DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE -- AUGUST, 2016
Greetings Sacred Path Community,
It’s come to my attention that a number of people have been asking if the Autumn men’s retreat will be the final MCLA/SP retreat. It’s not my intention, at this point, to end a 30-year run with the October retreat.
This is officially the 29th Fall Sacred Path men’s retreat. I have been feeling the need to take some time off, essentially a Sabbatical, to concentrate on other matters including commencing the writing of a new book. Therefore, I didn’t want to wait to do so for another year to coincide my time off with the following October retreat in 2017.
The plan is to celebrate 30 years of retreats at this October retreat. If the men of the Wisdom Council would like to produce a Spring retreat, that’s certainly good by me. Between October 2016 and October 2017 I’ll decide the level of my participation and, right now, plan to be there in October and on the Hill a year from this coming October.
I’m speaking with some of the luminaries in the field of men's work who have expressed an interest in participating in this upcoming retreat. I’ll be letting you know as we evolve toward October who will be presenting at the retreat.
I’ve been inspired to invite some remarkable Elders to attend. I would like to have on retreat young men in their teens, 20’s and 30’s, and men in their middle years, 40’s and 50’s, as well as the men who have made it into their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. We can learn from all present that which is significant about wherever one is along the journey of aging. And, it’s vitally important for young men to be around the wisdom of the older men, and for the Elders to be reminded by the young ones to stay current and to maintain their sense of youthfulness and vitality.
The theme of this retreat is: TRIBE: Men’s Losses, Loneliness and Longing for Community. You’ve probably been hearing the word “tribe” spoken more recently in a variety of contexts. We’ve assigned men to Tribes in our retreats for 30 years. So, why now does it seem that belonging to a tribe may make more sense as it did in earlier years?
There is an interesting interview with Sebastian Junger on the Art of Manliness podcast that covers highlights from his new book, TRIBE: On Homecoming and Belonging, in which he speaks about:
* The most surprising thing Sebastian learned about war after being embedded in an army platoon for a year
* Why men miss combat
* Why men need a challenge or enemy to tightly bond
* Why sharing feelings among men actually gets in the way of male bonding
* Why early white settlers in America would run off with Indian tribes
* How humans really react during societal breakdowns
* Is it possible to create tribe during a time of prosperity and peace?
* What the Amish can teach us about creating tribe in modern life
* Why community has declined in the West during the past century
* Why mental illness goes up when prosperity increases
* Why mental disorders went down during the London Blitz
And much more!
The early enrollment discount is in effect through the end of August. I encourage you to take advantage of this savings and to take advantage of the opportunity to be in the presence of other good men on the journey to mindful manhood. Tribe-time still tends to be among the richest moments for men while on retreat. The men who Great Spirit brings together in the intimacy of their Tribe while on retreat have often become confidants, comrades and friends beyond the retreat experience.
On another note, Joseph Culp is readying for an Indiegogo fundraising campaign launch for his feature film, “Welcome to the Men’s Group.” We will be hosting a screening and panel discussion in Los Angeles soon and MCLA is supporting the campaign. Please do what you can to support the release of the film so that more attention can be brought to the importance of men getting together in groups to do their work.
I want to thank one of the outstanding men on the Sacred Path, Los Angeles County Fire Captain Mike Henry, for hosting my wife, daughter, great niece and me for a VIP tour of the backlot of Universal Studios. It was so much fun riding with him on the fire engine while touring the historical sights and the new Harry Potter world and the Water World show.
Please check out his FireFightersDown.com website. MCLA is a partner in supporting the very important contribution that fire fighters provide for the safety and well-being of our community. Bravo, Captain Mike, for your 30 years of service!
Last but not least, violent attacks continue to occur somewhere in the world on a daily basis. Whether they are terrorist sponsored or the result of someone who is mentally deranged with an axe to grind, we are all aware that the times have been a changin' and in some ways, it seems, not for the better. It’s apparent that we need community, a safe place to be able to be vulnerable with those who share common values and aspirations for a world beyond the strife and disharmony that plagues us today. MCLA/SP offers community in the spirit of understanding, compassion and brotherly love.
Stephen J. Johnson Ph.D., LMFT
o - o - o - O - o - o - o
Dr. Stephen Johnson is founder and executive director
of the Men's Center Los Angeles and leader/wayshower
of the 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.
COME CELEBRATE WITH US. This autumn’s Sacred Path Men’s Retreat will celebrate 30 years of powerful men’s work on the mountain AND the 70th birthday of our very own Dr. Stephen Johnson.
Not to worry, Captain Mike Henry will be on duty when we light up those 70 birthday candles.
Safety first people.
Come join the celebration. REGISTER NOW!