2019 : Schedule and Themes

“Best Place for Man Talk” – Georgia Straight, Best of Vancouver

Winter 2019

Theme – Innerwork
Through the years, Manology has always been structured around 2 or 3 themes of focus each 12-week term.   Lately, it seems we have spent a lot of time on social/community problems and world events.  It’s time to go the other direction for awhile. Our Winter 2019 term will feature a lot of space for men to focus on things of individual importance and need. There will be less pre-set structure, and more time for individual explorations!
Let’s go!

January 7 – The 3 Questions:
Who am I? Where am I going? Who is going with me?
Facilitator: David Hatfield
It’s a new year, it’s winter…the dark and cold time, the time to go inside, reflect, evaluate, and vision. These 3 questions, in various forms, are age-old guides, touchstones that help us catch up with ourselves, to acknowledge what is finishing and find the threads of what is emerging.   We’ll use the 3 questions in a way that ensures every man gets heaps of time to explore them for himself.   Start this year with more clarity, focus and the sense of being ‘on purpose’.

January 14 – What (including me) stands in my way?
Facilitator: David Hatfield
Most of us spend time considering ways we’d want to change or improve our lives.   Yet it seems so rare to really connect with and have the level of newness we think about and long for. What is getting in our way, and how can we keep moving toward the growth and changes we want? In this session we’ll look at a simple model for understanding where we are, where we’d like to be and the borders in between. These borders, or edges, are full of just the kind of information and energy needed to access the new territory we want.   We’ll learn methods to befriend our edges and unfold their important messages and possibilities. Bring along a question, frustration or longing with that you would like to explore.

January 21 – The Mask
Facilitator: Neil Ferguson
When we are growing up we are taught and learn how to put on masks and hide who we really are and how we truly feel. In order to survive we learn to fit in, make compromises, and in that process we lose contact with our truth, our authenticity, our feelings and ourselves.  In this session we will explore together, meeting behind the everyday masks that we wear, these defensive protectors that keep us from being authentic, vulnerable and in connection with ourselves and with others.

January 28 – The Gift of Anger
Facilitator: Neil Ferguson
Healthy, self-protective anger is linked to our life-force energy, that sense of “I can” that supports us in going out into the world and being creative and feeling alive.  There is a difference between feeling our healthy anger, our internal signal that tells us that ‘something is not okay with me’ verses directing (or dumping) destructive anger on someone else or being on the receiving end of anger.   In this session we will explore the healthy life force energy of anger, which is our birthright to feel and we will inquire into our relationship with it.

February 4 – Hidden Sorrows and Disenfranchised Grief
Facilitator: Catherine Hajnal
While loss is a natural part of living a life, acknowledging our losses can be difficult or even impossible. In healthy grieving, the griever decides what constitutes a loss and its significance. And while grieving is universal, each of us will have our own unique experience of it. What inhibits our natural grieving process? In our time together we’ll explore the variety of ways our grief can be disenfranchised – from judgements about self and worthiness to the voices of others (often coloured by gender norm bias) that tell us what we should or should not be feeling or when we should ‘be strong.’

February 11 – From Hidden Sorrows to Acknowledgment and Support
Facilitator: Catherine Hajnal
Acknowledging our losses is both vulnerable and powerful.  It starts us on the path of healthy grieving. This evening we’ll expand our language of loss and understanding of healthy grieving.  We’ll identify grief styles – how grief is experienced and expressed individually and tie this knowledge into enabling us to better support each other in loss.  We’ll also explore the significance of the meaning, sense-making, and ritual aspects of grief. Ultimately, we’ll be experiencing some new ways to empower ourselves in our life and losses.

February 18 – Family Day
No Manology
Due to the holiday, there is no Manology.  Instead, Manology encourages us to consider ‘family’ and all the connections, distance, feelings and longings we hold around this central human experience.  Do we need to call family and connect, be together, heal some wounds, hold distance…?   All are encouraged to consider family and all family work needs our attention and awareness.

February 25
Our Ten Year Anniversary Party!
To celebrate 10 years of Manology, we gonna have a party! All men who have ever attended Manology are invited!   Let’s gather! There will be time to simply do some reconnecting and catching up, as well as some structured aspects to the evening. Let’s celebrate all the connections, changes, learning and enjoyment we’ve had since 2009!

