At the age of five, Bruce Rubin had a spiritual experience playing in a sandbox in the middle of the afternoon. The sun disappeared and a dense night sky appeared in its place. Infinite galaxies were swirling in the vastness of his own head and he sensed the entire universe was contained within him. He knew instantly he was one with all there was. In the years that followed, Bruce became an Oscar-winning screenwriter, a spiritual teacher and most recently, a photographer. Each aspect of his life has been a conscious effort to explore and reveal what he learned in that sandbox.
Bruce was born in the middle of WWII and raised in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Sondra and Jimmy Rubin. He has a younger brother and sister, Gary and Marci. There was very little remarkable about him. He wanted to be an actor, writer, director but had no talent to speak of. In 1965 he took a massive (and accidental) overdose of LSD and began a journey which lasted between 3 and 4 billion years. When he returned he knew he would have stories to tell. He also knew he needed to find a teacher, so he hitchhiked around the world for nearly two years in search of one.
After living in ashrams in India and in a Tibetan monastery in Kathmandu, he met his teacher Rudi in New York City just blocks from where he had begun his journey. Rudi taught a meditation practice that became the foundation for Bruce’s spiritual life. He has meditated every day since.
Bruce’s screenwriting career began late in his life. Earlier he had been an assistant film editor for the NBC Nightly News, and Curator and Head of the Film Department at the Whitney Museum in New York. When Rudi died, Bruce gave up his museum career to continue his spiritual practice with a disciple of Rudi’s in Bloomington, Indiana. While there he was also writing movies, twice locking himself in a hotel room and refusing to emerge without a finished script. He also began teaching meditation to an expanding community of fellow seekers and continues holding classes to this day.
After 44 years of daily meditation, Bruce experienced what is referred to as a spiritual awakening. For him it was a revelation that there was no one to awaken. The illusion of a separate ego dissolved and left him in a state of extraordinary emptiness and inexplicable expansion. It was a profound step in a journey that began in a sandbox and continues to this moment.
Bruce continues to share his evolving experience with his students. His talks can be found on YouTube and on this site. Recently, he also discovered photography as an unexpected opportunity for communicating his spiritual vision. The result of always having an iPhone in his pocket, he describes this new phase in his creative life as the discovery of seeing. As Bruce explains, “The mystery and magic of the world is not hidden. It is under our feet, on old walls, in rusting garbage cans. The beauty, the wonder, never ends.”