I am one member of an 8-man group (the guy who formed the group is a CC devotee, as is one other guy) that meets once a month to discuss Any/Everything, but with an overall focus on living a conscious life in a too-unconscious world. If it’s too cold we meet inside around a fireplace or woodstove. Last night we met outside although the temps were in the low 20s.
Outdoors, we build a fire and sit around it in those collapsable field chairs. We say our various prayers or make offerings to denote that we’re taking time out of mundane life to address the concerns of our spirits (or soul, or heart, or psyche, or whatever you want to call it).
And we just talk for about 3 hours (6-9 p.m., usually). Everyone has to check in one way or another, even if it’s just to say they don’t have much to say (although usually everyone has plenty to discuss).
Sometimes discussion is easy, friendly. Sometimes it’s contentious. It’s always pretty damn real. There are also usually a lot of bad puns for some reason. [smile]
A lot of the talk centers on how to be a good man in challenging times. It’s not like the basic principles are hard to figure, but their application in a rapidly-changing world — well, it’s nice to have 7 other guys with ideas and feedback. And I know more about the inner life/real self (as opposed to the daily "social mask" folks tend to keep on all the time) of these guys than some people I’ve known for a decade. We’ve been meeting for a year.
It takes dedication, it takes valuable time (we alternate hosting and some of the other guys live nearly an hour away — so it’s a 5-hour time commitment). But anything worth building does. And these will be some of the people I’ll feel comfortable relying on in the years to come when things *really* change.
My wife also has a once-monthly women’s circle that in many ways mirrors the above, although they’ve figured out their own way of doing it that works for them.
Is anybody else out there doing anything like this? Either in a men’s group or mixed?
VIVA — Sager
I bought a copy of the CC DVDs and they arrived last week. I’m planning (w/the guy who turned me on to CM.com) to do a presentation of the CC at a local community center in the next month-6 weeks. Trying to get folks on the same page as the CC, and maybe pick up some likely prospects for the community me’n’wife are building.
Anybody here done a presentation of the CC for their local community (i.e., standing in front of people in a room as opposed to dishing copies of the CC to friends/family)? I’d be very interested in hearing your stories / advice re a successful show.
Thanks in advance.
Viva — Sager
I would be interested to hear how this goes Sager. I don’t quite know how to approach it with most friends. I mean, if I ask them to come around and watch a video most are keen. When I tell them the whole thing is 4 hours, there is a real stumbling block. But you really need the whole 4 hours, you can’t really chop out bits.
How do you get around this ?
Hey Amanda —
I’m going to rent out a meeting room at the local community center for 2 hours. Will handbill to advertise and get the grapevine humming too. In the 2 hours, we’ll start w/about 15 minutes of meet’n’greet, then I’ll do an intro for about 5, and then show the first of the three DVDs, which runs about 52 minutes. That’ll leave us more than half an hour at the end for Q&A.
I’ll plan on doing three consecutive Sundays or something — 1 DVD per. In my mind the group will likely winnow down each week, but folks who come for all 3 will be good candidates for community. And if people come week 1 and end up telling a bunch of friends about it I could run a second series for the folks who missed the first time out.
Viva — Sager
Hey Sager.Salute to you for your commitment to the community building task!
It’s such a rarity, in my experience, for a group of men to do what you described, i’e. regular 3 hour meeting for talking.! Could I ask the story behind it’s formation?Did it come out of your bowling group or where?
Well, it was a tangential offshoot of the bowling group.
We had the bowling group going, and then my work schedule changed so Tuesday nights were out. The bowling petered out eventually, but one of the bowling guys is active in the sacred fire community (http://www.sacredfirecommunity.org/) and picked out about a dozen fellas including me. We set up the fire-circle gatherings and made a 1-year commitment. We just had our 12th gathering and I think we’re going to lose 1 guy but the rest of us are on board for more.
Yeah, getting men to sit still without some other thing to Do while they talk is not usual. [smile] But once they understand the rhythm of it they generally dig the chance to slow down, listen closely to the other guys and relish the chance to simply speak from the heart, at their own pace and without interruption.
That’s one of the few rules we have: don’t interrupt. Others are don’t offer solutions (unless they’re solicited) and when you’re making judgements, preface them with "I believe" or "I feel" or "In my experience" and so forth. That’s not to say we have a core belief that "everybody’s right" or "everyone’s feeling are equally valid/true" but if you preface your comments with the above, you’re not de facto setting yourself up as an expert on somebody else’s life, or Everything In General.
It’s interesting to see how the wives/girlfriends of the guys in the group bend over backwards to help make certain their men can attend. They must be seeing something good in their man when he comes home from the fire. [smile] Or they’re just glad to get him outta the house for 4 hours one Sunday a month. [bigger smile]
Viva — Sager
Hey Sager – I think it must be option B (“Or they’re just glad to get him outta the house for 4 hours one Sunday a month.”) since most women would agree that too much unsupervised male bonding can have dangerous consequences [grin].
Famous last words “Dude – check this out”
[quote=PlicketyCat]Hey Sager – I think it must be option B ("Or they’re just glad to get him outta the house for 4 hours one Sunday a month.") since most women would agree that too much unsupervised male bonding can have dangerous consequences [grin].Famous last words "Dude – check this out"[/quote]
Or: "dude…what’s *this* button do?"
"Are we standing far enough away?" is male 20/20 hindsight code word for "We are way too close"
Without asking you to violate any bylaws of the "Gender Code" by spilling details, aren’t the unsupervised female bonding outings just as "bad" if not worse?
DIAP – oh yeah – unsupervised female bonding can be just as dangerous!! I’m not exactly privy to all that goes on during those meetings either since I never quite learned the secret "girls club" handshake I’d say I’m probably more of a double-agent, I’m allowed into the boys’ clubhouse easier, but sometimes slip up and say things like "Um, dudes, I think we’re way too close to be pushing that button".
Ah, the wonders of not being strongly gender-indentified. Tolerated by both, but never truly accepted by either ROFL
Thanks Sager…or do you prefer SagerXX? I appreciate the Sacred Fire link and will check it out when I can focus.
Right now, my songwriting switch is stuck at the ON position (ala DIAP). Not genius so much as obsession sprinkled with ADD.
I hear those sirens singing.
So sweet I want to stay.
But when the bells start ringing.
Edgar Allen has his way.