Director's Message May 2018

May 2018

Greetings MCLA/Sacred Path Community,

If you’ve been following my messages in the past 2 -3 newsletters concerning our Fall retreat, I have an important update for you.  For those of you who are not aware that we will not be holding our Fall retreat in October as we have for the past 30 years, we are taking a potentially bold step in moving our date this year at Gindling Hilltop Camp to Thursday, December 6th through Sunday, December 9th.  To know more about this, you are able to review the previous newsletters by going to menscenterlosangeles.com and clicking on The News.

We held a Wisdom Council meeting in mid April and the consensus was to move forward with the December dates.  It’s a positive gesture of commitment from the staff, so the next crucial step is to have an affirmative gesture of commitment from the community of men who attend the retreats.  Thank you to those of you who offered comments following my April Director’s Message.  By and large, the comments were in support of the 4-day retreat in December.

What we are requesting now is a further demonstration of support for moving forward with our commitment to the camp to secure the dates that are being held.  We would like to have from 10 - 20 men place a $150 refundable deposit down to hold their places for attendance on Dec 6 - 9, 2018.  We are requesting that those deposits be in place by May 15th so that we feel a sense of assurance that we will be able to meet the attendance numbers that work for the camp and for MCLA/SP.

Those of you who step up to evidence your commitment via your deposit will be eligible for a substantial early bird fee reduction.  Historically, men have tended to wait until the last minutes to register even though they have to pay the full retail fee at that point.  I encourage anyone who is frugal to take advantage of the early discount fees. 

I’ve further suggested that you feed your piggy bank on a weekly basis starting now so that the money is there when it’s time to plop down the balance owing.  We’re approximately 30 weeks from the retreat.  $15-20 a week tucked into your bank will cover the costs depending on whether you enroll early or wait until after the early bird specials are over.

You will read in this newsletter about the premiere of Joseph Culp’s new film, Welcome to the Men’s Group on Wednesday night, May 16th in Beverly Hills.  It is a fund raiser and MCLA is one of the non-profit organizations who will benefit.  I spoke on a panel following a screening of the film at USC over a year ago and Joseph has again invited me to participate on the panel following the premier showing.  It will open to a wide distribution after the 16th.  I hope you’ll be able to attend the premiere or one of the screenings.  Go to the link enclosed in the information herewith to get your tickets.

Many thanks for taking the time to read through my message and much gratitude for your support of our vision to bring good men together and to bring out the best in them.

In brotherhood,

Stephen

Welcome to the Men's Group, Premier Event!

The new feature film WELCOME TO THE MEN’S GROUP is a comedy/drama about the modern phenomenon of men's support groups. It takes a very intimate look at the need for men to learn to talk about their feelings and find their integrity in a world with changing attitudes on masculinity.  By turns funny and poignant, the film soberly tackles issues of male shame, relationships, fatherhood, sex addiction, suicide, competition and grief.   After playing multiple festivals and doing dozens of preview screenings with panel discussions in the U.S. and Europe, we will hold our official Los Angeles premiere on May 16.  This event will act as a red carpet gala event fundraiser, with proceeds going to support several non-profit organizations that raise awareness on men’s issues today.  The film opens on May 18 at Laemmle Music Hall in Beverly Hills.

See special Q and A with Dr. Johnson and the director, Joseph Culp by clicking on the image to the right..

Our goal with making this film is to shine an empathic light on evolving male consciousness today and further the community, growth, and healing for men.   In the rising tide of awareness on male sexual misconduct and the empowerment of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, the timeliness of the film’s message couldn’t be better. 

We have received strong support from men’s and women’s organizations, including Planned Parenthood, The Mankind Project, The Good Men Project, Movember, and Men’s Center Los Angeles.  Women in particular have hailed the film as a “breakthrough for male and feminist awareness”.  We believe this is a great opportunity to draw more attention to the current gender issues with a Los Angeles event prior to our theatrical release in select cities. 

To attend the event, see below:

WHEN:

Wednesday, May 16, 2018   Red Carpet Reception 6:00PM  Screening 7:00PM

WHERE:

The Ahrya Fine Arts Theater

8556 Wilshire Boulevard

Beverly Hills, CA 90211

TICKETS ON EVENTBRITE

Firefighters Down Honored by NFL, Changing Lives for the Better

FIREFIGHTERS DOWN IS A "WOUNDED WARRIORS" ORGANIZATION FOCUSED ON PROVIDING ASSISTANCE TO FIREFIGHTERS INJURED IN THE LINE OF DUTY.
 
 

Firefighters Down Honored as 2018 Charity for NFL Directory

 

Our very own Firefighters Down Captain Mike Henry and Captain Rick Brandelli were honored on March 25-26 as the 2018 Charity for the NFL Directory at the Omni Hotel in Los Angeles. Firefighters Down has now recieved 23 sponsorships from NFL teams such as the New York Giants and the Green bay Packers. 

Sunday, March 25, was a cocktail/fun event on the Patio of the Onmi in which Rick, Mike and five other Firefighters along with their spouses mingled and shared stories with members of the 32 NFL Directory teams and Representative from every state's major hotel chains. 

 

Day two of this amazing event was a grand sit down dinner attended by 250 persons, in which Captain Mike received a standing ovation as he spoke about the effects of Traumatic rescues not just on the Firefighers but also on his or her family.

"It's very exciting that we shall have each of the 32 teams sponsor a specific firefighter and their family. This allows for a wonderful ongoing relationship between Firefighters and the NFL," explains Captain Mike.

"Firefighters' healings and experience will be recorded and provided to each sponsoring team. The growth of this relationship is very exciting," he adds. 

 

MCLA Proudly Assists FIREFIGHTERS DOWN
to Deliver Healing & Hope

  • There are over 2 million emergency calls to firefighters each year in the U.S.
  • Even in the face of personal danger, firefighters rescue victims of fire, accident or violence, provide first aide and ultimately risk their own lives to save the lives of others on a daily basis.
  • Sadly, there are few resources in place to assist firefighters with the necessary healing processes. Physical and emotional scars continue to amass until they become debilitating. 
  • The primary goal is to provide services to physically and emotionally injured or ill firefighters from departments across the United States. 

FireFighters Down founder Captain Mike Henry has collaborated with Dr. Stephen J. Johnson, Ph.D., LMFT (author and founder/executive director of MCLA) and a dedicated group of therapeutic service providers united to help injured Firefighters.

