After several months of development, the Male Journey has now launched the first extended Return to Source programme in the UK, to be known as Being a Generative Man. This programme for initiated men (only) will run alongside the powerful 5-day Men's Rites of Initiation.

Return to Source is for men who have: 

  • Been through the MROP and are an initiated man
  • Have a desire to deepen their spiritual journey by revisiting the messages of theirown initiation and deepening their soul journey
  • Want to be an active 'generative man" – a man who is fully present in the world and who invites and supports other men into their Journey of Illumination
  • Understands that they are not being initiated again
  • Understands that they are not a member of the MROP leadership team, whilst actively supporting the team
  • Can be present and be part of the container for the entire MROP event

30 December 2016

Dear Home Secretary, 

I have written to you previously in November (no acknowledgement received) regarding your continuing failure to adequately address the claims of numerous child refugees and asylum seekers. At the time of my last letter, the majority were resident in the Calais camps; now they have been widely dispersed. 

I read reports of a few hundred who have been "processed" and of some who have gained entry to reception centres in the UK. However, it is clear from numerous independent, investigative reports that very many more remain stuck in limbo or have been refused without representation or receiving written grounds. This is entirely contrary to the "tolerant, fair and welcoming" country that you are responsible for governing.  [I invite you to read the opening pages of your own 'Life in the UK' handbook which immigrants are expected to familiarise themselves with as espousing British values.] 

The continuing delay, obfuscation and avoidance seems no more that a continuation of the policy of creating a "hostile environment" for all immigrants.  Your policies and actions fall well short of your much vaunted 'British values'.

In Peace, (Rev) Tim Pickles



Rt Hon Teresa May MP,
10 Downing Street,

30 October 2016

Dear Prime Minister,

Your actions - and those of your ministers, officials, and Immigration Directorate staff -towards the young refugee people in and around Calais are deplorable and seemingly without any regard to human compassion and integrity.

You have been aware of the developing situation faced by these young and vulnerable people for many months. There have been multiple warnings by the aid agencies on the ground. Throughout this year, your government has sought to deliberately and consciously delay, push away, frustrate, obfuscate, and bureaucratise any response. I remind you that these young people are still legally children. Many have witnessed the horrors of war including terror attacks, bombing, killings and mutilations. Many are separated from, or have lost, their families. They have no income. They have risked perilous journeys to reach a strange country – because the alternative of staying in their own country was worse. They face the constant risk of bullying, sexual exploitation, slavery and trafficking – all things that you claim you want to eradicate.

Many of the same points can be made about the boat refugees who have landed, by accident, on the British sovereign military territories on Cyprus, and whom you also fail to process expeditiously.

I expect my government to show respect, compassion and care towards all people in such desperate situations. Your attitude towards these young people lacks justice, fairness, humanity, leadership and moral responsibility. All human beings on our shared planet are of equal worth, deserving of common respect and humanity. You are failing to give this.

I ask that you abandon the pernicious and labyrinthine “hostile environment towards immigrants” [of which my non-EU spouse and I also have personal experience] and quickly and gracefully grasp your responsibilities towards all these vulnerable refugees.

This is my Truth speaking to your power,


Rev Tim Pickles

I'm aware of how little online publishing I've done in the past couple of years (relative to previous years). It's not that nothing is happening; more that I have no need to report it externally.

The inner journey makes it very clear to me that what-I-do is unimportant - assuming that the 'doing' is primarily right-action - and does not define me in any way. Yet the 'doing' is often a way in which others categorise and label a person. No, what is important is 'who-I-am' and 'how-I-live-in-this-world', neither of which are captured in words nor require description.

This awareness continues to grow more strongly. In the evocative words from the men's rites of passage, "I am not that important". I have no need to draw attention to myself or to what I do. The most important work that I'm engaged in continues in my contemplation practice and in my inner work journalling. Meanwhile, I've disconnected from social media, blogging and routine publishing, as being unnecessary. 

What matters is how I manifest - in presence, in loving, in consciousness, in silence, in simply being. 

It seems clear to me that our way of engaging in political debate and decision-making is bust. Watching the Scottish independence referendum in 2014, the general election in 2015, and the EU referendum in 2016, the same tired patterns and unhealthy behaviours are evident. I'm sure they have their roots much further back but the vitriol, crudeness and self-serving interests have come to dominate the debates.

Our politics is dominated by methods that are confrontational, oppositional, argumentative, and hostile. The campaigns that play out on our TV screens are based upon shouting, slogans, incomplete truths, insults, project fears, supporter gangs, lies, thinly-concealed hate-stirring, assertions instead of facts, spin, abuse of power, and constantly repeated mantras that do nothing to address the more complex factors that underlie almost all the most central issues being raised. There is a 'race to the bottom' to whip up what often looks like mob support. This is duality politics: two opposing forces lining up to attack each other. And all dualities are simplistic and reductionist. They are inescapably win/lose, right/wrong, left/right, in/out, yes/no. No other option is possible. One side will triumph. The other will be defeated, no matter how small the margin of 'victory'.

