Ohio Illuman Convener Monthly Update - July 2018

Ohio Chapter of Illuman


I've been a bit shaken up by the recent suicide of Anthony Bordain. From the outside it looked as if he was doing creative, meaningful work that he loved while enjoying great material success. Apparently much more was going on below the surface. He is now the latest in a string of prominent men who have taken their own lives. Among the others are Chris Cornell, Robin Williams, Hunter Thompson, Keith Emerson, and Chester Bennington. Suicide rates have increased more than 25% since 1999, and male suicide rates are four times that of females.

I've been blessed by brothers who have reached out to me this past month. If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Studies have shown that the risk of suicide declines sharply when people call. There is also a crisis text line. For crisis support in Spanish, call 1-888-628-9454. Lines are staffed by a mix of paid professionals and unpaid volunteers trained in crisis and suicide intervention. The confidential environment, 24-hour accessibility, a caller's ability to hang up at any time, and the person-centered care have helped its success. The International Association for Suicide Prevention and Befrienders Worldwide also provide contact information for crisis centers around the world.

My hope is the work we do in Ohio Illuman will help alleviate this suicide epidemic. We foster an environment where:

  • Men can speak without being judged or shamed
  • Men can both speak about their emotions and be emotional
  • Men can forge real and authentic relationships with other men
  • Men can discuss real life challenges of the different roles we play – husband/partner, father, grandfather, provider, businessman, worker, etc.
  • Men who participate in our work receive support as they journey through life and face some of life’s toughest challenges and transitions. Our programs are centered in ritual experiences rather than in conceptual teachings. Illuman creates opportunities for men, ones we know they can’t find on their own or anywhere else.

There are 5 regional monthly meetings around the state where men's work can be done. You can find a listing of upcoming events on our website or Facebook.

Soularize, Illuman’s annual gathering, is another great place to connect with other men from around the world. This October 18-21, Bill Plotkin will be presenting Soul Purpose: Inhabiting Our Unique Psycho-Ecological Niche. Everyone yearns for—and needs—a purpose that can be embodied, a meaning that can be lived.

Later this year, Rich Horton will be leading Touch The Earth: Contemplative Experiences in Nature retreat November 2-4, 2018. You can learn more and register at our website.

Please take advantage of these opportunities,
and please look out for your brothers!



Keep up the good work of spreading the word about the Crossings Ohio, a young men’s rites of passage for those aged 18-30. We are looking for initiates as well as elders for the event July 26-29.

Thank you for your interest and participation.
Let's stay in touch!

Chuck RihmConvener
Ohio Chapter of Illuman

"Without us God will not. But without God, we can not."
~ Fr. Richard Rohr