InterSpiritual Meditation (ISM) Facilitator Training

(Posted August 29, 2019)

The year-long ISM Facilitator certification program is designed for those who wish to guide individuals or groups in the practice of the seven-step process of InterSpiritual Meditation.  Trainees will join with a mutually supportive cohort to work with Ed Bastian and  certified InterSpiritual Mentors.   The ISM Facilitator training will be separate from, but can lead into, the full InterSpiritual Mentor certificate training process. 


To qualify for this program, applicants will fulfil the following requirements:

  • Complete the application form.
  • Complete and actively participated in-person or online course on InterSpiritual Meditation.
  • Complete their Spiritual Styles Profile Instrument.
  • Engage in journaling about their seven-steps and spiritual styles.
  • A minimum of a 1,000 word summary or equivalent expression covering all of the seven steps and if/how you harnessed your style(s) for each.
    (This should be drawn from the online or written journal.  It will provide an initial starting point for subsequent meditative development.)
  • An application fee of $150. 
    (The fee can be reduced based on ability to pay.  For fee adjustment for, please email  For Latin American applicants, contact Alex Warden, )

Requirements for Certification

This program will take a minimum of one year.  To gain ISM Facilitator certification, trainees will complete the following:

  • Fulsome journaling on each of their Spiritual Styles and 7 Steps.
  • A 2,500 word capstone paper and/or other significant form of expression that aligns with one’s spiritual styles, that documents one’s experience and understanding of each of the seven ISM steps.  
  • Each trainee will practice facilitating the 7-Step Process with at least one individual or one small group under the guidance of a certified InterSpiritual Mentor.  All participants should be members of the ISM online course website. 
  • Read the following book. “Mandala: Creating an Authentic Spiritual Path – An InterSpiritual Process”
  • Minimum of three individual mentoring sessions with our mentors and one with Ed Bastian.
  • Attend monthly group mentoring training sessions with Ed Bastian and mentors.
  • Actively engage in the Practice Circles for each of the seven ISM Steps.
  • Annual membership in Spiritual Paths Institute website and engagement in the ISM Facilitator community.

Capstone Paper:  Each member of the training cohort will complete a 2,500 word capstone paper that includes the following:

  • A summary the wisdom gained from at least three spiritual/secular sources/traditions for each of the steps. 
  • A summary of how they are harnessing and harmonizing at least three spiritual styles. 
  • A summary of the contemplative practice they have developed for each of the seven steps.
  • A summary of their work helping others to learn and practice ISM.

Guidelines for Leading an ISM Session

Following are the general guidelines for leading an InterSpiritual Meditation Session.  Facilitator trainees will learn the subtle nuances and procedures of working with individuals and groups.

  • Begin by stating the mission and purpose of ISM, reminding students should create their own personal practice for each step.
  • Introducing each step by name.
  • Use of gong or bell to separate each step 
    (If leading the meditation online or via a phone, the gong should have a deep (not high or shrill) resonance and be at least a foot away from the microphone.  An appropriate App might also be used.
  • A short introductory, inspirational poem or stanza might be used to begin the session.
    (The choice personalizes the meditation according to leader, but is not overly directive.)
  • Singing the ISM mantra – song at the end, or beginning or end of the 7 steps.  (This will depend on the context, the quality of the Facilitator’s singing voice, and the time for the overall meditation.)
  • As a general rule, the verbal guidance should not exceed 1/3 of the allotted time for each step.  The facilitator should not feel compelled over-lead or fill up the silence with their own voice.
  • Steps 5 and 6 are generally the longest sections. In a 20 minute meditation, the other five steps might be about 2 minutes while Steps 5 & 6 might total about 8 minutes.  In this case, the beginning verbal guidance should not exceed 30 seconds for each.
  • Facilitators will not charge for their services.

For more information, please contact ed@spiritualpaths.netInterSpFacili