Guild Associates

Guild Associates are those who, seeking to ground their lives and work in unconditional Presence, have chosen to ally themselves as a network of contemplatives for purposes of spiritual support and growth, collegiality and accountability, and have also chosen to experience the Associate application and discernment process.
Vocationally, Associates come from various walks of life: as clergy, spiritual directors, retreat leaders, small practice group facilitators, educators, psychotherapists, social workers, physicians, pharmacologists, and many others. We enjoy landscaping, gardening, farming, woodworking, cooking, writing, and all manner of art and recreating in Nature. We seek to live as fully as possible our active lives from our grounding in the contemplative life.

Our lives as Guild Associates are rooted in shared values related to our daily spiritual practices, the conduct of our personal and vocational lives, and our way of being with one another in our gatherings. We have written very simple guidelines for each of these three areas: Guild Rule of LifeGuild Guidelines for Ethical Conduct, and Guidelines for Small and Large Group Conversations.

Among our offerings, Guild Associates lead weekly Contemplative Groups and monthly Quiet Days, which are free of charge to participants. We participate in and help lead Guild Institute programs. Associates also offer local programs, workshops, and retreats on a wide range of topics, as well as individual and group spiritual direction or guidance throughout northern New England.

In addition to participating in an association of contemplatives for mutual spiritual and vocational support, Associates enjoy several benefits: the energetic companionship of a vital spiritual community; shared practice and growth through leadership of Guild Contemplative Groups and Quiet Days, as well as participation and leadership in Institute and Associate­-led programs at reduced cost; intimate gatherings with nationally and internationally known teachers and retreat leaders; an annual Board and Associates’ retreat; and publicity for our offerings via the Guild web site (see the Associates Directory) and a monthly newsletter that goes out to over 1,500 people. For more information, please see Guild Associates’ Responsibilities and Benefits.

In short, the Guild’s experience is that a unique kind of community emerges when space is made for contemplative Silence at its center. We value the spacious Presence that emerges out of this Silence, and we honor the gift each person brings to the gathered community as a reflection of this larger Presence. We view participants in our programs as actively engaged in the transformation of our world. Our Associates’ network is one way the Guild, in William Stringfellow’s words, enacts “a fearful hope for society.”