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“Finding the Soul through Art”

Comments from/about the last retreat:

Here's a link to Arthur Durkee's blog

Being in the company of men who are compassionate, respectful, safe, playful, accepting, and brilliant in so many ways is truly inspirational. We sit in a circle literally and spiritually speaking from our unique experiential perspectives. It is unlike most “men’s weekend retreats” that are cultish and lay claim to the right way to live or be as a man. The process and men honor what we each bring from our distinct backgrounds and experiences. This forms the palette for our individual and group artmaking experiences. It was soaring and down to earth. It is a much welcome and needed retreat from the ordinary world into an extraordinary experience. 

I gained a deep and practical understanding of what stops my artmaking process and what to do about it.

Dick Levon


Much more than i expected
so grateful that time expanded
great brotherly vibe 
clippings of what i got:
the way the windows looked like rectangular paintings floating above us
the snow swirling at just the right moments
giving it away as the frame of mind/heart to be in for allowing the
non judmental spirit of creation to flow through
men need goals (even the mundanity of toilet paper)
quest for 'perfection' can be a block
bring your artmaking equipment with you - be ready for the moment
experience in the moment is the 'where' and the 'how'
religion and art are both founded on  profound , ineffable (almost) experiences!!!!

Michael Birnbaum



This year's retreat touched each man in a unique way, as always...Issues that were explored included self acceptance, freedom, time, fear, intuition vs. impulse, fear and art, self criticism, focusing one's art, what makes ones art worthwhile, disturbing the universe with one's art, creating art for healing, creating art to help others, creating art to teach others, creating art for the healing of the artist, prayer and art, preparing for the creative process, the art process vs. the art product, and more.

Activities included but were not limited to standard check ins, non-standard check ins, sharing of art, shamanic journeying, Japanese brush and ink process vs. product, fun, fun, and more fun, musical jammiing, bad jokes, more bad jokes, and more bad jokes, homemade chili, journaling, yoga and meditation exercises, spontaneous following of the pre-arranged outline, wonderful meal times, a roaring fireplace, six inches of snow powder Saturday morning, extended drummings, and deep connections to the creative wellspring in our souls.

We learned a lot, which will hold us in good stead as we create in the universe and plan the next retreat, date to be determined.

Bob Shiel.


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