New Mexico Men€™s Wellness 2011 Summer Gathering

At Jack€™s Creek Group Campground in the Pecos
Friday-Sunday, August 5-7, 2011

Mischke-Booth Summer Cavalcade of Philosophical Frolic


Latest Updates July 31: GOOD NEWS!  Jack’s Creek campground will be open for the Summer Gathering. The Santa Fe National Forest will be reopening most areas of the Forest including the trailheads and trails into the Pecos Wilderness on August 1.  Campground fire restrictions have been reduced such that we will be able to build camp- and cook-fires and hold the sweat lodge on Saturday evening.

Doug will alert all those currently registered via Email over next few days about the appropriate logistics.  Anyone interested in attending who is not registered should contact Doug by Email ASAP so we can plan accordingly (and deliver important information to you).

Our general theme will be €œAdapting to Change in a Brave New World.€  How this theme is developed during the weekend will be (as always) up to us.  Jim Mischke and Doug Booth will be leading this august gathering of men in the woods.

Registration fee includes space rental, firewood, and sweat lodge for $25.  We encourage a voluntary scholarship donation for future NMMW events.  No t-shirts (but we may some optional wardrobe surprises to don).

Jack€™s Creek Campground is at the far northern end of civilization (at the end of the road) on the edge of the Pecos Wilderness.  It can get quite warm (bordering on hot) during the day, can rain at any time, and can get very cold at night, so come prepared for everything.

It€™s a campout. Bring the usual Jack€™s Creek equipment, including a pen and notebook. Bring a water bottle.  Be mindful of changes in temperature and weather at high altitude.  Bring warm clothes.  Drink lots of water €“ good drinking water is available on site.  Bring a water bottle, bowls, plates, eating utensils, pot scrubber and snacks to share.  Water spigot and pit toilets are available €“ bring soap.  Frisbees and other sports stuff are always welcome.  Essentials: Warm sleeping bag, air mattress, tent, lantern, boots for hiking, rain gear, sun block, mascara, sunglasses, bug goop (no sprays, please); sun and rain hats are seeming €œmusts.€ (Aluminum foil hat will preclude annoyances from extra-terrestrials).  Be aware of solarization/sun burn.  Bring a joke, a story, and a good heartedness.  We€™ll all share what we have.

General processes to shape up during the weekend

  • Doug will lead a hike up into the Pecos high meadow country €“ about 3 hours. Bring day pack, GPS, sextant and/or bread crumbs.
  • Doug will lead the sweat lodge ceremony.
  • In conjunction with the sweat lodge, there will be a Fire Ceremony for those who prefer not to sweat.
  • Bocce ball for one and all (balls to be provided by Doug).
  • Doug will offer a discussion on taking direct action as a means of reclaiming our power and addressing the onslaught of corporate greed that threatens to disempower us all, a discussion perhaps best conceptualized as: €œDissent and Civil Disobedience €“ An American Tradition.€
  • Mischke will offer a discussion on factors and stats. as key indicators of threat to our species€™ survival, such as depletion of the World Food Bank, nuclear threat, exploding populatipecos-circleon, theocratic fundamentalism, global warming, various forms of pollutants, and perhaps most of all, a growing dearth of ideas and ideologies, followed by our developing personalized suggestions as to useful forms of wisdom for application (such as philosophy, psychology, theology, sociology) as adaptive responses.
  • Potluck dinner Saturday night to be prepared together in great spirits as we combine our efforts and ingredients.  Suggested dishes by last names (we can adjust this once we see who€™s coming):
    • A to M €“ main dishes
    • N to R €“ Vegetables (incl. salads)
    • S  to Z €“ Desserts €“ all with appropriate serving utensils
  • All other meals to be prepared by the hungry man, himself; bring your own with plates, cups and utensils (good drinking water on-site).

The general procedural format and mood of the gathering is relaxed.  Groups will naturally form up and leaders will emerge on the basis of interest as to how to address the topics at hand:  Effective and proactive dealing with accelerating change in our contemporary world.

All of the information contained here in easily printable PDF format plus a registration form that you can fill out on you computer and print to send in (by no later than July 25th).  To download it just click HERE. Do it now.  You’ll be happy that you did.

