131. Spiritual Leadership in the Digital Space, with Laura Murray


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What is a digital silent retreat? In this episode, Laura Murray, a pastor and spiritual director, will tell the story of how she began to use Zoom to lead digital silent retreats while people were quarantining due to Covid, as well as offer insight into how to lead your own digital silent retreats.


  • Laura Murray is a pastor, a spiritual director, and regularly hosts digital silent retreats.
  • Laura started leading digital silent retreats as a response to the experience of isolation due to the Covid quarantine that began in March 2020.
  • Laura Murray knew it was important for people to have solitude and silence, but also to have connection—to be able to talk about their experience and what they were feeling.
  • Laura explains how the digital silent retreat is structured.
  • Participants in the digital silent retreats are asked to prepare before they show up, such as putting it on your calendar and letting their families know they’ll be unavailable during that time.
  • The digital silent retreats are limited to the host plus eight people.
  • Participants tend to find courage from one another in their sharing in the digital space.
  • Laura Murray reflects on whether it would be better if they met in person.
  • Meeting by Zoom has some advantages over in-person. For instance, it levels the group socio-economically.
  • According to Laura Murray, hospitality is a cornerstone practice for the digital silent retreats.
  • Two other key practices are generosity and spacious guidance.
  • Hospitality creates safe space for people to open up. Hospitality also has boundaries.
  • Laura Murray helps us understand the connection between leadership and hospitality.
  • We need to have a clear “why” when doing digital silent retreats.


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