A men’s group has been established at Dharma Mountain. Raahi and Sumeru, two male sannyasins, have been interviewed about masculinity and what it is like to be a man.
The aim of creating this men’s group was to provide a space where men can share openly about all things manly in a trusting atmosphere. The background was the realization among several men in the community around Dharma Mountain that there was a need for such a space to be created. In December 2014 this gathering of brothers had its first meeting. Since then the men´s group has been happening on a weekly basis.
My own impression is that the men’s group provides this both open and trustful space, as well as providing a challenge. As a man you should grow in your manhood and that is best done when you are challenged to live on your edge, when you come out of your comfort zone. In a men´s group this can be done in a supportive and loving manner.
To get more feedback about what masculinity and manhood is, I talked with two of the friends in the men´s group; Sumeru and Raahi.
What is masculinity for you?
Sumeru: For me it is a powerful feeling of being present, and truthful about how I feel, even if there is fear and pain inside. For me the lack of masculinity is the most painful feeling, which is when I lose this centre.
Raahi: Being in a men’s group is trying to discover what it is to be a man. I feel I have a lot of negative images and conditioning about masculinity. I didn’t have good male role models when I grew up. So in a way I turned my back to masculinity because of my ideas about what it was be a man. But when I do feel like a man I can feel this power. It is a challenge to embrace this power, because in a way I am afraid of my own power. So for me this men’s group is a safe place to explore this power where I really can go into it.
When I wrote my sannyas application I wrote that I wanted truth. And the name “Raahi” which Swaha gave me means “traveller in search of truth”.
Could you give an example of when you were truthful?
Raahi: The best example of being truthful was in the break-up of my last relationship. It was very hard to stand up for that truth, but I had to.
Sumeru: Being truthful is about accepting your own pain.
When Raahi today told about commitment, it is true. If you really want to create and share difficult things, the trust has to be there.
The men’s group is a place to share difficult things which I need to express. It is also a place to take risks.
Are you willing to take risks?
Raahi: I agree with Sumeru´s view. I really want the truth. I have to stand up for what I feel. I want to feel my power. I will get fucking mad if I feel this wishy-washiness from another man. Even in this group, a few men here are not sharing much. I am here to feel real. If I don’t feel they are real I am not able to get to know them. If I say anything in the men’s group you don’t agree with, I will welcome your feedback.
What is really important?
Raahi: To really risk, to be challenged. When you have this safe group of men, you can do that.
Is challenge a key to being a man?
Yes, living outside the comfort zone. That is living on the edge.
Thank you, Raahi and Sumeru, for your sharings about masculinity and men´s group.
Before ending this blog, I´d like to quote the Indian mystic Osho on the difference between man and woman. Osho once said something like this: “Man is the Love of Truth and woman is the Truth of Love.”
So, let us all grow in truth and love.
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