If you have questions, ideas for contributions you would like to make to the weekend, or anything else, contact Jim Mischke ( or Doug Booth ( via Email.  

pecos-fog(Photos by Uwe Schroeter)

Sex, Love and Relationship:
Exploring the Masculine Perspective

This is an update to keep you all informed as to the planning meetings for the upcoming fall conference. . . . . .

The Annual New Mexico Men€™s Wellness Fall Conference (the 27th!) will be held October 20-23, 2011 at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, NM.

The first planning meeting on June 11 was well attended by: John Gervers, Scott Dow, David Pease, Robert Godreau, Michael Kaufman, Barry Cooney, Charles Lamson, Robert Younger, Lon Rankin, Kurt Faust and Shell Goldman.

There was an excitable air in the room as men mingled and caught up and then got down to sharing their initial feelings and thoughts about the topic and what it could mean.

Here are some of the thoughts that arouse that first meeting:

  • Growing into self while in partnership [ partnership path ]
  • Dealing with sexual abuse [ with self and or partner ]
  • Older mens issues in sex and love
  • Shadow material [whats uncomfortable in relationship ]
  • Tantric Yoga: the path of ecstatic living
  • How to handle anger in relationship
  • Mystical Love: Addressing the Beloved
  • Dealing with attachment disorder [ creating bonding that soothes the soul ]
  • Honoring all backgrounds and diversity
  • Welcoming women to join us for an afternoon council session

As many men remember, these planning meetings can be like a mini conference, very rich and meaningful.

Kurt and I are again calling out to have men participate in the upcoming planning meeting July 9th @ 10 am in ABQ at Phil Davis’ space: 4207 San Isidro NW in Albuquerque’s North Valley.

The subject material screams out for more men to come forward and share their gifts,. wisdom and leadership.

Hope to see you at the next planning meeting,  Shell


It is your conference €“ participate in making it happen! Your conference leaders Shell Goldman and Kurt Faust invite all men to participate in the planning meetings that will be held in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Here are the dates and locations as currently scheduled:

  • July 9th Saturday @ 10am in Albuquerque,  4207 San Isidro NW [Phil€™s meeting space ]
  • August 15th Monday @ 6:30pm in Santa Fe, 1512 Pacheco St. [Kurt’s office]
  • September 12th Monday @ 6:30pm in Albuquerque, 4207 San Isidro NW
  • October 1st Saturday @ 10am in Santa Fe, 1512 Pacheco St.
  • [optional] October 15th Saturday @ 10am in Albuquerque, 4207 San Isidro NW

Here€™s what will be done at these meetings:

  • The format for the fall gathering will be set up in learning / experiencing blocks
  • There is a potential for up to 24 blocks, which means we are calling for up to 24 different men to lead blocks based on Sex, Love and Relationships.
  • We know there are a lot of men out there who have a lot to share about this juicy subject matter
  • All men who volunteer to lead blocks must commit to at least three planning meetings and have a clear outline to present

The depth of this subject material is more than any two men can handle . . . we want your help in making this Fall Conference memorable.

Please e-mail me: to let me know you are interested and what you have in mind.

Looking forward to an incredible Fall Conference.

Shell Goldman and Kurt Faust
( and


Agenda for the NMMW Board Meeting

May 16, 2011

The quarterly meeting of the Board of Directors of New Mexico Men’s Wellness will be on Monday, May 16, 2011 in Albuquerque.  The meeting will be held at the home of Phil Davis, located at 4207 San Isidro St NW, Albuquerque, NM 87108.  The meeting will begin at 6:30 PM.

Proposed Agenda

Approval of Minutes of Previous Meeting (from 23-Feb-2011)

Approval of Agenda and selection of items to be covered from list below.

(The items below are not presented in any particular priority order and may not all be covered in this meeting. Where and individual has suggested an item, that person is indicated in parentheses)