What does this remind you of? Warfare. This is the classic model of battles throughout history - whether that be massed armies facing each other across some open fields, or remote drones firing missiles at vehicle convoys, or insurgents engaged in street fighting with troops.

Our political 'democracy' has made very little progress in five thousand years if it still uses the tactics of battle. At best, this is warfare-with-rules. But even those rules are being ignored - politeness, respect, truth and dialogue are all being dispenses with.

And in the process, the things that most ordinary people care about are increasingly ignored. The questions that people ask simply don't get answered (What currency will be use? Where do you plan to make the cuts? What trading agreement will you seek to negotiate? How will my living standrd be affected?). People's range of individual concerns don't get heard - because there is no forum in which they can be listened to. Everything is cut-off, time-limited, reduced to a sound-bite or a slogan, balanced with an opposing view, or simply edited out as not being reflective of the Top 3 Topics.

We have become so used to the present ways of political campaigning that we think this is the norm - and that no other methods have ever, or could, exist. There have always been alternative ways of engaging in debate and decision-making.

I particularly favour The Way of Council. This is an ancient process, rooted in historical and tribal communities. At it's heart are several core intentions. The purpose of sitting in Council is to seek wisdom. We don't hear much about 'wisdom' today; it's drowned out by argument. Council is a way of seeking the collective wisdom that lies within the group instead of the depending on the claims and authority of single leaders. It relies upon listening to each other - actually hearing what's important to the other people in the Council, paying attention to it consciously, and taking it into your own consideration. In Council, only one person is permitted to speak at a time and the majority are engaged in active listening.

A Council looks different. Men and women are gathered in a circle. There are no 'sides'. It is communal and egalitarian. A talking stick or totem is passed around the circle. Only the person holding the totem is permitted to speak; everyone else listens to the concerns, feelings and questions of the speaker. Each contribution is acknowledged respectfully and usually followed by a short period of reflective silence for that contribution to settle. Points and questions are rarely answered directly; successive contributions are often widely divergent in nature; there is no to-and-fro of argument; one person's views are not denigrated; the conversation is expansive rather than reductionist; ideas are created and options identified. The dialogue in Council is inclusive and respectful; differences are aired; diverse experiences are welcome. Some participants may be older or more experienced and this may confer a degree of elder-hood on them, yet they too demonstrate a concern to listen and appreciate the views of the newest members of the Council.

Yes, this can take time. The token may pass around the group several times. Repetitious contributions are discouraged. The Council is seeking to delve beneath the surface issues to uncover what is truly important. This is a search for wisdom. A wisdom that lies in the collective understanding of the group, including it's history and their ancestors. Wisdom is far greater than the personal views of any one person.

Towards the end, a few Council members will endeavour to draw the threads together and state the wisdom arising from the Council. If there is no clarity, the matter may be deemed not ready for decision at this time. Everyone can depart knowing they have been heard and acknowledged.

Versions of Council can be found around the world in different communities and gatherings. We still use the word 'Council' to describe several corporate structures, and we sit their members in a circle, even when their debating methods have diverged far from the classic style. Tribal groups still use it as their 'parliament'. Several residential communities employ it very successfully. I'm involved with Radical Faeries and men's work movements where Council is the way of making decisions. The Society of Friends (Quakers) uses something similar to Council for all it's business meetings.

Our present political process is discredited and disfunctional. There are alternatives which hold out the possibility of re-engaging men and women in the decisions that affect all our lives.

A week ago, we completed the purchase of our new, second, home in Chiang Mai. It's been surprisingly quick. We came out to Thailand in December expecting to continue our general seach for a base in the country. We came to stay with Aod's family before new year, and first saw this property in early January. Three weeks later, the property is finished and we have paid for it.The original preference was for a condo apartment - easy to look afer and secure when we are away. But the costs are relatively high and you don't get much space for your money. So we started looking at the new village developments which are multiplying around Chiang Mai as there is a housing boom underway, by people wanting a second-home outside flood-prone Bangkok, and as an investment property. Many of these village developments are lego-like and boxy with very little interesting design.

Ploenchit Collina feels quite different. It's a one-off development with it's own security and unique layout. Instead of the usual street grid, the roads are broad and curved. There is very extensive communal planting in the form of water-based public park areas, and a distinctive grass and tree area in private lanes and pathways behind each house. The houses are well spaced and remarkably modern in design. In our house the front and back walls of the living area are almost entirely glass from floor to ceiling, with wide-opening doors opening directly to the garden and ornamental pond and decking. It's this aspect that really attracted us: so much glass and light. The main bedroom is huge, with a private balcony, and a closet. In total, there are three bedrooms and three bathrooms. 

front view  living room  buddhist house blessing

We are now in the midst of furnishing and fitting the house whilst living in it to enjoy the space and the privacy. It's fun to keep ordering new stuff and having it delivered. There is a big job to complete in the next few weeks with an interior designer creating the kitchen area, closet, pantry, wardrobe and main bed. Hopefully, we can get all this complete before returning to the UK in another month.