John Stuart

Music: A Graced Invitation of the Spirit to Journey Inwards

Music as a primary entrée point into our inner world and can be a wonderful tool for us in our work as spiritual directors. From Bach to Kristofferson, from Celtic harp to full Symphony orchestra, from the world of folk music to the world of pop music, from David playing his harp to the music of the didgeridoo, music is at the heart of our journey inward.

Music is primary in allowing us to attend to ourselves in a more healthy way. In his 17th century poem, The Mourning Bride, William Congreve eloquently articulates what this may mean in the opening line “Music hath Charms to sooth a savage Breast.” Don Campbell in his book “The Mozart Affair” speaks of ‘Tapping the power of music, to heal the body, strengthen the mind and unlock the Creative Spirit,’ again indicating how the power of music can release the forces of compassion that arise out of the Creative Spirit.

This workshop will explore how our Creative Spirit is released through the power of music and how, as spiritual directors, we can assist those we are companioning to recognize this power in their lives. It will also invite participants to explore their own experience the power of music.

John Stuart

John Stuart has been working in the area of spirituality all his adult life; initially as a priest in the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, then as a counsellor in the alcohol and other drug field, and since 1990 as a spiritual director and retreat facilitator. John is a graduate of the Institute for Spiritual Leadership in Chicago. He is a member of the Living Well Centre for Christian Spirituality. He is the current president of the Australian Network for Spiritual Direction.