The process created is called “Hero Consciousness”

  • Individual & Group Counseling
  • Meditation
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Therapy
  • Immediate Explosive Disorder Therapy
  • Mental & Physical therapies
  • Sweat Lodges
  • Higher Consciousness Practices
  • Yoga
  • Professional Fitness training
  • Family Counseling
  • Online Follow up program
  • Contracting and collaborating with the Firefighters Local therapeutic resources

The program not only supports the healing of Firefighters after injuries but also the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that haunts firefighters and their families for months and even years following the occurrence of the trauma.  

This powerful therapeutic process is designed to restore the spirit of the injured Firefighter.  With support from corporations, celebrities, a caring community and firefighters from across the nation, the injured Firefighters will quickly understand the value of their sacrifice as well as how many people admire and support the service Firefighters provide to the community. 

Dr. Stephen Johnson and the Men's Center Los Angeles are proud to support and endorse our very own Captain Mike Henry and this excellent program designed to assist Firefighters. Your support of this important work is greatly appreciated.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT AND SUPPORT
WWW.FIREFIGHTERSDOWN.ORG

 

 

  

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MCLA Future Men's Retreats: It's Decision Time

MCLA Future Men's Retreats: It's Decision Time


Director's Message
April 2018

Greetings MCLA Sacred Path Community,

My message this month will be very brief and to the point.  I encourage you to take a few minutes to read this and respond in the comments section at the end.  Your thoughtful and forthright feedback is needed and will be seriously considered.

You may be aware, if you’ve read my messages over the past couple of months, that we lost our October date up at Gindling Hilltop Camp. I have previously written about the reasons so I won’t go into it again.  It’s difficult to find another site that is comparable that has not already been reserved.  Camps are usually reserved a year in advance. Nonetheless, we have a decision to make.

Gindling Hilltop has offered us 4 days and 3 nights in December, the 6th through the 9th.  These dates are being tentatively held for us to decide whether to take them or not.  The question before us is:  would we have enough men willing to attend at that time of the year?  The weather is typically mild then and should not pose an issue.

I think it comes down to whether we could attract 60 and preferably more men who are willing to commit to attending in early December.  Another option would be to forego the 4 day retreat and have a one or two-day event in October, somewhere.

Please contemplate and comment as to whether you are personally interested in attending in December.  Furthermore, will you commit now to coming and bringing one or more other men with you?  Or, do you feel that a shorter event in October would be preferable?

With gratitude to all of you who have read this and are offering your feedback. It will make the difference as to when, where and even perhaps, will we gather together next Fall.  I’ll update you in the May newsletter.

Finally, bravo to the men who attended the Colorado River Kayak Retreat and who braved the flash flood.  Quite an adventure!  Read about it in this newsletter.

IT'S DECISION TIME. Please leave your feedback in the comments section below. We're all in this together. 

In the spirit of brotherhood.

Stephen

Stephen J. Johnson Ph.D., LMFT
Executive Director

 

 

 

 

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Dr. Stephen Johnson is founder and executive director of the Men's Center Los Angeles and leader/wayshower of the Sacred Path men's retreats for the past 30+ years. He is a gifted therapist and master facilitator for the experiential journey that unfolds during his counseling sessions and workshops. Dr. J is a skilled and seasoned psychotherapist who has the sensibilities of a wisdom teacher. He provides a safe space for freedom of expression in accessing one’s pain while fostering transformation, personal expansion and spiritual growth. Click here to visit www.DrStephenJohnson.com

 

 

Dr. Johnson is author of "THE SACRED PATH: THE WAY OF THE SPIRITUAL WARRIOR," an amazing how-to book for men who want to become better men . . . AND for the women who care about them.
 

 

 

"THE SACRED PATH MEN'S RETREATS" MCLA's Wisdom Council honored Dr. J's amazing 30+ years of mindful leadership and mentorship with a special commemorative tribute film. See for yourself the incredible men's work that we do on the mountain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Men's Retreat & Flash Flood Baptism on the Colorado River

Men's Retreat & Flash Flood Baptism on the Colorado River

by Bill Arena
MCLA Wisdom Council

MCLA's ANNUAL SACRED PATH spring 4-day, 3-night kayak camping men's retreat in the Black Canyon wilderness of the Colorado River was an incredibly wild and crazy adventure this year. We shared powerful work with an intimate and eclectic collection of manly mindful men on the path. Our entire group was tested in, oh, so many ways. Survivors. Warriors. Good men. Grateful. Empowered. 

We enjoyed an absolutely spectacular time in Mother Nature, mindful, powerful men's work deep in the wilderness, a surprise guest visit by an amazing woman traveling alone with her dog adding sacred balance to our intense male-female work, powerfully purifying Inipi Sweatlodge prayer ceremonies, and deep male bonding with other good men.

BAPTISM ON THE RIVER __ And then, to close out our men's retreat adventure in a magnificent way and literally lock in the powerful energetic cleansings we each enjoyed in our mindful men's work, at 6:45 am on our final day we survived a flash flood that ripped through our secluded campsite. 

I've personally been blessed to attend many MCLA Sacred Path men's retreats over the years but, for me, this one was definitely the most memorable, empowering and life-enhancing event ever. 

(at left)
RIVER SAFETY orientation meeting at the Hoover Dam Lodge Wednesday evening before our Thursday morning launch. Casino energy, neon lights, electronic music, people smoking cigarettes indoors . . . "Oh yeah Scott, we’re ready. Let’s get this show on the road."

 

Our small and intimate but extremely powerful group launched from the base of the Hoover Dam on Thursday morning: Jason Zelin, Richard Ford, Zach Fisher, Dylan Arena, Bill Arena, Adam Zawadzki, Michael Mohr and Scott Ewing. We were all so grateful to Dan Stanton and his father, Paul, who launched two days ahead of us to deliver the extensive Inipi ceremony supplies and firewood to our campsite on the river. 

KEEP THE FIRE BURNING __ The Black Canyon Wilderness is one of the most beautiful and energetically-charged sacred spots in the world. We launched from base of the Hoover Dam. No cell coverage. No distractions. No nothing. Just sacred and divine communion with Mother Nature. Love your Mother. Feed your Soul. In the beautiful Lakota language: Pheta kin ileya han cha waste' / "It is good to keep the fire burning" 

 

INTIMATE MEN’S WORK in the big-middle beauty of Mother Nature. We were so blessed to hang out peacefully in some spectacular and amazing natural settings and discuss and reflect upon all kinds of intimate men's topics and issues. So therapeutic. So empowering. 

This amazing natural hot springs grotto is located high up on the mountain and provided such a wonderful, natural bonding experience for all the men in our group. The ages represented by the men in our group this year ranged from 33 to 82. 

 

CLIFF DIVING __ Our personal water safety director Scott Ewing closely observes the action as we experience the Colorado River in an intimate and visceral way. Water temperature an extremely brisk 52 degrees. Huge wilderness reality check and sacred wake-up call physically, emotionally, spiritually (and thermally).

