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Spiritual coach leader_mentor_practitioner_volunteer



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  • 1. The Spiritual Coach/Leader/Mentor/Practitioner 2012 Author: Jonathan Dunnemann “Spiritual Intelligence is the nature of goodness, which factually knows the propriety of things as well as the impropriety of things,duty and non-duty, humility and sacrifice, fear, and fearlessness, bondage and liberation.” Chap 18.v.30. SRIMAD BHAGVAD GITAObjective: The “Spiritual Coach/Leader/Mentor/Practitioner” focuses on the emotional, behavioral, social,cultural, spiritual, vocational, and life skills development and growth aspects of another person and worksin a co-creative relationship. The objective is to nurture positive personal attributes that impact positivelyon resilience with the hope of enhancing these attributes and thereby fosteringself-awareness,self-acceptance, and self-efficacy. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from negative life experiences or crises and to continue tostrive towards achieving [full and balanced] self-actualization (Steyn, 2006).Summary: The Spiritual Coach/Leader/Mentor/Practitioner is someone who has a spiritual view of life(including our human nature, work, and the purpose behind one’s calling or lifework), and makes aconscious decision to act and lead according to this vision in his or her role ascoach/leader/mentor/practitioner, to the best of his or her abilities. The Spiritual Coach/Leader/Mentor/Practitioner strives to translate a spiritual view of life intoinstruments (processes, practices, methods, activities, and programs) and behaviorsthat honor this vision,and will contribute to the learning and development of the client/mentee/youth. Coaching/Mentoring is generally defined as, "a relationship over a prolonged period-of-time between two or more people (one-on-one and/or group), where an older, wiser and more experienced adult provides support, guidance, learning and concrete help as needed to improve one‟s capacity to regulate emotion, to combat emotional dysfunction, to improve patterns of thinking and to reduce negative thinking. This is done through personal contact/interaction and restorative practices with persons as they go through life" and by asking and assisting others in the construction of their own autobiography/life-story/narrative. “Restorative practice is the science of building social capital and achieving social discipline through participatory learning and decision making.” “The emerging social science of „restorative practices‟ offers a common thread to tie togethertheory, research and practice in seemingly disparate fields, such as education, counseling, criminaljustice, social work and organizational management (From IIRP website,”Essential to Spiritual Coaching/Leadership/Mentoring/Practice are the following key processes: Like all methods of practice, spiritual methods are rooted in a set of values. Since spiritualworkpotentially is the most powerful of all practice methods, the spiritually inclusive coach / leader /mentor / practitioner must be focused on the Highest Good and reducing the possibility of causingunnecessary suffering. Page 1
  • 2. The Spiritual Coach/Leader/Mentor/Practitioner 2012 Author: Jonathan Dunnemann A Spiritual Coach/Leader/Mentor/Practitioner must “walk the talk” demonstrating mastery of self,curbing harmful appetites, being worthy of trust, generously planting seeds of hope, joy and unconditionallove by; 1. Creating a transcendent vision of service to others whereby one experiences a sense of calling or purpose and they find significant meaning and believe that they are actually making a difference in the life of another/others by cultivating interests, and enabling beliefs and opportunities, 2. Perceiving the nonverbal emotional signals of others (Ekman, 2006) and compassionately feeling the suffering of others and being able to empathize and understand their point of view, and unique constraints and challenges, 3. Establishing or creating a social/organizational culture based on the values of altruistic love hereby, one has a sense of membership, feels understood and appreciated, and has genuine care, concern, and appreciation for BOTH self and others, 4. Propagating an ethos in which, as far as it is possible, all mentees are encouraged to work for peace, justice, and meaning and well-being in a world threatened by conflict, hatred, social tensions and violence by learning “from above” which emphasizes the universality and similarities of the religions above the differences., 5. Providing religious studies education (e.g. Christianity and its denominations, other religions and religious patterns, the reasoning about the origins and purposes of life) characterized by a dialogical orientation that addresses relevant questions of the mentee(s), 6. Emphasizing innovative plans and the relevance of religion for social questions, a justice- oriented standard of value, and engagement and taking shared-responsibility in the community. (Bourdieu 1998:14-115), 7. Being “true to oneself” which means that you truly know your „self’ to whom you are being true. You may not initially be able to articulate what you know, and yet you know, while your self-knowledge is clear in your life through your thought, action, and self-examination of your opportunities, and 8. Facilitating an environment of acceptance and supportiveness.Leadership Model: The most effective Spiritual Leader/Mentor/Practitioner is authentic and spiritually inclusive, whichmeans that s/he is open to including spirituality in their practice assessments, methods, and evaluations.S/he is open to continue using any existing intervention strategy s/he has learned, and s/he is also opento discovering what might happen when s/he invites the spiritual dimension into their work with menteecurrent practice