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
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 clergy, 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
Spiritual Mentoring aims to deepen and strengthen mentees' experience of and relationship to the Divine in a way that is authentic and meaningful to mentees.
Helps mentees to name, understand and work with the problems, blocks, and patterns in their life by using spiritual perspectives, practices and tools.
Guides mentees to assume total self-responsibility, not for all that happens to them, but for how they choose to be with what happens.
Assists mentees in coming to know themselves as "whole" integrating all aspects of the self - physical, mental, emotional - with the Self - spiritual.
Helps mentees 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 mentee 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 mentee may also choose to continue with spiritual mentoring focusing on spiritual needs and concerns. In this way, a mentee 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: Incorporating Expressive Therapy Techniques
Part 4: Special Assessments and Referral Procedures
Part 5: Visioning and Designing Your Spiritual Mentoring Practice
In addition to the wide variety of information provided, participants will be given an opportunity in each class, beginning in October, to practice mentoring skills in triads - consisting of a mentee, mentor and observer. By experiencing each of these three roles, participants will slowly and effectively develop the skills and personal confidence to step into their unique expression of being a Spiritual Mentor.
Sample Topics Covered in the Spiritual Mentoring Certificate Program
Developing the mentor/mentee 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: navigating the content-feeling continuum, reflecting feelings, restating information, questioning, offering reflections and interpretations, how-when to address core issues
Guiding the process of distilling the deeper spiritual lessons presented through the details, events and stories
Exploring transference and counter transference - why continuing your own spiritual and healing journey is critical
The use of expressive therapy techniques: visualization, meditation, journaling, drawing, and sand tray in the mentoring process
How to design and offer a spiritual practice for mentees
Differentiating spiritual desolation from clinical depression
Working with acute trauma, grief and loss
Overview of common mental health categories: anxiety, depression, substance abuse and addictions, compulsive behaviors, post traumatic stress disorder, cycle of violence, assault and abuse
When to refer a mentee for professional psychotherapy and how to establish a team support system for the mentee - and when it is important to refer a mentee for immediate care
Ethical issues - confidentiality and conditions for breaking confidentiality
For clergy or seminarians - envisioning and designing your Spiritual Mentoring practice - ethical, professional and practical issues
For non-clergy - envisioning how Spiritual Mentoring skills and tools may be integrated into your work environment
Schedule for Classes
The Spiritual Mentoring Certificate Program begins Saturday, October 12, 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. From October through June, the course meets on the second Saturday of each month, 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. You may not miss more than two classes, for any reason, to remain in the program.
Upon Completion of the Program
Participants will graduate with a "Certificate in Spiritual Mentoring." For clergy or seminarians 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.
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.
*It is important to note that, because the program does not offer a second year in supervised clinical training and externship, those seeking to obtain licensure for a mentoring practice should investigate more extensive programs elsewhere.
$1,200.00 - Includes the Spiritual Mentoring Program Manual
$100 deposit, applied toward balance, required with application (see below) no later than Monday, August 19, 2013.
Fee may be paid in full via check or credit card.
Optional Payment Plan: $300 at first class Oct 12th, $300 November 9th, $300 January 11th, Balance of $200 is due March 8th
"The most valuable part of the course for me was the Clinical Spiritual Mentoring Skills - that which is necessary to be an effective mentor and establish a relationship of trust with a mentee. - 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 "counseling process." As a counselor, 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
In the Garden
In this course, we seek to continue reclaiming the biblical roots and essence of Christianity by reigniting the ecstatic cry within today! On this year's journey, we will explore, from the Old Testament, Psalm 23, The Lord is My Shepherd and from the New Testament, the Sermon on the Mount as recorded in the book of Matthew. You may elect to take one part or both parts.
This course meets on Thursday evenings, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Depending upon the response to this class, I may decide to limit the number of participants. To reserve your spot, you can register early with a $50 deposit that will be applied toward your balance. Thank you!
Part 1: A Study of the 23rd Psalm: The Lord is My Shepherd using Harold S. Kushner's book, The Lord is My Shepherd: Healing Wisdom of the Twenty-Third Psalm (author of Living a Life That Matters and When Bad Things Happen to Good People.)
14 Weeks: Starting September 12, 2013 - December 19, 2013 (No Class November 28th). Description: Participants will be taught the line(s) in Hebrew as well as being given a reading assignment for each line(s) and sample Questions for Reflection to consider. For each line(s), there will be two classes. The first class will introduce a variety of experiential activities as well as provide time for group sharing from the sample Questions for Reflection. The second class for each line(s) will offer a guided meditation experience on Shamanic journey to enable participants to explore more deeply what the passage may have to offer them.
Part 2: A Study of the Sermon on the Mount from the Gospel of Matthew.
18 Weeks: Starting January 16, 2014 - May 15, 2014. Description: Participants will be given sample Questions for Reflection and suggested activities for exploring the key verses and themes from the Sermon on the Mount. In addition, we will be incorporating the language of Aramaic into our study of the Beatitudes and the Lord's Prayer. For each set of key verses, there will be two classes. The first class will introduce a variety of experiential activities as well as provide time for group sharing from the sample Questions for Reflection. The second class, for each set of key verses, will offer a guided Shamanic journey to enable participants to explore more deeply what the verses may have to offer them.
Participants will be given instruction in basic Shamanic journeying as is appropriate for our study.
Class Fee: Part 1: $280 Kindly register by Monday, August 19, 2013
Class Fee: Part 2: $360 Kindly register by Monday, December 16, 2013
The Interfaith Spiritual Practice Workshop
On the 4th Saturday of each month, 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. we will gather for interfaith spiritual practice followed by community dialogue. In this series of classes, you will truly experience that many are the ways we pray to one God. Each class will offer a blend of walking, movement, sitting and mantra spiritual practices to cultivate our intention for the day. Following our practice, enjoy light refreshments as we informally share our collective wisdom.
September 28, 2013: Abundant Living: Manifest Your Joy!
October 26, 2013: Eye on the Prize: Chart Your Course
November 23, 2013: Relaxed Equanimity: Find the Middle Way
December 28, 2013: Walking in Faith: Believe Beyond Your Understanding
Begins Saturday, September 28, 2013
This class will continue January through April of 2014 on the 4th Saturday. Topics for 2014 will be given in December. Come and cultivate a deeper experience of your interfaith spirituality as you join hands in community!
Workshop Fee: $50 for the four classes - Drop in $17
Kindly register by Monday, August 19, 2013.
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 2013-2014 listing of world religion speakers and additional workshop offerings.
Please check back for Dance of Universal Peace schedule!
Please check back for drumming schedule!