Adam’s Return – The Five Promises of Male Initiation


In American society today, men have plenty of everything – money, sex, power, education – and many voices telling them how to be happy and successful. But to a diverse group of men, young and old, the question of what it means to be a man is still perplexing. Most men long for the support and nurture of other men to help in the journey toward masculinity, maturity, and a deeper experience of the divine. Through the ages, many cultures have helped men by means of initiation rites and vision quests.

Richard Rohr has spent decades learning about these practices so that he can help awaken men to their own masculinity, their deep spirituality, and their potential.   In Adam’s Return, he gives us the five essential truths of that training, in language that is being used in men’s retreats around the globe.

Adam’s Return is written to inspire a new generation of men to reassess what it means to be a man, to go through the initiations that every culture has required of its men, and to become leaders in the broader culture. Me need to confront suffering, loss, and death before they can live with genuine wisdom and vision.

The book includes a full discussion of the five spiritual challenges and promises necessary for moving into a true state of mature masculinity.  A sample rite is included for the use in the worldwide Men as Learners and Elders (M.A.L.Es), which Richard Rohr has helped pioneer.

Publisher: The Crossroad Publishing Company, 2004


From Wild Man to Wise Man


Because of the continuing need and popularity of The Wild Man’s Journey (1990 edition was translated into seven languages), Richard Rohr was encouraged by the Support Elders of M.A.L.Es., to do a major update and revision, reflecting the experience of the last 15 years with men’s work.  A very new book, called From Wild Man to Wise Man is the result.

With Fr. Richard Rohr as mentor and guide, men, and women who care about men, will want to study and discuss this new Wild Man.

“Every man who seriously desires to appreciate masculinity and to face reality, his own soul, his place in the Gospel and in society, as well as his need for conversion and growth will be challenged by this book.” — Pecos Benedictine Book Nook

“A provocative experience for Christian men who are looking for an affirmation of their maleness from their tradition.” — The Journal of Men’s Studies

“The focus throughout is on the difficulty of men finding mentors for our spiritual journey and the presence of the spirit to help us. I like the simple way the book invites us (men and women) to use our gender awareness to further our growth spiritually.” — Mennonite

Publisher: 2005 St. Anthony Messenger Press (175 pages)


On the Threshold of Transformation: Daily Meditations for Men

On the Threshold of Transformation: Daily Meditations for Men (Loyola Press, paperback, September 2010).

In these short daily meditations for men, Richard Rohr clearly reveals that every man must be willing to descend into his own vulnerabilities if he is ever to be transformed in a way that leads him to his authentic, best self. This letting go is essential to achieving wholeness, holiness, and happiness.

With nearly every man dealing with some form of hurt in his life, this book acknowledges the pain and deals with it directly and redemptively.  While much of our culture today would have us believe that failure and suffering are inherently bad, Richard helps men see that pain—in whatever form it takes—is a primary doorway through which they can pass to reach their authentic, best selves, which is where they will truly encounter God.

377 pages.


On-line Daily Meditations from Richard Rohr

Stay connected with Fr. Richard Rohr and Center for Action and Contemplation by receiving free emails. Select the frequency that works best for you—daily, weekly, or monthly. You may change your preferences or unsubscribe at any time. Monthly news include announcements regarding CAC educational resources and special discounts. Learn more about Fr. Richard’s Daily Meditations and view a sample here.


Soulcraft: Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche


Since 1980, depth psychologist Bill Plotkin has been guiding women and men into the wilderness—the redrock canyons and snow-crested mountains of the American West—but also into the wilds of the soul. He calls this work soulcraft.

There’s a great longing in all people to uncover the secrets and mysteries of our individual lives, to find the unique gift we were born to bring to our communities, and to experience our full membership in the more-than-human world. This journey to soul is a descent into layers of the self much deeper than personality, a journey meant for each one of us, not just for the heroes and heroines of mythology.

A modern handbook for the journey, Soulcraft is not an imitation of indigenous ways, but a contemporary nature-based approach born from wilderness experience, the traditions of Western culture, and the cross-cultural heritage of all humanity. Filled with stories, poems, and guidelines,Soulcraft introduces over 40 practices that facilitate the descent to soul, including dreamwork, wilderness vision fasts, talking across the species boundaries, council, self-designed ceremony, nature-based shadow work, and the arts of romance, being lost, and storytelling.


Nature and the Human Soul


Addressing the pervasive longing for meaning and fulfillment in this time of crisis, Nature and the Human Soul introduces a visionary ecopsychology of human development that reveals how fully and creatively we can mature when soul and wild nature guide us. Depth psychologist and wilderness guide Bill Plotkin presents a model for a human life span rooted in the cycles and qualities of the natural world, a blueprint for individual development that ultimately yields a strategy for cultural transformation.