 

MINDFUL MEN __ Special thanks to Scott who did such a beautiful job coordinating the mindfulness aspects of this retreat and providing the topics and forum and safe space for each man to share and express and do this important work. We're also so appreciative of our own DR. STEPHEN JOHNSON who started this work over 30 years ago and helped facilitate our river trip again this spring. Many of the first-hand topics from Dr. J's book, "THE SACRED PATH: The Way of the Spiritual Warrior," were included in our group discussions. Thank you Dr. J for all your great work for the men (and the women) of our world. Mitakuye oyasin (Lakota) / We're all related. We're all in this together.

DIVINE SYNCHRONICITY __ As we’re sitting in the circle passing the sacred football and discussing intimate male topics in a good and respectful way, this woman suddenly shows up with her dog who was cold and wet from jumping in the river. She politely asks if her dog could get warmed up by our fire. Of course. Without missing a beat, our discussion suddenly gets supercharged. It's always incredible to me to witness the universe at work. In real life CHRISTINA CASTALDO is a guide and Lightworker from Phoenix. Just by "coincidence" she happens to be way out here on the river at this same exact moment camping by herself with her dog, doing the exact same work. She politely and respectfully agrees to join in our intimate conversation. It was so beautiful. Amazing sacred balance of divine male and divine female energies converged before our eyes. Our entire group dynamic so enhanced by this woman's presence. It was just what the doctor (J) ordered. So honored and privileged to spend quality time with this incredible woman and these mindful men sitting together in this beautiful, healing energetic vortex on the banks of the Colorado River. 

CONNECTING WITH MOTHER NATURE __ Jason savoring the beauty of the Black Canyon wilderness and incredible peacefulness of the majestic Colorado River. 

BAND OF BROTHERS __ River warriors, teammates, survivors, all for one and one for all. 

RIVER TRIP ABDOMINAL WORK __ So many personal river retreat highlights and blessings this year. Topping the list for me personally was this guy, world famous U.S. Navy veteran and Texas-based wannabe standup comedian Dylan Thomas Arena. I was also blessed to enjoy incredibly powerful, two-way ab/core workouts right there on the river 1) paddling the bow of our vessel, AND, 2) laughing my ass off at Popeye's unrelenting, machine gun social commentary coming from the stern. Mama mia. It's a full body workout on this river.. Love this stuff.  

RIVER TRIP ABDOMINAL WORK __ So many personal river retreat highlights and blessings this year. Topping the list for me personally was this guy, world famous U.S. Navy veteran and Texas-based wannabe standup comedian Dylan Thomas Arena. I was doubly blessed to enjoy incredibly powerful, two-way ab/core workouts right there on the river 1) strong lead paddling from the bow of our vessel, AND, 2) laughing my ass off at Popeye's unrelenting, machine gun social commentary coming from the stern. Mama mia! It's a full body workout manning a canoe with this guy. Love this stuff.  

 

INIPI SWEATLODGE __ Wopila tanka to our brother Dan and his father Paul who respectfully and carefully harvested the willows in California and then packed up the tarps and Grandfathers and firewood and tools and transported everything to Nevada and delivered them directly to our special spot on the river. This sacred Buffalo medicine (at left) arrived by canoe courtesy of Adam, a Sundance fire tender in South Dakota. Our second day on the river each spring such sacred synchronicity . . . exactly 100 DAYS to TREE DAY in the Black Hills. 

 

(at right)
NIGHT BEFORE FLASH FLOOD BAPTISM
We set up our camp at the base of this 60-foot tall rock wall. It was the perfect place. Shielded from the weather. Quiet. Intimate.  Soft, sandy area to pitch our tents. Nobody around to bother us. We built a fire. Passed around the sacred football. Did some good, intimate men's work together.  Settled in for our final night on the river. We were good to go . . . or so we thought.

FLASH FLOOD BAPTISM BY FIRE __ After a steady rain all night, just before dawn at 6:45 am Sunday morning we suddenly hear a big, thundering, rumbling noise echoing from the darkness somewhere high above us. Uh oh, this can't be good. Intense ominous sense of foreboding with earthquake undertones. Instantly jolted awake. BAM!  Within two minutes a flood of water comes gushing out from the ravine and crashes through our tents, the ground immediately swells with rushing water and mud. Everyone scrambles to grab his tent and gear and stuff and drag everything 20 feet over to the still-dry side of the gully.

My big Kelty tent, however, won’t budge, loaded with equipment, securely staked down at the corners, rapidly filing up with water and mud and debris. No choice. Dylan whips out my camp knife, I quickly slice open my beautiful, relatively new tent and we dive in and grab all our stuff and drag everything to safety . . . . DIVINELY PROTECTED. Each man does great. It's a huge rush. Together, we all dodge the water bullet in a good way. Quite an energetic experience on many levels. This photo (above) is the after shot. Warriors working together. Survivors. Teammates. Good men. Connected. Oh yeah, we got this! Facciamolo! Come on! We can handle anything! Great empowerment energy on the river. Supercharged. Grateful.

 

 

(at right) 
FLASH FLOOD AFTERGLOW __ Jason models the appropriate (and obviously quite stylish) rain gear that Scott dutifully advised each of us to pack beforehand. 

RIVER WARRIORS __ After we all survive our early morning flash flood baptism by raging water, we regroup, we laugh, we pack up all our stuff, carefully load up all the Inipi tarps and rocks and sacred items, then enjoy an incredibly beautiful final 8-mile trip down the river to the marina. Our brother Dan Stanton is there to welcome us home. Powerful time on the river with good men. Grateful. Invigorated. 

 

 

BEST RETREAT EVER __ Big thanks to our equipment suppliers, father-son team LES & CHRIS MARTIN / BC RIVER RIDERS. Fantastic job. My son Dylan had the priviledge of riding shotgun this time on our return from the river in the equipment van to our original hotel staging area and talking mano-a-mano motorcycles with our river co-host and good friend Chris Martin, a professional motocross racer and 9-time winner of the Baja 1000.

This year's MCLA kayak river trip was an absolutely amazing time shared with some incredible men. Warriors. Survivors. Teammates. Good men on the sacred path. Yes, this was definitely our best retreat ever. Psyched now to order a new tent and begin prep for next year’s river retreat. We launch in 338 DAYS.

 

BRINGING GOOD MEN TOGETHER AND BRINGING OUT THE BEST IN THEM

Thank you Men's Center Los Angeles and DR. STEPHEN JOHNSON and Scott Ewing and Dan Stanton and everyone who helped facilitate another incredible journey on the Sacred Path. It was an awesome and empowering adventure with good men. Planning ahead, we launch next year on the Colorado River on MARCH 7, 2019
 

A look into the Men's Center Of Los Angeles' Sacred Path Men's Retreats.

