2018 : Schedule and Themes

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

Manology –  Year 9

Winter 2018

January 8 – First Steps of 2018 
Facilitators: Neil Ferguson and John Weiss
First introduced in 2016, this session produced some great outcomes! So it’s back to start us well here in 2018. Each of our lives is a project, a dream, a vision. And like any project, it needs course corrections from time to time. Using the start of a new year as a frame of intention to refocus and make change is age old.  Our modern minds and leftovers from our adolescence still often aim unrealistically, expecting too much and going too fast in trying to make change. This session will take the approach of taking small meaningful achievable steps. What changes would you like to see in yourself not in the coming year, but in the coming week!  A good start for 2018 is the intention here. Leave pencil and paper at home…we’ll use the energies of a circle of men to source out what it is we need to address in ourselves, stand for it, and get clear on how to get started on it.

Theme 1: Unsettled times: looking in, looking out  
Like the natural environment, the human culture heated up a lot in 2017. Long-standing social tensions around race, gender, sexuality, economics and power have flared up considerably. Voices on many sides have become sharper, more public and polarities have been more acute than many of us are accustomed. Let’s look at how we are doing, inside and out.

January 15th – Who Is In? -> Awareness Intensive 
Facilitator: Neil Ferguson

During this session we will have an opportunity to inquire into ourselves using a method of repeating questions. The intention is to explore our inner structures and the personality that was formed at an early age.   Bringing awareness to our subconscious patterns acts as a doorway to increased personal choices in how we respond in life and a greater awareness of who we are in our deepest sense of self, beyond our personality patterns.

January 22 – #MeToo
Facilitator: David Hatfield
A dominant event/story/movement in 2017 and into 2018, the #MeToo phenomenonwe will be our focus this night to share our perspectives.   The #MeToo wave has engulfed some of the most powerful men in politics, entertainment, and media. It has also forced a societal reckoning with the realities of sexuality and workplace cultures, and power relations between genders. How do we respond to the ongoing development and revelations of #metoo? What questions should men be asking themselves? How are men responding, individually and collectively? Please come and be a part of this conversation and share your listening.

January 29 – #MeToo, an all-gender session  
Facilitators: Camille Dumond and David Hatfield
By request, Manology again invites women and all-genders/non-genders to join our circle to reflect on the #MeToo movement. We’ll continue our explorations on this topic through a wider diversity of viewpoints.

 

 

February 5 – Rank and Power
Facilitators: David Hatfield and John Weiss
Ideas of power and its expression are central to the way boys and men are socialized about gender roles. Generally, males are rewarded for attaining power and punished for not having it. Having a conscious relationship with power is a core aspect of a health male identity. However, like many other aspects of daily life, males have not been given space and encouragement to critically examine power. We’ll use both thought and creativity to examine social, contextual, spiritual and psychological power. We’ll also look at the dynamics of high and low power: the privilege that comes with high power, and how high power can be used for the benefit of others.

February 12 – Family Day
No Manology session.  Enjoy time with family!!!

Theme 2: BAM! Breath, Awareness, Movement 
Manology recognizes that we all have diverse ways of sensing and understanding ourselves and the world around us. Modern life tends to focus on the mind and rational thought. This is useful, but also limited, leaving out the wisdom of the physical body, of intuition, spontaneity and creativity. So this theme offers space and different approaches to help us access different aspects of ourselves, for health, for learning, for healing. We have some very skillful guest facilitators for this theme series. Enjoy!!

February 19 – Breathwork for Stress and Trauma Release 
Facilitators: Prema McKeever and Neil Ferguson
Most of us have experienced emotional or physical trauma on some level, which can restrict our breathing and capacity to feel. The resulting body armoring and muscular tension can endure for years. In this session we will experience Biodynamic Breath & Trauma Release group breathwork session meant to support you to consciously release stress and trauma from your nervous system and live with greater aliveness, freedom and connection to others.

February 26 – Muscle, Bones & Energy 
Facilitator: John Weiss
As men, we are very aware of the energy that goes into getting through life and all its circumstances.  When we overdo it, we suffer and/or we muddle through to complete the task at hand.  This can drain the energy reserves to a point of exhaustion. It doesn’t have to be that way.  Come learn techniques to rejuvenate, revitalize and enhance your energy so that you can do all that you want to do and more!

March 5 – Wisdom of Our Body 
Facilitator: Marlies Dahler
Recently, I heard of someone refer to them-self as “a head on a stick”.  So often we inform our lives with our heads, forgetting the wisdom of our body.  In this session, we will focus on our bodies with movement, awareness and breathe by grounding and centre-ing, coming home to you.

