The ASI has set in motion a new initiative aimed to build and strengthen community and peer support for spiritual teachers, counselors, and coaches. Spiritual leadership can be a pretty complex and isolating role, and when things are challenging we often have few or no colleagues that we can lean on to share what is really going on for us and get honest caring feedback. The ASI is looking into ways of supporting small groups of spiritual teachers who want to build peer support circles of collegial friendship working toward deep trust. In parallel with ASI’s ‘Honor Code of Ethics and Good Practice‘ for teachers and Ethical Guidelines for students, the ASI wants to support each teacher in articulating their own values and reflecting authentically about the difficult tradeoffs and nuances each encounters in spiritual leadership. A peer support group is there to help you navigate the specific territories of tension or uncertainty that you encounter, through deep listening, loving inquiry, and sharing their own experiences with similar issues. Support groups are also there to help you celebrate your skills and successes and co-embrace the glory of life, love, and light in general!

Beginning this fall until January 2022, four prototype peer support groups, each comprising volunteer ASI spiritual leaders, are meeting regularly. The ASI is providing basic logistical resources for these groups to self-govern—we are not in charge of (or responsible for) what happens in these groups. We have helped groups craft ground-rules and goals and will continue to serve as a backup resource throughout this five month pilot project. We aim to learn from this exciting peer support pilot project with the goal in mind that we can, for the first time, document and disseminate model(s) for peer support specific to spiritual leaders.

Building enough trust to vulnerably share the very “human” side of awakening with peers takes time and a solid container, and we hope that in due course the ASI will be able to offer a defined and supportive role towards the establishment of peer support for spiritual leaders.

If this sounds interesting to you, let us know! Sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of this page to keep up to speed on this pilot project. And if you already have experience with such groups, we would love to hear from and learn from you.

Please email your interest to peersupport@spiritual-integrity.org