The Fall Conference is Happening!

Registration is now open!

NMMW Re-Envisioned: We certainly live in tumultuous times that have disrupted our daily lives. Much of what we do has been canceled or postponed. This, however, will not be the case with the NMMW 2020 Fall Conference. The event is on! Your intrepid Leadership Team – Mark Ayers (Fearless Leader), Doug Booth (Meditation Man), Norm Dawson (New Kid on the Block), and Ray Johnson (The Bard) – have been meeting since May. We’ve decided to host a 3-day conference, Friday – Sunday, October 23-25. Our theme is “Wholeness & Vulnerability.”

The Fall Conference will be a hybrid event: both virtual and in-person attendees.  Most men will be able to attend via Zoom.  Additionally, Ghost Ranch will be providing single rooms, boxed meals, and private bathrooms. A limited number of spaces will be available, and COVID-19 guidelines will be adhered to.

More details will be forthcoming in a few weeks, but here are a few teasers:

  • 4 Soul Groups during the weekend
  • 2 Grief Ceremonies
  • Break Out Groups on Timely Issues
  • Participant-Led Workshops
  • Coffee House & Writers’ Gathering on Saturday evening

Get excited! We will be able to connect as a community this fall.


Contact information for leaders

Leader: Mark Ayers    Email:

For questions regarding online registration issues that might come up, please contact Jim Connolly via Email to

We will add to this contact list as needed before the conference.  

Fall Conference Re-Envisioned for 2020

Because of the situation with COVID-19 and the ongoing pandemic, we have had to seriously rethink how we are doing this conference relative to a traditional NMMW Fall Conference.  For this reason we have developed a “hybrid” conference in which online (“virtual”) participation is combined with in-parson participation at Ghost Ranch.  Below are our general conference guidelines: 

  • You Are Welcome Here
  • Confidentially will be honored
  • Safety matters!
  • Help and Support are available
  • Take care of yourself

With an eye toward helping all to understand the organization and flow of the conference, we have prepared an outline of all planned activities and a planning schedule.  To make this available to all, we have prepared a schedule which is linked here as an Adobe Acrobat (printable) single page.  We encourage all to review this as you prepare to register.  

How to Register for the Conference

There are two steps to completing registration.  First is to register for the conference online at the link below and pay the registration fee to NMMW for expenses in putting on the conference, both for those participating in-person at Ghost Ranch and “Virtually” from your computer, tablet or smart phone from home.  Second, for those planning to attend in person will be directed to the Ghost Ranch registration site to chose and pay for the type of accommodations desired.  We will add this link to the web site as soon as it is finalized from Ghost Ranch.  It should be available by October 1.  The section below indicates the approximate costs for different options. 

First step is to register for the conference with NMMW from this link.  Please follow the instructions and fill out the form completely.  If registering for “virtual” participation, this is all that is needed.  

Those attending in-person at the Ghost Ranch Conference Center, you will need to Register directly with Ghost Ranch.  As of this writing the final links to register are not ready as of this writing but should be available HERE by October 1. Ghost Ranch will be following the NM State Guidelines for COVID-19 safety, and all participants will need to strictly follow the guidelines.

Registering with Ghost Ranch

We have received information about In-Person Accommodations and costs are listed below.  These are subject to finals numbers from Ghost Ranch. 

This section will be revised as we get confirmed costs and the live link to register with Ghost Ranch. s.  We expect these costs to be accurate, but there may be some slight changes on the actual registration site; we should have this link no later than October 1 and it will be posted here.   

Here is a layout of Rate Packages (with 4 meals):

Private Bath/Single Occupancy – $241 per person
2 nights lodging Private Bath ($95 x 2 = $190) + $46 Meal Package + $5 CF

Private Bath/Double Occupancy – $161 per person
2 nights lodging Private Bath ($55 x 2 = $110) + $46 Meal Package + $5 CF

Dorm/Communal Bath/Single Occupancy -$161/person
2 nights lodging Dorm/Communal Bath ($55 x 2 = $110) + $46 Meal Package + $5 CF

RV/Full Hook-Up with Meals – $131 per person
2 nights site ($40 x 2 = $80) + $46 Meal Package + $5 CF