  • MOU between NMMW and YFSF has been finalized and signed by Scott Dow and Barry McIntosh (contributed by Scott Dow who will not be present at the meeting).
  • Discussion and review of draft scholarship application form. Email discussion points to be raised and considered. (Phil Davis and scholarship committee)
  • €œHow To€ Guide for NMMW Conference Leaders €“ any progress to report? The latest draft outline to be presented (Charles Fischer, Shell Goldman and subcommittee)
  • Can NMMW as a 501(c)3 organization act as a fiscal agent for groups with allied and appropriate activities who do not have their own tax-exempt nonprofit status? This should be clarified, discussed and, if appropriate, formalized. (David Pease)
  • Continuation discussion of NMMW publication alternatives. Any progress on a €œdesktop published€ electronic alternative to Man Alive!? Enabling publication of submissions on the NMMW web site €“ any progress here? (Robert €œmudman€ Johnson, Jim Connolly)
  • Should we identify possible future venues for the Fall Conference besides Ghost Ranch before the 2011 conference? This seems reasonable to understand alternatives. (David Pease, Barry Cooney)
  • Did we do our Homework as a board? i.e., think about goals for the organization, what we want
    to accomplish €“ basically what is our vision for NMMW? Connected with that is how do we raise the funds to make that vision real? As was raised earlier in the conference discussion: €œWhat do we want? Where do we find the €œjuice€ to make it happen?

At the conclusion of the meeting, the next board meeting will be scheduled.

(A printable Acrobat PDF of the Agenda may be downloaded by clicking on: NMMW Agenda 05-16-11)

(Posted to on 13-May-2011 by Jim Connolly, Secretary)

I am writing to state my opinion in an arena where I have some strong feelings and opinions. I am interested in hearing from other NMMW guys on this important topic. There was booze on campus at the recent Spring Gathering–and it was freely shared during the Saturday afternoon discretionary time. As the designated leader, I elected to confront its presence in multiple ways. This essay is part of that response.

I strongly believe that alcohol has no place at our table–not because I am a teetotaler. I enjoy a glass of wine with dinner on a regular basis I value its capacity to lubricate lively conversations–as well as its time-honored role as an element of ritual at weddings, graduations and for many other festive occasions.

Despite the above, I consistently choose to leave my wine bottles, glasses and corkscrew at home when I head off to a NMMW gathering. I  fully intend to continue this practice–as long as I am a  member of New Mexico Men’s Wellness.

First of all, New Mexico Mens Wellness provides a remarkable forum for healing, personal growth and spiritual development. In the company of seasoned,intelligent, caring and nurturing men, we take remarkable risks, communicate our highest hopes and darkest fears, and regularly achieve emotional release and powerful insights–experiences that can open up new pathways and even transform our lives. This process of growth/discovery/acceptance quite often means experiencing mood states that
are painful as well as liberating.

A primary property of alcohol is to numb and diminish raw/powerful emotions, to soothe the mind, and to promote the depositing/burial of challenging memories. In my belief these properties run  directly against the grain (pun intended), of the core values and experiences of New Mexico Mens Wellness.

Secondly, there are men in various stages of alcohol recovery among us. If they know that alcohol is tolerated in advance of registration, they may choose not to attend, in support of their recovery.  There is also the live possibility that, if presented with alcohol during the course of the weekend, they will actively imbibe. This choice may, or may not, have a highly negative impact on their recovery journey.

I am a social worker by profession, and the maxim of my trade is “Do no Harm.” Bringing alcohol to our gatherings, and sharing it with another brother whose alcohol/substance abuse history you may or may not be familiar with–is potentially a harmful act.

Thirdly, it’s the piece about following rules and observing boundaries. With the recent gathering at Hummingbird, the literature for the weekend stated clearly–please leave your firearms, pets and  alcohol at home. The person who brought booze on campus elected not to express his dissatisfaction with the clearly stated rule in advance of the weekend.

Hummingbird Music Camp has a similar no- booze- on- campus rule. Had Lesley Higgins stopped by to change light bulbs a few hours later than he chose to on Saturday afternoon, he might have encountered the happy hour circle within 100 yds of the north campus buildings. In that case we likely would have lost not only our good relationship with the Higgins Family and with the staff of Hummingbird Music Camp, but also our opportunity to host the 11th Spring Retreat on their grounds (site of all previous 10 retreats).  Fair to say that our reputation as an organization might have suffered as well.

Post Script. This essay does not address the issue of psychoactive substances–including cannabis and peyote. My personal choice has been to avoid partaking in these as well during our gatherings (and in all honesty I have yet to encounter them). I recognize that with this issue, there are multiple factors to consider (such as medicinal usage of cannabis), and I leave it to another stout-hearted man to broach the subject.

Looking forward to your responses.

Christopher King

May 1, 2011