Registration is now open and the newly opened National Forest is ready for us!

2018 NMMW Summer Gathering July 19 – 22

Circle Wisdom Retreat

July 19-22, 2018 — Jack’s Creek Campground

Just look around and you’ll see circles in your environment.  In fact, we interact with circles at every moment.  The circle is a universal blueprint underlying life itself.  It is the shape of our planet, our eyes and our blood cells and the tires on our cars. Yet most of us rarely consider how circles actually impact our lives.  Though we understand the notion of a circle of friends, the dynamics, hidden principles and applications of circle to our lives is for most of us an unexplored mystery.

We have found, after exploration of this work for decades, that cultivating circle literacy relieves us of the burden of living in mechanical linearity.  It embeds us within living systems, a relational world-view offering us a ‘life map’ reflective of nature’s flows actively at play in our lives. Come to intentionally, it can accelerate the process of transforming suffering into wisdom.  It can help open basic questions: how do I start over?  How do I find home?  How do I orient myself in the world?

Through storytelling, group and individual processes, this weekend will introduce you to circle work. Most of Saturday will involve an ancient and engaging “two circle walk” involving the weaving together of individual and community wisdom into a coherent wholeness.

Themes we will explore include:

  • How to use circle as a tool to gain clarity, wisdom and insight;
  • Integrating Circle into a nurturance of your wild resiliency;
  • Listening and acting on what YOUR LIFE is asking of you right now;
  • Identifying energy blockages and navigating your way through internal labyrinths;
  • Exploring your relationship between individuality and community.   

Workshop Leaders:

Marc Choyt is a social entrepreneur, community activist and writer who has lived in Santa Fe for thirty years.  He has led numerous workshops on the circle locally and nationally. He is just completing a manuscript entitled, The Circle Manifesto, exploring practical life applications of key principals of the circle.

Larry Glover Larry is a wilderness guide & professional of 38 years and incorporates his experiences in international leadership & creativity consulting into his studies of circle literacy.  He works in service of awe, wonder and curiosity through the reclamation of our inherent belonging, worth and wild resiliency.

For more information, please see our contact information below.

Registration:

Please send in your registration as early as you can. Both mail-in and online registration is available on this web page; please see the links below. We reserved camp sites starting Thursday, July 19 at 3 PM with an official gathering start on Friday, July 20 at 7:00 PM and ending on Sunday, July 22 at noon. Jacks Creek is at approximately 9,000 feet elevation. There are modern outhouses and good drinking water is available.  Be prepared for possible monsoon rains. Also be prepared for hot and dry weather.  More detailed information for registered men will be provided prior to the Gathering. We look forward to seeing you at Jack’s Creek!

Registration is open.  To register online click here where you can fill out a form and pay with a credit card or PayPal. If you’d rather register by sending your contact info and a check by postal mail, click here instead.  Please get your registration in by no later than Sunday, July 14th. 

Please note: We have received word that as of July 9, the Santa Fe National Forest (including Jack’s Creek Campground) will be reopening because of improved moisture conditions we will be having the Summer Gathering at our traditional spot.

Support NMMW

New Mexico Men’s Wellness is an educational nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation and all donations made are tax deductible under Federal tax law.  All of our registration materials include a place where you can designate and add a donation for our work to support the Men’s community in New Mexico and Southern Colorado.  We accept two “types” of donations:

  1. Scholarship Donations are reserved for direct financial support for men who need it to participate in our events and are restricted to that purpose.
  2. General donations are used to offset operating costs end enable us to put your support where it will do the most good for the largest number of men and help us keep our overall event costs as low as possible.

We tend to do what we do on a proverbial shoestring — just compare the cost of our events with those of any other groups — and any support that you can provide will be most appreciated (and, we promise, well used).

Gathering Leader Contact Information:

For questions, comments, or other inquiries (such as scholarship requests), please contact:

Marc Choyt
(505) 988-7393
Email: reflective@cybermesa.com

Larry Glover
(505) 690-5069
Email: lg@wildresiliency.com

If you have any questions about online registration or website-related questions, please contact the NMMW Webmaster Jim Connolly at jrc347@gmail.com.

Scholarships

New Mexico Men’s Wellness wants all men to attend our events regardless of their ability to pay the full registration fees.  Toward that end, scholarships are available if you are in need of one.  To apply for a scholarship, DO NOT REGISTER ONLINE, but rather complete and send in a “Mail-in” registration (leaving the amount paid blank) and also send in a scholarship application form with it.  Both forms can be downloaded and saved on your computer and completed and saved with Adobe Acrobat reader and sent as attachments to Marc Choyt at the Email address above who will contact you.