RV/Full Hook-Up without Meals – $85 per person
2 nights RV site ($40 x 2 = $80) + $5 CF

Camping Site w/ or w/out Electric w/ Meals – $101/person – 2 nights Camping site ($25 x 2 = $50) + $46 Meal Package + $5 CF

Camping Site with or without Electricity without Meals – $55 per person
2 nights Camping site ($25 x 2 = $50) + $5 CF

Dorm/Communal Bath/Double Occupancy-$121/person
2 nights lodging Dorm/Communal Bath ($35 x 2 = $70) + $46 Meal Package + $5 CF


Conference T-shirts may be ordered and purchased by attendees as an option this year.  More information about how this will work will appear here by no later than October 1.

NMMW COVID-19 Screening (For in-Person Attendees)

NMMW takes your health and the health of everyone else at NMMW events seriously.  We also recognize that many NMMW participants are elderly and may also have underlying health conditions that may place them at increased risk of serious illness as a result of COVID-19 infection.  For these reasons, NMMW provides the following screening questions for in-person participation at NMMW events.  These questions align with the NM’s Public Health Orders and CDC guidance.

  1. Are you subject to any of the state’s current travel restrictions published at this location (i.e., have you traveled out of state or out of the country within the last fourteen (14) days)?  If the answer is “yes”, you should not participate in-person in NM
    W events in accordance with NM’s Public Health Order.
  2. Have you experienced any of the following symptoms in the past 48
    –> hours:
    –> fever above 100.4 or chills
    –> cough
    –> shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    –> fatigue
    –> muscle or body aches
    –> headache
    –> new loss of taste or smell
    –> sore throat
    –> congestion or runny nose
    –> nausea or vomiting
    –> diarrhea
  3. Within the past 14 days, have you been in close physical contact (6 feet or closer for at least 15 minutes) with a person who is known to have laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 or with anyone who has any symptoms consistent with COVID-19?
  4. Are you isolating or quarantining because you may have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 or are worried that you may be sick with COVID-19?

If the answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you should not participate in-person in NMMW events.  

For additional information see: 

  • NM Public Health Orders –
  • CDC COVID Risk –

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The dates and locations for major events in the future are listed below! Details, including themes, leader contacts, details and links to event web pages, and other information 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.  This page will be revised as information comes in and now will not be restricted to a particular calendar year.

Bring a Buddy Events – Monthly; Check Website or your Email

“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.

Winter Gathering 2020

  • Dates: In February 20 – 24, 2020
  • Location: Lawrence Cook’s Cabin in the Colorado
  • Theme: 20/20 Vision (details to follow)
  • Contact: Lawrence Cook ( and/or Uwe Schroeter (

Spring Retreat 2020

Because of the COVID 19 public health concerns, the NMMW Spring Retreat for 2020 has been canceled, and all registrations refunded.

  • Dates: April 17-19, 2020
  • Location: Hummingbird Music Camp (near Jemez, NM)
  • Theme: Mindfulness: Mining the Majesty of our Minds
  • Contact: Robert Bern (

Couple’s Gathering 2020

Because of the COVID 19 public health concerns, the NMMW Couple’s Gathering for 2020 has been canceled, and all registrations refunded.  We are currently planning to hold the retreat in the Spring of 2021.

  • Dates: May 22 – to May 24, 2020
  • Location: Story Ranch, the home of John and Cindy McLeod, near Las Vegas, NM
  • Theme: Feeding Our Third Body
  • Contact: Leaders Cindy & John McLeod (; 505-231-1914) and Mara Loner (; 310-869-3570) & Michael Grodsky

Summer Gathering 2020

Because the COVID 19 pandemic is not sufficiently under control, the National Forests are closed to ovenight camping at least through through the end of July and probably through the end of September.  This has forced us to cancel the Summer gathering until 2021.  We expect to reschedule for about the same time next year and expect to continue with the same leadership team.

public health emergency, we are planning to modify the event to be less of a formal gathering and more of an informal outdoor gathering, taking the appropriate social distancing measures.  More information will be forthcoming in July.