MCLA DECISION TIME:  Click here to read DR. J's APRIL DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE and leave your feedback for the future of MCLA's annal Sacred Path fall men's retreat at Gindling Hilltop Camp on the mountain overlooking Malibu. This is a critical transition time for the Men's Center Los Angeles. It's time right now for good men to step up to the plate. We need your feedback and your commitment. This men's work started by Dr. J over 30 years ago is more important right now than ever before.  Pheta kin ileya han cha waste' (Lakota) / "It is good to keep the fire burning."  CLICK HERE TO CAST YOUR VOTE!

 

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BILL ARENA lives in the east bay San Francisco. He's an MCLA Wisdom Council agitator, Men's Work facilitator/guide, Sundancer/Pipe Carrier in Lakota Sioux spiritual tradition, Jin Shin Jyutsu hands-on energy healer, Animal/Bird wrangler, Black Belt MMA instructor, Guided Group Meditation leader, Olympic-style Discus thrower, open ocean Endurance Swimmer, and head writer/editor ARENA CREATIVE GROUP.  His live-each-moment vibrational focus handed down by previous life Renaissance-era mentor and Italian paison, Leonardo da Vinci: "Sto ancora imparando" (I am still learning). “La vita è molto, molto buona.” (Life is very, very good). "Facciamolo" (Come on dudes. Let's do this).

OTHER ARTICLES BY BILL ARENA:
THE LAKOTA SUNDANCE Prayer Ceremony
MNI WICONI: the Sacred Stand at Standing Rock
Indigenous Prophecy of THE CONDOR & THE EAGLE

 

 

 

Manhood in the Age of Trump

Manhood in the Age of Trump

The author of ‘Manliness’ suggests the president’s vulgar appeal may be the beginning of the end of the push for gender-neutrality.

WALL STREET JOURNAL OPINION / THE WEEKEND INTERVIEW
WITH HARVEY MANSFIELD
/ BY TUNKU VARADARAJAN


Cambridge, Mass. -- A wise and nuanced playfulness is Harvey Mansfield’s forte. He’s just turned 86 and has been teaching at Harvard since he was 30, making him one of the longest-running shows in this clever little town. A professor of government, he’s among the foremost experts on Tocqueville and Machiavelli. But since 2006, when he published a book called “Manliness,” the public attention toward him has focused on his uninhibited and mischievous put-down of Western feminists. “I think I’ve got the best critique that exists of feminism, what its nature is, and what it wants,” he says of that book, chuckling immodestly. 

Mr. Mansfield’s study of manliness is acutely topical today, what with the #MeToo movement and the cries of “toxic masculinity” on college campuses, coupled with a startling masculine eruption in the White House. One wonders if there is a connection between the near-banishment of manhood from America’s social sphere and its sudden prominence in the political one. Although, it must be said, there are strong men in powerful positions elsewhere, too, including Russia’s Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi Jinping, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan and India’s Narendra Modi.

“Let’s look at the Washington, D.C., kind of manliness,” Mr. Mansfield says. “Trump’s manliness is of a raw character, the kind you find, also, in Erdogan and Putin, who are rough and gross and discourteous.” In the Mansfield scheme, there’s a hierarchy of manliness, ranging from animalistic strength on the bottom rung, then rising gradually to gentlemanliness, and then to “the highest form, philosophic manliness: the willingness to take on dominant opinions and subvert them by questioning and argument.”

The “raw type of manliness,” Mr. Mansfield says, “coincides with a political situation of polarization.” A polarized democracy is “an invitation to the vulgar. I think what’s interesting about Trump is not so much Trump himself as the people who voted for him.” They are a reminder that democracy “wants equality, but the equality it gets tends to be at a lower level than the best.” America could, he suggests, have equality like the ancient Spartans, “requiring everyone to be courageous. But that’s too difficult for us and doesn’t answer our needs.”

We are in Mr. Mansfield’s home, a garrison colonial hidden behind a high fence, and at this point in the conversation a bustling German lady enters from the garden, her face flushed from the cold. She is Anna Schmidt, Mr. Mansfield’s third wife. (His first marriage ended in divorce, and his second wife, with whom he collaborated on a masterful translation of Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America,” died of cancer in 2006.) She gives the impression of being twice as tall as the modestly built professor, and at 43, she’s half his age. With a certain amount of hamming it up about her duties in the kitchen, she disappears to cook dinner.

Mr. Mansfield, who betrays a visible pride in Mrs. Mansfield, returns to the subject of Mr. Trump’s supporters. “They rather like and appreciate his vulgarity and his baseness, his impulsiveness,” he says. “It doesn’t bother them that he’s rich and wears flashy, bright ties.” They think “that this is how they would be if they were rich. Trump is an image of their notion of what money can buy.”

In 2016, Mr. Mansfield continues, Mr. Trump won “a majority of white women—and women are attracted to manly men, I think.” He agrees that there’s a connection between the campaign for gender-neutrality in the U.S.—seeking, as he sees it, to erase all differences between the sexes—and the “hunger” that made Mr. Trump’s political rise possible.

In Mr. Mansfield’s view, Mr. Trump’s success wasn’t a racial reaction to President Obama as much as a backlash in favor of masculinity. Mr. Obama “had the scolding demeanor of a schoolmarm—very much, I think, following the temper of today’s feminists. It’s all a matter of correcting the behavior of misbehaving juveniles, and of condescension.” Here, he checks himself, allowing that this observation “is a little unfair to Obama, because some of his speeches were pretty good, and he did have a vision of America and the way America ought to be.” But it was not an America that “throws its weight around. That’s precisely what he wanted to avoid. So, in his foreign policy, and in his domestic role as condescender-in-chief, he showed his hostility to manliness.”

Mr. Trump saw the electoral opportunity. “Trump’s not a clever man,” Mr. Mansfield says, by which he means that the president has little propensity for abstraction or intellectual complication. “But he’s shrewd. He saw that there was a way to be appealing, and to knock off the competition of his rivals in the Republican Party, by a display of manliness and an attack on political correctness.” Mr. Trump is “really the first American politician to use that, to see that there was a political opening there.”

Laughing lightly, Mr. Mansfield recalls Mr. Trump’s masculine belittling of “Little Marco,” “Low Energy Jeb” and “Lyin’ Ted.” “That was very effective with a lot of voters,” he says, “particularly the less educated. You could look at 2016 as a revolt of the lower-IQ half of America against the upper half, which is dominated by the universities.” Now in Washington there has been “a replacement of the people who reflect the values of American universities, where manliness is taboo.”