strategies. The source of authentic leadership is an inner life or spiritual practice that, as a fundamentalsource of inspiration and insight, positively influences development of (1) hope/faith in a transcendentVision of service to key stakeholders, and (2) the values of altruistic love and relationship. Inner life is aprocess of understanding and tapping into one‟s own divine power or teachings of loving-kindnessmeditation and how to draw on that power or mindfulness and live a satisfying and full outer life. It speaksto the feeling individuals have about the fundamental meaning of who they are, what they are doing, andthe contributions they are making (Vail, 1998). Inner life includes individual practices (e.g., meditation,prayer, yoga, journaling, and walking in nature) and various contexts (e.g., rooms for inner silence andreflection, dialogue, creating community) to help both individuals and groups draw strength from a HigherPower or God and be more self-aware and conscious from moment-to-moment (Fry & Kriger, in press). Page 2
  • 3. The Spiritual Coach/Leader/Mentor/Practitioner 2012 Author: Jonathan DunnemannResponsibilities: 1. Assist youth in their identification, attempts to address, and to improve their skills in social problem solving, emotional development, self-observation, and self-renewal. 2. Gain an understanding and appreciation for the specific needs of each youth/mentee. 3. Utilize different development program paradigms, designs, and objectives and processes (modalities). 4. Meet the youth where they are with respect to their language, values, worldview, attitude, feelings and behavior. 5. View each youth as valuable, capable, and accepted (youth are not to be fixed, but developed/prepared). 6. Identify and clarify the personal environment, societal attitudes, (mechanisms of disenfranchisement) and life circumstances (i.e. socio-economics, functionality of the family and or community, quality of available role models, racism, resulting attitudinal and behavioral aspects, etc.) of the mentee. 7. Utilize the appropriate assessment tools to determine problem identification and developmental needs, effectively distinguish between societal induced causes (dis-sease) and effects (symptoms) and the resulting problematic proclivities/attitudes vis-a-vis true cultural traits and spiritual practices based on past-history and/or current and lingering superior/inferior positioning (John Ogbu-1992). 8. Help to increase youth access to the psychological, emotional, relational and instrumental supports they need for cultivating interests, enabling beliefs and opportunities. 9. Practice the principles of "Authentic Leadership" and "Transformative Mentoring", to achieve cultural health, mind and heart-awakening, social health, livelihood skills, and well-being in order to precisely and thoroughly address the youths true needs/issues with honesty and care. 10. Clarify the predicted outcomes (i.e. Classification of Mentoring Relationship Types - The Mentoring Center (TMC), 2000), validate them and reassess/evaluate the outcomes periodically. 11. Equip young people to be agents of social advocacy, justice, and peace so that they may better serve in their community with humane consciousness. 12. Encourage youth to begin and/or renew their involvement in the spiritual practices of their faith tradition (e.g. meditation, prayer, fasting, study, simplicity, solitude, submission, service, and worship). 13. Counsel youth on the consequences of negative behaviors (i.e. anger, avarice, deceit, dullness envy, fears, folly, gluttony, ignorance, lust, rashness, a hardness of heart, pride, and reactive instincts and sloth) and share with them the value of positive behaviors (e.g. humility, gratitude, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, serenity, equanimity, non-attachment, courage, sobriety, innocence, and engagement). 14. Lead by providing an example to all youth through speaking, acting and living in accordance with your core values in everything that you do.Behavioral Requirement(s): 1. Respect for the truths of traditions and communities other than one‟s own. 2. Capable of passing on wisdom, lessons learned, and general knowledge to youth while serving as a volunteer. Page 3
  • 4. The Spiritual Coach/Leader/Mentor/Practitioner 2012 Author: Jonathan Dunnemann 3. Constant awareness of common phrases and cultural expressions that we use without thinking, like “I‟m sick and tired of doing that” or “I‟m dying to…” or “Drop dead” these must be thrown- away. 4. Omit phrases that are curses and speak with loving kindness at all times. 5. Refrain from gossip about yourself or others, telling jokes that are at someone‟s or some group‟s expense. 6. Reflect strong emotional intelligence (e.g. self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skill), analytical reasoning and the ability to work with others effectively leading change. 7. Let go of the need to defend your opinions and always be right. 8. Welcome a diversity of opinions and facilitate openness for dialogue. 9. Acknowledge the personal rights and responsibilities of others. 10. Express empathy, acceptance and understanding for others. 11. Be transparent. This is what the philosopher Franklin Merrill-Wolff calls “Knowledge through Identity”. Use the power of your word in the direction of Truth and Love.Training Requirement(s): 1. Formal training in various compassion or heart-awakening practices that properly support an individual(s) or group(s) in their journey of living their true calling is required; 2. Training in the “Foundations of Positive Psychology,” the scientific study of positive emotions, strengths-based character, and healthy institutions founded on the belief that people want to live meaningful and fulfilling lives (Rooted in the work of Dr. Martin Seligman, world-renowned founder of positive psychology and Fox Leadership Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania). 