Ohio Illuman Monthly Update - December 2018

Ohio Chapter of Illuman

Hello Brothers & Season's Greetings!

I'm writing to you from my home in Dayton, Ohio where just yesterday the weather was nearly 65 degrees! Prior to this fleeting warm spell, we experienced several days in the low 20s along with a dusting of snow. I don't know about your hometown, but here the weather seems much cooler than normal. Then again who's to say what's normal these days? If life is trying to teach me anything, it's that nothing remains predictable and that life is forever changing.

Like a lot of folks, these days I barely have time to pay attention to the weather. The seasons are moving so quickly and the best I can do is just keep up. I used to anticipate the holidays, now I just try to enjoy the opportunities I have to be with friends and family. I do hope that you find time within this busy season to reflect on this past year and to share many happy moments with your friends and family members.


A few years ago divorce sent me into a tailspin from which I've never fully regained control. At this point in my life I've accepted that I'll never have the control that I once thought I did. Nonetheless, I am so grateful for the difficult times and for the grief I've experienced. It has offered me a humility I was lacking and led me through deeper experiences and into more profound interactions with others. You no doubt have had similar experiences on your own spiritual journeys.

The Sweet Taste of Grief

I saw grief drinking a cup of sorrow
and called out,
It tastes sweet, does it not?

You have caught me, grief answered,
and you have ruined my business.

How can I sell sorrow,
when you know it's a blessing?

A Year with Rumi - trans. Coleman Barks

Today I'm again married and living a more typical life, yet my journey continues. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that I now continue my journey consciously and with an open heart.


Working with and participating within the Ohio Chapter of Illuman and Illuman at large has become a significant part of my life. During the years of my involvement I've been privileged to spend a great deal of time with other men as we share the experiences and wisdom we've gained from our own stumblings through life. Sometimes these gatherings are very informal and at other they're organized around a particular retreat or event like the Crossings Ohio, our yearly youth rites of passage. No matter what, there is always a great deal of love and peace that arises whenever we get together with open hearts.

I truly hope your life experiences are leading you into deeper connection with this Earth and within your communities. And I trust your experiences within the Ohio Chapter of Illuman (as well as other Illuman Chapters) have been positive and life-affirming. And even if they have been challenging, as at times I have found them to be, I hope that within you these moments have created some space for change and growth you did not anticipate.

Those of us deeply involved at the Ohio Chapter of Illuman have been working in recent years to create communities of men in our regions that can come together for love and support. We've also been working to create programs that will offer the men of Ohio and nearby states further opportunities to come together on their spiritual journeys. Monthly gatherings now take place in Southwestern Ohio (Cincinnati/Dayton), Northeastern Ohio (Akron/Cleveland), and Central Ohio (Columbus/Mansfield). We've also held retreats including Intersections: Masculinity, Sexuality, and Spirituality (2017), Men Writing for Change (2018), and Touch the Earth (2018). And we have additional retreats coming up in the new year, including Men Writing for Change (2019), and the Gifts of the Enneagram (2019).

As you can see, there is a lot going on within the Ohio Chapter of Illuman. If you are new to our group or haven't had the time or even been aware of our activities, please know the door is open and there is no requirement beyond your desire to share space with other men also on a spiritual journey. We need you and invite you to continue on your Journey of Illumination with your Ohio Brothers!

Blessings & HO!!!
Brian Mueller, Board Member
Ohio Chapter of Illuman