elder profile
Joel Blunk
Wisdom Elder and Weaver  
Joel Blunk

Joel Blunk is Associate Pastor of the State College Presbyterian Church in Central Pennsylvania, Convener of the WheelHouse, which seeks to join role with soul, and a Wisdom Elder and Weaver with Illuman.



Adrian Scott  

"You are only as Sick as Your Secrets"

about illuman 
Illuman is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose vision is to see men transforming men and, through them, families and communities for generations to come.  Our mission is to engage those seeking a life-long journey of spiritual transformation.


In this issue learn more about:  
  1. Are you a man in a state of decline? 
  2. The Initiator Program - don't miss an opportunity to return to an MROP 
  3. Centering - Our first Illuman Touchstone 
  4. A reminder about bringing your spouse/partner to the 2014 conference
  5. Register for our upcoming conference 
  6. Upcoming MROPs   

And don't forget to check out our Elder Profile and  Reflection features.



one1.  Are you a man in a state of decline? 


The book Younger Next Year was written by two men for men. It charts a path for men who want to fend off the natural decay associated with aging. For us men, the modern, sedentary lifestyle is most unkind. Let's face it: on average, women live 5-10 years longer than men. Among people over 100 years of age, 85% are women.


But this is not a book review, nor will we list all the reasons why men die earlier than women (it's an inexact science). Instead we want to note that there are clear areas where men have an opportunity, through our men's work, to stave off some of the decline associated with aging.


Men, as they age, tend to lose social connections. A lot of men have made work their community. Once retired, men often experience two things- a loss of connection and a loss of purpose. As a result, older men are more prone to depression than women. Furthermore, many of us men already have had an experience of our lives imploding sometime after our 30s.


So what can we do about this? Whether you are 30 or 70, it's always a good time to ask yourself:

  • How do I stay socially connected and have real, meaningful friendships?
  • Do I really feel passionate about something? 

Illuman provides men with an opportunity to work on these two vital areas for health. The men involved in our work establish real and lasting friendships with each other. We also provide a much-needed venue for men not just to talk about spirituality but also to find ways to live their spirituality. Please visit Illuman.org to learn more about the various ways you can connect with our work.  


two2.  The Initiator Program - don't miss an opportunity to return to an MROP

The Initiator Program provides men who have already attended an MROP with an opportunity to participate as an "Initiator" at the Illinois MROP. This is a chance to both do some personal work and support the men who are being initiated. For further information, please email initiatorprogram@illuman.org.

three3.  Centering - Our first Illuman Touchstone

In this Drumbeat, we want to begin introducing everyone to the five touchstones for Illuman.  Click here to learn more about how we use Centering in our spiritual practice. For more information about Touchstones and the Journey of Illumination, please click here


four4.   A reminder about bringing your spouse/wife to the 2014 conference


The women in our lives provide important support for us on the spiritual journey. Yet there are times when men need time together in the absence of women to talk about our spiritual lives. Therefore, our upcoming conference is open to men only, although women are welcome to come along and enjoy the location and amenities of the conference venue. This exclusion from the conference is not, of course, because we disrespect women. Instead, we want to include women in a way that feels thoughtful and helpful. In an informal session on Saturday afternoon, Fr. Richard Rohr will speak with all women who are accompanying men to the conference. There is no need to register for this event. 



five5.  Illuman Conference 2014 - Register Now

Illuman conference Nove 7-9 2014 
Click here to register for our conference  
Save The Date:

November 7-9, 2014


The Hyatt Regency Tamaya

Bernalillo, New Mexico


To book your hotel at discounted rates, please click here

Being a Generative Man: Water in the Desert
  • Moving beyond Stagnation: Men Coming Alive
  • Learning the Way of Council: Listening to all the Voices
  • Energizing the Next Generation: Old and Young Men Together
  • The Fourfold Path: Recognizing, Awakening, Nurturing, and Claiming

Speakers include (L to R):



Belden Lane, backpacker, storyteller, and writer in spirituality (Author of The Solace of Fierce Landscapes 

and forthcoming Backpacking with the Saints)  



Adrian Scott, British poet from Sheffield, England (Author of The Call of the Unwritten and Arriving in Magic)


Fr. Richard Rohr O.F.M., founder of Men as Learners and Elders (Author of Adam's Return, Soul Brothers, From Wild Man to Wise Man, and On the Threshold of Transformation)


For further information about the conference please visit Illuman.org.     


six6.  Upcoming Men's Rites of Passage for 2014


Are you interested in attending an MROP, or do you know someone who wishes to attend? Here's our 2014 schedule:

  • July 23-27, 2014 - Perth, Scotland
  • August 6-10, 2014 - Princeton, Illinois
  • August 19-23, 2014 - Camp Somerset, Queensland  

For contact information, click  here 

Fr. Richard Rohr
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