April 2021
Sandia Mountain
Inner Work Making a Difference in the World
by Steve Hicken, Illuman Board Chair
Steve Hicken
One recent evening, a group of Illuman leaders met to consider how best to adapt the form our community should take to meet the needs of our times. We noted that one of our participants was missing. Another said, "Oh, he is from Minnesota. Minnesota is on fire again. He's probably out with the community." Our Illuman group met on the evening of the police—shooting? killing? accident? murder?—of Black American Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. This incident happened within ten miles of where former police officer Derek Chauvin, who is currently on trial, killed another Black man, George Floyd.
Inner Work Making a Difference in the World
Over the last few days, around 100 Illuman men met via Zoom to explore our mission, vision, what we do, and how we work together. During this time, we particularly noted patriarchy, climate catastrophe, deep political divisions, and domestic violence (normally with men as perpetrators). Several commented on our internalized racism, social and generational trauma, as well as individual trauma. All of this, mind you, coming after twelve months of global pandemic during which, according to an Axios poll conducted in February of 2021, one-third of Americans have known someone who has died from COVID-19.
Inner Work Making a Difference in the World
We spent a lot of our time sitting in silence together because to leap rapidly into yet another response feels like another "spin of the hamster wheel" of violence. Early in my work life, I was fortunate to have a mentor who told me, "When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging!"
Inner Work Making a Difference in the World
So, we are sitting together, actively waiting/hoping (in Spanish, esperar conveys both meanings) for clarity on what is Illuman's to do as we put into practice one of our Initiation lessons, "Your life is not about you," collectively expressed as, "Illuman's life is not about Illuman."
As our meeting went on that night, we did learn that, in fact, our participant from Minnesota had been with the community in Minnesota. He had spent time with George Floyd's family. And his eyes were still burning from the tear gas he had encountered earlier in the day as he went to get his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Inner Work Making a Difference in the World
Upcoming Illuman Events
Watering Hole with Psychologist & Author
Robert J. Wicks

June 17, 2021
7-8:30pm (Eastern)
How do we increase our resilience while having compassion? How do we maintain strength while caring for people—and avoid being pulled down by their problems and concerns? Our next Watering Hole speaker, psychologist and author Robert J. Wicks, has decades of experience teaching people to do just that.

The Illuman Virtual Council Practice Guiding Circle is excited to present our second Watering Hole Event for 2021: Maintaining Strength and Resilience while Being Caring and Compassionate. This event will be held virtually on Thursday, June 17th, 2021 from 7:00-8:30 pm EDT. Robert J. Wicks will be our Wisdom Guide for the evening. Your participation matters!
Elders at the Gate

June 4-6, 2021
Elders at the Gate is a three-day virtual experience built on the collective wisdom and work of the men of Illuman. Hosted by the NorCal and SoCal chapters and focused heavily on the power of story and Council, this event is an invitation into deeper brotherhood for all men, initiated and uninitiated (any man who signed up for a cancelled 2020 or 2021 MROP may attend for free). All involved will hold space for and work deeply around the question, "What does it mean to be a man today?" The elders are waiting to receive your story. Join us.
Illuman of Washington
Teen Rites Of Passage

 Illuman Rising
(kids entering 7th-9th grade)
August 16-19, 2021
Vashon Island, WA

Teen Quest
(teens aged 15-19)
July 10–18, 2021

Now more than ever, our youth need extended time to deeply connect with each other and with nature in order to grow into generative young men. Rites of Passage cannot wait until adulthood—the time is now for us to bring youth into the Illuman tradition. Illuman of Washington is excited to be bringing forth two such opportunities. We are offering Rising, a 4-day rite of passage into adolescence/teenhood for middle school boys, and we are co-sponsoring Journeymen's longer 9-day initiatory Teen Quest for high schoolers. For men interested in getting trained and serving as mentors, opportunities exist for this as well.
More information is available on the Illuman of Washington website.
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About Illuman
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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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.
Please also remember Illuman in your estate planning. Contact us at dca@illuman.org for more information.
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Without us God will not,
but without God, we cannot.
~ Fr. Richard Rohr ~