The Trump election, Mr. Mansfield muses, is one sign that the steady march of gender-neutrality is slowing and may even be halted. “We haven’t had a real political debate about manliness,” he says, “and maybe Trump is the first stage of it.” Mr. Trump presents issues “in a manly way, which is to say, ‘Take it or leave it.’ Like the wall—the wall is an intransigent object that justifies and encourages an intransigent mode of speech.”

Similarly with “Make America Great Again,” Mr. Trump’s political shibboleth. “It invokes the manly, and allies it with patriotism,” Mr. Mansfield says. “And the ‘again’ is a strong critique of recent presidents, because it states that ‘we had it once and we lost it, thanks to you.’ ” Mr. Trump could have said “Make America Manly Again,” Mr. Mansfield says. “That would have been too much. But I believe that’s what he meant.”

The thrill of competition is an intrinsic part of Mr. Mansfield’s idea of manliness, which suggests that, in his worldview, political campaigning is an inherently masculine pursuit. “American elections,” he agrees, “have traditionally been, in great part, tests of manliness.” Was the last election a test of Hillary Clinton’s manliness as well? “Yes it was,” Mr. Mansfield responds, “and she showed it a certain amount. Maybe it’s difficult for a woman to do that in a graceful way, and to maintain her femininity.”

Mr. Mansfield isn’t sure whether Mrs. Clinton lost in 2016 “because of electoral difficulties in being a woman, or just because of the kind of woman she was. It would be necessary to untangle those different possibilities.” He adds that Margaret Thatcher, who won three terms as Britain’s prime minister, “is one of my models of manliness.”

If Mr. Trump’s manliness is vulgar, which presidents’ were refined? He’s quick to cite the Bushes—“almost courtly, but friendly; people who couldn’t be pushed around and who had a controlled anger.” One of the chief attributes of a good politician, Mr. Mansfield says, is knowing “how to be angry in an effectual and impressive way, without losing it.”

Mr. Mansfield doesn’t see it as an accident that Mr. Trump’s presidency coincides with an impressively indignant national movement against sexual harassment. #MeToo, he believes, “is really directed at Trump, and people like him, accusing them of being ‘deplorable.’ ” (He uses that “Hillary word,” as he calls it, deliberately.) The movement “represents a particular critique of Trump for his sexual harassment, or at least his lamentable sexual reputation. It’s against the aggressive male, the presumptuous male, the male who hasn’t had his ‘consciousness raised’ sufficiently. That’s Trump, and the #MeToo campaign sees him as the embodiment of everything male they don’t like, and want to oppose.”

Yet Mr. Mansfield sees a “contradiction” in Mr. Trump’s manliness: “It’s his ‘art of the deal.’ A person who makes a deal all the time is unmanly, just as economics is inherently unmanly because it always wants a trade-off.” A manly person “stands for things, and when you stand for something, that means you’re not willing to make a deal against it.” He views Mr. Trump’s recently announced tariffs as a way “to get him to a deal.”

He doesn’t expect Mr. Trump to change over the course of his presidency—to acquire more polish or refinement. “He’s had a chance to do that,” Mr. Mansfield says. “He’s an unapt pupil, a rebellious pupil. But his alliance with the Republicans seems to be based on the realization that—and here I give him some credit—to make America great again he has to be a success as president.”

Mr. Mansfield is, however, critical of Mr. Trump’s dealings with Kim Jong Un. “It’s a personal contest between him and this tin-pot dictator,” he says. “The crisis needs some delicacy to obtain what needs to be a siege, and a blockade. That requires allies and aggressive, pushy diplomacy.” Mr. Trump “doesn’t have the patience, and he has that in common with the American people. This is in Tocqueville, so it must be right—that democracy is ‘impatient.’ ”

Still, Mr. Trump’s manliness is playing out differently in the rest of the world from its reception in America—and North Korea. “He doesn’t seem to have the fans abroad that he does here,” Mr. Mansfield says. “But in order for him to be successful outside America, he doesn’t have to have fans. He just has to have people impressed and a little perturbed.”

Mr. Trump has the world’s attention, for sure, and “it’s possible that he could use it for some positive purpose.” Europe, Mr. Mansfield says, “was just falling asleep by stages. Now, Trump is worrying them. . . . That’s good, isn’t it?”


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Click here to read Tunku’s original article in the Wall Street Journal

 

TUNKU VARADARAJAN is a fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.
"Manhood in the Age of Trump" appeared in the March 31, 2018, print edition Wall Street Journal

HARVEY CLAFLIN MANSFIELD, JR (born March 21, 1932) is an American political philosopher. He is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Government at Harvard University, where he has taught since 1962. He has held Guggenheim and NEH Fellowships and has been a Fellow at the National Humanities Center; he also received the National Humanities Medal in 2004 and delivered the Jefferson Lecture in 2007. He is a Carol G. Simon Senior Fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. He is notable for his generally conservative stance on political issues in his writings.

Mansfield is the author and co-translator of studies of and/or by major political philosophers such as Aristotle, Edmund Burke, Niccolò Machiavelli, Alexis de Tocqueville, and Thomas Hobbes, of Constitutional government, and of Manliness (2006). In interviews Mansfield has acknowledged the work of Leo Strauss as the key modern influence on his own political philosophy.

 

Yes, Gun Control. But . . .

Yes, Gun Control. But Here's Another Critical Measure To Keep Us Safe

by Steve Lopez
Los Angeles Times

Students gather at a memorial at Pine Trails Park in Parkland, Fla., to remember those who were killed and injured Wednesday in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

The day after the Florida school massacre, I was on a plane and kept hearing the faint sounds of gunfire.

I flinched the first couple of times, then calmed down when I realized the noise was coming from young folks shooting up virtual enemies in video games.

If I try really hard, I guess I can see how those games might be fun for about five minutes. But we're talking about a form of addiction here, and at the risk of sounding like the grumpy uncle, that ain't healthy.

It's hard to establish irrefutable evidence of a connection between virtual violence and the real thing. But as we see more horrifying mass shootings at schools, concerts and elsewhere — along with the far more deadly daily carnage of the unsensational firearm-related murder and suicide — it's clear something is horribly wrong in this country.

The first problem is obvious.

We have a ridiculous amount of weapons in circulation, thanks to the spineless, blood-on-their-hands lawmakers owned by the National Rifle Assn. Periodic calls for greater gun control seldom advance, no matter how many innocent children are murdered by people with military-style weapons purchased legally.

But given the fact that the gun lobby usually wins these battles, despite more than 150 school shootings in the last decade, what else can be done besides the usual calls for national prayer and mourning?