March 4 – What’s Up? 
Facilitator: David Hatfield
This session will find its footing and path through the men who attend. Together, we’ll sort out what feels most important and alive to explore and ways to effectively do so.  We’ll have all evening to go as deep as we want to on whatever we want to.

March 11 – All-genders session
#MeToo, now what?
Facilitators: Ashley Rose and David Hatfield

Last year #MeToo burst into a viral social movement with 21st century speed and power.  Its seismic ripples continue to shake, surprise and shock society.  The massive and divided response to the recent Gillette ad “All a man can get” is just one example.  #MeToo raised awareness about power, sexuality and abuse in all of our social institutions.  At Manology, we had the highest attendances in our history for our all-gender #MeToo session.  People wanted a space to talk and share as the waves of #MeToo reporting were at their peak.  What’s happening now?   How are we integrating what we’ve seen, heard and read about into actions?  Is anything changing for victims of sexual harassment and abuse?  Is consent culture spreading?  Are we getting any better at speaking about such difficult experiences together?  Is #MeToo helping the genders understand each better, or entrenching us further into suspicion, low trust and polarity?  Let’s come together again, to take our collective pulse.

March 18 – Visit by another Men’s Group
Facilitators: Ara Beittoei and David Hatfield
Another first! Another men’s group, led by Ara, will come and join us for an evening of sharing our respective stories, intentions and learnings.  Come and meet men who share the path of gathering, questioning, sharing and supporting!


March 25 – From the Root to the Fruit
Facilitator: David Hatfield
This session is really about purpose and intention. Bring a couple of questions, goals or challenges you are working on/thinking about/frustrated by to this session. We’ll use a combination of simple physical movements and vocalization to bypass our usual thinking and state of being to find release from old patterns and helpful new information for changes we seek to make. Each man can work at his own pace and will have his own unique experiences and find his own insights and learning. It is recommended to wear comfortable clothing and bring a water bottle.

April 1 – Bring it/Games Night
Facilitator: David Hatfield
Okay, let’s end year 10 with a blast of fun! Here we combine two greatly enjoyed sessions into one, with a core theme of bringing something that we can do together. On the Games Night front, it could be a board game, a physical activity game, word game etc. We only got through about half the games of the last games night, so bring ‘em back! On the Bring It front, bring something we can experience together: a song, a thought, a story, photographs, a quote that inspires, some food…anything goes. This will be a night created by us, for our enjoyment and connection and a great way to end year number 10!

Year 10!! – Thank you!!!!!!
So much gratitude to all the men, women, trans-folks, non-gender binary folks who have shown up and shared themselves in Manology since 2009! Thank you for soooo much learning and growth, friendships, connections, fun and support!! Thanks also to the Roundhouse Community as well, our host venue throughout.


Previous Sessions

Manology –  Year 10 – Fall 2018

That’s right!  Fall 2018 marks the 10th year of Manology!  Wow.  Time flies.  It’s been an amazing ride and continues to be, fueled by the dynamic people who show up, the synergies that happen during sessions, and the ever-changing world surrounding us.  We’ll have some serious celebration and acknowledgements of this 10th year in our winter 2019 term.  This fall, courtesy of all of the above, we have an overarching theme for the entire term:

Turbulence . Polarity .. Disintegration … What! Is!! HAPPENING?!?!?
Flagrant abuse of power.  The intensifying polarized conversation about free speech. Rising examples of overt racism and terrorism acts. The now annual summer haze of forest fire smoke across BC. Conflicts about immigration policies.   It really looks like the complex, interlocking layers of rapid change we’ve been told to expect are now more fully presenting themselves. It’s an intense time. This theme seeks both to look at some of these layers and learn more about them, then also offering tools and awareness that can help us respond and navigate the flow of these strong and changing currents.

September 10 – A Changing Climate Changing Us
Facilitator: Kevin Millsip
Smoke filled communities. Forest fires. Heat Waves. Drought. Those are some of the local impacts that are being impacted by climate change and that we’re now seeing in BC. There are other impacts as well, some of which are forecast to become more acute over time.  As we see and feel the impacts of climate change in more visceral ways, how are our thoughts and emotions affected?  What is our response: paralyzed, overwhelmed, grief, angry, galvanized to action, or combinations of all of these?  Might what’s happening be a catalyst for deep and profound change in our communities that we as men can support and nurture?

