In more than 40 years of marriage, I have made plenty of mistakes. My partner may have made a few too, but that’s for her to decide, but if I think she has made some mistakes, I have a choice to make: do I want to hang on to my judgments about the mistakes I believe she has made… or not? Jack Kornfeld is a well known Buddhist teacher. He defines forgiveness as “Giving up all hope for a better past“. I think this is a very wise and useful perspective. In essence, it echos the Eagles song, “Get Over It!“ … Continue reading
A number of years ago, I was traveling to a Mankind Project New Warrior Training Adventure on Vancouver Island in Canada with three other men who were helping to staff the weekend. We got to the Canadian border and the border patrol officer started asking our driver a number of questions. We were ordered to park and enter the administrative building for further questioning. Ultimately our driver was ordered to turn around, but the rest of us were allowed to continue… without our driver’s car. I called my wife who was at work in Bellingham and asked her to drive … Continue reading
Shadow is some part of me that I hide from you and even from myself. In Star Wars lingo, shadow is referred to as “The Dark Side”. Both Freud and Jung defined shadow, but they defined it differently. Wikipedia gives a good definition of Jungian shadow. Another way to describe shadow is conveyed by the Johari Window. The Open Self is the part of me that I know about and you can see. The Blind Self is the part of me that I cannot see but you can. Typically, the blind self show up in relationship with others. My wife … Continue reading
Sympathy is feeling compassion, sorrow or pity for the hardships of another while empathy is putting yourself in the shoes of another. Although compassion is often welcome, sorrow and pity do not enhance connection. All three are reactions to the plight of another, but empathy is sitting down with someone and feeling remembering the experiences you have had in similar circumstances. When my brother’s wife died of cancer, I felt sorrow and compassion, but because I had not yet lost someone so close to me, I could not empathize with him. All I could do was sit and hold space … Continue reading
I was interviewed in early March, 2016 by Alise Cortez in her “Working on Purpose” show on the Voice of America. We talked about my life as a programmer and my experiences with the Mankind Project. The interview aired on March 16th, 2016. Here is a description of that interview. Introduction (by Alise Cortez) The 1960s women’s movement was of monumental importance to advance the conscious development of women. But what response did it evoke in men? Where do men derive their sense of connection and meaning in today’s times? And how do men navigate their lives against the backdrop of … Continue reading
I have been an engineer for almost 50 years. I have been a recovering engineer for the last 25 years. My engineer uses my mind to solve problems. My recovering engineer used my heart to connect with my feelings. My head and heart battle frequently. My head thinks. My heart feels. My head speaks loudly, often drowning my heart. My heart quietly informs me that this analytical deconstruction has been brought to you courtesy of my head. My second awakening started in 1991 while I was working at Microsoft. I was part of a brand new team that wasn’t clicking. … Continue reading
The feedback on my ConneXions workshop is starting to come it and it is both good and… well, challenging. I have so much content that the advice I am getting is to break it into several one-day workshops. The other feedback is exactly what I was both expecting and most concerned about. I need more exercises that get people moving and in their bodies. Kim Illig just gave me lots of ideas like using some ecstatic dance to demonstrate meditation.
In 1990, I was hired by Microsoft as a Director of their Core Consulting Team for Microsoft Consulting Services. I sold my house in San Jose and moved my family to Redmond, WA in September and dove in. It didn’t take me long to realize that the powerful currents at Microsoft were pulling me under and I was into a political situation that was way over my head. My boss also realized that his team wasn’t working well, so the whole bunch of us went off for a weekend to do some “team building”. During the weekend, something profound happened … Continue reading
It’s Monday morning and I am in re-entry. I completed a very intense training this past weekend and I am still in a bit of an altered state. The training is called LT3 (Leadership Training 3) and is the capstone of the MKP leader training programs. I felt considerable growth and clarity as a result of the weekend. On Friday evening, we did a process and I granted myself license to try something different. The leader gave me some tough but insightful feedback later that evening and I could feel myself starting to spiral downward… into the rabbit hole of … Continue reading
It’s 7:15AM and I have been up since 2:30AM. Couldn’t sleep… again. I have seen a sleep doctor many times. He is patient and takes copious notes but hasn’t been successful helping me get a good night’s sleep. No blame here. Blame is such a useless concept. But I do face another day feeling fuzzy and tired. And today will be a busy one. I have three appointments to sit with conscious men and look at our lives together today and my Voice of America interview with Alise Cortez goes live today at 3:00PM PST. I have been working on … Continue reading
I went back to high school in September. Other than parent-teacher nights and occasional class reunions, this is the first time I have been in high school in over 50 years. I am part of a nine-person team (one real teacher) and eight volunteers who are teaching Advanced Placement Computer Science (Java) in one of our local high schools.
