The Heart of the Matter in The Belly of the Beast

Had two amazing experiences the last two weekends that I have to share.

The first weekend was a Men’s Initiation in Northern California.  Twenty five men came from all over the country to a training at a beautiful location up on a mountain.  The views were stunning.  The training tested us.  We lifted logs, bruised our bare feet running through the mountains, and went long hours without sleep. We learned wisdom from some extraordinary men, opening our hearts and becoming a closely knit group by the Sunday closing ceremony.  There was a circle that followed that ceremony where the facilitators were taking feedback from the elders and participants.  We discussed different aspects of the training and I’ll just say that the men had differing opinions on how the training should have been run.  Overall a great experience.

This last weekend was a Alternatives to Violence Project training in upstate New York.  Twenty five men voluntarily took part in a training at a beautiful location up on a mountain.  The views were stunning.  The training consisted of experiential exercises and fun activities that really allowed all the men to see into one another’s hearts and experience our vulnerability together.  There was a great deal of processing (letting the men speak from the heart about their true feelings) after the segments, ALL the men leaning into the truth and deepening that was occurring. The men had a seriousness about living life to the fullest that was combined with expansive humor.  Above all there was a positivity that you could feel in the room. At the closing ceremony, I was so moved by the high quality of the men and inspired by their full authentic engagement in the process that I cracked with emotion as I addressed them. It was one of the most profound moments of my life.

The first weekend was at the Institute of Noetic Sciences campus in Petaluma Califonia.

Last weekends training was inside the twenty foot high razor wire fences of the Otisville State Prison.


Leave a comment