Recommend the Gathering to Others:

Please help spread the word to friends and associates who you think might be interested in participating in the Summer Gathering.  We have a downloadable two-page flyer (information sheet and registration form) that is suitable for sharing with colleagues, friends, and family who might have an interest in the Gathering and its topic.  Click Summer 2018 Gathering Flyer to download it.

Please note that NMMW has Scholarship funds to help pay registration fees for men that need help to participate in our events.  If you are in need, please look at the “Scholarships” section above and complete an application and send it to Marc Choyt via Email as soon as possible.  His contacts are listed above.

Jack’s Creek Logistics:

We have prepared basic logistical information about the gathering including the basics of what to bring and directions to Jack’s Creek and the group campground.  Please click on What to Bring and Directions to view a printable one-page Acrobat PDF with this information.  Additional, detailed information will be sent to those who are registered just before the gathering via email.

(Photos on this page were supplied by Marc Choyt and Joseph Woods)


If you need to download Adobe’s Free Acrobat Reader (very useful for lots of things including completing Acrobat forms) please click on the logo below which will take you to Adobe’s site and assist with getting it installed:

Click to Download Adobe Acrobat Reader

The dates and locations for major events for 2018 are set and listed below! Details, including themes, leader contacts, details and links to event web pages, and sign up info will be posted and linked here as they become available. All NMMW events are open to and inclusive of all men regardless of age, ethnicity, race and sexual orientation.  Check back as we add details as they become available.

Winter Gathering

    • Thursday, February 22rd through Monday, February 26th
      (attend as many days as you choose)
    • Cook’s Cabin, Blanco Basin, Colorado
    • Theme: “Resilience”
    • Registration will open on January 2nd, 2018
    • Contacts: Lawrence Cook (rlcook@msn.com)  or Uwe Schroeter (uweschroeter@comcast.net)

Bring a Buddy Events

  • “Bring a Buddy” events are short activities held approximately monthly in Santa Fe or Albuquerque that are designed to introduce new Men to the kind of work that we do to develop strong, healthy male relationships and introduce issues of interest to men in our modern changing world.  These events are always free. Details about location, time and topic will be posted on our main web page as they are available.

Spring Retreat

  • Registration is now open — click on the link above
  • Friday, April 13th through Sunday, April 15th
  • Hummingbird Music Camp, just north of Jemez Springs, New Mexico
  • Theme: “Sex & Intimacy: Fifty Shades of Light and Shadow”
    Repression, shame, first sex, the hunt, ecstasy, intimacy, aging sexuality. You won’t want to miss this one, as we delve into the healthy and unhealthy aspects of these vital areas of our lives. We will move from secrecy to authenticity together, from the wounded Lover to conscious, empowered masculinity. All in one weekend! Well, maybe just some progress on the path….
  • Contact: Marc Pugsley (mpugsley@mac.com) or Victor LaCerva (heartsongsvittorio@gmail.com)
  • Registration will open in February.  Registration limited to 30 men.

Fathers and Sons Gathering

  • The Fathers and Sons Gathering (originally scheduled as a camp out over Memorial Day weekend) has been canceled for 2018 because of logistical issues and timing conflicting schedules.  The current plan is to reschedule the gathering for 2020 after the 2019 Father – Daughter Gathering.  Details for both events will be added as they are developed.
  • If you have an interest in participating in this gathering when it is scheduled, please contact leaders Mike Pedroncelli (mikepadroncelli@yahoo.com) and/or Charlie Lamson (seafever304@gmail.com) so they may add you as interested in participating.

Couple’s Weekend

  • Registration is now open — click on the link above
  • Date: Friday, May 18th through Sunday, May 20th
  • Location: In Albuquerque at the home of David and Ambra Caldwell
  • Theme: To be announced
  • Contacts: Mark Pugsley (mpugsley@mac.com) or Bruce Berlin (bruceberlin45@gmail.com)

Summer Gathering

  • Date: Friday, July 20th through Sunday, July 22th
    (Thursday, July 19th optional extra camping night)
  • Location: Jack’s Creek Campground, Pecos Valley, New Mexico
  • Theme: To be announced
  • Contact: Marc Choyt (reflective@cybermesa.com)

Women and Men’s Wellness Day

  • Date: in September 8, 2018 from 9am to 6pm
  • Location: Santa Fe (details to be announced)
  • Theme: An exploration gender relationships to be led by Shell Goldstein and Narawa Stein
  • Contact: Shell Goldman (shellgoldman@gmail.com)

Fall Conference

  • Date: Thursday October 25th through Sunday, October 28th
  • Location: Ghost Ranch Conference Center, Abiquiu, New Mexico
  • Theme: TBD
  • Contact: Michael Sheppard (michael@bigskylearning.com) or David River (dbriver@gmail.com)

Anyone having changes, additions, or corrections to this page, please contact webmaster Jim Connolly via Email to webmaster@nmmw.org.

