Every semester provides training and experience in each of four pillars, a different pillar being emphasized each semester.
- Multi-faith Foundations
- Storytelling – Immersion
- Spirituality and Mysticism
- Storytelling – Pragmatics
Additionally, students have two opportunities per semester to tell and be critiqued on a story of their choosing. Finally, students receive monthly spiritual mentorship from Maggid Brulé. A weekend retreat (which can be attended in person or virtually) forms the conclusion of each semester.
1 Multifaith Foundations
We most fully appreciate our own spirituality in community, particularly with people having different beliefs and cultural experiences from ours. This semester emphasizes the experience and digestion of stories and spiritual practices from familiar and unfamiliar sources.
The semester begins with an old Hungarian magic tale – Nemtudomka – which reveals both unfamiliar structures and motifs alongside the key attitude of not knowing: the essential requirement for learning something new.
Guest faculty from indigenous Mexicah and Narragansett cultures will engage each other and the entire class in “Deep Dialogues:” facilitated conversations about the interweaving of stories and spirituality in their personal lives and practices. And occasional dialogues with visiting faculty will further enhance the appreciation of the power of seeing the world through a different lens.
We will also examine the power beneath a commonly misunderstood religious / spiritual story by examining its deeper roots, and the implications this has for the study and use of scriptures across various religious traditions.
Finally, the other pillars will each be visited and integrated throughout the classes.
2 Storytelling – Immersion
Telling a transformational story requires that we ourselves be transformed. This semester emphasizes the discovery of the spiritual within stories, and the power of that spirituality to invite and instill healing. Transformation requires an open heart; as transformational storytellers, we must open the heart of the stories we tell as well as our own hearts. This sometimes means working with stories that either the teller or the audience finds challenging, and approaches to this work are discussed.
In this semester, the Deep Dialogues will occur between Hungarian and Jewish cultures, and a Longhouse story will form the basis of the semester’s exploration.
3 Spirituality and Mysticism
With or without a formal tradition, spiritual and mystical experiences can infuse our lives. Stories are one vehicle for entering those worlds, and we will also examine other approaches – spiritual practices, clinical hypnosis, and even neuroscience – and how they overlap and intersect with transformational storytelling.
The Deep Dialogues this semester will involve the Jewish and Longhouse traditions, and the visiting faculty will come from pagan / earth-based traditions. A story from the Mexicah tradition will frame the semester
4 Storytelling – Pragmatics
Transformational storytelling requires a versatile set of skills and practices, including those drawn from acting, literature, spirituality, hypnosis, and compassion. This semester emphasizes the practical skills of transformational storytelling, and of the planning and production of programs.
The Deep Dialogues this semester will involve the Mexicah and Longhouse traditions, and the visiting faculty will come from Hindu and Buddhist traditions. The semester’s framing story will come from the Jewish tradition.
Order of the Classes
The dates are flexible to reflect students’ schedules.
At the end of each semester, there will be a weekend onsite retreat, incorporating a public storytelling.
The details of the class schedule can be found here.