Mussar has absolutely changed my life. My spiritual journey started the day that I realized that I turned my employer into a false idol. I cut my hours by a third without changing jobs in less than a year. Mussar taught me why I was a workaholic, and gave me the tools to bring healing and balance into my life. I am indebted to Rabbi Jennifer Clayman for first introducing me to Mussar, to my teacher Alan Morinis for his books and wisdom, and the organization he founded, The Mussar Institute, for my ongoing mussar education.
Want to start your own Mussar journey? Take the free Soul Trait Profile Quiz.
I started teaching and facilitating Mussar groups within months of starting to practice it myself. There is no better way to learn something than to teach it to others, and I owe a debt of gratitude to all of my former and current students, who joined me on this journey of personal transformation. First, I created my own curriculum, in which I selected Soul Traits that I thought were particularly relevant for work-life balance. My first class was called “Achieving Work-Life Balance Through the Practice of Mussar.”I taught five classes, added five more, and then five more. What started as a short project became a year long course.
In January 2015, I enrolled in the Manchim training program at The Mussar Institute, and in October I started facilitating the TMI class A Season of Mussar at my synagogue. I organized my first live event in May 2015. I just love teaching and facilitating Mussar!
For almost ten years, I worked as a marketer, helping guide cutting edge technology for genetics research to market. I loved helping invent new ways for people to do things, and to help create new markets. I felt a bit like Santa, giving the gift of a problem solved.
I started innovating almost as soon as I started teaching Mussar. (Mussar has a long history of innovation, going back at least as far as Rabbi Israel Salenter who started the Mussar movement in the 19th Century.) It started with spectrum diagrams for each Soul Trait, and progressed to the development of American Mussar and the forthcoming Pocket Mensch app. My second book “The Spiritual Practice of Good Actions: Finding Balance through the Soul Traits of Mussar” is available now on Amazon.
Greg Marcus has a BA in Biology from Cornell University, and earned his Ph.D. in biology from MIT. Greg prefers male gender pronouns. He worked for ten years as a marketer in the Silicon Valley genomics industry, after which he became a stay-at-home dad, writer, life balance coach, and biotech consultant. Greg’s first book, Busting Your Corporate Idol: Self-Help for the Chronically Overworked, is a five star Amazon best seller. Greg resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, two daughters, and two cats.
Greg is a frequent guest and cohost of Cooking with Ryan Scott on KGO 810, and has appeared on radio programs coast to coast.
Hear Greg talk about Mussar with Rabbi Sol Solomon on “Dave’s Gone By” hosted by Dave Lefkowitz. April 4, 2015. More info
Greg describes Mussar in the JWeekly article Study more, be a better person — the way of Mussar by Drew Himmelstein. March 26, 2015. Read now
Greg is available for TV, radio or Podcast interviews. Email him here.