 

 

 

March 12 – Energy, Ideas and Fun Through Clown  
Facilitator: Joe Bickson
What do we think when we hear the word ‘Clown’? In this session we have the opportunity to explore Clown together, as a frame of mind and body that can allow us greater access to – and a more fluid cooperation between – our mental, physical, and emotional selves. Inside of our theme BAM! Breath, Awareness and Movement, this session brings deeper awareness to our perceptions of ourselves, the world and those around us and how those perceptions shape the various ‘masks’ we wear. The session is designed for us to engage in a spirit of play to promote the flow of energy, ideas, and fun!

March 19 – No Mind  
Instructor: Neil Ferguson
Gentlemen, let’s get out of our minds!!  During this session we will have an opportunity to drop out of the habitual patterns of thought and drop into a deeper experience of ourselves. For this process we will use an active, dynamic, movement meditation to connect from active thought into the wisdom of our bodies. This will be done as a 4 stage dynamic meditation rooted in the body.  You will experience a range between very active and very still, where the active stages allow for internal movement of energy and the stillness allows us to feel and experience the unblocking of energy.  It is a highly effective way to unwind and let go.

March 26 – Bring It!! 
Facilitators: Neil Ferguson and John Weiss
This session has become a really great tradition, full of surprises and tons of variety!  This night is of our own design and offerings! Men are invited to bring an experience of any kind to share. An activity we can do together, a story, game, song, a thought/wish/hope for the world, a poem, image or photo, a recording that you love…any offering that helps us, even in the smallest way, to share an experience together. Men can Bring It!! together – no need to go it alone. This session is a great reason to get together with others and work up something to offer.   Yes, offering something is a kind of risk-taking. It’s a way to feel alive and to be in service. The Manology community is a kind and appreciative one, and all offers will be appreciated!!  This session says “We don’t need to consume culture to entertain and enjoy ourselves – we can use a culture of our own creativity!”   Expect fun, surprise and the unexpected!!

April 2 – Evaluation and Where Do We Go From Here?
Facilitators: John Weiss, Neil Ferguson, David Hatfield
FREE Session
We’ll reflect on the Manology term we’ve just completed, do an evaluation process, and look at where we want to go next!  This process of feedback sessions has been pivotal in making Manology a feedback driven course, continuously reflecting the interests of those involved.  So please come out and share your critical thinking with us, even if you’ve only been once!  It keeps Manology relevant, useful and enjoyable for all of us.


Previous Sessions

Fall 2017
We begin our 9th year with two themes and some odds and ends. Some session ideas for the Identities theme were just not possible to pull together for the fall but will be explored for winter 2018.   I feel proud that this fall will feature 2 Manology regulars in guest facilitator roles! There is a lot of talent and leadership in this community and it’s great to be able to let it shine a bit here.

Theme 1 – Identity
How we see our selves in core to our sense of self. Some aspects of our identity are given at birth and some developed through family, cultural and life experiences. All aspects of identity are important in defining who we are and how we open to change and growth experiences or resist them. At this time in culture, some would say the Western persona is undergoing deep questioning and shifts in its sense of identity. Always powerful terrain, exploring identity is something best done one step at a time, in a dedicated space for such work – Manology!

September 11  
What Made Me?
Facilitator – David Hatfield

What milestone moments, which influential people, what aspects of Nature, what seemingly random choices and experiences have contributed to shaping your deep sense of who you are?  How can we make use of this information to further guide our present and future path?  These questions includes all of our aspects of character, the ones we like and embrace as well as ones we struggle to accept. We’ll use an unexpected way of reflecting on our sense of identity to keep the process alive and fresh. Come to learn about yourself!

September 18
Identities of Gay Men
Sexual orientation is a foundational marker of identity.  This is especially true for those with sexual orientations that have been marginalized.  The Manology circle has always welcomed gay and bi-sexual men, and in this session, invites all men identifying as non-heterosexual to share their experiences.  We’ll use a format that allows for a depth of exchange among gay/bi-sexual men as well as straight men and ultimately among all attending men.  Proceeds from this session will be donated to Qmmunity – a Vancouver organization supporting queer and trans folks.

September 25  
What Makes Men?
– A Group Process 
Facilitator – David Hatfield
How do expectations about being a man influence and shape our choices, perceptions, and actions?  How do they affect our relationships with other men, women, all-genders? Does this mask explain men’s high suicide rates and violence rates? Who’s responsible for gender messages? What should they be? What about what many call The Mask of Masculinity?  We’ll use a group process to unfold our perceptions, experiences, and reactions to this topic. A group process is a format used to create deep democracy, which is the inclusion of all voices, especially marginalized ones, in order to more fully understand an issue and to create community.

