Orange County Regional Gathering

Brothers, the Orange County Region of Illuman SoCal hosted a powerful gathering at Carbon Canyon Park in Brea.  The theme was “Surrender”, which is the core task of our Journeys’ of Illumination.  Only by surrendering our egocentric motives, will we be able to re-connect with Soul, and acquire what every man deeply desires – authentic and full-on living.  The ability to have real relationships and deeply connect.  We experienced a glimpse of this at the gathering in the form of small group council, contemplative space, and powerful ritual experience.

“I had the privilege to be initiated through MROP this past April in Aravaipa Canyon, AZ.  Coming to the SoCal Illuman regional gathering in Orange County was very refreshing and encouraging.  The theme for our gathering was The Jewel of Surrender.  I was deeply blessed by the opportunities to reflect and talk about our lives in light of this theme.  The time alone to reflect on who I am as a man and what my life would be like if I fully surrendered these various identities was interesting; it was no light task.  It has given me something to sit with going forward.  Later, we had counsel in small groups where each man had an opportunity to share about his life as deeply as he wanted to.  I was blessed by the authenticity in my circle.  It freed me to be vulnerable about my journey as a man who is working through surrender and trust in specific areas of my life.  Finally, the closing ritual was incredibly rich; it was the perfect way to end our time together.  Each man had the opportunity to step inside the large circle and write what he was led to surrender in a bowl of sand.  When he was finished, he would be embraced by another man as way of receiving support, love and blessing.  Then that next man would go through the same process.  For me, to be supported by my brothers in silence as I wrote down my words in the sand and then receiving an amazing embrace by an elder was affirming and powerful.  I’m very thankful to be a part of this community!”  – Justin McArdle, Participant

“‘Jewel of Surrender’ provided a very comfortable opportunity to look at my identity and life roles, and wrestle with the challenges they pose for me.  Two highlights for me were the small council group – where once again I was humbled by how quickly the five of us reached a level of trust and openness in our sharing, and I had never been in a group with any of these men before.  The second highlight was the closing large group ritual – it was simple and profound, personal and non-threatening.  On Sunday morning I was still processing its meaning to me.” – Steve Duncan, Participant