Director's Message February 2018

Greetings MCLA Sacred Path Community,

The SPRING KAYAK RETREAT is about 6 weeks from now. There were 14 of us who experienced this adventure eight years ago. I had an amazing time and so did the other Wisdom Council brothers who attended. A few years later I signed up again with a larger group of men, somewhere over 20, for a whole new adventure. Each time I went there were indeed new elements to the experience. There were certain things that were similar while the second time around presented a whole new set of fun challenges.

We bonded around the nightly campfires sharing our stories that we brought with us and the new ones that emerged each day during the trip. We laughed a lot and emoted the deeper feelings that were stimulated via each element of the day’s activities. 

This next Colorado river adventure is open to 20 men. Eleven men have already signed up. I encourage you to pick up one of the remaining 9 slots. Think about joining with a family member or a friend. If you come alone, you’ll make new friends along the way. I have a lifelong friend that I met on a Mendocino Men’s Retreat in the mid 1980’s.

As men age we tend to lose friends. Some friends die, some move away and lose interest in maintaining close long distance relationships. I know men whose wives and girlfriends have systematically excommunicated their male friends. Men tell me all the time that they don’t have as many male friendships as they once had and some tell me that they don’t have any. That is one of the primary reasons that I founded the Men’s Center over 30 years ago, to create a community that would provide ample opportunities for fellowship and friendships to flourish.

We have two excellent men's events coming up in February cohosted by members of our MCLA Wisdom Council.

On Sunday, February 11, Bill Arena will join Dallas Police Detective Ed Lujan in Fort Worth, Texas, for a special men’s workshop “How To Be A Spiritual Man During Very Difficult Times.” 1) Respect Women, 2) Honor Fathers, 3) Forgive Others. Click here for details about INDIGENOUS PROPHECY OF THE CONDOR AND THE EAGLE.


On Saturday, February 17, Christo Pellani, Miguel Rivera and Fred Sugerman will cohost “Return to Roots: An Offering for Men. The full-day sacred journey begins at The Church In Ocean Park in Santa Monica and transitions by caravan to the top of the Santa Monica Mountains (weather-permitting). Click here to learn more about RETURN TO ROOTS: AN OFFERING FOR MEN.

On another note,  I’ve been notified by Gindling Hilltop Camp that they can no longer secure the October dates that we have maintained for 20 years. They are attracting more members from their Wilshire Boulevard Temple who want to book the camp for Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and weddings. They also have groups that number upwards of 150 who want the dates.  As a business person myself I understand that economics can speak loudly.  I know that it’s tough for them as it is for us to not be able to accommodate our needs given that our numbers have averaged around 60 for some years now. Facts are facts and it appears that we may need to move on. We’ll see, since they have placed us apparently at the top of the cancellation list.

We’ll have a Wisdom Council meeting in February to discuss this issue and to decide what to do about it. We’ll update you in March as to our thoughts about our October Retreat that has been the jewel in the crown of our programs for 30 years.

Stay tuned for more news forthcoming.


In the spirit of brotherhood.


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






o - O - o

o - o - O - o - o

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 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 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.