Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Yesterday evening I showed up at the meeting of the group of men with whom I sit down twice a month for an opportunity to take a look at what is happening in our lives. We have found a new location, in a space that is used primarily as a yoga studio, and a part of the deal--aside from contributing a fee for our use of the space--is to put our collective knowledge and expertise at the service of the women who organize and teach in this still fledgling operation.

Our meeting last night provided us with the first opportunity to sit down with our gracious hosts, and it proved a wonderful occasion. The women were sitting in a circle, engaged in a business meeting when we arrived, and I sat and watched the arousal of my familiar irritation and impatience as we were kept waiting on the sidelines while their meeting spilled over, past the time we had arranged to meet with them. My stuff, as they say. I have this obsession with time, a pattern that has repeated itself innumerable times over the years: I can't bear to be late for anything, and I very easily get pissed off when others are late for me or keep me waiting. It feels like a personal insult to my tender ego. I like to start on time, every time, no exceptions.

All of which was good, since it put me on edge and made me particularly aware of what was going on inside. Still waiting for their meeting to end, we men stepped briefly outside to do our customary check-in with each other, and I was happy to have a moment to take a look at how that old pattern had been triggered again. The result was that when we did join the circle of women on the floor of the yoga studio, I'd got past my petty irritation and was able to be completely present for the occasion.

And as things turned out, it was a terrific meeting. We were the smaller group--only four of our number made it for the evening, joining ten women in their circle. I think all of us were tuned in to this great blend of conscious masculine and conscious feminine energy. We spent some time telling them about our organization and our activities, and suggesting ways in which we might be able to offer them support in the work they do. Their response was gratifying. It's not vain bragging, I believe, to say that our training and the intensity of our group meetings keeps us in touch with an inner strength and sense of mission which shows up in the way we choose to live our lives. Not to sound too pompous, I hope, we demand integrity of ourselves, and of other men in our circle, and hold each other accountable for our actions in the world. We many not always succeed, but we do make the effort and we make it in full consciousness of our failings as well as our success.

We clearly managed to convey something of this spirit in our shared circle last night. It simply felt like we were all in the same space, on the same wavelength, in an immediate and pleasing common bond. A rare and delightful sense of mutual acknowledgement between men and women, on terms of comfortable and unquestioned equality. We look forward to more.

This coming weekend, I'll be heading up into the mountains to serve as a staff member on our next training. It's my hope and belief that we'll enable another small group of men to come down from the mountain more fully in touch with themselves, each other, and with those they love. It's our immodest intention to change the world, "one man at a time."

1 comment:

Buddhist Retreats said...

I visited this buddhist centre recently which was a very good experience for me. The monks were friendly and dedicated.