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The information on this page is in three sections:
• Contacting the Tribe
• Joining the Tribe, commitment levels, initiation process
• Tribe background and philosophy
QUESTIONS ABOUT CONTACTING THE TRIBE
1. I’m interested in joining, and live in the San Francisco Bay Area – who do I contact?
Send an email to the men on the Contact Us page.
2. I’m interested in joining, but live outside the San Francisco Bay Area – who do I contact?
Currently, we do not have groups outside the Bay Area. Subscribe to our mailing list to be informed of any future plans to expand to new geographies. If you would like to start a challenge group in your area, and can bring together a group of five to eight men, we can discuss expansion of the Tribe to your area.
3. I’m looking for a speaker / working on an article / interested in collaborating with your group. Whom can I contact?
Send an email as indicated on the Contact Us page along with how we can reach you.
QUESTIONS ABOUT JOINING THE TRIBE, COMMITMENT LEVELS, INITIATION PROCESS
1. How do I become a tribesman?
Tribesmen are men who have successfully completed the initiation process. You can start by attending an Intro Evening and joining a challenge group.
2. What are the requirements to be initiated? To become a tribesman?
To be initiated and become a tribesman, you would:
• Attend an Introductory Evening
• Join a challenge group
– Obtain a sponsor among existing tribesmen to help coordinate your joining a challenge group.
– Request to join a challenge group and be accepted by that challenge group.
• Complete the initiation process
– Work with your assigned Guide who assists you on the path
– Complete your self-assessment
– Receive your challenge designed specifically for you.
– Successfully complete your challenge.
– Complete Initiation Day.
Then you are a tribesman!
3. When and where to do the challenge groups meet?
There are currently nine challenge groups, five meeting in Marin, three in the East Bay, and one in San Francisco. Meetings are held in tribesmen’s homes. Each group chooses a mutually agreed date to meet – for example, “Second Tuesday”, “First Monday”, etc. Currently, all meetings are held on weekday afternoons or evenings.
4. What costs are involved?
The Tribe is a non-profit, and we ask for voluntary contributions to support the Tribe’s operations. Historically, the request used to be for $20/month per man, but now this has been changed to a voluntary monetary contribution – making money another source for work. The other form of payment is the sacred reciprocity by serving others once you have initiated, to help men following you on the path. Your service helps to keep the Tribe sustainable, and the cost accessible to any interested man. Your first two visits to a challenge group are free, and after that, you will begin making contributions.
5. Where does my money go?
100% of all contributions goes to the expenses of running the Tribe – for example, initiation expenses, lodging during gatherings, facilities for meetings, website, newsletter, etc. All men running the Tribe are volunteers; there are no paid staff.
6. What is the ongoing commitment to continue participation in the Tribe?
To remain as an active tribesman, you would:
• Continue in your challenge group (generally, at least 10 of 12 meetings a year)
• Participate in at least one of the groups (“rings”) that operate the Tribe.
Many men also:
• Attend subsequent Initiation Days
• Lead and participate in semi-annual Tribe Gatherings.
• Participate actively in multiple Tribe rings.
• Support new men in their initiation process by becoming a sponsor, guide, or other roles in the initiation process.
Most men spend from six hours to two or three days per month on Tribe activities. Expect a minimum four hours per month for your challenge group one afternoon or evening each month, with ten or more meetings per year. You can expect to spend an additional two to four hours of Tribe activity per month. Many of these meetings are by phone. Some are in person. Meeting times and dates are agreed to by the members of the group.
7. I’m in another men’s group. Will I need to give my current group up?
8. Are there risks of physical injury or things that could be life-threatening in the initation process?
Though rare, it’s conceivable that a man could ask for and/or receive a challenge that is physically challenging, in which case he’d be encouraged to seek support to ensure his own safety. No man is forced to do anything against his wishes.
9. Are there any requirements for race, age, sexual preference, religious affiliation, political bias, etc?
No. The more diverse, the better.
10. Do I need to attend a Sword and Scepter Workshop to join the Tribe?
No, but we highly recommend it. The Tribe was spawned out of this workshop, and most tribesmen have been through it and found it to be both enlightening and powerful.
11. What kind of experience in personal growth work is required to join?
Most of the men in our Tribe have many years of personal growth under their belt, including psychotherapy, personal growth workshops, or spiritual pursuits. There are introductory consciousness workshops and trainings listed under our Resources page. For a few men, the Sword and Scepter Workshop has been their introduction. There are no hard and fast rules here, it comes down to each man’s desire and openness to growth. Talk with us and we can help assess a two-way fit that works for both parties.
12. Can I sit in one of your groups before I decide to join?
The purpose of introductory evenings is to give an overview of the Tribe, and a sample of what the Tribe’s work looks like. For most men, this experience will be adequate enough to decide if you are interested in continuing to the next step.
Once you have expressed interest in joining and becoming initiated, your sponsor will help direct you to an available challenge group. Each man may visit a challenge group once or twice, and then the man requests to join, or declines. Some men have wanted to try multiple challenge groups. Most have just tried one, liked it, and joined. Typically only one or two challenge groups at a time has available capacity. We do not advocate “sampling” the challenge groups if you do not have a genuine interest in becoming part of the Tribe.
