Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, the inspiration of the Jewish Renewal movement, is professor emeritus at Temple University and is also on the faculty of religious studies at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. He is the author of From Age-ing to Sage-ing and Wrapped in Holy Flame. In this book written with Donald Gropman during the 1980s, he presents ways to recapture the intimacy and the ecstasy in our relationship with God.
Reb Zalman, as he is usually addressed, points out that Judaism and other Western religions are oververbalized, intellectualized, and underexperienced. That is why in this paperback he presents some spiritual practices that can be done at work, in the home, or on the streets. He calls one for walking "exercising our mammal." A visualization to be used while eating corn flakes in the morning links us to organic time. He suggests how to create a Sabbath interlude at work and adds a wonderful practice of sending positive vibrations of love as we leave the workplace to those who are awaiting us at home.
Reb Zalman also discusses marriage, divorce, prayer, circumcision, and "Godbirthing" (being "born again" by "getting plugged into the universe"). Why all the emphasis upon rituals? The author states: "I introduce people to the experiences in Jewish ritual and observance, sensitizing them to the psychological and emotional content rather than the outward form. People then realize that religious acts are natural unfoldings of our response to God's call. When they learn how to recreate these acts, they move naturally closer and closer to the intent of the ritual. They become aware that the ritual is the soul's way of dancing with God."