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A Typical Brotherhood Circle


When a brotherhood circle first gathers, men establish norms, agree on a common purpose, and get to know each other.  Sharing our personal biographies—life stories—is our way of getting to know each other and to build trust.  

Circle meetings then follow “modules,” a kind of “curriculum” we use to focus on key themes. Each module, like those listed below, is a careful blend of body-centered experiences and reflection. Rather than simply discussing meditation, for example, we engage in it. Instead of talking about sensuality (the five senses), we experiment with the senses. Sometimes our reflections are personal and deep. Sometimes they are quick responses to what we have just experienced.  

The following are some of our key modules (sessions) in brotherhood circles:


Spirituality and the Sacred

  • Spiritual practices to nurture the soul
  • Dealing with religion—its positive and negative aspects
  • Meditation:  why and how 
  • Developing your own unique spiritual life


Sexuality and Sensuality

  • Your body and how you feel about it
  • Nakedness:  natural, not necessarily sexual
  • Appreciating and loving your penis
  • Living sensually with all five senses

 

Life Experiences

  • Growth and Health
  • Healing our wounds
  • Physical Limitations
  • Aging
  • Death

 

Shame, Guilt, and Vulnerability

  • Facing blocks to wholeness
  • Dealing with our shadows
  • Appropriate and inappropriate guilt
  • Being vulnerable is not being weak


Mindfulness

  • Meditation:  being present with no agenda
  • Engaging your mind 
  • Living mindfully by paying attention
  • Mindful Sex

 

Understanding Masculinity

  • what you think being a man means for you
  • rethinking our notions of male behavior
  • the “sacred Masculine”
  • our relationship to the Feminine


Fear, Control, and Power

  • how as men we deal with fear
  • control freaks and courageous heroes
  • getting in touch with our true power


Acceptance, Submission, Forgiveness

  • how submitting can be both sexual and spiritual
  • accepting what we cannot change
  • forgiving ourselves and others


Erotic Energy

  • owning and enjoying our erotic energy
  • distinguishing between erotic and sexual
  • giving and receiving massage


Joy, Ecstasy, and Celebration

  • practicing gratitude
  • living joyfully
  • celebrating when it’s hard to do


These are some frequently used modules.  Other modules focus on leadership; fathering; freeing the boy within; the mentor; being better lovers; the hero’s journey; warriors, faeries, and tricksters; your inner king; deep transformation; fantasies and fetishes; prayer and sexual expression; older and younger men; brotherhood and bonding; facing change; passion and compassion; the essence of self-love; owning your wildness; encountering the holy; building a daily erotic practice; male erotic magic; getting the love you want and need; re-centering your life purpose.


Ritual

Every time a circle meets, simple ritual is a part of our gathering. Ritual is a way of acting out the meaning of what we do, believe, need, or want. Ritual is not necessarily formal. It might or might not include words, music, or silence. It is typically repetitive, so that it can be learned by heart and done naturally or even spontaneously. In that way its participants can connect through ritual to unconscious levels of feeling, aspiration, and desire.  

Many of our rituals draw on Native American and other indigenous practices. Since Jonathan’s Circle welcomes people form all traditions and worship practices, as well as those who have none, we intentionally include a variety of ritual elements, such as sound, music, fire (candles), and odors (incense, sage, or sweetgrass).  

Centering, including physical and mental centering, as well as meditation in one of its many forms, typically flows from or towards the use of ritual in our meetings.


informat  © Frank Dunn 2014