THE 30TH NEW MEXICO MEN’S WELLNESS

FALL CONFERENCE

WITH THE THEME OF

“FRIENDSHIP: MEN IN COMMUNITY”

 OCTOBER 23-26, 2014

Banner

The 30th New Mexico Men’s Wellness Conference was held October 23-26, 2014 at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico.  Over the four days the theme of “Friendship – Men in Community” was explored in depth from many perspectives.  Almost a quarter of the men participating were new to a Men’s Wellness event with over 100 in attendance.  Quite a few men invited friends from many-year relationships, some who had known each other for over 60 years!  In addition, many men left the Conference with newly found friends, ready to take what they learned into the world and build new friendships there.

This year for the first time, this page, which was the “registration” and information page for the Conference has been turned into a page about the Conference to be shared with the participants and anyone who happens upon it on this web site.  For participants, it is a spot to reflect on the weekend and perhaps share their reflections on it in the comments section at the end.  For others we hope that you will learn something about the annual New Mexico Men’s Wellness Conference is about and what we do as an organization to help men grow in healthy community with other men, and to take that community into the world of their everyday lives.

Sunset-at-GR

Sunset at Ghost Ranch

 

Leadership and Planning for the Fall Conference

The NMMW Conference is unique in that it does not draw upon outside “experts” to provide information that we “need” to know, but relies on a planning process involving a large number of men from the community who contribute their ideas, energy, creativity and talents to craft a home-grown program around the theme of the conference.  Thirty years ago Victor LaCerva started New Mexico Men’s Wellness and initiated John-Gerversthe first Conference with a focus on men and their health. Our mission continues  “to nurture wellness in body, mind and spirit through the sharing of experiences across generations and cultures in safe, collaborative settings”.  Our strength is the participatory nature of Men’s Wellness.  This year’s leader John Gervers with co-leader and successor Charlie Lamson started the planning process in late July and continued with meetings every two weeks in Santa Fe and Albuquerque until just before the conference.  The heart of the Conference is this Planning Committee, open to all intended participants, who volunteer their time to develop the theme, create the sessions, and lead various elements of the Conference.  This year more than 30 men participated in the planning process developing the three days of themed “blocks” around the overall topic of Friendship with the block leaders drawn from the participants who planned the conference.

Eclipse at Ghost RanchAn Auspicious Opening

The conference opened on Thursday, October 31.  During the registration time, there was a partial eclipse of the Sun that felt like a significant transition leading into the weekend.  Joseph Woods captured the photo at left with a solar filter on his small telescope that shows a couple of sunspots that are about as large as the planet Jupiter (Click on the image to see it full size).  A great start to the 30th Fall Conference!

 The Buddha was asked, “Is good friendship, good companionship, good comradeship a part of the holy life?”

The Buddha answered, “No, good friendship, good companionship, good comradeship are not ‘a part of the holy life’, they are the entire holy life”.

 

The Conference Organization and “Blocks”**:

Thursday Evening: Welcome, Opening Ceremony, Introduction to the theme of “Friendship”, Breakout of small groups and first meeting, “Assessing our Friendships,” followed by Closing Circle.

Early Friday Morning: Optional exercises including Meditation, Qi Gong and Yoga.

ConversationFriday Morning: Announcements, Warm-Up Exercise.  Block topic on “Isolation and Other Barriers to Friendship” to explore how we inhibit the initiation and development of friendships.

Friday Afternoon: Block topic on “Conflict Resolution.”  Skit: Friends in conflict Cassius and Brutus from Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”; Exercise to explore unresolved conflicts in our relationships with other men.
Late afternoon optional activities including Art Project, Poetry Circle, Jam Sessions (Electric indoors, Ukelele outdoors), Hiking.

Friday Evening: Choice of Activities including: Passing of the Sword Ceremony, Outdoor Fire Circle and Drumming Circle, Sweat Lodge (Hot), and Movies with the theme of Friendship.

Early Saturday Morning: Grief Circle to honor and remember those lost to us

Saturday Morning: Announcements.  Early Block on “Nurturing Old Friendships”; Later block on “Creating New Friendships”

Saturday Afternoon: Block on the topic of “Creating Friendships with Women.”
Late afternoon optional activities including Art Project, Sweat Lodge (Mild), Yoga, Hiking, etc.  NMMW Annual Meeting just before dinner.

Saturday Evening: Elders and Sages Ceremonies, followed by “Saturday Night Live” — performances, music, skits, drumming and silliness.

Early Sunday Morning: Optional exercises including Meditation, Qi Gong and Yoga.

Passing-LeadershipSunday Morning: Announcements, Passing of NMMW Small Group Drum and Compassionate Hands, followed by Large Talking Circle with reactions about the weekend from all who wish to share.  Final small group meeting with take-aways and commitments.  Walk to Canyon for Closing Ceremony and Passing of the Leadership.