3. Training in clear and deep listening to communicate to others that they are being; a. heard, b. understood, and c. accepted 4. Training in mindful awareness practices or “MAPs” as they call them at the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA (, which can be found in a wide variety of human activities (including sitting, walking meditations, and how to work with difficult thoughts and emotions). These practices develop greater mind-body awareness and reduce stress. You will also learn how to incorporate right-mindedness and focused attention into your daily life; 5. Training in the five main skills of emotional intelligence (Richards, Ellis, and Neil): a. Self-awareness of one‟s own emotions b. Managing feelings so they are appropriate c. Motivating oneself in the service of a goal d. Having empathy and understanding for emotion in others e. Being able to interrelate well and work with others 6. Training in the Relations Theory (RT) of Very (1992) and Oosthuizen and Jacobs (1982) which takes as its point of departure the idea of people, spiritual beings, existing in their personal experiential worlds surrounded by other people and things (Steyn, 2006); Page 4
  • 5. The Spiritual Coach/Leader/Mentor/Practitioner 2012 Author: Jonathan Dunnemann 7. Training in the field of participation as facilitators and community leaders and neighborhood activists assisting youth in new grassroots initiatives of common cause (Quality participation shows some effect, influences a decision, or produces a desired outcome (Adults as Allies, by Barry Checkoway, School of Social Work the University of Michigan); 8. Training in commitment, integrity, self-sacrifice, spiritual growth and knowing; and 9. Training in Cartography to create your own map to use in the search for your vocational calling which includes your beliefs about what you can and can‟t do, what interests you and what doesn‟t, what is and isn‟t important to you, and what your personality/identity is or isn‟t like. Your mental map might lack sufficient detail to be helpful or even contain erroneous information that can hinder you in discovering your vocational calling. The outcome of your search for your vocational calling depends greatly on the accuracy of your mental map. 10. Training in “Continuity and Change” in the “Life Story” along with use of the “Life Story Exercise” and “Life Story Interview developed by Dan P. McAdams at The Foley Center for the Study of Lives, Northwestern University (2008).Experience: Must be able to communicate examples of how you were able to determine and reflect on theuniqueness of your life story, where you are, the location and distance of your destination, and the bestroute for reaching your future aspirations and goal(s). Your role is to help others anticipate what they mayencounter along their path and to encourage a sense of confidence in others that an ever-deepeningcapacity for presence, intimacy and connection with the Divine Presence on a daily basis is possible byplugging their lives into that Divine Source from whom all good things and good works come. Must be capable of taking inventory of one‟s own emotional, behavioral and social development,past relationships (both good and bad), lessons learned through significant experiences, spiritual gifts andpersonal passions and invest in the world for yourself and by seeking to have maximum positive impactwith your life through active and ongoing involvement in the lives of others. − Applicants must be individuals who have made mistakes in the past and learned from them − Applicants must be optimistic about life and recognize that life is an opportunity to create oneself − Applicants must be fluent in the stories of their own traditions that call them to religious pluralism as well as interested in the traditions of others − Applicants must be organizers, particularly equipped with skills of bringing people of different faiths together − Applicants must understand the idea of cooperation becoming a social norm, and see their actions as steps in achieving that norm − Applicants must be capable of turning conflict into an opportunity for common action, rooted in particular and shared narratives − Applicants also should be comfortable initiating face-to-face conversations, professional when talking over the phone and responsible in keeping detailed notes/records of mentee plans and progress, and copies of questionnaires completed by mentees as self-assessments − Applicants need to be creative, devoted, and open and trustworthy − A constant attitude of respect and diplomacy is required and one must be able to give and receive constructive feedback − Applicants must possess strong written and verbal communication skills Page 5
  • 6. The Spiritual Coach/Leader/Mentor/Practitioner 2012 Author: Jonathan Dunnemann − Applicants must have a strong desire or will to act with perseverance, industriousness, dedication and a high energy level in order to achieve their goals and fulfill commitments made to others Whether projects are of a local nature, such as camping out over night, working together in asoup kitchen or long-term tackling of homelessness and hunger in a community, or whether they areglobal, catalyzing faith communities around eradicating deaths due to malaria or ending climate change,applicants need the skills of organizing and relationship building. They must be able to make the vision ofbrotherhood/sisterhood, and interspiritual dialogue and spiritual oneness a concrete reality.Education: A college student majoring in areas such as business administration, English and literature, fineand performing arts, communications, biology, organizational leadership, philosophy, psychology, religion,or sociology would be a good match.A college degree is highly desired but not required.Appearance/Attire:Neat, well groomed. Page 6