QUESTIONS ABOUT TRIBE BACKGROUND AND PHILOSOPHY
1. Who are the people behind the Tribe? Do they have a particular philosophy?
The founders of the Tribe, and most tribesmen, have years of experience with self-development work including psychotherapy, self-development workshops, and spiritual practices. Many tribesmen are teachers, consultants, coaches, and professionals in business or education. Several have conducted beginning and advanced-level consciousness workshops, and men’s and women’s workshops.
2. How are you different than other men’s groups?
There appear to be six types of men’s groups:
1. Social Groups, where men meet primarily to socialize and enjoy each others’ company;
2. Sport Groups, where the men meet to play a sport and/or socialize (the bowling league, softball team);
3. Support Groups, where men gather to support each other through a variety of methods, sometimes led by a therapist;
4. Service Groups, where men gather to provide a social service (Rotary or Lions, for example),
5. Leader-based Groups, where one man is leading men toward a particular goal (groups facilitated by a coach, guru or workshop conductor);
6. Consciousness Work Groups, where men meet to challenge each other to go to their depths and create real change.
We are that last type.
There seems to be a resurgence of men’s groups. Perhaps this is a response to the same issues that led to the creation of the Tribe of Men. While we see ourselves as part of this larger movement, men participating in our group tell us the Tribe of Men is different in the following ways:
• The quality, and specifically the depth, of consciousness work tends to be greater, and the primary focus of what we do.
• We have a unique initiation process, customized to help each man face his greatest inner challenge.
• We have no “chief”, no single leader. We encourage every tribesman to grow and express his own leadership skills. We are not hierarchical. We utilize a collaborative governance method.
3. Is this a therapy group?
No. Some of us are trained professional coaches or therapists.
While some of the tools we use are also used in therapy, the purpose is not the same. Therapy is used to heal trauma, while the work we do is with basically healthy men, to help deepen in their awareness of themselves and enhance their relationships to others and the world.
4. Will this help me with my work , business, marriage, fatherhood, relationship… etc.?
The Tribe includes many men from every walk of life, including executives, executive coaches, entrepreneurial businessmen, fathers, husbands, etc. You will likely find men whom you want to work with, become friends with, or get advice from, but this is not our primary goal. The way this impacts your life can be powerful, but indirect, and depends on what you put into it. We believe that increasing your own self-awareness, focusing on your integrity, love, compassion, and purpose can positively impact every area of a man’s life.
However, the drive and initiative must come from you – this is not something that anyone is going to “do” to you – it’s important that each man be responsible and accountable to lead his own development.
5. What spiritual or religious affiliations does the Tribe have?
While men may have deep spiritual or religious affiliations, the Tribe doesn’t ascribe to, nor imposes, any particular affiliation on anyone. As “spiritual warriors”, we refer to “The Big and Murky”, a phrase that embraces all notions of That Which Is Larger Than Us. Some men speak about God; others speak of the Universe or “The Forces” or “The All”.
6. Why no women?
We understand and appreciate the need for men and women to work together. In fact, we haven’t ruled out the possibility that women would join the Tribe of Men some day well in the future (though we would probably look at changing our name). Men and women have different needs when doing work in consciousness. The way in which men work with each other is quite different than the way men and women work together.
We believe that as long as men hold most of society’s power and control – such as leading countries, organizations and companies – men have an obligation and responsibility to teach each other about the constructive use of power. Although women have issues with their own power, we believe men need to work on this more than women. When men are better able to use their power constructively, we’ll know it’s time to invite women to join the Tribe. Until then, we’ll focus on deepening and supporting men in their consciousness work.
7. What’s with the name, “Tribe of Men”?
As you can tell from our story, the Tribe of Men was created from one man’s request to be initiated into a group of men. We use “Tribe” loosely to mean a group of people organized for a purpose. The term came up naturally in talking about the initiation processes of various indigenous groups around the world, such as American Indian tribes and other native peoples, whom we honor and respect as our spiritual ancestors.
For several months, we went without any name at all…and liked the idea of leaving it that way. But as we grew, eventually we needed to sign agreements with retreat centers, open a bank account, and pick a website address. We decided to formalize the name as an acknowledgement of the circles of men who have come (and gone) before us.
8. What is “consciousness work”?
For us, consciousness work means the process of raising our awareness of ourselves, including our feelings, beliefs, attitudes and drives. We explore our inner landscape, and challenge ourselves at every turn to become our best. As we engage in our lives, we are also challenged in our relationships to family, home, work, our community and the world. Through this contact with harsh reality, we examine and explore why we behave, act and think as we do.
By becoming more aware of what drives our automatic and unconscious behaviors and decisions, we create the possibility for making more conscious choices. When we make more conscious choices, we can live our lives more in alignment with our highest principles, and closer to our in-born excellence.
9. What if my question is not here?
Send an email to the address on the Contact Us page, and we’ll answer it!