Friday, August 31, 2007
i am a warrior and my path is sacred
people keep asking me about my warrior experience.
i went on the new warrior training adventure initiation weekend just over a year ago. my awesome friend and fellow journeyer Brady Bragg invited me to go on a Warrior Weekend spring before last. i didn't want to go to another damn retreat. i've done the retreat thang, as you may imagine, since i was in the organized religion business for a dozen years. i had done it ALL ... wild at heart, emmaus, spiritual formation, men's retreats, encounter groups. men's retreats. co-ed gatherings. church things. para-church things. denominational things. seminary things. all good ... all filling ... all meaningful. okay, some more than others. but still.
so, i was reluctant. journey was just getting hooked up and healthy. i was very busy. plus, i didn't want to go be nice and spiritual. i'd had it. and i was tired of all the macho bullshit that men take on to push other people around - patriarchy, male supremacy, us vs. them, warfare as a way to control the world, bravado. i didn't want to go beat drums and assert how important male assholeness is.
but, brady kept hounding me.
one of the things that made me feel that new warrior would be different was that brady is gay, and he said that gay and straight men are part of this experience. he also said that christians and non-christians are part of this experience. he also said that it was about being real, and honest, and not composed and not cool and together. he said that it used mythological archetypes, and native american spiritual imagery. he added that men of different races and backgrounds are part of warrior work.
all of these things interested me and touched something inside me.
brady also said that it's an outgrowth of the men's movement. i love robert bly's iron john, and richard rohr's work with men. i'd always known that there is something important about men getting in touch with their hearts - in a way that our culture neither encourages nor talks about. i had always felt afraid of men, unable to trust men, afraid of my own power as a man.
and something in me said, I'm ready for this. i was scared shitless, reluctant, weirded out. but my soul must've known it was time for me to take this leap.
i went, took my fishing poles, drove my truck out into bum-fuck egypt nowheresville where this particular retreat center was (there are lots of places new warrior weekends are held; this one was about 2 1/2 hours east of austin).
it absolutely knocked my dick in the dirt.
i reconnected to my wife and children, to my own purpose, to a sense of power i'd never experienced, to my shame and guilt and fear, to my joy and mission and reason for being. to my relationship with god. to my commitment to teaching and casting out fear with liberation and love. to my determination to pursue peace. it made me more and more compassionate towards men in my life. i saw that being a man is all about the kind of strength that leads to love and peace and clarity and never about using one's power to dominate or shame or manipulate. it's about being honest and open and real.
it was hard at first to put into words or to live like this. my poor wife. she was there through all my re-entry and beginning practice. we made it through it. she loves what has happened in me. but it's a big life change and not easy.
i want every single man on the planet go on a new warrior training adventure.
let me know if you're interested. men will help you register. check out the website. whatever. but go.
your journey as a man is sacred. your life has meaning. your path is important. you have a gift to give.