  • Dates: We are forced to CANCEL for July 24 – 26, 2020
  • Location: Jack’s Creek Group Campground near Pecos, NM
  • Theme: To be announced
  • Contact: John Bishop (

Fall Conference 2020

  • Dates: October 23 – 25, 2020
  • Location: Hybrid: Ghost Ranch Conference Center, Abquiu, NM and/or online with Zoom.
  • Theme: Wholeness and Vulnerability
  • Contact: Mark Ayers (

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

Because of developing and ongoing concerns about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the U.S. (including New Mexico) we have decided to cancel the 2020 Spring Retreat out of cautions and concerns for our Member’s health. All registrations paid will be refunded 100%. The registrar, Jim Connolly, will be contacting all those registered to arrange to do that. Please check your Email.

About the Retreat that won’t be happening this year. Hopefully next time.

Mindfulness: Mining the Majesty of our Minds

April 17, 18 and 19, 2020

at Hummingbird Music Camp,
104 Hummingbird Road, Jemez Springs NM 87025

Led by Robert Bern

We live in a world that excels at drawing us out of ourselves, providing us a convenient distraction from the voice that speaks softly inside. We are continually tempted to be better, to have more, to do more and have our minds, bodies and spirits in motion instead of resting in our own wisdom.  During this weekend we will explore what happens when we are quiet, simply sitting in the vast stillness of our selves, being with what we find with curiosity and without judgement.

Open and inclusive to all men regardless of age, ethnicity, race, marital
status, or sexual orientation.  Limited to a total of 36 men.

Please come join a small community of men in the calm splendor of northern New Mexico’s mountains to rest and bask in the beauty of mindfulness. The Friday through Sunday program will involve individual and small group experiential activities that will include silence, reflection, journaling and hanging out with each other in nature. Please bring a journal and question of the heart, whose answer might blossom in the stillness of our gathering.

“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. 
Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.”   

—  Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

The cost of Hummingbird meals for the weekend is $44.  There is a $10 bedding charge, unless you bring your own towels, sheets & pillowcase (or sleeping bag).  You may also bring a tent or sleep in your camper for $10 per night (expect freezing temperatures in April at this elevation). 

Registration and room assignments will be between 4 and 5:30 pm Friday evening with our potluck dinner at 6:00.  We are at the North Campus.  Feel free to come to Hummingbird anytime on Friday and enjoy the land. If you want to come early on Thursday for an extra night with NO MEALS PROVIDED, you MUST contact Robert Bern after you register. You will pay Hummingbird $35 directly for this extra night ($10 to camp). The conference ends after lunch on Sunday. 

Accommodations are double rooms.  You can visit the new website to view the rooms at


Friday night we will have our traditional potluck meal starting at 6:00 PM. Please bring HEALTHY food to share, a main dish, vegetable dish, or dessert. All other meals will be served by Hummingbird—vegetarian and gluten-free options available. You may opt-out of ALL Hummingbird meals, & bring your own food, pots and pans.  Flatware will be provided and a refrigerator is available.

Directions to the Camp:     Emergency numbers for Hummingbird: (575) 829-3060 or (575) 829-4227 (don’t count on cell phone coverage in the Jemez).

REFUND POLICY: 90% if cancel before 2 weeks; Within 2 weeks refund at 90% only if we fill your spot from the waiting list.

SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE for those in need.  Call Robert Bern at (505) 505-204-8731 or e-mail to request a scholarship or if you have other questions.  If requesting a scholarship, do not register until you have contacted Bob.  

How to Register for the Retreat

Registration is closed and the retreat has been cancelled because of concerns about CORONAVIRUS in New Mexico.  You may register completely online and use a credit card to register by clicking here.  Complete the registration form and choose your options for registration.  When done you will be taken to a payment page where you will enter your credit card information.  To register and pay by mailing in a check please click here.  You will complete a registration form, print it out and mail it with your check to the address on the form. The receipt of your registration in the mail will be confirmed by Email.  

Please note: If you plan to request a scholarship to cover part of your registration, please contact Bob Bern (at 505-204-2731 or e-mail to before you register.  

Share the Spring Retreat with Others

We also have a printable three-page PDF flyer (click here to download it) that includes information about the retreat and a mail-in registration form that you may download, print and share with any friends you’d like to invite to the Retreat.  The Spring retreat can be a great and low-cost introduction to Men’s Wellness for men of all ages and backgrounds.

