An excerpt from Dr. Stephen Johnson's book - The Sacred Path: They Way of the Spiritual Warrior
The words continued to speak to me from a place far away while at the same time it seemed to resonate from a place deep within. It was a familiar place that I had visited before in my meditation practices. I had learned that through meditation I could experience clarity and insight that also seemed to bring with it an intuitive sense of personal mission or destiny.
I thought to myself, “OK, God, now that you’ve gotten my attention what do you want?”The answer came immediately from the same comforting voice, “The way of the Spiritual Warrior.” I repeated the phrase to myself a couple of times and then put both parts together, “The Sacred Path: The way of the Spiritual Warrior,” and with that I experienced a sense of inner knowing and peace. I intuitively knew what that meant. And yet I found myself asking out loud, “What am I to do with this?” God then shot back, “Bring good men together and bring out the best in them.”
And that’s what I did.
In 1987, I created the first Sacred Path: The Way of the Spiritual Warrior workshop for men. It was held high on a mountain overlooking the Pacific ocean in topanga Canyon. The venue was an aluminum covered geodesic dome house owned by a friend who had been gifted the plans for the complex by his mentor, environmentalist and futurist Buckminster Fuller. Forty-five men gathered for a day of self-exploration around what it meant to be a man. I was struck by how many men shared the common phenomena of not feeling close to their fathers, and being confused about what women wanted from them and what they should expect of themselves as men.
I continued to hold workshops for men on an every-other-month basis. As the format grew so did the length of the events and so did the number of participants. They expanded from daylong workshops to overnight retreats and from overnight to two-night events and then eventually to the four-day format that has been in place for years. We have been holding Sacred Path Men’s Retreats now for twenty-eight years and have hosted over one hundred in attendance per event.
In 1988, I founded The Men’s Center of los Angeles, a 501c3 nonprofit public benefit corporation, that provides counseling and educational programs for men and those who share their lives. In 2000, we created The Call to Adventure Rites of Passage Retreat designed to provide initiation of youth into adulthood. Our Call to Adventure retreat for fathers and sons, boys and mentors, is constructed to bring men and boys together to introduce initiation into conscious manhood through a program of confrontive challenges. It is designed to teach boys the skills they need in order to attain a balanced masculinity and grow up to become mindful men. \
Throughout the years, we have brought thousands of good men together and as a result they have brought out the best in each other. Our mission, to empower mindful men to rise up to become the “spiritual warriors” they were born to be, lives on.
It has been a remarkable journey.