June 2022
In this Drumbeat...
The Illuman Initiator Program

The Illuman Initiator Program seems to be one of Illuman’s best-kept secrets. I participated in the east coast MROP Initiator Program this May because I’m a co-Convener and this seemed easier than becoming part of the team. I knew I would be providing support for the retreat, but I had no idea what to expect beyond that. 
The Initiator Program is designed to give an initiated man the opportunity to deepen his understanding of initiation while walking with and holding the initiation experience of other men. Since Initiators are men who have already been through their own Rites of Passage, this program does not require the kind of secrecy and surprise that benefits the MROP experience. And yet many still don’t know much about it. This lack of awareness hurts potential Initiators and Illuman alike. Of my 60 brothers from our 2019 MROP, only six returned for this experience. We were joined by six other men who did their rites previously, some over ten years earlier. Clearly, many Initiated men are not getting the message about this opportunity to revisit the rites in an even deeper way. 
With the exception of two unfortunate men who contracted Covid-19 during the event, each Initiator found this experience nothing short of amazing. Several of us have discussed doing this again in other regions. (Ireland has an MROP planned for 2023!)
We were blessed by our three Elders: Terry Chapman, Bob Sabath, and Glen Siegel. Their thoughtful planning and ritual designs were eclipsed only by their in-Council questions, comments, and mirroring capabilities. 
This work set us up well to “hold space” for the Initiates during the event. This communal contemplative practice, in service of our new brothers doing their inner work, was new to most of us. There was something about these three factors—communal, contemplative, service—that took us to a deeper, more open space. 
Most notable was our powerful experience during the grief rituals. This is a long and emotional day for Initiates. Terry Chapman’s grief talk enrolled everyone, including us. As space holders and observers, we could sense inhibitions lowering, and hearts opening, in all participants. 
When the Initiators convened later in the day, one man expressed what we all felt. “I will never look at other people the same way I have in the past. Now I will see and know there is pain and suffering in each person, that we are all part of.” As Richard Rohr has taught us, “There is only one suffering and we participate in it.”
In a manner similar to the MROP, the full impact of the Initiator experience cannot be adequately described. Of course, it is different for each person. Beyond holding space for the new initiates, this program also provided opportunity for our own deeper work. How much richer it would have been with even more initiated brothers alongside us. 
It’s not too late to register as an Initiator for any of the upcoming 2022 MROPs. I hope you’ll consider it. 
Jim Burns
Illuman DC Co-Convener
Help Us Reach More Men on Facebook!

We need your help spreading the word about Illuman. Illuman uses Facebook to inform, educate, and promote our work. If you are on that platform, please Like our page if you have not already done so. If you do not use Facebook, please consider creating an account here. I joined Facebook purely to further Illuman outreach and you can too!
After you’ve done that, this next piece is where we really need your help. Facebook’s algorithm prioritizes what they call “meaningful interactions,” which consist of:
  • Comments
  • Replies
  • Likes
  • Shares 
When you see a post or event by Illuman, give it a Like. This helps to increase our visibility with your friends. Better yet, leave a comment about how Illuman has impacted your life or facilitated your transformation. Better still, share our post on your wall with an added statement as to why Illuman is important to you. You can also mention friends (type the @ symbol followed by your friend’s name) in your comments and posts that you believe could benefit from our community. You needn’t do this every day, but just whenever one of our posts really strikes a chord with you.
Finally, if you see any Illuman Events listed on Facebook (like the upcoming Illinois-Midwest MROP), click the “Invite” button on the event page and send invites to any of your friends who might be interested. 
These are just small, simple acts, but in the world of social media, they can have a big impact. The more visible Illuman is, the more we will be able to reach and serve those who need us the most. 
As always, we invite you to join us on the Journey of Illumination as together we Gather, Connect, and Serve. On behalf of the Illuman Communications Council, and the whole brotherhood of Illuman, we thank you.
Chuck Rihm
Communications Council Member and Ohio Illuman Convener
Last Chance to Stay on Our Mailing List!

The past few months we’ve offered you the opportunity to update your personal information, interests, and communication preferences by completing this brief survey. Your response is very important! So as not to bombard you with unwanted emails, we will be removing those who don’t respond to this survey from our regular Drumbeat mailing list. In other words, if you want to continue hearing from Illuman, please take just a few minutes to respond.
Join us for Soularize, our annual conference on men’s spirituality and healthy masculinity this November 3-6! For the first time since the pandemic, we will be returning in person to the Hyatt Regency Tamaya on the Santa Ana Pueblo just north of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Soularize is open to any and all male-identified persons, and is a great way to reconnect with old friends or discover Illuman for the first time. Awaken with us as we reconnect, realign, and reengage as contemplative activists who bring beauty and healing to a desperate world.
Illuman’s signature event, this 5-day, 4-night experience awakens men to the adventure and mystery of their own masculinity, their deep spirituality, their potential for leadership, and their life’s purpose. Follow the links below to learn more about the one nearest you.

Young Men’s Rites of Passage

July 20–24, 2022 - Princeton, Minnesota
The Young Men’s Rites of Passage is 5 days and 4 nights of formal male initiation for men ages 1929. The program is a deeply prayerful and soulful experience that builds on the classic patterns of male initiation through simple and moving rituals and teaching. During this event you will engage in ritual, drumming, Council circles, elder talks, contemplative silence, and solo-wilderness time.
Me and White Supremacy Discussion Groups

To further Illuman’s goal of radical belonging and racial justice, we are coordinating the creation of small groups to help men focus on the inner work necessary for successful anti-racism changes in their own lives and beyond. These groups will use Layla Saad’s book Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor as a guide for each session. To participate, each man must obtain his own book (and optional workbook), make a commitment to record written responses to journal prompts within the book, and share those responses verbally with his small group. Groups will determine their own meeting schedule and frequency. This work is specifically for men who identify as White or benefit from White Privilege. Check out this video for more details or click the link below to register.

A 9-week online cohort for fathers and soon-to-be fathers

Tuesday evenings starting June 28th
Two time options: East Coast: 9–10 PM EDT; West Coast: 8–9 PM PDT
Designed to meet new dads at a moment when life has initiated them into fatherhood. Meetings are just one hour each week. If you are a new or soon-to-be dad, then this course is for you! If there is someone like this in your life who might be interested in our journey together, please share this with them and encourage them to join us!

We meet on Zoom the 2nd Wednesday of every month from 6:30–8:00 PM MDT.
M.A.L.E. Anon is a fellowship of men who share their experience, strength, and hope to find spiritual solutions to their common problems, especially our culture’s addiction to patriarchy and toxic masculinity. It is open to all men of any description, any background. Anybody who identifies as a male is welcomed, including those in transition. We believe that the 12 Steps offer a blueprint for becoming better human beings and better men and that changed attitudes can aid recovery.

We meet on Zoom the 2nd Wednesday of every month from 6:30–8:00 PM MDT.
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. 
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.


Without us God will not,
but without God, we cannot.
~ Fr. Richard Rohr ~