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This Thanksgiving, Call in the Directions

Heal
Over the past 25 years, the Mankind Project and New Warrior Training Adventure have created safe “containers” for more than 43,000 men to work on self-examination and to connect with each other in new ways (see Mankindproject.org). The small groups of men typically open with a modern version of an ancient blessing, then go around the circle, with each man, in turn, “calling in the energies” of one of the seven directions. The specific words don’t matter, and men often edit as they choose. What matters is the intention to let go of distractions, to let down defenses, to be present for one another, and to make the space sacred.Blessings of the Seven DirectionsWelcome the energy of the East, the direction of the Lover. Welcome the energy of new beginnings, of connection with beauty and the richness of the world. The color of the East is yellow, the color of the rising sun at the beginning of the day. The fear of the East is the fear of pain. The desire of the East is the desire for pleasure, and the emotions are love and hatred. The animal of the East is the song sparrow, calling us to a new day. We welcom …

Stephen Kiesling is editor in chief of S&H. A 35th anniversary edition of The Shell Game: Reflections on Rowing and the Pursuit of Excellence has just been published.


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