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THE MEN OF VISION
The Women of Vision Conference
Georgetown University Washington, D.C. October 12th, 1994
Prepared by the Four Worlds International Men’s Council
THE MEN OF VISION GATHERING Some forty men, of different ages and different cultures, representing many walks of life – from diplomats to wanderers, from Canada, India, The United Nations and the United States, gathered together on Columbus Day, 1994, in the ceremonial protocol of the sacred circle of our tribal relatives of North America.
As one wing of the Eagle of Humanity -- for the Eagle of Humanity has two wings and one is woman and the other is man – we gathered our hearts in this sacred circle to heal and to learn.
We left behind our masks, our uniforms, and our desks.
We surrendered ourselves to the discipline of this sacred circle for an entire day.
We prayed sincerely and humbly to be guided by the promptings of spirit.
We sought, as strangers, to connect our hearts and our minds.
We sought common understanding --a base from which we would walk forward together as brothers.
We earnestly sought solutions, answers, actions, options, and opportunities to make some small contributions to the healing and upliftment of the world.
Four simultaneous strands of energy were braided together:
The Spiritual Dimension – guidance The Relational Dimension - connection The Functional Dimension – contribution The Environmental Dimension – nurturance
Men of Vision? Could we dare to call ourselves by such a lofty name?
And yet if we failed to be so bold, --so bold as to surrender to the spirit of a new world being born – then the unspeakable suffering that we as men have so intricately woven with our egotism, with our knowledge, with our power, and with our money, will never be unraveled.
We recognized that while we have work to do with other men, we also have work to do with women.
We accepted the bonding of our hearts and minds to support the women in our lives, to accept their leadership, and to build partnerships with them.
We accepted that forgiveness and reconciliation are the keys to all of our relationships.
We recognized that life’s sacred ceremony of working together as women and men in love and trust is fundamental and necessary for a sustainable world.
And so . . .
"For our grandmothers, and our mothers, and sisters, and daughters, and lovers, and friends;
for the Rwandas and Iraqs and Vietnams and the Haitis and Somalias and Bosnias of this world;
for our beloved children now and yet to come;
for the poorest of the poor;
for the spiritually lost and those without love; and
We stand in the hoop of the people responsible, as men and as spiritual beings;
We surrender to the Creator;
We welcome our gifts and our strengths;
We accept responsibility for every moment in the past and in the present for what we have said and done – all of it;
We respectfully, unreservedly and unanimously, offer our love and our heartfelt support to all the women in our lives, and we stand ready to gratefully receive from them their love, their wisdom, their guidance and their support.
In working together as women and men, we heal our relationships with each other, with the earth, and with the Spirit that gives life to us all.
While each one of us must find his own path of service, we shall be forever guided by the life-giving principles of justice, love, forgiveness, unity, respect and compassion, found in the sacred teachings of the shared spiritual heritage of all humanity.
We give heartfelt thanks for the love and sacrifice of our mothers and grandmothers for giving us our sacred life.
We commit ourselves in a like manner to help give birth to a new world, rooted in love, justice, compassion and respect.
We will persevere, -- no matter how hard it gets, no matter how long it takes, no matter if it costs us our fortunes, our status, or our lives."
THE STAKING CEREMONY
Twelve elder tribal Grandmothers then visited our circle.
We all participated in a ceremony of commitment by praying for the Creators’ help for us all that we might truly keep the commitments we made.
The essence of the ceremony is that, with the prayers and ceremonial assistance from the Grandmothers, those who chose to do so were invited to pick up a wooden stake painted with black, white, red and yellow bands -- representing the people of the earth.
This stake symbolizes among other sacred understandings, the holder’s life long commitment to the healing of ourselves, of all our human relationships, and of our relationships with our beloved Mother Earth.
The ceremony is very ancient. It comes from a time when warriors would drive a stake in the ground, tie themselves to it, and proclaim:
"Thus far and no further. Here, steadfastly against all obstacles, tests, challenges, enemies, and against all odds, I make my stand."
The men who picked up stakes at the Men of Vision Gathering -- well over two thirds of the participants – thereby made a lifelong commitment to healing themselves, to healing their human relationships and to building a sustainable world.
THANKSGIVING AND PRAYERS
We offer heartfelt thanksgiving to all Women of Vision for their kind support, acceptance, love, patience and leadership.
We pray that others of like mind and spirit will join us in the common cause of parenting a sustainable future for all generations yet to come.
Our final prayer, as we continue on our journey, is that in our sacred commitment to the Great Spirit, to ourselves and to others, we can all soar together gracefully as sacred eagles.
Respectfully submitted to the Women of Vision Conference by The Men of Vision Gathering, with love and support of The Four Worlds International Men’s Council.
Received by the Women of Vision Conference with a long standing ovation.
Washington, D.C., Columbus Day, October 12, 1994
Various options for follow-up and further development are under discussion, including the determination to take on practical collaborative projects within our means and abilities, and to establish an E-Mail network.
It is anticipated that The Men of Vision will meet again sometime next year, in Santa Fe, Alberta, Arizona, or wherever the Creator unfolds the opportunity.
In the interim, further information can be obtained from:
The Women of Vision Conference 125 Golden Eagle Drive
Sedona, Arizona, 86336 Phone: (602) 282-9580
The Four Worlds International Institute for Human and Community Development
Box 347 Fairmont Boulevard , Lethbridge, Alberta T1K 3K1 Canada
Tele: 403-320-7144 Fax: 403-329-8383 E-mail: email@example.com
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FOUR WORLDS/FOUR DIRECTIONS INTERNATIONAL
347 Fairmont Boulevard, Lethbridge, Alberta, T1K 7J8 Canada
Phone: (403) 320-7144 Fax: (403) 329-8383 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org