“All great spirituality is about what we do with our pain.”
The next initiation retreat will be held in the mountains of Ojai, California. The exact dates will be announced once we reach 20 registered men. If you are interested in our Teen Initiation Program, please visit our teen's page (link below) and register your teenager there.
Initiation Retreats (EMIR)
- Intensive 5 days - 4 nights male initiation retreat
- Off-grid camping in the mountains of Ojai, California
- Morning meditation
- Nature immersion
- Physical, mental & spiritual challenges
- Masculine archetype practices
- Nightly yoga practice
- Nightly campfire counsel
- Sweat lodge ceremony (night 3)
- All farm-to-table, organic meals
- Initiation ceremony & fire celebration (night 4)
Most men have an aversion to pain, but in initiation it is our mission to help men to be able to sit with their wound without numbing or running away from it and to empathetically connect to the pain of the world. All major paths of spirituality point to what we do with our pain. So our first goal is to work with men in identifying with their pain and in sitting with it until it becomes clear what the pain is there to teach them. As Rumi wrote, “The wound is the place where the Light enters you". Once a man has made contact with his wound, it is the natural progression that through his empathy he realizes he is not the center of his universe. It dawns upon him that his wisdom is limited and that a bigger force is at play in bringing him to this point of spiritual transformation. Most men come from a culture where they are raised believing in their "specialness". They chase this throughout their lives, never really being fulfilled in their pursuits. When a man gets in touch with his pain and is suddenly not the center of his own universe, he is actually creating enough space for his purpose to shine through. As Richard Rhor, an expert in the field of male initiation explains, “Once you know that your life is not about you, then you can also trust that your life is your message.” This step immediately puts men on the path - having to navigate through life now relying on a Universal force to guide them and speak through them. In a society where we are so goal-oriented, the prospect of moving through life relying on a divine, invisible source as a guide can be a challenging proposition - one that can only be maintained through regular spiritual practice long after the initiation retreat. The last piece of our initiation right of passage is to bring the concept and the reality of death to the forefront of each initiate. As Don Juan shared with Carlos Castenada, "your death is always near". In life, all is passing and simultaneously being reborn. We take our men through this journey that they may be birthed anew on a new path of purpose and evolution of their souls.
References: Adapted from Richard Rohr, Adam’s Return: The Five Promises of Male Initiation (The Crossroad Publishing Company: 2004), 62-64, 66.