With evocative language and personal stories, including those of elders Thomas Berry and Joanna Macy, this book defines eight stages of human life – Innocent, Explorer, Thespian, Wanderer, Soul Apprentice, Artisan, Master, and Sage – and describes the challenges and benefits of each. Plotkin offers a way of progressing from our current egocentric, aggressively competitive, consumer society to an ecocentric, soul-based one that is sustainable, cooperative, and compassionate. At once a primer on human development and a manifesto for change, Nature and the Human Soul fashions a template for a more mature, fulfilling, and purposeful life – and a better world.


The Solace of Fierce Landscapes


In the tradition of Kathleen Norris, Terry Tempest Williams, and Thomas Merton, The Solace of Fierce Landscapes explores the impulse that has drawn seekers into the wilderness for centuries and offers eloquent testimony to the healing power of mountain silence and desert indifference.
Interweaving a memoir of his mother’s long struggle with Alzheimer’s and cancer, meditations on his own wilderness experience, and illuminating commentary on the Christian via negativa–a mystical tradition that seeks God in the silence beyond language–Lane rejects the easy affirmations of pop spirituality for the harsher but more profound truths that wilderness can teach us. “There is an unaccountable solace that fierce landscapes offer to the soul. They heal, as well as mirror, the brokeness we find within.” It is this apparent paradox that lies at the heart of this remarkable book: that inhuman landscapes should be the source of spiritual comfort. Lane shows that the very indifference of the wilderness can release us from the demands of the endlessly anxious ego, teach us to ignore the inessential in our own lives, and enable us to transcend the “false self” that is ever-obsessed with managing impressions. Drawing upon the wisdom of St. John of the Cross, Meister Eckhardt, Simone Weil, Edward Abbey, and many other Christian and non-Christian writers, Lane also demonstrates how those of us cut off from the wilderness might “make some desert” in our lives.
Written with vivid intelligence, narrative ease, and a gracefulness that is itself a comfort, The Solace of Fierce Landscapes gives us not only a description but a “performance” of an ancient and increasingly relevant spiritual tradition.


Arriving in Magic


This second collection of poetry charts a three-year period in the author’s life beginning right after publication of The Call of the Unwritten and into his six-month sabbatical in early 2011 – when he unearthed a new way of looking at his life. In Arriving in Magic he describes a refusal to “pass the gap that gates the path unnoticed” and this opened many “Gateways” disclosed in poems like “When will you be ready” and “The Edge of Bleakness.”  The chapter “Path Crossings” celebrates the people whose presence has given him a magical awareness of life and death. The “Tuscany” section recalls a trip in 2010 with the Poet David Whyte and how this alerted him to the magic of everyday life. “Unearthings” narrates what the commonplace contains when approached with fierce attention. The final section “Glad Arrivals” reveals the wonder he came to experience, and moves into “The Starving Edge” challenging the age of austerity; asking more than simply the recreation of a broken system. Ending with an invitation to a “Certain Kind of Vow,” this collection is a personal testament adding to what Goethe calls the “praise of what is truly alive and what longs to be burned to death.”


Creating Rituals: A New Way of Healing for Everyday Life


Practical advice on creating rituals, a healing and transformative means of helping a person or a group to maneuver with confidence through times of transition.


River Flow: New & Selected Poems




“At times gentle and peaceful, at other times, turbulent and thundering, River Flow is a magnificent collection of poetry with a vibrant voice. This beautiful book contains over one hundred fifty poems, most garnered from the author’s previous works, but also including twenty-three new compositions. The table of contents organizes the poems according to topics, while noting the name of the book in which it first appeared.

David Whyte has a confident command of words, causing them to leap with emotion while drawing vivid pictures in the mind. His poems touch several dimensions of thought, from the spiritual realm to the tangible world around us. The profound and the poignant take on a heightened perception when seen through the author’s eyes.

The ability of poetry to decipher our modern world is made clear throughout this book, as ideas are expressed with elegance and intuitiveness. Using this genre allows a deeper and more meaningful expression of feelings, as the themes are sensitively encased in passionate prose and lyrical language. From the petals of a flower to the purpose of life’s unpredictable pathways, these words tickle the mind with tantalizing tidbits of thoughts.

To this reviewer’s delight, a section of the book is devoted to Ireland. The poetry clearly captures images of the people, the politics and the impassioned personalities that make up this culture. David Whyte’s words are a welcoming embrace as the “hands across the water” reach out through these pages in a gesture of friendship and familiarity.

River Flow is a graceful journey, highlighting the ebb and flow of humanity as it drifts along on words of wisdom, compassion and understanding.”