Our 2019 Theme was: Celebrate the Mysteries of Life’s Journey
Our journeys through life have their joys and their sorrows. In this way we are no different from men 2500 years ago, 10,000 years ago or even 100,000 years ago, and the wisdom developed over those millennia is still true today. 2500 years ago, several schools of thought came into being that give us the tools to enjoy the rewards of life more fully and to soften the blows of fate. We will explore the wisdom of two of these philosophies, Stoicism and Buddhism, which have much in common when it comes to providing guidance through life.
Buddhism teaches us about suffering the arrows of outrageous fortune. There is the first often unavoidable arrow of physical injury or emotional blow. But we also carry around a quiver of second arrows—fear, guilt, shame, anger, jealousy, regret, or envy. After being hit by a first arrow, we pull out these second arrows and keep on stabbing ourselves repeatedly. By practicing mindfulness, we can quit stabbing ourselves and put these second arrows back in the quiver.
Stoicism teaches non-attachment—that we own nothing and find that we have signed a rental agreement with the universe. We do not have control of the things that enter or leave our lives—be they joys or crises. We can enjoy things to the fullest if we do not fear their loss. We will lose them at some point, be it today, tomorrow, next year, or next lifetime—but this is not under our control and should be of no concern to us. Non-attachment lets us choose to leave the second arrows in the quiver.
The Gathering is a source of strength. Men in groups can accomplish more than a man alone. The emotional sharing we experience in small groups, at the talking stick, and just being in fellowship helps us put our second arrows back in their quivers. The result is an exhilaration that stays with us after the Gathering.
Our Gathering takes place in a natural setting of beauty and ancient wisdom. We emphasize connection to the earth and to each other through evocative opening and closing ceremonies, meditative practices such as yoga and tai-chi, poetry, storytelling, drumming, and talking-stick sharing. Active listening, feeling, and authentic sharing are fostered in small groups led by experienced facilitators. We ask important and tough questions, have fun, enjoy camaraderie and experience true and genuine connection to other men. This is an opportunity for deep personal growth and spiritual renewal. It is a place to celebrate all that it means to be a man. (While many activities are available, each man is completely in charge of his weekend and all activities are optional.)
While many activities are available, each man is completely in charge of his weekend and all activities are optional. In addition, men are encouraged to bring fathers, brothers, and sons (older than 5).
Celebrating the Mysteries of Life’s Journey
MensWork is a community of strong and authentic men whose goal is to empower all men to strive for their best selves, to become more effective workers, partners, and fathers, and to make our universe a better place. It is a program of the Washington Men’s Council, founded in 1990 and located in Washington DC
WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
If you are interested in being part of a community of powerful and authentic men seeking to become their best selves and make a difference in the world, then this is the place for you. We come together in friendship and for personal growth, connection, sharing of our gifts, all in a beautiful and natural setting. Boys ages 5 and older, in the guardianship of a man, are welcome.
TOP FIVE REASONS YOU SHOULD ATTEND:
- Practice having more optimism, courage, joy, passion and love during the next year.
- Be in the presence of strong and authentic men who really care and really listen.
- Take the opportunity to create lifelong friendship.
- Join in story-telling, poetry, bonfire rituals and speaking from the heart with the talking stick.
- Experience renewed compassion for the men and women in your daily life.
“When my son was born I got to thinking, ‘Where can I go where my son will have other supportive men to mentor him? I can’t do this by myself!’ I remembered hearing about the Men’s Gathering and decided to take my son when he turned 5. He’s now 13, and not only has he wanted to go back every year since, but I’ve found it’s just as important to me! Nowhere else have we found such an amazing community of genuine, supportive men who really care.”
MORE REASONS YOU SHOULD ATTEND:
- Share the passions and purposes that enrich your life.
- Have fun, enjoy camaraderie and experience genuine connection with other men.
- Feel you deserve a weekend dedicated to honoring your personal power.
- Have better relationships with fathers, sons, and brothers.
- Experience breathwork, a powerful technique for releasing emotions trapped inside you.
Video Testimonials: Men Share About Our Gathering
Our own Paul Scribner recently sat down to talk with you about his experiences at our Men’s Gatherings!
View All Our Video Testimonials!
Are you involved in other men’s work related activities?
- Our vision is that our weekend is in part a ‘gathering of the tribes’.
- There will be time on Saturday afternoon for men to network and share about the work that they are involved in.
- Please let us know if you or someone in your organization would be interested in being available to speak about and introduce others to your group.
You can donate to our scholarship fund
The Washington Men’s Council makes some partial scholarships available each year for men who cannot pay the full fee. If you would like to donate to the scholarship fund, you may click on this button to do so, safely & securely.
Although this is through PayPal, you don’t need a PayPal account to use your credit/debit card to donate! We welcome and appreciate your support.