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Men's Spirituality

This is a piece I recently wrote for the Good Men Project. What does spirituality have to do with being a man? Is personal growth a spiritual process?How is spirituality more suited than religion for the modern man? These are questions this post explores…

Check it out:

More and more men I work with are seeking a spiritual path. More men are hungry for more meaning and purpose in their lives. More and more men are open to a conversation about spirituality. More and more men are waking up to what is possible in their lives.

Spirituality is a tool to facilitate this waking up process.

Perhaps the term spirituality is hard to understand. Still, most of us have had spiritual moments or experiences in our lives. From a newborn child to an epic scene in the wilderness, the unexplainable splendor is everywhere.

I grew up in Utah around the Mormon faith and was raised agnostic. In my teens I became an atheist and even suicidal. Not until my experimentation with drugs in college did I begin to see there was something going on “behind the scenes.”

I spent years searching, wondering, spending time alone, and reading books—seeking something I could not name. Since religion didn’t have the answers I was searching for, I continued my quest. Because I was so depressed and locked up in my life, I finally…read the rest here.

The Way of The Superior Man is DEAD

The book I've had since 2003

The book I've had since 2003

Ever heard of the punk band “Kill Your Idols?” I love their name.  To me it speaks to how we need to differentiate from our teachers otherwise our view of them can become an impediment, or an obstacle that gets in the way of our own waking up process.

This concept or “teaching” is not new. There is even a website called Kill the Buddha after a well known Zen saying. This site sums up the concept here:

The idea of “killing the Buddha” comes from a famous Zen line, the context of which is easy to imagine: After years on his cushion, a monk has what he believes is a breakthrough: a glimpse of nirvana, the Buddhamind, the big pay-off. Reporting the experience to his master, however, he is informed that what has happened is par for the course, nothing special, maybe even damaging to his pursuit. And then the master gives the student dismaying advice: If you meet the Buddha, he says, kill him.

Why kill the Buddha? Because the Buddha you meet is not the true Buddha, but an expression of your longing. If this Buddha is not killed he will only stand in your way.

So, it is with mixed emotions, some fear, and some excitement that I share an important download I recently received.

Evolving men everywhere refer to

International Men's Day

Since today is International Men’s Day, reflect on these questions surrounding manhood:

  • Have been initiated into manhood?
  • How would I rate myself as a Man at this juncture in my life?
  • In what areas do I have yet to grow?
  • Where do I hold back in my life?
  • What would I do if I wasn’t afraid today?
  • How and What am I contributing to the world right now?
  • How can I help a fellow man today?
  • If I were to celebrate one thing about myself today, what would it be and whom can I share that with?
  • Do I have other quality men in my life that demand the best from me and that have my back? If not, what am I going to do about it?
  • Can I heal whatever wounds I have helped create toward women?
  • What kind of man (father, son, brother, husband) do I want to be? What can I commit to to make that happen

Feel free to share below or with a fellow man. Practice celebrating your manhood with the women in your life. Let them know how you intend to carry yourself as a man. Will you be a typical man who acts like a boy or are you ready to man up and be a man?

Idiot Compassion vs True Compassion

CompassionIn my last post we explored the concept of selfishness as it pertains to personal growth. To take the conversation a step further, we have to talk about service. Why? Because if you really want to talk about not being selfish, then a conversation about being self-less needs to happen.

But what is selflessness? What does that really mean? And how do I know when I am being selfish versus selfless?

I’m here to assert that by being “selfish” you can be genuinely selfless.

Conventional Service & Service Materialism

How is it that service is so often taught as “scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours?” In our modern,

By |November 19th, 2009|service|9 Comments|

Isn't Personal Growth Just Selfish?

Screen shot 2009-11-17 at 8.10.30 AMIn reference to attending my leadership training, a client said to me, “Can’t be selfish at this time in my life.”

