I received s’micha as a maggid in a highly-respected lineage, including Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach (zt”l), Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi (zt”l), and Maggid Yitzhak Buxbaum. As important as that is, it represents just one of the dimensions of what I bring to this program.
I started my professional life as a clinical psychologist, and from there moved to the field of artificial intelligence, was a successful entrepreneur, and most recently a regulatory expert in healthcare. All of these disparate fields are interwoven with the force of story. But again, these are simply other lenses through which he can be viewed.
Since I first encountered a radically different ethnic spirituality while living in the Philippines as a teenager, I have been drawn to the insights and transformative connections that spring out of actively encountering other cultures and faith traditions with an open heart.
On a recent trip to Israel, the small group I was traveling with met with the Sufi Sheikh of Nazareth, along with many other spiritual leaders from the Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions. I immersed myself in streams of Buddhism from India and Japan, and had a surprising encounter with a Hindu guru in Nepal. Closer to home, years ago I shared deep encounters with the Lakota Sioux in the height of the 1970s. Currently, I am a co-leader of multi-faith groups with Muslims and Christians, separately and combined, in work that continues today.
These encounters – and others too numerous to mention – have not diluted but in fact deepened my Jewish experience; they help me uncover its treasures at every turn. Indeed, this is the common experience of people who truly experience multi-faith spirituality: it enhances, rather than diminishes, their own spiritual path.
Since my s’micha – akin to ordination – I have traveled around the country telling transformational stories, leading workshops, and maintaining a small number of private students. My audiences have numbered from the thousands to the few. Now, however, it has become clear that it is time for me to pass on my skills, knowledge, and passion to the next circle of spiritual leaders.
If you come from a Jewish heritage, you may wish to consider striving for s’micha, and carrying on the lineage. No matter what your heritage or beliefs, the Multifaith Transformational Storytelling program is a real opportunity to discover and uncover the richness of Spirit as it infuses our stories – and our lives.
Questions? Please contact me at JimBrule@TransformationalStorytelling.org.