There's no fool-proof remedy, and no solution that doesn't involve trade-offs. You can't round up everyone who looks peculiar or seems angry, nor can you predict behavior with any certainty.

But it would help if warnings about dangerous behavior were properly investigated, and the FBI has admitted that didn't happen in Florida. The agency failed to probe a January tip that a young man had bought weapons and threatened a family member, and that same guy is accused of opening fire on his former classmates Wednesday in Florida, killing 17.

Shooters in such cases aren't necessarily mentally ill, and aren't always young people, as we were reminded by the 64-year-old man who killed 58 people in Las Vegas in October. But the human brain undergoes changes from the teen years into the early 20s, when mental illness and emotional problems often manifest, so it's critical to have enough counselors and mental health professionals at schools and colleges.

When my flight landed, I caught the tail end of a radio interview on KNX with Alex Caputo-Pearl, president of United Teachers Los Angeles, talking about the Florida shooting in the context of shortages of school nurses and counselors. So I called him to see what I'd missed.

Caputo-Pearl said 57% of California school districts do not have full-time staff nurses, and although the American School Counselor Assn. calls for a 250-to-1 student counselor ratio, most states have much higher workloads.

"California is at 945 to 1," said Caputo-Pearl.

"We've got proposals on the bargaining table right now to increase nurse staffing, counselor staffing, psychiatric social worker staffing and the number of school psychologists," he added.

Caputo-Pearl last taught in 2014, and I asked if he thought the job of teachers and other school staffers is complicated like never before because students are distracted by digital obsessions and dark influences.

"I can tell you it's very difficult, dealing with electronics and the internet," he said. "The cauldron gets all the more explosive when you add hate groups into it, and access to hate groups through the internet."

Michael Pobanz, an L.A. Unified School District psychologist for 18 years, said he and his colleagues spend a huge amount of their time interviewing students and writing reports on those who need special education placement, but not as much time on the social and emotional needs of other students.

"In general, our workload is too high," said Pobanz. He said he experienced "the worst stress of my career" during a former assignment to a school where he was too overwhelmed to respond immediately to requests for help with struggling students.

Frances Marion, a psychiatric social worker for LAUSD and a UTLA representative, sounded exhausted Friday afternoon following another week of overwhelming demand for her services. Psychiatric social workers typically have thousands of students at multiple schools in a given week, she said. Where they work is based less on a district directive, she said, and more on which schools can scrape up discretionary funds while choosing between critical support resources and basic supplies.

"Every day, it's trying to decide who the biggest safety concern is because of domestic violence, abuse, self-injury or suicidal ideation," Marion said. "Getting to prevention and early intervention with kids who have more minor symptoms falls to the wayside."

I asked what kind of issues she typically sees in her students.

"Families are in crisis because they can't afford housing, they're living in unsafe living conditions, they're doubled and tripled and quadrupled up with other families, they're working multiple low-wage jobs which means they don't have time to be with kids who need guidance and nurturing," said Marion.

Like I said, preventing senseless gun violence in a country that has more weapons than people will never be easy.

But that's no reason to stop fighting for sensible gun restrictions, more comprehensive mental health services and more support for students growing up in a culture of digital addiction and social dysfunction.

Bridgette Robinson, a teacher on leave from Sal Castro Middle School this year, said she needed a break from the shortage of resources for troubled students and the extra work and pressure she endured because of it.

"Students should have more access to more counselors and more mental health services, because if they have someone to talk to, they will," Robinson said. "That's the bottom line."

Robinson has been in the news lately following a shooting Feb. 1 at Castro. Her former student, 12-year-old Issa Al-Bayati, was shot in the head and is still recovering.

A teen girl was shot in the wrist.

And a 12-year-old girl was charged with being a minor in possession of a semiautomatic pistol.

Issa and his family came to the U.S. after his father was killed in Iraq, according to Robinson.

The family moved here thinking it would be safe.

 

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Click here to read Steve's original article at the Los Angeles Times

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STEVE LOPEZ is a California native who has been an L.A. Times columnist since 2001. He has won more than a dozen national journalism awards for his reporting and column writing at seven newspapers and four news magazines, and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist for commentary – in 2012, for his columns on elder care, and in 2016, for his columns on income inequality in California. He is the author of three novels, two collections of columns and a non-fiction work called “The Soloist,” which was a Los Angeles Times and New York Times best-seller, winner of the PEN USA Literary Award for Non-Fiction, and the subject of a Dream Works movie by the same name. Lopez’s television reporting for public station KCET has won three local news Emmys, three Golden Mike awards and a share of the Columbia University DuPont Award. Get more of Steve's work and follow him on Twitter @LATstevelopez

 

 

 

America's Gun Violence: Director's Message March 2018

Greetings MCLA Sacred Path Community,

March 2018

It’s Sunday, as I’m writing my Director’s Message, and the closing ceremony for the 2018 Winter Olympics will take place tonight. In the midst of the agony of defeat and the ecstasy of accomplishment associated with the games, we also witnessed olive branches extended as athletes from North and South Korea, Russia and the Ukraine united and embraced in youthful enthusiasm and fellowship fueled by good natured competition.  It gives us a glimpse into the possibilities for a world comprised of nations existing in peaceful and harmonious camaraderie. 

However, a few days following the opening ceremony we once again suffered the agony of another heart-wrenching shooting massacre, this time of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.  It reignited the debate over gun control but also launched a group of teen age activists and set in motion the #NeverAgain movement. 

This past week I was riveted to the TV watching some remarkable examples of the youth of America expressing themselves with great clarity, dignity and courage.  Survivors of the mass shooting, they bore witness to the horrors of gun violence in the hands of another angry, mentally deranged male inflicting his rage on society. 

This latest incident raises many urgent questions requiring accurate answers.  Central to what’s on the table to be considered and resolved is the question of why America is the only nation that experiences this form of violence, and what needs to be done about it.

As I listened intently to the young activists, the pervasive heaviness that I’ve been feeling for the past year began to lift.  I recalled how I felt when I was in my 20’s and was an activist protesting the Vietnam War and those responsible for sending over 56,000 American youths of my generation and countless numbers of Vietnamese to their deaths. Deep in our hearts and souls we knew that it was the wrong war to fight. It was later confirmed when President Johnson realized that it was a war that we could not win and finally pulled out our troops.

This week I felt buoyed by the spirit of the young representatives of Generation Z who stood up to take a stand on behalf of what needs to change. I expressed at one of our Call to Adventure Rites of Passage Retreats many years ago that our future is in the hands of our children and we, as a nation and as a world, will go where they ultimately take us. 

