Deep camaraderie, open communication.
Where do men go to talk about things that matter so much: values, life purpose, relationships, spirituality?
So often, men feel compelled to “go it alone”. It is part of our upbringing and identity. But we also have a competing call to community, to companionship on the journey … a place where we can describe our vision, acknowledge our fears, accept grief and heal wounds.
Our men’s 90-minute gatherings offer an atmosphere of confidentiality, trust and acceptance where men can find a sense of mutual accountability in a regular time dedicated to community and contemplative practice.
Beginning in January, the fee will be $20 each gathering.
What happens at each gathering? We share the events of our lives. We focus on a common theme for reflection. We spend some time in contemplative silence. We offer each other our insights and responses and bless one another in parting until we meet again. While the format might vary, these core elements serve to connect our individual stories to a shared whole. We invite you to join us.
We meet the last Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m. and lasts about an hour and a half. (The next gathering is Thursday, August 29 at 7 p.m.)
Additional groups may be forming, if you have a scheduling conflict. Please inquire.
Doug Fritzsche, MDiv.
Our history: The men’s gathering was started by Eremos founder Jean Springer over 10 years ago, and is now continued by Doug Fritzsche, MDiv., a spiritual director located in South Austin, who attended Jean’s groups for many years. More information about Doug is available at www.spiritual-directions.com. The meetings are held at Doug’s office, 2111 Dickson, Suite 10, Austin, TX 78704.
A Spiritual Way to Reframe Daily News in the time of the Pandemic and Beyond
Every time in history that men and women have been able to respond to the events of their world as an occasion to change their hearts, an inexhaustible source of generosity and new life has been opened, offering hope far beyond the limits of human prediction.
The news media is a powerful force bringing the pains of our troubled world into our daily lives, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. And, in this state of emergency, we feel compelled to stay up-to-date on the latest changes. Yet, watching, reading, or listening to the news fuels anxiety, despair, and fear for the future. Is there another way to mindfully engage with the news, even in these challenging times?
Can we find a way to reframe our personal news consumption as a spiritual practice that strengthens our lives, reminds us we’re not alone, and gives us hope for the future?
Eremos invites you to join us virtually to explore the possibility of reclaiming peace within ourselves through a contemplative response that turns the daily news that bombards our hearts and minds from a toxin to a tonic. We’ll take inspiration from the words of Henri Nouwen and Etty Hillesum, as we trust that changing how we view the news is a sacred act of transforming and healing our world.
Ultimately, we have just one moral duty: to reclaim large areas of peace in ourselves, more and more peace and to reflect it towards others. And the more peace there is in us, the more peace there will also be in our troubled world.
Join us virtually Sunday, April 5th from 2pm to 3pm to ponder the Coronavirus news in community in a new way. Important Note: group size is limited to seven participants to encourage the optimal sharing and experience between attendees. We will add additional sessions as the need arises.
We invite people of all faith traditions and backgrounds to join in the exploration.
A Note from Deborah: In 2018, I accepted the challenge to find a better way to respond to the news and feel it’s needed now more than ever in this time of the pandemic. The seven steps of Pondering the News have given me hope that not only can we survive; we will thrive when we intentionally transform our daily news consumption.
At Eremos, we know that contemplative practice is the antidote that the world desperately needs. My hope for Pondering the News is that with a contemplative approach we can reframe the news into a liberating force that helps us to become a brighter light to the world around us.
An Exploration Of A Way Of Being In The World
In a fast paced, conflictual world, it is difficult to find an anchor that keeps us centered on what is most important and draws us to live in ways that are personally authentic, intentional, compassionate and spiritually sustaining. This on-going Eremos offering provides an opportunity to explore the rich tradition of Benedictine spirituality as a way to enrich the spiritual depth and meaning of our lives and as a guide to everyday living.
Each meeting will focus on a different Benedictine theme or teaching and appropriate short readings will be provided and discussed. Initial themes include the following but will be refined based on the interest of the group and the inspiration of the convener:
- Benedictine path as spiritual development—we’re not there yet
- Listening — Benedictine practice for all aspects of life
- The shape of the day – seeking balance
- Sacred reading and prayer – grounding all of life
- Hospitality – a habit and a mindset
this call to create within ourselves
a Monastery of the Heart.
It is the call to go down deep
into the self
in order to find there
the God who urges us
to come out of ourselves
to do the work of God,
to live in union with God
in the world around us…
…we will find that God stands waiting
to sustain us,
and support us,
and fulfill us
at every turn.
By The Invitation by Joan Chittister
Meetings will be shaped by the interests of the group, but will likely include a period of silent meditation, short readings and discussions.
Next Meeting Date:
From Betsy Aylin, convener: I am convening this group to have companions in exploring the Benedictine way. My first exposure to Benedict’s Rule was in seminary in 1978, and I kept returning to it through the many changes in my life. A decade or more ago, on a visit to St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado, I was conferring with Fr Micah, one of the monks, expressing my sense of peace and at-home-ness at the monastery and bemoaning the difficulty of visiting the monastery so far from home. Hearing my longing, Fr. Micah suggested that I look into becoming a Benedictine Oblate. After some research I found Osage Monastery (now a retreat center) in Oklahoma and there I became an Oblate, committing to a life-long exploration of what it means to follow Benedicts path in a world very different from his. One aspect of the Benedictine path is that it is communal—lived with others. So I am drawn to make this offering to share the journey with those who are similarly interested.
As someone who has a leadership role within a nonprofit, there is always more to do to support the vital work of your nonprofit. Self-care is often forgotten when we’re immersed in the to-do’s.
You’re invited to take time to refill your ‘well’ to help you find the clarity you might need about a thorny problem or to be re-energized to deal with daily challenges.
Come gather with other nonprofit leaders for 75 minutes of facilitator-led moments of silence, reflection, and conversation.
Take time to think, vision, or dream with the soul-nourishing power of silence and wisdom from a small community of peers.
All are welcome. There is no spiritual, religious or faith tradition expectation. Any reflections shared with be poems, quotes, or readings open to all.
This group is taking a summer break and will resume in September at a new time and day of the week. Details coming soon.
3355 Bee Caves Road, Ste. 101, Westlake Hills, TX 78746
* You’re welcome to bring a brown bag lunch. Water, coffee, tea, and a selection of energy bars will be available.
Virtual Gatherings twice per month during the pandemic
Eremos invites you to an opportunity to nourish your soul in these times of change and to support any contemplative practices you may have.
Normally this group meets monthly, but we’ve added a second session to support each other during these stressful times. Each session includes a brief reading (usually of a poem), 20 minutes of silent contemplation to rest your mind, and closes with an opportunity to share about your contemplative experience (as desired).
Come sooth your spirit and connect virtually, as we support one another through these unprecedented days.
Soul Support Details
April 19th, May 3rd, May 17th, June 7th, and June 21st
The creative process offers a path where, just beneath the surface of artistic endeavor, the rhythm of prayer unfolds: senses awaken, mind focuses, heart opens & soul bestows her gifts.
WHAT TO EXPECT ~ A quiet setting dedicated to prayerful, creative work; good quality art materials as befit a spiritual practice; inviting art directions with freedom to create your own way; and time to ground and grow in a creating community.
COME CREATE, REFLECT, RESPOND!