Sacred Group Retreats to Make ChangeWritten by Douglas D. Germann, Sr.
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Sacred Group Retreats to Make Change
By Douglas D. Germann, Sr.
c Copyright 2004, Learning Works, Incorporated. All rights reserved.
There is a power that shows up when a committed group of people gathers. You have seen it: something clicks, something flows, enthusiasm grows, and soon something unexpected happens. Something good and surprising.
How do you consciously tap into this power?
My experience is that you cannot command it, you cannot give it a schedule. This something--call it spirit or even Spirit--blows where and when it will.
What you can do, however, is invite. And open.
What that means on a practical level is that you gather elements--seeds, water, air, earth and fire--and you provide space, as much of it as possible, for divinity to happen. So it requires trust, but only a little, for we know that when invited, Spirit comes.
The seeds are people and their hopes, fears, desires, passions, ideas: all highest and best you have. Earth is grounds and great outdoors: choose a retreat setting that will allow people to get out in nature, for many these days see God in nature.
Air is fresh air to breathe. We need oxygen and all trace gasses in order for our brains to work and our spirits to fructify. Fire is sunlight--plenty of windows and maybe even a skylight or two so we can see a larger world, reach to touch stars.
Water: we told we are 98% water; still, we know more than our minds can know when we walk or sit by a sparkling brook or a quiet lake. Seek out a place which has water.
It is not all setting, however. There is work to be done. We invite and open in very invitation we send to our people. We want everybody there who feels strongly enough about change we want to see and be in world to accept responsibility to act. So our invitation needs to touch sparkling places in these people. It needs to be specific as to change, yet open to widest possibilities. For instance, "The role of St. John Church in Future of Homelessness;" or "Improving Senior Healthcare in Manitowoc."
Inviting openness at meeting is where you need to turn your attention next. How do you draw on hopes and dreams of your people and still leave room for spirit in moment? Simple. Leave agenda open to be written at retreat. Sound scary? It usually is for organizers. For divinity it is best invitation.
American Women Really Donít Like YouWritten by Steve Eyes
Any man who has dated Asian ladies who live in United States, has witness wrath, jealously and prejudice of American women towards Asian ladies. I know I have, as have many of my friends. The stereotypical has some merit: American women canít compete against Asiansí sexuality, American women feel threaten and some American women simply think Asians are stealing their men. These all bear some truth.
My experience is first hand. I dated many Asian ladies and have heard comments. If we frequent a typical American club, I have had my dates threaten by American women in restroom. In time, Asian clubs sprung up in United States. At an Asian club, American women are welcome. I have never seen an American lady being threaten by Asians in a typical Asian club. It just isnít their nature. The crowd in these clubs are usually Asian ladies and American men.
There are many Asian ladies in U.S., especially from Philippines. A lot of these ladies arrived via meeting an American G.I. I really donít know percentage, but there is no doubt that most Filipina ladies have a military connection in some way. They met in Philippines, got married, and came to United States with their military husband. Consequently, youíll meet Asian ladies in clubs who are married. If you mingle with Asian ladies that frequent clubs for any length of time, you will eventually meet ladies who are unfaithful. This unfaithfulness is how Filipina ladies are branded as whores by American women. This doesnít carry same stigma for American women who may do same. Hypocrisy is always evident when behaviors of two cultures are compared.
What American GI has discovered is now catching on with non-military men. Asian dating sites have sprung up all over internet. Some of these sites try to exploit Asiansí sexuality. However, there are many Asian ladies who want to meet a sincere gentlemen for a relationship. As attractive as Asian ladies may be, American men are also captivated by Asiansí behavior towards men. A manís dream of having a wife who wants to please him, appreciates his love and treasures his efforts in making a home seems to have been found by American men in Asian culture. Youíll hear American men call these values ďtraditional valuesĒ because at one time these were values that held American family together.
The tired argument about these women being a servant to their husband, is one sided. Do these women like serving their husband? Yes, most do. But not as slaves. They are not forced to do so, but have desire to please their man out of appreciation and love. These ladies are doing what they want to do. I repeat, they WANT to please their man, do things for him and show their appreciation. In turn, these men are happy, want to provide for their wife and have no desire to look elsewhere for this appreciation. Itís chemistry that once prevailed many years ago in United States and has been lost in myriad of women rights in American society.
Why do Filipina women want to marry a foreigner from another country? Iím not going to argue fact that these ladies want a better life. Itís probably true. I will argue that most women, no matter country, want to marry in to a better life. Again, it is hypocrisy of who you are that makes a behavior negative or not. Most women, in United States, need to look in a mirror before judging ladies from other cultures. Besides wanting a better life, most Asian ladies want better treatment. In a Filipina ladyís eyes, men from West treat women better then men from their country. Is there truth to this? The feed back I get from ladies at my website is yes or at least they perceive it to be so. Iím sure social status of your family makes a difference of how you are treated regardless of your gender, but Iím talking about average Filipina lady. The difference is simple. In her country what she does for her man or husband is expected without appreciation. Here in United States, most men come to expect a lady isnít required to serve him, to want to please him, and love him for who he is. When an Asian lady does, his appreciation is certain. For an Asian lady, man doesnít have to be super rich or look like a movie star, just treat her well and show his love. Itís a merry-go-round with respect and love as itís focal point. She wants to please him, he loves her for pleasing him, she loves him for showing he appreciates her love and so on.