"Seek out evil, wherever it is seen. Speak out against it, and give your enemy no quarter." -- the HAVAMAL

My generation, the post World War II “baby boomers”, felt that we had made a positive and lasting difference in the world on many fronts when we were young.  We were idealists but we were also activists.  Over the years we have witnessed many hard realities that have overshadowed our idealistic vision for a world that works for everyone.  Yet, this week I felt a renewed enthusiasm when I viewed the passionate pleas that punctuated the heartfelt expressions of grief expressed by a unified group of America’s youth.  Their voices rang true.  Their power was evident.  I believe in them and feel a sense of relief that our future is in their hands.

We at MCLA will continue to do what we can to support males in the world to become and be Mindful Men.  Our programs will continue to serve the cause of “bringing good men together and bringing out the best in them.”  Thank you for joining forces with us to make the world a better and safer place to live.

One of our men, Dan Stradford, sent the following to me:  "I just returned from a vacation in Norway.  I like to collect books of wisdom from the various places I travel to and came across the Hávamál, a collection of Viking proverbs from a thousand years ago. I thought you'd like this one, if you hadn't seen it already: 

"When I was young and walked alone, alone I lost my way. I felt rich when I found company.  Man delights in man."

In the spirit of brotherhood.

Stephen

Stephen J. Johnson Ph.D., LMFT
Executive Director

 

 

 

 

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Dr. Stephen Johnson is founder and executive director of the Men's Center Los Angeles and leader/wayshower of the Sacred Path men's retreats for the past 30 years. He is a gifted therapist and master facilitator for the experiential journey that unfolds during his counseling sessions and workshops. Dr. J is a skilled and seasoned psychotherapist who has the sensibilities of a wisdom teacher. He provides a safe space for freedom of expression in accessing one’s pain while fostering transformation, personal expansion and spiritual growth. Click here to visit www.DrStephenJohnson.com

 

 

Dr. Johnson is author of "THE SACRED PATH: THE WAY OF THE SPIRITUAL WARRIOR," an amazing how-to book for men who want to become better men . . . AND for the women who care about them.
 

 

 

"THE SACRED PATH MEN'S RETREATS" MCLA's Wisdom Council honored Dr. J's amazing 30 years of mindful leadership and mentorship with a special commemorative tribute film. See for yourself the incredible men's work that we do on the mountain.

 

Colorado River Men's Retreat Launches March 8

Colorado River Men's Retreat Launches in One Week

COME JOIN US ON THE RIVER MARCH 7-11

by SCOTT EWING
Ewing Ventures

I’ve been kayaking this stretch of the Colorado River since before I can remember.  In fact, this year’s retreat marked the fifth year in a row that I’ve been on the river that exact week.  I think it’s a powerful place to unwind and let go and unplug and just enter a different kind of flow.  It’s a slower pace, filled with wonder and beauty, where the new things I’m doing help me to be fully present to a new and different reality than my own.

Over the years, taking groups to the river and conducting retreats there and just visiting with family and friends, I have introduced about 150 people to this little piece of paradise.  It’s where I want my ashes spread.  And I would like to take you there.

After an evening at a local hotel where we gather and smile and hug and have a meeting about logistics, we retire to our rooms for final preparations and our last night’s sleep in real beds.  Heads are filled with excitement and reflection, gear is packed and repacked, food and clothing are set out.  And, if we’re lucky, we get a little shut eye.

Bright and early, we get up and it’s launch day!  Each man reports to the parking lot for gear check and I.D. check, we load up, and off we go.  We’re part of just a small number of people who pass through a government secured gate annually to the base of Hoover Dam.  There, we help each other to unload the kayaks and get them to the water.  We help each other load the boats, and it's float time.

To me, this is the best day of the whole weekend. Immediately, we become a school of men, a tiny few of the living, breathing organisms in this slow-moving river of water.  There may be twenty of us, but we may not see another human all day. 

We picked these days at the beginning of March, because, if we’re lucky, the weather is not too cold, but also not so beastly hot that we have no interest in the hot springs.  Because men, this place has got some of the most amazing hot springs in the world.

The entire trip is a flat-water, eleven-mile, down river journey, but the first stop is just two hundred yards away. I call it the vapor cave.  We go in one at a time and gather at the far end.  Those who want to examine fears of the unknown, fears of the dark – they go first.  In there, we tune out, drop in and talk about why we’re there.  It’s a perfect and powerful start to an amazing retreat.

From there, we visit several stops, including a natural hot shower, several hot spring rivers, streams, pools and brooks, and then arrive at camp late in the afternoon to make camp.  It’s a day filled with adventure . . . and it’s just the beginning.

Whether you’re an avid boater, a life-long camper or a man who has never been off of pavement in your life, if you can walk, we hope you’ll join us and enter the flow. You’ll be part of a band of brothers that has your back for a potentially life-altering experience.  You’ll learn a little more about self-reliance, too, coming off the river with an expanded sense of what it means to be truly alive.

 

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SCOTT WAYNE OBRIEN EWING  is a long-time member and leader Men's Center Los Angeles. He studied Technical Theatre and Design at Peppedine University and today works at Quest Theaterworks in Grass Valley, California. Click here to visit his Facebook page.

 

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The Sacred Path Colorado River Retreat 2017

by Daniel Stanton

 

On March 9th, 2017, twenty-one men from the Men’s Center Los Angeles began a four-day, three-night journey in the Black Canyon on the Colorado River, between Arizona and Nevada, downstream from the Hoover Dam.

The best way to describe the Black Canyon is that it is one of the most beautiful, majestic, and incredible places within the United States, if not the entire world.  The Black Canyon is a 12-mile stretch of river that is home to big horn sheep, bald eagles, striped bass, and a variety of birds, reptiles and plants.

On most visits to the Black Canyon, one will find sun-baked mountains and canyons with very little vegetation and an abundance of emerald green, crystal clear water that averages about 58 degrees year round.  With all of the rain the west coast has received this year, we witnessed an abundance of “green scape” that covered the mountains and canyons, with blossoming cactus and wild flowers everywhere. 

The weather conditions on the river were exceptional with temperatures in the mid-70s to low-80s during the day and mid to upper 50s during the evening.  The water level on the river was high, but there was little to no current on the river, which made the maneuvering of the kayaks and canoes easy to handle. All in all the conditions on the river during the four days was exceptional.

The Sacred Path Colorado River Retreat was the third time the Retreat was hosted in the Black Canyon.  Several of the men had attended all three retreats including Clayton Norcross, Tommy Holmes and Daniel Stanton.  The 2017 retreat was co-led by Rob Bruce, Dr. Michael Lewis, Scott Ewing and Daniel Stanton. 

