MCLA DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE & PHOTO MEMORIES FROM THE
2016 30th ANNIVERSARY SACRED PATH MEN'S RETREAT
Greetings Sacred Path Community,
Well, the 30th Anniversary MCLA Sacred Path Men’s Retreat is in the books and my 60’s are now in the rear view mirror. Sixty-five men convened for an outstanding retreat that was indeed replete with celebration including Scorpio birthdays and a huge cake to cap off our Saturday night feast. It’s often said, following a retreat, that “this one was the best!” And, we all agree at the time that that’s certainly a true statement.
Each successive retreat has always seemed to get better, richer and fuller. It’s easy to see how this last retreat could garner accolades for being the very best one ever, given that we conceived a program anchored with such remarkable presenters as Dr. Pierre Grimes, Dr. Jed Diamond, Ray Bunch, Philip Folsom along with Steve Wastell and a pack of wolves, Nick Stein, Christo Pellani, Winter Lazerus, Tommy Holmes and David “Strongbear” Myers.
Under the outstanding leadership of Rob Bruce and Dr. Michael Lewis, in addition to all of the other Wisdom Council brothers who provided service to the community as Tribe leaders, I extend my acknowledgment and gratitude. And, to the container builders, shepherded by Anthony DiMaggio, who over a 3-day period effectively created a village and just as efficiently disassembled it, you have my sincere appreciation for your well-placed efforts.
We are most grateful to the men who registered and brought their “A” games, while stepping up to receive and offer their best via sharing their passion and skills through following and leading where called for. An example is Patrick Reynolds who once again offered the “Father Welcoming” process.
I was deeply touched by the tribute to me on the upper field at sunset on Saturday when I was honored with a wooden staff embedded in the ground and adorned with a plaque commemorating 30 years of service to the men’s community. I was then moved to tears later that night in viewing with all present a 20-minute tribute video created by Sterling Meredith highlighting photos and video clips over the span of our retreats as well as photos provided by my wife, Fran, from my younger years. We have included a link herewith so that you can view it and share it with those who were not with us on the mountain.
I conveyed on Sunday morning that the rumors of my retirement were premature and that it was not my intention to step off of the Sacred Path as Director of MCLA but rather to step back for a period of a year allowing the leadership of other good men to step up to the helm as guides for the journey ahead. In fact there was an offer presented by Rob Bruce, Michael Lewis, Scott Ewing and Dan Stanton to facilitate a kayak trip down the Colorado River to Black Canyon, a remarkable trip that I have previously enjoyed on two separate occasions. I recommend it to those who are looking for an adventure with their brothers.
Over the next year, I plan to be on Sabbatical allowing for attention to some other aspects of my life including commencing the writing of another book. In academia, one is supposed to take a Sabbatical year every 7 years. I’m overdue, so now that I’m 70, I’m taking my first one, and I don’t plan to necessarily wait until I’m 140 for my next one.
We will not hold a spring retreat at Gindling Hilltop Camp this year. The river trip, likely in March, will take the place of that retreat. I am looking forward to returning for a blockbuster fall retreat next October with an expanded community of over 80 participants. We are in the planning stages of offering continuing education credits for providers in the counseling and allied medical fields who are drawn to what we do through our community and in need of CEU’s. I already have the dates for next October. I suggest that you mark your calendar now for Thursday, October 19 thru Sunday, October 22, 2017. I’m sure that our next Fall Sacred Path MCLA Retreat Will be “the best one ever!”
Stay tuned for future newsletters under the editorial guidance of Bill Arena so that you can be apprised of what’s taking place in our immediate world and the world around us. Thank you, Bill, and those who contribute newsworthy articles and information to support our journeys toward mindful relationships, personal health and well-being. I will make contributions as I feel it and share the point with others shoulder to shoulder.
In the interim, I wish you all my very best regards in the spirit of The Sacred Path,
Stephen J. Johnson Ph.D., LMFT
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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 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.
Click here for additional info.
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