God is not found by adding anything, but by a process of subtraction.
~ Meister Eckhart
The Journey of Illumination is a five-fold practice, informed by rich spiritual tradition, that invites you to show up and pay attention to the presence of God in your life. This is not another list of obligatory to-do’s to add to a list of oughts and shoulds, nor THE method that will bring you salvation or enlightenment. Rather these are simply practices and rhythms that we have observed are present and even essential in a healthy well-rounded life. The goal of this path is to realize a full, intense and well-grounded spiritual journey. In observing them all that is not important is stripped away, and in so doing you discover more deeply that which is deeply important. Here are the five core touchstones of our practice:
- Show up and observe (Centering)
- Show up and get together (Gathering)
- Show up and share (Connecting)
- Show up and let go (Releasing)
- Show up and act (Serving)
I wake from a nap
And the same clear words greet my mind
That I say every day upon waking,
“Where can I find the Friend?”
The Journey of Illumination is not a one-sized fits all approach, every person implements these practices in a manner that fits him. Tradition encourages the developing of regular rhythms that develop all of these muscles and we suggest varying ranging in the size of the context and the frequency. For example you might practice daily prayer/meditation by yourself, participate in a weekly/monthly men’s group, attend an annual retreat either regionally or our national gathering each November. Time out in nature is often a valued practice of men involved in Illuman.
Council is a core practice for men on the Journey of Illumination as it is a gathering that involves all five touchstones. We have council gatherings twice a month in the greater Puget Sound area, on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month from 8-10 AM.
As the product of the collective efforts and consciousness of hundreds of initiated men, the Journey of Illumination awakens men to two essential challenges of the Journey—to choose a specific action (show up) and to be present (pay attention) in the body, the heart, and the mind.
By choosing to participate in the Journey of Illumination, you are not agreeing to follow some imaginary moral imperatives, but to the extent of your commitment you will enrich and enliven your existing spiritual practices, and create or restore balance in each step of your journey by doing the work that is the essence of spiritual discipline.