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Located in the Catskill Mountains, this land was recognized by indigenous peoples over a century ago as a place of healing. Come experience the natural world from a place of heart and connection.   Learn more »
"The teachings are for all, not just for Indians...The white people never wanted to learn before...Now they have a different understanding, and they do want to learn. We are all children of God. The tradition is open to anyone who wants to learn. But who really wants to learn?"   —Don Jose Matsuwa, Huichol, 1989   Learn more »
I do not think the measure of a civilization is how tall its buildings of concrete are, But rather how well its people have learned to relate to their environment and fellow man.   —Sun Bear of the Chippewa Tribe   Learn more »

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Posted January 17, 2011

Ukilái: (Uh-key-lá-ee) is a word in the Huichol indigenous language that means “a man who has reached a level of maturity and has taken on the responsibilities of spirit, community, and family.” A Ukilái has found his role and place within himself, the community and in the world and therefore is a support for himself and others.

In the indigenous world and the life of our ancestors, the masculine ones were initiated, taught, and guided to interact with each other, the feminine, the community and with the spirits. Knowing who they were, men found a home within themselves and produced balanced relationship with others.

In our culture these roles, references, guides and knowledge have been lost or greatly diminished. The incessant drive and indoctrination of social, economic and materialistic demands of modernity has replaced them. This new paradigm places consumerism, change for change’s sake, and mind over the power of heart at the center of daily life. As a result, we find ourselves alienated from our place and role in the world. As spouses, potential spouses, fathers, sons and brothers we experience breakdown in our relationships with others.

In a culture that constantly imposes these conditions, there comes a time when withdrawing in retreat is necessary to reconnect to the essential being of the masculine, to discover the navigation of one’s heart, to clear, refresh and renew one’s direction in life. Rather than a class or workshop, Ukilái represents a pilgrimage to one’s soul and masculine kinship in order to bring about a restoration. Therefore participation in the Ukilái retreat provides support on an ongoing basis to one’s vision, direction and relationship to others and the world.

At the Retreat I felt an incredibly joyful sense of connection and euphoria, not only with the other men, but also with life and the world. I found this sense of connection similar to the feelings I experienced at the birth of my children and on my wedding day. I experienced the wonderful healing that occurs when we are being truly accepted for who we are. Without a doubt the Men’s Retreat was a life changing experience – a beautiful and mysterious space providing a deep and rich renewal for men from all walks of life. — Phil Roberts

Posted January 15, 2011

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