The Sacred Path Colorado River Retreat began by launching our kayaks and canoes from the base of Hoover Dam, then taking most of the first day to experience the Sauna Cave, Gold Strike Canyon, which has a great walking trail, water falls, and hot springs, followed by a visit to “God’s Wall” which is too incredible to put into words.

The Black Canyon is known for its natural Hot Springs, clear emerald green water, big horn sheep, bald eagles, calm water, and connecting with Nature and yourself in a way that you may not have ever experienced before. We enjoyed a nice leisurely pace where there were no schedules, no cell phones, no computers, just connection with Nature and yourself.  We explored incredible caves that can only be accessed from the River, including the Emerald Cave which is a popular location to stop relax and enjoy the beauty.

We arrived at our Base Camp, located at a place called the Arizona Hot Springs. approximately four miles downstream from our launching point at the Hoover Dam, mid-afternoon where we unloaded our kayaks and canoes and set up our camp for the next three days.

Some of the best Natural Hot Springs were located at base camp.  There is also an incredible view of the River from a “look-out” point.  At base camp we set up our Sweat Lodge, build a couple of fire pits, enjoyed our meals, shared stories, kicked back and relaxed, and woke up to the smells of fresh brewed coffee. We even saw some big horn sheep across the river from our camp. Each morning after our coffee, some light breakfast, and a morning dip in the natural hot springs, we enjoyed incredible hikes, jumped off rocks into a beautiful lagoon, and paddled upstream to explore more wonderful trails.  The day was ours to seize.

On Friday afternoon Dan Stanton and Bill Arena coordinated the building of the Sweat Lodge.  With willow, twine, tools, tarps, and stones that were brought down river in the canoe barge we successfully built an incredible Lodge.  Dan and Bill led the Sweat Lodge ceremony on Friday and Saturday evening under the curiosity of a nearby father/daughter group of campers.

On Saturday, Rob Bruce led a Tibetan prayer flag blessing ceremony where each man wrote the names of family members or those who have passed on their prayer flags. 

A heartfelt anthem about the Individual prayers that each man inscribed indelibly onto genuine Tibetan prayer flags which we then endeavored to stretch and fly across the 300-foot width between the sacred canyon walls.

The prayer flags were then strung together to create this amazingly long prayer flag that was then connected to the back of a kayak, with a long pole mounted from a paddle.

We will never forget the emotion of listening to Tommy Holmes’ soulful voice and stirring lyrics bound and echo off the river’s ancient walls while we witnessed Anthony Dimaggio heroically paddle his kayak in a warrior–like pilgrimage with our detailed, intimate prayers to the other side while Rob and Patrick Mannion helped feed the prayer flags as Anthony paddled across the river. Adam Zawadzki videoed the event on his Go Pro.

“Prayers across the River, Prayers across the World” are just a few of the passionate words our retreat brother & poet troubadour, Tommy Holmes, spontaneously crafted and played on his acoustic guitar for our band of brothers on the second day of our Colorado River adventure. 

Our intention, purpose and aim, quite literally, not just metaphorically, was for our collective prayers to bridge the divide and as Tibetan tradition suggests, be "blown by the wind to spread the good will and compassion”  into the flow of the river and all pervading space throughout the world.

So, as the flags soared and fluttered across the river and our moonscape like campsite during sunset and while a bonfire blazed under a full moon rise, Tommy shared his song one more time at the end of our traditional community talking stick time.

There had been challenges during our 4-day hero’s journey in the wilderness. Brother Anthony didn’t know it until he returned home from the trip that had he had actually fractured his foot and still he soldiered on.

Brother Michael received some heart wrenching news and was required to hike back four miles to civilization. A platoon of brothers and spiritual warriors walked by his side to assure a safe return over the difficult terrain to the main road so that he could head home after receiving devastating medical news about his sister. The men made sure Dr. Mike did not make that journey out of the canyon alone.

The entire Sacred Path Colorado River Retreat was a huge success and we could hear the words, “This was the Best retreat ever…” as we repacked our boats and headed home.  There were many special moments during the weekend that the men will need to share for themselves. 

The men all wanted to make the Sacred Path Colorado River Retreat an annual Spring event and that will be discussed at a later date.  In the meantime, check out the “Prayers across the River” retreat photos on our MCLA Facebook page.  You’ll have to come to the Sacred Path Fall Retreat in October to hear the individual stories.

We thank everyone who accepted the challenge to get out of their comfort zone, to spend time with other good men out in the wilderness, to partake of the hero’s journey. It was an amazing retreat.

BRINGING GOOD MEN TOGETHER . . . AND BRINGING OUT THE BEST IN THEM

We especially thank our founder and wayshower, Dr. Stephen Johnson, for creating the Men’s Center of Los Angeles over 30 years ago and leading us in such a powerful and soulful way. Dr. J’s mindful work has touched the hearts of all of us and empowered us to become better men.

Ho, Mitakuye Oyasin (To All of Your Relations.

 

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“Bring good men together . . . and bring out the best in them”

THANK YOU DR. J __ The 21 men of the 2017 Colorado River Men's Retreat extend our deepest thanks and sincere appreciation to Dr. Stephen Johnson. Thank you Dr. J for listening to your own internal guidance and taking action on your dreams. Click the video at left to see our heartfelt tribute to this man's indomitable leadership. 

  COMING SOON:  Colorado River Kayak Men's Retreat -- March 7-11, 2018. Spots are limited.    Click here to reserve your space.

COMING SOON: Colorado River Kayak Men's Retreat -- March 7-11, 2018. Spots are limited. Click here to reserve your space.

Men's Wellness Summit

Welcome to The Men's Wellness Summit!

[Click here to start listening now!]

BLAST OFF into the world of men's wellness with our speakers who give a brilliant overview of the factors most contributing to the chronic health problems in men. Learn to not only survive, but to thrive, to be your own "health hero" and an innovator of change in your community. It's time to usher in a new era of healthcare and it starts with you.

  • You'll receive an email each day about that day's talks. Make sure to look for it and open it to learn more about the speakers.
  • Some email providers are known to BLOCK our emails: Hotmail, MSN, Yahoo, SBCglobal, AOL, to name a few. We recommend a Gmail address!
  • You DO NOT need the daily email to listen to the talks. Use this link each day if you don't get your email (you might have to clear your browser history).
  • Each day's speakers are available on demand for a 24-hour period ONLY, from 10 A.M. U.S. Eastern until 9:59 A.M. the next day.
  • Enjoy learning! We'll replay all of the talks on Encore Day (Monday)!

Click here to listen to today's talks!

 

Thank you for being here this week!

In health,
Matthew & Mahboubeh

 

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Click here to join The Men's Wellness Summit

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