Our InterSpiritual Mentoring Model
What is an InterSpiritual Mentor?
InterSpiritual Mentors embrace the marvelous diversity of the world’s spiritual traditions and their contemplative practices. They help mentees to create, deepen and expand their own personal contemplative practices and spiritual paths by utilizing our distinctive non-sectarian process based on InterSpiritual Meditation and the InterSpiritual Mandala. Our mentors guide those seeking answers and practices by exploring and integrating wisdom from a broad variety of profound spiritual and secular sources. This unique, open sourced process celebrates the diversity of each person’s beliefs, styles, questions, ethnicity, race, age and gender. It creates a sense of unity and companionship amidst our diversity. Mentoring guidelines are supported by these documents:
(1) Mentoring Guidelines
(2) Guidelines for Facilitating an ISM Session
(3) Guidelines for InterSpiritual Dialogue and Mentoring
(4) Circles of Trust Touchstones
(5) Ethical Guidelines for InterSpiritual Mentors
Guidelines for Leading an InterSpiritual Mentoring Session
In advance of a mentoring session, mentees should complete the profile tools for styles and questions, then email these to the mentors. Mentees can also indicate the styles, questions, and ISM steps they would like to discern and clarify in the upcoming mentoring session. These will provide a focus and a container for the mentoring session.
The topics below apply to both (1) in-course dyad partner mentoring and (2) mentoring external mentees. Our in-class practice mentoring sessions will be a condensed version of the longer mentoring and ISM sessions with external mentees.
1. Starting the Session
Begin with a friendly, relaxing brief personal check in. The mentoring session should feel like a friendly conversation or companionship. The following topics provide an outline for the session. Depending on the present needs of the mentee, the time spent on each topic will vary.
2. Facilitate an ISM Session
Begin with a brief ISM session. NOTE: Because of the time limitations for in-class mentoring practicum sessions, the introductory ISM session will be just one minute per step. However, in a full mentoring session, the ISM session can be proportionally increased to a maximum of 20 minutes. A gentle voice intro to next steps can also include the sound of a gong.
Each session will include a review of the most recent Styles Profile that has previously been forwarded to the Mentor. Here, the Mentee will share the styles that are higher, and ones that are lower on their profile charts. The Mentor will help the Mentee to determine which styles the Mentee will use in the development of their personal ISM practice and their exploration of the questions. (NOTE: Mentees will need to have forwarded the results of their recent styles profile in advance of the mentoring session. If the mentoring session is done through ZOOM, it can also be helpful if the mentee shows their charts through screen sharing.)
4. Sharing the Mentee’s ISM Practice
The Mentor will converse with the mentee about their experiences with each of the steps of ISM. For example, the Mentor might ask the following questions. What steps are going well and what are challenging? How are they using their styles to develop their ISM? How is ISM impacting their general state of mind & being? How is the ISM meditation being integrated into their relationships, professions, and service? Here, the Mentor will conversationally companion the Mentee through compassionate listening and questioning without dictating answers.
Mentee will share the questions(s) they have chosen for this session. The Mentor will ask the Mentee how they might rephrase the question in their own words. The Mentor will draw out the Mentee regarding their progress in finding an answer. The Mentor will ask what sources the mentee is exploring to help find their answer.
(Note: the mentees will need to have forwarded the results of their recent questions profile. It can also help if the mentee is able to share their screen if the mentoring session is done through ZOOM.)
Mentor reminds the mentee to journal their progress each week. If they are not a member of the course website, they can keep their own private journal. This journal could be organized according to headings for each of the seven ISM steps, each of the styles and each of the questions.
If they are a member of the website and enrolled in the courses, they could use the site journal. In their Mentor-Mentee sessions, the mentee should also read or report from their journal. That way the Mentor will know if they are using a journal.
7. Preparing for their Next Mentoring Session
The Mentor will ask the Mentee what their followup goals are in preparation for the next mentoring session.
8. Closing Meditation
The mentoring session will end with the ISM song, or a gentle contemplative dwelling in the seven steps of ISM.