Through large and small group discussion and reflection we’ll explore and share how we’re navigating our feelings and thoughts about our changing living environment, how we navigate at times a sense of grief and loss, and how we might be able to support our selves, and each other, in walking with a sense of hope and possibility as we live large changes around us.

September 17 – Dialogue not debate: Talking about race, gender (and everything else) and moving people forward together.
Facilitator: Ryan Cho
Issues of race and gender are as relevant to our lives as they have ever been.  The US presidential election and resulting administration brought a lot of these issues to the surface.  Now in the USA and Canada, the division is as obvious as ever, accompanied by the growing presences of the “alt right”, tension around multiculturalism historical monuments and the continued work of people advocating for #IdleNoMore, #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo. Although we recognized these topics as relevant and important, many of us feel ill-equipped to explore or work with these themes in our relationships and lives. This workshop will explore frameworks we can use to facilitate dialogue (not debate) on “edgy” issues and move people forward together based on shared values.

September 24 – Anonymous Question/Statement Night 
Facilitators: John Weiss & David Hatfield

Here we will continue our practice of deep exploration and sharing on this theme of Turbulence, Polarization and Disintegration. During this session we’ll use an experiential method we have never used before: being anonymous! Though a simple idea, this should invite unexpected and new learnings about ourselves and our Manology community.  This session by demand through our on-going feedback and evaluation practices. Thanks for voicing up brothers!

October 1 – Group Process – Topic: Responsibility
Facilitator: David Hatfield
In the face of this moment in human culture, with all our internet based knowledge of history and current stories from around the world, what does responsibility look like? Society’s enduring socialization process for males continues to stress protecting, providing and performing. What should we be doing? What are we doing? What aren’t we doing?  We’ll use group process to explore responsibility.  A group process is a technique used to help a group unfold a conversation to a greater and more dynamic depth, with the humble intention of discovering useful insights and learnings.  It’s one part everyday group conversation and one part unusual methods which combine to invites a diversity of voices and keeps the energies literally moving.  It was introduced into Manology in 2011 and has become deeply valued since.

October 8 – Thanksgiving Holiday, No Manology
There is still so much to be thankful and grateful for in our beautiful, imperfect world.  Manology encourages us all to note all we might have, the people in our lives, the memories we’ve made, and may make still.


October 15 – Money $$$$ – What is our relationship to money?
Facilitator: Neil Ferguson

Our early home environment shaped our outlook and relationship to money. During this session we will look at some of the conscious and unconscious patterns, rules and internal messages that were created around money, particularly from the early years of our life. Together, using inquiry, we will explore how this formed relationship to the impacts that money has: the decisions we make in life, our relationship with others, and our ability to feel free.


October 22 – The Truth Mandala 
Facilitator: David Hatfield with acknowledgement to Joanna Macy
Back by demand. We’ll use a ceremony created by author and teacher Joanna Macy as a simple, respect structure to acknowledge our deep concerns and feelings about our world.  Macy says truth-telling is like oxygen – it enlivens us.  Without it we grow confused and numb.  It is also a homecoming, bringing us back to powerful connection and solidarity.   We first experienced the Truth Mandala ceremony in 2012 together. A lot is the same since then, and a lot is very different.   Many men make for a strong and vibrant ceremonial container – please join us.

October 29 – The Haven Communication Model 
Facilitator: David Hatfield

From BC’s own Haven personal and professional development centre, through its 35 years of work on relationship comes this session on the Haven Communication Model. Manology men have asked for a framework on communication and we’ll begin here. Simple to grasp and a daily practice to integrate and master, the model helps us slow down and nuance our communications, stresses self-responsibility, while increasing our emotional and relationship intelligence. It is especially helpful in scenes of tension or conflict. Let’s work on communication stuff!

November 5 – The Flying Umbrella: Exploring the Creativity that Connects Us
An All-Genders Session
Facilitators: Ashley Rose and David Hatfield
By demand, Manology men again invite women and all genders/non-gendered people to share and learn together. There was a clear request for this session to be focused on being creative together. We’ll use a great experiential activity called The Flying Umbrella to find our collective story that night. Each person’s voice and spontaneity will help us to discover and shape the story we will weave. Expect a mix of laughter, surprise, meaning and discovery. All are welcome.