Additional Information About the Retreat

We have prepared this linked information to provide additional details about the Retreat and Hummingbird Camp (including what you should bring, general information and logistics, etc.) in hopes it will answer your questions reducing the need for Emails and phone calls.   If you DO need questions answered that are not addressed here, please call if you need to.  Contact information will be found in the main body of this page above.  

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Feeding Our Third Body


New Mexico Men’s Wellness
Couples Retreat 2020

May 22-24

Friday, May 22, Arrival and Set-up: 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Sunday, May 24, 3:00 pm: Conclusion
As of February 15, the Couple’s Retreat is full. The wait-list is open 
(Click HERE to add your names to the Wait-list if there are cancellations)
(Please review information about the Story Ranch site
BEFORE making your Reservation)
Limit to 12 couples

Co-facilitated by 
Cindy and John McLeod, Michael Grodsky and Mara Lonner

For questions, please contact
John McLeod ( or
Michael Grodsky (

Feeding Our Third Body is the theme of the NMMW annual couples’ retreat.  The weekend’s goal is to make evident, to awaken, to cherish and learn to feed the “third body,” an entity that is the relationship itself between partners. Rooted in the arts, personal and group explorations, music and outdoor excursions, couples will be encouraged to deepen their caring and empathy for that, which we grow together. 

Story Ranch, the home of John and Cindy McLeod, and 13 miles from Las Vegas, NM along the Tecolote River will be the retreat site. Participants will stay and eat meals on site. Based at the  McLeod farm/wilderness homesite, couples will be offered a variety of housing with outhouses, including two 80-year-old cabins, a treehouse, vintage trailer, casitas, and camping sites. There is also a bedroom in the indoor main house and one bedroom in a neighbors’ guest facilities with bathrooms. There are spaces for RVs. Registration responses will guide the accommodation designations.

Please note, later May at 7,000 feet can be extraordinarily beautiful, but can still have cold nights, variable weather, and winds. Attendees should feel comfortable in outdoor settings, flexible to weather-based agenda changes, appreciative of rustic/rural settings, familiar with NMMW culture and curious to explore our relational third bodies.  

A printable flyer that can be shared with someone you think would benefit from this retreat is available for download here.  

Cost $250 per couple includes materials, sleeping accommodations, two breakfasts, two lunches and one dinner.

NMMW scholarships are available for those in need. Please email Michael ( to request a scholarship.







(Click on the small images above to see photos in full size)

About our Story Ranch Retreat Location and Facilities

Please read this section BEFORE making your reservation.

List of “Givens”:
  • Meals: Friday evening dinner is a pot luck.  The retreat provides Saturday breakfast-lunch-dinner and Sunday breakfast & lunch.
  • Warm/Hot outdoor showers, limited access to indoor showers.  (Unfortunately our Third Bodies cannot be assured of daily hot showers.)
  • Cell phone reception: only Verizon works here.  There are two cellular phones that can be used if needed.  
  • Story Ranch is a farm and there are animals with feathers and fur, plus household dogs Bruno and Floki.  However, there are no cats on the land or in sleeping areas.  
  • To prevent overloading the septic tank, we ask thaty you use the outhouse whenever possible. 

Accommodations:  We have prepared some information explaining the different types of sleeping residence arrangements are available.  Please read this information BEFORE making your Reservation (as we will ask you some questions when you do that).  Clicking on this link will connect to “The Story of Story Ranch” which provides some more information about the retreat location.  (Please note that these presentations are quite large so they might take a while to finish downloading.  Be patient!)  

How to Register

In order to be fair about signing up for limited available slots, we are initiating a two-stage registration process.  On February 14 (Valentine’s Day) at Noon we will open the Reservation sign-up.  The link for this page will appear here (and at the top of this page).  Click on the link and fill out all the required information and make your reservation.  You do not need to pay anything at this point.  Please review the previous section on the location and facilities before attempting to complete your reservation.  The first 12 couples to Reserve a spot will be sent a link to our payment page where they can pay for the retreat either with a credit card or by mailing a check.   Reservations exceeding our 12-couple limit will be put on a waiting list and contacted if there are cancellations.  

As we get closer to the retreat, we will send more thematic and logistical information out to those participating in the retreat.  

We hope to see you there.  

John, Cindy, Michael and Mara