Drop-in course Fall 2019

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

For information on the Closed group format, new at Manology in Fall 2019, click on: https://manologyvancouver.com/closed-group-new-this-fall/

Fall 2019
Year 11 of Manology begins in September and there some new features.   One is that I’m happy to be welcoming longtime Manology member Neil Ferguson into co-leadership at Manology! Neil has completed his clinical counseling training, and numerous other professional psychological and somatic (body-based) healing modalities and really wants to be sharing his skills with men! Neil will be leading a bunch of sessions this fall and his  his dedication, heart and skills are a welcome addition to the mix!

Our first theme for Fall 2019 is Relationship (in many forms!).  As social animals, us people are relationship based and relationship seeking! Connecting with others give us a great deal of our total sense of purpose, identity, meaning, joy and pain. Like most other deeply important life skills and awarenesses, our formal education never offered much to us in terms of ways of exploring how we are with ourselves and with other people. Many of us have not had much opportunity to stop and look at our patterns, needs, wants and styles of being in relationship. Here is a 5-week theme to do just that.

September 9Staying True to Myself
Facilitator: Neil Ferguson
When we are alone with ourselves there is often a different kind of self-awareness that we experience. What happens to our presence and self-awareness when we are being seen and witnessed by others?   In this session, we’ll use several experiential activities to get an opportunity to experience how we shift and change when being seen by others.   Our goal will be to increase our ability to stay authentically true to ourselves whether we’re all alone, with another person or with a room full of strangers.

September 16 – Attachment and relationships
Facilitator: Neil Ferguson
This is where relationship begins! Attachment theory is a concept that concerns the importance of attachment in regards to personal development. Specifically, it makes the claim that the ability for an individual to form an emotional and physical attachment to another person gives a sense of stability and security necessary to take risks, branch out, and grow and develop as a personality.  In this session we will explore the personal attachment system that was formed in the early part of our lives, specifically with our primary caregivers, and how this attachment system shapes our relationships with others in our adult lives.


September 23 – Personal Barriers
Facilitator: Neil Ferguson
What’s holding you back?
Much of who we are in life is formed by the cultural and family conditioning that we experience. Often this conditioning holds us back from stepping into ourselves in a way that is in alignment to who we really are and prevents us from living the life that is possible.   What holds you back from living the life you really desire, from doing the type of work you love, from experiencing life that’s in alignment to your true authentic self?

September 30 – 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 responded very well to the introduction of this model last year. We’ll refresh and expand the use of this model this year. Simple to grasp but 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!

October 7 – Sexuality: What’s my agenda?
Facilitator: Krista Nova
Sexuality- What happens when we remove the agenda from our sexual journey? We are often conditioned to direct our sexual energy to a specific destination which creates limitations. This will be an experiential evening to discover your key agendas, how they may be holding you back and.what is possible without them. This evening will be open to what may arise in relation to our fears and desires with sexuality.


October 14 – Thanksgiving – No Manology
Let’s take time out to notice what ease, joyfulness and richness we already have, and who we are grateful to know and have connection with.  Let’s take time to appreciate the Earth’s support in it’s innumerable ways!  Life is demanding and challenging.  I’ve come to appreciate the presence of Thanksgiving as a statutory holiday, as it is actually quite a radical contrast in our Western context of individualism, go-go-go and materialism.  I wish all an enjoyable and rejuvenating Thanksgiving holiday!

October 21 – Fatherhood: How is today’s father different from the one of your father’s generation?
Facilitator: David Hatfield
Let’s look at fatherhood together, as sons, fathers, single men, grandfathers, men considering fatherhood, and those who’ve chosen to not have kids.   Each generation of men seem to respond to the idea and reality of fathering in some new ways. Now many fathers have a more active and emotional connected relationship with their kids that their own fathers did. These days more men are taking paternity leave when it is available and are in the playground or taking a program with their kids than in the past. At the same time, some wonder if we have devalued fathers and male role models. Some millennials of all genders are looking at the state of the world and questioning having children.   All the while, fathering itself remains an awesome challenge and an important role in the wellness of family and community. Fathering changes men, relationships, sense of purpose, as it shapes daily life. What is the role of the father/father figure here in 2019? What are the distinct roles for male and female parents, or are they meant to be the same? Let’s take a deep dive into fatherhood!!

Our second theme for Fall 2019 is Getting Real.  Our socialization as males has incessantly pushed us away from our own authenticity and being real since we were old enough to grasp the idea of different genders. Here is a month long series of sessions designed to help us hold steady in knowing ourselves, what we really want, dropping masks and half-truths, and being encouraged and supported by each other in this work.
Men getting more real = us.

October 28 – Breathwork 
Facilitators: Neil Ferguson and Vince Gowmon
Breath work is a body-oriented therapy, which was created with the intention of unwinding and unlocking the areas of tension that are held in our bodies. In this process we use breath as a doorway into releasing the belts of tension, which are stored energy and trauma. When we unblock the pathway of movement we free up the muscular constriction and in this process release emotional blockages associated with this muscular tension.  Simple, profound and powerful: come and let go of old patterns and programs that no longer serve you.

November 4 – Inner Critic Shakedown
Facilitator: David Hatfield

Most everyone has doubts, inner criticism, and internal negativity. Such internal voices can be useful, for example, in slowing us down from making impulsive decisions. However, too often these voices hold us back from going for what we want, putting us into endless waiting patterns, doubting our ability or vision, or procrastination. At their worst, they can be abusive and harsh, interfering with self-acceptance, growth and following our authentic life path.  This session will offer dynamic and real-time ways to shift our relationship with our inner critics, to both get the out of our way, and in some cases, to shift them into our supporters!   Bring an inner critic with you!

November 18 – The Truth Mandala 
Facilitator: David Hatfield and Neil Ferguson 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.


November 25 – Kundalini Meditation
Facilitator: Neil Ferguson
Men! Let’s get out of our minds and into our bodies. So much of our lives are spent living in the left part of our brain – logical thinking, planning and strategizing, this often prevents us from connecting to the creativeness, intuition and felt sense that’s available in the right side of our brains.  During this session we will be doing an active meditation to feel ourselves, come more into our bodies and more into connection with our whole selves.



December 2 – Bring It! 
Facilitators: David Hatfield and Neil Ferguson
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, cookies you made, 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. Know that 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 9 – 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.


Previous Sessions

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.




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