I've been rereading the section in Ken Cloke's book Mediating Dangerously that deals with the role of "spirit" in mediation. Ken uses the term spirit to refer to that aspect of the human experiences that lies underneath everything we do. He points out that it is hard to be concrete in writing about spirit, but emphasizes the point that spirit is none the less a universal phenomenon among human beings.
Mediating Dangerously: Frontiers in Conflict Resolution by Kenneth Cloke
Ken, I wonder if one inroad into helping people to get what you mean by spirit is by having conversations with people about "embodied values." By this I mean finding ways to think and talk about our "core values" (ala Sean Mason) that tie them into things we feel deeply inside our bodies.
One metaphor that has helped my clients understand how talking about the body can help us to visualize a process is to talk about taking the group's issues "off of their shoulders" and putting it "into their hands."
Curious to hear reflections you might have...