** “Blocks” vary in structure, but generally introduce the topic in the large circle of men then break into dyads or small groups to explore the topic in more depth, sometimes returning to the large group at the conclusion of the block.  Blocks vary in length but are typically 90 minutes to 2 hours in length.

A song about friendship, Through Your Eyes was written by David Kuenzli specifically for this conference and was distributed to all conference attendees.  It is linked here for playing or downloading.  It may be freely played and shared but please give David credit if you do share it.

30 Years of NMMW Conference Leaders

While not all of the former Conference leaders could attend, there was a large contingent of former leaders of the NMMW conferences represented at this 30th Conference.  In the photo below from left to right are John Gervers, Mike Pedroncelli, Kurt Faust, Shel Goldman, Michael Wilkinson, Lawrence Cook, Charles Fisher, Phil Davis, Michael Kaufman, Barry Cooney, David Johnson, David Kuenzli, and Victor LaCerva.  Also attending (but not in the photo) were Mark Bennett and Barry McIntosh.  (Click on the photo to see it full size)

Past-Leaders

Scholarships

The costs of the Conference are as low as we can get from Ghost Ranch, and by far the bulk of the fees go toward meals, lodging and use of the facilities.  We want men of all financial circumstances to be able to participate in the Conference if they wish to do so.  For this reason we encourage men who want to participate but need some assistance to connect with the conference leaders for assistance.  We also encourage men who can contribute to the scholarship fund to do so, to support those men who need it.  NMMW is a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational corporation, and all donations to the scholarship fund or to other activities of the organization are deductible as charitable contributions.  There is a page on this web site that will accept online donations with our gratitude: http://www.nmmw.org/about/donate/

For your feedback or to get more information:

Call-to-closingThis page is open for comments.  Please see the comments section at the end of the page.  Some men who participated in the conference have already submitted comments to webmaster Jim Connolly (jrc347@gmail.com) who has incorporated them into the comments.  Comments may be submitted by anyone who has registered for access on this website and blog.  Click on this link and you will be taken in a new “tab” or window to a page that will help you to register for the site so that you may post comments or other materials that you would like to contribute to the NMMW community via this website and blog.  We encourage registration so that this site can benefit from your input, but if you would like to just have your comment about this page posted you can send it via Email to Jim Connolly via his Email address and he will get it posted for you.  You must include your actual name and contact information with your Email, but it does NOT need to be included in your comment; just clarify that when you send your Email.

If you have any feedback or suggestions for this year’s leader (John) or for the leader of next year’s (31st) Conference (Charlie) please contact them:

For more Online Information about NMMW:

 

Saving-a-seat

Adobe Acrobat Reader is handy to view (or download) many of the Acrobat PDF documents found on this site.  To download and install Adobe Acrobat Reader, please click on the graphic below:

Click to Download Adobe Acrobat Reader

(Most of the photos on this page are from Uwe Schroeter with one from Joseph Woods.)

qigong-snap1For many years Doug Booth has been offering a great morning practice of Qigong to participants in most NMMW gatherings (Spring, Summer and Fall).  Many, many men who have done the practice with Doug have requested some information about the movements to make it easier for them to practice on their own.  After searching his archives, Doug has located the original materials from his teacher that describe the 18 movements and include some advice about the best approach to a Qigong practice.   Now, through the magic of electronic document creation and this website, anyone interested in having their own Acrobat PDF copy can get it via a relatively simple mouse click.  Just click your mouse here and download your copy.  Please note that some web browsers do not like to display Acrobat PDF documents and you might have better results by right-clicking your mouse on the link and then saving the “link” to your own computer.

If you have any questions about the practice or would like to profusely thank Doug for making it available, please connect with him via Email to dougbooth4@gmail.com.

At the 2011 Summer Gathering, I, your webmaster Jim Connolly, using a recently acquired mini-HD video recorder, recorded an almost complete Qigong practice session (about 30 minutes) with Doug from warm-up through conclusion.  While the video is ofqigong-snap2 good quality, it includes has a lot of cross-talk and side chatter.  We had planned to clean it up, add titles and perhaps throw in some voice-overs, but there were some translation issues with the video formats, and it is likely to remain in its “raw” (but still useful) form.  I will be talking with Doug at the Spring Retreat about how we might best make this available for Men’s Wellness folks to use.  If you are someone who would have an interest in acquiring a home-made copy of the video for your personal use, please contact me (jrc347@gmail.com) and indicate your interest.  There will likely be a nominal cost associated with copying and getting it to you.

The pictures on this post are “snapshots” from the video from the 2011 Summer Gathering.

The free Acrobat PDF viewer is required to view and print the Qigong document linked here.  Click on the graphic below to download the viewer: Click to Download Adobe Acrobat Reader