I attend yoga every Sunday morning that I can because Paul Millage bookends the yoga asanas with kirtan and afterwards many of us sit in circle and explore the spiritual aspects of yoga and our lives. In this morning’s circle, a young woman with tears in her eyes asked us to pray for the people in Israel and Palestine.
I don’t know whether to lead with the outcomes from three days and two sleepless nights with amazingly conscious men or the impact of the album I am listening to right now that ranks with Santana’s Caravanserai, The Dark Side of the Moon and Paul Simon’s Graceland, so I will start with the Shantala’s visit to Bellingham. On Sunday evening, after two sleepless nights and a seven hour drive from Manzanita, Oregon, a quick shower and dinner, I walked into the Presence Studio to the mesmerizing sound of Heather and Benjy Wertheimer, the husband and wife partnership called “Shantala“. There … Continue reading
Shift Happens I ordered some clothing from a website in April and by early June, most of the order was still missing. I was angry with the vendor and had some pretty clear judgments about the obvious problems with his business so I called him today and brother, what a lesson I learned. I told the man in clear terms that there were real problems with his business, and his response was, “Yes, and I am the problem.” “How is that?” I asked.
(With thanks to my wife, Donna for the title and the poem) I awoke this morning feeling fuzzy and low energy and started the day slowly by listening to Krishna Das sing Kirtan. The phone rang, jolting me from my peaceful reverie. It was Ron Roesler reaching out to help me plan and pull together the Second Annual Gathering of the Tribes, an event I am leading that will take place in just over a month.
As of June 6, 2014, I will have been a computer programmer for 47 years. I estimate that I have written over three million lines of computer code in a plethora of programming languages, many of them long dead. But who gives a shit? Sure, programming has paid the rent… at least most of the time. But will anybody actually look at and really read the code I have spent so much of my life writing? Probably not. So what really matters?
One of my earliest childhood memories was sitting at the top of the stairs listening to my father yell at my mother and hearing her scream as he hit her. I felt helpless and scared and I promised myself I would never do this to my children. I took in a message that men with power will hurt people. I feared my own power. I didn’t want to hurt others. I gave my power away whenever I could. I feared leadership, but time and again
Last June at the Gathering of the Tribes event, I declared myself to be a “Community Elder”. Even though there is no such role defined within The Mankind Project, the term seemed to resonate with many men. In this post, I attempt to define my vision a bit further.
The Mankind Project (MKP) is changing the world, one man at a time. It teaches us men to wake up, grow up and stand up in missions of service. The New Warrior Training Adventure (NWTA) created in 1985 by an educator, a therapist and an ex-marine, has initiated close to 50,000 men around the world into a world of the mature masculine.
In September, 2013, I staffed my 33rd NWTA weekend. I am considered a senior staffer, one who knows the weekend quite well. I was asked by the weekend leader to step onto the leader track for the weekend because he didn’t think there were enough experienced men. I have staffed with this leader before and it worked quite well, so I stepped on as a leader in training (LIT)… for this weekend only.
I was initiated as an MKP New Warrior at Camp Melacoma in November, 2001 and I have been active in MKP ever since. I became a certified PIT leader in the Puget Sound Community by around 2006, joined the MKP I-Group Council and lead the rewrite of what is now the MKP PIT manual. I have done 32 (or 33) NWTA staffing, been on the Leader Track twice (busted myself both times) and considered Ritual Elder, but it just didn’t call to me. I started an I-Group in Bellingham in early 2002 and it is still meeting every week and … Continue reading