Part 4: The Extraordinary Lives of the Saints
Hildegard of Bingen: Vision's Song
Saint Theresa of Avila: Ecstasy of Rapture
Saint Clare of Montefalco: Heartbeat of the Cross
Saint Rita of Cascia: The Impossible Becomes Possible
Saint Theresa of Lisieux: An Uncommon Little Flower
Joan of Arc: God's Commander
Schedule for Classes
The Reclaim Your Ecstatic Cry! is offered Thursday nights, 6:00 - 8:00, beginning September 13th and ending May 30th. No class November 22nd, December 20th and 27th, or January 3rd. You may not miss more than eight classes, for any reason, to remain in the program.
$650 ($100 deposit, applied toward balance, required prior to the first class to hold your place.)
Fee may be paid in full via check or credit card.
Payment Plan: $200 at first class; $200 November 15th, $150 January 24th.
The Spiritual Mentoring Certificate Program is especially designed for those wanting to cultivate the inner presence and skills helpful in offering mentoring to those in need. This program is open to ordained cergy, seminarians in training, mental health counselors and other professionals working with the public in capacities where mentoring skills may be considered useful. If you are interested in this program but do not find yourself in one of the above categories, please discuss with me your particular situation and, together, we can assess the appropriateness of this program for you.
What is Spiritual Mentoring
Aims to deepen and strengthen clients' experience of and relationship to the Divine in a way that is authentic and meaningful to the clients
Helps clients to name, understand and work with the problems, blocks, patterns in their life by using spiritual perspectives, practices and tools
Guides clients to assume total self-responsibility, not for all that happens to them, but for how they choose to be with what happens
Assists clients in coming to know themselves as "whole" integrating all aspects of the self - physical, mental, emotional - with the Self - spiritual
Helps clients toward wholeness through the cultivation of inner compassion (heart), discernment (mind) and courage (action)
What Spiritual Mentoring is NOT
Spiritual Mentoring is NOT mental health counseling or psychotherapy. An important part of this training is to help those wanting to offer spiritual mentoring to be both clear and humble in recognizing and defining just where their skills lie and what the limits of those skills are. Should Spiritual Mentors find themselves with a client whose emotional, psychological or psychiatric needs are beyond their own skills and scope of training, they must be ready to refer the client to more appropriate care. In such cases, the client may also choose to continue with spiritual mentoring focusing on spiritual needs and concerns. In this way, a client may enjoy the benefits of a team approach to care.
Overview of the Course
The course is offered in five parts:
Part 1: Overview of the Spiritual Mentoring Practice. Substance and Structure
Part 2: Clinical Spiritual Mentoring Skills
Part 3: Special Assessments and Referral Procedures
Part 4: The Power of Story: Distilling Spiritual Lessons from Story Elements
Part 5: Visioning Your Spiritual Mentoring Practice
Sample Topics Covered in the Spiritual Mentoring Certificate Program
Developing the mentor/client relationship - key areas of difference from the traditional psychotherapist/client relationship
Deep listening - qualities of presence - skills of attunement
Establishing healthy boundaries - tools for keeping interactions clear and clean
Basic skills: reflecting feelings, restating information, questioning, offering reflections
Identifying the core issue(s) - beyond the presenting details or story - skills to help you hear at a deeper level
Exploring transference and counter transference - why continuing your own spiritual and healing journey is critical
Working with the clients' personal and spiritual history
The use of prayer, meditation, journaling, spiritual practice in the mentoring process - both within and outside of sessions
Working with acute trauma, grief and loss
The basic symptomology of the primary mental health diagnoses - for example: anxiety, depression, addictions
When to refer a client for professional psychotherapy and how to establish a team support system for the client - and when it is important to refer a client for immediate care
Ethical issues - confidentiality and conditions for breaking confidentially
For non clergy - Envisioning how Spiritual Mentoring skills and tools may be integrated into your life-work environment
For clergy - Envisioning your Spiritual Mentoring practice - ethical, professional and practical issues
Schedule for Classes
The Spiritual Mentoring Certificate Program is offered the second and fourth Tuesday nights of each month, 6:00 - 9:00 pm, beginning September 11th and ending May 21st. No class December 25th. You may not miss more than four classes, for any reason, to remain in the program.
