Awakening men to their belovedness, that they might love the world…
Illuman Of Washington is the official Washington State chapter of Illuman, a global community committed to supporting men who are seeking to deepen their spiritual lives. We are an organization that is open to all men based on the simple belief that we are all brothers. While Illuman was founded in 2012, it emerged from the remarkable work of Men as Learners and Elders (M.A.L.Es) started by Fr. Richard Rohr in the late 1990’s, and ran by the Center of Action and Contemplation for many years. In December 2012, Fr. Richard blessed Illuman approved to continue the work begun by M.A.L.Es.
Our programs and offerings focus on providing men with an opportunity to do their ‘inner work’ in the company of other men. We use nature, ritual, teaching, and ways of communicating that allow men to create an environment where men can explore what matters to them most.
Men who participate in our work receive support as they journey through life and face some of life’s toughest challenges and transitions. Our programs are centered in ritual experiences rather than in conceptual teachings.
We seek to form future generations of men who will restore these practices – serving to build a world that celebrates the beauty of all beings.
Our five touchstones:
centering | gathering | connecting | releasing | serving
- Centering: we are men grounded in the power of here and now
- Gathering: we are men who listen deeply to each other’s stories
- Connecting: we are men who choose to walk with – shoulder to shoulder
- Releasing: we are men who let go of the ways that no longer serve us
- Serving: we are men standing in solidarity with all, honoring the earth and being of loving service to all
- We are men transforming men through a power greater than ourselves.
- We are seeking a life-changing spirituality.
- Our primary concern is inner work that makes a difference in the world.
- We are fed by the wisdom traditions of forgiveness and radical inclusivity, and the presence of the Sacred in all that is.
- Our work recovers traditional patterns of male initiation, affirms a masculine path to healing, reveals the true and false self, and honors the path of descent.
- We do this through the power of nature, ritual, image, story, and council.
Foundations of Illuman
Brain science, psychology, and ritual studies are confirming what wisdom traditions have known for millennia: that engaging the body, the mind, the emotions, and the soul simultaneously, has far more impact than working with any one at a time. Talk therapy can be helpful, left-brained logic-oriented learning is wonderful, body-work benefits us in multiple avenues, and engaging Spirit opens us to the transcendent…but there are few places where all are engaged holistically. Illuman offers spaces that are both cutting-edge and deeply rooted, inviting men into richer, healthier lives. In this work, we hold in common more our practices than beliefs (which vary greatly), while acknowledging the Perennial Tradition.
Illuman of Washington’s structure continues to mature. Currently, we have a board that protects and supports the container for this work, a guiding council of 4 men that meets for 90 minutes every two week, a leadership group of 14 that meet monthly, as well as men who contribute in a variety of roles for events and gatherings. If you wish to contribute in some manner, raise your hand by reaching out to the convener.