October 2 
Identities at Play
Facilitator – Lisa Voth
We are often told to find our “authentic self.” In this session we will acknowledge and honour our MANY “authentic selves,” all of them necessary to survive in the context we grew up in and often the society we now find ourselves in. The challenge with all these selves is that these different parts of ourself often seem to be at war rather than on the same team. How do we play with these aspects of ourselves rather than having them play us? How do we get out of identities we feel stuck in or suffocated by that no longer serve us, and have fun doing it!  Here’s the place to find out!!

October 9 – Thanksgiving – No Manology
Gratitude: express it, receive it, be it.

Theme 2 – Sexuality
Even back in the 1980’s the Vancouver General Hospital nursing program taught their students that human beings had a core set of basic needs.  One was sexuality.    This remains the case, yet our society still has a long way to go to more fully embrace openness and diversity in human sexuality.  We are lucky to have several Manology members who do such work!!  Sexuality is back, by demand.

Oct 16
Sex and Sexuality – Part IV

Facilitator – Jay Wade
Continuing our journey from the three preceding sessions during Manology’s 2016/2017 season, we will again use sharing, witnessing and embodied activities to delve further into our sexual selves, our relationship with our body, and what’s hot and what’s not… for each of us!

How has sex changed for you over the years? What is your relationship like with your body? Is the way you approach sex and sexuality similar or different to the way you approach life?

Bring an open mind and heart… and all your musings too.  There is no need to have attended previous sessions; all orientations invited.

October 23  
Embodied Consent
Facilitator – Jay Wade
How do you say yes/no/maybe?  How do you hear yes/no/maybe?  What does consent feel like in your body?  What are the nuances between giving and receiving?

Through exercises and dialogue, we will explore how we give permission, hear agreements, gift others and receive with an open heart.  Activities will help explain how consent allows us to be more deeply connected to ourselves and those in our life – some of our time will be spent exploring teachings from Betty Martin’s Wheel of Consent.

Some activities may include the opportunity for simple nurturing touch (ex: hand to hand); nobody will have to give/receive touch to/from anybody they don’t want to.

October 30
Possibility Spot
Facilitator – David Hatfield
From time to time I like to leave a possibility spot in our scheduling.  The world moves fast and new memes, issues, stories, and awarenesses are popping all the time.  On Monday we’ll self-organize and sort things out as group to find a focus that has pull for all of us.  I’ll use my skills in both facilitation and improvisation to respond in creating structure for us to use to go for it!

See you there!


November 6
Somatic Experiencing
Facilitator – Neil Ferguson
Somatic Experiencing is a cutting edge process that works with our nervous system. In this session we will look at how our nervous system holds on to stressful life experiences and how this continues to impact our lives. Together we will explore ways to lower stress, live more in the body and become more present to life

November 13
No Session due to Remembrance Day

November 20 – Music: A User’s Guide 
Facilitator – David Hatfield
Sometimes it sounds like Music has been slipping into the background…can you hear it?   It’s become a kind of wallpaper, something to accompany the scene, but not to hold focus.  In this session we’ll put music front and centre for awhile, and watch our responses. Music is organized sound and like all forms of expression, it is relentlessly diverse! Yet many of us hear similar sounding Western music, often created by technology more than humanity.   In this session, we’ll hear some new sounds and styles, explore our uses of and relationship to music. Then we will also get active with music and create some soundscapes of our own. No special ability is needed – we already have all we need!
Music = language, medicine, soul food and community building.

November 27– Bring It!! 
Host – David Hatfield
This session has become a really great tradition, full of surprises and tons of variety!  This night is of our own design and offerings! Men are invited to bring an experience of any kind to share. An activity we can do together, a story, game, song, a thought/wish/hope for the world, a poem, image or photo, a recording that you love…any offering that helps us, even in the smallest way, to share an experience together. Men can Bring It!! together – no need to go it alone. This session is a great reason to get together with others and work up something to offer.   Yes, offering something is a kind of risk-taking. It’s a way to feel alive and to be in service. The Manology community is a kind and appreciative one, and all offers will be appreciated!!  This session says “We don’t need to consume culture to entertain and enjoy ourselves – we can use a culture of our own creativity!”   Expect fun, surprise and the unexpected!!

December 4 – Evaluation and Re-gifting
Instructor – David Hatfield
FREE Session
We’ll reflect on the Manology term we’ve just completed, do an evaluation process, and Ancient Maplook at where we want to go next!  This process of feedback sessions has been pivotal in making Manology a feedback driven course, continuously reflecting the interests of those involved.  So please come out and share your critical thinking with us, even if you’ve only been once!  It keeps Manology relevant, useful and enjoyable for all of us.
Re: Re-gifting: Men are invited to bring an item or two to give away: something you no longer need or want that can be enjoyed by others.  Wrap it up as a surprise, or not. Lastly, bring along some treats to share!

 

 


 

 

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