Director's Message: Mindful Men from Surviving to Thriving

JUNE 2017

Greetings Sacred Path Community,

For the past 30 Memorial Day weekends I have written my Director’s Message for each June Newsletter.  As I write to you this year I am once again looking ahead to our Fall Men’s Retreat.  This year it’s scheduled for October 19-22 and it’s an honor to invite Veterans and First Responders to participate. The celebration of Memorial Day naturally elicits thoughts that turn to those who have served our country selflessly.  It’s with deep appreciation that we pay our respects especially to  those who have given their lives in the line of duty to keep us safe.  We Spiritual Warriors are united in expressing our gratitude to all who have generously and often heroically made a difference when and where it really counts.

We’re in the planning stages of putting together a full and enriching retreat program and have received confirmations from several presenters who will join us.  By next month’s newsletter we should have an outline of our program. Our intention is to open the advance registration in July.

Mindful Men and the World We Live in Today: from Surviving to Thriving

The working title and theme of the retreat is: "Mindful Men and the World We Live in Today: from Surviving to Thriving." Our focus will be on stress reduction and the coping skills and strategies for moving beyond merely enduring life to actually feeling centered, present, relaxed and passionate about life.  Central to all of our retreat themes and programs over the years is the thread of Initiation into Conscious Masculinity or what has evolved to be called Mindful Manhood.

Due to the strains of having to deal with the fast paced unrelenting demands of life more people tend to experience anxiety and depression and turn to a vast array of coping mechanisms, many of which do not solve the problems while often actually exacerbating them.  Our desire is to offer retreat participants Mindful solutions for the challenges that we are facing today.

Ray Bunch, Phil Jennings, Dr. Bill Flaxman, Dr. Pierre Grimes

The breakout sessions will comprise a combination of didactic and experiential presentations covering an array of topics of relevance and interest to those in attendance.  More will be revealed along the way.  We’ll offer at least a few workshops on the wide range of relationship issues presented by experts in the field. 

Frederick Marx

For example, Ray Bunch, who offered the Lifeline process last October will be with us again presenting on what we tend to face in long-term relationships, those that go the distance of 30, 40 or more years.  He and his wife, Marty, have been together for over 50 years. Dr. Bill Flaxman will address the typical issues that couples encounter along the up and down route of their relationship journey especially in the early phase of seeking, entering and maintaining a healthy dynamic.  I’m also speaking with another colleague about offering a session focused on the unique theme of his book.

Among the growing list of presenters, Dr. Pierre Grimes, who wowed participants last October will again be one of our Keynote Presenters on The Betrayal of the Self and how our dreams are indeed the royal road to the unconscious.  Pierre, a veteran of WW II, has quite a remarkable history in general and specifically the period of time during the War. Click here to learn about Pierre’s amazing monthly lecture series, “The True Nature of Reality" held the last Thursday of each month at the historic Besant Lodge, beneath the Hollywood sign in rustic Beachwood Canyon.

Acclaimed Producer/Director/Writer of over 40 years, Frederick Marx (Hoop Dreams, Journey from Zanskar, Boys to Men, in production - Veterans Journey Home) will be another of our keynote presenters. His interest in men and men’s work has been a hallmark of his career in movie making.  Check out the trailer herewith for Frederick’s new documentary in the making: Veterans Journey Home.

Captain Mike Henry with the LA County Fire Department and CEO of Firefighters Down along with retired Sheriff Clyde Terry, CEO of Emerging Leaders, will address the issues pertaining to the lingering effects of trauma (PTSD: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) on First Responders and anyone for that matter who has been subjected to traumatic events.  Nick Stein returns to teach Mindfulness Practices for all on the front lines wherever those lines are drawn.  We will feature these three men in our July newsletter and additional presenters in newsletters to follow.

Nick Stein

We’re shooting for 100 in attendance, a gathering of men comprised of approximately 20 staff including presenters, 10-20 young men from 15 - 20 years of age and around 60 older men which includes Veterans and First Responders.

We are planning to invite therapists and counselors interested in men’s work and in need of Continuing Education Hours to attend.  As an ongoing member of MCLA, you are invited and encouraged to be among the first to advance register at a discounted fee when we open registrations next month.

In the spirit of the brotherhood that unites all men in Mindful fellowship and good-natured camaraderie, I wish you an abundance of Love and Light,


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




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 MCLA Wisdom Council honored Dr. J's amazing 30 years of mindful men leadership and mentorship with a special commemorative film that debuted on the mountain at the recent 30th Annual Sacred Path Men's Retreat. Click here to view "The Sacred Path."