April 2020
Click here to watch a video of men expressing their gratitude for Virtual Council. 
Illuman  is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose vision is to see men transforming men and, through them, families and communities for generations to come. Our mission is to engage those seeking a life-long journey of spiritual transformation. 

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1. Oracle 2020 Closing Witness - By Bob Sabath
In lieu of an opening article for this month’s Drumbeat, we would like to share with our readers a closing witness reflection from Oracle 2020 by Bob Sabath. Oracle 2020 was held virtually on Zoom from April 15–18, 2020. Bob shared these comments as part of the closing Council Circle. Next month, Terry Symens-Bucher will share his thoughts and highlights from Oracle 2020, but we felt this piece was an important reflection for all of us in these times. Please note that these comments were offered in Council, so they may read slightly different than if they were written.
First Round

So, on January the 3rd, I was unexpectedly diagnosed with a very aggressive form of blood cancer, Burkitt’s lymphoma. I decided to engage this unexpected diagnosis as a class that I was taking.

Burkitt’s lymphoma was a very demanding professor. This professor also initiated me, just like I was initiated in 2006 [at the MROP]: I’m going to die. I’m not in control. It’s not about me. I’m not that important.

There have been weeks where I have literally been on the bottom of the floor, feeling like my body is being torn apart. My practice has become helplessness.

When my body is so scrambled, all of these inner-work practices that are sensation-based just dissipate. And I just find myself . . . and all that I can surrender is my helplessness.

What I have discovered is that helplessness calls the Helpers. Not just my friends on this physical plane, but I’m convinced that there are Helpers in the other world. And they are drawn to powerlessness, they are drawn to helplessness. And they do come, they do come.

In some ways, I guess I see we [the community of Illuman] are at this juncture point where I hope we can deepen the practice of helplessness.

I see tensions between renewal community and institution, and the fear that we will lose something of the renewal insight if we become too institutionalized. I see tensions between the guys who have been here a longer time and the newer guys who are trying to figure out this place. And I hope we can get beyond just like and dislike.

It’s natural to want to be validated and visible and have a voice. What do these older guys really think about me? Do they even see me?
I think we need to deepen the inner work where we don’t fall apart when we seem invisible or voiceless or not validated. And trust the process, trust the process.

I don’t think “institution” is going to iron out conflict. I think we need to find a different relationship to conflict.

This has been my lifelong lesson: mess, constriction, uncertainty, tensioning, conflict. These are necessary and holy ingredients for transformation to deepen within us and within the organization. If we can’t find a way of standing within it and changing our relationship to it, we aren’t going to be better off if we eliminate it. We have to find a different way of engaging [conflict] because that kind of stuff is a mark of community-deepening and transformation-deepening.

If we want to grow our being, if we want to grow our capacity to connect and love, and to see new possibilities, we have to change our relationship to conflict and see it as a gift. That only comes as we deepen our own inner practices. Otherwise we just go into autopilot.

Please click here to read the remaining portions of the witness with permission from Bob Sabath.
2. Global Wisdom Council Statement on the COVID-19 Pandemic
From the very beginnings of our work through the Center for Action and Contemplation, our work with men has extended internationally. Illuman forms one part of a global movement.

To further build and enrich our international relationships, over the last year, Illuman has been working with brothers in countries with whom Illuman has established a formal working relationship. These countries include Australia, Austria, Czech Republic, Ireland, Germany, and United Kingdom. Together, we have formed a Global Wisdom Council which, even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, was meeting in Council by Zoom. Our brothers on the Global Wisdom Council send these words of encouragement to all of us brothers in Czech, English, German and Spanish.

3. Men's Rites of Passage for 2020
In the light of COVID-19, we are being very mindful of the liminal space and worldly initiation rites that we are all experiencing. We have been drawn into that space where we await what the new normal might look like and how Illuman will be supporting men on their journey. This means that we are having to make some hard decisions regarding our 2020 Men’s Rites of Passage programs. At this point, our first two MROPs have been postponed and we will continue to evaluate upcoming MROPs in partnership with the host chapters. We look forward to the time in which we will be able to stand shoulder to shoulder.
In the meantime, we invite you to join us on Virtual Council. All men are welcome, regardless of whether you have been to an MROP. Learn more about our Virtual Council opportunities at this link.

To learn more about Illuman’s Men’s Rites of Passage and the need for male initiation rites, please click here . To learn more about specific opportunities in 2020, please click the links below.

June 10 – 14, 2020

June 10 – 14, 2020

July 22 – 26, 2020

August 11 – 15, 2020

August 12 – 16, 2020

September 9 – 13, 2020

November 4 – 8, 2020
Your  support  in all forms, including prayer, service, and money, is met with gratitude and a commitment to honor your gifts by using them to support men on their spiritual journey.
We are ILLUMAN: 
"Without us God will not,
but without God, we cannot." 
Fr. Richard Rohr