Practices in Conscious Living
How can you sustain learning and put into practice what you’ve learned?
That is a challenge for Mussar students. Rabbi Yisrael Salanter saw this problem and spoke of it in the 19th century, as did Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto in the 18th. Both goals are reached through practice.
COURSE CONTENT, FORMAT and METHODS
In this 26-unit course, the guided Mussar practice involves text learning (all drawn from the Mussar classic, Alei Shur, with original translations), personal practice, study with a chevruta and engagement with a small group (va’ad) but also a personal project (usually a voluntary activity) the student takes on in the real world.
This course will satisfy the need for daily and weekly spiritual practice while not being too time-consuming or onerous. The middot the course focuses on are: truth, equanimity, alacrity, honor, humility, gratitude, trust, love, lovingkindness, joy, faith, and order.
The materials and methods we work on will be there to support your on-going learning and practice in years to come. It involves several components of Mussar learning and practice:
You will receive a bi-weekly reading written by Alan Morinis and focusing on a specific middah. We will deal with 12 middot and will focus on each middah for 2 weeks, making a total of 26 weeks.
“Accounting of the Soul” is the core of daily practice, and to support keeping a daily diary, we have developed a looseleaf worksheet for a cheshbon ha’nefesh diary that we will provide for you to print out and use (if you wish).
Several times during the program, you will be asked to comment by email on your experiences working on a specific middah, along with any responses you might have to the bi-weekly reading.
You will be matched to a compatible chevruta partner with whom you will have a meeting or telephone discussion every second week.
Those who have completed Season of Mussar II or Everyday Holiness, or who have already taken the more advanced courses.
At this level, you receive the training you need to become a lifelong Mussar learner and practitioner, both independently and as part of the growing Mussar community.
Local groups can start at any time; distance groups have a specific start date with 3-4 weeks’ notice to TMI. Local groups can start any time, as determined by TMI and the facillitator. We require 2-3 weeks advance notice of a new group. Distance groups start after Simchat Torah each year (November 7, 2015) and can begin on a date set by the facilitator and the group once there is sufficient enrollment.
The Mussar in Action program runs for 26 weeks
Your small va’ad group of 6-8 people will meet in the alternate week (betweenchevruta meetings) to discuss a small pre-assigned section of the recent but classic book Alei Shur by Rabbi Shlomo Wolbe. This book is only in Hebrew and the translations provided have been created specially for the Mussar in Action program.
In order to bring your Mussar practice into your world (and to firmly avoid the self-absorption that is a potential pitfall of any spiritual practice) and to strengthen the bonds of community across the distances that separate us, you will engage in a project with other people that will be, in effect, your “Mussar in action”.
Process Reports at the mid-way and end of the program will be reflections on how your middot work shows up and applies in the active, engaged context of the project discussed above.
During the course of the program, you will be invited to have a conversation with a senior Mussar teacher for personal interaction, questions and guidance.
For local groups, please check with your group facilitator for method of payment.
Please check with your facilitator before paying for this LOCAL course. Your facilitator will tell you whether to pay directly to the institution sponsoring your Local group, or to pay using PayPal/Credit Card at this site.
Please contact the TMI Office at firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
To get your group started, email email@example.com.
For withdrawal before the program has begun: 100% refund
For withdrawal within the first two weeks after the program has begun: 50% refund
For withdrawal after the first two weeks after the program has begun: no refund
We are very happy and excited about this program and we hope it kindles enthusiasm in you. If it does but there are issues, please be in touch so they can be addressed. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. That way, our Mussar work together will begin even before the program formally commences!