What does it mean to be a white person?   November 10 – a full day event. 
Facilitator: David Hatfield
This session is a response to intelligent, soulful and exasperated people of color directly asking white people to gather and look deeply at racism and our involvement in perpetuating it.  At this time in culture, this is obviously important work. Acknowledging that racism is a difficult area to explore, we will use a mix of structured activities and open sharing to look at how our experiences, feelings and thoughts about being white and racism. The intentions of this session are to learn more about how racism works, notice common blind spots and patterns of defensiveness white people often have, and skill build on how we can be better allies to people of color. Together, we’ll be unflinching, honest, courageous and work together.  All Manology men who identify as white are welcome.

AT: Green Thumb Theatre, 5560 McKinnon Street, Vancouver
Pay what you can, suggested fee/sliding scale: $25 – $50.
No one will be turned away for lack of funds!
Proceeds will be donated to Black Lives Matter Vancouver.

November 12 – Remembrance Day – No Manology 
This day is to remember the incredible losses and suffering that war produces and the sacrifices of those Canadians, mostly men, who went willingly went to war.
From the Veterans Affairs Office website:
We must remember. If we do not, the sacrifice of those one hundred thousand Canadian lives will be meaningless. They died for us, for their homes and families and friends, for a collection of traditions they cherished and a future they believed in; they died for Canada. The meaning of their sacrifice rests with our collective national consciousness; our future is their monument

November 19 – How to Not Get Stuck in “Right and Wrong”
Facilitator: David Hatfield
When differences appear so many of us slip, often without noticing, into rigid stances and styles that attempt to define right and wrong. Not far behind are concerns about winning and losing the argument. It’s no wonder this happens as we continue to socialize boys and men to respond to confrontation pretty much in exactly these ways. Here we will explore an utterly different approach, one that helps us let go of rigidity and helps us develop a sense of fluidity, increases our ability to see into other people’s experiences as well as our own. Differences and tensions between people are inevitable, getting stuck isn’t!

November 26 – Games Night 
Facilitator: David Hatfield

Why this? Because sustainable living also recognizes that connection, fun and spontaneity are also primary human needs for everyone! And too many of us don’t just play enough anymore. Let’s have a mess o’ fun! What games? I’m lookin’ for ideas….what do you wanna do? Head outside for some Kick the Can, stay inside for board games from our youth, new games we’ve never tried?


December 3 – Evaluation, Visioning and Re-gifting – FREE Session
This is a free session – no fees!  We’ll reflect on the fall sessions of Manology we’ve just completed, do an evaluation process, and put some plans in place for things we can do during the spring and summer to keep our circle strong and vibrant. Our process of feedback sessions has been pivotal in making Manology a feedback driven course, continuously reflecting the interests of the men in the circle.   So please come out and share your critical thinking with us.  Even if it is your first session, your opinions and ideas are super welcome!  Our evaluation nights keep Manology relevant, useful and enjoyable for all of us. Please bring along some snacks to share.  AND, please bring along an item or two you no longer need or want that could be useful or enjoyable to other men.  We’ll continue our practice of recycling items we no longer want.












2 thoughts on “2019 : Schedule and Themes

  1. I’m a POC/FN and I’d love to come to the “what does it mean to be a white person” workshop to aid the process but I don’t support Black Lives Matter, so I can’t attend. Would be nice if Manology divested itself from political organizations to keep the intention neutral. Thanks -Robert

    • Hello Robert. So sorry to just see this message now. I don’t check this site for messages as almost nobody has ever messaged me via this site. In future, please feel welcome to use my email: david@davidhatfield.ca Thank you for your interest in the recent session “What does it mean to be a white person.” I really appreciate your interest. It was intended for those who are white, a racial affinity group session, so I wouldn’t have been able to invite you in to that session. However, racism is a theme area I am working on in my work and there will be more work in this area in future. I’m not sure on doing more of it within the current Manology structure, or outside of Manology. Still thinking that through. Again, I thank you and welcome your interest in future. All the best to you Robert.

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