ChIME Student Interview with Michael Mooney

1.  Why did you decide to attend ChIME?

I have a desire and need to assist others, to show them their divinity.  I chose ChIME, with the help of mentors and spiritual guides, to assist me in the process of learning fully about myself so I could be fully present for those I wish to help.

2.  What kind of volunteer/internship work have you done, and how has that impacted you?

I have volunteered with my church, including within the Youth program of my church and the eastern region of my church at Youth Rallies, and I am beginning to volunteer in local alcohol and drug recovery programs, bringing meditation and spiritual dialogue where it is sorely needed.  Mentoring and guiding the youth in my church has been life changing.  They are my teachers.  Volunteering within local recovery programs has allowed me to bring forth the teaching I have so generously received at CHIME, which has helped me transform past trauma into an opportunity to help others heal. 

3.  How have you grown as a person through your experience at ChIME?

ChIME has continuously challenged me to grow, bringing out old stories and traumas to hold in sacredness and heal, allowing me to, as a I said in the previous answer, alchemize them into opportunities to help heal others.  I have learned to listen to hear, not listen to respond. 

4.  What have you been surprised by?  What has met your expectations?

I am honestly a bit surprised that the programming has been less about faith traditions and more about experiential things.  I have enjoyed most of it.  The classes that help us better understand ourselves, our patterns of behavior and how this impacts our relationships and our roles as chaplains, in addition to the art practices, I have found most beneficial.

5.  What has been most rewarding about your experience?  What about most challenging?

My most rewarding experience has been the exponential personal growth I have experienced in ChIME.  My life is completely different and led by Spirit.  This exact thing has also been the most challenging.  But with the great guidance of my mentors, spiritual companion and faculty advisor I have been able to meet and exceed my own expectations. 

6.  What thoughts would you share with a prospective student?

To approach ChIME with a fully open and present mind.  To leave your expectations at the door.  And to allow the classes and workshops to fully wash over you.