Illuman understands the Way of Council as a communal contemplative practice. It affirms the importance of listening and speaking from the heart within a circle of men. But it also recognizes the circle as being more than the sum of its parts. Illuman wants to be open to the mystery of the Spirit that arises within the wisdom and discernment of the Council. It recognizes that we run out of words in the presence of something larger than ourselves. This necessarily widens the circumference of the circle, extending our vision to a wider community to which we also have to listen.
The Way of Council was introduced to us through The Ojai Foundation’s Center for Council. Council embodies the wisdom of many traditions and offers men a way of listening and speaking that goes below the normal surface-talk of life. One of the best sources for introducing Council is, The Way of Council, by former Ojai Foundation Directors Jack Zimmerman and Virginia Coyle, published in 1996 and revised in 2009.
Illuman’s Implementation of Council
The Way of Council is Illuman’s primary practice, implemented at all levels of our work, from rites of passage to chapter meetings, from our homes to our wider communities. We respect this enough to equip men to do it well, but we acknowledge that council emerges apart from our efforts to control it. Circles have an archetypal life of their own. Council is the best teacher of council. Click here for a flyer on the Illuman Way of Council.
The Four Intentions of Council
- Listen from the heart.
- Speak from the heart.
- Be spontaneous and authentic.
- Be lean of expression.