Upon Completion of the Program
Participants will graduate with a "Certificate in Spiritual Mentoring". For those working in non-ministerial capacities, there will be an extensive amount of information and tools provided to support and compliment a variety of work environments. For clergy wanting to establish a Spiritual Mentoring practice, there will be the opportunity to envision and plan how the skills acquired might create and support such a practice under the auspice of a minister.
*It is important to note here that, because this program does not offer a second year in supervised clinical training and externship, those seeking to establish a professional practice beyond the boundaries of the ministry may want to investigate more extensive programs elsewhere.)
$1,200.00 ($100 deposit, applied toward balance, required prior to first class)
Fee may be paid in full via check or credit card.
Optional Payment Plan: $300 at first class, $300 November 13th, $300 January 22nd, Balance due March 26th
"The most valuable part of the course for me was the Basis Spiritual Mentoring Skills - that which is necessary to be an effective mentor and establish a relationship of trust with a mentee. The section that had the greatest personal impact was The Power of Story. It revealed to me the gift of my life's journey - where it has all been leading." - Winnie Robichaud
"It was amazing to be able to participate in the triad sessions (mentor, mentee and observer) in all three roles - especially the observer - great teaching and learning in this role. I experienced a profound internal shift - from being unsure about my abilities to feeling confident in my skills." - Debra Rosenblum
"Stephanie, I loved that you brought a holistic and spiritual twist to what I have always learned as the "counceling process." As a councelor, I feel that I now have the skills to delve deeper with my clients, into places where healing can really, truly happen. To hold a person in all of who they are - their thoughts, emotions, and their connection with the divine - is a beautiful gift. Thank you!" - Christy Finn
Spiritual mentoring sessions offered by Rev. Stephanie Rutt provide a blend of western behavioral science principles and eastern mysticism. Psychological thinking and behavioral patterns are explored within the context of the spiritual journey. Clients are asked to take an active role in the process and are often offered breathing exercises, meditation practices, journaling exercising, etc., to use in further exploration between sessions. Spiritual mentoring is different from traditional mental health counseling in that the client's psychological journey is seen as the doorway through which the spiritual journey may be realized. The goal is not treatment but rather enhanced awareness. The intention is not so much to fix something as it is to offer tools through which the client may transform unwanted life patterns into more harmonious ones.
The fee for each session is based on a sliding scale. To schedule an appointment, please call or e-mail Rev. Stephanie Rutt at 603-546-2320 or email@example.com.
Please check back for our 2012-2013 listing of world religion speakers and additional workshop offerings.
We are delighted to once again offer the Dances of Universal Peace on the first Sunday of each month starting Sunday, October, 7th, 7:00 - 8:30 PM. The Dances are an inspiring, moving meditiation and a celebration of our unity. We join together in a circle, dancing and singing sacred phrases from many of the world's religious traditions. No experience is necessary - each dance is taught, and only your presence is required! A $6-10 donation is requested to support our leaders and musicians. Come and step light as you journey deep.
Reverend Pam Nowell will be facilitating the monthly Drumming Sound Circle at the Tree of Life this year. Come and share a journey in sound rhythm in the company of other sound explorers. There is no experience needed in the unique circle. We will bring rhythm and sound together to form a sacred union of body and sound. Any type of drum will do. Bring your rhythm instruments; bring a tin cup and a stick if that is what you have. No instruments you say? There are a few to spare. Do not miss out on this opportunity to experience time with the divine. Reverend Pam Nowell has been playing drums for over 15 years and is the facilitator for the Milford NH Drum and Dance. !
The Drumming Circle is offered on the second Monday, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. of each month. $15 fee. Come and Enjoy!