Oct 1st, 2017 - Oct 8th, 2017
Gathering a Circle of Queer Men
If only there were evil people somewhere else insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were simply necessary to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?
Imagine you, as a queer man, living in a community that has its own “Death Lodge,” a place where a dying person can rest and receive the visitors who come to say goodbye. This is the natural place of “making it good” with your people so you can cleanly move on, and they can let you go in the fullness of completion. An old hospice teaching says that to complete a relationship five things must be said: “I forgive you”; “you forgive me”; “thank you”; “I love you”; and “goodbye.” This is the sacred work of the Death Lodge.
One of the great challenges we all face in life is to do this work now, when it is most needed, rather than waiting until the last days of our dying. Call this the work of “the Life Lodge.” If we don’t step into this lodge, if we don’t keep our relationships current, we risk being weighed down by a lifetime of woundings, angers, and regrets that make it more difficult to surrender to our death, or to the fullness of our life.
The call to do this Life Lodge work may be especially strong for queer folk. Growing up queer in mostly mainstream families may have left us with complicated ongoing relationships and plenty of unfinished business, even while it may have freed some of us to create new ways of defining and being in relationship.
In this gathering we will move through “the four shields” of Life Lodge work: being a queer child; coming out in adolescence (regardless of age); living proudly as a queer adult; and embracing Queer Spirit. We will ask: While growing up, where in relationships have you gotten stuck? When might you have forgiven too soon, or apologized too shallowly? Jewels to be found in the Life Lodge are god-like qualities: mercy, compassion, self-respect, and maybe even the grace to forgive “the unforgiveable.” If you listen deeply, you can tune into the value and healing potential of a circle of queer men spending time together in the Life Lodge.
Program Information: Enrollment is limited to 12. This 8-day program will be held in the back country of Henry Coe State Park, southeast of San Jose. We will start early afternoon on the first day, a Sunday, and finish by noon of the last day, also a Sunday. Our site is a 2-mile walk in, though we are allowed a single vehicle with trailer to bring in most of our gear (and anyone unable to do the walk). Because of this, it will be important to arrive on time the first day - exact meeting time and further details to follow. We will be camping together the entire week. The site does have a pit toilet and a water tower nearby, but no showers or regular bathroom. More detailed logistical information will be sent out a few months before the course begins.