He’s in his mid-thirties and has been miserable for years. Not happy in his marriage, not happy as a father, not happy in his job. The guy is in a ton of pain. Recently, he had some big breakthroughs and started to get honest, admit everything above, and begin the work toward a different life.

My client’s statement is not new and one I know well. I remember when I first started working on myself–going to therapy, evolving and growing. I was going through a ton of intense shit and no one in my family and none of my old friends understood or could relate. The label they gave me? Selfish and self-absorbed.

There was even bitterness in their voice. Many said it to my face with an extremely judgmental tone.

Wow. Here I was finally taking a look at my habitual, neurotic patterns that caused me, and others a ton of suffering, that might just make me a better person, and I received zero

Be the Tsunami that You Are

Wave by Lee Fenyves

Wave by Lee Fenyves

Here’s a great short story to remind you of who you are.

In the early days of the Meiji era there lived a well-known wrestler called O-nami, Great Waves.

O-nami was immensely strong and knew the art of wrestling. In his private bouts he defeated even his teacher, but in public he was so bashful that his own pupils threw him.

O-nami felt he should go to a Zen master for help. Hakuju, a wandering teacher, was stopping in a little temple nearby, so O-nami went to see him and told him of his trouble.

“Great Waves is your name,” the teacher advised, “so stay in this temple tonight. Imagine that you are those billows. You are no longer a wrestler who is afraid. You are those huge waves sweeping everything before them, swallowing all in their path. Do this and you will be the greatest wrestler in the land.”

The teacher retired. O-nami sat in meditation trying to imagine himself as waves. He thought of many different things. Then gradually he turned more and more to the feeling of the waves. As the night advanced the waves became larger and larger. They swept away the flowers in their vases. Even the Buddha in the shrine was inundated. Before dawn the temple was nothing but the ebb and flow of an immense sea.

In the morning the teacher found O-nami meditating, a faint smile on his face. He patted the wrestler’s shoulder. “Now nothing can disturb you,” he said. “You are those waves. You will sweep everything before you.”

The same day O-nami entered the wrestling contests and won. After that, no one in Japan was able to defeat him.

Notice the ways in which you are different in private versus social settings. Do you excel in isolation and struggle to bring your gifts and magic into the public sphere? If so, what are you going to do about it?

At perhaps no other time in history are you needed. Seriously.  Chew, digest, share. If not a Tsunami, then what metaphor are you identified with?

This Koan comes from a great Zen Koan site. Check it out here.

How To Start and Lead A Men’s Group

Men's Groups

Ever feel stuck, alone, unsupported and lacking follow through? Do you still think doing it all by yourself is working?

Well, now might be a good time to get off the couch and start a men’s group. A wha..???

Listen to the New Man Podcast for a fun conversation with Tripp Lanier and me about what a men’s group is and how it might serve you. Click here to listen.

Until now, there has been no up-to-date “how to” guide to help you get a group going. I can’t tell you how many emails I get asking about how to get a men’s group going and what to do. To meet the need, Tripp and I have been working for the past few months and have produced what we think is a powerful product– “How To Start and Lead a Men’s Group.”

In my own life, a men’s group has saved my ass and helped me step up my game in all areas of my life. Having a group of men that have my back has been critical to my own success and fulfillment. More on the value of a men’s group here.

The great thing about a men’s group is that it is basically free. Once you get a group going, it can be free accountability and support for the rest of your life, seriously.

Just follow this link to explore more about how a men’s group can help you.

If you would rather have a group facilitated for you or you want hands on support, feel free to sign up for my leadership training here or get a few guys together and fly me out to your city or town and we can set up a weekend intensive as I did in Chicago recently.

Despite what you father did or told you, there is no need to go it alone anymore. Or, continue to go it alone and see what kind of results you get compared to other men who are getting an accountability, challenge, and support. Observe and take note.

4 New Books For Men, by Men, About Men

Here are a few new books on the shelves that might be of interest.

Books For Men

The Good Men Project

Tom Matlock has opened the conversation about manhood and being a good man. His book is on a national tour right now along