What was it that first called you to train as a OneSpirit interfaith minister? I had a burning desire to experience and understand the spiritual heart of different religions and to explore what connected them together. I wanted to learn the language used to describe the nature of spiritual experience and how to create spiritually meaningful ceremonies, especially when not rooted in a particular religious tradition. During the time I was initially contemplating this desire, I met someone at a weekend workshop who talked about their partner training to be an interfaith minister. This felt synchronistic. I just knew I had to explore further.
In which year were you ordained? 2008
What is your minister’s vow, and your relationship to it?
I feel a reluctance to share the words of my vow here because of its deeply personal and intimate nature. My vow has shortened since ordination and it may shorten again as I move closer to its essence, which is, simply, to Love – but oh so complex and challenging to embody. I’ve grappled with the word ‘vow,’ and now find more resonance with the word ‘intention.’
What was the most important thing that changed in your life as a result of the training?
There are several equally important things working together. I became more committed to living life in the body from a spiritual perspective. I gained a new understanding of the religion of my birth (Judaism) which helped me re-engage with the practices. I’ve made life-long friends from the training and gone on to train as a spiritual director with The London Centre for Spiritual Direction.
How does your ministry or your life’s purpose manifest in the world now?
I support others 1:1 or in small groups to articulate their spiritual experiences. I value all I learn from my role as a spiritual counsellor / director and supervisor. I co-lead a guidance and prayer circle and a support group for ministers. I support mothers to breastfeed their babies so they can build loving relationships that last a lifetime.
What main sources of inspiration or guidance do you draw on for your continuing spiritual journey?
From an inner perspective, I am most familiar with Kabbalah — the mystical dimension of Judaism — and writers on Christian and Jewish spiritual direction. From an outer perspective, I follow practices from Jewish festivals and the Sabbath and attend Unitarian services.
Where is your ‘edge’ currently — what most challenges you on your path?
How to live fully as a human being? How to balance the physical and spiritual? How to discern between Love and ego? How to apply what I’ve learnt when relating to others, especially my family and close friends, who teach me so much.
How do you envision your ministry developing in future?
I hope my ministry will continue to deepen in those areas I love, but….. time will tell.
This link will take you to Suzanne Cohen's entry in our Listing of Ministers, where you can also contact her.